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´╗┐Title: Under the Prophet in Utah; the National Menace of a Political Priestcraft
Author: O'Higgins, Harvey Jerrold, 1876-1929, Cannon, Frank J., 1859-1933
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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The National Menace of a Political Priestcraft

By Frank J. Cannon

Formerly United States Senator from Utah


Harvey J. O'Higgins

Author "The Smoke-Eaters," "Don-a-Dreams," etc.



         I In the Days of the Raid
        II On a Mission to Washington
       III Without a Country
        IV The Manifesto
         V On the Road to Freedom
        VI The Goal--and After
       VII The First Betrayals
      VIII The Church and the Interests
        IX At the Crossways
         X On the Downward Path
        XI The Will of the Lord
       XII The Conspiracy Completed.
      XIII The Smoot Exposure
       XIV Treason Triumphant
        XV The Struggle for Liberty
       XVI The Price of Protest
      XVII The New Polygamy
     XVIII The Prophet of Mammon
       XIX The Subjects of the Kingdom
        XX Conclusion


When Harvey J. O'Higgins was in Denver, in the spring of 1910, working
with Judge Ben B. Lindsey on the manuscript of "The Beast and the
Jungle," for Everybody's Magazine, he met the Hon. Frank J. Cannon,
formerly United States Senator from Utah, and heard from him the story
of the betrayal of Utah by the present leaders of the Mormon Church.
This story the editor of Everybody's Magazine commissioned Messrs.
Cannon and O'Higgins to write. They worked on it for a year, verifying
every detail of it from government reports, controversial pamphlets,
Mormon books of propaganda, and the newspaper files of current record.
It ran through nine numbers of the magazine, and not so much as a
successful contradiction was ever made of one of the innumerable
incidents or accusations that it contains. It is here published in book
form at somewhat greater length than the magazine could print it. It
is a joint work, but the autobiographic "I" has been used throughout,
because it is Mr. Cannon's personal narrative of his personal


This is the story of what has been called "the great American

It is the story of the establishment of an absolute throne and dynasty
by one American citizen over a half-million others.

And it is the story of the amazing reign of this one man, Joseph F.
Smith, the Mormon Prophet, a religious fanatic of bitter mind, who
claims that he has been divinely ordained to exercise the awful
authority of God on earth over all the affairs of all mankind, and who
plays the anointed despot in Utah and the surrounding states as cruelly
as a Sultan and more securely than any Czar.

To him the Mormon people pay a yearly tribute of more than two million
dollars in tithes; and he uses that income, to his own ends, without an
accounting. He is president of the Utah branch of the sugar trust, and
of the local incorporation's of the salt trust; and he supports the
exaction's of monopoly by his financial absolutism, while he defends
them from competition by his religious power of interdict and
excommunication. He is president of a system of "company stores," from
which the faithful buy their merchandise; of a wagon and machine company
from which the Mormon farmers purchase their vehicles and implements; of
life-insurance and fire-insurance companies, of banking institutions,
of a railroad, of a knitting company, of newspapers, which the Mormon
people are required by their Church to patronize, and through which they
are exploited, commercially and financially, for the sole profit of the
sovereign of Utah and his religious court.

He is the political Boss of the state, delivering the votes of his
people by revelation of the Will of God, practically appointing the
United States Senators from Utah--as he practically appoints the
marshals, district attorneys, judges, legislators, officers and
administrators of law throughout his "Kingdom of God on Earth"--and
ruling the non-Mormons of Utah, as he rules his own people, by virtue
of his political and financial partnership with the great "business
interests" that govern and exploit this nation, and his Kingdom, for
their own gain, and his.

He lives, like the Grand Turk, openly with five wives, against the
temporal law of the state, against the spiritual law of his Kingdom, and
in violation of his own solemn covenant to the country--which he gave in
1890, in order to obtain amnesty for himself from criminal prosecution
and to help Utah obtain the powers of statehood which he has since
usurped. He secretly preaches a proscribed doctrine of polygamy as
necessary to salvation; he publicly denies his own teaching, so that he
may escape responsibility for the sufferings of the "plural wives" and
their unfortunate children, who have been betrayed by the authority of
his dogma. And these women, by the hundreds, seduced into clandestine
marriage relations with polygamous elders of the Church, unable to claim
their husbands--even in some cases disowning their children and
teaching these children to deny their parents--are suffering a pitiful
self-immolation as martyrs to the religious barbarism of his rule.

Demanding unquestioning obedience in all things, as the "mouthpiece
of the Lord," and "sole vice-regent of God on Earth," he enforces his
demands by his religious, political and financial control of the faith,
the votes and the property of his fellow-citizens. He is at once--as
the details of this story show--"the modern 'money king,' the absolute
political Czar, the social despot and the infallible Pope of his

Ex-Senator Cannon not only exposes but accounts for and explains the
conditions that have made the Church-controlled government of Utah less
free, less of a democracy, a greater tyranny and more of a disgrace to
the nation than ever the corporation rule of Colorado was in the darkest
period of the Cripple Creek labor war. He shows the enemies of the
republic encouraging and profiting by the shame of Utah as they
supported and made gain of Colorado's past disgrace. He shows the
piratical "Interests," at Washington, sustaining, and sustained by, the
misgovernment of Utah, in their campaign of national pillage. He shows
that the condition of Utah today is not merely a local problem; that it
affects and concerns the people of the whole country; that it can only
be cured with their aid.

The outside world has waited many years to hear the truth about the
Mormons; here it is--told with sympathy, with affection, by a man who
steadfastly defended and fought for the Mormon people when their present
leaders were keeping themselves carefully inconspicuous. The Mormon
system of religious communism has long been known as one of the most
interesting social experiments of modern civilization; here is an
intimate study of it, not only in its success but in the failure that
has come upon it from the selfish ambitions of its leaders. The power of
the Mormon hierarchy has been the theme of much imaginative fiction; but
here is a story of church tyranny and misgovernment in the name of God,
that outrages the credibilities of art. That such a story could come
out of modern America--that such conditions could be possible in the
democracy today--is an amazement that staggers belief.


Hon. Frank J. Cannon is the son of George Q. Cannon of Utah, who was
First Councillor of the Mormon Church from 1880 to 1901. After the
death of Brigham Young, George Q. Cannon's diplomacy saved the Mormon
communism from destruction by the United States government. It was his
influence that lifted the curse of polygamy from the Mormon faith. Under
his leadership Utah obtained the right of statehood; and his financial
policies were establishing the Mormon people in industrial prosperity
when he died.

In all these achievements the son shared with his father, and in some of
them--notably in the obtaining of Utah's statehood--he had even a larger
part than George Q. Cannon himself. When the Mormon communities, in
1888, were being crushed by proscription and confiscation and the
righteous bigotries of Federal officials, Frank J. Cannon went to
Washington, alone--almost from the doors of a Federal prison--and,
by the eloquence of his plea for his people, obtained from President
Cleveland a mercy for the Mormons that all the diplomacies of the
Church's politicians had been unable to procure. Again, in 1890, when
the Mormons were threatened with a general disfranchisement by means of
a test oath, he returned to Washington and saved them, with the aid
of James G. Blame, on the promise that the doctrine and practice of
polygamy were to be abandoned by the Mormon Church; and he assisted in
the promulgation and acceptance of the famous "manifesto" of 1890,
by which the Mormon Prophet, as the result of a "divine revelation,"
withdrew the doctrine of polygamy from the practice of the faith.

He organized the Republican party in Utah, and led it in the first
campaigns that divided the people of the territory on the lines of
national issues and freed them from the factions of a religious dispute.
He delivered to Washington the pledges of the Mormon leaders, by which
the emancipation of their people from hierarchical domination was
promised and the right of statehood finally obtained. He was elected the
first United States Senator from Utah, against the unwilling candidacy
of his own father, when the intrigues of the Mormon priests pitted
the father against the son and violated the Church's promise of
non-interference in politics almost as soon as it had been given.

It was his voice, in the Senate, that helped to reawaken the national
conscience to the crimes of Spanish rule in Cuba, when the "financial
interests" of this country were holding the government back from any
interference in Cuban affairs. He was one of the leaders in Washington
of the first ill-fated "Insurgent Republican" movement against the
control of the Republican party by these same piratical "interests;" and
he was the only Republican Senator who stood to oppose them by voting
against the iniquitous Dingley tariff bill of 1897. He delivered the
speech of defiance at the Republican national convention of 1896, when
four "Silver Republican" Senators led their delegations out of that
convention in revolt. And by all these acts of independence he put
himself in opposition to the politicians of the Mormon Church, who were
allying themselves with Hanna and Aldrich, the sugar trust, the railroad
lobby, and the whole financial and commercial Plunderbund in politics
that has since come to be called "The System."

He returned to Utah to prevent the sale of a United States Senatorship
by the Mormon Church; and, though he was himself defeated for
re-election, he helped to hold the Utah legislature in a deadlock that
prevented the selection of a successor to his seat. He fought to
compel the leaders of the Church to fulfill the pledges which they had
authorized him to give in Washington when statehood was being obtained.
After his father's death, when these pledges began to be openly
violated, he directed his attack particularly against Joseph F. Smith,
the new President of the Church, who was principally responsible for the
Church's breach of public faith. Through the columns of the Salt Lake
Tribune he exposed the treasonable return to the practice of polygamy
which Joseph F. Smith had secretly authorized and encouraged. He opposed
the election of Apostle Reed Smoot to the United States Senate, as
a violation of the statehood pledges. He criticized the financial
absolutism of the Mormon Prophet, which Smith was establishing in
partnership with "the Plunderbund." He was finally excommunicated and
ostracized, by his father's successors in power, for championing the
political and social liberties of the Mormon people whom he had helped
to save from destruction and whose statehood sovereignty he had so
largely obtained.

When the partnership of the Church and "the Interests" prevented the
expulsion of Apostle Smoot from the Senate, Senator Cannon withdrew from
Utah, convinced that nothing could be done for the Mormons so long as
the national administration sustained the sovereignty of the Mormon
kingdom as a co-ordinate power in this Republic. For the last few years
he has been a newspaper editor in Denver, Colorado--on the Denver Times
and the Rocky Mountain News--helping the reform movement in Colorado
against the corporation control of that state, and waiting for the
opportunity to renew his long fight for the Mormon people.

In the following narrative he returns to that fight. In fulfillment of
a promise made before he left Utah--and seeing now, in the new
"insurgency," the hope of freeing Utah from slavery to "the System"--he
here addresses himself to the task of exposing the treasons and
tyrannies of the Mormon Prophet and the consequent miseries among his

In the course of his exposition, he gives a most remarkable picture
of the Mormon people, patient, meek, and virtuous, "as gentle as the
Quakers, as staunch as the Jews." He introduces the world for the first
time to the conclaves of the Mormon ecclesiasts, explains the simplicity
of some of them, the bitterness of others, the sincerity of almost
all--illuminating the dark places of Church control with the
understanding of a sympathetic experience, and bringing out the virtues
of the Mormon system as impartially as he exposes its faults. He traces
the degradation of its communism, step by step and incident by incident,
from its success as a sort of religious socialism administered for the
common good to its present failure as a hierarchical capitalism governed
for the benefit of its modern "Prophet of Mammon" at the expense of the
liberty, the happiness, and even the prosperity, of its victims.

For the first time in the history of the Mormon Church, there has
arrived a man who has the knowledge and the inclination to explain it.

He does this fearlessly, as a duty, and without any apologies, as a
public right. "He is not, and never has been an official member of the
Church, in any sense or form," Joseph F. Smith, as President of the
Church, testified concerning him, at Washington in 1904; and though this
statement is one of the inspired Prophet's characteristic perversions of
the truth, it covers the fact that Senator Cannon has always opposed the
official tyrannies of the hierarchs. The present Mormon leaders accepted
his aid in freeing Utah, well aware of his independence. They profited
by his success with a more or less doubtful gratitude. They betrayed him
promptly--as they betrayed the nation and their own followers--as soon
as they found themselves in a position safely to betray. In this book
he merely continues an independence which he has always maintained, and
replies to secret and personal treason with a public criticism, to which
he has never hesitated to resort.

He begins his story with the year 1888, and devotes the first chapters
to a depiction of the miseries of the Mormon people in the unhappy
days of persecution. He continues with the private details of the
confidential negotiations in Washington and the secret conferences in
Salt Lake City by which the Mormons were saved. He gives the truth about
the political intrigues that accompanied the grant of Utah's statehood,
and he relates, pledge by pledge, the covenants then given by the Mormon
leaders to the nation and since treasonably violated and repudiated
by them. He explains the progress of this repudiation with an intimate
"inside" knowledge of facts which the Mormon leaders now deny. And
he exposes the horror of conditions in Utah today as no other man in
America could expose them--for his life has been spent in combating the
influences of which these conditions are the result; and he understands
the present situation as a doctor understands the last stages of a
disease which he has been for years vainly endeavoring to check.

But aside from all this--aside from his exposure of the Mormon
despotism, his study of the degradation of a modern community, or his
secret history of the Church's dark policies in "sacred places"--he
relates a story that is full of the most astonishing curiosities of
human character and of dramatic situations that are almost mediaeval in
their religious aspects. He goes from interviews with Cleveland or Blame
to discuss American politics with men who believe themselves in direct
communication with God--who talk and act like the patriarchs of the Old
Testament--who accept their own thoughts as the inspiration of the Holy
Ghost, and deliver their personal decisions, reverently, as the Will
of the Lord. He shows men and women ready to suffer any martyrdom in
defense of a doctrine of polygamy that is a continual unhappiness and
cross upon them. He depicts the social life of the most peculiar sect
that has ever lived in a Western civilization. He writes--unconsciously,
and for the first time that it has ever been written--the naive,
colossal drama of modern Mormonism.

H. J. O'H.


On the fourth day of January, 1896, the territory of Utah was admitted
to statehood, and the proscribed among its people were freed to the
liberties of American citizenship, upon the solemn covenant of the
leaders of the Mormon Church that they and their followers would live,
thereafter, according to the laws and institutions of the nation of
which they were allowed to become a part. And that gracious settlement
of upwards of forty years of conflict was negotiated through responsible
mediators, was endorsed by the good faith of the non-Mormons of Utah,
and was sealed by a treaty convention in which the high contracting
parties were the American Republic and the "Kingdom of God on Earth."

I propose, in this narrative, to show that the leaders of the Mormon
Church have broken their covenant to the nation; that they have abused
the confidence of the Gentiles of Utah and betrayed the trust of the
people under their power, by using that power to prevent the state of
Utah from becoming what it had engaged to become. I propose to show
that the people of Utah, upraised to freedom by the magnanimity of the
nation, are being made to appear traitorous to the generosity that
saved them; that the Mormons of Utah are being falsely misled into the
peculiar dangers from which they thought they had forever escaped; that
the unity, the solidarity, the loyalty of these fervent people is being
turned as a weapon of offense against the whole country, for the
greater profit of the leaders and the aggrandizement of their power. I
undertake, in fact, in this narrative, to expose and to demonstrate what
I do believe to be one of the most direful conspiracies of treachery in
the history of the United States.

Not that I have anything in my heart against the Mormon people! Heaven
forbid! I know them to be great in their virtues, wholesome in their
relations, capable of an heroic fortitude, living by the tenderest
sentiments of fraternity, as gentle as the Quakers, as staunch as the
Jews. I think of them as a man among strangers thinks of the dearness of
his home. I am bound to them in affection by all the ties of life. The
smiles of neighborliness, the greetings of friends, all the familiar
devotion of brothers and sisters, the love of the parents who held me
in their arms by these I know them as my own people, and by these I
love them as a good people, as a strong people, as a people worthy to be
strong and fit to be loved.

But it is even through their virtue and by their very strength that they
are being betrayed. A human devotion--the like of which has rarely
lived among the citizens of any modern state--is being directed as
an instrument of subjugation against others and held as a means of
oppression upon the Mormons themselves. Noble when they were weak,
they are being led to ignoble purpose now that they have become strong.
Praying for justice when they had no power, now that they have gained
power it is being abused to ends of injustice. Their leaders, reaching
for the fleshpots for which these simple-hearted devotees have never
sighed, have allied themselves with all the predaceous "interests" of
the country and now use the superhuman power of a religious tyranny to
increase the dividends of a national plunder.

In the long years of misery when the Mormons of Utah were proscribed and
hunted, because they refused to abandon what was to them, at that, time,
a divine revelation and a confirmed article of faith, I sat many times
in the gallery of the Senate in Washington, and heard discussed new
measures of destruction against these victims of their own fidelity,
and felt the dome above me impending like a brazen weight of national
resentment upon all our heads. When, a few years later, I stood before
the President's desk in the Senate chamber, to take my oath of office
as the representative of the freed people of Utah in the councils of the
nation, I raised my eyes to my old seat of terror in the gallery,
and pledged myself, in that remembrance, never to vote nor speak for
anything but the largest measure of justice that my soul was big enough
to comprehend. By such engagement I write now, bound in a double debt
of obligation to the nation whose magnanimity then saved us and to the
people whom I humbly helped to save.

Frank J. Cannon.


Chapter I. In the Days of the Raid

About ten o'clock one night in the spring of 1888, I set out secretly,
from Salt Lake City, on a nine-mile drive to Bountiful, to meet my
father, who was concealed "on the underground," among friends; and that
night drive, with its haste and its apprehension, was so of a piece with
the times, that I can hardly separate it from them in my memory. We were
all being carried along in an uncontrollable sweep of tragic events. In
a sort of blindness, like the night, unable to see the nearest fork of
the road ahead of us, we were being driven to a future that held we knew
not what.

I was with my brother Abraham (soon to become an apostle of the Mormon
Church), who had himself been in prison and was still in danger of
arrest. And there is something typical of those days in the recollection
I have of him in the carriage: silent, self-contained, and--when he
talked--discussing trivialities in the most calm way in the world. The
whole district was picketed with deputy marshals; we did not know that
we were not being followed; we had always the sense of evading patrols
in an enemy's country. But this feeling was so old with us that it had
become a thing of no regard.

There was something even more typical in the personality of our
driver--a giant of a man named Charles Wilcken--a veteran of the German
army who had been decorated with the Iron Cross for bravery on the field
of battle. He had come to Utah with General Johnston's forces in 1858,
and had left the military service to attach himself to Brigham Young.
After Young's death, my father had succeeded to the first place in his
affections. He was an elder of the Church; he had been an aristocrat
in his own country; but he forgot his every personal interest in his
loyalty to his leaders, and he stood at all times ready to defend
them with his life--as a hundred thousand others did!--for, though the
Mormons did not resist the processes of law for themselves, except by
evasion, they were prepared to protect their leaders, if necessary, by
force of arms.

With Wilcken holding the reins on a pair of fast horses at full speed,
we whirled past the old adobe wall (which the Mormons had built to
defend their city from the Indians) and came out into the purple night
of Utah, with its frosty starlight and its black hills--a desert night,
a mountain night, a night so vast in its height of space and breadth
of distance that it seemed natural it should inspire the people that
breathed it with freedom's ideals of freedom and all the sublimities of
an eternal faith. And those people--!

A more despairing situation than theirs, at that hour, has never been
faced by an American community. Practically every Mormon man of any
distinction was in prison, or had just served his term, or had escaped
into exile. Hundreds of Mormon women had left their homes and their
children to flee from the officers of law; many had been behind prison
bars for refusing to answer the questions put to them in court; more
were concealed, like outlaws, in the houses of friends. Husbands
and wives, separated by the necessities of flight, had died apart,
miserably. Old men were coming out of prison, broken in health. A
young plural wife whom I knew--a mere girl, of good breeding, of gentle
life--seeking refuge in the mountains to save her husband from a charge
of "unlawful cohabitation," had had her infant die in her arms on the
road; and she had been compelled to bury the child, wrapped in her
shawl, under a rock, in a grave that she scratched in the soil with a
stick. In our day! In a civilized state!

By Act of Congress, all the church property in excess of $50,000 had
been seized by the United States marshal, and the community faced the
total loss of its common fund. Because of some evasions that had been
attempted by the Church authorities--and the suspicion of more such--the
marshal had taken everything that he could in any way assume to belong
to the Church. Among the Mormons, there was an unconquerable spirit
of sanctified lawlessness, and, among the non-Mormons, an equally
indomitable determination to vindicate the law. Both were, for the most
part, sincere. Both were resolute. And both were standing in fear of a
fatal conflict, which any act of violence might begin.

Moreover, the Mormons were being slowly but surely deprived of all civil
rights. All polygamists had been disfranchised by the bill of 1882, and
all the women of Utah by the bill of 1887. The Governor of the territory
was appointed by Federal authority, so was the marshal, so were the
judges, so were the United States Commissioners who had co-ordinate
jurisdiction with magistrates and justices of the peace, so were
the Election Commissioners. But the Mormons still controlled the
legislature, and though the Governor could veto all legislation he could
initiate none. For this reason it had been frequently proposed that the
President should appoint a Legislative Council to take the place of
the elected legislature; and bills were being talked of in Congress
to effect a complete disfranchisement of the whole body of the Mormon
people by means of a test oath.

I did not then believe, and I do not now, that the practice of polygamy
was a thing which the American nation could condone. But I knew that our
people believed in it as a practice ordained, by a revelation from God,
for the salvation of the world. It was to them an article of faith as
sacred as any for which the martyrs of any religion ever died; and it
seemed that the nation, in its resolve to vindicate the supremacy of
civil government, was determined to put them to the point of martyrdom.

It was with this prospect before us that we drove, that night, up the
Salt Lake valley, across a corner of the desert, to the little town of
Bountiful; and as soon as we arrived among the houses of the settlement,
a man stepped out into the road, from the shadows, and stopped us.
Wilcken spoke to him. He recognized us, and let us pass. As we turned
into the farm where my father was concealed, I saw men lurking here and
there, on guard, about the grounds. The house was an old-fashioned adobe
farm-house; the windows were all dark; we entered through the kitchen.
And I entered, let me say, with the sense that I was about to come
before one of the most able among men.

To those who knew George Q. Cannon I do not need to justify that
feeling. He was the man in the hands of whose sagacity the fate of the
Mormons at that moment lay. He was the First Councillor of the Church,
and had been so for years. For ten years in Congress, he had fought and
defeated the proscriptive legislation that had been attempted against
his people; and Senator Hoar had said of him, "No man in Congress
ever served a territory more ably." He had been the intimate friend of
Randall and Blame. As a missionary in England he had impressed Dickens,
who wrote of him in "An Uncommercial Traveller." The Hon. James Bryce
had said of him: "He was one of the ablest Americans I ever met."

An Englishman, well-educated, a linguist, an impressive orator, a
persuasive writer, he had lived a life that was one long incredible
adventure of romance and almost miraculous achievement. As a youth he
had been sent by the Mormon leaders to California to wash out gold for
the struggling community; and he had sent back to Utah all the proceeds
of his labor, living himself upon the crudest necessaries of life. As
a young man he had gone as a Mormon missionary to the Hawaiian Islands,
and finding himself unable to convert the whites he had gone among the
natives--starving, a ragged wanderer--and by simple force of personality
he had made himself a power among them; so that in later years Napella,
the famous native leader, journeyed to Utah to consult with him upon the
affairs of that distressed state, and Queen Liluokalani, deposed and in
exile, appealed to him for advice. He had edited and published a Mormon
newspaper in San Francisco; and he had long successfully directed the
affairs of the publishing house in Salt Lake City which he owned. He
was a railroad builder, a banker, a developer of mines, a financier of
a score of interests. He combined the activities of a statesman, a
missionary, and a man of business, and seemed equally successful in all.

But none of these things--nor all of them--contained the total of the
man himself. He was greater than his work. He achieved by the force of
a personality that was more impressive than its achievements. If he had
been royalty, he could not have been surrounded with a greater deference
than he commanded among our people. A feeling of responsibility for
those dependent on him, such as a king might feel, added to a sense of
divine guidance that gave him the dignity of inspiration, had made him
majestical in his simple presence; and even among those who laughed at
divine inspiration and scorned Mormonism as the *Uitlander scorned the
faith of the Boer, his sagacity and his diplomacy and his power to read
and handle men made him as fearfully admired as any Oom Paul in the

When I entered the low-ceilinged, lamplit room in which he sat, he rose
to meet me, and all rose with him, like a court. He embraced me without
effusion, looking at me silently with his wise blue eyes that always
seemed to read in my face--and to check up in his valuation of
me--whatever I had become in my absence from his regard.

He had a countenance that at no time bore any of the marks of the
passions of men; and it showed, now, no shadow of the tribulations of
that troubled day. His forehead was unworried. His eyes betrayed none of
the anxieties with which his mind must have been busied. His expression
was one of resolute stern contentment with all things--carrying the
composure of spirit which he wished his people to have. If I had been
agitated by the urgency of his summons to me, and he had wished to allay
my anxiety at once, the sight of his face, as he looked at me, would
have been reassurance enough.

At a characteristic motion of the hand from him, the others left us.
We sat down in the "horsehair" chairs of a well-to-do farmer's
parlor--furnished in black walnut, with the usual organ against one
wall, and the usual marble-topped bureau against the other. I remember
the "store" carpet, the mortuary hair-wreaths on the walls, the
walnut-framed lithographs of the Church authorities and of the angel
Moroni with "the gold plates;" and none of these seem ludicrous to me to
remember. They express, to me, in the recollection, some of the homely
and devout simplicity of the people whose community life this man was to

He talked a few minutes, affectionately, about family matters, and
then--straightening his shoulders to the burden of more gravity--he
said: "I have sent for you, my son, to see if you cannot find some way
to help us in our difficulties. I have made it a matter of prayer, and
I have been led to urge you to activity. You have never performed a
Mission for the Church, and I have sometimes wondered if you cared
anything about your religion. You have never obeyed the celestial
covenant, and you have kept yourself aloof from the duties of the
priesthood, but it may have been a providential overruling. I have
talked with some of the brethren, and we feel that if relief does not
soon appear, our community will be scattered and the great work crushed.
The Lord can rescue us, but we must put forth our own efforts. Can you
see any light?"

I replied that I had already been in Washington twice, on my own
initiative, conferring with some of his Congressional friends. "I am
still," I said, "of the opinion I expressed to you and President Taylor
four years ago. Plural marriage must be abandoned or our friends in
Washington will not defend us."

Four years before, when I had offered that opinion, President Taylor
had cried out: "No! Plural marriage is the will of God! It's apostasy to
question it!" And I paused now with the expectation that my father would
say something of this sort. But, as I was afterwards to observe, it was
part of his diplomacy, in conference, to pass the obvious opportunity of
replying, and to remain silent when he was expected to speak, so that
he might not be in the position of following the lead of his opponent's
argument, but rather, by waiting his own time, be able to direct the
conversation to his own purposes. He listened to me, silently, his eyes
fixed on my face.

"Senator Vest of Missouri," I went on, "has always been a strong
opponent of what he considered unconstitutional legislation against us,
but he tells me he'll no longer oppose proscription if we continue in
an attitude of defiance. He says you're putting yourselves beyond
assistance, by organized rebellion against the administration of the
statutes." And I continued with instances of others among his friends
who had spoken to the same purpose.

When I had done, he took what I had said with a gesture that at once
accepted and for the moment dismissed it; and he proceeded to a larger
consideration of the situation, in words which I cannot pretend to
recall, but to an effect which I wish to outline--because it not only
accounts for the preservation of the Mormon people from all their
dangers, but contains a reason why the world might have wished to see
them preserved.

The Mormons at this time had never written a line on social
reform--except as the so-called "revelations" established a new social
order--but they had practiced whole volumes. Their community was founded
on the three principles of co-operation, contribution, and arbitration.
By co-operation of effort they had realized that dream of the
Socialists, "equality of opportunity"--not equality of individual
capacity, which the accidents of nature prevent, but an equal
opportunity for each individual to develop himself to the last reach of
his power. By contribution by requiring each man to give one-tenth of
his income to a common fund--they had attained the desired end of modern
civilization, the abolition of poverty, and had adjusted the straps of
the community burden to the strength of the individual to bear it. By
arbitration, they had effected the settlement of every dispute of every
kind without litigation; for their High Councils decided all sorts
of personal or neighborhood disputes without expense of money to the
disputants. The "storehouse of the Lord" had been kept open to fill
every need of the poor among "God's people," and opportunities for self
help had been created out of the common fund, so that neither unwilling
idleness nor privation might mar the growth of the community or the
progress of the individual.

But Joseph Smith had gone further. Daring to believe himself the earthly
representative of Omnipotence, whose duty it was to see that all had the
rights to which he thought them entitled, and assuming that a woman's
chief right was that of wifehood and maternity, he had instituted the
practice of plural marriage, as a "Prophet of God," on the authority of
a direct revelation from the Almighty. It was upon this rock that the
whole enterprise, the whole experiment in religious communism, now
threatened to split. Not that polygamy was so large an incident in the
life of the community--for only a small proportion of the Mormons were
living in plural marriage. And not that this practice was the cardinal
sin of Mormonism--for among intelligent men, then as now, the great
objection to the Church was its assumption of a divine authority to hold
the "temporal power," to dictate in politics, to command action and
to acquit of responsibility. But polygamy was the offense against
civilization which the opponents of Mormonism could always cite in
order to direct against the Church the concentrated antagonism of the
governments of the Western world. And my father, in authorizing me to
proceed to Washington as a sort of ambassador of the Church, evidently
wished to impress upon me the larger importance of the value of the
social experiment which the Mormons had, to this time, so successfully

"It would be a cruel waste of human effort," he said, "if, after having
attained comfort in these valleys--established our schools of art and
science--developed our country and founded our industries--we should now
be destroyed as a community, and the value of our experience lost to the
world. We have a right to survive. We have a duty to survive. It would
be to the profit of the nation that we should survive."

But in order to survive, it was necessary to obtain some immediate
mitigation of the enforcement of the laws against us. The manner in
which they were being enforced was making compromise impossible, and
the men who administered them stood in the way of getting a favorable
hearing from the powers of government that alone could authorize a
compromise. It was necessary to break this circle; and my father went
over the names of the men in Washington who might help us. I could
marvel at his understanding of these men and their motives, but we came
to no plan of action until I spoke of what had been with me a sort of
forlorn hope that I might appeal to President Cleveland himself.

My father said thoughtfully: "What influence could you, a Republican,
have with him? It's true that your youth may make an appeal--and the
fact that you're pleading for your relatives, while not yourself a
polygamist. But he would immediately ask us to abandon plural marriage,
and that is established by a revelation from God which we cannot
disregard. Even if the Prophet directed us, as a revelation from God, to
abandon polygamy, still the nation would have further cause for quarrel
because of the Church's temporal rule. No. I can make no promise. I can
authorize no pledge. It must be for the Prophet of God to say what is
the will of the Lord. You must see President Woodruff, and after he has
asked for the will of the Lord I shall be content with his instruction."

Now, I do not wish to say--though I did then believe it--that the First
Councillor of the Mormon Church was prepared to have the doctrine of
plural marriage abandoned in order to have the people saved. It is
impossible to predicate the thoughts of a man so diplomatic, so astute,
and at the same time so deeply religious and so credulous of all the
miracles of faith. He did believe in Divine guidance. He was sincere
in his submission to the "revelations" of the Prophet. But, in the
complexity of the mind of man, even such a faith may be complicated with
the strategies of foresight, and the priest who bows devoutly to the
oracle may yet, even unconsciously, direct the oracle to the utterance
of his desire. And if my father was--as I suspected--considering a
recession from plural marriage, he had as justification the basic
"revelation," given through "Joseph the Prophet," commanding that the
people should hold themselves in subjection to the government under
which they lived, "until He shall come Whose right it is to rule."

We talked till midnight, in the quiet glow of the farmer's lamp-light,
discussing possibilities, considering policies, weighing men; and then
we parted--he to betake himself to whatever secure place of hiding
he had found, and I to return to Ogden where I was then editing a
newspaper. I was only twenty-nine years old, and the responsibility
of the undertaking that had been entrusted to me weighed on my mind. I
waited for a summons to confer with President Woodruff, but none came.
Instead, my brother brought me word from the President that I must be
"guided by the spirit of the Lord;" and, finally, my father sent me
orders to consult the Second Councillor, Joseph F. Smith.

Joseph F. Smith! Since the death of the founder of the Mormon Church,
there have been three men pre-eminent in its history: Brigham Young,
who led the people across the desert into the Salt Lake Valley and
established them in prosperity there; George Q. Cannon, who directed
their policies and secured their national rights; and Joseph F. Smith,
who today rules over that prosperity and markets that political right,
like a Sultan. Of all these, Smith is, to the nation now, of most
importance--and sinisterly so.

No Mormon in those years, I think, had more hate than Smith for the
United States government; and surely none had better reasons to give
himself for hate. He had the bitter recollection of the assassination
of his father and his uncle in the jail of Carthage, Illinois; he could
remember the journey that he had made with his widowed mother across the
Mississippi, across Iowa, across the Missouri, and across the unknown
and desert West, in ox teams, half starved, unarmed, persecuted by
civilization and at the mercy of savages; he could remember all the
toils and hardships of pioneer days "in the Valley;" he had seen the
army of '58 arrive to complete, as he believed, the final destruction
of our people; he had suffered from all the proscriptive legislation of
"the raid," been outlawed, been in exile, been in hiding, hunted like a
thief. He had been taught, and he firmly believed, that the Smiths had
been divinely appointed to rule, in the name of God, over all mankind.
He believed that he--ordained a ruler over this world before ever the
world was--had been persecuted by the hate and wickedness of men. He
believed it literally; he preached it literally; he still believes and
still preaches it. I did not then sympathize with this point of view,
any more than I do now; but I did sympathize with him in the hardships
that he had already endured and in the trials that he was still
enduring--in common with the rest of us. The bond of community
persecution intensified my loyalty. I felt for him almost as I felt for
my own father. I went to him with the young man's trust in age made wise
by suffering.

I had been directed to call on him in the President's offices, in Salt
Lake City, where he was concealed, for the moment, under the name of
"Mack"--the name that he used "on the underground"--and I went with my
brother, late at night, to see him there. The President's offices were
at that time in a little one-story plastered house that had been built
by Brigham Young between two of his famous residences, the "Beehive
House" and the "Lion House" (in which some twelve or fourteen of his
wives had lived). The three houses were within the enclosure of a high
cobblestone wall built by Brigham Young; and at night the great gate of
the wall was shut and locked. We hammered discreetly on its panels
of mountain pine, until a guard answered our knocking, recognized our
voices and admitted us.

"He's in there," he said, pointing to the darkened windows of the
offices--toward which he led us.

He unlocked the front door--having evidently locked it when he went to
the gate--and he explained to a waiting attendant: "These brethren have
an appointment. They wish to see Brother Mack."

The attendant led us down a dimly-lighted hall, through the public
offices of the President into a rear room, a sort of retiring room,
carpeted, furnished with bookcases, chairs, a table. The window blinds
had all been carefully drawn.

Joseph F. Smith was waiting for us--a tall, lean, long-bearded man of
a commanding figure standing as if our arrival had stopped him in some
anxious pacing of the carpet. His overcoat and his hat had been thrown
on a chair. He greeted us with the air of one who is hurried, and sat
down tentatively; and as soon as we came to the question of my trip to
Washington, he broke out:

"These scoundrels here must be removed--if there's any way to do it.
They're trying to repeat the persecutions of Missouri and Illinois. They
want to despoil us of our heritage--of our families. I'm sick of being
hunted like a wild beast. I've done no harm to them or theirs. Why can't
they leave us alone to live our religion and obey the commandments of
God and build up Zion?" He had begun to stride up and down the floor
again, in a sort of driven and angry helplessness. "I thought Cleveland
would stop this damnable raid and make them leave us in peace--but he's
as bad as the rest. Can't they see that these carpet baggers are only
trying to rob us? Make them see that. The hounds! Sometimes it seems to
me that the Lord is letting these iniquities go on so that the nation
may perish in its sins all the sooner!"

He sneered at John W. Young who had gone to Washington for the Church.
(I had met Smith himself there, earlier in the year.) "I thought
he'd accomplish something," he said, "with his fashionable home and
his--[**missing text?**] He's using money enough! He's down there,
taking things easy, while the rest of us are driven from pillar to
post." He attacked the Federal authorities, Governor West, the "whole
gang." He cried: "I love my wives and my children--whom the Lord
gave me. I love them more than my life--more than anything in the
world--except my religion! And here I am, fleeing from place to place,
from the wrath of the wicked--and they're left in sorrow and suffering."

His face was pallid with emotion, and his voice came now hard with
exasperation against his enemies and now husky with a passionate
affection for his family--a man of fifty, graybearded, quivering in a
nervous transport of excitement that jerked him up and down the room,

When he had worn out his first anger of revolt, I brought the
conversation round to the question of polygamy, by asking him about a
provisional constitution for statehood which the non-polygamous
Mormons had recently adopted. It contained a clause making polygamy a
misdemeanor. "I would have seen them all damned," he said, "before I
would have yielded it, but I'm willing to try the experiment, if any
good can come."

He had, I gathered, no aversion to "deceiving the wicked," but he was
opposed to leading his people away from their loyalty to the doctrine of
plural marriage, by conceding anything that might weaken their faith in
it. And yet this impression may misrepresent him. He was too agitated,
too exasperated, for any serious reflection on the situation.

My brother had gone--to keep some other engagement--and I stayed late,
talking as long as Smith seemed to wish to talk. He rose at last and
"blessed" me, his hands on my head, in a return to some larger trust in
his religious authority; and I left him--with very doubtful and mixed
emotions. His natural violence and his lack of discipline had been
matters of common gossip among our people, and I had heard of them from
childhood; but I had supposed that tribulations would, by this time,
have matured him. There was something compelling in his unsoftened
turbulence, but nothing encouraging for me as a messenger of
conciliation. I felt that there would be no help come from him in my
task, and I dropped him from my reckoning.

I had made up my mind to a plan that was almost as desperate as the
conditions it sought to cure--a plan that was in some ways so absurd
that I felt like keeping it concealed for fear of ridicule--and I went
about my preparations for departure in a sort of hopeless hope. As the
train drew out from Ogden, I looked back at the mountains from my car
window, and saw again, in the spectacle of their power, the pathos of
our people--as if it were the nation of my worship that bulked there
so huge above the people of my love--and I, puny in my little efforts,
going out to plot an intercession, to appeal for a truce! It was almost
as if I were the son of a Confederate leader journeying to Washington,
on the eve of the Civil War, to attempt to stand between North and South
and hold back their opposing armies, single-handed.

These are the things a man does when he is young.

Chapter II. On A Mission to Washington

I went discredited, as an envoy, by an incident of personal conflict
with the Federal authorities; and I wish to relate that incident before
I proceed any farther. I must relate it soon, because it came up for
explanation in one of my first interviews with President Cleveland; and
I wish to relate it now, because it was so typical of the day and the
condition from which we had to save ourselves.

In the winter of 1885-6, the United States Marshals had been pursuing my
father from place to place with such determined persistence that it was
evident his capture was only a matter of time. We believed that if
he were arrested and tried before Chief Justice Zane--with District
Attorney Dickson and Assistant District Attorney Varian prosecuting--he
would be convicted on so many counts that he would be held in prison
indefinitely--that he might, in fact, end his days there. There was
the rumor of a boast, to this effect, made by Federal officers; and we
misunderstood them and their motives, in those days, sufficiently to
accept the unjust report as well-founded.

My father, as First Councillor of the Church, had proposed to President
Taylor that every man who was living in plural marriage should surrender
himself voluntarily to the court and plead: "I entered into this
covenant of celestial marriage with a personal conviction that it was an
order revealed by our Father in Heaven for the salvation of mankind. I
have kept my covenant in purity. I believed that no constitutional law
of the country could forbid this practice of a religious faith. As the
laws of Congress conflict with my sense of submission to the will of the
Lord, I now offer myself, here, for whatever judgment the courts of my
country may impose." He believed that such a course would vindicate the
sincerity of the men who had engaged in polygamy and defied the law
in an assumption of religious immunity; and he believed that the world
would pause to reconsider its judgment upon us, if it saw thousands
of men--the bankers, the farmers, the merchants, and all the religious
leaders of a civilized community--marching in a mass to perform such an
act of faith.

But President Taylor was not prepared for a movement that would have
recommended itself better to the daring genius of Brigham Young. Taylor
had given himself into the custody of the officers of the law once--in
Carthage, Illinois--with Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith; and
Taylor had been wounded by the mob that broke into the jail and shot
the Smiths to death. This, perhaps, had cured him of any faith in the
protecting power of innocency. He decided against voluntary surrender;
and now that my father's liberty was so seriously threatened, he ordered
him to go either to Mexico or to the Sandwich Islands--his old
mission field--where he would be beyond the reach of the United States

My father believed that if he left Utah, his recession might tend to
placate the government and soften the severity of the prosecutions of
the Mormons; and accordingly, on the night of February 12, 1886, he
boarded a west-bound Central Pacific train at Willard. The Federal
officers in some way learned of it; he was arrested, on the train, at
Humboldt Wells, Nevada, and brought back to Utah. Near Promontory he
fell from the steps of the moving car, at night, in the midst of an
alkali desert, and hurt himself seriously. He was recaptured and brought
to Salt Lake City on a stretcher, in a special car, guarded by a squad
of soldiers from Fort Douglas, with loaded muskets, and a captain with
a conspicuous sword. He was taken to Judge Zane's chambers and placed
under bonds of $25,000. Immediately two bench warrants were issued by a
United States Commissioner, and these were served upon him while he lay
on a mattress on the floor of Zane's office. Two more bonds of $10,000
each were given. He was then taken to his home.

Later--(President Taylor still insisting that he must not stand
trial)--he disappeared again, "on the underground," and his bonds
were declared forfeited. But in the meantime, while the grand jury was
hearing testimony against him, one of the beloved women of his family
was called for examination, and District Attorney Dickson asked her
some questions that deeply wounded her. She returned home weeping. My
brothers and I felt that the questions had been needlessly offensive,
and after an indignant discussion of the matter, I undertook to
remonstrate personally with Mr. Dickson.

If I had been as wise, then, as I sometimes think I am now, I should
have realized that a meeting between us was dangerous; that the feeling,
on our side at least, was too warm for calm remonstrances. And I should
not have taken with me a younger brother, about sixteen years old, with
all the hot-headedness of youth. Fortunately we did not go armed.

We sought Dickson in the evening, at the Continental Hotel--the old,
adobe Continental with its wide porches and its lawn trees--and we found
him in the lobby. I asked him to step out on the porch, where I might
speak with him in private. He came without a moment's hesitation. He was
a big, handsome, black-bearded man in the prime of his strength.

We had scarcely exchanged more than a few sentences formally, when my
brother drew back and struck him a smashing blow in the face. Dickson
grappled with me, a little blinded, and I called to the boy to
run--which he very wisely did. Dickson and I were at once surrounded,
and I was arrested.

Ordinarily the incident would have been trivial enough, but in the
alarmed state of the public mind it was magnified into an attempt on the
part of George Q. Cannon's sons to take the life of the United States
District Attorney. Indictments were found against my brother and myself,
and against a cousin who happened to be in another part of the hotel at
the time of the attack. Some weeks later, when the excitement had rather
died down, I went to the District Attorney's office and arranged with
his assistant, Mr. Varian, that the indictments against my brother (who
had escaped from Utah) and my cousin (who was wholly innocent) should
be quashed, and that I should plead guilty to a charge of assault and
battery. On this understanding, I appeared in court before Chief Justice

But Mr. Varian, having consulted with Mr. Dickson, had learned that I
had not struck the blow--though, as the elder brother, I was morally
responsible for it--and he suggested to the court that sentence be
suspended. This, Justice Zane seemed prepared to do, but I objected. I
was a newspaper writer (as I explained), and I felt that if I criticized
the court thereafter for what I believed to be a harshness that amounted
to persecution, I could be silenced by the imposition of the suspended
sentence; and if I failed to criticize, I should be false to what I
considered my duty. I did not wish to be put in any such position; and I
said so.

Justice Zane had a respect for the constitution and the statutes that
amounted to a creed of infallibility. He was the most superbly rigid
pontiff of legal justice that I ever knew. A man of unspotted character,
a Puritan, of a sincerity that was afterwards accepted and admired
from end to end of Utah, he was determined to vindicate the essential
supremacy of the civil law over the ecclesiastical domination in
the territory; and every act of insubordination against that law was
resented and punished by him, unforgivingly. He promptly sentenced me to
three months in the County jail and a fine of $150.

My imprisonment was, of course, a farce. I was merely confined, most of
the time, in a room in the County Court House, where I lived and worked
as if I were in my home. But the sentence remained on my record as a
sufficient mark of my recalcitrance; and I knew that it would not aid me
in my appeal to Washington, where I intended to argue--as the first wise
concession needed of the Federal authorities--that Chief Justice
Zane should no longer be retained on the bench in Utah, but should
be succeeded by a man more gentle. He was the great figure among our
prosecutors; the others were District Attorney Dickson and the two
assistants, Mr. Varian and Mr. Riles. The square had only seemed to
be broken by the recent retirement of Mr. Dickson; the strength of his
purpose remained still in power, in the person of Judge Zane.

And let me say that whatever my opinion was of these men, at that time,
I recognize now that they were justified as officers of the law in
enforcing the law. If it had not been for them, the Mormon Church
would never have been brought to the point of abating one jot of its
pretensions. All four men, as their records have since proved, were much
superior to their positions as territorial officers. Utah's admiration
for Judge Zane was shown, upon the composition of our differences with
the nation, by the Mormon vote that placed him on the Supreme
Court bench. Indeed, it is one of the strange psychologies of this
reconciliation, that, as soon as peace was made, the strongest men of
both parties came into the warmest friendship; our fear and hatred
of our prosecutors changed to respect; and their opposition to our
indissoluble solidarity changed to regard when they saw us devoting our
strength to purposes of which they could approve. But now, in the midst
of our contentions, the aspect of splendor in their legal authority had
something baleful in it, for us; and we saw our own defiance set with a
halo of martyrdom and illumined by the radiance of a Church oppressed!

There was more than a glimmer of that radiance in my thoughts as I made
the railroad journey from Utah to the East. The Union Pacific Railway,
on which I rode, followed the route that the Mormons had taken in their
long trek from the Missouri; and I could look from my car window and
imagine them toiling across those endless plains--in their creaking
wagons, drawn by their oxen and lean farm cows--choked with dust, burned
by the sun of the prairies, their faces to the unknown dangers of an
unknown wilderness, and behind them the cool-roomed houses, the moist
fields, the tree-shaded streets, all the quiet and comfort of the
settled life of homekeeping happiness that they had left. My own mother
had come that road, a little girl of eight; and my mind was full of
pictures of her, at school in a wagon-box, singing hymns with her elders
around the camp fires at night, or kneeling with the mourners beside the
grave of an infant relative buried by the roadside. Our train crossed
the Loup Fork of the Platte almost within sight of the place where my
father, a lad of twenty, had led across the river at nightfall, had been
lost to his party, and had nearly perished, naked to the cold, before
he struggled back to the camp. I could see their little circle of wagons
drawn up at sunset against the menace of the Indians who snaked through
the long grass to kill. I could feel some of their despair, and my heart
lifted to their heroism. Never had such a migration been made by any
people with fewer of the concomitants of their civilization. Their arms
had been taken from them at Nauvoo; they had bartered their goods for
wagons and cattle to carry them; even the grain that they brought,
for food, had to be saved for seed. They felt themselves devoted to
destruction by the people with whose laws and institutions they had come
in conflict, and they went forth bravely, trusting in the power of the
God whom they were determined to worship according to their despised

Now they had built themselves new homes and meeting-houses in the
fertile "Valley;" and the civilization that they had left, having
covered the distance of their exile, was punishing them again for their
law-breaking fidelity to their faith. Surely they had suffered enough!
Surely it was evident that suffering only made them strong to resist!
Surely there must be somebody in power in Washington who could be
persuaded to see that, where force had always failed, there might be
some profit in employing gentleness!

This, at least, was the appeal which I had planned to make. And I had
decided to make it through Mr. Abraham S. Hewitt, then mayor of New
York City, who had been a friend of my father in Congress. He was not
in favor with the administration at Washington. He was personally
unfriendly to President Cleveland. I was a stranger to him. But I had
seen enough of him to know that he had the heart to hear a plea
on behalf of the Mormons, and the brain to help me carry that plea
diplomatically to President Cleveland.

When I arrived in New York I set about finding him without the aid of
any common friend. I did not try to reach him at his home, being aware
that he might resent an intrusion of public matters upon his private
leisure, and fearing to impair my own confidence by beginning with a
rebuff. I decided to see him in his office hours.

I cannot recall why I did not find him in the municipal buildings, but I
well remember going to and fro in the streets in search of him, feeling
at every step the huge city's absorption in its own press and hurry of
affairs, and seeing the troubles of Utah as distant as a foreign war.
It was with a very keen sense of discouragement that I took my place, at
last, in the long line of applicants waiting for a word with the man
who directed the municipal activities of this tremendous hive of eager

He was in the old Stewart building, on Broadway, near Park Place; and
he had his desk in what was, I think, a temporary office--an empty shop
used as an office--on the ground floor. There must have been fifty men
ahead of me, and they were the unemployed, as I remember it, besieging
him for work. They came to his desk, spoke, and passed with a rapidity
that was ominous. As I drew nearer, I watched him anxiously, and saw
the incessant, nervous, querulous activity of eyes, lips, hands, as
he dismissed each with a word or a scratch of the pen, and looked up
sharply at the next one.

"Well, young man," he greeted me, "what do you want?"

I replied: "I want a half hour of your time."

"Good God," he said, in a sort of reproachful indignation, "I couldn't
give it to the President of the United States."

I felt the crowd of applicants pressing behind me. I knew the man's
prodigious humanity. I knew that if I could only hold them back long
enough--"Mr. Hewitt," I said, "it's more important even than that. It's
to save a whole people from suffering--from destruction."

He may have thought me a maniac; or it may be that the desperation of
the moment sounded in my voice. He frowned intently up at me. "Who are

"I'm the son of your old friend in Congress, George Q. Cannon of Utah,"
I said. "My father's in exile. He and his people are threatened with
endless proscriptions. I want time to tell you."

His impatience had vanished. His eyes were steadily kind and interested.
"Can you come to the Board of Health, in an hour? As soon as I open the
meeting, I'll retire and listen to you."

I asked him for a card, to admit me to the meeting, having been
stopped that morning at many doors. He gave it, nodded, and flashed his
attention on the man behind me. I went out with the heady assurance that
my first move had succeeded; but I went, too, with the restrained pulse
of realizing that I had yet to join issue with the decisive event and do
it warily.

I do not remember where I found the Board of Health in session. I recall
only the dark, official board-room, the members at the table,
and--as the one small spot of light and interest to me--Mr. Hewitt's
white-bearded face, as an attendant opened the door to me, and the
Mayor, looking up alertly, nodded across the room, and waved his hand to
a chair.

As soon as he had opened the meeting, we withdrew together to a settee
in some remote corner, and I began to tell him, as quickly as I could,
the desperateness of the Mormon situation. "Yes," he said, "but why
can't your people obey the law?"

I explained what I have been trying to explain in this narrative--that
these people, following a Church which they believed to be guided by
God, and regarding themselves as objects of a religious persecution,
could not be brought by means of force to obey a law against conscience.
I explained that I was not pleading to save their pride but to spare
them useless suffering; their history showed that no proscription, short
of extermination outright, could overcome their resistance; but what
force could not accomplish, a little sensible diplomacy might hope to
effect. No first step could be made, by them, towards a composition of
their differences with the law so long as the law was administered
with a hostility that provoked hostility. But if we could obtain some
mitigation of the law's severity, the leaders of the Church were willing
to surrender themselves to the court--such of them as had not already
died of their privations or served their terms of imprisonment--and a
sense of gratitude for leniency would prepare the way for a recession
from their present attitude of unconquerable antagonism.

He listened gravely, knowing the situation from his own experience
in Congress, and checking off the items of my argument with a nod of
acceptance that came, often, before I had completed what I had to say.
He asked: "Do you know President Cleveland?"

I told him that I had seen the President several times but was not known
to him.

"Well," he said, "I may be able to help you indirectly. I don't care
for Cleveland, and I wouldn't ask him for a favor if I were sinking.
But tell me what plan you have in your mind, and I'll see if I can't aid
you--through friends."

I replied that I hoped to have some man appointed as Chief Justice in
Utah who should adopt a less rigorous way of adjudicating upon the cases
of polygamists; but that before he was selected--or at least before he
knew of his appointment--I wished to talk with him and convert him to
the idea that he could begin the solution of "the Mormon question"
by having the leaders of the community come into his court and accept
sentences that should not be inconsistent with the sovereignty of the
law but not unmerciful to the subjects of that sovereignty.

"The man you want," Mr. Hewitt said, "is here in New York--Elliot F.
Sandford. He's a referee of the Supreme Court of this state--a fine man,
great legal ability, courageous, of undoubted integrity. Come to me,
tomorrow. I'll introduce you to him."

It was the first time that I had even heard the name of Elliot F.
Sandford; and I had not the faintest notion of how best to approach him.

I did not find him in Mr. Hewitt's office, on the morrow; but the Mayor
had communicated with him, and now gave me a letter of introduction to
him; and I went alone to present it.

He received me in his outer office, with a manner full of kindliness but
non-committal. He glanced through my letter of introduction, and I tried
to read him while he did it. He was not on the surface. He was a tall,
dignified man, his hair turning gray--thoughtful, judicial--evidently
a man who was not quick to decide. He led me into his private room, and
sat down with the air of a lawyer who has been asked to take a case and
who wishes first to hear all the details of the action.

I began by describing the Mormon situation as I saw it in those days:
that the Mormons were growing more desperately determined in their
opposition, because they believed their prosecutors were persecuting
them; that the District Attorney and his assistants were harsh to the
point of heartlessness, and that Judge Zane (to us, then) acted like
a religious fanatic in his judicial office; that nearly every Federal
official in Utah had taken a tone of bigoted opposition to the people;
and that the law was detested and the government despised because of the
actions of Federal "carpet-baggers."

I was prejudiced, no doubt, and partisan in my account of the state of
affairs, but I did not exaggerate the facts as I saw them; I believed
what I said.

I did not really reach his sympathy until I spoke of the court system
in Utah--the open venire, the employment of "professional jurors"--the
legal doctrine of "segregation," under which a man might be separately
indicted for every day of his living in plural marriage--and the result
of all this: that the pursuit of defendants and the confiscation of
property had become less an enforcement of law than a profitable legal

After two hours of argument and examination, I ended with an appeal to
him to accept the opportunity to undertake a merciful assuagement of
our misery. After so many years of failure on the part of the Federal
authorities, he might have the distinction of calling into his court the
Mormon leaders who had been most long and vainly sought by the law;
and by sentencing them to a supportable punishment, he could begin the
composition of a conflict that had gone on for half a century.

He replied with reasons that expressed a kindly unwillingness to
undertake the work. It would mean the sacrifice of his professional
career in New York. He would be putting himself entirely outside the
progression of advancement. His friends, here, would never understand
why he had done it. The affairs of Utah had little interest for them.

I saw that he was not convinced. His wife had been waiting some minutes
in the outer office; he proposed that he should bring her in; and I
gathered from his manner, that he expected her to pronounce against his
accepting my solicitation, and so terminate our interview pleasantly,
with the aid of the feminine social grace.

Mrs. Sandford, when she entered, certainly looked the very lady to
do the thing with gentle skill. She was handsome, with an animated
expression, dark-eyed, dark-haired, charming in her costume, a woman
of the smiling world, but maturely sincere and unaffected. I took a
somewhat distracted impression of her greeting, and heard him begin to
explain my proposal to her, as one hears a "silent partner" formally
consulted by a man who has already made up his mind. But when I glanced
at her, seated, her manner had changed. She was listening as if she were
used to being consulted and knew the responsibilities of decision. She
had the abstracted eye of impersonal consideration--silent--with now and
then a slow, meditative glance at me.

Her first question seemed merely femininely curious as to the domestic
aspects of polygamy. How did the women endure it?

I repeated a conversation I had once had with Frances Willard, who had
said: "The woman's heart must ache in polygamy." To which I had made the
obvious reply: "Don't women's hearts ache all over the world? Is there
any condition of society in which women do not bear more than an equal
share of the suffering?"

Mrs. Sandford asked me pointedly whether I was living in polygamy?

No, I was not.

Did I believe in it?

I believed that those did who practiced it.

Why didn't I practice it?

Those who practiced it believed that it had been authorized by a divine
revelation. I had not received such a revelation. I did not expect to.

Our talk warmed into a very intimate discussion of the lives of the
Mormon people, but I supposed that she was moved only by a curiosity
to which I was accustomed--a curiosity that was not necessarily
sympathetic--the curiosity one might have about the domestic life of
a Mohammedan. I took advantage of her curiosity to lead up to an
explanation of how the proscription of polygamy was driving young
Mormons into the practice, instead of frightening them from it. And so
I arrived at another recountal of the miserable condition of persecution
and suffering which I had come to ask her husband help us relieve; and
I made my appeal again, to them both, with something of despair, because
of my failure with him, and perhaps with greater effect because of my
despair. She listened thoughtfully, her hands clasped.

It did not seem that I had reached her--until she turned to him, and
said unexpectedly "It seems to me that this is an opportunity--a larger
opportunity than any I see here--to do a great deal of good."

He did not appear as surprised as I was. He made some joking reference
to his income and asked her if she would be willing to live on a salary
of--How much was the salary of the Chief Justice of Utah?

I thought it was about $3,000 a year.

"Two hundred and fifty dollars a month," he said. "How many bonnets will
that buy?"

"No," she retorted, "you can't put the blame on my millinery bill. If
that's been the cause of your hesitation, I'll agree to dress as becomes
the wife of a poor but upright judge."

In such a happy spirit of good-natured raillery, my petition was
provisionally entertained, till I could see the President; and it is
one of the curiosities of experience, as I look back upon it now, that
a decision so momentous in the history of Utah owed its induction to the
wisdom of a woman and was confirmed with a domestic pleasantry.

I left them after we had arrived at the tacit understanding that if
President Cleveland should make the appointment, Mr. Sandford would
accept it with the end in view that I had proposed. I went to report
my progress, in a cipher telegram, to Salt Lake City, and I recall the
peculiarly mixed satisfaction with which I regarded my work, as I
walked the streets of New York after this interview. In all that city
of millions, I knew, there were few if any men who were the equal of my
father in the essentials of manhood; and yet, before he could enjoy the
liberties of which they were so lightly unconscious, he must endure the
shame of a prison. I was rejoicing because I was succeeding in getting
for him a sentence that should not be ruinous! I was pleased because a
prospective judge had been persuaded to be not too harsh to him!

It did not make me bitter. I realized that the peculiar faith which we
had accepted was responsible for our peculiar suffering. I saw that we
were working out our human destiny; and if that destiny was not of God,
but merely the issue of human impulsion, still our only prospect of
success would come of our bearing with experience patiently to make us

When I went back to Mr. Hewitt, to tell him of my success, I consulted
with him upon the best way of approaching Mr. Cleveland. And he was not
encouraging. In his opinion of the President, he had, as I could see,
the impatient resentment which a quick-minded, nervous, small-bodied
man has for the big, slow one whose mental operations are stubbornly
deliberate and leisurely. And he was obviously irritated by the
President's continual assumption that he was better than his party.
"He's honest," he said, "by right of original discovery of what honesty
is. No one can question his honesty. But as soon as he discovers a
better thing than he knew previously, he announces it as if it were
the discovery of a new planet. It may have been a commonplace for a
generation. That doesn't signify. He announces it with such ponderosity
that the world believes it's as prodigious as his sentences!"

As for my own mission: I would have to be persistent, patient,
and--lucky. "You'll have to be lucky, if you intend to persuade him to
acquire any information. He's been so successful in instructing mankind
that it's hard to get him to see he doesn't know all he ought to know
about a public question. But he's honest and he's courageous. If you can
convince him that your view is right, he'll carry but the conviction
in spite of everything. In fact he'll be all the better pleased if it
requires fearlessness and defiance of general sentimentality to carry it

He gave me a letter to Mr. William C. Whitney, then Secretary of the
Navy, explaining my purpose in coming to Washington, and asking him to
obtain for me an interview with President Cleveland without using Mr.
Hewitt's name. Then he shook hands with me, and wished me success. "I
have the faith," he said, "that is without hope."

That expressed my own feeling. The faith that was without hope!

Chapter III. Without A Country

So I came to Washington. So I entered the capital of the government that
commanded my allegiance and inspired my fear. I wonder whether another
American ever saw that city with such eyes of envy, of aspiration, of
wistful pride, of daunted admiration. Here were all the consecrations
of a nation's memories, and they thrilled me, even while they pierced me
with the sense that I was not, and might well despair of ever being,
a citizen of their glory. Here were the monuments of patriotism
in Statuary Hall, erected to the men whose histories had been the
inspiration of my boyhood; and I remember how I stood before them,
conscious that I was now almost an outlaw from their communion of
splendor. I remember how I saw, with an indescribable conflict
of feelings, the ranked graves of the soldiers in the cemetery at
Arlington, and recollected that this very ground had been taken from
General Lee, that heroic opponent of Federal authority--and read the
tablet, "How sleep the brave who sink to rest by all their country's
wishes bless'd,"--and bowed in spirit to the nation's benediction upon
the men who had upheld its power. I was awed by a prodigious sense
of the majesty of that power. I saw with fear its immovability to the
struggles of our handful of people. And at night, walking under the
trees of Lafayette Park, with all the odors of the southern Spring
among the leaves, I looked at the lighted front of the White House and
realized that behind the curtains of those quiet windows sat the
ruler who held the almost absolute right of life and death over our
community--as if it were the palace of a Czar that I must soon enter,
with a petition for clemency, which he might refuse to entertain!

When I had been in Washington, four years before, as secretary to
Delegate John T. Caine of Utah, I had felt a younger assurance that
our resistance would slowly wear out the Federal authority and carry us
through to statehood. Four years of disaster had starved out that hope.
The proposition had been established that Congress had supreme control
over the territories; and there was no virtue either in our religious
assumption of warrant to speak for God, or in our plea of inherent
constitutional right to manage our own affairs. Thirty years earlier, my
father had been elected Senator from the proposed state of Utah, and he
had been rejected. In thirty years so little progress had been made! The
way that was yet to travel seemed very long and very dark.

Out of this mood of despondence I had to lift myself by an act of will.
There, Washington itself helped me against itself. I made a pilgrimage
of courage to its commemorations of courage, and drew an inspiration
of hope from its monuments to the achievements of its past. And
particularly I went to the house in which my father had lived when he
had had his part in the statesman life of the capital, and animated my
resolution with the thought that I must succeed in order that he might
be restored in public honor.

I narrate all this personal incident of emotion in the hope that it may
help to explain a success that might otherwise seem inexplicable.
The Mormon Church had, for years, employed every art of intrigue and
diplomacy to protect itself in Washington. I wish to make plain that
it was not by any superior cunning of negotiation that my mission
succeeded. I undertook the task almost without instruction; I performed
it without falsehood; I had nothing in my mind but an honest loyalty
for my own people, a desire to be a citizen of my native country, and a
filial devotion to the one man in the world, whom I most admired.

When I delivered my letter of introduction from Mr. Hewitt to Mr.
William C. Whitney, Secretary of the Navy, I found him very busy with
his work in his department--carrying out the plans that established the
modern American navy and entitled him to be called the "father" of it.
He withdrew from the men who were discussing designs and figures at a
table in his room, and sat with me before a window that looked out upon
the White House and its grounds; and he listened to me, interestedly,
genially, but with a thought still (as I could see) for the affairs that
my arrival had interrupted. He struck me as a man who was used to having
many weighty matters together on his mind, without finding his attention
crowded by them all, and without being impatient in his consideration of

I developed with him an idea which I had been considering: that the
President might not only help the Mormons by taking up their case, but
might gain political prestige for the coming campaign for re-election,
by adjusting the dissentions in Utah. He heard me with a twinkle. He
thought an interview might be arranged. He made an appointment to see
me in the afternoon and to have with him Colonel Daniel S. Lamont, the
President's secretary, who was then Mr. Cleveland's political "trainer."

My meeting with Colonel Lamont, in the afternoon, began jocularly.
"This," Mr. Whitney introduced me, "is the young man who has a plan to
use that mooted--and booted--Mormon question to re-elect the President."

"Hardly that, Mr. Secretary," I said. "I have a plan to help my father
and his colleagues to regain their citizenship. If President Cleveland's
re-election is essential to it, I suppose I must submit. You know I'm a

They laughed. We sat down. And I found at once that Colonel Lamont
understood the situation in Utah, thoroughly. He had often discussed
it, he said, with the Church's agents in Washington. I went over the
situation with him, as I had gone over it with Mr. Sandford, in careful
detail. He seemed surprised at my assurance that my father and the other
proscribed leaders of the Church would submit themselves to the courts
if they could do so on the conditions that I proposed; I convinced
him of the possibility by referring him to Mr. Richards, the Church's
attorney in Washington, for a confirmation of it. I pointed out that if
these leaders surrendered, President Cleveland could be made the direct
beneficiary, politically, of their composition with the law.

Colonel Lamont was a small, alert man with a conciseness of speech
and manner that is associated in my memory with the bristle of his red
mustache cut short and hard across a decisive mouth. He radiated nervous
vitality; and I understood, as I studied him, how President Cleveland,
with his infinite patience for [** missing text?**] survived so well in
the multitudinous duties of his office--having as his secretary a man
born with the ability to cut away the non-essentials, and to pass on to
Mr. Cleveland only the affairs worthy of his careful deliberation.

I was doubtful whether I should tell Colonel Lamont and Mr. Whitney of
my conversation with Mr. Sandford. I decided that their considerateness
entitled them to my full confidence, and I told them all--begging them,
if I was indiscreet or undiplomatic, to charge the offense to my lack of
experience rather than to debit it against my cause.

They passed it off with banter. It was understood that the President
should not be told--and that I should not tell him--of my talk with
Mr. Sandford. Colonel Lamont undertook to arrange an audience with Mr.
Cleveland for me. "You had better wait," he said, "until I can approach
him with the suggestion that there's a young man here, from Utah, whom
he ought to see."

I knew, then, that I was at least well started on the open road to
success. I knew that if Colonel Lamont said he would help me, there
would be no difficulties in my way except those that were large in the
person of the President himself.

Two days later I received the expected word from Colonel Lamont, and I
went to the White House as a man might go to face his own trial. I
met the secretary in one of the eastern upstairs rooms of the official
apartments; and after the usual crowd had passed out, he led me into the
President's office--which then overlooked the Washington monument, the
Potomac and the Virginia shore. Mr. Cleveland was working at his desk.
Colonel Lamont introduced me by name, and added, "the young man from
Utah, of whom I spoke."

The President did not look up. He was signing some papers, bending
heavily over his work. It took him a moment or two to finish; then he
dropped his pen, pushed aside the papers, turned awkwardly in his swivel
chair and held out his hand to me. It was a cool, firm hand, and its
grasp surprised me, as much as the expression of his eyes--the steady
eyes of complete self-control, composure, intentness.

I had come with a prejudice against him; I was a partisan of Mr. Blame,
whom he had defeated for the Presidency; I believed Mr. Blame to be the
abler man. But there was something in Mr. Cleveland's hand and eyes
to warn me that however slow-moving and even dull he might appear, the
energy of a firm will compelled and controlled him. It stiffened me into
instant attention.

He made some remark to Colonel Lamont to indicate that our conversation
was to occupy about half an hour. He asked me to be seated in a chair at
the right-hand side of his desk. He said almost challengingly: "You're
the young man they want I should talk to about the Utah question."

The tone was not exactly unkind, but it was not inviting. I said, "Yes,

He looked at me, as a judge might eye the suspect of circumstantial
evidence. "You're the son of one of the Mormon leaders."

I admitted it.

And then he began.

He began with an account of what he had done to compose the differences
in Utah. He explained and justified the appointments he had made
there--appointments that had been recommended by Southern senators and
representatives who, because they were Southerners, were opposed to the
undue extension and arbitrary use of Federal power. He had made Caleb
W. West of Kentucky governor of Utah on the recommendation of Senator
Blackburn of Kentucky, my father's friend. He had made Frank H. Dyer,
originally of Mississippi, United States Marshal. He had appointed a
District Attorney in whom he had every confidence. He had a right to
believe that these men, recommended by the statesmen of the South, would
execute and adjudicate the laws in Utah according to the most lenient
Southern construction of Federal rights. He dwelt upon Governor West's
charitable intentions towards the Mormon leaders, went over West's
efforts at pacification in accurate detail, and told of West's chagrin
at his failure--with an irritation that showed how disappointed he
himself was with the continued recurrence of the Mormon troubles.

I had to tell him that the situation had not improved, and his face
flushed with an anger that he made no attempt to conceal. He declared
that the fault must lie in our obstinate determination to hold ourselves
superior to the law. He could not sympathize with our sufferings, he
said, since they were self-inflicted. He admitted that he had once been
opposed to the Edmunds-Tucker bill, but felt now that it was justified
by the immovability of the Mormons. All palliatives had failed. The
patience of Congress had been exhausted. There was no recourse, except
to make statutes cutting enough to destroy the illegal practices and
unlawful leadership in the Mormon community.

"Mr. President," I pleaded, "I've lived in Utah all my life. I know
these people from both points of view. You know of the situation only
from Federal office holders who consider it solely with regard to their
official responsibility to you and to the country. Why not learn what
the Mormons think?"

He replied that it was not within the province of the President--his
power or his duty--to consider the mental attitude of men who were
opposing the enforcement of the law.

It was an inexcusable offense against the general welfare that one
community should be rising continually against the Federal authority
and occupying the time and attention of Congress with a determined

For an hour, he continued, with vigor and dignity, to describe the
situation as he saw it; and he chilled me to the heart with his
determination to concede nothing more to a community that had refused to
be placated by what he had already conceded. I listened without trying,
without even wishing, to interrupt him; for I had been warned by Mr.
Whitney and Colonel Lamont that it would be wise to let him deliver
himself of his opinion before attempting to influence him to a milder
one; and I could not contradict anything that he said, for he made no
misstatements of fact.

Colonel Lamont had entered once, and had withdrawn again when he saw
that Mr. Cleveland was still talking. At the end of about an hour, the
President rose. "Mr. Cannon," he said, "I don't see what more I can do
than has already been done. Tell your people to obey the law, as all
other citizens are required to obey it, and they'll find that their
fellow-citizens of this country will do full justice to their heroism
and their other good qualities. If the law seems harsh, tell them that
there's an easy way to avoid its cruelty by simply getting out from
under its condemnation."

His manner indicated that the conference was at an end. He reached out
his hand as if to drop the subject then and forever, as far as I was
concerned. "Mr. President," I asked, with the composure of desperation,
"do you really want to settle the Mormon question?"

He looked at me with the first gleam of humor that had shown in his
eyes--and it was a humor of peculiar richness and unction. "Young man,"
he asked, "what have I been saying to you all this time? What have I
been working for, ever since I first took up the consideration of this
subject at the beginning of my term?"

"Mr. President," I replied, "if you were traveling in the West, and came
to an unbridged stream with your wagon train, and saw tracks leading
down into the water where you thought there was a ford, you would
naturally expect to cross there, assuming that others had done so before
you. But suppose that some man on the bank should say to you: 'I've
watched wagon trains go in here for more than twenty years, and I've
never yet seen one come out on the other side. Look over at that
opposite bank. You see there are no wagon tracks there. Now, down the
river a piece, is a place where I think there's a ford. I've never got
anybody to try it yet, but certainly it's as good a chance as this one!'
Mr. President, what would you do? Would you attempt a crossing where
there had been twenty years of failure, or would you try the other
place--on the chance that it might take you over?"

He had been regarding me with slowly fading amusement that gave way to
an expression of grave attention.

"I've been watching this situation for several years," I went on, "and
it seems to me that there's the possibility of a just, a humane, and
a final settlement of it, by getting the Mormon leaders to come
voluntarily into court--and it can be done!--with the assurance that the
object of the administration is to correct the community evil--not to
exterminate the Mormon Church or to persecute its 'prophets,' but to
secure obedience to the law and respect for the law, and to lead Utah
into a worthy statehood."

I paused. He thought a moment. Then he said: "I can't talk any longer,
now. Make another appointment with Lamont. I want to hear what you have
to say." And he dismissed me.

Colonel Lamont told me to come back on the following afternoon; and I
went away with the dubious relief of feeling that if I had not yet won
my case I had, at least, succeeded in having judgment reserved. I went
to work to arrange my arguments for the morrow, to make them as concise
as possible and to divide them into brief chapters in case I should have
as little opportunity for extended explanations as the President had
been giving me. I saw that the whole matter was gloomy and oppressive
to him--that his responsibility was as dark on his mind as our
sufferings--and I took the hint of his amused interest, in order to work
out ways of brightening the subject with anecdote and illustration.

I saw Colonel Lamont on the morrow, and he beamed a congratulation on
me. "You've aroused his curiosity," he said. "You've interested him."

He had made an appointment some days ahead; and when I entered the
President's office to keep that appointment, I found Mr. Cleveland at
his desk, as if he had not moved in the interval, laboriously reading
and signing papers as before. It gave me an impression of immovability,
of patient and methodical relentlessness that was disheartening.

But as soon as he turned to me, I found him another man. He was
interested, receptive, almost genial. He gave me an opportunity to cover
the whole ground of my case, and I went over it step by step. He showed
no emotion when I recited some of the incidents of pathetic suffering
among our people; and at first he seemed doubtful whether he should
be amused by the humorous episodes that I narrated. But I did not wish
merely to amuse him; I was trying to convey to his mind (without saying
so) that so long as a people could suffer and laugh too, they could
never be overcome by the mere reduplication of their sufferings. He
looked squarely at me, with a most determined front, when I told him
that the Mormons would be ground to powder before they would yield.
"They can't yield," I warned him. "They're like the passengers on a
train going with a mad speed down a dangerous grade. For any of them to
attempt to jump is simple destruction. They can only pray to Providence
to help them. But if that train were to be brought to a stop at some
station where they could alight with anything like self-respect, there
would be many of them glad to get off--even though the train had not
arrived at its 'revealed' destination."

I do not remember--and if I did, it would be tedious to relate--the
exact sequence and progression of argument in this interview and the
dozen others that succeeded it. Mr. Cleveland became more and more
interested in the Mormon people, their family life, their religion, and
their politics. He was as painstaking in acquiring information about
them as he was in performing all the other duties of his office. I might
have been discouraged by the number and apparent ineffectiveness of
my interviews with him, had not Colonel Lamont kept me informed of the
growth of the President's good feeling and of his genuinely paternal
interest in the people of Utah. It became more than a personal desire
with Mr. Cleveland to benefit politically by a settlement of the Mormon
troubles, if indeed he had ever had such a desire. His humanity was
enlisted, his conscience appealed to.

He asked me, once, if I knew anything of Mr. Sandford, and I replied
that I knew him and believed in him. He told me, at last, that he
was going to appoint Mr. Sandford Chief Justice of Utah, and added
significantly, "I suppose he will get in touch with the situation." I
accepted this remark as a permission to confer with Mr. Sandford, and
I journeyed to New York to see him and to renew the understanding I had
with him.

He was appointed Chief justice on the 9th day of July, 1888, and--as the
Mormon people expressed it--"the backbone of the raid was broken."
On August 26, 1888, he arrived in Salt Lake City. On September 17, my
father came before him in court and pleaded guilty to two indictments
charging him with "unlawful cohabitation." He was fined $450 and
sentenced to the penitentiary for one hundred and seventy-five days. His
example was followed by a number of prominent Mormons, including Francis
Marion Lyman, who is today the President of the Quorum of the twelve
Apostles and next in rank for the Presidency. It is true that not many
cases, relatively speaking, came to Justice Sandford; but the leader
whom the authorities were most eager to subjugate under Federal power
was judged and sentenced; and the effect, both on the country and on the
Mormon people, was all that we had expected.

There are memories in a man's life that have a peculiar value. One
such, to me, is the picture I have in mind of my father undergoing
his penitentiary sentence, wearing his prison clothes with an
unconsciousness that makes me still feel a pride in the power of the
human soul to rise superior to the deformities of circumstance. Charles
Wilcken (whom I have described driving us to Bountiful) was visiting
him one day in the prison office, when a guard entered with his hat on.
Wilcken snatched it from his head. "Never enter his presence," he said,
"without taking it off." And the guard never did again.... I salute the
memory. I come to it with my head bare and my back stiffened. I see in
that calm face the possibilities of the human spirit. He was a man!

He spent his time, there, as he would have spent it elsewhere, writing,
conferring with the agents of his authority, planning for his people. I
saw he was aware that he would emerge from his imprisonment a free man,
personally, but still enslaved by the conditions of the community; and
I knew that he would use his freedom to free the others. I knew that he
had accepted his sentence with this end in view. In plain words, I knew
now--though he never said so--that he was looking toward the necessary
recession from the doctrine of polygamy, and that he may have counted
on the spectacle of his imprisonment to help prepare his people for a
general submission to the law.

With the entry of these leaders into prison, the Mormons felt for them
a warmer admiration, a deeper reverence; but it was mingled with a
gratitude to the nation for the leniency of the court and an awed sense,
too, of the power of the civil law. President Woodruff secretly and
tentatively withdrew his necessary permission, as head of the Church,
to the solemnization of any more plural marriages; and he ordered the
demolition of the Endowment House in which such marriages had been
chiefly celebrated. Many of the non-Mormons, who had despaired of any
solution of the troubles in Utah, now began to hope. The country had
been impoverished; the Mormons had been deprived of much of their
substance and financial vigor; and reasons of business prudence among
the Gentiles weighed against a continuance of proscription. Some of
them distrusted the motives of their own leaders more than they did the
Mormon people. Some were weary of the quarrel. For humane reasons, for
business reasons, for the sake of young Utah, it was argued that the
persecution should end.

But in the years 1888 and 1889, thousands of newcomers arrived in Utah
with a strong antagonism to the religion and the political authority
of the Mormon Church; and, with the growth of Gentile population, there
came a natural determination on their part to obtain control of the
local governments of cities and counties. In opposing this movement,
the power of the Church was again solidified. By 1889, the Gentiles
had taken the city governments of Ogden and Salt Lake City, had elected
members of the legislature in Salt Lake County, and had carried the
passage of a Public School Bill, against the timid and secret opposition
of the Church. President Cleveland had been defeated and succeeded by
President Harrison; and Chief Justice Sandford had been removed and
Chief Justice Zane reinstated. (He did not adjudicate with his previous
rigor, however, because of the success of Justice Sandford's policy of
leniency.) The Church made no move publicly to repudiate polygamy, and
its silent attitude of defiance, in this regard, gave a battle cry to
all its enemies.

The crisis was precipitated by a movement that had begun in the
territory of Idaho, where the Mormons had been disfranchised by means
of a test oath--(a provision still remaining in the Idaho state
constitution, but now nullified by the political power of the Mormon
leaders in Salt Lake City.) A bill, known as the Cullom-Struble bill,
was introduced at Washington, to do in Utah what had been done in Idaho.

The Church was then directed by President Woodruff and his two
Councillor's, George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith. But President
Woodruff was as helpless in the political world as a nun. He was a
gentle, earnest old man, patiently ingenuous and simple-minded, with a
faith in the guidance of Heaven that was only greater than my father's
because it was unmixed with any earthly sagacity. He had the mind, and
the appearance, of a country preacher, and even when he was "on the
underground" he used to do his daily "stint" of farm labor, secretly,
either at night or in the very early morning. He was a successful
farmer (born in Connecticut), of a Yankee shrewdness and industry. He
recognized that in order to get a crop of wheat, it was necessary to do
something more than trust in the Lord. But in administering the affairs
of the Church, he seemed to have no such sophistication.

I can see him yet, at the meetings of the Presidency, opening his mild
blue eyes in surprised horror at a report of some new danger threatening
us. "My conscience! My conscience!" he would cry. "Is that so, brother!"
When he was assured that it was so, he would say, resignedly: "The Lord
will look after us!" And then, after a silence, turning to his First
Councillor, he would ask: "What do you think we ought to do, Brother
George Q.?"

The Second Councillor, Joseph F. Smith, sat at these meetings, in a
saturnine reserve and silence, either nursing his concealed thought or
having none. When a decision had been suggested, he was appealed to and
added his assent. It always seemed to me that he was sulkily sleepy;
but this impression may have come from the contrast of the First
Councillor's mental alertness and the bright cheerfulness of the
President--who never, to my knowledge, showed the slightest bitterness
against anybody. President Woodruff believed that all the persecutions
of the Mormons were due to the Devil's envy of the Lord's power as it
showed itself in the establishment of the Mormon Church: and he assumed
that the Gentiles did the work they were tempted to do against us,
because the Holy Spirit had not yet ousted the evil from their souls.
He had no fear of the ultimate triumph of the Church, because he had no
fear of the ultimate triumph of God. Whenever he could escape for a day
from the worldly duties of his office, he went fishing!

When the progress of the Cullom-Struble bill began to make its
threatening advance, my father went secretly to Washington; and a short
time afterwards, word came to me in Ogden, through the Presidency, that
he wished me to arrange my business affairs for a long absence from
Utah, and follow him to the capital.

I found him there, in the office of Delegate John T. Caine of Utah--the
cluttered office of a busy man--and he explained, composedly, why he had
sent for me. The Cullom-Struble bill had been favorably considered by
the Senate Committee on Territories, and the disfranchisement of all the
Mormons of Utah seemed imminent. Every argument, political or legal,
had been used against the measure, in vain. Since I, a non-polygamous
Mormon, would be disfranchised if the bill became law, he thought I
might be a good advocate against it. He said: "I have not appeared in
the matter. None of our friends know that I am here. If it were known,
it might only increase our difficulties. Say nothing of it. We have been
at a disadvantage with a Republican administration because most of our
prominent men are Democrats. You were so effective with the Democrats,
let us see what you can do now with your own party friends."

After taking his advice, I went to see Senator Henry M. Teller, of
Colorado, who was a friend of my father and of the Mormon people. He
admitted that the situation was desperate. He proposed that I should
speak before the committees of both houses; they might listen to me as
a Republican who had no official rank in the Church and no political
authority. He offered to introduce me to any of the Senators and members
of Congress, but advised that I should rather go unintroduced, without
influence, and make my appeal as a private citizen.

This sounded to me depressingly like the call to lead a "forlorn hope."
I reported to my father again, and was not altogether reassured by a
tranquility which he seemed to be able to maintain in the face of any
desperation. Other agencies of the Church had reached the end of their
resources. There was no help in sight. And I went, at last, to throw our
case upon the mercy of the Secretary of State, Mr. James G. Blaine,
my father's friend, the friend of our people, the statesman whom I--in
common with millions of other Americans--regarded with a reverence that
approached idolatry.

He received me in the long room of the Secretary's apartments, standing,
a striking figure in black, against the rich and heavy background of the
official furnishing. He was very pale--unhealthily so--perhaps with the
progress of the disease of which he was to die in so short a time. In
contrast with his usual brilliancy of mind, he seemed to me, at first,
depressed and quiet--with a kindly serenity of manner, at once gracious,
and intimate, but masterful.

He was instantly and deeply interested in what I had to say; he seated
himself--on a sofa, near the embrasure of a window--motioned me to bring
a chair to his side, and heard me in an erect attitude of thoughtful
attention, re-assuring me now and then by reaching out to lay a hand
on my knee when he saw from my hesitancy that I feared I might be too
candid in my confidences; and the look of his eye and the touch of
his hand were as if he said: "I'm your friend. Anything you may say is
perfectly safe with me."

I told him of my father's imprisonment.

"It is dreadful," he said. "You shock me to the soul." He spoke of their
friendship, of his admiration for my father's work in Congress, of his
personal regard for the man himself. "Of course," he said, "I have no
sympathy with your peculiar marriage system, and I'll never be able to
understand how a man like your father could enter it." I reminded him
that my father believed it a system revealed and ordained by God. "I
know," he replied. "That is what they say. And I suppose they have
scriptural warrant for polygamy. But it is a thing that would be 'more
honored in the breach than the observance.' Tell me, is the rule of the
Church absolute over you younger men?"

I told him that it was, in respect of political control; that the
situation in Utah had placed us where there was no possibility of
compromise; that we must be of, with, and for our own people, or against

He asked me whether I intended to address myself to the President. I
replied, "Not yet"--since the bills were still pending in Congress
and were not being urged from the White House. He seemed pleased. As I
afterwards learned, there was a strong rivalry between the President and
the Secretary of State; and though I knew that Mr. Blaine's interest
in Utah was almost wholly one of responsible statesmanship, warmed by
a personal kindliness for our people, still it remains a fact that he
expected the support of the Utah Republican delegation in the convention
of 1892, and that it had been promised him by national Republicans who
were now laboring at Washington in our behalf.

He encouraged me with an almost intimate emotion of pity and
friendliness; and I felt the largeness of the man as much in the warmth
of his humanity as in the breadth of his view. He approved, of my
appearing before the committees. "Go and tell them your own story,
yourself," he said. "Make your plea independently of all the formal and
official arguments that have been used. These have been exhausted.
They have been ineffective. We must use the personal and"--he added it
significantly--"the political appeal. If you find difficulty, let me
know. I shall not be idle in your behalf. If you meet any insuperable
obstacle, I'll see if I can't help you run over it."

He rose to terminate the interview. He looked at me with a smile. "'The
Lord giveth,'" he said, "'and the Lord taketh away.' Wouldn't it be
possible for your people to find some way--without disobedience to
the commands of God--to bring yourselves into harmony with the law and
institutions of this country? Believe me, it's not possible for any
people as weak in numbers as yours, to set themselves up as superior
to the majesty of a nation like this. We may succeed, this time, in
preventing your disfranchisement; but nothing permanent can be done
until you 'get into line.'"

He accompanied me toward the door, giving me friendly messages of regard
to deliver to my father. He put his arm around my shoulders, at last,
and said: "You may tell your father for me--as I tell you, young
man--you shall not be harmed, this time."

I parted from him with an almost speechless relief and gratitude, and
hurried to my father with the news of hope. I had not told Mr. Blaine
that he was in Washington; for, without feeling that he saw himself
marked by his imprisonment, I was aware that his friends might pity him
for it, if they did not condemn him; and neither sentiment (I knew) was
he of the personal temper to encounter.

I told him every detail of my talk with the Secretary of State; he heard
me, silently, meditatively. When I concluded with Mr. Blaine's assurance
that we should not be harmed "this time," but must "get into line,"
he looked up at me with a significant steadiness of eye. "President
Woodruff," he said, "has been praying.... He thinks he sees some
light.... You are authorized to say that something will be done."

I asked no question. His gaze conveyed assurance, but forbade inquiry. I
had to understand, without being told, that the Church was preparing to
concede a recession from the doctrine of polygamy.

With this assurance to aid me, I began the work of reaching the
committees--warm work in a Washington summer, but hopeful in the new
prospect of a lasting success. The bill for disfranchisement had been
reported out by the committees and was on the calendar for passage. It
was necessary to have the question reopened before the committees
for argument. In soliciting the opportunity of a re-hearing, from
the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Orville H. Platt, of
Connecticut, I made my argument in a private conversation with him in
his rooms in the Arlington Hotel. When I had done, he chewed his cigar
a moment, looked at me quizzically, and asked: "Do you know Abbot R.
Heywood, of Ogden?"--and, as he asked it, he drew a letter from his

I replied that I knew Mr. Heywood well.

"I have a letter here from him, on this same subject," he said. "Tell
me. What kind of man is he? And to what extent do you think I ought to
depend on his views?"

I was never more tempted in my life to tell a lie. I knew Mr. Heywood
to be a man of truth and high ideals; but he had been Chairman of the
Anti-Church party in Weber County, and he had been one of the Gentile
leaders for several years. I knew the intensity of his feelings against
the rule of the Church in politics and the Mormon attitude of defiance
to the law. I was sure that he would be strong in his demand for the
passage of the disfranchisement act.

I hesitated a moment. Senator Platt was watching me. Then, with a
resolve that our cause must stand or fall by the truth, I said: "Mr.
Heywood is a man of integrity. I think he would write exactly what he
believed to be true. But you know, Senator, intense feeling in politics
sometimes sways a man's judgment. In view of Mr. Heywood's long
controversy, I hope that if he has taken a view adverse to mine, his
antagonism may be mitigated in your mind by your own knowledge of human

Senator Platt held out the letter to me. "You've won your motion for a
re-hearing," he said. "I think we may be able to get the truth out of
you. We have not always had it in this Utah question. Read that."

I read it. It was Mr. Heywood's solemn protest, as an American
citizen--on behalf of himself and the other members of the
perfunctory Republican Committee of his County--against the wholesale
disfranchisement of the Mormons, on the ground that it would only delay
a progressive American settlement of the territory!

Then I went to the other members of the Senate committee privately,
and told them that the Mormon Church was about to make a concession
concerning its doctrine of polygamy. I told them so in confidence,
pointing out the necessity of secrecy, since to make public the news
of such a recession, in advance, would be to prevent the Church from
authorizing it. Not one of the Senators betrayed the trust. I was less
confidential with the members of the House Committee, because I realized
that nothing could be done against us unless the bill passed the Senate.
But I gave the news of the Church's reconsideration of its attitude
to Colonel G. W. R. Dorsey, the member from Nebraska, and he used his
influence to get me a rehearing from the House Committee. Finally I
appeared once before each committee, and argued our case at length. The
bills did not become law. Aided by Mr. Blaine's powerful friendship, we
were saved "for the time."

It remained to make our safety permanent, and I took train for Utah, on
my father's counsel, to see President Woodruff. I had given my word that
"something was to be done." I went to plead that it should be done--and
done speedily.

Chapter IV. The Manifesto

I found him in the office of the Presidency--in the little one-story
house that I have described in my early interview with Joseph F
Smith--and he received me with the gracious affectionateness of a
fatherly old man. He asked me, almost at once: "What are they going to
do to us in Washington?"

"President Woodruff," I replied, "we've been spared--temporarily. The
axe will not fall for a few moments. It depends on ourselves, now,
whether it shall fall or not."

"Come into the other room," he said, under his voice, in an eager
confidentiality, like a child with a secret. And pattering along ahead
of me, quick on his feet, he signed to me to follow him--with little
nods and beckonings--into the retiring room where I had talked with

There he sat down, on the edge of his chair, his elbows supported on the
broad arms, leaning forward, partly bowed with his age, and partly with
an intentness of curiosity that glittered innocently in his guileless
eyes. A dear old character! Sweet in his sentiments, sweet in his
language, sweet in the expression of his face.

I told him, in detail, of the events in Washington, and of the men who
had helped us in them--particularly of Mr. Blaine, who was apparently
a new character in his experience, and of Senator Orville H. Platt, in
whom he discovered an almost neighborly interest when I told him that
the Senator came from Connecticut, his native state. I warned him that
the passage of the measure of disfranchisement had been no more than
retarded. I pointed out the fatal consequences for the community if the
bill should ever become law--the fatal consequences for the leaders of
the Church if the non-polygamous Mormons, deprived of their votes, were
ever left unable to control the administration of local government. I
repeated the promise that my father had authorized me to carry to the
Senators and Congressmen who still had the Cullom-Struble bill in hand;
and I emphasized the fact that because of this promise the bill had been
held back--with the certainty that it would never become law if we met
the nation half way.

I was watching him to see if he sensed the point I wished him to get.
When I touched the matter of my father's promise, his face became softly
reverent; and when I had done--looking at me without a trace of cunning
in his benignity, with an expression, rather, of exalted innocence
and faith,--he said: "Brother Frank, I have been making it a matter of
prayer. I have wrestled mightily with the Lord. And I think I see some

In order that there might be no misunderstanding, I put into plainer
words what I meant and what the prominent men in Washington had been led
to look for: since, by a "revelation" of the Church we were ordered
to give obedience to the government of the nation, and since we had
exhausted all our legal defenses, it was hoped that the Prophet, Seer,
and Revelator of the Church would find a way, under the guidance of God,
to bring our people into conformity with the law.

As he accepted this calmly, I added: "To be very plain with you,
President Woodruff, our friends expect, and the country will insist,
that the Church shall yield the practice of plural marriage."

His eyelids quivered a little, but he showed no other sign of flinching.
I saw that the counsels of his advisers and the comfort that he had
derived from his prayers had prepared him for an immolation that was
more serious to him than any personal sacrifice that he could make. He
said sadly: "I had hoped we wouldn't have to meet this trouble this way.
You know what it means to our people. I had hoped that the Lord might
open the minds of the people of this nation to the truth, so that
they might be converted to the everlasting covenant. Our prophets have
suffered like those of old, and I thought that the persecutions of Zion
were enough--that they would bring some other reward than this." If I
had been the bearer of a new edict of proscription, I think he could not
have been more profoundly oppressed by the sense of his responsibility.
"Did your father tell you," he asked, "that I had been seeking the mind
of the Lord?"

I replied that he had.

He reflected silently. "I shall talk with you again about it," he said,
at last. "I hope the Lord will make the way plain for his people."

I do not wish to idealize the polygamous relation--but in monogamy a man
is not persecuted for his marriage, and sometimes he does not appreciate
the tie. In polygamy, the men and women alike had been compelled to
suffer on its account by the grim trials of the life itself and by the
hatred of all civilization arrayed against it. They had grown to value
their marriage system by what it had cost them. They had been driven by
the contempt of the world to argue for its sanctity, to live up to their
declarations, and to raise it in their esteem to what it professed to
be, the celestial order that prevailed in the Heavens! I knew, as well
as President Woodruff did, the wrench it would give their hearts to have
to abandon, at last, what they had so long suffered for.

In the days of anxious waiting that followed, I saw Joseph F. Smith and
sounded him for any hint of progress. He said: "I'm sure I don't know
what can be done. Your father talked with President Woodruff and me
before he went to Washington, but I'm sure I can't see how we can
do anything." When my father returned home, I went to him many
times--without however learning anything definite. I knew that the men
in Washington would demand some tangible evidence of our good faith
before Congress should reconvene; and I repeatedly urged the necessity
of action.

At length he sent me word, in Ogden, that President Woodruff wished to
confer with me, and he suggested that it would be permissible for me to
speak my opinions freely. I hastened to Salt Lake City, to the offices
of the Presidency. President Woodruff took me into a private room and
read me his "manifesto."

It was the same that was issued on September 24, 1890, and ratified by a
General Conference of the Mormon Church on October 6, following. It
was the proclamation that freed the oppressed of Utah; for, by the
subsequent "covenant"--and its acceptance by the Federal government--the
nation did but confirm their freedom and accord them their
constitutional rights. Here, shaking in the hand of age, was a sheet of
paper by which the future of a half million people was to be directed;
and that simple old man was to speak through it, to them, with the awful
authority of the voice of God.

He told me he had written it himself, and it certainly appeared to me
to be in his handwriting. Its authorship has since been variously
attributed. Some of the present-day polygamists say that it was I who
wrote it. Chas. W. Penrose and George Reynolds have claimed that they
edited it. I presume that as Mormons, "in good standing," believing in
the inspiration of the Prophet, they appreciate the blasphemy of their

I found it disappointingly mild. It denied that the Church had been
solemnizing any plural marriages of late, and advised the faithful
"to refrain from contracting any marriages forbidden by the law of the
land." In spite of this mildness, President Woodruff asked me whether
I thought the Mormons would support the revelation--whether they would
accept it.

I replied that there could be no proper anxiety on that point. The
majority of the Mormon people were ready for such a message. It might
be very much stronger without arousing resistance. With the exception
of the comparatively few men and women who were living in polygamy, the
community would accept it gratefully. Rather, I made bold to say,
my anxiety was as to whether the nation would believe that such an
equivocally-worded document meant an absolute recession from the
practice of plural marriage.

It was plain that his advisers had not pointed out this danger to him.
He asked me how I thought the nation would take it.

I asked him, point blank, whether it meant an absolute recession from

He answered that it did.

Then (I said) with such an interpretation of it, and a formal and public
acceptance of it by the Church authorities, I did not doubt that we
could convince the nation of its sufficiency. I reminded him--as I am
now glad to remember--that the word of the Mormon people had passed
current in the political and commercial circles of the country; that
I had several times been the bearer of messages from them to prominent
men; that we had been taken on faith and the faith had been
always vindicated. Finally, in order that I might carry away no
misapprehension, nor convey any, I asked him if it was the intention of
the manifesto to inhibit any further plural marriage living.

He answered, quaintly: "Why, of course, Frank--because that's what
they've been persecuting us for." There was not even a shrewdness in his
voice when he added: "You know they didn't get our brethren in prison
for polygamy, but for living with their plural wives."

Perhaps no other man in Utah could have said such a thing without
sarcasm. The fact was that the United States authorities had been
practically unable to prove a case of polygamy (which was a felony)
because the marriage records were concealed by the Church; but they
could prove plural marriage living (a mere misdemeanor) by repute and
circumstance. It was part of President Woodruff's unworldliness that he
did not see the satire of his words; and I was the more convinced of his
good faith.

I was convinced also, by several of his remarks, that he had consulted
with the Church's attorney, Mr. Franklin S. Richards; and while I
trusted the President's unworldly faith, I trusted more the sagacity
of his more worldly advisers. I began to see, with a sure hope, the
beginning of the end of all our miseries.

Some days later I was summoned to attend a meeting of the Church
authorities in the President's offices; and I knew that the test had
come. The Church was governed by the Presidency, composed of President
Woodruff and his two Councillor's, with the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles, the Presidents of Seventies, and the presiding Bishopric,
composed of three members. These quorums aggregate twenty-five men; and
to their number may be added the Chief Patriarch of the Church, making a
body of twenty-six general authorities--the Hierarchy. It was from these
latter men, polygamists and (I feared) parochial in their ignorance of
the nation and their trust in the protection of their followers--it was
from them (and the other practicers of polygamy) that any opposition
would come to the acceptance and publication of the manifesto.

They met--something less than a score of them, with two or three of
their most trusted advisers--in one of the general offices of the
Presidency, sitting in leather chairs along its walls, with a sort of
central skylight illuminating subduedly the anxiety of their silent
faces. President Woodruff and his two Councillor's entered to them;
and this insignificant-looking apartment--of such tremendous community
significance, because of the memories of its past--seemed to take on the
gravity of another momentous crisis in the destiny of its people. The
portraits in oils of the dead presidents, martyrs, and prophets of
the Church, looked down on us from the facade of a little gallery, and
caught my eyes almost hypnotically with the imperturbability of their
gaze. No word from them! In the midst of the broken utterance of
emotion--when the tears were wet on faces to whose manliness tears
were the very sweat of martyrdom--I saw those immovable countenances as
placid as the features of the dead.

President Woodruff stood under them, so old and other-worldly, that he
seemed already of their circle rather than ours; and he spoke in a
voice of feeling for us, but with a simple and courageous finality that
sounded the very note of fate. He had called the brethren together (he
said) to submit a decision to their consideration, and he desired from
them an expression of their willingness to accept and abide by it. He
knew what a trial it would be to the "whole household of Israel." "We
have sought," he said, "to live our religion--to harm no one--to perform
our mission in this world for the salvation of the living and the dead.
We have obeyed the principle of celestial marriage because it came to us
from God. We have suffered under the rage of the wicked; we were driven
from our homes into the desert; our prophets have been slain, our holy
ones persecuted--and it did seem to me that we were entitled to
the constitutional protection of the courts in the practice of our

But the courts had decided "against us." The great men of the nation
were determined to show us no mercy. Legislation was impending that
would put us "in the power of the wicked." Brother George Q. Cannon,
Brother John T. Caine, and the other brethren who had been in
Washington, had found that the situation of the Church was critical.
Brother Franklin S. Richards had advised him that our last legal defense
had fallen. "In broken and contrite spirit" he had sought the will of
the Lord, and the Holy Spirit had revealed to him that it was necessary
for the Church to relinquish the practice of that principle for which
the brethren had been willing to lay down their lives.

A sort of ghastly stillness accepted what he said as a confirmation
of the worst fears of the men who had evidently come there with some
knowledge of what they were to hear. I glanced at the faces of those
opposite me. A set and staring pallor held them motionless. I was
conscious of a chill of heart that seemed communicated to me from them.
My brother Abraham was sitting beside me; I knew his deep affection for
his family; I knew with what a clutch of misery this edict of separation
was crushing his hope; I felt myself growing as pale and tense as he.

The silence was broken by President Woodruff asking one of the brethren
to read the manifesto. When it was concluded, he said: "The matter is
now before you. I want you to speak as the Spirit moves you."

There was no reply, except a sort of general gasp of low-voiced
interjections and a little buzz of whisperings that sounded like emotion
taking its breath. He called on my father to speak. The First Councillor
rose to make a statesmanlike review of the crisis; and I understood that
with his usual diplomacy he was putting aside from him the authority of
leadership until he could see whether an opposition was to develop that
should make it necessary for him to front it.

That opposition made a rustle of stirring in the pause that followed. I
saw it in the changed expressions of some of the faces. Several of the
men--including my brother Abraham, and Joseph F. Smith--asked whether
the manifesto meant a cessation of plural marriages: whether no more
such marriages were to be allowed.

President Woodruff answered that it did; that the Lord had taken back
the principle from the children of men and that we would have no power
to restore it.

Then they asked whether it meant a cessation of plural marriage
living--whether they would be required to separate from the wives whom
they had taken in the holy covenant.

He answered, firmly, that it did; that the brethren in Washington found
it imperative; that it was the will of the Lord; that we must submit.

I saw their faces flush and then slowly pale again--and the storm broke.
One after another they rose and protested, hoarsely, in the voice of
tears, that they were willing to suffer "persecution unto death" rather
than to violate the covenants which they had made "in holy places"
with the women who had trusted them. One after another they offered
themselves for any sacrifice but this betrayal of the women and children
to whom they owed an everlasting faith. And a manlier lot of men never
spoke in a manlier way. Not a petty word was uttered. Their thought was
not for themselves. Their grief was not selfish. Their protests had a
dignity in pathos that shook me in spite of myself.

When they had done, my father rose again with a face that seemed to bear
the marks of their grief while it repressed his own. He dwelt anew on
the long efforts of our attorney and our friends in Congress to resist
what we believed to be unconstitutional measures to repress our practice
of a religious faith. But we were citizens of a nation. We were
required to obey its laws. And when we found, by the highest judicial
interpretation of statute and constitution, that we were without grounds
for our plea of religious immunity, we had but the alternative either of
defying the power of the whole nation or of submitting ourselves to its
authority. For his part he was willing to do the will of the Lord. And
since the Prophet of God, after a long season of prayer, had submitted
this revelation as the will of the Lord, he was ready for the sacrifice.
The leaders of the Church had no right to think of themselves. They
must remember how loyally the people had sacrificed their substance and
risked their safety to guard their brethren who were living in plural
marriage. Those brethren must not be ungrateful now. They must not now
refuse to make their sacrifice, in answer to the sacrifices that had
been made for them so often. The people had long protected them. Now
they must protect the people.

Under the commanding persuasion of his voice I saw the determination of
their resistance begin to falter and relax. President Woodruff called on
me to speak, and I felt that it was my duty to represent the needs,
the hopes, and the opportunities of the hundreds of thousands of the
undistinguished mass who would make no decision for themselves, but
whose fate was trembling on the event. I rose to speak for them, with
my hand on my brother's shoulder, knowing that my every word would be a
stab at his heart, and hoping that my grasp might be a touch of sympathy
to him--knowing that I must urge these elders to sacrifice themselves
and their families for a redemption of which I was to share the
benefits--but sustained by the remembrance of the solemn pledge which
I had been authorized to give in Washington to honorable men who had
trusted in our honor--and strengthened by the thought of all those dear,
to me, whose sufferings would be multiplied, with no hope of relief, if
the few would not now yield to save the many.

I described the situation as I had seen it in Washington and as I knew
it in Utah from a more intimate personal experience than these leaders
could have of the sufferings of the people. I told them how cheerfully
and bravely the non-polygamists had borne the brunt of protecting them
in the practice of their faith, and yet how patient a hope had been
always with us that the final demand might not be made upon us for the
sacrifice of a citizenship which we valued more because it shielded them
than because it armed us.

Encouraged by the face of President Woodruff, I reminded them that the
sorrow and the parting, at which they rebelled, could only be for a
little breath of time, according to their faith; that by the celestial
covenant, into which they had entered, they were assured that they
should have their wives and children with them throughout the endless
ages of eternity. The people had given much to them. Surely they could
yield the domestic happinesses of the little remaining day of life in
this world, in order to save and prosper those who were not to enjoy
their supreme exaltation of beatitude in the world to come.

I had felt my brother strong under my hand. He rose, when I concluded.
And with a manful brevity he replied that he submitted because it was
the will of the Lord, and because he had no right to interpose his
selfish love and yearnings between the people of God and their worldly
opportunity. The others followed. Not one referred to the equivocal
language of the manifesto or questioned it. They accepted it--as it was
then and afterwards interpreted--as a revelation from God made through
the Prophet of the Church; and they subscribed to it as a solemn
covenant, before God, with the people of the nation.

Joseph F. Smith was one of the last to speak. With a face like wax, his
hands outstretched, in an intensity of passion that seemed as if it must
sweep the assembly, he declared that he had covenanted, at the altar
of God's house, in the presence of his Father, to cherish the wives and
children whom the Lord had given him. They were more to him than life.
They were dearer to him than happiness. He would rather choose to stand,
with them, alone--persecuted--proscribed--outlawed--to wait until God in
His anger should break the nation with His avenging stroke. But--

He dropped his arms. He seemed to shrink in his commanding stature like
a man stricken with a paralysis of despair. The tears came to the pained
constriction of his eyelids.

"I have never disobeyed a revelation from God," he said. "I cannot--I
dare not--now."

He announced--with his head up, though his body swayed--that he would
accept and abide by the revelation. When he sank in his chair and
covered his face with his hands, there was a gasp of sympathy and
relief, as if we had been hearing the pain of a man in agony. And my
heart gave a great leap; for, in these supreme moments of feeling,
things come to us that are larger than our knowledge, more splendid than
our hopes; and I saw, as if in the blinding glisten of the tears in my
eyes, a radiant vision of our future, an unselfish people freed from
a burden of persecution, a nation's forgiveness born, a grateful state
created. I saw it--and I looked at Smith and loved him for it. I knew
then, as I know now, that he and those others were at this moment
sincere. I knew that they had relinquished what was more dear to them
than the breath of life. I knew the appalling significance, to them,
of the promise which they were making to the nation. And in all the
degraded after-years, when so many of them were guilty of breach of
covenant and base violation of trust, I tried never to forget that in
the hour of their greatest trial, they had sacrificed themselves for
their people; they had suffered for the happiness of others; they had
said, sincerely: "Not my will, O Lord, but Thine, be done!"

Chapter V. On the Road to Freedom

In any discussion of the public affairs that make the subject matter of
this narrative, a line of discrimination must be drawn at the year 1890.
In that year the Church began a progressive course of submission to
the civil law, and the nation received each act of surrender with
forgiveness. The previous defiance's of the Mormon people ceased to give
grounds for a complaint against them. The old harshnesses of the Federal
government were canceled by the new generosity of a placated nation. And
neither party to the present strife in Utah should go back, beyond the
period of this composition, to dig up, from the past, its buried wrongs.

In relating, here, some of the events of 1888 and 1889, I have tried
neither to justify the Mormons nor to defend their prosecutors. I have
wished merely to make clear the situation in Utah, and to introduce to
you, in advance, some of the leaders of the distracted community, so
that you might understand the conditions from which the Mormons escaped
by giving their covenant to the nation and be able to judge of the
obligations and responsibilities of the men who gave it.

I, have described the promulgation and acceptance of "the manifesto"
with such circumstance and detail, because of what has since occurred in
Utah. Let me add that some two weeks later the General Conference of
the Church endorsed the President's pronouncement as "authoritative and
binding." And let me point out that it was the first and only law of the
Mormon Church ever so sustained by triple sanctities--"revealed" as
a command from God, accepted by the prophets in solemn fraternity
assembled, and ratified by the vote of the entire "congregation of
Israel" before it was declared to be binding upon men.

At first, because of the somewhat indefinite promise of the message
itself, many of the non-Mormons of Utah remained suspicious and in
doubt of it. But it was recognized by Judge Zane, in court--on the
day following the close of the Conference--as an official declaration,
"honest and sincere." The newspapers throughout the whole country so
received it. The Church authorities sent assurances to Washington that
convinced the statesmen, there, of the completeness and finality of the
submission. And the good faith of the covenant was at last admitted by
the non-Mormons of Utah and endorsed by their trust. I do not know
of any change in human affairs dependent on human will--more speedy,
effective and comprehensive than this recession. Within the space of a
few days a revolution was completed that had been sought by the power
of our nation and of the civilized world, for a generation, with stripes
and imprisonment, death, confiscation and the ostracism of the country's
public contempt. It had been obtained, I knew, chiefly by the sagacity
of the First Councillor using the pressure of circumstances to enforce
the persuasions of diplomacy. I felt that a miracle of change had been
brought to pass. He had placed us on the road to freedom; and I trusted
his guidance to lead us to our goal.

That goal, to me personally, was the honor of American citizenship--an
ambition that had been an obsession with me from my earliest youth. I
had never heard a man on a railroad train talk of how he was going to
vote in a national election, without feeling a pang of shamed envy;
for my lack of citizenship seemed a mark of inferiority. The patriotic
reading of my boyhood had made the American republic, to me, the noblest
administration of freemen in the history of government and the exercise
of its franchise literally the highest dignity of human privilege. I
would have been as proud--I was as proud when the day came--to vote for
the President of the United States as he could have been to take his
oath of office. I do not believe that any poor serf, escaped from the
tyranny of Russia, ever saw the American shore with a more grateful eye
than I looked to the prospect of being admitted, with the citizens of
Utah, into the enfranchisement of the Republic.

But it was evident that the Church's recession from polygamy would not
be enough to free us, so long as its control of politics remained. Its
other practices had flourished and been sheltered under its political
power; and now that the Church had ceased to be a lawbreaker, our
friends in Washington were properly expecting that it would cease to
interfere with its members in the exercise of their citizenship. For
this reason, when I was notified that I had been selected as a member of
the advisory committee of the People's Party (the Church party), I went
at once to my father and told him that I would not take the place;
that I intended to work, personally, and through my newspaper, for the
political division of Utah on the lines of the national parties. He held
that until Gentile solidarity was dissolved, it would be dangerous to
divide the allegiance of the Mormons; but he did not stand against
my protest; he contented himself--diplomatically--with sending me to
consult with President Woodruff and Joseph F. Smith.

To them, I argued that the political emancipation of the Mormon people
from ecclesiastical direction was as necessary as the recession from
polygamy had been. We must be set free to perform our duty to the
country solely as citizens of the country, before we could expect to be
given the right to perform it at all. And, for my part, the only action
I would consent to take as a member of the advisory committee of the
People's Party would be to vote for the dissolution of the party.

President Woodruff referred me to my father, and advised me to be guided
by him. Joseph F. Smith urged that a division of the Mormon people on
national party lines would enable the Liberal (the Gentile) party to
march in between. I argued in reply that we must divide at some time,
and the sooner the better, since every year was increasing the Gentile
population. They would never split as long as we remained solid. And if
we were ever to be permitted to nationalize ourselves, it would not be
until we had dissolved the party organizations whose very names were a
proof of the continued rule of the Church in politics.

When he had no more arguments to advance, he gave a reluctant assent to
mine. I reported back to my father and he approved of my plans. He asked
me humorously with whom I expected to affiliate, since he knew of no one
who was likely to go with me; but I could see that he was pleased with
my independence and hoped I might succeed in doing something to break
the deadlock-grapple of Mormon and Gentile that held Utah apart from the
rest of the country in politics.

His humorous idea of my undertaking gave its color to my beginnings.
It was rather a spirited adventure, as I look back upon it now. When we
organized a Republican Club at Ogden, my intimate friend, Ben E. Rich,
and another friend named Joseph Belnap, were the only Mormons, so far
as I know, who joined me in becoming members. Outside of us three, I did
not know of another Mormon Republican in the whole territory.

Indeed, the status of the Mormon people, in their fancied relation to
the two great parties of the country, was almost identical with that of
the people of the South after the Civil War. Practically every Mormon
believed himself to be a Democrat. Among the young men of the Church
there had been occasional attempts to form Democratic Clubs. Mr. John
T. Caine, delegate in Congress from the territory, was a Democrat. My
father had sat on the Democratic side of the House. Almost all the men
who had braved the sentiments of their own states, to speak for us in
Congress, had been Democrats. And, of course, the administration of the
laws that had been so cruel to the feelings of the Mormons had been in
Republican hands.

Two years earlier, in Ogden, I had spoken in a meeting of Republicans
that had been called to rejoice over the election of Benjamin Harrison
to the Presidency; and I was still being taunted by my Mormon friends
with having clasped hands with "the persecutors of the Prophets." When
I came out, now, as an advocate of Republicanism, I was met everywhere
with this charge--that I had joined the enemies of the Church, that
I was assisting the persecutors of my father. The fact that my father
approved of what I was doing, relieved the seriousness of the situation
for me; and the humorous assistance of Ben Rich in our political
evangelism gave a secret chuckle to many of the incidents of our

We went from town to town, from district to district, up the
mountain valleys, across the plains, into mining camps and farming
communities--using the meeting-houses, the school-rooms, the town
halls--taking the afternoon to coax the tired workers of the fields or
of the mines to come and hear us in the evening, and watching them fall
asleep in the light of our borrowed kerosene lamps while we talked. They
came eagerly. Indeed, my own ambition for citizenship--for a right to
participate in the affairs of the nation--was probably no keener than
theirs; and they had an innocent curiosity about the questions of
national politics, of which they had never before been invited to know
anything. They listened almost devoutly.

"Brethren and sisters," a bishop exhorted them at a meeting in which one
of our party was to speak, "we have come to listen to this man, and I
hope we will be guided in all our reflections by the Spirit of God
and that we will do nothing to offend that Spirit. Let there be no
commotion, no whispering, and, above all, no hand clapping."

In a life that had as few diversions as theirs, a political meeting was
an exciting event. The whole family came, and the mothers brought their
babies. Surely in no other American community did politics ever have
such a homely and serious consideration. Certainly no other community
would have so quickly understood the theories of the two parties or
accepted them so implicitly.

But it was all theory! I recognize, now, that I preached a Republicanism
that was an ideal of what it should be, rather than any modern faith
of the "practical politician." I had gathered it from my reading, from
hearing the speeches in Congress, from sympathetic conferences with the
great men who were responsible for the dogmas of the party; and every
assurance of grace that their ability could give and my credulity
accept, I proclaimed religiously as a political salvation to our people.
I built up an ideal, and then judged the party thereafter according to
the measure of that ideal. When I found that some of the charges
against the Republican party were true--charges which I had indignantly
repelled--I was as shocked as any pious worshipper who ever found that
his idol had feet of clay. Our people, having accepted the faith with as
simple a hope as it was offered, were as easily turned from it when they
found that it was false. The political moods of Utah, for its first
few years of statehood, were a puzzle to the "practical" leaders of the
parties; but to us who understood the impulses of honesty that moved the
changes, things were as clear as they were encouraging.

During the previous summer in Washington, I had met General James S.
Clarkson, then president of the National League of Republican Clubs;
and now, on his invitation, in the Spring of 1891, Rich and I went
to Louisville to speak before the national convention of the league.
Through the kindness of General Clarkson, I was given the official
recognition of a perfunctory place on the executive committee of the
league's national committee, and came into touch with many of the party
leaders. It was about this time, I imagine, that they conceived the idea
of using the gratitude of the Mormons in order to carry Utah and the
surrounding states in which the Mormon vote might constitute a balance
of political power. I know that the idea was old and established when
I came upon it, in 1894, during the campaign for statehood. As I also
found, still later, the Republican leaders and the business interests
with which they were in relation, had their eyes on a distant prospect
of fabulous financial schemes in which the secret funds of the Church
were to help in the building of railroads and the promoting of other
enterprises of associated capital. But at the time of which I am
writing, I had not had sufficient experience to suspect the motives of
the men who encouraged our work in Utah; and I accepted in good faith
their public declarations that the sole aim of the party was to serve
the needs of the people of the United States--and therefore of the
people of Utah!

It seemed to me that such a noble principle should win the support of
Mormon and Gentile alike, and it was on this principle that I appealed
for the support of both. I was so sure of winning with it that I
resented and fought against the aid of the Church that came to us as our
campaign succeeded.

The People's Party (the Church Party) had been dissolved (June, 1891)
by the formal action of the executive committee, under the direct
instruction of the leaders of the Church. The tendency was for its
members to organize themselves immediately as a Democratic party.
They were led by such brilliant and trusted defenders of the Church as
Franklin S. Richards, Chas. C. Richards, Wm. H. King, James H. Moyle,
Brigham H. Roberts and Apostle Moses Thatcher; and a group of abler
advocates could not have been found in any state in the Union. It was
against the sentiment of the Mormon people, vivified by such inspiring
Democracy as these men taught, that our little organization of
Republicans had to make headway; and an anxiety began to show
itself among the Church authorities for a less unequal division, and
consequently a greater appearance of political independence, among the

Apostle John Henry Smith came out as a Republican stump speaker in
rivalry with Moses Thatcher, the Democratic Prophet. Joseph F. Smith
announced himself a Republican descendant of Whigs. Apostle Francis
Marion Lyman, in his religious ministrations, counselled leading
brethren to withhold themselves from the Democratic party unless they
had gone too far to retreat. Men of ecclesiastical office in various
parts of the territory--who were regarded as being safe in their wisdom
and fidelity--were urged to hold themselves and their influence in
reserve for such use on either side of politics as the future might

Against this ecclesiastical direction of the people's choice, I objected
again and again to the Presidency, and my objections seemed to meet with
acquiescence. It required no prescience on my part to foresee that the
growing dislike and distrust of Moses Thatcher at Church headquarters
would lead to a strife in the Church that might be carried into our
politics; and I knew how small would be the hope of preserving any
political independence, if once it were involved in the intrigues of
priests and their rivalries for a supremacy of influence among the
people. I was resolved that not even a Church, ruling by "divine
right," should interpose between my country and my franchise; and an
encroachment that I would not permit upon my own freedom, I would not
help to inflict upon others.

The men with whom I had been working proposed me as the candidate for
Congress of the new Utah Republicans; and I was supported by a strong
delegation from my own country and from other parts of the territory;
but I found that I was not "satisfactory" to some of the Mormon leaders,
and in the convention (1892) Apostle John Henry Smith and my cousin
George M. Cannon led in an attempt to nominate Judge Chas. Bennett, a
Gentile lawyer. After a bitter fight of two days and nights, we carried
the convention against them, and I was nominated.

The Democrats selected, as their candidate, one of the strongest
characters in the territory, Joseph L. Rawlins. He was the son of a
Mormon bishop, but he had left the Church immediately upon reaching
manhood. He was a great lawyer, a staunch Democrat, and wonderfully
popular. There followed one of the swiftest and most exciting campaigns
ever seen in Utah. The whole people rose to it with enthusiasm. Our
party chairman, Chas. Crane, had a genius for organization; our speakers
drew crowded meetings; and though charges of Church influence were
made by both sides, the question of religion was no longer the one that
divided Utah.

We were getting on famously, when an incident occurred that was at once
disastrous and salutary. While I was away from headquarters, stumping
the districts, Chairman Crane (who was a Gentile), Ben Rich and Joseph
F. Smith, issued a pamphlet in Republican behalf called "Nuggets of
Truth." It gave a picture of Joseph Smith, the original Prophet, on
the first page and a picture of me on the last one. (They issued also
a certificate, obtained by Joseph F. Smith and given out by him, that
I was a Mormon "in good standing.") As soon as I heard of the matter,
I wired Chairman Crane that unless the pamphlet were immediately
withdrawn, I should return to Salt Lake City and publicly denounce such
methods. It was withdrawn, but the damage was done, I was defeated, as
I deserved to be--though I was the innocent victim of the atrocity--and
Mr. Rawlins was elected.

The campaign proved, however, that if the Church leaders would only
keep their hands off, there was ample strength in either party to make
a presentation of national issues of sufficient appeal to divide the
people on party lines; and it was evident that the people would choose
the party that made the best showing of principles and candidates.
"Nuggets of Truth" left us with a nasty sense that at no hour were we
assured of safety from ecclesiastical interference--or the nefarious
attempt to make an appearance of such interference--in our political
affairs. But the disaster that followed, in this instance, was so prompt
that we could hope it would prove a lesson.

Most important of all, the campaign had made it evident that there
was now no political mission in Utah for the Liberal (the Gentile)
party--assuming that the retirement of the Mormon priests from politics
was sincere and permanent. Accordingly, the organization formally met
some months later, and formally dissolved; and, by that act, the
last great obstacle to united progress was removed from our road to
statehood, and the men who removed it acted with a generosity that
makes one of the noblest records of self-sacrifice in the history of the

They could foresee that their dissolution as a separate force meant
statehood for Utah--a sovereignty in itself that would leave the
Gentiles in the minority and without any appeal to the nation. Under
territorial conditions, although the non-Mormons were less than
one-third of the population, they had two-thirds of the political power.
They held all the Federal offices, including executive and judicial
positions. They had the Governor, with an absolute veto over the acts
of the Mormon legislature. They had the President and Congress who could
annul any statute of the territory; and they had with them almost the
entire sentiment of the nation. It was in their power to have protracted
the Mormon controversy, and to have withstood the appeal for statehood,
to this day.

They yielded everything; they accepted, in return, only the good faith
of the Mormons. Was it within the capacity of any human mind to foresee
that in return for such generosity the Church would ever give over its
tabernacles to teaching its people to hold in detestation the very,
names of these men who saved us? Was it to be suspected that the
political power surrendered by them would ever be used as a persecution
upon them?--that the liberty, given by them to us, would ever afterward
be denied them by us? It was inconceivable. Neither in the magnanimity
of their minds nor in the gratitude of ours was there a suspicion of
such a catastrophe.

During 1891, President Woodruff's manifesto had been ratified in local
Church conferences in every "stake of Zion;" and a second General
Conference had endorsed it in October of that year. President Woodruff,
Councillor Joseph F. Smith and Apostle Lorenzo Snow went before the
Federal Master in Chancery--in a proceeding to regain possession of
escheated Church property--and swore that the manifesto had prohibited
plural marriages, that it required a cessation of all plural marriage
living, and that it was being obeyed by the Mormon people. These facts
were recited in a petition for amnesty forwarded to President Harrison
in December, 1891, accompanied by signed statements from Chief Justice
Zane, Governor Thomas and other non-Mormons who pledged themselves that
the petitioners were sincere and that if amnesty were granted good faith
would be kept. "Our people are scattered," President Woodruff and his
apostles declared in their petition. "Homes are made desolate. Many are
still imprisoned; others are banished and in hiding. Our hearts bleed
for these. In the past they followed our counsels, and while they are
still afflicted our souls are in sackcloth and ashes.... As shepherds
of a patient and suffering people we ask amnesty for them and pledge our
faith and honor for their future."

At Washington, the Church's attorney, Mr. Franklin S. Richards, and
delegate John T. Caine supported the petition with their avowals of
the sincerity of the Church leaders, the genuineness of our political
division, and the sanctity with which we regarded the promise to obey
the laws. The Utah Commission, a non-Mormon body, favored amnesty in an
official report of September, 1892. And when I went to Washington, in
the winter of 1892-3, the changed attitude of the Federal authorities
toward us was strikingly evident.

President Harrison issued his amnesty proclamation, early in January,
1893, to all persons liable to the penalties of the Edmunds-Tucker Act,
but "on the express condition that they shall in the future faithfully
obey the laws of the United States... and not otherwise." The
proclamation concluded: "Those who fail to avail themselves of the
clemency hereby offered will be vigorously prosecuted." Not a polygamist
in Utah, to my knowledge, declined to take advantage of the mercy, by
refusing the expressly implied pledge.

Meanwhile the campaign had been continued for the return of the
escheated Church property and for the passage of an Enabling Act that
should permit the territory to organize for statehood.

[FOOTNOTE: Statehood seemed still very faraway. There was a
Trans-Mississippi Congress held at Ogden in 1892, and though the
delegates--coming from all the states and territories "west of the
river," were the guests of the people of Utah, so hopeless was our
status in the consideration of mankind that the delegates from the
territories of New Mexico and Arizona would not let our names be joined
to theirs in a resolution for statehood which we wished the committee
on resolutions to propose to the Congress. Governor Prince of New Mexico
replied, to our plea for a share in the resolution, that he did not
intend to damn New Mexico by having her mixed up with Utah. We appealed
to the Congress, and we were saved by a speech made by Thos. M.
Patterson of Colorado, subsequently senator from Colorado, who carried
the day for us. At a recent Trans-Mississippi Congress held in Denver,
I sat with ex-Senator Patterson to hear Mr. Prince still proposing
resolutions in support of statehood for New Mexico. Twenty years later!]
Joseph L. Rawlins, Democratic delegate from Utah, worked valiantly among
the Democrats, and he was assisted by the influence of Mr. Franklin S.
Richards and John T. Caine and others among their old associates in that
party. But, in the very midst of the fight, we were advised that,
unless the Republican leaders would let the Enabling Act go through, the
Democratic leaders would falter in our advocacy.

I had been urged to go to Washington by the Presidency to do what I
might to allay Republican antagonism, and I found that a number of
self-appointed lobbyists (who expected political preferment's and other
rewards from the Church in the event of statehood) had been using the
most amazing arguments in our behalf. For example, they told some of
the "financial Senators" that the Church had fourteen million dollars in
secret funds with which to help build a railroad to the coast as soon
as statehood should be granted. They cited the number of the Church's
adherents in all the states and territories of the Pacific Coast and as
far east as Iowa and Missouri, and predicted that the gratitude of these
people to the Republicans who were helping to free Utah would enable the
Republican party to control a balance of political power in the several
states. They declared positively that plural marriages and plural
marriage living had utterly ceased among the Mormons for all time. And
they made such statements with great particularity to Senator Orville H.
Platt, of Connecticut, who was too wise a man to credit them.

As soon as I returned to Washington, he summoned me to a private
meeting, in his parlor in the Arlington Hotel, and confronted me with
one of the Republican lobbyists who had been soliciting his personal
favor and his almost controlling influence. "Now, Mr. Cannon," he said,
in his dry way, "have the Mormons stopped living with their plural
wives? And will there never be another case of plural marriage among

I remembered the lesson of my interview with him at the time of the
campaign against the disfranchisement bill, and I answered: "No. Not
all the men of the Church have complied fully with the law. So far as
I know, all the general authorities of the Church--with two or three
exceptions--are fulfilling the covenant they gave; and so far as I can
judge there will never be another plural marriage ceremony with the
consent or connivance of the leaders of the Church. But human nature is
very much the same in Utah as it is in Connecticut. Here and there, no
doubt, a man feels that he's under an obligation to keep his covenant
with his plural wives in preference to the covenant of his accepted
amnesty; and there and here, possibly, in the future, some man will
break the law and defy the orders of the Church and take a plural wife.
But the leaders of the Church do not countenance either proceeding, and
any man who violates the law, in either respect, offends against the
revelations of the Church and, I believe, will be dealt with as an
apostate. I come direct from the Presidency of the Church, and I am
authorized to pledge their word of honor that they will themselves obey
the law and do all in their power as men and leaders to bring their
people into harmony with the institutions of this country as rapidly as

Senator Platt had slowly unwrapped himself, rising from his chair to his
full height of more than six feet, in a lank and alarming indignation.
"There," he said, striding up and down the room. "That's it! That's just
it. These people have been telling us that you were obeying the law--all
of you--in every instance--and would always obey it. And now you come
here and admit, openly, that some of you, to whom we have granted
amnesty, are breaking your word--and that 'possibly' others, in the
future, will do the same thing!"

"Senator," I pleaded, "what confidence could you have in me if I were to
tell you the Mormons were so superhuman that in a single day they could
eliminate all their human characteristics? I'm asking you to recognize
that the tendency imparted to a whole community is more important
than any one man's breach of the law. Believe me, if you grant us our
statehood, there will never be any lawbreaking sanctioned or protected
by the Church leaders, and just as speedily as possible the entire
system will be brought into harmony with the institutions of the nation.
I'm telling you the truth."

He turned on me to ask, abruptly, how the polygamists had adjusted their
family affairs.

I answered that in nearly all cases within my personal knowledge, the
polygamist had relinquished conjugal relations with his plural wives
with the full acquiescence of them and their children. He supported
them, cared for the children, and in all other ways acted as the
guardian and protector of the household. In a few cases men had gone,
to an extreme. For instance, my uncle, Angus M. Cannon--president of the
Salt Lake "stake of Zion," a man of most decided character--had declared
that he had entered into his marriage relations with his wives under a
covenant that gave them equality in his regards; and in order that he
might not wound the sensibilities of any, he had separated himself from

I reminded Senator Platt that with such examples on the part of the
leaders, there could be no general law-breaking among the Mormons, and
that gradually the polygamous element would accommodate itself to the
demands of law and the commands of God.

He waved us away with a curt announcement that he would have to think
the matter over. If I had not known the essential justice and common
sense under his dry and irascible exterior, I might have been alarmed.
The lobbyist's concern was almost comic. As soon as we were out of
hearing of the Senator's apartment, shaking both fists frantically at
me, he cried: "You've ruined everything! We had him. We had him--all
right--until you came down here and let the cat out of the bag! You knew
what we'd been telling him. Why didn't you stick to it?"

I replied with equal warmth: "You may lie all you please; but if we have
to win Utah's statehood with lies I don't want it. Senator Platt has
been generous to us in our time of need, and I don't intend to deceive
him--or any other man."

As a matter of fact, this was not only common honesty; it was also the
best policy. Senator Platt was, from that time to the day of his death,
a good friend and wise counselor of the people of Utah. And I wish to
lay particular stress upon this conversation with him, because it was
a type of many had with such men as he. Fred T. Dubois, delegate in
Congress from the territory of Idaho and subsequently Senator from that
state, had been perhaps the strongest single opponent, in Washington, of
the Mormon Church; he took our promises of honor, as Senator Platt did,
and he pacified Senator Cullom, Senator Pettigrew and many others among
our antagonists, who afterwards told me that they had accepted the
pledges given by Senator Dubois in our behalf.

They recognized that the Church and the community ought not to be
held responsible for a few possible cases of individual resistance or
offense, so long as there should be a strict adherence by the Church and
its leaders to their personal and community covenant. I emphasize the
nature of this generous appreciation of our difficulties, because
the present-day polygamists in Utah claim that there was a "tacit
understanding," between the statesmen in Washington and the agents
of the Church, to the effect that the polygamists of that time might
continue to live with their plural wives. This is not true. There never
was any such understanding, to my knowledge. And there could not have
been one, in the circumstances, without my knowledge. For though I
did not know what delegate Rawlins, and former delegate Caine, and our
attorney, Mr. Richards, were saying in their private interviews with
senators and congressmen, I know that in all the frequent conversations
I had with them I never heard an intimation of any "tacit understanding"
beyond the one which I have defined.

For my part I was more than eager to have all our political disabilities
removed, the Church property restored, and the right of statehood
accorded--believing implicitly in the sincerity of the Mormon leaders. I
knew President Woodruff too well to doubt the pellacid character of his
mind and purpose. I knew from my father's personal assurance--and from
his constant practice from that time to the day of his death--that he
was acting in good faith. I knew that the community was gladly following
where these men led. I saw no slightest indication that any reactionary
policy was likely to be entered upon in Utah, or that our people would
accept it if it were.

The Church's personal property was restored by an Act of Congress
approved October 25, 1893, but it was stipulated in the Act that the
money was not to be used for the support of any church buildings in
which "the rightfulness of the practice of polygamy" should be taught.
Similarly, when the Enabling Act was approved, in July 16, 1894,
it, too, provided that "polygamous or plural marriage" was forever
prohibited. A constitutional convention was held at Salt Lake City under
the provisions of that act, and a constitution was adopted in which
it was provided that "polygamous or plural marriages" were forever
prohibited, that the territorial laws against polygamy were to be
continued in force, that there should be "no union of church and state,"
and that no church should "dominate the state or interfere with its
functions." Upon no other basis would the nation have granted us our
statehood; and we accepted the grant, knowing the expressed condition
involved in that acceptance.

But there was one other gift that came to us from the nation--by
Congressional enactment and later by Utah statute as a consequence of
statehood; and that gift was the legitimizing of every child born
of plural marriage before January, 1896. The solemn benignity of the
concession touched me, as it must have touched many, to the very heart
of gratitude. By it, ten thousand children were taken from the outer
darkness of this world's conventional exclusion and placed within
the honored relations of mankind. It was a tribute to the purity
and sincerity of the Mormon women who had borne the cross of plural
marriage, believing that God had commanded their suffering. It
recognized the holy nature and honorable intent of the marriages
of these women, by according their children every right of legal
inheritance from their fathers. If all other covenants could be
forgotten and their proof obliterated, this should remain as Utah's
pledge of honor--sacred for the sake of the Mormon mothers, holy in the
name of the uplifted child.

Chapter VI. The Goal--And After

Here we were then (as I saw the situation) assured of our statehood,
rid of polygamy, relieved of religious control in politics, and free to
devote our energies to the development of the land and the industries
and the business of the community. The persecutions that our people had
borne had schooled them to co-operation. They were ready, helping one
another, to advance together to a common prosperity. They were under
the leadership chiefly of the man who had guided them out of a most
desperate condition of oppression toward the freedom of sovereign
self-government. In that progress he had saved everything that was
worthy in the Mormon communism; he had discarded much that was a curse.
I knew that he had no thought but for the welfare of the people; and
with such a man, leading such a following, we seemed certain of a future
that should be an example to the world.

But both the Church and the people had been involved in debt by
confiscation and proscription; and it was necessary now to free
ourselves financially. This work my father undertook in behalf of the
Presidency--for the President of the Mormon Church is not only the
Prophet, Seer and Revelator of God to the faithful; he is also "the
trustee in trust" of all the Church's material property. He is the
controller, almost the owner, of everything it owns. He is as sacred in
his financial as in his religious absolutism. He is accountable to no
one, The Church auditors, whom he appoints, concern themselves merely
with the details of bookkeeping. The millions of dollars that are paid
to him, by the people in tithes, are used by him as he sees fit to use
them; and the annual contributors to this "common fund" would no more
question his administration of it than they would question the ways of

In the early days there had been a strongly animating idea that among
the divinely-authorized duties of leadership was the obligation to
develop the natural resources of the country in order to meet the
people's needs. As the immigrants poured into Utah, these needs
increased; and the Church leaders used the Church funds to develop coal
and iron mines, support salt gardens, build a railway, establish a sugar
factory (for which the people, through the legislature, voted a bounty),
conduct a beach resort, and aid a hundred other enterprises that
promised to be for the public good. These undertakings were not financed
for profit. They were semi-socialistic in their establishment and
half-benevolent in their administration.

But during "the days of the raid" they were neglected, because the
Church was involved in debt. And now it became pressingly necessary to
obtain money to restore the moribund industries and to meet the payments
that were continually falling due upon loans made to the Presidency.
President Woodruff called on me to aid in the work. So I came into touch
with a development of events that did not seem to me, then, of any great
importance; yet it drew as its consequence a connection between the
Mormon Church and the great financial "interests" of the East--a
connection that is one of the strong determining causes of the
perversion of government and denial of political liberty in Utah today.

I wish, here, simply to foreshadow, this connection. It will reappear in
the story again and again; and it is necessary to have the significance
of the recurrence understood in advance. But, at the time of which
I write, there was no more than an innocent approach on our part to
Eastern financiers to obtain money for the Church and to concentrate our
debts in the hands of two or three New York banks.

For example, the Church had loaned to, or endorsed for, the Utah Sugar
Company to the amount of $325,000; and my father had personally endorsed
the general obligations for this and other sums, although he owned
only $5,000 of the company's stock. He supported the factory with his
personal credit and assumed the risk of loss (without any corresponding
possibility of gain) in order to benefit the whole people by encouraging
the beet sugar industry. A vain attempt had been made to sell the bonds
in New York. Finally, the Church bought all the bonds of the company
for $325,000 (of a face value of $400,000), and we sold them, for the
Church, to Mr. Joseph Bannigan, the "rubber king," of Providence, Rhode
Island, for $360,000, with the guarantee of the First Presidency, the
trustee of the Church, and myself.

Similarly, the First Presidency led in building an electric power plant
in Ogden, after Chas. K. Bannister, a great engineer, and myself had
persuaded the members of the Presidency that the work would benefit the
community. The bonds of this company, too, were bought by Mr. Bannigan,
with the guarantee of the trustee of the Church, the Presidency and
myself. Both the power plant and the sugar factory were financially
successful. They performed a large public service beneficently. The fact
that Mr. Bannigan held their bonds was no detriment to their work and
wrought no injury to the people.

I single out these two enterprises because Joseph F. Smith has since
sold the power plant to the "Harriman interests," and the control of the
sugar factory to the sugar trust; and he has explained that in making
the sales he merely followed my father's example and mine in selling
the bonds to Mr. Bannigan. The power plant is now a part of the merger
called the Utah Light and Railway Company, which has a monopoly right
in all the streets of Salt Lake City and its suburbs, besides owning
the electric power and light plants of Salt Lake City and Ogden, the gas
plants of both these cities, and the natural gas wells and pipe
lines supplying them. The Mormon people whose tithes aided these
properties--whose good-will maintained them--whose leaders designed them
as a community work for a community benefit--these people are now being
mercilessly exploited by the Eastern "interests" to whom the Prophet
of the Church has sold them bodily. The difference between selling
the bonds of the sugar company to Bannigan, in order to raise money to
support the factory, and selling half the stock to the sugar trust, in
order to make a monopoly profit out of the Mormon consumers of sugar,
has either not occurred to Smith or has been divinely waived by him.

However, this is by the way and in advance of my story. In 1894 we had
no more fear of the Eastern money power than we had of the return of
the Church to politics or to polygamy. Throughout 1893 and 1894 I was
engaged in the work of re-establishing the Church's business affairs
with my father and a sort of finance committee of which the other two
members were Colonel N. W. Clayton, of Salt Lake City, and Mr. James
Jack, the cashier of the Church. In the summer of 1894 I heard various
rumors that when Utah should gain its statehood, my father would
probably be a candidate for the United States Senate. Since this would
be a palpable breach of the Church's agreement to keep out of politics,
I took occasion--one day, on a railroad journey--to ask him if he
intended to be a candidate.

He told me that he was being urged to stand for the Senatorship, but
that for his part he had no desire to do so; and he asked me what I
thought about it. I replied that if I had felt it was right for him
to take the office and he desired it, I would walk barefoot across the
continent to aid him. But I reminded him of the pledges which he and I
had made repeatedly--on our own behalf, in the name of his associates in
leadership, and on the honor of the Mormon people--to subdue thereafter
the causes of the controversy that had divided Mormon and Gentile in
Utah. He replied with an emphatic assurance of his purpose to keep those
pledges, and dismissed the subject with a finality that left no doubt in
my mind.

I know that he might have desired the Senatorship as a public
vindication, since, in the old days of quarrel, he had been legislated
out of his place in the House of Representatives; and, for the first
and only time in my life, I undertook to philosophize some comfort for
him--out of the fact that to the position of authority which he held in
Utah a Senatorship was a descent. He replied dryly: "I understand, my
son--perfectly." The fact was that he needed no comfort from me or any
other human being. He seemed all--sufficient to himself, because of the
abiding sense he had of the constant presence of God and his habit of
communing with that Spirit, instead of seeking human intercourse or
earthly counsel. He did not need my affection. He did not need, much
less seek, the approbation of any man. In the events to which this
conversation was a prelude, he acted without explaining himself to me or
to anyone else, and apparently without caring in the slightest what my
opinion or any other man's might be of his course or of the motives that
prompted it.

Some months later, in the office of the Presidency (at a business
meeting with him, Colonel Clayton and Joseph F. Smith), I excused myself
from attending any further sittings of the committee for that day,
because I had to go to Provo to receive the Republican nomination for

My father said: "I am sorry to hear it. I thought Judge Zane--or someone
else would be nominated. I wished you to be free to help with these
business matters. Why have you not consulted us?"

I reminded him that I had told him, some weeks before, that I expected
to be nominated for Congress this year--and that I was practically
certain, if elected, of going to the Senate when we were granted
statehood. "I talked with you, then, as my father," I said. "But I'm
sure you'll remember that I have not consulted you as a leader of the
Church, or any of your colleagues as leaders of the Church, on the
subject of partisan politics since the People's Party was dissolved."

He accepted this mild declaration of political independence without
protest, and I went to Provo, happily, a free man. The Republicans
nominated me by acclamation, and the chairman of the committee that came
to offer me the nomination was Colonel Wm. Nelson, then managing editor
of the Salt Lake Tribune, a Gentile, a former leader of the Liberal
Party, an opponent of Mormonism as practiced, who had fought the Church
hierarchy for years. Here was a new evidence that we were now beyond
the old quarrels--a further guarantee that we were prepared to take
our place among the states of the Union, free of parochialism and its
sectarian enmities.

The campaign gave every proof of such political emancipation. The
people divided, on national party lines, as completely as any American
community in my experience. The Democrats, having nominated Joseph L.
Rawlins, had the prestige that he had gained in helping to pass the
Enabling Act; a Democratic administration was in power in Washington;
Apostle Moses Thatcher, Brigham H. Roberts, and other members of the
Church inspired the old loyalty of the Mormons for the Democracy. But
the Republicans had been re-enforced by the dissolution of the Liberal
Party, whose last preceding candidate (Mr. Clarence E. Allen) went
on the stump for us. The Smith jealousy of Moses Thatcher divided the
Church influence; and though charges of ecclesiastical interference were
made on both sides, such interference was personal rather than official.
Mr. Rawlins was defeated, and I was elected delegate in Congress from
the territory--with the United States Senatorship practically assured to

In the spring of 1895 the constitutional convention at Salt Lake City
formulated a provisional constitution for the new Utah; and, in the Fall
of the year, a general election was held to adopt this constitution and
to elect officers who should enter upon their duties as soon as Utah
became a state. The election was marked by a most significant and
important incident.

The Democrats, in their convention, nominated for Congress, Brigham H.
Roberts, one of the first seven "presidents of the seventy," and for
the United States Senate, Joseph L. Rawlins and Apostle Moses Thatcher.
Immediately, at a priesthood meeting of the hierarchy, Joseph F. Smith
denounced the candidacies of Roberts and Thatcher; and the grounds for
the denunciation were subsequently stated in the "political manifesto"
of April, 1896, in which the First Presidency announced, as a rule of
the Church, that no official of the Church should accept a political
nomination until he had obtained the permission of the Church
authorities and had learned from them whether he could "consistently
with the obligations already entered into with the Church, take upon
himself the added duties and labors and responsibilities of the new

This action, I knew, was the result of the old jealousy of Thatcher
which the Smiths had so long nursed. But it was also in line with
the Church's pledge, to keep its leaders out of politics. By it,
the hierarchy bound themselves and set the people free. The leaders,
thereafter, according to their own "manifesto," could not enter politics
without the consent of their quorums; and, therefore, by any American
doctrine, they could not enter politics at all. Thatcher and Roberts
revolted against the inhibition as an infringement of their rights as
citizens, and it was so construed by the whole Democratic party; but
everyone knew that a Mormon apostle had no rights as a citizen that were
not second to his Church allegiance, and the political manifesto
simply made public the fact of such subservience, authoritatively. We
Republicans welcomed it, with our eyes on the future freedom of politics
in Utah; Thatcher and Roberts refused to accept the dictation of their
quorums, and what was practically an "edict of apostasy" went out
against them. They were defeated. The Republican candidates (Heber M.
Wells, as governor, and Clarence B. Allen, as member of Congress)
were elected. Thatcher, subsequently refusing to accept the "political
manifesto," was deposed from his apostolic authority, and deprived of
all priesthood in the Church. Roberts recanted and was reconciled with
the hierarchy.

[FOOTNOTE: He was afterwards elected to the House of Representatives and
was refused his seat as a polygamist.]

The Republicans elected forty-three out of sixty-three members of the
legislature, and everyone of these had been pledged to support me, for
the United States Senate, either by his convention, or by letter to me,
or by a promise conveyed to me by friends; and none of these pledges had
I solicited.

The rumors of my father's candidacy now became more general--although
he was a Democrat, although the new "political manifesto" bound him,
although it was doubtful whether the Senate would allow him to be
seated. Two influences were urging his election. One was the desire
of the Smith faction to have the First Councillor break the ice at
Washington for Apostle John Henry Smith, who was ambitious to be a
Senator and was disqualified by the fact that he was a Church leader and
a polygamist. The other was the desire of some Eastern capitalists to
have my father's vote in the Senate to aid them in the promotion of a
railroad from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. A preliminary agreement
for the construction of the road had already been signed by men who
represented that they had close affiliations with large steel interests
in the East, as one party, and my father as business representative of
a group of associates, including the Presidency of the Church. The
Church's interest in the project was communistic, and so was my
father's. But his vote and influence in the Senate would be valuable to
the promotion of the undertaking, and he had received written assurances
from Republican leaders, senators and politicians, that if he were
elected he would be allowed his seat.

As a result of our Republican success in the two political campaigns
that had just ended, I felt that I represented the independent votes
of both Mormons and Gentiles; and I decided to confront the First
Presidency (as such a representative) and try to make them declare
themselves in the matter of my father's candidacy. Not that I thought
his candidacy would be so vitally important for I did not then believe
the Church authorities had power to sway the legislature away from its
pledges. But every day, at home or abroad, I was being asked: "Are you
sure that the Church's retirement from politics is sincere?" My friends
were accepting my word, and I wished to add certainty to assurance that
the Church leaders intended to fulfill the covenant of their personal
honor and respect the constitution of the state by keeping out of

Without letting them know why I wished to see them, I procured an
appointment for the interview. When we were all seated at the table I
explained: "I'm going to Washington to attend to my duties as delegate
in Congress. Before I return, Utah will be admitted to statehood, and
the legislature will have to elect two United States Senators. As you
all know, I've been a candidate for one of these places. It has been
assured to me by the probably unanimous vote of the Republican caucus
when it shall convene." I laid my clenched hand on the table, knuckles
down, with a calculated abruptness. "The first senatorship from Utah is
there," I said.

"If it's to be disturbed by any ecclesiastical direction, I want to know
it now, so that the men who are supporting me may be aware of what
they must encounter if they persist in their support. I ask you, as
the Presidency of the Church: what are you going to do about the
Senatorship?" And I opened my hand and left it lying open before them,
for their decision.

It was evident enough, from their expressions, that this was a degree of
boldness to which they were unaccustomed. It was, evident also that
they were unprepared to reply to me. My father remained silent, with his
usual placidity, waiting for the others to fail to take the initiative.
President Woodruff blinked, somewhat bewildered, looking at my hand
as if the sight of its emptiness and the assumption of what it held,
confused him. Joseph F. Smith, frowning, eyed it askance with a darting
glance, apparently annoyed by the mute insolence of its demand for a
decision which he was not prepared to make.

My father, at length, looking at me imperturbably, asked: "Are you
inquiring of our personal view in this matter, Frank?"

The question contained, of course, a tacit allusion to my refusal to
consult the Church leaders about politics. I answered: "No, sir. I
already have your personal view. That is the only personal view I have
ever asked concerning the Senatorship. And I have purposely refrained
from any allusions to it of late, with you, because I wished to lay it
before the Presidency, as a body, formally, in order that there might be
no possible misunderstanding."

"In that case," he said, "the matter rests with President Woodruff."

The President, thus forced to an explanation, made a very characteristic
one. Several of the Church's friends in the East, he said, had urged
father's name for the Senatorship, but it was impossible to see how he
could be spared from the affairs of the priesthood. Zion needed him--and
so forth.

Apparently, to President Woodruff, the question of the Senatorship was
resolvable wholly upon Church considerations. His mind was so filled
with zealous hope for the advancement of "the Kingdom of God on Earth,"
that he seemed quite unaware of the political aspects of the case, the
violation of the Church's pledge, and the difficulties in the Senate
that would surely attend upon my father's election.

In the general discussion that ensued, both Joseph F. Smith and my
father spoke of the appeal that had been made to them on behalf of the
business interests of the community, with which the financial interests
of the East were now eager to co-operate. But both followed the
President's example in dismissing the possibility of the First
Councillor's candidacy as infringing upon his duties in the Church. I
pointed out to them that such a candidacy would be considered a breach
of faith, that it would raise a storm of protest. They accepted the
warning without comment, as if, having decided against the candidacy,
they did not need to consider such aspects of it. I kept my hand open
before them until my father said, with some trace of amusement: "You'd
better take up that senatorship, Frank. I think you're entitled to it."

I took it up, satisfied that there would be no more Church interference
in the matter. The decision seemed to me final and momentous. I
felt that the new Utah had faced the old and had been assured of

About this same time (although I cannot place it accurately in my
recollection), President Woodruff, speaking from the pulpit, declared
that it was the right of the priesthood of God to rule in all things on
earth, and that they had in no wise relinquished any of their authority.
The sermon raised a dangerous alarm in Salt Lake City, and I
was immediately summoned from Ogden (by a messenger from Church
headquarters) to see the proprietor and the editor of the Salt Lake
Tribune--which paper, it was feared, might oppose Utah's admission to
statehood, construing President Woodruff's remarks to mean that the
Church's political covenants were to be broken.

I found Mr. P. H. Lannan, the proprietor of the paper, anxious,
indignant and ready to denounce the Church and fight against the
admission to statehood. "When I heard of that sermon," he said, "my
heart went into my boots. We Gentiles have trusted everything to the
promises that have been made by the leaders of the Church. If the
Tribune had not supported the movement for statehood, the Gentiles would
never have taken the risk. I feel like a man who has sold his brethren
into slavery."

I assured him (as I was authorized to do) that President Woodruff
was not speaking for our generation of the Mormon people nor for his
associates in the leadership of the Church. I pleaded that it was the
privilege of an old man (and President Woodruff was nearly ninety) to
dream again the visions of his youth; his early life had been spent in
the belief that a Kingdom of God was to be set up in the valleys of
the mountains, governed by the priesthood and destined to rule all the
nations of the earth; he had planted the first flag of the country over
the Salt Lake Valley; he was still living in days that had passed for
all but him, and cherishing hopes that he alone had not abandoned. But
if the Tribune and the Gentiles would be magnanimous in this matter,
they would add to the gratitude that already bound the younger
generations of the Church to the fulfillment of its political promises.

Mr. Lannan responded instantly to the appeal to his generosity, and
after consultation with the editor-in-chief (Judge C. C. Goodwin) and
the managing editor (Colonel Wm. Nelson) the Tribune continued to trust
in Mormon good faith.

I reported the result of my conference to Church headquarters. The news
was received with relief and gratitude. And, in a long conversation
with the authorities, I was told that it would be incumbent on us of the
younger generation to see that all the Church's covenants to the nation
should be scrupulously observed.

I accepted my part of the charge with a light heart, and late in
November, 1895, I took train for Washington for convening of Congress.
Of the incidents of my brief services as delegate I shall write nothing
here, since those incidents were merely introductory to matters which
I shall have to consider later. But I was greeted with a great deal
of cordiality by the Republicans who credited me with having brought
a state and its national representation into the Republican party, and
they assured me that my own political future would be as bright as that
of my native state!

President Cleveland, on January 4, 1896, proclaimed Utah a sovereign
state of the Union, and its admission to statehood ended, of course, my
service as a territorial delegate. I stood beside his desk in the White
House to see him sign the proclamation--the same desk at which he had
received me, some eight years before, when I came beseeching him to be
merciful to the proscribed people whose freedom he was now announcing.
Perhaps the manumission that he was granting, gave a benignity to his
face. Perhaps the emotion in my own mind transfigured him to me. But
I saw smiles and pathos in the ruggedness of his expression of
congratulation as he said a few words of hope that Utah would fulfill
every promise made, on her behalf, by her own people, and every happy
expectation that had been entertained for her by her friends. His
enormous rigid bulk, a little bowed now by years of service, seemed
softened, as his face was, to the graciousness of clement power. He gave
me the pen with which he had signed the paper, and dismissed me to some
of the happiest hours of my life.

I walked out of the White House dispossessed of office, but now, at
last, a citizen of the Republic. I stood on the steps of the White
House, to look at the city through whose streets I had so many times
wandered in a worried despair, and I saw them with an emotion I would
not dare transcribe. I do not know that the sun was really shining, but
in my memory the scene has taken on all the accumulated brightnesses of
all the radiant days I ever knew in Washington. And I remember that
I saw the Washington Monument and the Capitol with a sense of almost
affectionate personal possession!

In an excited exultation I went to thank the men who had helped us
in the House and the Senate--to wire jubilant messages home--to
send Governor Wells the pen with which the President had signed his
proclamation, and to procure from friends in the War Department the
first two flags that had been made with forty-five stars--the star of
Utah the forty-fifth. Wherever I went, some sinister aspect seemed to
have gone out of things; and I remember that I enjoyed so much the sense
of their new inhostility, that I planned to delay my return to Utah
until I had made a pilgrimage to every spot in Washington where I had
despaired of our future.

All this may seem almost sentimental to you, who perhaps accept your
citizenship as an unregarded commonplace of natural right. But, for me,
the freeing of our people was an emancipation to be compared only to the
enfranchisement of the Southern slaves and greater even than that,
for we had come from citizenship in the older states, and we could
appreciate our deprivation, smart under our ostracism, and resent the
rejection that set us apart from the rest of the nation as an inferior
people unfit for equal rights.

I sat down to my dinner, that evening, with the appetite that comes
from a day of fasting and emotional excitement; and I recall that I was
planning a visit of self-congratulation to Arlington, for the morrow,
when one of the hotel bell-boys brought me a telegram. I opened it
eagerly--to enjoy the expected message of felicitation from home.

It was in cipher, and that fact gave me a pause of doubt, since the
days of political mysteries and their cipher telegrams were over for us,
thank God! It was signed with President Woodruff's cipher name.

I went to my room to translate it, and I did not return to my dinner.
The message read: "It is the will of the Lord that your father shall be
elected Senator from Utah."

I do not need to explain all the treacherous implications of that
announcement. As soon as I had recovered my breath, I wired back, for
such interpretation as they should choose to give: "God bless Utah. I am
coming home,"--and packed my trunk, for trouble.

Chapter VII. The First Betrayals

Before I reached Utah, my friends, Ben Rich and James Devine, met me, on
the train. The news of President Woodruff's "revelation" had percolated
through the whole community. The Gentiles were alarmed for themselves.
My friends were anxious for me. All the old enmities that had so long
divided Utah were arranging themselves for a new conflict. And Rich and
Devine had come to urge me to remember my promise that I would hold to
my candidacy no matter who should appear in the field against me.

Of my father's stand in the crisis Rich could give me only one
indication: after a conference in the offices of the Presidency, Rich
had said to President Woodruff: "Then I suppose I may as well close
up Frank's rooms at the Templeton"--the hotel in which my friends had
opened political headquarters for me--and my father, accompanying him
to an anteroom, had hinted significantly: "I think you should not close
Frank's rooms just yet. He may need them."

Rich brought me word, too, that the Church authorities were expecting
to see me; and soon as I arrived in Salt Lake City, I hastened to the
little plastered house in which the Presidency had its offices.

President Woodruff, my father, and Joseph F. Smith were there, in
the large room of their official apartments. We withdrew, for private
conference, into the small retiring room in which I had consulted with
"Brother Joseph Mack" when he was on the underground--in 1888--and had
consulted with President Woodruff about his "manifesto," in 1890. The
change in their circumstances, since those unhappy days, was in my mind
as I sat down.

President Woodruff sat at the head of a bare walnut table in a chair so
large that it rather dwarfed him; and he sank down in it, to an attitude
of nervous reluctance to speak, occupied with his hands. Smith took his
place at the opposite end of the board, with dropped eyes, his chair
tilted back, silent, but (as I soon saw) unusually alert and attentive.
My father assumed his inevitable composure--firmly and almost unmovingly
seated--and looked at me squarely with a not unkind premonition of a

President Woodruff continued silent. Ordinarily, anything that came
from the Lord was quite convincing to him and needed no argument (in his
mind) to make it convincing to others. I could not suppose that the
look of determination on my face troubled him. It was more likely that
something unusual in the mental attitudes of his councillors was the
cause of his hesitation; and with this suspicion to arouse me I
became increasingly aware (as the conference proceeded) of two rival
watchfulnesses upon me.

"Well?" I said. "What was it you wanted of me?"

Smith looked up at the President. And Smith had always, hitherto, seemed
so unseeing of consequences, and, therefore, unappreciative of means,
that his betrayal of interest was indicative of purpose. I thought I
could detect, in the communication which his manner made, the plan of
my father's ecclesiastical rivals to remove him from the scene of his
supreme influence over the President, and the plan of ambitious church
politicians to remove me from their path by the invocation of God's word
appointing father to the Senate.

"Frank," the President announced, "it is the will of the Lord that your
father should go to the Senate from Utah."

As he hesitated, I said: "Well, President Woodruff?"

He added, with less decision: "And we want you to tell us how to bring
it about?"

It was evident that getting the revelation was easy to his spiritualized
mind, but that fulfilling it was difficult to his unworldliness.

"President Woodruff," I replied, "you have received the revelation on
the wrong point. You do not need a voice from heaven to convince anyone
that my father is worthy to go to the Senate, but you will need a
revelation to tell how he is to get there."

He seemed to raise himself to the inspiration of divine authority. "The
only difficulty that we have encountered," he said, "is the fact that
the legislators are pledged to you. Will you not release them from their
promises and tell them to vote for your father?"

"No," I said. "And my father would not permit me to do it, even if I
could. He knows that I gave my word of honor to my supporters to stand
as a candidate, no matter who might enter against me. He knows that he
and I have given our pledges at Washington that political dictation in
Utah by the heads of the Mormon Church shall cease. Of all men in Utah
we cannot be amenable to such dictation. If you can get my supporters
away from me--very well. I shall have no personal regrets. But you
cannot get me away from my supporters."

This inclusion of my father in my refusal evidently disconcerted
President Woodruff; and, as evidently, it had its significance to Joseph
F. Smith.

I went on: "Before I was elected to the House of Representatives, I
asked my father if he intended to be a candidate for the Senate. I
knew that some prominent Gentiles, desiring to curry favor at Church
headquarters had solicited his candidacy. I had been told that General
Clarkson and others had assured him by letter that his election would be
accepted at Washington, and elsewhere. I discussed the matter with him
fully. He agreed with me that his election would be a violation of the
understanding had with the country; and he declared that he did not care
to become again the storm center of strife to his people, nor did he
feel that he could honorably break our covenant to the country. With
this clear understanding between us, I made my pledges to men who, in
supporting me, cast aside equally advantageous relations which they
might have established with another. I can't withdraw now without

My father said: "Don't let us have any misunderstandings. As President
Woodruff stated the matter to me, I understood that it would be pleasing
to the Lord, if the people desired my election to the Senate and it
wouldn't antagonize the country."

"Yes, yes," the President put in. "That's what I mean."

Smith said, rather sourly: "The people are always willing to do what the
Lord desires--if no one gives them bad counsel."

Both he and my father emphasized the fact that the business interests of
the East were making strong representations to the Presidency in support
of my father's election; and I suspected (what I afterwards found to be
the case) that both Joseph F. Smith and Apostle John Henry Smith, were
by this time, in close communication with Republican politicians. There
was a calm assumption, everywhere, that the Church had power to decide
the election, if it could be induced to act; and this assumption was
a deplorable evidence, to me, of the willingness of some of our former
allies to drag us swiftly to the shame of a broken covenant, if only
they could profit in purse or politics by our dishonor. I would not be
an agent in any such betrayal, but I had to refuse without offending
my father's trust in the divine inspiration of President Woodruff's
decision and without aiding the Smiths in their conspiracy.

Either at this conference or one of the later ones, two or three
apostles came into the room; and among them was Apostle Brigham Young,
son of the Prophet Brigham who had led the Mormons to the Salt Lake
Valley. When he understood my refusal to abandon my candidacy, he said
angrily: "This is a serious filial disrespect. I know my father never
would have brooked such treatment from me." And I retorted: "I don't
know who invited you into this conference, but I deny your right to
instruct me in my filial duty. If my father doesn't understand that the
senatorship has lost its value for me--that it's a cross now--then my
whole lifetime of devotion to him has been in vain."

My father rose and put his arm around my shoulders. "This boy," he
said, "is acting honorably. I want him to know--and you to know--that
I respect the position he has taken. If he is elected, he shall have my

That was the only understanding I had with him--but it was enough. I
could know that I was not to lose his trust and affection by holding to
our obligations of honor; and--an assurance almost as precious--I could
know that he would not consciously permit legislators to be crushed by
the vengeance of the Church if they refused to yield to its pressure.

A few days after my arrival in Utah, and while this controversy was at
its height, my father's birthday was celebrated (January 11, 1896),
with all the patriarchal pomp of a Mormon family gathering, in his big
country house outside Salt Lake City. All his descendants and collateral
relatives were there, as well as the members of the Presidency and many
friends. After dinner, the usual exercises of the occasion were held in
the large reception hall of the house, with President Woodruff and my
father and two or three other Church leaders seated in semi-state at one
end of the hall, and the others of the company deferentially withdrawn
to face them. Towards the end of the program President Woodruff
rose from his easy chair, and made a sort of informal address of
congratulation; and in the course of it, with his hand on my father's
shoulder, he said benignly: "Abraham was the friend of God. He had
only one son on whom all his hopes were set. But the voice of the Lord
commanded him to sacrifice Isaac upon an altar; and Abraham trusted the
Lord and laid his son upon the altar, in obedience to God's commands.
Now here is another servant of the Most High and a friend of God. I
refer to President Cannon, whose birthday we are celebrating. He has
twenty-one sons; and if it shall be the will of the Lord that he must
sacrifice one of them he ought to be as willing as Abraham was, for he
will have twenty left. And the son should be as willing as Isaac. We can
all safely trust in the Lord. He will require no sacrifice at our hands
without purpose."

I remarked to a relative beside me that the altar was evidently ready
for me, but that I feared I should have to "get out and rustle my own
ram in the thicket." I received no reply. I heard no word of comment
from anyone upon the President's speech. It was accepted devoutly,
with no feeling that he had abused the privileges of a guest. Everyone
understood (as I did) that President Woodruff was the gentlest of men;
that he had often professed and always shown a kindly affection for me;
but that the will of the Lord being now known, he thought I should be
proud to be sacrificed to it!

Among the legislators pledged to me were Mormon Bishops and other
ecclesiasts who had promised their constituents to vote for me and who
now stood between a betrayal of their people and a rebellion against the
power of the hierarchy. I released one of them from his pledge, because
of his pathetic fear that he would be eternally damned if he did not
obey "the will of the Lord." The others went to the Presidency to admit
that if they betrayed their people they would have to confess what
pressure had been put upon them to force them to the betrayal. I went to
notify my father (as I had notified the representatives of every
other candidate) that we were going to call a caucus of the Republican
majority of the legislature, and later I was advised that President
Woodruff and his Councillor's had appointed a committee to investigate
and report to them how many members could be counted upon to support
my father's candidacy. The committee (composed of my uncle Angus, my
brother Abraham, and Apostle John Henry Smith) brought back word that
even among the men who had professed a willingness to vote for my father
there was great reluctance and apprehension, and that in all probability
his election could not be carried. With President Woodruff's consent,
my father then announced that he was not a candidate. I was nominated by

When I called upon my father at the President's offices after the
election, he said to me before his colleagues: "I wish to congratulate
you on having acted honorably and fearlessly. You have my blessing." He
turned to the President. "You see, President Woodruff," he added, "it
was not the will of the Lord, after all, since the people did not desire
my election!"

I have dwelt so largely upon the religious aspects of this affair
because they are as true of the Prophet in politics today as they were
then. At the time, the personal complication of the situation most
distressed me--the fact that I was opposing my father in order to
fulfill the word of honor that we had given on behalf of the Mormon
leaders. But there was another view of the matter; and it is the one
that is most important to the purposes of this narrative. In the course
of the various discussions and conferences upon the Senatorship, I
learned that the inspiration of the whole attempted betrayal had come
from certain Republican politicians and lobbyists (like Colonel Isaac
Trumbo), who claimed to represent a political combination of business
interests in Washington. Joseph F. Smith admitted as much to me in more
than one conversation. (I had offended these interests by opposing a
monetary and a tariff bill during my service as delegate in Congress--a
matter which I have still to recount). They had chosen my father and
Colonel Trumbo as Utah's two Senators. I made it my particular business
to see that Trumbo's name was not even mentioned in the caucus. The
man selected as the other senator was Arthur Brown, a prominent Gentile
lawyer who was known as a "jack-Mormon" (meaning a Gentile adherent to
Church power), although I then believed, and do now, that Judge Chas.
C. Goodwin was the Gentile most entitled to the place, because of his
ability and the love of his people.

I was, however, content with the victory we had won by resisting the
influence of the business interests that had been willing to sell
our honor for their profit, and I set out for Washington with a
determination to continue the resistance. I was in a good position to
continue it. The election of two Republican Senators from Utah had given
the Republicans a scant majority of the members of the Upper House,
and the bills that I had fought in the Lower House were now before the

These bills had been introduced in the House of Representatives,
immediately upon its convening in December, 1895, by the committee on
rules, before Speaker Reed had even appointed the general committees.
One was a bill to authorize the issuance of interest-bearing securities
of the United States at such times and in such sums as the Executive
might determine. The other was a general tariff bill that proposed
increases upon the then existing Wilson-Gorman bill. The first would
put into the hands of the President a power that was not enjoyed by
any ruler in Christendom; the second would add to the unfair and
discriminatory tariff rates then in force, by making ad valorem
increases in them. Many new members of Congress had been elected on
the two issues thus created: the arbitrary increase of the bonded
indebtedness by President Cleveland to maintain a gold reserve; and the
unjust benefits afforded those industries that were least in need of
aid, by duties increased in exact proportion to the strength of the
industrial combination that was to be protected.

The presentation of the two bills by the Committee on Rules--with
a coacher to each proposing to prevent amendment and limit
discussion--raised a revolt in the House. A caucus of the insurgent
Republican members was held at the Ebbitt Hotel, and I was elected
temporary chairman. We appointed a committee to demand from Speaker Reed
a division of the questions and time for opposition to be heard. We had
seventy-five insurgents when our committee waited on. Reed; and most
of us were new men, elected to oppose such measures as these bills
advocated. He received us with sarcasm, put us off with a promise to
consider our demands, and then set his lieutenants at work among
us. Under the threat of the Speaker's displeasure if we continued to
"insurge" and the promise of his favor if we "got into line," forty-one
(I think) of our seventy-five deserted us. We were gloriously beaten in
the House on both measures.

Some of the older Republican members of the House came to ask me how
I had been "misled"; and they received with the raised eyebrow and
the silent shrug my explanation that I had been merely following my
convictions and living up to the promises I had made my constituents.
I had supposed that I was upholding an orthodox Republican doctrine
in helping to defend the country from exploitation by the financial
interests, in the matter of the bond issue, and from the greed of the
business interests in the attempt to increase horizontally the tariff

I do not need, in this day of tariff reform agitation, to argue the
injustice of the latter measure. But the bond issue--looking back upon
it now--seems the more cruelly absurd of the two. Here we were, in times
of peace, with ample funds in the national treasury, proposing to permit
the unlimited issuance of interest-bearing government bonds in order
to procure gold, for that national treasury, out of the hoards of the
banks, so that these same banks might be able to obtain the gold again
from the treasury in return for paper money. The extent to which this
sort of absurdity might be carried would depend solely upon the desire
of the confederation of finance to have interest-bearing government
bonds on which they might issue national bank notes, since the Executive
was apparently willing to yield interminably to their greed, in the
belief that he was protecting the public credit by encouraging the
financiers to attack that credit with their raids on the government
gold reserve. The whole difficulty had arisen, of course, out of the
agitation upon the money question. The banks were drawing upon the
government gold reserve; and the government was issuing bonds to recover
the gold again from the banks.

I had been, for some years, interested in the problem of our monetary
system and had studied and discussed it among our Eastern bankers and
abroad. The very fact that I was from a "silver state" had put me on my
guard, lest a local influence should lead me, into economic error. I had
grown into the belief that our system was wrong. It seemed to me that
some remedy was imperative. I saw in bimetallism a part of the remedy,
and I supported bimetallism not as a partisan of free coinage but as an
advocate of monetary reform.

The arrival of Utah's two representatives in the Senate (January 27,
1896) gave the bimetallists a majority, and when the bond-issue bill
came before us we made it into a bill to permit the free coinage of
silver. (February 1). A few days later, the Finance Committee turned
the tariff bill into a free-coinage bill also. On both measures, five
Republican Senators voted against their party--Henry M. Teller, of
Colorado; Fred T. Dubois, of Idaho; Thos. H. Carter, of Montana; Lee
Mantle, of Montana; and myself. We were subsequently joined by Richard
F. Pettigrew of South Dakota. Within two weeks of my taking the oath
in the Senate we were read out of the party by Republican leaders and
Republican organs.

All this happened so swiftly that there was no time for any
remonstrances to come to me from Salt Lake City, even if the Church
authorities had wished to remonstrate. The fact was that the people of
Utah were with us in our insurgency, and when the financial interests
subsequently appealed to the hierarchy, they found the Church powerless
to aid them in support of a gold platform. But they obtained that aid,
at last, in support of a tariff that was as unjust to the people as it
was favorable to the trusts, and my continued "insurgency" led me again
into a revolt against Church interference.

The thread of connection that ran through these incidents is clear
enough to me now: they were all incidents in the progress of a
partnership between the Church and the predatory business interests that
have since so successfully exploited the country. But, at the time,
I saw no such connection clearly. I supposed that the partnership was
merely a political friendship between the Smith faction in the Church
and the Republican politicians who wished to use the Church; and I had
sufficient contempt for the political abilities of the Smiths to regard
their conspiracy rather lightly.

Believing still in the good faith of the Mormon people and their real
leaders in authority, I introduced a joint resolution in the Senate
restoring to the Church its escheated real estate, which was still in
the hands of a receiver, although its personal property had been
already restored. In conference with Senators Hoar and Allison,--of the
committee to which the resolution was referred--I urged an unconditional
restoration of the property, arguing that to place conditions upon the
restoration would be to insult the people who had given so many proofs
of their willingness to obey the law and keep their pledges. The
property was restored without conditions by a joint resolution that
passed the Senate on March 18, 1896, passed the House a week later, and
was approved by the President on March 26. The Church was now free of
the last measure of proscription. Its people were in the enjoyment of
every political liberty of American citizenship; and I joined in the
Presidential campaign of 1896 with no thought of any danger threatening
us that was not common to the other communities of the country.

But before I continue further with these political events, I must relate
a private incident in the secret betrayal of Utah--an incident that must
be related, if this narrative is to remain true to the ideals of public
duty that have thus far assumed to inspire it--an incident of which a
false account was given before a Senate Committee in Washington
during the Smoot investigation of 1904, accompanied by a denial of
responsibility by Joseph F. Smith, the man whose authority alone
encouraged and accomplished the tragedy--for it was a tragedy, as
dark in its import to the Mormon community as it was terrible in its
immediate consequences to all our family.

By his denial of responsibility and by secret whisper within the Church,
Smith has placed the disgrace of the betrayal upon my father, who
was guiltless of it, and blackened the memory of my dead brother by a
misrepresentation of his motives. I feel that it is incumbent upon me,
therefore, at whatever pain to myself, to relate the whole unhappy truth
of the affair, as much to defend the memory of the dead as to denounce
the betrayal of the living, to expose a public treason against the
community not less than to correct a private wrong done to the good name
of those whom it is my right to defend.

Late in July, 1896, when I was in New York on business for the
Presidency, I received a telegram announcing the death of my brother,
Apostle Abraham H. Cannon. We had been companions all our lives; he had
been the nearest to me of our family, the dearest of my friends but even
in the first shock of my grief I realized that my father would have a
greater stroke of sorrow to bear than I; and in hurrying back to Salt
Lake City I nerved myself with the hope that I might console him.

I found him and Joseph F. Smith in the office of the Presidency,
sitting at their desks. My father turned as I entered, and his face was
unusually pale in spite of its composure; but the moment he recognized
me, his expression changed to a look of pain that alarmed me. He rose
and put his hand on my shoulder with a tenderness that it was his habit
to conceal. "I know how you feel his loss," he said hoarsely, "but when
I think what he would have had to pass through if he had lived I cannot
regret his death."

The almost agonized expression of his face, as much as the terrible
implication of his words, startled me with I cannot say what horrible
fear about my brother. I asked, "Why! Why--what has happened?"

With a sweep of his hand toward Smith at his desk--a gesture and a
look the most unkind I ever saw him use--he answered: "A few weeks ago,
Abraham took a plural wife, Lillian Hamlin. It became known. He would
have had to face a prosecution in Court. His death has saved us from
a calamity that would have been dreadful for the Church--and for the

"Father!" I cried. "Has this thing come back again! And the ink hardly
dry on the bill that restored your church property on the pledge of
honor that there would never be another case--" I had caught the look on
Smith's face, and it was a look of sullen defiance. "How did it happen?"

My father replied: "I know--it's awful. I would have prevented it if
I could. I was asked for my consent, and I refused it. President Smith
obtained the acquiescence of President Woodruff, on the plea that it
wasn't an ordinary case of polygamy but merely a fulfillment of the
biblical instruction that a man should take his dead brother's wife.
Lillian was betrothed to David, and had been sealed to him in eternity
after his death. I understand that President Woodruff told Abraham
he would leave the matter with them if he wished to take the
responsibility--and President Smith performed the ceremony."

Smith could hear every word that was said. My father had included him
in the conversation, and he was listening. He not only did not deny
his guilt; he accepted it in silence, with an expression of sulky

He did not deny it later, when the whole community had learned of it. He
went with Apostle John Henry Smith to see Mr. P. H. Lannan, proprietor
of the Salt Lake Tribune, to ask him not to attack the Church for
this new and shocking violation of its covenant. Mr. Lannan had been
intimately friendly with my brother, and he was distressed between his
regard for his dead friend and his obligation to do his public duty.
I do not know all that the Smiths said to him; but I know that the
conversation assumed that Joseph F. Smith had performed the marriage
ceremony; I know that neither of the Smiths made any attempt to deny the
assumption; and I know that Joseph F. Smith sought to placate Mr. Lannan
by promising "it shall not occur again." And this interview was sought
by the Smiths, palpably because wherever the marriage of Abraham H.
Cannon and Lillian Hamlin was talked of, Joseph F. Smith was named as
the priest who had solemnized the offending relation. If it had not been
for Smith's consciousness of his own guilt and his knowledge that the
whole community was aware of that guilt, he would never have gone to the
Tribune office to make such a promise to Mr. Lannan.

All of which did not prevent Joseph F. Smith from testifying--in the
Smoot investigation at Washington in 1904--that he did not marry Abraham
Cannon and Lillian Hamlin, that he did not have any conversation with my
father about the marriage, that he did not know Lillian Hamlin had been
betrothed to Abraham's dead brother, that the first time he heard of
the charge that he had married them was when he saw it printed in the

[FOOTNOTE: See Proceedings before Senate Committee on Privileges and
Elections, 1904, Vol. 1, pages 110, 126, 177, etc.]

If this first polygamous marriage had been the last--if it were an
isolated and peculiar incident as the Smiths then claimed it was and
promised it should be--it might be forgiven as generously now as Mr.
Lannan then forgave it. But, about the same time there became public
another case--that of Apostle Teasdale--and as this narrative shall
prove, here was the beginning of a policy of treachery which the
present Church leaders, under Joseph F. Smith, have since consistently
practiced, in defiance of the laws of the state and the "revelation
of God," with lies and evasions, with perjury and its subornation, in
violation of the most solemn pledges to the country, and through the
agency of a political tyranny that makes serious prosecution impossible
and immunity a public boast.

The world understands that polygamy is an enslavement of women. The
ecclesiastical authorities in Utah today have discovered that it is
more powerful as an enslaver of men. Once a man is bound in a polygamous
relation, there is no place for him in the civilized world outside of
a Mormon community. He must remain there, shielded by the Church,
or suffer elsewhere social ostracism and the prosecution of bigamous
relations. Since 1890, the date of the manifesto (and it is to the
period since 1890 that my criticism solely applies) the polygamist must
be abjectly subservient to the prophets who protect him; he must obey
their orders and do their work, or endure the punishment which they can
inflict upon him and his wives and his children. Inveigled into a plural
marriage by the authority of a clandestine religious dogma--encouraged
by his elders, seduced by the prospect of their favor, and impelled
perhaps by a daring impulse to take the covenant and bond that shall
swear him into the dangerous fellowship of the lawlessly faithful--he
finds himself, at once, a law breaker who must pay the Church hierarchy
for his protection by yielding to them every political right, every
personal independence, every freedom of opinion, every liberty of act.

I do not believe that Smith fully foresaw the policy which he has since
undoubtedly pursued. I believe now, as I did then, that in betraying my
brother into polygamy Smith was actuated by his anger against my father
for having inspired the recession from the doctrine; that he desired
to impair the success of the recession by having my brother dignify
the recrudescence of polygamy by the apostolic sanction of his
participation; and that this participation was jealously designed by
Smith to avenge himself upon the First Councillor by having the son be
one of the first to break the law, and violate the covenant. I saw that
my brother's death had thwarted the conspiracy. Smith was so obviously
frightened--despite his pretense of defiance--that I believed he had
learned his needed lesson. And I accepted the incident as a private
tragedy on which the final curtain had now fallen.

Chapter VIII. The Church and the Interests

Meanwhile, I had been taking part in the Presidential campaign of 1896,
and I had been one of the four "insurgent" Republican Senators (Teller
of Colorado, Dubois of Idaho, Pettigrew of South Dakota and myself)
who withdrew from the national Republican convention at St. Louis, in
fulfillment of our obligations to our constituents, when we found
that the convention was dominated by that confederation of finance in
politics which has since come to be called "the System." I was a member
of the committee on resolutions, and our actions in the committee had
indicated that we would probably withdraw from the convention if
it adopted the single gold platform as dictated by Senator Lodge of
Massachusetts acting for a group of Republican leaders headed by Platt
of New York, and Aldrich of Rhode Island. At the most critical point of
our controversy I received a message from Church headquarters warning me
that "we" had made powerful friends among the leading men of the nation
and that we ought not to jeopardize their friendship by an inconsiderate
insurgency. Accordingly, in bolting the convention, I was guilty of
a new defiance of ecclesiastical authority and a new provocation of
ecclesiastical vengeance.

President Woodruff spoke to me of the matter after I returned to Utah,
and I explained to him that I thought the Republican party, under the
leadership of Mark Hanna and the flag of the "interests," had forgotten
its duty to the people of the nation. I argued, to the President, that
of all people in the world we, who had suffered so much ourselves,
were most bound to bow to no unfairness ourselves and to oppose the
imposition of unfairness upon others. And I talked in this strain to him
not because I wished his approval of my action but because I wished
to fortify him against the approach of the emissaries of the new
Republicanism, who were sure to come to him to seek the support of the
Church in the campaign.

Some days later, while I was talking with my father in the offices of
the Presidency, the secretary ushered in Senator Redfield Proctor of
Vermont. I withdrew, understanding that he wished to speak in private
with President Woodruff and his councillors. But I learned subsequently
that he had come to Salt Lake to persuade the leaders of the Church
to use their power in favor of the Republican party throughout the
intermountain states.

Senator Proctor asked me personally what chance I thought the party
had in the West. I pointed out that the Republican platform of 1892
had reproached Grover Cleveland for his antagonism to bimetallism--"a
doctrine favored by the American people from tradition and interest,"
to quote the language of that platform--and the Republicans of the
intermountain states still held true to the doctrine. It had
been repudiated by the St. Louis platform of June, 1896, and the
intermountain states would probably refuse their electoral votes to the
Republican party because of the repudiation.

Senator Proctor thought that the leaders of the Church were powerful
enough to control the votes of their followers; and he argued that
gratitude to the Republican party for freeing Utah ought to be stronger
than the opinions of the people in a merely economic question.

I reminded him that one of our covenants had been that the Church was
to refrain from dictating to its followers in politics; that we had been
steadily growing away from the absolutism of earlier times; and that
for the sake of the peace and progress of Utah I hoped that the leaders
would keep their hands off. I did not, of course, convince him. Nor was
it necessary. I was sure that no power that the Church would dare to use
would be sufficient at this time to influence the people against their

Joseph F. Smith, soon afterward, notified me that there was to be a
meeting of the Church authorities in the Temple, and he asked me
to attend it. Since I had never before been invited to one of these
conferences in the "holy of holies," I inquired the purposes of the
conclave. He replied that they desired to consider the situation
in which our people had been placed by my action in the St. Louis
convention, and to discuss the perceptible trend of public opinion
in the state. I saw, then, that Senator Proctor's visit had not been
without avail.

On the appointed afternoon, I went to the sacred inner room of the
temple, where the members of the Presidency and several of the apostles
were waiting. I shall not describe the room or any of the religious
ceremonies with which the conference was opened. I shall confine myself
to the discussion--which was begun mildly by President Woodruff and
Lorenzo Snow, then president of the quorum of apostles.

To my great surprise, Joseph F. Smith made a violent Republican speech,
declaring that I had humiliated the Church and alienated its political
friends by withdrawing from the St. Louis convention. He was followed by
Heber J. Grant, an apostle, who had always posed as a Democrat; and
he was as Republican and denunciatory as Smith had been. He declaimed
against our alienation of the great business interests of the country,
whose friendship he and other prominent Mormons had done so much
to cultivate, and from whom we might now procure such advantageous
co-operation if we stood by them in politics.

President Woodruff tried to defend me by saying that he was sure I had
acted conscientiously; but by this time I desired no intervention of
prophetic mercy and no mitigation of judgment that might come of such
intervention. As soon as the President announced that they were prepared
to hear from me, I rose and walked to the farther side of the solemn
chamber, withdrawn from the assembled prophets and confronting
them. Having first disavowed any recognition of their right as an
ecclesiastical body to direct me in my political actions, I rehearsed
the events of the two campaigns in which I had been elected on pledges
that I had fulfilled by my course in Congress, in the Senate, and
finally in the St. Louis convention. That course had been approved by
the people. They had trusted me to carry out the policies on which they
had elected me to Congress. They had reiterated the trust by electing
me to the Senate after I had revolted against the Republican bond and
tariff measures in the lower House. I could not and would not violate
their trust now. And there was no authority on earth which I would
recognize as empowered to come between the people's will and the
people's elected servants.

The prophets received this defiance in silence. Their expressions
implied condemnation, but none was spoken--at least not while I was
there. President Woodruff indicated that the conference was at an
end, so far as I was concerned; and I withdrew. Some attempts were
subsequently made to influence the people during the campaign, but in a
half-hearted way and vainly. The Democrats carried Utah overwhelmingly;
only three Republican members of the legislature were elected out of

It was this conference in the Temple which gave me my first realization
that most of the Prophets had not, and never would have, any feeling of
citizenship in state or nation; that they considered, and would continue
to consider, every public issue solely in its possible effect upon the
fortunes of their Church. My father alone seemed to have a larger view;
but he was a statesman of full worldly knowledge; and his experience in
Congress, during a part of the "reconstruction period," and throughout
the Tilden-Hayes controversy, had taught him how effectively the
national power could assert itself. The others, blind to such dangers,
seemed to feel that under Utah's sovereignty the literal "kingdom
of God" (as they regard their Church) was to exercise an undisputed
authority. Unable, myself, to take their viewpoint, I was conscious of
a sense of transgression against the orthodoxy of their religion. I was
aware, for the first time, that in gaining the fraternity of American
citizenship I had in some way lost the fraternity of the faith in which
I had been reared. I accepted this as a necessary consequence of our
new freedom--a freedom that left us less close and unyielding in our
religious loyalty by withdrawing the pressure that had produced our
compactness. And I hoped that, in time, the Prophets themselves--or,
at least, their successors--would grow into a more liberal sense of
citizenship as their people grew. I knew that our progress must be a
process of evolution. I was content to wait upon the slow amendments of

My hope carried me through the disheartening incidents of the Senatorial
campaign that followed upon the election of the legislature--a campaign
in which the power of the hierarchy was used publicly to defeat the
deposed apostle, Moses Thatcher, in his second candidacy for the
United States Senate. But the Church only succeeded in defeating him by
throwing its influence to Joseph L. Rawlins, whom the Prophets loved as
little as they loved Thatcher; and I felt that in Rawlins' election the
state at least gained a representative who was worthy of it.

What was quite as sinister a use of Church influence occurred among the
Mormons of Idaho, where I went to help Senator Fred. T. Dubois in his
campaign for re-election. He had aided us in obtaining Utah's statehood
as much as any man in Washington. He had accepted all the promises of
the Mormon leaders in good faith--particularly their promise that no
Church influence should intrude upon the politics of Idaho. Yet in his
campaign I was followed through the Mormon settlements by Charles W.
Penrose, a polygamist, since an apostle of the Church, and at that time
editor of the Church's official organ, the Deseret News.

I supposed that he was lying in his claim to represent the Presidency;
and as soon as I returned to Salt Lake, I went to Church headquarters
and asked whether Penrose had been authorized to say (as he had been
saying) that he was sent out to prevent my making any misrepresentations
of the political attitude of the Presidency.

Joseph F. Smith replied, "Yes,"--speaking for himself and apparently for
President Woodruff.

"And when"--I demanded--"when did I ever claim to represent or
misrepresent you in politics? Haven't I always said that I don't
recognize you as politicians--and always denied that you have any right
to dictate the politics of our people?"

President Woodruff interposed gently:

"Well, you know, Frank, we have no criticism to pass on you, but we
were advised that you might tell the voters of Idaho we were friendly
to Senator Dubois, and so we sent Brother Penrose, at the request of
President Budge" (a Mormon stake president in Idaho) "to counsel
our people. And Brother Penrose says you attacked him in one of your
meetings, and said he was not a trustworthy political guide."

President Woodruff's mildness was always irresistible. "If that's all
he told you I said about him," I replied, "he didn't do justice to my
remarks." And I explained that I had described Penrose as "a lying, oily
hypocrite," come to advise the Idaho Mormons that the Presidency wished
them to vote a certain political ticket although the Presidency had no
interest in the question and although I myself had taken to Washington
the Presidency's covenant of honor that the Church would never attempt
to interfere in Idaho's political affairs.

Smith sprang to his feet angrily. "I don't care what has been promised
to Dubois or anyone else," he said. "He was the bitterest enemy our
people had in the old days, and I'll never give my countenance to him in
politics while the world stands. He sent many a one of our brethren
to prison when he was marshal of the territory, and I can't forget his
devilish persecutions--even if you can."

I closed the conversation by remarking that not one among us would have
had a vote as a citizen either of Utah or of Idaho if Dubois and men
of his kind had not accepted our pledges of honor; and if we were
determined to remember the persecutions and not the mercy, we ought to
go back to the conditions from which mercy had rescued us.

I left for Washington, soon after, with an unhappy apprehension that
there were evil influences at work in Utah which might prove powerful
enough to involve the whole community in the worst miseries of reaction.
I saw those influences embodied in Joseph F. Smith; and because he was
explosive where others were reflective, he had now more influence
than previously--there being no longer any set resistance to him. The
reverence of the Mormon people for the name of Smith was (as it had
always been) his chief asset of popularity. He had a superlative
physical impressiveness and a passion that seemed to take the place of
magnetism in public address. But he never said anything memorable; he
never showed any compelling ability of mind; he had a personal cunning
without any large intelligence, and he was so many removes from the
First Presidency that it seemed unlikely he would soon attain to
that position of which the power is so great that it only makes the
blundering more dangerous than the astute.

I was going to Washington, before Congress reconvened, to confer with
Senator Redfield Proctor. He wished to see me about the new protective
tariff bill that was proposed by the Republican leaders. I wished to ask
him not to use his political influence in Idaho against Senator Fred.
T. Dubois, who had been Senator Proctor's political protege. I knew that
Senator Proctor had once been given a semi-official promise that the
Mormon Church leaders would not interfere in Idaho against Dubois. I
wished to tell Proctor that this promise was not being kept, and to
plead with him to give Dubois fair play--although I knew that Senator
Dubois' "insurgency" had offended Senator Proctor.

He received me, in his home in Washington, with an almost paternal
kindliness that became sometimes more dictatorial than persuasive--as
the manner of an older Senator is so apt to be when he wishes to correct
the independence of a younger colleague. He explained that the House
was Republican by a considerable majority; a good protective tariff
bill would come from that body; and a careful canvass of the Senate had
proved that the bill would pass there, if I would vote for it. "We
have within one vote of a majority," he said. "As you're a devoted
protectionist in your views--as your state is for protection--as your
father and your people feel grateful to the Republican party for leading
you out of the wilderness--I have felt that it was proper to appeal to
you and learn your views definitely. If you'll pledge your support to
the bill, we shall not look elsewhere for a vote--but it's essential
that we should be secure of a majority."

I replied that I could not promise to vote for the measure until
I should see it. It was true that I had been a devoted advocate of
protection and still believed in the principle; but I had learned
something of the way in which tariff bills were framed, and something of
the influences that controlled the party councils in support of them. I
could not be sure that the new measure would be any more just than the
original Dingley bill, which I had helped to defeat in the Senate;
and the way in which this bill had been driven through the House was a
sufficient warning to me not to harness myself in a pledge that might be
misused in legislation.

Senator Proctor did me the honor to say that he did not suppose any
improper suggestion of personal advantage could influence me, and he
hoped I knew him too well to suppose that he would use such an argument;
"but," he added, "anything that it's within the 'political' power of the
party to bestow, you may expect; I'm authorized to say that we will take
care of you."

As I still refused to bind myself blindly, he said, with regret: "We had
great hopes of you. It seems that we must look elsewhere. I will leave
the question open. If you conclude to assure us of your vote for
the bill, I shall see that you are restored to a place in Republican
councils. If I do not hear anything from you, it will be necessary
to address ourselves to one or two other Senators who are probably

It is, of course, a doctrine of present-day Republicanism that the will
of the majority must rule within the party. An insurgent is therefore
an apostate. The decision of the caucus is the infallible declaration of
the creed. In setting myself up as a judge of what it was right for me
to do, as the sworn representative of the people who had elected me, I
was offending against party orthodoxy, as that orthodoxy was then, and
is now, enforced in Washington.

I was given an opportunity to return to conformity. I was sent a
written invitation to attend the caucus of Republican Senators after the
assembling of Congress; and, with the other "insurgents," I ignored
the invitation. It was finally decided by the party leaders to let the
tariff bill rest until after the inauguration of the President-elect,
William McKinley, with the understanding that he would call a special
session to consider it; and, in the interval, the Republican machine,
under Mark Hanna, was set to work to produce a Republican majority in
the Senate.

Hanna was elected Senator, at this time, to succeed John Sherman, who
had been removed to the office of Secretary of State, in order to make
a seat for Hanna. The Republican majority was produced. (Senator Dubois
had been defeated). And when the special session was called, in the
spring of 1897, my vote was no longer so urgently needed. I was invited
to a Republican caucus, but I was unwilling to return to political
affiliations which I might have to renounce again; for I saw the power
of the business interests in dictating the policy of the party and I did
not propose to bow to that dictation.

When the tariff bill came before the Senate, I could not in conscience
support it. The beneficiaries of the bill seemed to be dictating their
own schedules, and this was notably the case with the sugar trust, which
had obtained a differential between raw and refined sugar several times
greater than the entire cost of refining. I denounced the injustice of
the sugar schedule particularly. A Mr. Oxnard came to remonstrate with
me on behalf of the beet sugar industry of the West. "You know," he
said, "what a hard time we're having with our sugar companies. Unless
this schedule's adopted I greatly fear for our future."

I replied that I was not opposing any protection of the struggling
industries of the country, or of the sugar growers, but I was set
against the extortionate differential that the sugar trust was
demanding. Everybody knew that the trust had built its tremendous
industrial power upon such criminally high protection as this
differential afforded, and that its power now affected public councils,
obtained improper favors, and terrorized the small competing beet
sugar companies of the West. I argued that it was time to rally for the
protection of the people as well as of the beet sugar industry.

He predicted that if the differential was reduced the protection on beet
sugar would fail. I laughed at him. "You don't know the temper of
the Senate," I said. "Why, even some of the Democrats are in favor
of protecting the beet sugar industry. That part of the bill is safe,
whatever happens to the rest."

"Senator Cannon," he replied, with all the scorn of superior knowledge,
"you're somewhat new to this matter. Permit me to inform you that if
we don't do our part in supporting the sugar schedule, including the
differential, the friends of the schedule in the Senate will prevent us
from obtaining our protection."

"That," I retorted angrily, "is equivalent to saying that the sugar
trust is writing the sugar schedule. I can't listen with patience to any
such insult. The Senate of the United States cannot be dictated to, in
a matter of such importance, by the trust. I will not vote for the
differential. I will continue to oppose it to the end. If you're
right--if the trust has such power--better that our struggling sugar
industry should perish, so that we may arouse the people to the
iniquitous manipulation that destroyed it."

I continued to oppose the schedule. Soon after, I received a message
from the Church authorities asking me to go to New York to attend to
some of their financial affairs. I entered the lobby of the Plaza Hotel
on Fifth Avenue about nine o'clock at night; I was met, unexpectedly, by
Thomas R. Cutler, manager of the Utah Sugar Company, who was a Bishop of
the Mormon Church; and he asked, almost at once, how the tariff bill was
progressing at Washington.

I had known Bishop Cutler for years. I knew that he had labored with
extraordinary zeal and intelligence to establish the sugar industry in
Utah. I understood that he had risked his own property, unselfishly,
to save the enterprise when it was in peril. And I had every reason to
expect that he would be as indignant as I was, at the proposal to use
the support of the beet sugar states in behalf of their old tyrant.

I told him of my conversation with Oxnard. "I'm glad," I said, "that
we're independent enough to refuse such an alliance with the men who are
robbing the country."

A peculiar, pale smile curled Bishop Cutler's thin lips. "Well, Frank,"
he replied, "that's just what I want to see you about. We"--with the
intonation that is used among prominent Mormons when the "we" are
voicing the conclusions of the hierarchy--"wouldn't like to do anything
to hurt the sugar interests of the country. I've looked into this
differential, and I don't see that it is particularly exorbitant. As a
matter of fact, the American Sugar Refining Company is doing all it can
to help us get our needed protection, and we have promised to do what we
can for it, in return. I hope you can see your way clear to vote for the
bill. I know that the brethren"--meaning the Church authorities--"will
not approve of your opposition to it."

I understand what his quiet warning meant, and when we had parted I
went to my room to face the situation. Already I had been told, by a
representative of the Union Pacific Railway, that the company intended
to make Utah the legal home of the corporation, and to enter into a
close affiliation with the prominent men of the Church. I had been asked
to participate, and I had refused because I did not feel free, as a
Senator, to become interested in a company whose relations with the
government were of such a character. But I had not foreseen what this
affiliation meant. Bishop Cutler's warning opened my eyes. The Church
was protecting itself, in its commercial undertakings, by an alliance
with the strongest and most unscrupulous of the national enemies.

I saw that this was natural. The Mormon leaders had been for years
struggling to save their community from poverty. Proscribed by the
Federal laws, their home industries suffering for want of finances,
fighting against the allied influences of business in politics, these
leaders had been taught to feel a fearful respect for the power that had
oppressed them. They were now being offered the aid and countenance of
their old opponents. Our community, so long the object of the world's
disdain, was to advance to favor and prosperity along the easy road of
association with the most influential interests of the country.

I remembered the long hard struggle of our people. I remembered the days
and nights of anxiety that I myself had known when we were friendless
and proscribed. Here was an open door for us, now, to power and wealth
and all the comfort and consideration that would come of these. Other
men better than I in personal character, more experienced in legislation
than I, and wiser by natural gift, were willing to vote for the bill;
and Bishop Cutler, a man whom I had always esteemed, the representative
of the men whom I most revered, had urged me, for them, to support the
bill, under suggestion of their anger if I refused to be guided by their

I saw why the "interests" were eager to have our friendship; we could
give them more than any other community of our size in the whole
country. In the final analysis, the laws of our state and the
administration of its government would be in the hands of the church
authorities. Moses Thatcher might lead a rebellion for a time, but it
would be brief. Brigham H. Roberts might avow his independence in some
wonderful burst of campaign oratory, but he would be forced to fast and
pray and see visions until he yielded. I might rebel and be successful
for a moment, but the inexorable power of church control would crush me
at last. Yet, if I surrendered in this matter of the tariff, I should
be doing exactly what I had criticized so many of my colleagues for
doing--for more than one man in the House and the Senate had given me
the specious excuse that it was necessary to go against his conscience,
here, in order to hold his influence and his power to do good in other

I did not sleep that night. On the day following, I transacted the
financial affairs that I had been asked to undertake, and then I
returned to Washington. My wife met me at the railway station, and--if
you will bear with the intimacy of such psychology--the moment I saw
her I knew how I would vote. I knew that neither the plea of community
ambition, nor the equally invalid argument of an industrial need at
home, nor the financial jeopardy of my friends who had invested in our
home industries, nor the fear of church antagonism, could justify me in
what would be, for me, an act of perfidy. When I had taken my oath of
office I had pledged myself, in the memory of old days of injustice,
never to vote as a Senator for an act of injustice. The test had come.
By all the sanctities of that old suffering and the promise that I had
made in its spirit, I would keep the faith.

When the tariff bill came to its final vote in the Senate, I had the
unhappy distinction of being the only Republican Senator who voted
against it. A useless sacrifice! And yet if it had been my one act of
public life, I should still be glad of it. The "interests" that forced
the passage of that bill are those that have since exploited the country
so shamefully. It is their control of Republican party councils that has
since caused the loss of popular faith in Republicanism and the split in
the party which threatens to disrupt it. It is their control of politics
in Utah that has destroyed the whole value of the Mormon experiment
in communism and made the Mormon Church an instrument of political
oppression for commercial gain. They are the most dangerous domestic
enemy that the nation has known since the close of the Civil War. My
opposition was as doomed as such single independence must always be--but
at least it was an opposition. There is a consolation in having been
right, though you may have been futile!

My father, visiting Washington soon afterwards, took occasion to
criticize my vote publicly, in a newspaper interview; but he was
content, by that criticism, to clear himself and his colleagues of
any responsibility for my act. "You made a great mistake," he told me
privately. "You are alienating the friends who have done so much for
us." He added as if casually--with an air of off-handedness that was
significant to me--"You lay yourself open to attack from your political
enemies. When a man's head is high, it is easily hit." I was afterwards
to understand how serious a danger he then foresaw and thus predicted.

Many reports soon reached me of attacks that were being made upon me
by the ecclesiastical authorities, particularly by Joseph F. Smith and
Apostle Heber J. Grant. The formal criticism passed upon me by my father
was magnified to make my tariff vote appear an inexcusable party and
community defection. A vigorous and determined opposition was raised
against me. And in this, Smith and his followers were aided by
the perfect system of Church control in Utah--a system of complete
ecclesiastical tyranny under the guise of democracy.

Practically every Mormon man is in the priesthood. Nearly every Mormon
man has some concrete authority to exercise in addition to holding his
ordination as an elder. Obedience to his superiors is essential to his
ambition to rise to higher dignity in the church; and obedience to his
superiors is necessary in order to attract obedience to himself from his
subordinates. There can be no lay jealousy of priestly interference in
politics, because there are no laymen in the proper sense of the word.
A man's worldly success in life is largely involved in his success as
a churchman, since the church commands the opportunities of enterprise,
and the leaders of the Church are the state's most powerful men of
affairs. It is not uncommon, in any of our American communities, for men
to use their church membership to support their business; but in Utah
the Mormons practically must do so, and even the Gentiles find it wise
to be subservient.

Add to this temporal power of the Church the fact that it was
establishing a policy of seeking material success for its people, and
you have the explanation of its eagerness to accept an alliance with the
"interests" and of its hostility to anyone who opposed that alliance.
The Mormons, dispossessed of their means by the migration from Illinois,
had been taught the difficulty of obtaining wealth and the value of it
when once obtained. They fancied themselves set apart, in the mountains,
by the world's exclusion. They were ambitious to make themselves as
financially powerful in proportion to their numbers as the Jews were;
and it was a common argument among them that the world's respect had
turned to the Jews because of the dependence of Christian governments
upon the Jewish financiers.

The exploitation of this solid mass of industry and thrift could not
long be obscured from the eyes of the East. The honest desire of the
Mormon leaders to benefit their people by an alliance with financial
power made them the easy victims of such an alliance. With the death
of the older men of the hierarchy, the Church administration lost its
tradition of religious leadership for the good of the community solely,
and the new leaders became eager for financial aggrandizement for
the sake, of power. Like every other church that has added a temporal
scepter to its spiritual authority, its pontiffs have become kings of a
civil government instead of primates of a religious faith.

Chapter IX. At the Crossways

In 1897, the Church, freed of proscription, with its people enjoying the
sovereignty of their state rights, had--as I have already said--only one
further enfranchisement to desire: and that was its freedom from debt.
The informal "finance committee" of which I was a member, had succeeded
in concentrating the bulk of the indebtedness in the East, on short term
loans, and had brought a certain order out of the confusion of the
older methods of administration. But, in 1897, my father proposed a
comprehensive plan of Church finance that included the issuance of
Church bonds and the formation of responsible committees to regulate and
manage the business affairs of the Church, so that the bonds might be
made a normal investment for Eastern capital by having a normal business
method of administration to back them. The idea was tentatively approved
by the Presidency, and I was asked to draw up the plan in detail.

To this end there were placed in my hands sheets showing the assets,
liabilities, revenues and disbursements of the Church. They gave a total
cash indebtedness of $1,200,000, approximately. The revenues from
tithes for the year 1897 were estimated at a trifle more than a million
dollars--the total being low because of the financial depression
from which the country was just recovering. The available property
holdings--exclusive of premises used for religious worship, for
educational and benevolent work, and such kindred purposes--were valued
at several millions (from four to six), although there was no definite
appraisal or means of obtaining appraisal, since the values would
largely attach only when the properties were brought into business use.
I was advised that the incomes of the Church would probably increase
at the rate of ten per cent per annum, but I do not know by what
calculations this ratio was reached.

The disbursements were chiefly for interest on debt, for the maintenance
of the temples and tabernacles, for educational and charitable work,
for missionary headquarters in other countries, and for the return
of released missionaries. The missionaries themselves received no
compensation; they were supposed to travel "without purse or scrip;"
their expenses were defrayed by their relatives, and they had to pay
out of their own pockets for the printed tracts which they distributed.
Neither the President nor any of the general authorities received
salaries. There was an order that each apostle should be paid $2,000 a
year, but this rule had been suspended, except, perhaps, in the cases
of men who had to give their whole time to religious work and who had
no independent incomes. Some occasional appropriations had been made for
meeting houses in communities that had been unable to erect their own
chapels of worship, but for the most part there were few calls made upon
the Church revenues to support its religious activities, its priests or
its propaganda.

Our proposed committees, therefore, were a committee on missionary work,
one on publication, one on colonization, one on political protective
work for the Mormons in foreign countries, and most important--a finance
committee selected from the body of apostles, with the addition of some
able men connected with financial institutions. As a basis for the work
of the finance committee, we proposed the establishment of an interest
fund, a sinking fund, and a scale of percentage disbursements for the
various community purposes. These committees were to be appointed by the
Conferences of the people, and the committee reports were to be public.
President Woodruff eagerly accepted the plan as relieving the Presidency
of administrative cares that were becoming too great for the quorum to
carry. Joseph F. Smith did not at once awake to the real meaning of the
proposal; but when the scheme was submitted in its matured details,
he spoke of the danger of allowing power to pass from the hands of the
"trustee in trust" in business matters. His idea was sufficiently
clear in its resistance to any diffusion of authority, but it was
correspondingly void of any suggestion of substitute. For the time being
he was pacified by the assurance that the "Kingdom of God" and the
rule of its prophets would not be endangered by the organization
of committees and the submission of financial plans to the general
knowledge, and even to the consent, of the people.

It was, of course, evident to the First Councillor that this scheme
of Church administration would give the Mormon people a measure of
responsible government, and the proposal was a part of his wisdom as a
community leader seeking the common welfare. While we had been a people
on whom the whole world seemed to be making war, a dictatorship had
been necessary; but now that we had arrived at peace and liberty, a
concentration of irresponsible power would surely become dangerous to
progress. Without, therefore, impairing the religious authority of the
Prophet, the First Councillor was willing to divide the temporal power
of the Church among its members.

He was as silent, about these aims, with me as with all others; but I
had learned to understand him in his silences; and, in joining with him
in his work of reform, I was as sure of his purpose as I have since been
sure of the disaster to the Mormon people that has come of the failure
to effect the reform.

When the Presidency had approved of the flotation of bonds, I went with
my father to New York to aid him in interesting Eastern capitalists
in the investment. We interviewed Judge John F. Dillon and Mr. Winslow
Pierce, of the law firm of Dillon and Pierce, attorneys for some of the
Union Pacific interests; and through them we met Mr. Edward H. Harriman,
Mr. George J. Gould and members of the firm of Kuhn Loeb and Company. It
was interesting to watch the encounters between the Mormon prophet and
some of these astutest of the nation's financiers; for it was as if one
of the ancient patriarchs had stepped down from the days of early Israel
to discuss the financial problems of his people with a modern "captain
of industry." He described a condition of society that was, to Wall
Street, archaic. He spoke with a serene assurance that the order of
affairs in Utah was constituted in the wisdom of the word of God. He
was listened to, with the interest of curiosity, as the chief living
exponent of the Mormon movement, its processes and its aims; and I
was impressed by the fact that these men of the world had a large and
splendid sympathy for any wholesome social effort designed to abolish
poverty and establish a quicker justice in the practical affairs of the

It was of the abolition of poverty and the justice of the social order
among the Mormons, that the First Councillor chiefly spoke. "Your
clients," he said to Judge Dillon, "make their investments frequently in
railroad stocks and bonds. What are the underlying bases of the values
of railroad securities? Largely the industry and stability of the
communities through which the railroad lines shall operate. Then, in
reality, the security is valuable in proportion to the value of the
community in its steadfastness, its prosperity and the safety of its
productive labor. In your railroad investments you are obliged to take
such considerations as a secondary security. In negotiating this Church
loan with your clients, you can offer the same great values as a primary
security. Probably no where else in the world is there a people at once
so industrious and so stable as ours."

It was the boast of the Mormons that there had not been an almshouse or
an almstaker in any of their settlements, up to the time of the escheat
proceedings by the Federal officials; and this was literally true. Every
man had been helped to the employment for which he was best fitted. If
an immigrant, in his former estate, had been a silk-weaver, efforts were
made to establish his industry and give it public support. If he had
been a musician of talent, a little conservatory was founded, and
patronage obtained for him. When the growth of population made it
necessary to open new valleys for agriculture, the Church, out of its
community fund, rendered the initial aid; in many instances the original
irrigation enterprises of small settlements were thus financed; and the
investments were repaid not only directly, by the return of the loan,
but indirectly, many times over, by the increased productiveness
and larger contributions of the people. Co-operation, in mercantile,
industrial and stock-raising undertakings, assured the support and
patronage of each community for its own particular enterprise, prevented
destructive competition and checked the greed of the individual--for the
more he toiled for himself, the larger the share of the general burden
he had to carry.

It was the First Councillor's theory that when people contributed to a
common fund they became interested in one another's material welfare.
The man who paid less in tithes this year than last was counselled with
as to why his business had been unsuccessful, and the wise men of his
little circle aided him with advice and material help. The man who
contributed largely was glad of a prosperity from which he yielded a
part--in recognition of what the community had done for him and in
a reverent gratitude to God for making him "a steward of mighty
possessions"--but he was anxious that his neighbor also should be a
larger contributor each year.

The whole system of tithe-paying was built upon a series of purported
"revelations" received by Joseph Smith, the original Prophet. It was
declared to be the will of God that all men, as stewards of their
possessions, should give of their increase annually into "the storehouse
of the Lord," which should always be open for the relief of the poor.
Inasmuch as the man who received help--or whose widow and children did
so--had been a tithe-payer during all his productive years, there
was none of the feeling of personal humiliation on the part of the
recipient, nor any of the feeling of condescending charity on the part
of the giver, in the distribution of funds to the needy. And it was
astonishing how few the needy were--because of the abstemious lives, the
industry, and the thrift of the workers.

The Church tribunals heard and settled all disputes over property or
personal rights not involving the criminal law. Expensive litigation was
thus avoided. Society was saved the cost of innumerable courts. There
were many counties in which no lawyer could be found; and everywhere,
among the Mormons, it was considered an act of evil fellowship,
amounting almost to apostasy, for a man to bring suit against his
brother in the civil tribunals.

In short--as my father pointed out--Utah, at that time, expressed the
only full-bodied social proposition in the United States. There never
had been in America another community whose future, in the economic
aspects, offered so clear a solution of problems which still remain
generally unsettled. It was as if a segment of the great circle of
modern humanity had been transported to another world, otherwise
unpopulated, and there with the experience gained through centuries of
human travail--had attempted the establishment of a just, beneficent and
satisfying social order.

I am here repeating this argument--this exposition--because the
financial absolutism of the Prophets of the Church has since ruined the
whole Mormon experiment in communism, put the Mormon paupers into the
public poor houses, used the tithes to support the large financial
ventures of the Prophet's favorites, and turned the Church's "community
enterprises" into monopolistic exploitations of the Mormon people.
And this change began even while our negotiations were pending in New
York--for they were prolonged, for various reasons, into the summer
of 1898, and they were interrupted finally by the death of President

As soon as I received word of his illness I took train for Utah.
The news of his death met me on the journey home. Since I derived my
authority solely from him, upon my arrival in Salt Lake I went to the
Cashier of the Church, gave him the keys and the password to the safety
deposit box in New York, and withdrew from any further participation
in the Church's financial affairs. When I came to the office of the
Presidency I found that my father had removed his desk; and this was an
indication to me of what was happening in the inner circles of Church

The president of the quorum of apostles invariably succeeds to the
Presidency of the Church, although it is left to the apostles to decide,
and their choice is supposed to be directed by inspiration. His
election is subsequently ratified by the General Conference; but this
ratification is a mere form, because the conference must either accept
the choice of the apostles or rebel against "the revelation of God."

Apostle Lorenzo Snow was president of the quorum of apostles, and
therefore in line for the Presidency. But usually, after the death of
a President, a considerable period was allowed to elapse before the
selection of his successor, with the government resting in the quorum
of apostles meanwhile, even for a term of years. As soon as I arrived
in Salt Lake, Apostle Snow asked me to a private interview (in the
same small back room of the President's offices), inquired about the
financial negotiations that I had been conducting, and asked me whether
it was not essential to the success of our business affairs that as soon
as possible the Church should elect a President, empowered as "trustee
in trust." I replied that it was. He invited me to attend a conference
of the apostles and give my views upon the situation to them.

This seemed to me an act of rather shallow cunning, for I knew I was
too unimportant a person to be so consulted unless he thought my report
would aid his intrigue. Such intriguing was offensive to the religious
traditions of the Church; and it outraged my feeling for President
Woodruff, who was hardly cold in death before this personal and worldly
ambition caught at the reins of his office. Snow had been a man of
small weight in the government of the Church. He had known none of the
responsibilities of great leadership. He was eighty-four years old.

However, it was impossible for us to maintain the Church's credit in
the East unless our community were represented by some choate authority,
since our credit rested on the belief that the Mormon people were ready
to consecrate all their possessions at any time to the service of the
Church at the command of the President. I advised the apostles of this
fact. Snow was elected President on September 13, 1898, eleven days
after Woodruff's death. He followed the usual precedent in choosing my
father and Joseph F. Smith as his Councillor's.

But he took possession of his new authority with the manner of an heir
entering upon the ownership of a personal estate for which he had long
waited--and which he proposed to enjoy to the full for his remaining
years. In a most literal sense he held that all the property of the
people of the Church was subject to his direction, as chief earthly
steward of "the Divine Monarch," and he proceeded to exercise his
assumed prerogatives with an autocracy that made even Joseph F. Smith
complain because the Councillor's were never asked for counsel. As
resident apostle of Box Elder County and president of the Box Elder
"stake of Zion," Snow had already shown his ambition as a financier,
disastrously; and it was as the financial head of the Church that he was
chiefly to rule during his term of absolutism.

Of all the Church leaders whom I had known he was the only man who
showed none of the robustness of the Western experience. Tall, stately,
white-bearded, elegant and courtly, he prided himself most obviously on
his manners and his culture. He rarely spoke in any but the most subdued
and silken tones of suavity. He walked with a step that was almost
affected in its gentility. If he had any passions, he held them in such
smooth concealment that the public credited him with neither force
nor unkindness. He had been a great traveler (as a missionary); he had
written his autobiography, somewhat egotistically; he was devoted to
the forms of his religion, like a mediaeval Prince of the Church and
an elegante. But under all the artificialities of personal vanity and
exterior grace, he proved to have a cold determination that seemed more
selfishly ambitious than religiously zealous.

At once, upon his accession to power, he notified us that he did
not intend to carry out any such plan as we had suggested for the
administration of the Church's finances. It meant a diffusion of
authority; and he held that the best results had been obtained by
keeping all power in the hands of the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and
of those whom he might appoint to work with him. Joseph F. Smith, at
a meeting of the Presidency, was even more positive. No good, he said,
could come of publishing the affairs of the community to the people
of it; those affairs were purely the concern of the Prophets; the Lord
revealed His will to the Prophets and they were responsible only to Him.

My father necessarily bowed to the President's decision. "It is within
the authority of the Prophet of the Lord," he counselled me, "to
determine how he will conduct the business of the Church. President Snow
has his own ideas."

By that decision, as I see it now, an autocracy of financial power was
confirmed to the President of the Mormon Church at a time when a renewal
of prosperity among its people was about to make such power fatal to
their liberties. It was confirmed to a man who proved himself eager for
it, ambitious to increase it and secretly unscrupulous in his use of
it. He proceeded at once to preach the doctrine of contribution with
unexampled zeal, but he administered the "common fund," so collected,
with none of the old feeling of responsibility to the people who
contributed it He became the first of the new financial pontiffs of
the Church who have used the "money power" as an aid to hierarchical

Moreover, in his desire to fill the coffers of the Church, he engaged in
"practical politics" and made a profit out of Church influence, both
in business enterprises and in political campaigns. He proved himself
peculiarly qualified by nature to construct and direct a secret
political machine--a machine whose operations were never to be
observable except to the close student of Utah's ecclesiasticism--a
machine that was to be all the more effective because of its silent
certainty. As the succeeding chapters of this narrative will show,
although he affected a fine superiority to unclean political work and
always publicly professed that the Church of Christ was holding itself
aloof from the strife of partisanship, there was no political event on
which he did not fix the calculating eye of his ambitious clericalism
and no candidacy that he did not reach with those slender but powerful
fingers that controlled the destiny of a state and trifled with the
honor of a people.

His accession marked the change from the old to the new regime in Utah.
Leadership was no longer a dangerous honor. Proscription no longer made
the authorities of the Church strong by persecution--hardy chiefs of a
poverty-stricken people--leaders as sensible of the obligations of power
as their followers were faithful in their allegiance of duty. Political
freedom and worldly prosperity made the office of President a luxurious
sovereignty, easily tyrannical, fortified in its religious absolutism by
its irresponsible power of finance, and protected in its social abuses,
from the interference of the nation, by an alliance with the commercial
rulers of the nation and by a duplicity that worldliness has learned to
dignify with the respectability of material success.

Chapter X. On the Downward Path

During the last years of President Woodruff's life there had been a slow
decline of the feeling that it was necessary for self-protection that
the hierarchy should preserve a political control over the people. I
cannot say that the feeling had wholly passed. It had continued to show
itself, here and there, whenever a candidate was so pertinacious in
his independence that words of disfavor were sent out from Church
headquarters in one of those whispers that carry to the confines of the
kingdom of the priests. But the progress was apparent. The tendency was
clear. And in 1898 there was neither internal revolt nor external threat
to provoke a renewal of the exercise of that force which is necessarily
despotic if it be used at all.

Yet, in September, 1898, President Snow, if he did not instigate, at
least authorized the candidacy of Brigham H. Roberts for Congress--a
polygamist who had been threatened with excommunication for his
opposition to the "political manifesto" of 1896 and who had recanted and
made his peace with the hierarchy. His election, now, would be a proof
that the Church could punish a brilliant orator and courageous citizen
in the time of his independence and then reward him in the day of his
submission; and the authorities would thus demonstrate to all the people
that the one way to political preferment lay through the annihilation of
self-will and the submergence of national loyalty in priestly devotion.
Such a candidacy was a sufficient shame to the state; but there was
also a United States Senatorship to be bestowed; and it was deliberately
bargained for, between the Church authorities and a man who deserved
better than the alliance into which he entered.

Alfred W. McCune was a citizen of Utah who had gone out from the
territory in the days of its poverty (and his own), had made a fortune
in British Columbia and Montana, and had returned to his home state to
enrich it with his generosities. He was not a Mormon, but he had wide
Mormon connections. He spent his millions in public enterprises and
benefactions; and the Church had benefited in the sum of many thousands
by his subscriptions to its funds and institutions.

Apostle Heber J. Grant, a Republican by sentiment but a Democrat by
pretension, was selected by President Snow to barter the Senatorship to
McCune. There can be no doubt of it. Everyone immediately suspected
it. Letters from Grant, published in the newspapers of January, 1899,
subsequently confirmed it. And President Snow's actions, toward the end
of the campaign, proved it.

The other candidates were Judge O. W. Powers, a prominent Democrat;
William H. King, also a Democrat, a former member of Congress and at one
time a Federal judge; and myself as an independent Silver Republican.
I had not allied myself with the Democrats after withdrawing from
the Republican convention of 1896, and the Republican machine in
Utah (thanks to the power of the "interests") had repudiated me, in
September, 1898, by adopting a platform that refused to support as
Senator any man who had opposed the Dingley Tariff Bill. But I had the
votes of my own county of Weber, and some other votes that had been
pledged to me before the election of members of the legislature; and
though my return to the Senate seemed plainly impossible, I went into
the fight in fulfillment of understandings which I had with progressive
elements in Utah and with the "insurgents," of that day, in Washington.

During the campaign to elect members of the Legislature, I supported the
Democratic State and Congressional ticket. Brigham H. Roberts had been
nominated for Congress on this ticket despite the protests of my father
and many others who foresaw the evil results of electing a polygamist. I
accepted Roberts' nomination as proof that this question must be settled
anew at Washington; and I contented myself with predicting, throughout
the campaign, that the House of Representatives would determine whether
it would admit a polygamist and a member of the hierarchy as a lawmaker,
and would so forever dispose of these ecclesiastical candidacies of
which Utah refused to dispose for itself. (And it is a fact that since
the prompt exclusion of Roberts from the House of Representatives no
known polygamist has been elected to either House of Congress.)

A Democratic legislature was elected, and A. W. McCune was put forward
prominently as a candidate for the United States senatorship. He was
assisted by his own newspaper, the Salt Lake Herald, by numberless
business interests, cleverly by the Deseret News (the organ of the
hierarchy) flagrantly and for financial reasons by Apostle Heber J.
Grant, and incidentally by the Smiths on behalf of the Church. Also
a Republican assistance was given him by my former colleague in the
Senate, Arthur Brown, who specialized as an opponent to my candidacy.

My old campaign manager, Ben Rich, had been withdrawn from me by a
Church order appointing him in control of the Eastern missions. I
was without the support of either the Democratic or Republican
organizations: my following was a personal one: and consequently the
attack upon me chiefly took the form of stories of personal immorality,
privately circulated. These stories culminated in a motion before the
Woman's Republican Club, demanding my withdrawal from the Senatorial
contest on the ground of "gross misconduct"--a motion introduced by a
Mrs. Anna M. Bradley, a woman politician (who was a stranger to me),
with the assistance of Mrs. Arthur Brown, wife of the former Senator.

If I ever had any resentment against these unfortunate women for
allowing themselves to be used as the agents of slander, it passed
in the miseries that overtook them later; for Mrs. Brown died of the
scandal of her husband's intimacy with Mrs. Bradley, and Mrs. Bradley
shot and killed ex-Senator Brown, in a Washington hotel, because he
refused to marry her and recognize her child after her divorce from her

My anger then, and since, was not against the women, but against the
men who hid behind them--against Apostle Heber J. Grant and Apostle John
Henry Smith and their tool, ex-Senator Brown. In my anger I decided to
take an action that looked as desperate as it proved successful. I hired
the Salt Lake Theatre--for a night (February 9, 1899), and announced
that I would speak on "Senatorial Candidates and Pharisees"--intending
to use the opportunity of self-defense in order to attack the "financial
apostles" who were selling Church influence.

In taking that step I understood, of course, that it meant the death for
me of any political ambition in Utah. It meant offending my father, who
besought me not to raise my hand against "the Lord's anointed," but to
leave my enemies "to God's justice"--as he had always done with his. It
meant a breach with many of my friends in the Church who would blindly
resent my criticism of the political apostles as an encouragement to the
enemies of the faith. But the part that I had taken in helping Utah to
gain its statehood made it impossible for me to stand aside, now, and
see all our pledges broken, all our promises betrayed. I had to offer
myself as a sacrifice to hierarchical resentment in the hope that my
destruction might give at least a momentary pause to the reactionaries
in their career.

It is needless that I should relate all the incidents of that wild
night. The theatre was packed with people who joined me for the moment
in a sympathetic protest against the disgrace of Utah. President Lorenzo
Snow, his two councillors and several apostles were present, and I spoke
without any reservations on account of personal relationship, my own
candidacy or the possible effect upon my own affairs. I appealed to the
people to prevent the sale of Utah's senatorship to McCune by Apostle
Grant and the Church reactionaries; and by turning the light of
publicity upon the methods that were being employed in the legislature,
I made it impossible for the hierarchy to sway enough votes to elect
McCune. The men who had pledged themselves to the other candidates
could not be shaken from their support without a national scandal. The
election settled for the time into a deadlock, in which no candidate
could obtain enough votes to elect him.

Apostle Heber J. Grant started to write letters that should counteract
the effect of my speech, but President Snow forbade him to continue the
controversy and sent word to me that he had forbidden Grant to continue
it. I did not know why President Snow wished me to feel that he was
friendly to me, but I was soon to learn.

The deadlock in the legislature continued, in spite of all the efforts
of the Church authorities to break it. Our political workers, summoned
one by one by messengers from Church headquarters, had gone to
interviews from which they did not return to us--until I had left only
Judge Ed. F. Colborn (a famous character in Kansas, Colorado and Utah),
and an old friend, Jesse W. Fox. One night, about a week after the
meeting in the theatre, we three were sitting alone in my rooms, when
the door opened and someone beckoned to Fox. He went out. Judge Colborn
opened a window to see Fox getting into a carriage with a man from
Church headquarters--and we knew that our last worker was gone.

He returned only to tell me that President Snow wished to see me--that
if I were willing, the President would like to have me call upon him, at
half past nine the following evening, in his residence. And I understood
the significance of such an invitation for such an hour. I had been
too often in contact with the power of the Prophets to doubt what was
required of me. I was curious merely to know what form the ultimatum
would take.

President Snow was then living with his youngest wife in a house a few
blocks from the offices of the Presidency. I drove there in a carriage
and ordered the driver to wait for me. President Snow opened the door
to me himself, received me with his usual engaging smile, and ushered
me into a reception room that was shut off, by portieres, from a larger
parlor. There, when he had invited me to be seated, he said, winningly:
"I was not sure you would come in answer to my message."

I assured him that I had not so far lost my regard for the men with whom
my father was associated. "And besides," I said, "if there were no other
reason, it is my place, as the younger of the two, to attend on your

"I did not know," he replied, "but that you thought me one of the
'Pharisees' of whom you spoke."

I did not accept this invitation to reply that I did not consider him
one of the Pharisees. I explained merely that I had identified the
Pharisees in my speech by name and deed and accusation. "Unless
something there said is applicable to you, I have no charge to make
against you."

He excused himself a moment to go to an infant whom we could hear crying
in an inner room; and, when he returned, he had the child in his arms--a
little girl, in a night gown. He sat down, petting her, stroking her
hair with his supple lean hand, affectionately, and smiling with a sort
of absentminded tenderness as he took up the conversation again.

This memory of him sticks in my mind as one of the most extraordinary
pictures of my experience. I knew that I had come there to hear my own
or some other person's political death sentence. I knew that he would
not have invited me at such an hour, with such secrecy, unless the issue
of our conference was to be something dark and fatal. And in the soft
radiance of the lamp he sat smiling--fragile of build, almost spiritual,
white-haired, delicately cultured--soothing the child who played with
his long silvery beard and blinked sleepily. He inquired whether my
carriage was waiting for me, and I replied that it was. He asked me to
dismiss it. When I returned to the room, the little girl was resting
quiet, and he excused himself to take her to her cot. I heard him
closing the doors behind him as he came back. "We may now talk with
perfect freedom," he announced. "There's no one else in this part of the

He sat down in his chair, composing himself with an air that might have
distinguished one of the ancient kings. "I have sent for you to talk
about the Senatorial situation. May I speak plainly to you?"

I replied that he might. He was watching me, under his gray eyebrows,
with his soft eyes, in which there was a glitter of blackness but none
of the rheum of old age.

"It would be most unfortunate," he said, "for us, as a people, if we
failed to elect a Senator. I've had many business and other anxieties
for the Church, and I want this question settled. If we act wisely--with
the power and influence at our command--aid will come to me. I think you
would not willingly permit our situation to become more difficult."

He must have seen a change in my expression--a change that indicated
how well I understood the significance of this guarded introduction.
Suddenly, his manner broke into animation, and holding out both hands
to me, palms up, he said, smiling: "You must know, Brother Frank, that
I had nothing to do with Mr. McCune's candidacy for the Senate, do you
not? I was not responsible for what Brother Grant did. Before we go on,
I want you to acquit me of responsibility for that project."

"President Snow," I replied, "I can't admit so much. I, too, wish to
talk plainly--with your permission. Your responsibility is evident even
to the casual observer--to say nothing of one reared as I've been.
Every man in this community knows that when you point your finger your
apostles go, and when you crook your finger your apostles return--and
Heber J. Grant has only done what you permitted him to do with your full

He drew himself up, coldly. "What I have done," he retorted, "has been
done with the knowledge of my Councillor's."

The thrust was obvious. I replied: "If my father desires to discuss with
me his responsibility for this indignity to the state, he knows I'm at
his command. And if I have any charge to make, involving his good faith
toward the country, I'll seek him alone."

"Very well," he said, with a frigid suavity. "We will leave that part of
the question." He paused. "Last night," he continued, "lying on my bed,
I had a vision. I saw this work of God injured by the political strife
of the brethren. And the voice of the Lord came to me, directing me to
see that your father was elected to the Senate." He studied me a moment
before he added: "What have you to say?"

I answered: "It seems to me impossible. This legislature is strongly
Democratic. My father's a Republican. It seems to me not only
impracticable but very unwise--if it could be done."

"Never mind that," he said. "The Lord will take care of the event.
I want you to withdraw from the race and throw your strength to your
father. It is the will of the Lord that you do so."

"Have you a revelation to that effect also?" I asked.

He answered, pontifically, "Yes."

"You'll publish it to the world, then, the same as other revelations?"

"No," he replied. "No."

"Then I'll not obey it," I said, "because if God is ashamed of it, I

His air of prophetic authority changed to one of combative resolution.
He explained that one of the other candidates, a strong Democrat, had
agreed to accept the revelation if I would; that the two of us could
give our strength to the church candidate; that the Church would turn
to my father the votes that it had already in command for McCune, and my
father's election would be carried.

I felt that the thumb-screws were being put on me again. For the second
time I was being forced to the point of denying the Senatorship to my
father by refusing him my support. And there could not have been, for
me, a more vivid and instantaneous illumination of the hidden depths in
this Church system--or in the individual Prophet of the cult--than was
made by Snow's determined insistence that I should break my word of
honor to the people of the state and of the nation, pledge that broken
faith to him, induce all my supporters in the legislature to violate
their covenants--Mormon and Gentile alike!--and upon his mere assumption
of divine authority, direct Mormon and Gentile to stultify and disgrace
themselves forever as men and public officials. There was something
appalling in the calculating cruelty with which he proposed to devote us
all to destruction and dishonor. There was something inhumanly malignant
in the plan to use my known affection for my father in order to make
me guilty of the very betrayal of the people which I had publicly
denounced. I looked at him--and heard him, now, placidly, confidently,
with a renewed suavity, urging me to do the thing.

"President Snow," I interrupted, "does my father know of this?"

He answered: "No."

"I'm glad of it," I said. (And I was!) "This is not the way to work out
either the destiny of 'God's people' or the destiny of this state. It
would place my father in a most humiliating position to be elected--at
the orders of the Church--under the assumption that God Almighty had
directed men to break their solemn promises to their constituents. I
have as high an admiration for my father's wisdom and ability as you or
the Democratic candidate who has offered to withdraw at the will of the
Church, but I should be paying no honor to my father by dishonoring my
pledge to my constituents and asking other men to dishonor theirs."

He dismissed me with an air of benignant sorrow!

The deadlock in the legislature continued unbroken. Among my supporters
was Lewis W. Shurtliff, the President of the "Stake of Zion" in which I
lived; he was one of the highest Church dignitaries in the legislature
and was regarded as my foremost champion in the Senatorial contest.
On the last day of the legislative session, at President Snow's
instruction, my father, known as a Republican, was offered as a
senatorial candidate to this Democratic legislature, and all the power
of the Church influence was thrown to him. President Shurtliff's wife
came to our headquarters, that night, and knelt, with a number of other
ladies, to pray that her husband might be spared the humiliation of
breaking his repeated promise not to desert me! We all knew that if he
broke his promise, it would cause him more mental anguish than
anyone else; but we knew, too, that if the command came from Church
headquarters, he would have to obey it. Men broke their political
pledges to their people and outraged their own feelings of personal
independence or partisan loyalty, rather than offend against "the will
of the Lord." The forces of the other candidates went to pieces, and on
the last night of the session my father's vote reached twenty-three. (It
required thirty-two votes to elect.)

The situation was saved by the action of a number of Democrats who
got together and obtained a recess; when the recess was ended, a final
ballot was taken, and, since no candidate had enough votes to elect him,
the presiding officer, by pre-concertment, declared the joint assembly
adjourned sine die, by operation of law. No Senator was elected.

But it was the last time that the Church authorities were to be balked.
Since that day, they have dictated the nominations and carried the
elections of the United States Senators from Utah as if these were
candidates for a church office. The present Senator, Reed Smoot, is an
apostle of the Church; he obtained the Mormon President's "permission"
to become a candidate, as he admitted to an investigating committee
of the Senate; and when the recent tariff bill was being attacked by
insurgent Republicans and carried by Senator Aldrich, Senator Smoot
acted as Aldrich's lieutenant in debate, and remained to watch the
defense of the "interests" when his chief was absent from the Senate
chamber. (Not because Smoot was such an able defender of those
"interests"! Not because his constituents would uphold his course! But
because he has no constituents, and is responsible to no one but the
hierarchical partners of those "interests.")

Every pledge of the Mormon leaders that the Church would not interfere
in politics has been broken at every election in Utah since President
Snow that night pleaded to me that he had had many business anxieties
for the Church and that if we elected the Church candidate "aid" would
come to him. The covenants by which Utah obtained its statehood have
been violated again and again. The provisions of the state constitution
have been nullified. The trust of the Mormon people has been abused;
their political liberties have been denied them; their Gentile brethren
have been betrayed. And all this has been done not for the protection
of the people, who were threatened with no proscription--and not for
the advancement of the faith, which has been free to work out its
own future. It has been done as a part of the alliance between the
"financial" prophets of the Church and the financial "interests" of
the country--which have been exploiting the people of Utah as they
have exploited the whole nation with the aid of the ecclesiastical
authorities in Utah.

Chapter XI. The Will of the Lord

The Mormon leaders were now hurried down their chosen path of dishonor
with a fateful rapidity. A reform movement was demanding of Washington
the adoption of a constitutional amendment that should give Congress
power to regulate the marriage and divorce laws of all the states in the
Union. And this proposed amendment--partly inspired by a growing
doubt of the good faith of the Mormon leaders--gave the politicians
in Washington something to trade for Mormon votes, in the presidential
campaign of 1900.

The Republicans had lost the electoral votes of Utah and the surrounding
states, in 1896.

Utah was now Democratic, and its one United States Senator (who was
still in office) was a Democrat. Senator Hanna's lieutenant, Perry S.
Heath, came to Salt Lake City in the summer of 1900, to confer with
the heads of the Mormon Church. His authority (as representative of the
ruler of the Republican party) had been authenticated by correspondence;
and he was received by President Snow as royalty receives the envoy of

Heath negotiated with his usual directness. In the phrase of the time,
"he laid down his cards on the table, face up, and asked Snow to play
to that hand." If the Mormon Church would pledge its support to the
Republican party, the Republican leaders would avert the threatened
constitutional amendment that was to give Congress the power to
interfere in the domestic affairs of the Mormon people. But if the
Church denied its support to the Republican party, the constitutional
amendment would be carried, and the Mormons, in their marriage
relations, would be returned to the Federal jurisdiction from which they
had escaped when the territory was admitted to statehood.

The sentiment of the country was known to be in favor of giving Congress
such power. A strong body of reformers was urging the amendment, and
the Church leaders had sent Apostle John Henry Smith and Bishop H. B.
Clawson to lobby against it. After consulting with my father, I had
written to President Snow pointing out the danger to the Mormons of
having a lobby opposing such an amendment--for I was not then aware of
the secret return to the practice of polygamy, after 1896. President
Snow replied to me (in a message of guarded prudence) that although
the Church inhibited plural marriage and did not intend to allow the
practice, he was opposed to the interference of Congress in the domestic
concerns of the other states of the Union!

He made his "deal" with Perry Heath. Church messengers were sent out
secretly to the Mormons in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, Montana,
Washington, Oregon, California and the territories, with the whispered
announcement that it was "the will of the Lord" that the Republicans
should be aided. Utah went Republican; the Mormons in the surrounding
states either openly supported, or secretly voted for McKinley; and the
constitutional amendment was "side tracked" and forgotten.

Utah elected a Republican legislature. Apostle Reed Smoot applied to
President Snow for permission to become a candidate for the United
States Senatorship, and obtained a promise that if he stood aside, for
the time, he should receive his reward later. President Snow had decided
that Thomas Kearns, already an active candidate, was the man whom the
Church would support--since Mr. Kearns' ability, his wealth and his
business connection promised greater advantages for the state and (under
cunning manipulation by the priests) greater advantages for the Church
than the election of any other candidate. And all this may be fairly
said without assuming that there was any definite arrangement between he
Church and any friends of Mr. Kearns.

Kearns was associated with Senator Clark of Montana and R. C. Kerens of
St. Louis in building a railroad from Salt Lake to Los Angeles, and the
Church owned some fifteen miles of track that had been laid from Salt
Lake City, as the beginning of a Los Angeles line. It was apparently
assumed by President Snow that Kearns' election to the Senate would
facilitate the sale of this Church railroad to the Clark-Kearns
syndicate. The Church had a direct interest in numerous iron and coal
properties in Southern Utah, and many members of the Church also had
private properties there, which the Los Angeles line would develop.
Some of Kearns' friends were negotiating for the purchase of Church
properties, and one of his partners was proposing to buy (and
subsequently bought) the Church's "Amelia Palace," a useless and
expensive property which Brigham Young had built for his favorite wife,
and which the Church had long been eager to sell.

My father had been in ill-health for some months and he was away from
Utah a large part of the time. President Snow took counsel of his Second
Councillor, Joseph F. Smith, and of Apostle John Henry Smith; and to
the Smiths, he indicated Thos. Kearns as the one whose election to the
United States Senate might do most to advance Snow's concealed purpose.
But the Smiths had other plans, that were equally advantageous to
the Church and more advantageous to the Smiths; they rebelled against
President Snow's dictation, and he ordered them both away on temporary

As Joseph F. Smith was leaving the President's offices, in a rage, he
met an old friend, Joseph Howell, who (at this writing) is a member of
Congress from Utah, and was then a member of the Utah legislature. He
told Smith that President Snow had sent for him, and Smith, controlling
himself--without betraying any knowledge of the probable purpose of
Snow's summons to Howell--said affectionately: "Brother Howell, I want
you to make a promise to me on your honor as an elder in Israel. I want
you to pledge yourself never to vote in this legislature for Thomas
Kearns as Senator. I ask it as your friend, and as a Prophet to the

Howell gave his promise, and proceeded to his interview with President
Snow. There he received the announcement that it was "the will of the
Lord" that he should vote for Kearns, and he had to reply that he had
already received an inspired instruction, on this point, from a Prophet
of the Lord, and had given his pledge against Kearns.

The incident became one of the jokes of the campaign, for Howell held to
his promise to Smith (and was subsequently rewarded by Smith with a seat
in Congress), and President Snow was compelled to waive the question of
conflicting "revelations."

Kearns was elected. But he had had a powerful political machine of his
own, and he had been supported by a strong Gentile vote. He immediately
showed his independence by refusing to take orders from the political
Church leaders. He declined, further, for himself and his financial
confreres, to engage with the Church in business affairs. Many charges
were made that he was breaking his agreement of cooperation with the
authorities, but there never has been produced any evidence of such an
agreement, and I do not believe (from my knowledge of Senator Kearns)
that the agreement was ever made.

The railroad into Southern Utah was later built by the Harriman
interests in combination with Clark and Kearns; but there, too, Snow was
disappointed. The expected development of the Church properties proved
far less profitable than had been supposed, and the financial prophecies
of the Seer and Revelator were not fulfilled.

By this time it was abundantly evident that some of the Church leaders
intended to rule their people in politics with an absolutism as supreme
as any that Utah had ever known in the old days. And for these leaders
to maintain their authority--despite the covenant of their amnesty, the
terms of Utah's statehood and the provisions of the constitution--and to
maintain that authority against the robust American sentiment that would
be sure to assert itself--it was necessary that they should have the
most effective political protection afforded by any organization in the
whole country. The ideal arrangement of evil was offered to them by the
men then in temporary leadership of the Republican party. The Prophets
were able to make the Republican party a guilty partner of their perfidy
by making it a recipient of the proceeds of that perfidy, and to assure
themselves protection in every religious tyranny so long as they did not
run counter to Republican purpose.

For the moment, the Church took more benefit from the partnership than
it conferred. The result of the presidential elections of 1900 showed
that the Republicans could have elected their ticket without any help
from the Prophets. But without the help of the dominant party the
Prophets could not have renewed the rule of the state by the Church
could not have prevented the passage of a constitutional amendment
punishing polygamy by Federal statute--and could not have obtained such
intimate relation and commanding influence with the great "interests" of
the country.

Throughout all these miserable incidents, I had a vague hope that
they would prove merely temporary and peculiar to the term of Snow's
presidency. He was now in his eighty-sixth year. My father was next in
succession for the Presidency, and he was seventy-three. He had remained
personally faithful to every pledge that he had made to the nation, and
though he had been powerless to prevent the breaches of covenant that
had followed the sovereignty of statehood, I knew that he had opposed
some of them and been a willing party to none. It is true that he had
become a director of the Union Pacific Railway and was close to the
leading financiers of the East; but his Union Pacific connection had
come from the fact that he had been one of the builders of the road
that had afterward merged in the Oregon Short Line; and his financial
relations had been those of a financier and not a politician. In all the
years that I had been working with him, I had never known him to have
any purpose that was not communistic in its final aspect and designed
for the good of his people.

Up to his seventieth year, he had shown no ill result of his early
hardships. Living the abstemious life of the orthodox Mormon, to whom
wine, tobacco and even tea and coffee are prohibited, he had seemed
inexhaustibly robust and untiring. But almost from the day of
President's Snow accession to office--deprived of the sustaining
consciousness of the responsibilities of leadership--his physical
strength gave signs of breaking. In the fall of 1900 he made a trip
to the Sandwich Islands, to recuperate, and to assist at the fiftieth
anniversary of the Mormon mission that he had founded there; but the
Utah winter proved too rigorous for him on his return, and in March,
1901, he was taken to California--to Monterey. In April the word came to
me in New York that he was sinking.

I found him in a cottage overlooking the beautiful Bay of Monterey and
its wooded slope; and the doctors in attendance told me that he had been
kept alive only by the determination to see me before he died. There
was no hope. He had still a clear mind, but with ominous lapses of
unconsciousness that foreboded the end; and in these intervals of coma,
as we wheeled him to and fro on the veranda in an invalid chair--in an
attempt to refresh him with the motion of the sea air--he would swing
his right hand upward, with an old pulpit gesture, and say "Priesthood!
Priesthood!" as if in that word he expressed the ruling thought of his
life, the inspiration that had sustained his power, the obligation that
had governed him in his direction of his people.

On the afternoon of the 11th of April, he was lying in a stupor on a
couch before an open window, with the sound of the surf in the quiet
room. One of the doctors entered, looked at him intently, and said
to me: "I can do nothing more here--and my patients need me in
San Francisco. He can't last long. He'll probably never recover
consciousness. If there's anything imperative--anything you must say to
him--any word you wish to have from him--you could perhaps rouse him"--I
said "No." We had never intruded upon any mood of his silence during his
masterful life; and I felt a jealous rebellion against the idea that we
should intrude now upon this last, helpless silence of unconsciousness.
The doctor left us. I summoned the other members of the family from
the veranda to the bedside. He lay motionless and placid, scarcely
breathing, his eyes closed, his hands folded. In accordance with the
rites of the Church, we laid our hands on his head, while my eldest
brother said the prayer of filial blessing that "sealed" the dying man
to eternity.

In the silence that followed the last "Amen" of the prayer, he opened
his eyes, and said in a steady, strong voice: "You thought I was passing

We replied that we had seen he was very weak.

With a glance at the door through which the physician had departed, he
said resolutely: "I shall go when my Father calls me--and not till then.
I shall know the moment, and I will not struggle against His command.
Lift me up. Carry me out on the balcony I want to see the water once
more. And I want to talk with you."

To me, it was the last struggle of the unconquerable will that had
silently, composedly, cheerfully fought and overcome every obstacle that
had opposed the purposes of his manhood for half a century. He would
not yield even to death at the dictation of man. He would go when he was
ready--when his mind had accepted the inevitable as the decree of God.

We sat around his couch on the veranda, and for two hours he talked to
us as clearly and as forcibly as ever. He spoke of the Church and of its
mission in the world, with all the hope of a religious altruist. From
the humblest beginnings, it had grown to the greatest power. From the
depths of persecution, it had risen to win favor from the wisest among
men. It had abolished poverty for hundreds of thousands, by its sound
communal system. In its religious solidarity, it had become a guardian
and administrator of equal justice within all the sphere of its
influence. It was full of the most splendid possibilities of good for

With his eyes fixed on the sea--facing eternity as calmly as he faced
that great symbol of eternity--he voiced the sincerity of his life
and the hope that had animated his statesmanship. In an exaltation of
spirituality that made the moment one of the sublime experiences of my
life, he adjured us all to hold true to our covenants. I do not write of
his personal words of love and admonition to the members of his family.
I wish to express only the aspects that may be of public interest,
in his last aspirations--for these were the aspirations of the Mormon
leaders of the older generation, whom he represented--and they are the
aspirations of all the wise among the Mormons today, whatever may be the
folly and the treachery of their Prophets.

Ten hours later, he was dead.

I cannot pretend that I had any true apprehension, then, of what his
loss meant to the community. I had no clearer vision of events than
others. I felt that I had no longer any tie to connect me closely with
the government of the Church, and I was willing to stand aside from its
affairs, believing that the momentum of progress imparted to it would
carry it forward. The nation had cleared the path for it. Its faith, put
into practice as a social gospel, had been freed of the offensive
things that had antagonized the world. My father's last messages of hope
remained with me as a cheering prophecy.

At his funeral in the great tabernacle, President Snow put forward
a favorite son, Leroy, to read an official statement in which the
President took occasion to deny that my father had dictated the recent
policies of the Church: those policies, he said, had been solely the
President's. (He is welcome to the credit of them!) Joseph F. Smith
showed more generosity of emotion, now that his path of succession
was clear of the superior in authority whom he had so long regarded
enviously; and he spoke of my father, both privately and in public, in a
way that won me to him.

The shock of grief had perhaps "mellowed" me. I felt more tolerant of
these men, since I was no longer necessarily engaged in opposing them.
When President Snow died (October, 1901), I shared only the general
interest in the way Joseph F. Smith set about asserting his family's
title to rulership of the "Kingdom of God on Earth;" for, in effect,
he notified the world that his branch of the Smith family had been
designated by Divine revelation to rule in the affairs of all men, by an
appointment that had never been revoked. He has since made his cousin,
John Henry Smith, his First Councillor; and he has inducted his son
Hyrum into the apostolate by "revelation." This latter act roused the
jealousy of the mother of his son Joseph F. Smith, Jr., and the amused
gossip of the Mormons predicted another revelation that should give
Joseph Jr. a similar promotion. The revelation came. So many others have
also come that the Smith family is today represented in the hierarchy
by Joseph F. Smith, President, "Prophet, Seer and Revelator to all the
world;" John Smith (a brother) presiding Patriarch over the whole human
race; John Henry Smith (a cousin) Apostle and First Councillor to the
President; Hyrum Smith and Joseph F. Smith (sons) Apostles; George A.
Smith (son of John Henry) apostle; David S. Smith (son of Joseph
F.) Councillor to the presiding Bishop of the Church and in line of
succession to the bishopric; and Bathseba W. Smith, President of the
Relief Societies[4]. [FOOTNOTE: She has died since this was written.]

As Joseph F. Smith has still thirty other sons--and at least four wives
who are not represented in the apostolate--there may yet be a quorum of
Smiths to succeed endlessly to the Presidency and make the Smith family
a perpetual dynasty in Utah.

It is one of the fascinating contradictions of Mormonism that many of
the sincere people--who smilingly predicted the Divine interposition by
which this family succession was founded--accept its rule devoutly. "The
Lord," they will tell you, "will look after the Church. If these men are
good enough for God, they are good enough for me. I do not have to save
the Kingdom." And they continue paying their devotion (and their tithes)
to a family autocracy whose imposition would have provoked a rebellion
in any other community in the civilized world!

It is "the will of the Lord!"

Chapter XII. The Conspiracy Completed

The Smiths were no sooner firm in power than rumors began to circulate
of a recrudescence of plural marriage, and I heard reports of political
plots by which the Prophets were to reestablish their autocracy in
worldly affairs in the name of God. I sought to close my mind against
such accusations, for I remembered how often my father had been
misjudged, and I felt that nothing but the most direct evidence should
be permitted to convince me of a recession by the Church authorities
from the miraculous opportunity of progress that was now open to their
leadership. Such direct evidence came, in part, in the state elections
of 1902.

The Utah Democrats re-nominated Wm. H. King for Congress; Senator Joseph
L. Rawlins was their candidate to succeed himself in the United States
Senate. The Republicans nominated President Smith's friend, Joseph
Howell, for Congress; and there began to spread a rumor that Apostle
Reed Smoot was to become a Republican candidate for the Senatorship
under an old promise given him by President Snow and now endorsed by
President Smith. I had been made state chairman of the Democratic party;
and with the growing report of Apostle Smoot's candidacy, I observed a
gradual cessation of political activity on the part of those prominent
Democrats who were close to the Church leaders.

Now, our party was not making war on the Church nor on any of its proper
missions in the world. Our candidates were capable and popular men
against whom no just ecclesiastical antagonism could be raised. We were
asking no favors from the Church. And we were determined to have no
opposition from the Church without a protest and an understanding.

For this reason--after consulting confidentially with the leaders of our
party--undertook to make a personal visit to President Smith's office
to demand that the Church authorities should keep their hands out of
politics. But even while I discussed the matter with our party leaders,
I was afraid that some of them might betray our concerted purpose to
Church headquarters. And my fear was well grounded. When I went to the
offices of the Presidency, the authorities--for the first, last and only
time--refused to see me; and the secretary betrayed a knowledge of my
mission by telling me that I should hear from some one of the hierarchy,

Two or three days afterward, Apostle M. F. Cowley came to me with word
that my call had been considered and that he had been deputed to talk
with me. We appointed a time for conference in my rooms at Democratic
headquarters, where we spent the large part of a day in consultation.
And since the argument between us covered the whole ground of Apostle
Smoot's candidacy, I wish to give an account of that interview, as a
brief exposition of some of the present-day aspects of the Church's
interference in politics.

Apostle Cowley and I had been boyhood friends. He had been one of the
older students at the school that I had attended as a child; and I knew
the integrity and directness of his character. He was a stocky, strong
man, with a wholesome sort of face, brown with the sunburn of his
missionary travels in Canada and in Mexico. (He had been, in fact,
solemnizing plural marriages in these polygamous refuges--as we found
out later.)

As soon as it was clearly understood between us that I represented the
Democratic state committee and he represented the Church authorities, I
asked for an explanation of Apostle Smoot's candidacy.

Cowley began by admitting the candidacy, which President Smith had
endorsed (he said) in spite of the opposition of some of the apostles.
He argued that Apostle Smoot was only exercising his right of American
citizenship in aspiring to the Senatorship; and he explained that the
Church authorities did not see why the Church should be drawn into the

But, as I pointed out to him, the Church had already drawn itself in.
It had held a solemn conclave of its hierarchy to authorize an apostle's
candidacy. The opponents of Church rule would circulate the fact; in
any close campaign, the apostle's friends would use the fact upon the
faithful; and the Church would be compelled to support its apostle in an
assumed necessity of defending itself.

Perhaps I was objectionably forceful in my reply to him. With his
characteristic gentleness, he rebuked me by recalling that President
Woodruff had once taken him into "sacred places," assured him that
"Frank Cannon, like David, was a man after God's own heart," and asked
him to "labor" for me in politics. If it had been right for the Prophet
of God to favor me, why was it not right for the Prophet now to favor
some one else?

My personal regard for Apostle Cowley kept me from showing the amusement
I felt at finding myself in this new scriptural role remembering how
President Woodruff had once devoted me to destruction like another Isaac
on the altar of Church control. I replied to Cowley, as soberly as
I could, that I had never consciously received the aid of any Church
influence; that I had always objected to its use, either for or against
either party; that I could oppose it now with free hands.

He retreated upon the favorite argument of the ecclesiasts: that an
apostle did not relinquish his citizenship because of his Church rank;
that the very political freedom which we demanded, to be effective, must
apply to all men, in or out of the Church. He asked naively: "What did
we get statehood for--and amnesty--and our political rights--if we're
not to enjoy them?"

The answer to that was obvious: The Mormon Church is so constructed
that the apostle carries with him the power of the Church wherever he
appears. The whole people recognize in him the personified authority of
the Church; and if an apostle were allowed to make a political campaign
without a denunciation from the other Church authorities, it would be
known that he had been selected for political office by "the mouthpiece
of the Almighty." I cited the case of Apostle Moses Thatcher as proof
that the Church did exercise power openly to negative an apostle's
ambition. If it failed now to rebuke Smoot, this very failure would be
an affirmative use of its power in his behalf; all Mormons who did not
wish to raise their hands "against the Lord's anointed," would have
to support Smoot's legislative ticket, regardless of their political
convictions; and all Gentiles and independent Mormons would have to
fight the intrusion of the Church into open political activities.

Cowley replied that "the brethren"--meaning the hierarchy--believed that
a Mormon should have as many political rights, as a Catholic; and he
asked me if I would object to seeing a Catholic in the Senate.

Of course not. There are, and have been, many such. "But suppose," I
argued, "that the Pope were to select one of his Italian cardinals to
come to this country and be naturalized in some state of this Union that
was under the sole rule of the Roman Catholic Church; and suppose that
still holding his princedom in the Catholic Church and exercising the
plenary authority conferred on him by the Pope--suppose he were to
appear before the Senate in his robes of office, with his credentials
as a Senator from his Church-ruled state--all of this being a matter of
public knowledge--do you think the Senate would seat him? Certainly
not. Yet the cases are exactly analogous. We were but lately alien and
proscribed. We were admitted into the Union on a covenant that forbade
Church interference in politics. It is the whole teaching of the Church
that a Prophet wears his prophetic authority constantly as a robe of
office. The case of Moses Thatcher is proof to the world that the Church
appoints and disappoints at its pleasure. I don't believe that Smoot, if
elected, will be allowed to hold his seat, and--if he is allowed to hold
it--a greater trouble than his exclusion will surely follow. For, with
the princes of the Mormon Church holding high place in the national
councils--and using the power of the Church to maintain themselves
there--we are assuring for ourselves an indefinite future of the most
bitter controversy."

When Cowley had no more arguments to offer, he said: "Well, the Prophet
has spoken. That's enough for me. I submit cheerfully when the will of
the Lord comes to me through his appointed servants. The matter has
been decided, and it does not lie in your power--or anyone else's--to
withstand the purposes of the Almighty." He rose and put his hand on my
shoulder, affectionately. "Your father is gone, Frank. I loved him very
dearly. I hope that you are not going to be found warring against the
Lord's anointed."

"Mat," I replied, "you have already pointed out that Apostle Smoot
appears in politics only as an American citizen. For the purposes of
this fight--and to avoid the consequences that you fear I'll regard him
as a politician merely, and fight him as such."

"But, you know, Frank," he remonstrated, "he has been consecrated to the
apostleship, and I'm afraid that you'll overstep the bounds."

"Mat," I assured him, "I'll watch carefully, and unless he makes his
lightning changes too fast, I'll aim my shots only when he's in his
political clothes. If the change is too indefinite, blame yourselves
and not us. The whole teaching of the Church is that an apostle must be
regarded as an apostle at all times; but the whole teaching of politics
is that all men should appear upon equal terms--in this country. That's
why we insist that no apostle should become a candidate for public

Cowley took his departure with evident relief. He had discharged
his ambassadorial duty--and given me the warning which he had been
authorized to deliver--without a rupture of our personal friendship. And
I saw him go, for my part, in a sorrowful certainty that the Church had
thrown off all disguise and proposed to show the world, by the election
of an apostle to the United States Senate, that the "Kingdom of God" was
established in Utah to rule in all the affairs of men. I knew that if
Smoot were excluded from the Senate, his exclusion would be argued
a proof that the wicked and unregenerate nation was still devilishly
persecuting God's anointed servants, to its own destruction; and, if he
were permitted to take his seat, that this fact would be cited to the
faithful as proof that the Prophets had been called to save the nation
from the destruction that threatened it!

Of course, throughout the campaign that followed, the Church's
newspapers and many of its political workers kept protesting publicly
that the election of the Republican legislative ticket did not mean
the election of Apostle Smoot to the Senate. But by means of the
authoritative whisper of ecclesiasts--carried by visiting apostles to
Presidents of Stakes, from them to the bishops, and from the bishops to
the presiding officers of subsidiary organizations--the inspired order
was given to the faithful that they must vote for the legislators who
could be relied upon to do the will of the Lord by voting for the Lord's
anointed prophet, Apostle Reed Smoot. This message was delivered to the
sacred Sunday prayer circles. Even Senator Rawlins' mother received it,
from one of the ecclesiastical authorities of her ward, who instructed
her to vote against the election of her own son; and it was "at the
peril of her immortal soul" that she disobeyed the injunction. Long
before election day, every Mormon knew that he had been called upon
by the Almighty to sacrifice his individual conviction in politics to
protect his "assailed Church."

The profound effectiveness of that appeal needs no further proof than
the issue of the election. King and Rawlins, the popular leaders of
the Democracy in a state that had but recently been overwhelmingly
Democratic--after a campaign in which they studiously avoided an
attack upon the Church--were overwhelmingly defeated. The Republican
legislative ticket was carried. Apostle Smoot was elected to the United
States Senate; and on January 21, 1903, Governor Wells issued to him a
certificate of election.

Five days later, a number of prominent citizens signed a protest, to
President Roosevelt and the Senate, against allowing Apostle Smoot to
take his seat. And the grounds of the protest, briefly stated, were
these: The Mormon priesthood claimed supreme authority in politics,
and such authority was exercised by the first presidency and the twelve
apostles, of whom Smoot was one. They had not only not abandoned the
practice of political dictation, but they had not abandoned the belief
in polygamy and polygamous cohabitation; they connived at and encouraged
its practice, sought to pass laws that should nullify the statutes
against the practice, and protected and honored the violators of
those statutes. And they had done all these things despite the public
sentiment of the civilized world, in violation of the pledges given in
procuring amnesty and in obtaining the return of the escheated Church
property, contrary to the promises given by the representatives of the
Church and of the territory in their plea for statehood, contrary to
the pledges required by the Enabling Act and given in the State
constitution, and contrary to the laws of the State itself.

These charges were supported by innumerable citations from the published
doctrines of the Church, and from the published speeches and sermons
of the Prophets. Evidence was offered of the continuance of polygamous
cohabitation (since 1890) by President Smith, all but three or four of
the apostles, the entire Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion,
and many others. New polygamy was specifically charged against three
apostles, and against the son of a fourth. A second protest, signed by
John L. Leilich, repeated these grounds of objection to Apostle Smoot,
and charged further that Apostle Smoot was himself a polygamist; but no
attempt was made to prove this latter charge.

Upon the filing of the protest, there was a storm of anger at Church
headquarters; and the ecclesiastical newspapers railed with the
bitterness of anxious apprehension. Throughout Utah it seemed to be the
popular belief that Apostle Smoot would be excluded--on the issue of
whether a responsible representative of a Church that was protecting and
encouraging law-breaking should be allowed a seat in the highest body of
the nation's law-makers. But the issue against him was not to be heard
until twelve months after his election, and every agent and influence of
the Church was set to work at once to nullify the effect of the protest.

Every financial institution, East or West, to which the Church could
appeal, was solicited to demand a favorable hearing of the Smoot case
from the Senators of its state. Every political and business interest
that could be reached was moved to protect the threatened Apostle. The
sugar trust magnates and their Senators were enlisted. The mercantile
correspondents of the Church were urged to write letters to their
Congressmen and to their Senators, and to use their power at home to
check the anti-Mormon newspapers. The Utah representative of a powerful
mercantile institution, that had vital business relations with the
Church, confessed to me that he had been called East to consult with the
head of his company, who had been asked to use his influence for Smoot.
"I could not advise our president," he said, "to send the letter that
was demanded of him. And yet I couldn't take the responsibility of
injuring the company by advising him to refuse the Church request. You
know, if we had refused it, point-blank, they would have destroyed every
interest we had within the domain of their power. I should have been
ruined financially. All our stockholders would have suffered. They would
never have forgiven me."

The president of the company failed to send the letter. His failure
became known, through Church espionage and the report of the Church's
friends in the Senate. Pressure was brought to bear upon him; and, with
the aid of his Utah representative, he compromised on a letter that did
partial violence to his conscience and partially endangered his business
relations with the Church.

Both these men were aware that the Church had broken its covenants to
the country, and that Apostle Smoot could not be either a loyal citizen
of the nation or a free representative of the people of his state.
"I did not like the compromise we made," my friend told me. "I feel
humiliated whenever I think of it. But I tried to do the best I could
under the circumstances."

The results of this pressure of political and business interests upon
Washington showed gradually in the tone of the political newspapers
throughout the whole country. It showed in the growing confidence
expressed by the organs of the Church authorities in Utah. It showed in
the cheerful predictions of the Prophets that the Lord would overrule in
Apostle Smoot's behalf. It showed in Smoot's exercise of an autocratic
leadership in the political affairs of the State.

He was allowed to take his oath of office as Senator on March 5, 1903;
the protests against him were referred to the Senate Committee on
Privileges and Elections for a hearing (January 27, 1904); and a contest
began that lasted from January, 1904, to February, 1907. During those
years was completed the business and political conspiracy between
financial "privilege" and religious absolutism, of which conspiracy this
narrative has described the beginning and the growth.

It is almost impossible to expose the progression of incident by which
the end of that conspiracy was approached--since it was necessarily
approached in the darkest secrecy. But several indications of the method
and the progress did show, here and there, on the surface of events; and
these indications are powerfully significant.

As early as 1901 it had become known that Apostle Smoot was negotiating
a sale, to the sugar trust, of the Church's sugar holdings. On May
13, 1902, the president of the trust reported to the trust's executive

[FOOTNOTE: See a synopsis of the minutes of the trust's executive
committee, published in Hampton's Magazine, in January, 1910.]

that he had agreed to buy a one-half interest in the consolidation of
the Mormon factories of La Grande, Logan and Ogden. (The following day,
May 14, 1902, is given by Apostle Smoot as the day on which he obtained
President Joseph F. Smith's permission to become a candidate for the
Senatorship.) On June 24, 1902 the sugar trust's executive committee
was informed of the trust's purchase of one-half of the capital stock
of these three Church-owned sugar companies. On July 5, 1902 the three
companies were consolidated under the name of the Amalgamated Sugar
Company, with David Eccles, polygamist, trustee of Church bonds, and
protege of Joseph F. Smith, as President; and the sugar trust took half
the stock, in exchange for its holdings in the three original companies.

Similarly, in this same year, the old Church-owned Utah Sugar Company
increased its stock in order to buy the Garland sugar factory, and the
sugar trust, it is understood, was concerned in the purchase In 1903,
1904 and 1905, the Idaho Sugar Company, the Freemont Sugar Company,
and West Idaho Sugar Company were incorporated; and in 1906 all these
companies were amalgamated in the present Utah-Idaho Sugar Company,
of which Joseph F. Smith is president, T. R. Cutler, a Mormon, is
vice-president, Horace G. Whitney, the general manager of the Church's
Deseret News, is secretary and treasurer, and other Church officials are
directors. Of the stock of this company the sugar trust holds fifty-one
per cent. So that between 1902 and 1906 a partnership in the manufacture
of beet sugar was effected between the Church and the trust; and Apostle
Smoot became a Sugar trust Senator, and argued and voted as such.

Furthermore, it was at this same period that the Church sold the
street railway of Salt Lake City and its electric power company to the
"Harriman interests" under peculiar circumstances--a matter of which I
have written in an earlier chapter. The Church owners of this Utah Light
and Railway Company, through the Church's control of the City Council,
had attempted to obtain a hundred-year franchise from the city on terms
that were outrageously unjust to the citizens; and finally, on June 5,
1905, a franchise was obtained for fifty years, for the company of
which Joseph F. Smith was the president. On August 3, 1905, another city
ordinance was passed, consolidating all former franchises, then held
by the Utah Light and Power Company, but originally granted to D. F.
Walker, the Salt Lake and Ogden Gas and Electric Light Company, the
Pioneer Power Company and the Utah Power Company; and this ordinance
extended the franchises to July 1, 1955. The properties were bonded for
$6,300,000, but it was understood that they were worth not more than
$4,000,000. They were sold to "the Harriman interests" for $10,000,000.
The equipment of the Salt Lake City street railway was worse than
valueless, and the new company had to remove the rails and discard
the rolling stock. But the ten millions were well invested in this
public-utility trust, for the company had a monopoly of the street
railway service and electric power and gas supply of Salt Lake City; and
its franchises left it free to extort whatever it could from the people
of the whole country side, by virtue of a partnership with the Church
authorities whereby extortion was given the protection of "God's
anointed Prophets."

Joseph F. Smith, of course, was already a director of Harriman's Union
Pacific Railroad, a position to which he had been elected after his
accession to the First Presidency. And he was so elected not because of
his railroad holdings--for he came to the Presidency a poor man--and
not because of his ability or experience as a financier or a railroad
builder, for he had not had any such experience and he had not shown
any such ability. He was elected because of the partnership between the
Church leaders and the Union Pacific Railroad--a partnership that was
doubtlessly used in defense of Apostle Smoot's seat in the Senate, just
as the power of the Sugar Trust was used and the influence of the whole
financial confederation in politics.

Chapter XIII. The Smoot Exposure

Just before the subpoenas were issued in the Smoot investigation, I met
John R. Winder (then First Councillor to President Smith) on the street
in Salt Lake City, and he expressed the hope that when I went "to
Washington on the Smoot case," I would not "betray" my "brethren." I
assured him that I was not going to Washington as a witness in the Smoot
case; that the men whom he should warn, were at Church headquarters. He
replied, with indignant alarm, "I don't see what 'the brethren' have to
do with this!"

But when the subpoenas arrived for Smith and the hierarchy, alarm and
indignation assumed a new complexion. The authorities, for themselves,
and through the mouths of such men as Brigham H. Roberts, began to boast
of how they were about to "carry the gospel to the benighted nation" and
preach it from the witness stand in Washington. The Mormon communities
resounded with fervent praises to God that He had, through His servant,
Apostle Smoot, given the opportunity to His living oracles to speak to
an unrighteous people! And when the Senators decided that they would
not summon polygamous wives and their children en bloc to Washington to
testify (because it was not desired to "make war on women and children")
some of Joseph F. Smith's several wives even complained feelingly that
they "were not allowed to testify for Papa."

The first oracular disclosure made by the Prophets, on the witness
stand, came as a shock even to Utah. They testified that they had
resumed polygamous cohabitation to an extent unsuspected by either
Gentiles or Mormons. President Joseph F. Smith admitted that he had had
eleven children borne to him by his five wives, since pledging
himself to obey the "revealed" manifesto of 1890 forbidding polygamous
relations. Apostle Francis Marion Lyman, who was next in succession to
the Presidency, made a similar admission of guilt, though in a lesser
degree. So did John Henry Smith and Charles W. Penrose, apostles. So did
Brigham H. Roberts and George Reynolds, Presidents of Seventies. So did
a score of others among the lesser authorities. And they confessed that
they were living in polygamy in violation of their pledges to the nation
and the terms of their amnesty, against the laws and the constitution of
the state, and contrary to the "revelation of God" by which the doctrine
of polygamy had been withdrawn from practice in the Church!

President Joseph F. Smith admitted that he was violating the law of the
State. He was asked: "Is there not a revelation that you shall abide by
the law of the State and of the land?" He answered, "Yes, sir." He was
asked: "And if that is a revelation, are you not violating the laws
of God?" He answered: "I have admitted that, Mr. Senator, a great many
times here."

Apostle Francis Marion Lyman was asked: "You say that you, an apostle
of your Church, expecting to succeed (if you survive Mr. Smith) to
the office in which you will be the person to be the medium of Divine
revelations, are living, and are known to your people to live, in
disobedience of the law of the land and the law of God?" Apostle Lyman
answered: "Yes, sir." The others pleaded guilty to the same charge.

But this was not the worst. There had been new polygamous marriages.
Bishop Chas. E. Merrill, the son of an apostle, testified that his
father had married him to a plural wife in 1891, and that he had been
living with both wives ever since. A Mrs. Clara Kennedy testified that
she had been married to a polygamist in 1896, in Juarez, Mexico, by
Apostle Brigham Young, Jr., in the home of the president of the stake.
There was testimony to show that Apostle George Teasdale had taken a
plural wife six years after the "manifesto" forbidding polygamy, and
that Benjamin Cluff, Jr., president of the Church university, had
taken a plural wife in 1899. Some ten other less notorious cases were
exposed--including those of M. W. Merrill, an apostle, and J. M. Tanner,
superintendent of Church schools. It was testified that Apostle John W.
Taylor had taken two plural wives within four years, and that Apostle M.
F. Cowley had taken one; and both these men had fled from the country in
order to escape a summons to appear before the Senate committee.

President Joseph F. Smith, in his attempts to justify his own polygamy,
gave some very involved and contradictory testimony. He said that he
adhered to both the divine revelation commanding polygamy and the
divine revelation "suspending" the command. He said he believed that the
principle of plural marriage was still as "correct a principle" as when
first revealed, but that the "law commanding it" had been suspended
by President Woodruff's manifesto. He said that he accepted President
Woodruff's manifesto as a revelation from God, but he objected to having
it called "a law of the Church;" he insisted that it was only "a rule
of the Church." He admitted that the manifesto forbidding polygamy had
never been printed among the other revelations in the Church's book of
"Doctrine and Covenants," in which the original revelation commanding
polygamy was still printed without note or qualification of any kind. He
admitted that this anti-polygamy manifesto was not printed in any of the
other doctrinal works which the Mormon missionaries took with them
when they were sent out to preach the Mormon faith. He claimed that the
manifesto was circulated in pamphlet form, but he subsequently admitted
that the pamphlet did not "state in terms" that the manifesto was a
"revelation." He finally pleaded that the manifesto had been omitted
from the book of "Doctrine and Covenants" by an "oversight," and he
promised to have it included in the next edition!

[FOOTNOTE: He did not keep his promise. The manifesto was not added
to the book of revelations until some time later, after considerable
protest in Utah.]

In short, it was shown, by the testimony given and the evidence
introduced, not only that the Church authorities persisted in living in
polygamy, not only that polygamous marriages were being contracted, but
that the Church still adhered to the doctrine of polygamy and taught it
as a law of God.

President Joseph F. Smith denied the right of Congress to regulate his
"private conduct" as a polygamist. "It is the law of my state to which
I am amenable," he said, "and if the officers of the law have not
done their duty toward me I can not blame them. I think they have some
respect for me."

A mass of testimony showed why the officers of the law did not do their
duty. During the anti-polygamy agitation of 1899 (which ended in the
refusal of Congress to seat Brigham H. Roberts) a number of prosecutions
of polygamists had been attempted. In many instances the county
attorney had refused to prosecute even upon sworn information. Wherever
prosecutions were had, the fines imposed were nominal; these were in
some cases never paid, and in other cases paid by popular subscription.
It was testified that in Box Elder County subscription lists had been
circulated to collect money for the fines, but that the fines were never
paid, though the subscriptions had been collected. All the prosecutions
had been dropped, at last. It was pleaded that there was a strong
Gentile sentiment against these prosecutions, because of the hope that
no new polygamous marriages were being contracted; but it was shown
also, that the Church authorities controlled the enforcement of the law
by their influence in the election of the agents of the law.

The Church controlled, too, the making of the law. For example,
testimony was given to show that in 1896 the Church authorities had
appointed a committee of six elders to examine all bills introduced into
the Utah legislature and decide which were "proper" to be passed. In the
neighboring state of Idaho, the legislature, in 1904, unanimously and
without discussion passed a resolution for a new state constitution that
should omit the anti-polygamy test oath clauses objectionable to the
Mormons; and in this connection it was testified that the state chairman
of both political parties in Idaho always went to Salt Lake City, before
a campaign, to consult with the Church authorities; that every request
of the authorities made to the Idaho political leaders was granted; that
six of the twenty-one countries in Idaho were "absolutely controlled"
by Mormons, and the "balance of power" in six counties more was held by
Mormons; and that it was "impossible for any man or party to go against
the Mormon Church in Idaho." Apostle John Henry Smith testified that
one-third of the population of Idaho was Mormon and one-fourth of the
population of Wyoming, and that there were large settlements in
Nevada, Colorado, California, Arizona and the surrounding states and

A striking example of the power of the Church as against the power of
the nation was given to the Senate committee by John Nicholson, chief
recorder of the temple in Salt Lake City. He had failed to produce some
of the temple marriage records for which the committee had called. He
was asked whether he would bring the books, on the order of the Senate
of the United States, if the First Presidency of the Church forbade him
to bring them. He answered: "I would not." He was asked: "And if the
Senate should send the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate and arrest you and
order you to bring them" (the records) "with you, you would still refuse
to bring them, unless the First Presidency asked you to?" He answered,
"Yes, sir."

It was shown that classes of instruction in the Mormon religion had been
forced upon teachers in a number of public schools in Utah by the orders
of the First Presidency. (These orders were withdrawn after the exposure
before the committee.) Church control had gone so far in Brigham City,
Box Elder County, Utah, that in a dispute between the City Council and
the electric lighting company of the city, the local ecclesiastical
council interfered. In the same city, two young men built a dancing
pavilion that competed with the Church-owned Opera House; the
ecclesiastical council "counselled" them to remove the pavilion and
dispose of "the material in its construction;" they were threatened that
they would be "dropped" if they did not obey this "counsel;" and they
compromised by agreeing to pay twenty-five percent of the net earnings
of their pavilion into the Church's "stake treasury." In Monroe ward,
Sevier County, Utah, in 1901, a Mormon woman named Cora Birdsall had a
dispute with a man named James E. Leavitt about a title to land. Leavitt
went into the bishop's court and got a decision against her. She wrote
to President Joseph F. Smith for permission either to appeal the case
direct to him or "to go to law" in the matter; and Smith advised her
"to follow the order provided of the Lord to govern in your case." The
dispute was taken through the ecclesiastical courts and decided against
her. She refused to deed the land to Leavitt and she was excommunicated
by order of the High Council of the Sevier Stake of Zion. She became
insane as a result of this punishment, and her mother appealed to the
stake president to grant her some mitigation. He wrote, in reply: "Her
only relief will be in complying with President Smith's wishes. You say
she has never broken a rule of the Church. You forget that she has done
so by failing to abide by the decision of the mouthpiece of God." She
finally gave up a deed to the disputed land and was rebaptized in 1904.
(Letters of the First Presidency were, however, introduced to show that
it had been the policy of the presidency--particularly in President
Woodruff's day--not to interfere in disputes involving titles to land.)

It was testified that a Mormon merchant was expelled from the
Church, ostensibly for apostasy, but really because he engaged in the
manufacture of salt "against the interests of the President of the
Church and some of his associates;" that a Mormon Church official was
deposed "for distributing, at a school election, a ticket different from
that prescribed by the Church authorities"--and so on, interminably.

Witness after witness swore to the incidents of Church interference
in politics which this narrative has already related in detail. But no
attempt was made to show the Church's partnership with the "interests;"
and the power of the Church in business circles was left to be inferred
from President Smith's testimony that he was then president of the
Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution, the State Bank of Utah,
the Zion's Savings Bank and Trust Company, the Utah Sugar Company,
the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company, the Utah Light and Power
Company, the Salt Lake and Los Angeles Railroad Company, the Saltair
Beach Company, the Idaho Sugar Company, the Inland Crystal Salt Company,
the Salt Lake Knitting Company, and the Salt Lake Dramatic Association;
and that he was a director of the Union Pacific Railway Company,
vice-president of the Bullion-Beck and Champion Mining Company, and
editor of the Improvement Era and the Juvenile Instructor.

It was shown that Utah had not been admitted to statehood until the
Federal government had exacted, from the Church authorities and the
representatives of the people of Utah, every sort of pledge that
polygamy had been forever abandoned and polygamous relations
discontinued by "revelation from God"; that statehood had not been
granted until solemn promise had been given and provision made that
there should be "no union of church and state," and no church should
"dominate the state or interfere with its functions;" and that the
Church's escheated property had been restored upon condition that such
property should be used only for the relief of the poor of the Church,
for the education of its children and for the building and repair
of houses of worship "in which the rightfulness of the practice of
polygamy" should not be "inculcated."

Therefore the testimony given before the Senate committee by these
members of the Mormon hierarchy, showed that they had not only broken.
their covenants and violated their oaths, but that they had been guilty
of treason. What was the remedy? Jeremiah M. Wilson, a lawyer employed
by the Church authorities in 1888 to argue, before a Congressional
committee, in behalf of the admission of Utah to statehood, had pointed
out the remedy in these words:

"It is idle to say that such a compact may be made, and then, when the
considerations have been mutually received--statehood on the one side
and the pledge not to do a particular thing on the other--either party
can violate it without remedy to the other. But you ask me what is
the remedy, and I answer that there are plenty of remedies in your own

"Suppose they violate this compact; suppose that after they put this
into the constitution, and thereby induce you to grant them the high
privilege and political right of statehood, they should turn right
around and exercise the bad faith which is attributed to them here--what
would you do? You could shut the doors of the Senate and House of
Representatives against them; you could deny them a voice in the
councils of this nation, because they have acted in bad faith and
violated their solemn agreement by which they succeeded in getting
themselves into the condition of statehood. You could deny them the
Federal judiciary; you could deny them the right to use the mails--that
indispensable thing in the matter of trade and commerce of this country.
There are many ways in which peaceably, but all powerfully, you could
compel the performance of that compact."

This argument by Mr. Wilson in 1888 was recalled by the counsel for the
protestants in the investigation. It was recalled with the qualification
that though Congress might not have the power to undo the sovereignty of
the state of Utah it could deal with Senator Smoot. And it was further
argued: "The chief charge against Senator Smoot is that he encourages,
countenances, and connives at the defiant violation of law. He is an
integral part of a hierarchy; he is an integral part of a quorum of
twelve, who constitute the backbone of the Church.... He, as one of that
quorum of twelve apostles, encourages, connives at, and countenances
defiance of law."

On June 11, 1906, a majority of the committee made a report to the
Senate recommending that Apostle Smoot was not entitled to his seat in
the Senate. They found that he was one of a "self-perpetuating body of
fifteen men, uniting in themselves authority in both Church and state,"
who "so exercise this authority as to encourage a belief in polygamy as
a divine institution, and by both precept and example encourage among
their followers the practice of polygamy and polygamous cohabitation;"
that the Church authorities had "endeavored to suppress, and succeed
in suppressing, a great deal of testimony by which the fact of plural
marriages contracted by those who were high in the councils of the
Church might have been established beyond the shadow of a doubt;" and
that "aside from this it was shown by the testimony that a majority
of those who give law to the Mormon Church are now, and have been for
years, living in open, notorious and shameless polygamous cohabitation."
Concerning President Woodruff's anti-polygamy manifesto of 1890, the
majority of the committee reported that "this manifesto in no way
declares the principle of polygamy to be wrong or abrogates it as a
doctrine of the Mormon Church, but simply suspends the practice of
polygamy to be resumed at some more convenient season, either with
or without another revelation." They found that Apostle Smoot was
responsible for the conduct of the organization to which he belonged;
that he had countenanced and encouraged polygamy "by repeated acts
and in a number of instances, as a member of the quorum of the twelve
apostles;" and that he was "no more entitled to a seat in the Senate
than he would be if he were associating in polygamous cohabitation with
a plurality of wives."

The report continued: "The First Presidency and the twelve apostles
exercise a controlling influence over the action of the members of
the Church in secular affairs as well as in spiritual matters;" and
"contrary to the principles of the common law under which we live, and
the constitution of the State of Utah, the First Presidency and twelve
apostles dominate the affairs of the State and constantly interfere in
the performance of its functions.... But it is in political affairs that
the domination of the First Presidency and the twelve apostles is
most efficacious and most injurious to the interests of the State....
Notwithstanding the plain provision of the constitution of Utah, the
proof offered on the investigation demonstrates beyond the possibility
of doubt that the hierarchy at the head of the Mormon Church has, for
years past, formed a perfect union between the Mormon Church and the
State of Utah, and that the Church, through its head, dominates the
affairs of the State in things both great and small." And the report
concluded: "The said Reed Smoot comes here, not as the accredited
representative of the State of Utah in the Senate of the United States,
but as the choice of the hierarchy which controls the Church and has
usurped the functions of the State in Utah. It follows, as a necessary
conclusion from these facts, that Mr. Smoot is not entitled to a seat in
the Senate as a Senator from the State of Utah."

On the same day a minority report was presented by Senators J. B.
Foraker, Albert J. Beveridge, Wm. P. Dillingbam, A. J. Hopkins and P.
C. Knox. They found that Reed Smoot possessed "all the qualifications
prescribed by the Constitution to make him eligible to a seat in the
Senate;" that "the regularity of his election" by the Utah
legislature had not been questioned; that his private character was
"irreproachable;" and that "so far as mere belief and membership in
the Mormon Church are concerned, he is fully within his rights and
privileges under the guaranty of religious freedom given by the
Constitution of the United States." Having thus summarily excluded all
the large and troublesome points of the investigation, these Senators
decided that there remained "but two grounds on which the right or title
of Reed Smoot to his seat in the Senate" was contested. The first was
whether he had taken a certain "endowment oath" by which "he obligated
himself to make his allegiance to the Church paramount to his allegiance
to the United States;" and the second was whether "by reason of his
official relation to the Church" he was "responsible for polygamous
cohabitation" among the Mormons.

As to the first charge, the minority found that the testimony upon the
point was "limited in amount, vague and indefinite in character and
utterly unreliable, because of the disreputable character of the
witnesses"--oddly overlooking the fact that one of these witnesses had
been called for Apostle Smoot; that no attempt had been made to impeach
the character of this witness; that the other witnesses had been
denounced, by a Mormon bishop, named Daniel Connolly, as "traitors who
had broken their oaths to the Church" by betraying the secrets of
the "endowment oath;" and that all the Smoot witnesses who denied the
anti-patriotic obligation of the oath refused, suspiciously enough, to
tell what obligation was imposed on those who took part in the ceremony.

The charge that Smoot, as an apostle of the Church, had been responsible
for polygamous cohabitation was as easily disposed of, by the minority
report. He had himself, on oath, "positively denied" that he had "ever
advised any person to violate the law either against polygamy or against
polygamous cohabitation," and no witness had been produced to testify
that Apostle Smoot had ever given "any such advice" or defended "such
acts." True, it was admitted that he had "silently acquiesced" in the
continuance of polygamous cohabitation by polygamists who had married
before 1890; but it was contended that to understand this acquiescence
it was "necessary to recall some historical facts, among which are
some that indicate that the United States government is not free from
responsibility for these violations of the law."

In short, although Reed Smoot was one of a confessed band of
law-breaking traitors, he was of "irreproachable" private character.
Although the band had been guilty of every treachery, none of the band
had admitted that Smoot had encouraged them in their villainies. Smoot
had only "silently acquiesced"--and in this he had been no guiltier
than the intimidated bystanders and the gagged victims of the outrages.
Although the gang had stolen the machinery of elections and used it to
print a Senatorial certificate for Smoot, there was nothing to show that
the form of the certificate was not correct. Moreover, the band operated
in politics as a religious organization, and the constitution of the
United States protects a man in his right of religious freedom!

Chapter XIV. Treason Triumphant

While these disclosures of the Smoot investigation were shocking the
sentiment of the whole nation, the Prophets carried on the conspiracy of
their defense with all the boldness of defiant guilt. In Salt Lake City,
the office of the United States Marshal and even the post-office were
watched for the arrival of subpoenas from Washington; men were posted
in the streets to give the alarm whenever the Marshal should attempt to
serve papers; and before he entered the front door of a Mormon's house,
the Church sentry had entered by the back door to warn the inmates. If
the Federal power had been moving in a foreign land, it could not
have been more determinedly opposed by local authority. Notorious
polygamists, wanted as witnesses before the Senate committee, made a
public flight through Utah, couriered, flanked and rear-guarded by the
power of the hierarchy. One of these law-breakers (who, it was known,
had been subpoenaed) went from Salt Lake City to take secret employment
in one of the Church's sugar factories in Idaho. When he was discovered
there and served with the Senate requisition, he gave his word that he
would appear at Washington, and then he fled with his new polygamous
wife to a polygamous Mormon settlement in Alberta, Canada--a fugitive,
honored because he was a fugitive, and officially sustained as a ward of
the Church.

Apostles John W. Taylor and Mathias F. Cowley left the country, to
escape a summons to Washington; and President Smith pleaded that he
had no control over their movements, and promised that he would, if
possible, bring them back to comply with the Senate subpoenas. He knew,
as every Mormon and every well-informed Gentile knew, that the slightest
expression of a wish from him would be the word of God to those two men.
They would have gloried in going to Washington to show the courage
of their fanaticism. They would never have left the country without
instructions from their President. But they could not have married
plural wives after the manifesto, and solemnized plural marriages
for other polygamists, without Smith's knowledge and consent; their
testimony would have placed the responsibility for these unlawful
practices upon the Prophet; and the penalty would have fallen on the
Prophet's Senator.

They not only fled, but they allowed themselves in their absence to be
made the scapegoats of the hierarchy. They were proven guilty of "new
polygamy" before the Senate committee; and, for the sake of the effect
upon the country, they were ostensibly deposed from the apostolate
by order of the President, who, by their dismissal from the quorum,
advanced his son Hyrum in seniority. But their apparent degradation
involved none of the consequences that Moses Thatcher had suffered. They
continued their ministrations in the Church. They remained high in favor
with the hierarchy. They claimed and received from the faithful the
right to be regarded as holily "the Lord's' anointed" as they had
ever been. They still held their Melchisedec priesthood. One of them
afterward took a new plural wife. It seems to be well authenticated that
the other continued to perform plural marriages; and every Mormon
looked upon them both--and still looks upon them--as zealous priests who
endured the appearance of shame in order to preserve the power of the
Prophet in governing the nation.

Another crucial point in President Smith's responsibility was his
solemnization of the plural marriage between Apostle Abraham H. Cannon
and Lillian Hamlin, of which I have already written. One of the women
of the dead apostle's family was subpoenaed to give her testimony in the
matter. She thrice telephoned to me that she wished to consult me; but
she was surrounded by such a system of espionage that again and again
she failed to keep her appointment. At last, late at night, she arrived
at my office--the editorial office of the Salt Lake Tribune--having
escaped, as she explained, in her maid's clothes. The agents of the
hierarchy had been subtly and ingeniously suggesting to her that she
was perhaps mistaken in her recollection of the facts to which she would
have to testify, and she was distressed with the doubt and fear which
they had instilled into her mind. I could only adjure her to tell the
truth as she remembered it. But on her journey to Washington she was
constantly surrounded by Church "advisers;" and the effect of their
"advice" showed in the testimony that she gave--a testimony that failed
to prove the known guilt of the Prophet.

For the Gentiles, there had begun a sort of "reign of terror," which
can be best summed up by an account of a private conference of twelve
prominent non-Mormons held as late as 1905. That conference was called
to consider the situation, and to devise means of acquainting the nation
with the desperate state of affairs in Utah. It was independent of the
political movement that had already begun; it aimed rather to organize
a social rebellion, so that we might not be dependent for all our
opposition upon the annual or semi-annual campaigns of politics.

The meeting first agreed upon the following statement of facts:

"Utah's statehood, as now administered, is but a protection of the
Mormon hierarchy in its establishment of a theocratic kingdom under
the flag of the republic. This hierarchy holds itself superior to the
Constitution and to the law. It is spreading polygamy throughout the
ranks of its followers. Through its agents, it dominates the politics of
the state, and its power is spreading to other common-wealths. It
exerts such sway over the officers of the law that the hierarchy and its
favorites cannot be reached by the hand of justice. It is master of the
State Legislature and of the Governor.

"By means of its immense collection of tithes and its large investments
in commercial and financial enterprises, it dominates every line
of business in Utah except mines and railroads; and these latter it
influences by means of its control over Mormon labor and by its control
of legislation and franchises. It holds nearly every Gentile merchant
and professional man at its vengeance, by its influence over the
patronage which he must have in order to be successful. It corrupts
every Gentile who is affected by either fear or venality, and makes of
him a part of its power to play the autocrat in Utah and to deceive the
country as to its purposes and its operations. Every Gentile who
refuses to testify at its request and in its behalf becomes a marked and
endangered man. It rewards and it punishes according to its will; and
those Gentiles who have gone to Washington to testify for Smoot are well
aware of this fact. Unless the Gentiles of Utah shall soon be protected
by the power of the United States they will suffer either ruin or exile
at the hands of the hierarchy."

When this declaration had been accepted, by all present, as truly
expressing their views of the situation, it was decided that they should
confer with other leading Gentiles, hold a mass meeting, adopt a set of
resolutions embodying the declaration on which they had agreed, and then
dispatch the resolutions to the Senate committee, as a protest against
the testimony of some of the Gentiles in the Smoot case, and as an
appeal to the nation for help.

But although all approved of the declaration and all approved of the
method by which it was to be sent to the nation, no man there dared
to stand out publicly in support of such a protest, to offer the
resolutions, or to speak for them. The merchant knew that his trade
would vanish in a night, leaving him unable to meet his obligations
and certain of financial destruction. The lawyer knew not only that the
hierarchy would deprive him of all his Mormon clients, but that it would
make him so unpopular with courts and juries that no Gentile litigant
would dare employ him. The mining man knew that the hierarchy could
direct legislation against him, might possibly influence courts and
could assuredly influence jurors to destroy him. And so with all the
others at the conference.

They were not cowards. They had shown themselves, in the past, of more
than average human courage, loyalty and ability. All recognized that if
the power of the hierarchy were not soon met and broken it would grow
too great to be resisted--that another generation would find itself
hopelessly enslaved. Every father felt that the liberties of his
children were at stake; that they would be bond or free by the issue
of the conflict then in course at Washington. And yet not one dared to
throw down the gauntlet to tyranny--to devote himself to certain ruin.
They had to prefer simple slavery to beggary and slavery combined. They
had to hope silently that the power of the nation would intervene. They
could work only secretly for the fulfillment of that hope.

At first, in President Roosevelt they saw the promise of their
salvation. He had opposed the election of Apostle Smoot. When the report
of the apostle's candidacy had first reached Washington, the President
had summoned to the White House Senator Thomas Kearns of Utah and
Senator Mark Hanna, who was chairman of the National Republican
committee; and to these two men he had declared his opposition to
the candidacy of a Mormon apostle as a Republican aspirant for a
Senatorship. At his request Senator Hanna, as chairman of the party,
signed a letter of remonstrance to the party chiefs in Utah, and
President Roosevelt, at a later conference, gave this letter to
Senator Kearns to be communicated to the state leaders. Senator Kearns
transmitted the message, and by so doing he "dug his political grave" as
the Mormon stake president, Lewis W. Shurtliff, expressed it.

Colonel C. B. Loose of Provo went to Washington on behalf of the Church
authorities. He was a Gentile, a partner of Apostle Smoot and of some of
the other Mormon leaders in business undertakings, a wealthy mining man,
a prominent Republican. It was reported in Utah that his arguments for
Smoot carried some weight in Washington. President Roosevelt was to be
a candidate for election; and the old guard of the Republican party,
distrustful of the Roosevelt progressive policies, was gathering for
a grim stand around Senator Mark Hanna. Both factions were playing for
votes in the approaching national convention. I have it on the authority
of a Mormon ecclesiast, who was in the political confidence of the
Church leaders, that President Roosevelt was promised the votes of
the Utah delegation and such other convention votes as the Church
politicians could control. The death of Senator Hanna made this promise
unnecessary, if there ever was an explicit promise. But this much is
certain. President Roosevelt's opposition to Apostle Smoot, for whatever
reason, changed to favor.

The character and impulses of the President were of a sort to make him
peculiarly susceptible to an appeal for help on the part of the Mormons.
He had lived in the West. He knew something of the hardships attendant
upon conquering the waste places. He sympathized with those who dared,
for their own opinions, to oppose the opinions of the rest of the
world. He had received the most adulating assurances of support for
his candidacies and his policies. It would have required a man of the
calmest discrimination and coolest judgment to find the line between
any just claim for mercy presented by the Mormon advocates of "religious
liberty" and the willful offenses which they were committing against the
national integrity.

I have received it personally, from the lips of more than one member
of the Senate committee, that never in all their experience with public
questions was such executive pressure brought to bear upon them as was
urged from the White House, at this time, for the protection of Apostle
Smoot's seat in the Senate. The President's most intimate friends on the
committee voted with the minority to seat Smoot. One of the President's
closest adherents, Senator Dolliver, after having signed a majority
report to exclude Smoot and having been re-elected, in the meantime,
by his own State legislature, to another term in the Senate--afterwards
spoke and voted against the report which he had signed. Senator A. J.
Hopkins of Illinois, who had supported Smoot consistently, found himself
bitterly attacked, in his campaign for reelection, because of his
record in the Smoot case, and he published in his defense a letter from
President Roosevelt that read: "Just a line to congratulate you upon the
Smoot case. It is not my business, but it is a pleasure to see a public
servant show, under trying circumstances, the courage, ability and sense
of right that you have shown."

After the outrageous exposures of the violations of law, the treason
and the criminal indifference to human rights shown by the rulers of
the Church, if an early vote had been taken by the committee and by
the Senate itself, the antagonism of the nation would have forced the
exclusion of the Apostle from the upper House. Delay was his salvation.
More to the President's influence than to any other cause is the delay
attributable that prolonged the case through a term of three years.
During that time the unfortunate Gentiles of Utah learned that, instead
of receiving help from the President, they were to have only the most
insuperable opposition. They believed that the President was being
grossly misled; that it was, of course, impossible for him to read all
the testimony given before the Senate committee, and that the matters
that reached him were being tinged with other purpose than the
vindication of truth and justice. But it was impossible to obtain the
opportunity of setting him right. Even the women who were leading
the national protest against the polygamous teaching and practices of
Smoot's fellow apostles were told that the President had made up his
mind and could not be re-convinced.

The Mormon appeal to his generosity was not confined to Washington. On
his travels he met President Smith more than once--the Prophet being
accompanied by a different wife each time--and naturally Smith made
every effort to impress President Roosevelt with his earnestness, the
purity of his life, and the high motives that actuated the exercise
of his authority. And at this sort of pretense the Lord's anointed are
expert. They themselves may be crude in ideas and coarse in method,
but their diplomacy is a growth of eighty years of applied devotion and

The American people are used to meeting prominent Mormons who are models
of demeanor who are hearty of manner; who carry a kindly light in their
eyes; who have a spontaneity that precludes hypocrisy or even deep
purpose. These are not the men who make the Church diplomacy--they
simply obey it. It is part of that diplomacy to send out such men for
contact with the world. But the ablest minds of the Church, whether they
are of the hierarchy or not, construct its policies. And given a system
whose human units move instantly and unquestioningly at command; given
a system whose worldly power is available at any point at any moment;
given a system whose movement may be as secret as the grave until
result is attained--and the clumsiest of politicians or the crudest of
diplomats has a force to effect his ends that is as powerful for its
size as any that Christendom has ever known.

Among the emissaries of the Church who were deputed to "reach" President
Roosevelt, was our old friend Ben Rich, the gay, the engaging, the
apparently irresponsible agent of hierarchical diplomacy. And I should
like to relate the story of his "approach," as it is still related
in the inner circle of Church confidences. Not that I expect it to
be wholly credited--not that I doubt but it will be denied on all
sides--but because it is so characteristic of Church gossip and so
typical (even if it were untrue) of the humorous cynicism of Church

When President Roosevelt was making his "swing around the circle," Rich
was appointed to join him, found the opportunity to do so, and (so the
story is told) delighted the President by the spirit and candor of his
good fellowship. When they were about to part, the President is reported
to have said, "Why don't you run for Congress from your state? You're
just the kind of man I'd like to have in the House to support my
policies." And here (as the Mormons are told) is the dialogue that

Rich: "I have no ambition that way, Mr. President. For many reasons
it's out of the question although I'm grateful for the flattering

The President: "Then let me appoint you to some good office. You're the
kind of man I'd like to have in my official family."

Rich (impressively and in a low tone): "Mr. President, I'd count it the
greatest honor of my life to have a commission from you to any office.
I'd hand that commission down to my children as the most precious
heritage. But--I love you too much, Mr. President, to put you in any
such hole. I'm a polygamist. It would injure you before the whole

The President (leaning forward eagerly): "No! Are you a polygamist? Tell
me all about it."

Rich. "The Lord has bestowed that blessing on me. I wish you could go
into my home and see how my wives are living together like sisters--how
tender they are to each other--how they bear each other's burdens and
share each other's sorrows--and how fond all my children are of Mother
and Auntie."

The President: "Well--but how can women agree to share a husband?"

Rich: "They do it in obedience to a revelation from the Lord--a
revelation that proclaimed the doctrine of the eternity and the
plurality of the marriage covenant. We believe that men and women,
sealed in this life under proper authority, are united in the conjugal
relation throughout eternity. We believe that the husband is tied to his
wives, and they to him; that their children and all the generations
of their children will belong to him hereafter. We believe in eternal
progression; that as man is, God was; and as God is, man shall be. We
believe that by obedience to this revealed covenant, we will be exalted
in the celestial realm of our Father, with power in ourselves to create
and people worlds. It is a never ending and constantly increasing
intelligence and labor. If I keep my covenants to my wives and they to
me, in this world, all the powers and rights of our marriage relation
will be continued and amplified to us in the life to come; and we, in
our turn, will be rulers over worlds and universes of worlds."

Then--according to the unctuous gossip of the devout--President
Roosevelt saw the true answer to his own desire to know what was to
become of his mighty personality after this world should have fallen
away from him! He saw, in this faith, a possible continuation throughout
eternity of the tremendous energies of his being! He was to continue to
rule not merely a nation but a world, a system of worlds, a universe of
worlds! And it is told--sometimes solemnly, sometimes with a grin--that,
in the Temple at Salt Lake, a proxy has stood for him and he has been
baptized into the Mormon Church; that proxies have stood for the members
of his family and that they have been sealed to him; and finally that
proxies have stood for some of the great queens of the past (who had not
already been sealed to Mormon leaders) and that they have been sealed to
the President for eternity!

[FOOTNOTE: It is a not uncommon practice in the Mormon Church thus to
"do a work" for a Gentile who has befriended the people or otherwise won
the gratitude of the Church authorities.]

This may sound blasphemous toward Theodore Roosevelt--if not toward the
Almighty--but it is told, and it is believed, by hundreds and thousands
of the faithful among the Mormon people. It is given to them as the
secret explanation of President Roosevelt's protection of the Mormon
tyranny--a protection of which Apostle Hyrum Smith boasted in a sermon
in the Salt Lake tabernacle (April 5, 1905) in these equivocal words:
"We believe--and I want to say this--that in President Roosevelt we
have a friend, and we believe that in the Latter-Day Saints President
Roosevelt has the greatest friendship among them; and there are no
people in the world who are more friendly to him, and will remain
friendly unto him just so long as he remains true, as he has been, to
the cause of humanity."

The Smiths have their own idea of what "the cause of humanity" is.

Chapter XV. The Struggle For Liberty

As early as 1903, before the Smoot investigation began, the Utah State
journal (of which I became editor) was founded as a Democratic daily
newspaper, to attempt a restoration of political freedom in Utah and
to remonstrate against the new polygamy, of which rumors were already
insistent. I was at once warned by Judge Henry H. Rolapp (a prominent
Democrat on the District bench, and secretary of the Amalgamated Sugar
Company) that we need not look for aid from the political or business
interests of the community, inasmuch as our avowed purpose had already
antagonized the Church. He delivered this message in a friendly spirit
from a number of Democrats whose support we had been expecting. And
the warning proved to be well-inspired. Although a number of courageous
Gentiles, like Colonel E. A. Wall of Salt Lake City, gave us material
aid--and although there was no other Democratic daily paper in
Utah (unless it was the Salt Lake Herald, owned by Senator Clark of
Montana)--the most powerful Church Democratic interests stood against
us, and we found it impossible to make any effective headway with the

After the Prophets began to give their awful testimony at Washington,
the Democratic National Convention of 1904 (which I attended as a
delegate from Utah) considered a resolution in opposition to polygamy
and the Church's rule of the state. This resolution was as vigorously
fought by some Utah Gentiles as by the Mormon delegates, on the grounds
that it would defeat the Democratic party in Utah. It carried in the
convention. Upon returning to Salt Lake City I called a meeting of the
Democratic state committee (of which I was chairman) and urged that we
make our state campaign on the issue of ecclesiastical domination, in
consonance with the party's national platform. Of the whole committee
only the secretary, Mr. P. J. Daly, supported the proposal. The others
considered it "an attempt to establish a quarantine against Democratic
success." Some of them had been promised by members of the hierarchy
that the party was to have "a square deal this time." Others had
fatuously accepted the assurances of ecclesiasts that "it looked like
a Democratic year." In short, the Democratic party in Utah, like the
Republican party, proved to be then, as it is now, less a political
organization than the tool of a Church cabal. We found that we could no
more hope to move the Democratic machine against the hierarchy than to
move the Smoot-Republican machine itself.

But when Joseph F. Smith, before the Senate committee, admitted that he
was violating "the laws of God and man" and tried to extenuate his
guilt with the plea that the Gentiles of Utah condoned it, he issued a
challenge that no American citizen could ignore. The Gentiles of Utah
had been silent, theretofore, partly because they were ignorant of the
extent of the polygamous offenses of the hierarchy, and partly because
they were hoping for better things. Smith's boast made their silence
the acquiescence of sympathy. A meeting was called in Salt Lake City, in
May, 1904, and under the direction of Colonel William Nelson, editor of
the Salt Lake Tribune, the principles of the present "American party"
were enunciated as a protest against the lawbreaking tyranny of the
Church leaders. Later, as it became clear that the opponents of the
Smith misrule must organize their own party of progress, committees were
formed and a convention was held (in September, 1904) at which a
full state and county ticket was put in the field, in the name of the
American Party of Utah.

We agreed that no war should be made on the Mormon religion as such;
that no war should be made on the Mormon people because of their being
Mormons; that we would draw a deadline at the year 1890, when the
Church had effected a composition of its differences with the national
government, and all the citizens of Utah, Mormon and Gentile alike, had
accepted the conditions of settlement; that we would find our cause of
quarrel in the hierarchy's violation of the statehood pledges; and that
when we had corrected these evil practices we should dissolve, because
(to quote the language used at the time) we did not wish "to raise a
tyrant merely to slay a tyrant."

In the idea that we would fight upon living issues--that we would not
open the graves of the past to dig up a dead quarrel and parade it in
its cerements--the American party movement began. Its first enlistment
included practically all the Gentiles in Salt Lake City who resented
the claim of the Prophet that they acquiesced in his crimes and his
treasons. But the most promising sign for the party was its attraction
of hundreds of independent Mormons of the younger generation. As one
Mormon of that hopeful time expressed it: "The flag represents the
political power. The golden angel Moroni, at the top of the Temple,
represents the ecclesiastical authority. I will not pay to either one a
deference which belongs to the other. I know how to keep them apart in
my personal devotion."

This was exactly what the Church authorities would not permit. It would
have destroyed all the special and selfish prerogatives of the Mormon
hierarchs. It would have subverted their claim of absolute temporal
power. It would have set up the nation and the state as the objects of
civic devotion--instead of the Kingdom of God.

Although we of the American party disavowed and abstained from any
attack upon the Mormon Church as such--and confined ourselves to a war
upon the treasons, the violations of law, the breaches of covenant
and the other offenses of the Church leaders, as the practices of
individuals--these leaders dragged the whole body of the Church as
a wall of defense around them, and in countless sermons and printed
articles declared that the Church and its faith were the objects of our
assault. In other words, though Smith claimed in Washington--and Smoot
continues to claim before the nation--that the Church is not responsible
for the crimes of its Prophets, whenever a criticism or a prosecution is
directed against any of these men, they all unite in declaring that the
Church is being persecuted; and the members of the hierarchy rouse all
their followers, and use all their agencies, in a successful resistance.

There was no blithesomeness in the campaign. It was not lightened by any
humor. It was a hopeless assault on the one side and a grim overpowering
resistance on the other. The American party, being organized as a
protest, had at first little regard for offices. It sought to promulgate
the principles of its cause for the enlightenment of the citizens of
Utah and for the preservation of their rights. Some of the Gentiles who
did not join us felt, perhaps, as strong an indignation as those who
did, but they were entangled in politics with the hierarchs, or had
business connections that would be destroyed. These men, in course of
time, became the most dangerous opponents of our progress. (The average
Mormon is obedient and supine enough in the presence of his Prophets,
but he is a man of personal independence compared with the sycophantic
Gentile who accepts political or commercial favors from the Church
chiefs and yet continues to deny the existence of the very power to
which he bends the knee.) Of the rebellious but discreet Mormons many
came to the leaders of our party to say: "I think you're quite right. I,
myself, have suffered under these tyrannies. I have no sympathy with
new polygamy. But, as you know, I'm attorney for some of the Church
interests"--or "I'm in business with high ecclesiasts"--or "I'm heavily
in debt to the Church bank"--or "I'm closely connected by marriage with
one of the Prophets"--"and I can do you more good by my quiet efforts
than by coming out into the open. I'd be treated as an apostate. All my
influence would be gone." And in most cases he preserved his influence,
and we lost him. The Church had effective ways of recovering his

For many reasons the American party looked for its recruits chiefly
among Republicans, the Democracy being almost entirely Mormon. And in
the first flush of enthusiasm some of our leaders laughed at the boast
of the Republican state chairman that, for every Republican he lost, he
would get two Mormon Democrats to vote the Republican ticket. (This was
Hon. William Spry, a Mormon, since made Governor of Utah, for services
rendered the hierarchy.) But the claim proved anything but laughable.
He got probably four Mormon Democrats for every Republican he lost. As
usual the hierarchy "delivered the goods" to the national organization
in power.

According to our best calculations we got from fifteen hundred to
eighteen hundred Mormon votes. And, during this campaign and those that
followed, I was approached by hundreds of Mormons who commended our work
and gave private voice to the hope that we might succeed in freeing Utah
so that they themselves might be free. After I joined the staff of the
Salt Lake Tribune, as chief editor, these came to my office by stealth
and in obvious fear. I could not blame them then, nor do I now. The cost
of open defiance was too great.

One woman, the first wife of a prominent Mormon physician, came to me
to enlist in the work of the party. (Her husband was living with a
young plural wife.) We accepted her aid. Her husband cut off her monthly
allowance, and she had to take employment as a book canvasser, so that
she might be able to earn her living. One Mormon who came out openly for
us, was superintendent of a business owned by Gentiles. He was somewhat
prominent as an ecclesiast, and he was a Sunday School worker in his
ward. He reconciled his wife and daughters to his revolt against the
recrudescence of polygamy and the tyranny of the Church's political
control. He carried with him the sympathy of his brother, who was a
newspaper editor. He won over some of his personal friends to pledge
their support to our cause. He seemed too sturdy ever to retreat, too
independent in his circumstances to be driven, and with too clear a
vision to be led astray by the threats, the power, or the persuasions
of the hierarchy. Yet, before long he came to confess that he could not
continue to help us openly. His employers--his Gentile employers--had
notified him that his work in the American party would be dangerously
injurious to their business. They were in hearty accord with his
views; they recognized his right as a citizen to act according to his
convictions; but--they dared not provoke a war of business reprisals
with the commercial and financial institutions of the Church. He must
either cease his active opposition to the Church leaders, or lose his
place of employment.... He retired from the fight.

Another Mormon who joined us was Don. C. Musser, a son of one of the
Church historians. He had been a missionary in Germany and in Palestine.
He had been a soldier in the Philippines, and he had edited the first
American newspaper there. His contact with the world and his experience
in the military service of the United States had given him a high ideal
of his country; and a feeling of loyalty to the nation had superseded
his earlier devotion to the Prophets. His family was wealthy, but he was
supporting himself and his young wife by his own efforts in business.
As soon as he came out openly with the American party, his father's home
was closed against him. His business connections were withdrawn from
him. He found himself unable to provide for his wife, who was in
delicate health. After a losing struggle, he came to tell us that he
could no longer earn a living in Utah; that he had obtained means to
emigrate; that he must say good-bye. And we lost him.

Two other young men--the son and the son-in-law of an apostle--came to
me and asked helplessly for advice. They admitted that the practices
of the hierarchy were, to them, a violation of the covenant with the
nation, a transgression of the revelation from God given to Wilford
Woodruff, and destructive of all the securities of community
association. But would I advise them to sacrifice their influence in the
Church by joining the "American movement" publicly? Or had they better
retain their influence and use it within the Church to correct the evils
that we were attacking?

With awful sincerity they spoke of conditions that had come under their
own eyes, and related instances to show how mercilessly the polygamous
favorites of the Church were permitted to prey on the young women
teachers in Church schools. They spoke of J. M. Tanner, who was at
that time head of the Church schools, a member of the general Board of
Education, and one of the Sunday School superintendents. According to
these young men--and according to general report--Tanner was marrying
right and left.

I knew of a young Mormon of Brigham City, who had been a suitor for the
hand of L----, a teacher at the Logan College. He had been away from
Utah for some time, and he had returned hoping to make her his wife.
Stopping over night in Salt Lake, on his way home, he saw Tanner and
L---- enter the lobby of the hotel in which he sat. They registered as
man and wife and went upstairs together. He followed--to walk the floor
of his room all night, struggling against the impulse to break in, and
kill Tanner, and damn his own soul by meddling with the man who had been
ordained by the Prophets to a wholesale polygamous prerogative.

He had kept his hands clean of blood, but he had been living ever since
with murder in his heart. Could these two sons of the Church do more to
remedy such horrors by using their influence to have Tanner deposed, or
by sacrificing that influence in an open revolt against the conditions
that made Tanner possible? I could only advise them to act according to
their own best sense of what was right. They did use their influence to
help force Tanner's deposition, but we lost the public example of their
opposition to the crimes of the hierarchy.

I relate these incidents as typical of the different kinds of pressure
that were brought to bear upon the independent Mormons who wished to
aid us, and of the local difficulties against which we had to contend.
Washington, of course, gave us no recognition. And we did not succeed
in reaching the ear of the nation. Here and there a newspaper noted our
effort and paid some small heed to our protest, but the overwhelming
success of the Republican party--and the dumb-driven acquiescence of
the Democracy--in Utah and the neighboring Church-ruled states, left the
agitation with little of political interest for the country at large.

And yet the struggle went on. Animated by the spirit of the Salt Lake
Tribune, the leading newspaper of the community, the American party
entered the city elections in the fall of 1905 and carried them against
the hierarchy's Democratic ticket, with the help of the independent
Mormons, under cover of the secret ballot. Emboldened by this success
we proposed to move on the state and county offices, with the hope of
gaining some members of the legislature and some of the judicial and
executive offices, through which to enforce the laws that the Church
leaders were defying. But here we failed. Outside of Salt Lake the rule
of the Prophets was still absolute and unquestioned. The people bowed
reverently to Joseph F. Smith's dictum: "When a man says 'You may direct
me spiritually but not temporally,' he lies in the presence of God--that
is, if he has got intelligence enough to know what he is talking about."
The state politicians knew that they would destroy themselves by joining
an organization opposed by the all-powerful-Church; and sufficient
warning of this doom appeared to them in the fact that no member of the
American party could obtain any recognition in Federal appointments.
The Church had meanwhile dictated the election of another United States
Senator (George Sutherland) to join Apostle Smoot, and Senator Kearns
was retired for his opposition to the hierarchy. [FOOTNOTE: When Senator
Aldrich was carrying the tariff bill of 1910 through the Senate, for
the greater profit of the "Interests," Smoot and Sutherland did not once
vote against him. Smoot supported him on every one of the one hundred
and twenty-nine votes and missed none. Sutherland voted with him one
hundred and seventeen times and was recorded as not voting on the
remaining twelve. Only two other senators made anything like such a
despicable record.]

It began to be more and more apparent that whatever success we might
achieve locally, the power of the financial and political allies of
the Prophets in Washington, aided by the executive "Big Stick" of the
President, would beat us back from any attempt to rouse the state or the
nation to our support.

Smoot was in a happy position: all the senators who represented the
"Interests" were for him, and all the senators who represented the
supposed progressive sentiment of Theodore Roosevelt were also for him.
The women of the nation had sent a protest with a million signatures to
the Senate; but they had not votes; they received, in reply, a public
scolding. Long before the Senate voted on its committee's report, many
of the notorious "new" polygamists of the Church returned from their
exile in foreign missions and began to walk the streets of Salt Lake
with their old swagger of self-confident authority. We foresaw the end.

Early in December, 1906, Senator J. C. Burrows of Michigan, chairman
of the committee that had investigated Smoot, called up the committee's
report and spoke upon it in a denunciation of Smoot. Senator Dubois
of Idaho followed, two days later, with a supplementary attack, and
censured President Roosevelt for "allowing his name and office" to be
used in defense of the Mormons. After an interval of a month, Senator
Albert J. Hopkins, of Illinois, undertook to reply with a defense
of Smoot that reduced the Apostle's excuses to the absurd. Smoot, he
declared, had opposed polygamy, "even from his infancy;" there was
"nothing in the constitution" prohibiting "a State from having an
established Church;" the old practices of Mormonism were dying out; and
Smoot, as an exponent of the newer Mormonism, was largely responsible
for the improvement.

This bold falsehood was received with laughter by the members who had
heard the testimony before the Senate committee or read the record of
its sittings; but it was wired to all newspapers; and the contradictions
that followed it failed (for reasons) to get the same publicity. It
was repeated by Senator Sutherland (January 22, 1907); and he had the
audacity to add that the Mormon Church, as well as Smoot, was opposed to
polygamy; that the "sporadic cases" of new polygamy were "reprehended
by Mormon and Gentile alike;" that polygamous marriages in Utah had been
forbidden by the Enabling Act, but that polygamous cohabitation had
been left to the state; and that the latter was rapidly dying out. And
Sutherland knew, as every public man in Utah knew, that almost every
word of this statement was untrue.

Senator Philander C. Knox, of Pennsylvania (February 14, 1907) took up
the lie that Smoot had been "from his youth against polygamy," and he
added to it a legal argument that the Senate could only expel a member,
by a two-thirds vote, if he were guilty of crime, offensive immorality,
disloyalty or gross impropriety during his term of service. Senator
Tillman (February 15) accused President Roosevelt of protecting Smoot
in return for a pledge of Mormon support given previous to the last
campaign. Apostle Smoot (February 19) declared that cases of "new"
polygamy were rare; that they were not sanctioned by the Church; that
every case since 1890 "has the express condemnation of the Church;"
and that he himself had always opposed polygamy. On February 20,
the question was forced to a vote after a debate that repeated these
falsehoods, in spite of all disproof's of them. And Apostle Smoot was
retained in his seat by a vote of fifty-one to thirty-seven, counting

After this event, no growth of organization was immediately possible to
the American party. Having gained political control of Salt Lake City
and given it good municipal government, we were able to hold a local
adherency; but hundreds of Mormons, who still vote the American city
ticket, vote for the Church in state elections, because, though they
want reform, they are not willing to risk the punishment of their
relatives and the leaders of the Church to attain that reform. And
when the national government granted its patent of approval to the
hierarchy--by holding the hierarchy's appointed representative in
the Senate as its prophetic monitor--nearly all the people of the
intermountain country lost heart in the fight. Thousands of Gentiles,
who knew the truth and had fought for it for years, argued despairingly:
"If the nation likes this sort of thing--I guess it's the sort of thing
it likes. I'm not going to ruin myself financially and politically by
keeping up a losing struggle with these neighbors of mine, and fight
the government at Washington besides. If the administration wants to be
bossed by the Prophet, Seer and Revelator, I can stand it."

The nation, having accepted responsibility for past polygamy, now,
by accepting Senator Smoot, gave its responsible approval to the new
polygamy and to the commercial and political tyrannies of the Church.
In the old days the Mormons had claimed immunity for their practice
of polygamy on the ground that the constitution of the United States
protected them in the exercises of their faith. The Supreme Court of the
country determined that the free-religion clause of the constitution did
not cover violations of law; and the Church deliberately abandoned its
claim of religious immunity. But now a majority of the Senate, supported
by President Roosevelt, took the old ground--which the Supreme Court had
made untenable and the Mormons themselves had vacated--and practically
declared that violations of law were a part of the constitutional

Chapter XVI. The Price of Protest

The members of the Mormon hierarchy continually boast that they are
sustained in their power--and in their abuses of that power--"by the
free vote of the freest people under the sun." By an amazing self
deception the Mormon people assume that their government is one of
"common consent;" and nothing angers them more than the expression of
any suspicion that they are not the freest community in the world. They
live under an absolutism. They have no more right of judgment than a
dead body. Yet the diffusion of authority is so clever that nearly every
man seems to share in its operation upon some subordinate, and feels
himself in some degree a master without observing that he is also a

The male members of the ward--who would be called "laymen" in any other
Church--all hold the priesthood. Each is in possession of, or on the
road to, some priestly office; and yet all are under the absolutism
of the bishop of the ward. Of the hundreds of bishops, with their
councillors, each seems to be exercising some independent authority, but
all are obedient to the presidents of stakes. The presidents apparently
direct the ecclesiastical destinies of their districts, but they are, in
fact, supine and servile under the commands of the apostles; and these,
in turn, render implicit obedience to the Prophet, Seer and Revelator.
No policy ever arises from the people. All direction, all command, comes
from the man at the top. It is not a government by common consent, but
a government of common consent--of universal, absolute and unquestioning
obedience--under penalty of eternal condemnation threatened and earthly
punishment sure.

Twice a year, with a fine show of democracy, the people assemble in the
Tabernacle at Salt Lake, and there vote for the general authorities
who are presented to them by the voice of revelation. If there were no
tragedy, there would be farce in the solemnity with which this pretense
of free government is staged and managed. Some ecclesiast rises in
the pulpit and reads from his list: "It is moved and seconded that we
sustain Joseph F. Smith as Prophet, Seer and Revelator to all the world.
All who favor this make it manifest by raising the right hand." No
motion has been made. No second has been offered. Very often, no adverse
vote is asked. And, if it were, who would dare to offer it? These
leaders represent the power of God to their people; and against them is
arrayed "the power of the Devil and his cohorts among mankind." Three
generations of tutelage and suppression restrain the members of the
conference in a silent acquiescence. If there is any rebel among them,
he must stand alone; for he has scarcely dared to voice his objections,
lest he be betrayed, and any attempt to raise a concerted revolt
would have been frustrated before this opportunity of concerted revolt
presented itself. Being a member of the Church, he must combat the fear
that he may condemn himself eternally if he raise his voice against the
will of God. He must face the penalty of becoming an outcast or an
exile from the people and the life that he has loved. He knows that
the religious zealots will feel that he has gone wilfully "into outer
darkness" through some deep and secret sin of his own; and that the
prudent members of the community will tell him that he should have "kept
his mouth shut." If there were a majority of the conference inclined
to protest against the re-election of any of its rulers, the lack of
communication, the pressure of training and the weight of fear would
keep them silent. And in this manner, from Prophet down to "Choyer
leader" (choir leader) the names are offered and "sustained by the free
vote of the freest people under the sun."

During the days just before the American party's political agitation, a
young Mormon, named Samuel Russell, returned from a foreign mission for
the Church and found that the girl whom he had been courting when he
went away was married as a plural wife to Henry S. Tanner, brother of
the other notorious polygamist, J. M. Tanner. The discovery that his
sweetheart was a member of the Tanner household drove Russell almost
frantic. She was the daughter of an eminent and wealthy family, of
remarkable beauty, well-educated and rarely accomplished. Young Russell
was a college student--a youth of intellect and high mind--and he
suffered all the torments of a horrifying shock. Unless he should choose
to commit an act of violence there was only one possible way for him to
protest. At the next conference, when the name of Henry S. Tanner was
read from the list to be "sustained"--as a member of the general Sunday
School Board--Russell rose and objected that Tanner was unworthy and a
"new" polygamist. He was silenced by remonstrances from the pulpit and
from the people. He was told to take his complaint to the President
of his Stake. He was denied the opportunity to present it to the

Almost immediately afterward, Tanner, for the first time in his life,
was honored with a seat in the highest pulpit of the Church among the
general authorities. And Russell was pursued by the ridicule of the
Mormon community, the persecution of the Church that he had served, the
contempt of the man who had wronged him, and the anger of the woman whom
he had loved. One of the reporters of the Deseret News, the Church's
newspaper, subsequently stated that he had been detailed, with others,
to pursue Russell day and night, soliciting interviews, plaguing
him with questions, and demanding the legal proofs of Tanner's
marriage--which, of course, it was known that Russell could not
give--until Russell's friends, fearing that he might be driven to
violence, persuaded him to leave the state. Tanner is now reputed to
have six plural wives (all married to him since the manifesto of 1890)
of whom this young woman is one.

Similarly, at the General Conference of April, 1905, Don C. Musser (of
whom I have already written) attempted to protest against the sustaining
of Apostles Taylor and Cowley; but Joseph F. Smith promptly called upon
the choir to sing, and Musser's voice was drowned in harmony. In more
recent years Charles J. Bowen rose at a General Conference to object to
the sustaining of some of the polygamous authorities, and he was hustled
from the building by the ushers.

But the most notable case of individual revolt of this period was
Charles A. Smurthwaite's. He had joined the Church, alone, when a boy in
England, and the sufferings he had endured, for allying himself with
an ostracized sect, had made him a very ardent Mormon. He had become
a "teacher" in his ward of Ogden City, had succeeded in business as a
commission merchant and was a great favorite with his bishop and his
people, because of his charities and a certain gentle tolerance of
disposition and kindly brightness of mind.

Smurthwaite, in partnership with Richard J. Taylor (son of a former
President of the Church, John Taylor) engaged in the manufacture of
salt, with the financial backing of a leading Church banker. Along the
shores of Salt Lake, salt is obtained, by evaporation, at the cost of
about sixty cents a ton; its selling price, at the neighboring smelting
centers, ranges from three dollars to fourteen dollars a ton; and the
industry has always been one of the most profitable in the community.
In the early days, the Church (as I have already related) encouraged the
establishment of "salt gardens," financed the companies, protected them
in their leasehold rights along the lake shores, and finally, through
the Inland Crystal Salt Company, came to control a practical monopoly
of the salt industry of the intermountain country. (This Inland Crystal
Company, with Joseph F. Smith as its president, is now a part of the
national salt trust.)

After Smurthwaite and Taylor had invested heavily in the land and plant
of their salt factory, the Church banker who had been helping them
notified them that they had better see President Smith before they went
any further. They called on Smith in his office, and there--according to
Smurthwaite's sworn testimony before the Senate committee--the Prophet
gave them notice that they must not compete with his Inland Crystal
Salt Company by manufacturing salt, and that if they tried to, he would
"ruin" them. This proceeding convinced Smurthwaite that Smith had
"so violent a disregard and non-understanding of the rights of his
fellow-man and his duty to God, as to render him morally unqualified for
the high office which he holds." For expressing such an opinion of Smith
to elders and teachers--and adding that Smith was not fit to act as
Prophet, Seer and Revelator, since, according to his own confession
to the Senate Committee he was "living in sin"--for expressing these
opinions, charges were preferred against Smurthwaite by an elder named
Goddard of Ogden City, and excommunication proceedings were begun
against him.

Smurthwaite replied by making a charge of polygamous cohabitation
against Goddard; and after the April Conference of 1905, Don Musser and
Smurthwaite joined in filing a complaint in the District Court of Salt
Lake City demanding an accounting from Joseph F. Smith of the tithes
which the Church was collecting. Meanwhile Smurthwaite had been
"disfellowshipped" at a secret session of the bishop's court, on March
22, without an opportunity of appearing in his own defense or having
counsel or witnesses heard in support of his case; and on April 4, after
a similarly secret and ex-parte proceeding, he was excommunicated by the
High Council of his Stake, for "apostasy and un-Christianlike conduct."
His charges against Goddard were ignored, and his suit for an accounting
of the tithes was dismissed for want of jurisdiction!

From the moment of his first public protest against Smith, all
Smurthwaite's former associates fell away from him, and by many of the
more devout he was shunned as if he were infected. Benevolent as he had
been, he could find no further fellowship even among those whom he had
benefited by his service and his means. I know of no more blameless life
than his had been in his home community--and, to this, every one of
his acquaintances can bear testimony--yet after the brutally unjust
proceedings of excommunication against him the Deseret News, the
Church's daily paper, referred to "recent cases of apostasy and
excommunication" as having been made necessary by the "gross immorality"
of the victims. When a man like Chas. A. Smurthwaite could not
remonstrate against the individual offenses of Joseph F. Smith, without
being overwhelmed by financial disaster, and social ostracism, and
personal slander, it must be evident how impossible is such single
revolt to the average Mormon. Nothing can be accomplished by individual
protest except the ruin of the protestant and his family.

In the case of my own excommunication, the issues were perhaps less
clearly defined than in Smurthwaite's. I had not been for many years a
formal member of the Church; and yet in the sense that Mormonism is a
community system (as much as a religion) I had been an active and loyal
member of it. In my childhood--when I was seven or eight years of age--I
began to doubt the faith of my people; and I used to go into the orchard
alone and thrust sticks lightly into the soft mould and pray that God
would let them fall over if the Prophets had not been appointed by Him
to do His work. And sometimes they fell and sometimes they stood! Later,
when I was appalled by some of the things that had occurred in the early
history of the Church, I silenced myself with the argument that one
should not judge any religion by the crudities and intolerance's of its
past. I felt that if I were not hypocritical--if I were myself guided by
the truth as I saw it myself--and if I aided to the utmost of my power
in advancing the community out of its errors, I should be doing all that
could be asked of me. In the days of Mormon misery and proscription,
I chose to stand with my own people, suffering in their sufferings
and rejoicing with them in their triumphs. Their tendency was plainly
upward; and I felt that no matter what had been the origin of the
Church--whether in the egotism of a man or in an alleged revelation from
God--if the tendencies were toward higher things, toward a more even
justice among men, toward a more zealous patriotism for the country, no
man of the community could do better than abide with the community.

The Church authorities accepted my aid with that understanding of my
position toward the Mormon religion; and, though Joseph F. Smith, in
1892, for his own political purposes, circulated a procured statement
that I was "a Mormon in good standing," later, when he was on the
witness stand in the Smoot investigation, he testified concerning me:
"He is not and never has been an official member of the Church, in any
sense or form." I made no pretenses and none were asked of me. I was
glad to give my services to a people whom I loved, and trusted, and
admired; and the leaders were as eager to use me as I was eager to be
used in the proper service of my fellows. (Even Joseph F. Smith, in
those days, was glad to give me his "power of attorney" and to trust me
with the care of the community's financial affairs.) But when all the
hierarchy's covenants to the nation were being broken; when the tyranny
of the Prophet's absolutism had been re-established with a fierceness
that I had never seen even in the days of Brigham Young; when polygamy
had been restored in its most offensive aspect, as a breach of the
Church's own revelation; when hopelessly outlawed children were being
born of cohabitation that was clandestine and criminal under the "laws
both of God and of man"--it was impossible for me to be silent either
before the leaders of the Church or in the public places among the
people. I had spoken for the Mormons at a time when few spoke for
them--when many of the men who were now so valiantly loyal to the
hierarchy had been discreetly silent. I had helped defend the Mormon
religion when it had few defenders. I did not propose to criticize it
now; for to me, any sincere belief of the human soul is too sacred to be
so assailed--if not out of respect, surely in pity--and the Mormon faith
was the faith of my parents. But I was determined to make the strongest
assault in my power on the treason and the tyranny which Smith and
his associates in guilt were trying to cover with the sanctities of
religion; and I had to make that assault, as a public man, for a public
purpose, without any consideration of private consequences.

After I began criticizing the Church leaders, in the editorial columns
of the Salt Lake Tribune, my friend Ben Rich, then president of the
Southern States Missions, and J. Golden Kimball, one of the seven
presidents of the seventies, came to me repeatedly to suggest that if
I wished to attack the leaders of the Church I should formally withdraw
from the Church. This I declined to do: because I was in no different
position toward the teachings of the Church than I had been in previous
years--because I was not criticizing the Church or its religious
teachings, but attacking the civil offenses of its leaders as citizens
guilty against the state--and because I saw that my attack had more
power as coming from a man who stood within the community, even though
he had no standing in the Church. I continued as I had begun. After
the publication of an editorial (January 22, 1905), in which I charged
President Smith with being all that the testimony then before the Senate
committee had proven him to be, Ben Rich advised me that I must either
withdraw from the Church or Smith would proceed against me in the Church
tribunals and make my family suffer. I replied that I would not withdraw
and that I would fight all cases against me on the issue of free speech.
On February 1, 1905, I published, editorially, "An address to the
Earthly King of the Kingdom of God," in which I charged Smith with
having violated the laws (revelations) of his predecessors; with having
made and violated treaties upon which the safety of his "subjects"
depended; with having taken the bodies of the daughters of his subjects
and bestowed them upon his favorites; with having impoverished his
subjects by a system of elaborate exaction's (tithes) in order to enrich
"the crown" and so forth. All of which, burlesquely written as if to a
Czar by a constitutionalist, was accepted by the Mormon people as in no
way absurd in its tone as coming from one American citizen to another!

Because of these two editorials I was charged (February 21, 1905)
before a ward bishop's court in Ogden with "un-Christianlike conduct
and apostasy," after two minor Church officials had called upon me at my
home and received my acknowledgment of the authorship of the editorials,
my refusal to retract them, and my statement that I did not "sustain"
Joseph F. Smith as head of the Church, since he was "leaving the worship
of God for the worship of Mammon and leading the people astray." On the
night of February 24, I appeared in my own defense before the bishop's
court, at the hour appointed, without witnesses or counsel, because I
had been notified that no one would be permitted to attend with me. And,
of course, the defense I made was that the articles were true and that I
was prepared to prove them true.

Such a court usually consists of a bishop and his two councillors, but
in this case the place of the second councillor had been taken by a high
priest named Elder George W. Larkin, a man reputed to be "richly endowed
with the Spirit." I had a peculiar psychological experience with Larkin.
After I had spoken at some length in my own defense, Larkin rose to work
himself up into one of the rhapsodies for which he was noted. "Brother
Frank," he began, "I want to bear my testimony to you that this is the
work of God--and nothing can stay its progress--and all who
interfere will be swept away as chaff"--rising to those transports of
auto-hypnotic exaltation which such as he accept as the effect of the
spirit of God speaking through them. "You were born in the covenant,
and the condemnation is more severe upon one who has the birthright
than upon one not of the faith who fights against the authority of
God's servants." I had concluded to try the effect of a resistant mental
force, and while I stared at him I was saying to myself: "This is a mere
vapor of words. You shall not continue in this tirade. Stop!" He began
to have difficulty in finding his phrases. The expected afflatus did not
seem to have arrived to lift him. He faltered, hesitated, and finally,
with an explanation that he had not been feeling well, he resumed his
seat, apologetically.

That left me free to "bear testimony" somewhat myself. I warned the
members of the "court" that no work of righteousness could succeed
except by keeping faith with the Almighty--which meant keeping faith
with his children upon earth. I reminded them of the dark days, which
all of them could recall, when we had repeatedly covenanted to God and
to the nation that if we could be relieved of what we deemed the world's
oppression we would fulfill every obligation of our promises. I pointed
out to them that the Church was passing into the ways of the world;
that our people were being pauperized; that some of them were in the
poorhouses in their old age after having paid tithes all their active
lives; that by our practices we were bearing testimony against the
revelations which Mormons proclaimed to the world for the salvation of
the bodies and souls of men.

They listened to me with the same friendly spirit that had marked all
their proceedings for these men had no animosity against me; they were
merely obeying the orders of their superiors. And when we arose to
disperse, the bishop put his hand on my shoulder and said, in the usual
form of words: "Brother Frank, we will consider your case, and if we
find you ought to do anything to make matters right, we will let you
know what it is."

I returned to my home, where I had left my wife and children chatting at
the dinner table. They had known where I was going. They knew what the
issue of my "trial" would be for them and for me. Yet when I came back
to them, none asked me any questions and none seemed perturbed. And this
is typical of the Mormon family. I think the experiences through which
the people have passed have given them a quality of cheerful patience.
They have been schooled to bear persecution with quiet fortitude.
Tragedy sweeps by them in the daily current of life. A young man goes
on a mission, and dies in a foreign land; and his parents accept their
bereavement like Spartans, almost without mourning, sustained by the
religious belief that he has ended his career gloriously. Taught to
devote themselves and their children and their worldly goods to the
service of their Church, they accept even the impositions and injustices
of the Church leaders with a powerful forbearance that is at once a
strength and a weakness.

Two days later I was met on the street by a young Dutch elder, who could
scarcely speak English, and he gave me the official document from
the bishop's court notifying me that I had been "disfellowshipped for
un-Christianlike conduct and apostasy." I was then summoned to appear
before the High Council of the Stake in excommunication proceedings, and
after filing a defense which it is unnecessary to give here--and after
refusing to appear before the Council for reasons that it is equally
unnecessary to repeat I was excommunicated on March 14, 1905. No denial
was made by the Church authorities of any of the charges which I had
made against Smith. No trial was made of the truth of those charges. As
a free citizen of "one of the freest communities under the sun," I was
officially ostracized by order of the religious despot of the community
for daring to utter what everyone knew to be the truth about him.

For myself, of course, no edict of excommunication had any terrors; but
the aim of the authorities was to make me suffer through the sufferings
of my family; and, in that, they succeeded. I shall not write of it. It
has little place in such a public record as this, and I do not wish
to present myself, in any record, as a martyr. It was not I who was
ostracized from the Mormon Church by my excommunication; it was the
right of free speech. The Mormon Church deprived me of nothing; it
deprived itself of the helpful criticism of its members. No anathema of
bigotry could take from me the affection of my family or the respect
of any friends whose respect was worth the coveting. In that regard I
suffered only in my pity for those of my neighbors who were so blindly
servile to the decrees of religious tyranny that they turned their backs
on the voice of their own liberty raised, in protest, for their own

And it was not by the individual protestants but by the entire community
that the heaviest price was paid in this whole conflict. It divided the
state again into the old factions and involved it in the old war from
which it had been rescued. The Mormons instituted a determined boycott
against all Gentiles, and "Thou shalt not support God's enemies" became
a renewed commandment of the Prophet. Wherever a Gentile was employed
in any Mormon institution, he was discharged, almost without exception,
whether or not he had been an active member of the American party.
Teachers in the Church would exclaim with horror if they heard that
a Mormon family was employing a Gentile physician; and more than one
Mormon litigant was advised that he not only "sinned against the work of
God," but endangered the success of his law suit, by retaining a Gentile
lawyer. Politicians were told that if they aided the American party,
they need never hope for advancement in this world, or expect anything
but eternal condemnation in the world to come; and though few of
them counted on the "spoils" of the hereafter, they understood and
appreciated the power of the hierarchy to reward in the present day. The
Gentiles did not attempt any boycott in retaliation; they had not the
solidarity necessary to such an attempt; and many Gentile business men,
in order to get any Mormon patronage whatever, were compelled to employ
none but Mormon clerks.

The Gentiles had been largely attracted to Utah by its mines; they were
heavily interested in the smelting industry. Colonel B. A. Wall, one of
the strongest supporters of the American party, owned copper properties,
was an inventor of methods of reduction, and had large smelting
industries. Ex-Senator Thomas Kearns, and his partner David Keith,
owners of the Salt Lake Tribune, and many of their associates, had their
fortunes in mines and smelters; they were leaders of the American
party and they were attempting to enlist with them such men as W.
S. McCornick, a Gentile banker and mine owner, and D. C. Jackling,
president of the Utah Copper Company, who is now one of the heads of the
national "copper combine" and one of the ablest men of the West.

In 1904, in the midst of the political crisis, the Church newspapers
served editorial notice on these men that, on account of the smelter
fumes and their destructive effect upon the vegetation of the valley,
the smelters must go; and that if the present laws were not sufficient,
new laws would be enacted to drive them out. Men like Wall and Keith and
Kearns and Walker were not terrorized; but McCornick and Jackling and
the representatives of the American Smelting and Refining Company either
surrendered to a discreet silence or openly joined the Church in the
campaign. They were rewarded with the assurance that the Church would
protect them against any labor trouble and that no adverse legislation
would be attempted against them. Today Jackling, of the copper combine,
is a newspaper partner of Apostle Smoot, and he is mentioned for
the United States Senate as the Church's selection to succeed George
Sutherland. The Church has large mining interests; Smoot and Smith
are in close affiliation with the smelting trust; and this is another
powerful partnership in Washington that protected Smoot in his seat and
has been rewarded by the Church's assistance in looting the nation.

Chapter XVII. The New Polygamy

In the old days of Mormonism--and as late as the anti-polygamous
manifesto of 1890--the whole aim and effort of the Church was to exalt
and sanctify and make pure the practice of plural marriage by means of
the community's respect and the reverences of religion. The doctrine of
polygamy was taught as a revealed mystery of faith. It was accepted as
a sacrament ordained by God for the salvation of mankind. The most
important families in the Church dignified it by their participation,
and were in turn dignified by the Church's approval and by the wealth
and power that followed approval. The inevitable mental sufferings
of the plural wives were endured by them as part of an earthly
self-immolation required by God, for which they should be rewarded in
eternity. The very necessities of their situation compelled them
to exact and cherish a super reverence for the doctrine of plural
marriage--since the only way a mother could justify herself to her
children was by teaching, as she believed, that she had been selected
by God for the exaltation of this sacrifice, and by inculcating in her
children a scrupulous respect for sexual purity. There was no pretense
of denial of the polygamous relation. Plural wives held the place
of honor in the community. Their marriages were considered the most
sanctified. They and their progeny were called "the wives and children
of the holy covenant," and they were esteemed accordingly.

But as the history of the Church shows, plural marriage was always a
heavy cross to the Mormon women; many had refused to bear it, in the
face of the frequent pulpit scoldings of the Prophets; and few did not
sometime weep under it in the secrecy of their family life. In the days
immediately preceding the manifesto of 1890, there was a general hope
and longing among the Mormon mothers that God would permit a relief
before their daughters and their sons should become of an age to be
drafted into the ranks of polygamy. The great majority of the young
men were monogamists. It required the strong persuasions of personal
affection as well as the authority of Divine command to make the young
women accept a polygamist in marriage. And when the Church received
President Woodruff's anti-polygamous revelation, every profound human
emotion of the people coincided with the promise to abstain.

Only among a few of the polygamous leaders themselves was there any
inclination to break the Church's pledge--an inclination that was
strengthened by resentment against the Federal power that had compelled
the giving of the pledge. Almost immediately upon obtaining the
freedom of statehood, some of these leaders returned to the practice of
polygamous cohabitation--although they had accepted the revelation,
had bound themselves by their covenant to the nation and had solemnly
subscribed to the terms of their amnesty. To justify themselves, they
found it necessary to teach that polygamy was still approved by the law
of God--that the practice of plural marriage had only been abandoned
because it was forbidden by the laws of man. Joseph F. Smith continued
to live with his five wives and to rear children by all of them.
Those of the apostles who were not assured of that attainment to the
principality of Heaven which was promised the man of five wives and
proportionate progeny, were naturally tempted (if, indeed, they were not
actually encouraged) to take Joseph F. Smith as their examplar. It was
scarcely worse to break the covenant by taking a new polygamous wife
than by continuing polygamous relations with former plural wives; and
when an apostle took a new polygamous wife, his inevitable and necessary
course was to justify himself by the authority of God. He could not then
deny the same authority to the minor ecclesiasts, even if he had wished
to. And, finally, when the evil circle spread to the man on the fringe
of the Church--who could not obtain even such poor authorization for his
perfidy he found a way to perpetrate a pretended plural marriage with
his victim, and the Church authorities did not dare but protect him.

This was polygamy without the great saving grace that had previously
defended the Mormon women from the cruelties and abuses of the practice.
It was polygamy without honor--polygamy against an assumed revelation
of God instead of by virtue of one--polygamy worse than that of the
Mohammedans, since it was necessarily clandestine, could claim no social
respect or acceptance, and was forbidden "by the laws of God and man"

This is the "new polygamy" of Mormonism. The Church leaders dare not
acknowledge it for fear of the national consequences. They dare not even
secretly issue certificates of plural marriage, lest the record should
be betrayed. They protect the polygamist by a conspiracy of falsehood
that is almost as shameful as the shame it seeks to cover; and the
infection of the duplicity spreads like a plague to corrupt the whole
social life of the people. The wife of a new polygamist cannot claim
a husband; she has no social status; she cannot, even to her parents,
prove the religious sanction for her marital relations. Her children
are taught that they must not use a father's name. They are hopelessly
outside the law--without the possibility that any further statutes
of legitimization will be enacted for their relief. They are born in
falsehood and bred to the living of a lie. Their father cannot claim
the authority of the Church for their parentage, for he must protect his
Prophet. He cannot even publicly acknowledge them--any more than he can
publicly acknowledge their mother.

Out of these terrible conditions comes such an instance as the notorious
case of one of Henry S. Tanner's wives, who went on a visit to one
of her relatives, with her children, and denied that they were her
children, and denied that she was married--and was supported by her
children's denial that she was their mother. Similarly, a plural wife of
a wealthy Mormon, whose fortune is estimated at $25,000,000--a partner
of the sugar trust, a community leader, a favorite of the Church went
before the Senate Committee in December, 1904, and swore that her first
husband had died thirteen years before, that she had had a child within
six years, and that she had no second husband. And by doing so she not
only marked the child as illegitimate beyond the relief of any future
statutes--legitimizing the offspring of polygamous marriages, but she
left herself and the child without any claim upon the estate of its
father and publicly swore herself a social outcast before a committee of
the United States Senate, and perjured herself--to the knowledge of all
her friends and acquaintances in Utah--for the protection of her husband
and her Church. What can one say of a man who will permit a woman to
commit such an act of social suicide for him--or of a Church that will
command it?

Here is a condition of society unparalleled anywhere else in
civilization--unparalleled even in barbarous countries, for wherever
else polygamy is practiced it at least has the sanction of local
convention. And the consequent suffering that falls upon the women and
the children is a heart-break to see. During the days when I was in the
editorial office of the Salt Lake Tribune, scores of miserable cases
came to my knowledge by letter, by the report of friends, and by the
visits of the agonized wives themselves. I shall never forget one young
woman, in her twenties, who came to ask my help in forcing her husband
to obtain a marriage certificate for her from the Church, so that her
boy might have the right to claim a father. She wept, with her head
on my desk, sobbing out her story, and appealing to me for aid with a
convulsed and tear-drenched face.

Four years earlier, she had become friendly with a man twice her age,
whom she admired and respected. He had taken two wives before the
manifesto of 1890, but that did not prevent him from coveting the youth
and beauty of this young woman. He first approached her mother for
permission to marry the girl, and when the mother-who was herself a
plural wife replied that it was impossible under the law, he brought an
apostle to persuade her that the practice of plural marriage was
still as meet, just and available to salvation as it had been when she
married. Then he went to the daughter.

"I was terrified," she said, "when he proposed to me. And yet--he asked
me if I thought my mother had done wrong when she married my father....
There was no one else I liked as much. He was good. He was rich. He
told me I'd never want for anything. He said I would be fulfilling the
command of God against the wickedness of a persecuting world.... I don't
know what devil of fanaticism entered into me. I thought it would be
smart to defy the United States."

Late one night, by appointment, he called for her with a carriage,
driven by a man unknown to her, and took her to a darkened house that
had a dim light only in the hallway. They entered alone and turned into
a parlor that was dark, except for the reflection from the hall. He led
her up to the portieres that hung across an inner door, and through the
opening between the curtains she saw the indistinct figure of a man.
They stood before him, hand in hand, while he mumbled over the words of
a ceremony that sounded to her like the ceremonies she had heard in
the Temple. She caught little of it clearly; she remembered practically
nothing. She was not given anything to show that a ceremony had been
performed, and she did not ask for anything. The elderly bridegroom
kissed her when the mumbling ceased, led her out to the carriage, took
her back to her mother's house, and that night became her husband.

She bore him a son. No one except her mother, her father and a few
trusted friends knew that she was married. In the early months of 1905
she read in the Tribune the testimony given before the Senate committee
by Professor James E. Talmage, for the Church, to the effect that since
the manifesto of 1890 neither the President of the Church nor anybody
else in the Church had power to authorize a plural marriage, and that
any woman who had become a plural wife, since the manifesto, was "no
more a wife by the law of the Church, than she is by the law of the

She asked her husband about it. He replied that an apostle had married
them. "I asked my husband," she said, "to get a certificate of marriage
from the apostle. He told me I needed none--that it was recorded in
the books here and recorded in heaven--that it would put the apostle in
danger if he were to sign such a paper. I said that that was nothing to
me--that I wanted to protect my good name. Finally, he said it was not
an apostle. Then we had a bitter scene. And he did not come back for a
long time. And he didn't write as long as he stayed away.

"When he came back he was more loving than ever. I was afraid of having
more children. I said to him: 'You cannot hold me as a wife any longer
unless you write a paper certifying that I'm your wife and this boy is
your child. You may place that paper anywhere you like, so long as I
know I can get it in case you die. Suppose you were to die and all
your folks were to deny that I was your wife--say that I was an
imposter--that I was trying to foist my boy on the estate of a dead
man--in the name of God, then what could I do?' He went away; and he
hasn't come back; and he hasn't written. I don't know who married us. I
don't even know the house where it happened. I don't know who the driver
was. I don't even know who the apostle was that told mother it would be
all right. He made her promise under a covenant not to tell.

"I don't know where to go. A friend of mine told me you would advise me.
He said perhaps you could make them give me a certificate. I don't want
to expose my husband. I only want something so that my boy, when he
grows up, won't be"--

What could I do? What could anyone do for this unfortunate girl, seduced
in the name of religion, with the aid of a Church that repudiated her
for its own protection? She had to suffer, and see her boy suffer, the
penalties of a social outcast.

Her case was typical of many that came to my personal knowledge. At
the Sunday Schools, in the choirs, in the joint meetings of mutual
improvement associations, young girls--taught to believe that plural
marriage was sacred, and reverencing the polygamous prophets as the
anointed of the Lord--were being seduced into clandestine marriage
relations with polygamous elders who persuaded their victims that the
anti-polygamous manifesto had been given out to save a persecuted people
from the cruelties of an unjust government; that it was never intended
it should be obeyed; that all the celestial blessings promised by
revelation to the polygamist and his wives were still waiting for those
who would dare to enjoy them.

If the tempted girl turned to one of her women friends, and besought
her to say, on her honor, whether she thought that plural marriage was
right, the other was likely enough to answer: "Yes, yes. Indeed it is.
Promise me you won't tell a living soul. Tell me you'll die first....
I'm married to Brother I,----, the leader of the ward choir."

If she asked her mother: "Tell me. Is plural marriage wrong?" the mother
could only reply: "Oh--I don't know--I don't know. Your father said it
was right, and I accepted it--and we practiced it--and you have always
loved your other brothers and sisters, and it seems to me it can't be
wrong, since we have lived it. But--Oh, I don't know, daughter. I don't

The man who is tempting her knows. He has the word of an apostle, the
example of the Prophet, the secret teaching of the Church. He courts
her as any other religious young girl might be courted--with little
attentions, at the meetings, over the music books--and he has, to aid
him, a religious exaltation in her, induced by his plea that she is to
enter into the mystery of the holy covenant, to become one of the most
faithful of a persecuted Church, to defy the wicked laws of its enemies.
She is just as happy in her betrothal as any other innocent girl of
her age. Even the secrecy is sweet to her. And then, some evening, they
saunter down a side street to a strange house--or even to a back
orchard where a man is waiting in a cowl under a tree (perhaps vulgarly
disguised as a woman with a veil over his face)--and they are married in
a mutter of which she hears nothing.

Such a case was related to me by a horrified mother who had discovered
that the marriage ceremony had been performed by an accomplice of the
libertine who had seduced her daughter and since confessed his crime.
But whether the ceremony be performed by a priest of the Church or by
a more unauthorized scoundrel, the girl is equally at the mercy of her
"husband" and equally betrayed in the world. Even in this case of the
pretended marriage, the elders of the ward hushed up the threatened
prosecution because the authorities of the Church objected to a
proceeding that might expose other plural marriages more orthodox.

Hundreds of Mormon men and women personally thanked me by letter or in
interviews at the Tribune office, for our editorial attacks upon the
hierarchy for encouraging these horrors. Strangers spoke to me on
railroad trains, thanking me and telling me of cases. Three Mormon
physicians, themselves priests of the Church, told me of innumerable
instances that had come to them in their practice, and said that they
did not know what was to become of the community. One Mormon woman wrote
me from Mexico to say that she had exiled herself there with her
husband and his two plural wives, and that she felt she had worked out
sufficient atonement for all her descendants; yet she saw girls of the
family on the verge of entering into plural marriage--if they had not
already done so--and she begged us to continue our newspaper exposures,
so that others might be saved from the bitter experiences of her life.

President Winder met me on the street in 1905, towards the close of the
year, and said: "Frank, you need not continue your fight against plural
marriage. President Smith has stopped it." "Then," I replied, "two
things are evident: I have been telling the truth when I said
that plural marriage had been renewed--in spite of the authorized
denials--and if President Smith has stopped it now, he has had authority
over it all the time."

To me, or to any other well-informed citizen of Utah, President Winder's
admission was not necessary to prove Smith's responsibility. In the
April conference of 1904, Smith had read an "official statement," signed
by him, prohibiting plural marriages and threatening to excommunicate
any officer or member of the Church who should solemnize one; and this
official statement was carried to the Senate committee by Professor
James E. Talmage, and offered in proof that the Church was keeping its

For us, in Utah, the declaration served merely to illuminate the dark
places of ecclesiastical bad faith. We knew that from the year 1900
down, there had never been a sermon preached in any Mormon tabernacle,
by any of the general authorities of the Church, against the practice
of plural marriage, or against the propriety of the practice, or against
the sanctity of the doctrine. We knew, on the contrary, that upon
numerous occasions, at funerals and in public assemblages, Joseph F.
Smith and John Henry Smith and others of the hierarchy, had proclaimed
the doctrine as sacred. We knew that it was still being taught in the
secret prayer meetings. Practically all the leading authorities of the
Church were living in plural marriage. Some of them had taken new wives
since the manifesto. None of them had been actually punished. All were
in high favor. And though Joseph F. Smith denied his responsibility,
every one knew that none of these things could be, except with his
active approval.

Perhaps, for a brief time, while Smoot's case was still before the
Senate, some check was put upon the renewal of polygamy. But, even then,
there were undoubtedly, occasional marriages allowed, where the parties
were so situated as to make concealment perfect. And all checks were
withdrawn when Smoot's case was favorably disposed of, and the Church
found itself protected by the political power of the administration
at Washington and by a political and financial alliance with "the

Today, in spite of the difficulty of discovering plural marriages,
because of the concealments by which they are protected, the Salt Lake
Tribune is publishing a list of more than two hundred "new" polygamists
with the dates and circumstances of their marriages; and these are
probably not one tenth of all the cases. During President Taft's
visit to Salt Lake City, in 1909, Senator Thomas Kearns, one of the
proprietors of the Tribune, offered to prove to one of the President's
confidants hundreds of cases of new polygamy, if the President would
designate two secret service men to investigate. I believe, from my own
observation, that there are more plural wives among the Mormons today
than there were before 1890. Then the young men married early, and were
chiefly monogamists. Now the change in economic conditions has raised
the age at which men marry; it has made more bachelors than there were
when simpler modes of life prevailed. The young women have fewer offers
of marriage, and more of these come from well-to-do polygamists. The
girls are still taught, as they have always been, that marriage is
necessary to salvation; and they are betrayed into plural marriage by
natural conditions as well as by the persuasions of the Church.

A perfect "underground" system has been put in operation for the
protection of the lawbreakers. If they reside in Utah, they frequently
go to Canada or to Mexico to be married; and the whole polygamous
paraphernalia can be transported with ease and comfort--the priest who
performs the ceremony, the husband, sometimes the legal wife to give her
consent so that she may not be damned, and the young woman whose soul is
to be saved. And this "underground" is maintained against the reluctance
of the Mormon people. They aid in it from a kindly feeling toward
their fellow-believers--and with some faint thought that perhaps these
wayfarers are being "persecuted" but all the time with no personal
sympathy for polygamy. By one sincere word of reprehension from Joseph
F. Smith every "underground" station could be abolished, the route could
be destroyed, and an end could be put to the protection that is, of
itself, an encouragement to polygamous practice. He has never spoken
that word.

Recently, the way in which the new polygamy is perpetrated in Utah has
been almost officially revealed. A patriarch of the Church, resident
in Davis County, less than fifteen miles from Salt Lake City, had been
solemnizing these unlawful unions at wholesale. The situation became so
notorious that the authorities of the Church felt themselves impelled
about September, 1910, to put restrictions upon his activity. In the
course of their investigations they discovered that he did not know the
persons whom he married. They would come to his house, in the evening,
wearing handkerchiefs over their faces; he sat hidden behind a screen in
his parlor; and under these circumstances the two were declared man
and wife, and were sealed up to everlasting bliss to rule over
principalities and kingdoms, with power of endless increase and
progression. He refused to tell the hierarchy from which one of the
authorities he had received his endowment to perpetrate these crimes.
He refused to give the names of any of the victims, claiming that he did
not know them!

It is probable that for a long time plural marriage ceremonies were not
solemnized within the Salt Lake temple. Now, we know that there have
lately been such marriages in it, and at Manti, and at Logan, and
perhaps also in the temple at St. George. There are cases on record
where a man has a wife on one side of the Utah-Colorado line and another
wife across the border. No prosecutions are possible in Utah; for, as
Joseph F. Smith told the Senate committee, the officers of the law
have too much "respect" for the ecclesiastical rulers of the state.
Similarly, in the surrounding states, the officers show exactly the
same sort of "respect" and for the same reason. They not only know
the Church's power in local politics, but they see the national
administration allowing the polygamists and priests of the Church
to select the Federal officials, and they are not eager to rouse a
resentment against themselves, at Washington as well as at home, by
prosecuting polygamous Mormons.

Some few years ago, Irving Sayford, then representing the Los Angeles
Times, asked Mr. P. H. Lannan, of the Salt Lake Tribune, why someone did
not swear out warrants against President Smith for his offenses against
the law. Mr. Lannan said: "You mean why don't I do it?"

"Oh, no," Mr. Sayford explained, "I don't mean you particularly."

"Oh, yes, you do," Mr. Lannan said. "You mean me if you mean anybody. If
it's not my duty, it's no one's duty.... Well, I'll tell you why.... I
don't make a complaint, because neither the district attorney nor the
prosecuting attorney would entertain it. If he did entertain it and
issued a warrant, the sheriff would refuse to serve the warrant. If the
sheriff served the warrant, there would be no witnesses unless I got
them. If I could get the witnesses, they wouldn't testify to the facts
on the stand. If they did testify to the facts, the jury wouldn't bring
in a verdict of guilty. If the jury did bring in a verdict of guilty,
the judge would suspend sentence. If the judge did not suspend sentence,
he would merely fine President Smith, three hundred dollars. And within
twenty-four hours there would be a procession of Mormons and Gentiles
crawling on their hands and knees to Church headquarters to offer to pay
that three hundred dollar fine at a dime apiece."

Mr. Lannan's statement of the case was later substantiated by an action
of the Salt Lake District Court. Upon the birth of the twelfth child
that has been borne to President Smith in plural marriage since the
manifesto of 1890, Charles Mostyn Owen made complaint in the District
Court at Salt Lake, charging Mr. Smith with a statutory offense. The
District Attorney reduced the charge to "unlawful cohabitation" (a
misdemeanor), without the complainant's consent or knowledge. All the
preliminaries were then graciously arranged and President Smith appeared
in the District Court by appointment. He pleaded guilty. The judge in
sentencing him remarked that as this was the first time he had appeared
before the court, he would be fined three hundred dollars, but that
should he again appear, the penalty might be different. Smith had
already testified in Washington, before the Senate Committee, to the
birth of eleven children in plural marriage since he had given his
covenant to the country to cease living in polygamy; he had practically
defied the Senate and the United States to punish him; he had said that
he would "stand" his "chances" before the law and courts of his own
state. All of this was well known to the judge who fined him three
hundred dollars--a sum of money scarcely equal to the amount of Smith's
official income for the time he was in court!

A leader of the Church, not long ago, asked me, in private conference,
what was the policy of the American party with regard to the new plural
wives and their children. I replied that as far as I knew it, the policy
was to have the Church accept its responsibility in the matter and give
the wives and children whatever recognition could be given them by their
religion. The Church was guilty before God and man of having encouraged
the awful condition. It was unspeakably cowardly and unfair for the
Church leaders to put the whole burden of suffering on the helpless
women and children; and, moreover, this course was a justification to
polygamists in deserting their wives, on the ground that the Church had
never sanctioned the relation.

This Church leader, himself a new polygamist, answered miserably: "The
Church will not let itself be put in such a light before the country.
That would be to admit that it has been responsible all the time."

I asked: "Has the Church not been responsible?"

He replied--equivocating--: "Well, not the Church. The Church has never
taken a vote on it."

"That," I said, "answers why you have never got redress and never will
get it because you are all liars, from top to bottom. You know you would
never have entered the polygamous relation--nor could you have induced
your wife to enter it--except with full knowledge that the Church did
authorize it. The Church is one man, and you know it. The whole theory
of your theology collapses if you deny that."

He shook his head blankly. "I don't know what is to become of us. I
don't see any way out."

I could only advise him that he should join with other new polygamists
in demanding that the Church authorities make all possible reparation to
the women and children who were being crushed under the penalties of the
Church's crime. But I knew that such advice was vain. He could not make
such a demand, any more than any other slave could demand his freedom.
And if the non-polygamists demanded it, the Prophets would deny that
polygamy was being practiced. The children could not be legitimized--for
the Church cannot obtain legitimizing statutes without avowing its
responsibility for the need of them; and the Gentiles can not pass such
statutes without encouraging the continuance of polygamy by removing the
social penalty against it.

So the burden of all this guilt, this shame, this deception, falls upon
the unfortunate plural wife and her innocent offspring. She is bound by
the most sacred obligations never to reveal the name of the officiating
priest--even if she knew it--nor to disclose the circumstances of the
ceremony. She has justified her degradation by the assumption that God
has commanded it; that her husband has received a revelation authorizing
him to take her into his household; that her children will be legitimate
in the sight of God, and that eventually the civilized world will come
to a joyous acceptance of the practice of polygamy. When the trials of
her life afflict her and she finds no relentment in the world's disdain,
she sees no avenue of retreat. To break the relation is to imply at once
that it was not ordained of God, and to cast a darker ignominy upon her
unfortunate children. Her only hope lies in her continued submission
to her husband and his Church, even after she has mentally and morally
rejected the doctrine that betrayed her. A more pitiably helpless band
of self-immolants than these Mormon women has never suffered martyrdom
in the history of the world. Heaven help them. There is no help for them
on earth.

Chapter XVIII. The Prophet of Mammon

In an earlier day among the Mormons, the ecclesiastical authorities
collected one-tenth of the "annual increase" of the faithful into "the
storehouse of the Lord;" and this was practically the entire assessment
made by the Church; although, by the same law of tithing, every Mormon
was held obliged to consecrate all his earthly possessions to "God's
work" on the demand of the Prophet. The common fund was used, then, to
promote community enterprises and to relieve the poor. The tithe-payer
saw the good result of the administration of the Church's moneys, and
was generally satisfied. He was promised eternal happiness if he paid
an honest tithe, but he was also given an earthly reward--for the
Church admitted him to many opportunities and enterprises from which
the niggardly were adroitly excluded. He was spiritually elevated
and enlarged by giving for a purpose that he considered worthy--the
fulfillment of a commandment of God and the relief of his
fellow-creatures--and the community benefited by having a part of its
yearly surplus administered for the common good.

But by the time the Church had reached its third generation of
tithe-payers, the "financial Prophets" had made a change. On the theory
that since the Mormons were paying the bulk of the taxes, they should
share in the distribution of the public relief funds, the Mormon poor
were denied assistance from "the storehouse of the Lord," and were
compelled to enter the poorhouses, to seek shelter on the "county
farms," or to take charity from their neighbors. The resulting
degradation of a sublime principle of human helpfulness is strikingly
shown in the fact that in some cases, where the county relief funds are
distributed through a Mormon clerk of paupers for out-door relief, the
Mormon bishop even collects one-tenth of this money, from the wretched
recipients, as their contribution to God Almighty!

Nor is the greed of the present hierarchy satisfied with one-tenth of a
Mormon's income. Said Joseph F. Smith, at the April Conference of 1899
(according to the Church's official report): "If a farmer raises two
thousand bushels of wheat, as the result of his year's labor, how
many bushels should he pay for tithing? Well, some go straightway to
dickering with the Lord. They will say that they hired a man so and
so, and his wages must be taken out; that they had to pay such and such
expenses, and this cost and that cost; and they reckon out all their
expenses and tithe the balance." To Smith's inspired financial genius
this was "dickering with the Lord." He wished to collect ten per cent of
the farmer's entire yield--a tithe that would have bankrupted the farmer
in three years!

Nor is the tithe any longer the only exaction demanded by the Prophet.
A score of "donations" have been added. There is the Stake Tabernacle
Donation, which is a fund collected from the Mormons of each "Stake"
(corresponding usually to a county) for the building of a house in which
to hold Stake Conferences. There is the Ward Meeting-House Donation,
which is a fund collected from the Mormons of every "ward" for the
erection of a local chapel. There is the Fast Day Donation, made up
of contributions gathered on the afternoon of the first Sunday of each
month, at what is called "a fast meeting," for the support of the local
poor; and this is supplemented by the Relief Society Donation, solicited
by the members of the Ladies Relief Society, in a house-to-house
canvass, from Mormons and Gentiles alike. A Light and Heat Donation is
collected by the deacons of the ward, under direction of the bishop, to
pay for the lighting and heating of the ward meeting house; a Missionary
Donation is collected at a "Missionary benefit entertainment," to help
defray the expenses of a member of a ward sent on a mission; and since a
missionary must necessarily be an elder, a Quorum Missionary Donation is
also taken from his fellow members of the quorum, to assist him. So
far as the Church is concerned, he travels "without purse or scrip," by
order of "revelation;" but this inhibition does not extend to the use of
his own money--if he has any left after paying the other exaction's--nor
does it prevent him either from receiving contributions from his
impoverished fellows or accepting charity from "the enemies of God's
people," whom he labors to redeem. And on these terms about ninety per
cent. of the adult male Mormons perform missionary services for the

All priesthood quorums have monthly Quorum Dues collected from their
members. On one Sunday of each month, called Nickel Sunday, the Sunday
School members pay in five cents each for the purchase of new books,
etc. On Dime Tuesday, once a month, the members of the Young Men's and
the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associations pay in ten cents each
for the purchase of books, etc. On Nickel Friday, once a month, the
infant members of the Primary Association pay in five cents each to
the association. Religious Class Donations are paid once a month by the
Mormon public-school pupils for the support of the week-day religious
classes. Amusement Hall Donations are collected from the members of a
ward whose bishop finds them able to build a place of amusement. When a
temple is to be erected, Temple Donations are collected, continuously,
until the work is finished and paid for; and when members of the Church
"go through the Temple," they are required to pay another form of Temple
Donation in any sum that they can afford. Should a need arise, not
provided for by the specific donations given above, a Special Donation
is collected to meet it. Yet in the face of all these exaction's of
tithes and donations, the ecclesiast still boasts: "We are not like the
'preachers for hire and diviners for money.' We never pass the plate
at our sacred services. Our clergy labor, without pay, to give free
salvation to a sinful world!"

In addition to doing missionary service, paying tithes, and contributing
donations, the latter-day Mormon, if he be obedient to the counsel
of the Church's anointed financiers, must support the commercial and
financial undertakings of the hierarchy. These are officially designated
"the Church's institutions" by the authorities; but they are in no
way the property of the Church. They are advertised as community
enterprises, but they are such only in the sense that the community is
commanded by "the voice of God" to sustain them. There is no voice of
God to command a distribution of their profits. And they are no longer
conducted for the benefit of the community but to exploit it.

The good Mormon must purchase his sugar from "the Church's" sugar
company (Joseph F. Smith, president), which is controlled by the
national sugar trust and charges trust prices. He must buy salt from
"the Church's" salt monopoly (Joseph F. Smith, president), which is a
part of, and pays dividends to, the national salt trust. He is taught to
go for his merchandise to the Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution
(Joseph F. Smith, president), where even whiskey is sold under the
symbol of the All-seeing Eye and the words "Holiness to the Lord" in
gilt letters; and Joseph F. Smith, at the April Conference, of 1898
(according to the Church's official report), scolded those "pretendedly
pious" Mormons who "were shocked and horrified" to find "liquid poison"
sold under these auspices--for, as Smith argued, with characteristic
greed, if the Mormon who wanted whiskey could not get it in the Church
store, "he would not patronize Z.C.M.I. at all, but would go elsewhere
to deal!"

The farmers are "counselled" to buy their vehicles from "the Church's"
firm, the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company (Joseph F. Smith,
president); to take out their fire insurance with the Church's "Home
Fire Insurance Company" (Joseph F. Smith, controller); and to insure
their lives with the Church's "Beneficial Life Insurance Company"
(Joseph F. Smith, president). The Salt Lake Knitting Company (of which
Joseph F. Smith is president) makes, among other things, the sacred
knitted garments that are prescribed for every Mormon who takes the
"Endowment Oaths," to be worn by him forever after as a shield "against
the Adversary;" and these garments bear the label: "Approved by the
Presidency. No knitted garment approved which does not bear this label."
By which ingenious bit of religious commercialism, the sacred marks
on the garments (accepted as a sort of passport to Heaven) have been
increased by the sacred Smith trademark that admits the wearer to the
Smith Heaven.

The Church's banking institutions, of which Joseph F. Smith is
president, are recommended as safer than others because the money goes
into the hands of "the brethren." Church newspapers must be subscribed
for, because all others are "unreliable"--although the Church's Deseret
News (Joseph F. Smith, president) is one of the most dishonest, unjust
and mendacious organs that ever poisoned the public mind. And so
on, through the whole list of business concerns by which the Church
authorities are to profit. The Mormons, having learned of old the value
of a solid, community support for community enterprises established
in the interests of the community, are still kept solidly supporting
ecclesiastical enterprises administered for the benefit of the hierarchy
or its favorites, at the community's expense!

The Utah Light and Railway Company (Joseph F. Smith, president), which
was supported by the tithes of the Mormon people, was charging $1.25 per
thousand cubic feet for fuel gas and $1.75 for illuminating gas, just
before the company was sold to the "Harriman interests." (The Supreme
Court of the United States has fixed a rate of 80 cents a thousand as
a fair price for gas in New York City.) The Salt Lake Street Railway
(operating under a fifty-year franchise, obtained from the City Council
by, the power of the Church while Joseph F. Smith was president of the
company) charges a five-cent fare, gives but one transfer, allows no
half fares for children, and pays the city nothing for the use of its
streets. Before the transfer of the Church's sugar stocks to the trust,
the sugar factories paid the farmer $4.50 a ton for his beets and sold
him sugar for $4.50 a hundred pounds; today beets are bought for $4.50
a ton, and sugar sold at $6.00 a hundred. The price asked for salt in
Utah, where it should be "dirt cheap," is the same as everywhere under
the salt trust. And so on--through the rest of the list.

To maintain this system of sanctified gain Joseph F. Smith invokes all
the power of his "divine" authority as "the mouthpiece of the Lord." He
protects the sugar trust by preventing the establishment of independent
sugar factories (as for example in Sanpete and Sevier counties in 1905),
just as he protects the salt trust by preventing the competition of
independent salt gardens (as in the case of Smurthwaite and Taylor.) He
issues his edict of protection as "the vicegerent of God on Earth" to
the Mormons; and he excommunicates and ostracizes, in this world and the
next, the Mormon protestant who dares rebel against commercial monopoly.

He receives between two and three million dollars a year in tithes,
gives no accounting of them, and has no responsibility for them, except
to God and his own conscience. He is able to use this sum, in bulk,
at any given point, with a weight of financial pressure that would
overbalance any other such single power in the community. As "trustee in
trust" for the Church, he has the added income from stocks and previous
investments; and he has practical control of the wealth of all the
leading men of the Church to assist him, if he should call upon them
for assistance. He uses his financial dictatorship to support monopoly
against the assault of Gentile opposition, and he compels the Gentile to
pay tribute as the Mormon does.

He backs his financial power with his control of legislation. He can not
only prevent the passage of any laws against his favored monopolies,
but (as in the case of the smelters) he can reduce independents to
submission by threatening them with procured laws to penalize them. He
largely controls the "labor troubles" of the State by controlling the
obedience of the Mormon laboring men. He can influence judges, officers
of the law and all the agents of local government by his power
as political "Boss," and the same influence extends, through his
representatives at Washington, to the local activities of Federal
authority. He can check and govern public opinion among his subjects by
announcing "the will of God" to them through the officers of the Church
in every department of religious administration. He is, therefore, at
once the modern "money king," the absolute political Czar the social
despot and the infallible Pope of his "Kingdom!"

Just as men fight for the retention of a throne and the maintenance of
a dynasty, so he and his courtiers defend his rule and maintain his
autocracy with every weapon of absolutism. And just as royalty, while
possessed of unlimited wealth, has never lacked mercenaries, press
bureaus, and all the sycophantic defenders of a crown, so Smith is
able to command an array of service as great as any ever brought to
the defense of a social system. This singular and enormous power stands
solidly against any movement of domestic reform; and, by its alliance
with the national rulers in finance and politics, it is saved from the
danger of "foreign" intervention. Like every other such absolutism, it
is crushing out the life of its subjects; for, in spite of the industry,
the thrift, and the abstemiousness of the Mormon people, they are
sinking under the burden of imposed exaction's. Although Utah became a
territory in 1853, and had its well-settled towns at that time, and was
organized in a compact social body for the upbuilding of its material
prosperity before any of the surrounding states had received an organic
act as a territory, Utah has now lost its leadership, and the individual
initiative and enterprise of the typical Western community have been
relatively lost.

In this process of degeneration, one of the most promising modern
experiments in communism has been frustrated and brought to ruin. In the
early nineties, Dr. Josiah Strong, of New York City, viewed the Mormon
system with an interested admiration. He saw that by contribution, and
co-operation, and arbitration, the energies of the people were conserved
and the products of their prosperity more equally distributed than under
the conditions of economic war then prevalent elsewhere. He thought he
saw in Utah a possible solution of some of the social problems of our
civilization. But, a few years ago, he confessed that the Mormon system
was no longer worthy of study. It had been destroyed by the greed of
its rulers. Community contributions were being used for individual
commercialism and the aggrandizement of leaders. The aged and infirm
poor, who had contributed through all the working period of their
lives, were being thrust into poor houses. The ambition of the earlier
Prophets, to make the people great in their community prosperity and
happiness, has been lost in the new desire of the head of the Church
to exhibit that greatness only in his own person. The Mormon people had
become the working slaves of a financial and political and religious
autocracy, and Mormonism was no longer anything but a hopeless failure
as a social experiment.

It is difficult to say how much of this failure was due to the character
of the present Prophet, and how much to the national conditions that
are threatening the success of democracy in every state of the Union.
It would seem that the conditions were ideal for the production of
just such a man as Smith, and that Smith was by nature fitted for the
greatest growth under just such conditions. He came to power with none
of the feeling of responsibility to his people which the earlier leaders
showed. He considered that the people lived for him, not that he lived
for the people. He regarded the Mormon system as an establishment of his
family, to which he had the family right of inheritance; and he waited
with a sulky impatience for the deaths of the men who stood between him
and the control of his family's Church. It was as if he accepted his
predecessors as exercising their powers, during an inter-regnum, by the
consent of the Mormon people, but saw himself acceding to the throne by
family right and the order of divinity.

He had no financial ability; he had no considerable property when he
became president of the Church at sixty-three. Nor did he need any
such ability. The continuous inflow of money--to be used without
accountability to anyone--and the wealth of opportunity offered by the
men who wished his aid in exploiting his people, made it unnecessary
that he should have any creative financial vision. He needed only to
move, with his opportunity, along the line of least resistance which was
also, with him, the line of choice.

He had, through all his years, shown an obvious envy of any member of
the Church whose circumstances were better than his own. It was apparent
in his manner that he regarded such success in the community as an
encroachment upon the Smith prerogatives. As soon as he came to power,
he accepted every opportunity of self-aggrandizement as a new Smith
prerogative. And the system of modern capitalism appealed at once to
his ambition. By the older method of tithes and conscription's, he could
collect only from the devotees of the Church; by the larger exploitation
he could levy tribute upon the Gentiles too.

And he was aided by the Mormons themselves. They had been brought
together, in obedience to "a command of God," in order that the
community, by avoiding the sins of the world, might be saved from the
plagues that were to descend upon the world because of its injustice.
They were a credulous people, ignorant of the sins of modern finance,
and prepared by industry and isolation to be exploited. Their previous
leaders had observed, as a warning only, the modern aspiration for
vast wealth obtained by economic injustice; but that aspiration made an
instant appeal to Smith's ambition; and it is the peculiar iniquity of
conditions in Utah today that his ambition has betrayed his people to
the very evils which they were originally organized to escape.

In an earlier time it was the pride of the leader that the community in
the large was advancing and the average of conditions improving. Today
the leader assumes that as he grows richer the people are prospering and
"the revelations of God" being vindicated in practice. He speaks with
pride of "our" growth and wealth under "the benign authority of the
Almighty" and His "temporal revelations"--because he himself has been
enriched by the perversion of these same laws--very much as the "captain
of industry" elsewhere boasts of the "prosperity" of the country,
because the few are growing so rich at the expense of the many.

Along with this strain of commercial greed in Smith, there is an equally
strong strain of religious fanaticism that justifies the greed and
sanctifies it, to itself. He believes (as Apostle Orson Pratt taught, by
authority of the Church): "The Kingdom of God is an order of government
established by divine authority. It is the only legal government that
can exist in any part of the universe. All other governments are illegal
and unauthorized.... Any people attempting to govern themselves by laws
of their own making, and by officers of their own appointment, are in
direct rebellion against the Kingdom of God." Smith believes that over
this Kingdom the Smiths have been, by Divine revelation, ordained to
rule. He believes that his authority is the absolute and unquestionable
authority of God Himself. He believes that in all the affairs of life
he has the same right over his subjects that the Creator has over His
creatures. He believes that he has been appointed to use the Mormon
people as he in his inspired wisdom sees fit to use them, in order the
more firmly to establish God's Kingdom on Earth against the Powers of

He believes that the people of the American Republic, "being governed by
laws of their own making and by officers of their own appointment," are
in direct rebellion against "his Kingdom of God." He believes that the
national government is destined to be broken in pieces by his power;
that it has only been preserved from destruction by the concessions
recently made by the Federal authorities; and that it can only continue
to save itself so long as it shall recognize Smith's ambassadors at
Washington--and so allow him to work out its destruction in the fullness
of time.

But with all this insanity of pretension he has a sort of cowardly
shrewdness, acquired in his days of hiding "on the underground." On
the witness stand in Washington he denied that he had had any direct
communication with God by revelation; and then he returned to Utah and
pleaded from the pulpit that on this point he had lied in Washington in
order to escape saying what his "inquisitors" had wished him to say in
order to "get him into a trap." He preaches in Utah that to deny the
doctrine of polygamy is to reject the teaching of Jesus Christ; before
the Senate committee he was coward enough to put the blame of his
polygamous cohabitation upon his five wives. In Washington he claimed
that the Gentiles of Utah condoned polygamous cohabitation and had a
liberal sympathy for the Church; but at St. George, Utah, for example
(in September, 1904), he was reported by a Church newspaper as saying:
"The Gentiles are coming among us to buy our homes and land. We should
not sell to them, as they are the enemies of the Kingdom of God." He is
that most perfect of all hypocrites--the fanatic who believes that he is
lying in the service of the Almighty.

In the early spring of 1888, I was in Washington, where measures of
proscription were then being prepared against our people; and, early in
the morning, as I walked up Massachusetts Avenue, I saw Joseph F. Smith
approaching me. For several years he had been "on the underground" under
the name of "Joseph Mack"--now in the Hawaiian Islands with one wife;
now hidden, with another, among the faithful in some Mormon village; or
again with a third, in Washington (which was probably as safe a place as
any) presiding secretly over the Church lobby. As he passed me, with
his head down, preoccupied, I said: "Good morning, President Smith."
He jumped as if I had been a Deputy Marshal with such a sudden start of
fear that his silk hat rolled on the pavement and his umbrella dropped
from his hand. He drew back from me as if he were about to take to his
heels. Then he recognized me, of course, and was quickly reassured; but
his embarrassment continued for some time, awkwardly.

But a short time ago the President of the United States stood in the
Salt Lake Tabernacle (which is "Joseph Mack's" capitol and vatican) and
addressed a multitude that had assembled not more to honor the Chief
Executive of the nation than to pay their almost idolatrous tribute
of devotion to the head of their Church, who was reigning there in
the pulpit with President Taft. "Joseph Mack" no longer fears Deputy
Marshals--he appoints them; and the present United States Marshal of
Utah would refuse to serve a paper under the direction of the entire
power of the United States government if "Joseph Mack" forbade the
service. He no longer fears the proscriptions of legislators at
Washington; they come to him, through the leaders of their parties,
and arrange with him for the support of the trans-Mississippi states in
which the influence of his Church control is determinative. He no longer
hides his wives, at the ends of the earth, and visits them by stealth;
they occupy a row of houses along one of the principal streets of Salt
Lake City, and the pilgrim and the tourist alike admire his magnificence
as they go by. He is still a law-breaker. He stands even more in
defiance of the authority of the nation than he did in 1888, and he
hates that authority as much as ever. But he is today not only the
Prophet of the Church; he is the Prophet of Mammon; and all the powers
and principalities of Mammon now give him gloriously: "All Hail!"

Chapter XIX. The Subjects of the Kingdom

But what of the Mormon people? How can such leaders, directing the
Church to purposes that have become so cruel, so selfish, so dangerous
and so disloyal--how can they maintain their power over followers who
are themselves neither criminal nor degraded? That is a question which
has given the pause of doubt to many criticisms of the Mormon communism
of our day. That is the consideration which has obtained from the nation
the protection of tolerance under which the Prophets flourish. For not
only are the Mormon men and women obviously as worthy as any in the
United States: there is plainly much of community value in their social
life; there is manifestly a great deal of efficiency for human good in
their system and in the leadership by which it is directed; and this
good is so apparent that it appeals easily to the sympathetic conscience
and uninformed mind of the country at large.

Let me try, then, to exhibit and to analyze the causes that keep such a
virtuous and sturdy people loyally supporting the leadership of men so
unworthy of them that if the people were as bad as the ends to which
they are being now directed, modern Mormonism would be destroyed by its
own evils.

In the first place, the average Mormon chief is sincere in his
pretensions and self-justified in his aims. Usually, he has been born,
in the Church, to a family that sees itself set apart, in holiness, from
the rest of humanity, as the direct heirs of the ancient prophets or
even as the lineal descendants of Christ. From his earliest age of
understanding, he is taught the divine splendor of his birth and
impressed with the high duties of his family privilege in being
permitted to bear a part in preparing the earth for the second coming
of the Savior. He is taught that, though all the world may be saved and
nearly all the people of this sphere will in some eternity work out
a measure of salvation, he and 143,999 others are to be a band of the
elect who shall stand about the Savior, on Mount Zion, in the final day.

He is taught that, next to Christ, Joseph Smith, the founder of the
faith, has performed the largest mission for the salvation of the world;
that in the councils of the Gods, when the Creator measured off the
ages of the human race on this earth, to the Savior was apportioned "the
meridian of time," and to Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was given the
"last dispensation," which is "the fullness of times," in order that the
world, having apostatized from the atonement and the redemption, might
be saved to heaven by Joseph, "the Choice Seer."

He is taught that the disciples of the Mormon Prophet are literally the
disciples of Jesus Christ; that the laws of right and wrong are within
the direction and subject to the authority of the Prophet, to be
changed, enlarged or even revoked by his commandment; that all human
laws are equally subject to his will, to be made or unmade at his order;
that he can condemn, by his excommunication, any man or any nation
to the vengeance of the Almighty here and hereafter; and that he can
pronounce a blessing upon the head of any man, or the career of any
people, by virtue of which blessing power shall be held in this world
righteously and the man elevated to sit at the right hand of God in
the world to come. He is taught that the greatest sin which can be
committed--next to the denial of Christ--is to raise hand or voice
against "the Lord's anointed," the Mormon prophets. And, for morality,
he is taught from his infancy, that he must scrupulously practice those
special virtues of his cult, industry, thrift, purity (except as in
later life he shall be inducted into the practice of the new polygamy)
honesty in business, and charity toward his needy fellow-men.

Formed in character by this teaching, as a steady inculcation throughout
his youth, he comes to manhood strong of body, determined of mind,
practicing rigidly and intolerantly his petty virtues of abstinence from
the use of tobacco, tea and coffee, proclaiming with fanatical zeal the
gospel as it has been proclaimed to him, and self-justified in all that
he says or does by the large measure of sincerity in his delusions.

And that is, in some degree, the common training of all Mormons. Every
Mormon boy attends Sunday School as soon as he is old enough to lisp his
song of adoration to Joseph, the Kingly Prophet, and to the Savior with
whom Joseph is early associated in his childish mind. At six years of
age, he enters the Primary Association; at twelve he is in the Young
Men's Mutual Improvement Association; at fourteen or even earlier, he
stands in the fast-day meeting and repeats like a creed: "Brethren and
Sisters, I feel called upon to say a few words. I am not able to edify
you, but I can say that I know this is the Church and Kingdom of God,
and I bear my testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet and that Brigham
Young was his lawful successor, and that the Prophet Joseph F. Smith is
heir to all the authority which the Lord has conferred in these days
for the salvation of men. And I feel that if I live my religion and do
nothing to offend the Holy Spirit I will be saved in the presence of my
Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. With these few words I will give way.
Praying the Lord to bless each and every one of us is my prayer in the
name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

At fourteen he becomes a Deacon of the Church. Between that age and
twenty, he becomes an Elder. Very soon thereafter he becomes "a Seventy"
and perhaps a high priest. He takes upon himself "covenants in holy
places." He becomes "a priest unto the Most High God"--frequently before
his eighteenth year. Usually before he is twenty he is sent on a mission
to proclaim his gospel--the only one he has ever heard in his life--to
"an unenlightened nation" and "a wicked world." For, in addition
to being taught that the Mormons are the best, most virtuous, most
temperate, most industrious, and most God-fearing of all peoples--a
thing that is dinned into his ears from the pulpit every Sunday in the
year--he has been convinced by equal iteration that the rest of the
world is a festering mass of corruption.

Often he goes abroad, to some country whose language and customs he
must learn and upon the charity of whose toilers he must depend for his
maintenance. He goes with an implicit reliance upon God, strong in the
small virtues that have been taught him from the time he knelt at his
mother's knee. He sees, probably for the first time, the afflictions
and the sins among mankind; and he keeps himself unspotted from them,
congratulating himself that these grossnesses are unknown to his
sheltered home-life and to the religion which he holds as the ideal of
his soul. He proclaims his belief that God has spoken from the Heavens,
through the Mormon Prophet, in this last day, to restore the gospel
of Christ from which the peoples of the earth have wandered. He "bears
testimony" to the whole world, and he binds himself to the authority of
his Church by proclaiming his belief in it.

When he returns home, after years of service, he is called to the stand
in the tabernacle to give a report of his work. He finds waiting for him
a ready advancement in the offices of the Church, according as he may
show himself worthy of advancement or as the power of family or the
favor of ecclesiastical authority may obtain it for him. He marries a
girl who has had a training almost identical with his own. She, too, has
borne her testimony before she reached years of responsibility. She has
taken her vows as a priestess at the age when he was dedicating himself
a priest. She may even have performed a foreign mission. They have both
been promised that they shall become kings and queens in the eternal
world. They are bound by their covenants to obey their superior priests.
They cannot disregard their Church affiliations without recanting
their vows. The only way they can adhere to their covenants with their
Almighty Father--the only way they can demonstrate their acceptance
of the atoning power of the Redeemer's sacrifice--is by yielding such
obedience to the Prophet as they would pay to the Father and the Son
if They were on earth in Their proper persons. To deviate from this
faithfulness is to be marked as a Judas Iscariot by all the Latter-Day

As soon as the Mormon becomes the head of a family--in addition to all
the testimonies and performances which he must give as proof of his
continued adherence--he must submit himself and his household to the
examination and espionage of the ward teachers, who invade his home
at least once a month. They enter absolutely as the proprietors of the
house. If the husband is there, they ask him whether he performs
his duties in the Church; whether he holds family prayer morning and
evening; whether he "keeps the word of wisdom"--that is, does he abstain
from the use of alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee--whether he pays a full
tithe and all the prescribed donations to the Church; whether he has any
hard feelings against any of his brethren and sisters; and finally,
does he devoutly sustain the Prophet as the ruler of God's Kingdom upon
earth. These questions, so far as they apply, are put to each member of
the family above the age of eight years. Should the husband be away, all
the inquiries concerning him are made of the wife. If both parents are
absent, the questions concerning them are put to their children!

This one branch of the ecclesiastical service is sufficient of itself
to mark the Mormon Church as the most perfectly disciplined institution
among mankind. The teachers' quorum in any neighborhood consists of some
tried elders, usually of considerable ability and experience. With these
are associated numerous young men, many of them returned missionaries.
The fact that they have countless other duties in the Church and many
other and weightier responsibilities, is not permitted to excuse them
from performing strictly this important labor. Perhaps a dozen or twenty
families are assigned to a couple of teachers. They are required to
visit each of these families once every month. And if they discover any
lapse of fidelity, they report at once to the Bishop.

No one who has not seen them on their rounds will believe with what an
air of divinely privileged authority they enter a home and force its
secrets of conscience--with what an imposing and arrogant zeal--with
what a calm assumption of spiritual over-lordship and inquisitorial
right. Some few years ago after my public criticisms of Joseph F. Smith
had been followed by my excommunication, two teachers, on their monthly
rounds, came to my home in the evening and made their way calmly to the
library where I was sitting with some members of my family. I had just
returned from a long absence abroad, and the visit was an untimely
intrusion at its best; but we observed the obligations of hospitality
with what courtesy we could, and merely evaded the familiar questions
which they began to put to us. Finally, the elder of the two teachers,
a man of some local prominence in the Church, undertook to "bear
testimony" to the wickedness of anyone who opposed the divine rule of
Joseph F. Smith; and when I cut him short with a request that he leave
the house, he was as shocked and surprised as if he had been Milton's
Archangel Michael, after "the fall," and I, a defiant Adam, showing him
the door.

In addition to the visitations of the ward teachers, some members of the
Ladies Relief Society call upon every family usually once a month, not
only to gather donations for the poor, but to have a little quiet talk
with the wife and mother of the household. These women of the Relief
Society are genuine "Sisters of Charity." In most cases they have
themselves plenty of household cares, yet they give much of their time
to visiting the sick, supplying the wants of the needy or ministering
to the miseries of the afflicted; and if it were not for them and their
noblework, the Mormon poor would fare ill in these days of Mormon Church
grandeur. Outside of their monthly visitations, they have definite
preaching to do. At the meetings of their organization, they "bear
testimony" that Joseph was a Prophet--and so on. They have the quarterly
stake conferences to attend. Their traveling missionaries go from Salt
Lake to the four quarters of the globe to institute and maintain the
discipline of the organization and to teach the methods of its practical
work in Nursing Schools, mother's classes and the like. They make up one
of the noblest bodies of women associated with any social movement of
humanity. And in their zeal and submissiveness they are so innocently
meek and "biddable" that they can listen with reverence to young Hyrum
Smith publicly lecturing the grandmothers of the order for occasionally
partaking of a cup of thin tea.

Under such a system of teaching, discipline and espionage, how can
the average Mormon man or woman develop any independence of thought
or action? At what time of life can he assert himself? Before he has
attained the age of reason he has declared his faith in public. If he
shall then, in his teens, express any doubt, the priests are ready for
him. "You have borne your testimony many times in the Church," they
say sternly. "Were you lying then, or have you lost the Spirit of
God through your transgressions?" If he reveals any doubt to the ward
teachers, they will overwhelm him with argument, and either absolutely
reconvert him or silence him with authority. The pressure of family
love and pride will be brought to bear upon him. The ecclesiastical
authorities will move against him. He knows that every one of his
relatives will be humiliated by his unfaithfulness. His "sin" will
become known to the whole community, and he will be looked at askance by
his friends and his companions.

After he has taken his vows as a priest, how shall he dare to violate
them? He knows that if he loses his faith on a mission--in other words,
if he dares to make any inquiry into the authenticity of the mission
which he is performing--he becomes a deserter from God in the very ranks
of battle. He knows that he will be held forever in dishonor among his
people; that he will be looked upon as one worse than dead; that he will
ruin his own life and despoil his parents of all their eternal comfort
and their hope in him.

While I was editing the Salt Lake Tribune, a son of one of the famous
apostles came to me with some anxious inquiries, and said: "Frank, I
have been working in the Church and teaching this gospel so assiduously
for nearly forty years that I have never had time to find out whether
it's true or not!"

If the Mormon, in his later years of manhood, dares to doubt, he must
either reveal his disloyalty to the ward teachers or continue to deny
it, from month to month, and remain a supine servant of authority. If
he reveals it, he knows that the news of his defection will permeate the
entire circle with which he is associated in politics, in business and
in religion. If his superstition does not hold him, his worldly prudence
will. He knows that all the aid of the community will be withdrawn from
him; every voice that has expressed affection for him will speak in
hate; every hand that has clasped his in friendship will be turned
against him. And into this very prudence there enters something of
a moral warning. For he has seen how many a man, deprived of the
association and fraternity of the Church, feeling himself shunned in a
lonely ostracism, has not been strong enough to endure in rectitude and
has fallen into dissipation. Every instance of the sort is rehearsed by
the faithful, with many exultant expressions of mourning, in the hearing
of the doubter. And finally, it is the prediction of the priests that no
apostate can prosper; and though the Mormon people are charitable and
do not intend to be unjust, they inevitably tend to fulfill the prophecy
and devote the apostate to material destruction.

The great doctrine of the Mormon faith is obedience; the one proof of
grace is conformity. So long as a man pays a full tithe, contributes all
the required donations, and yields unquestioningly to the orders of
the priests, he may even depart in a moral sense from any other of
the Church's laws and find himself excused. But any questioning of the
rulership of the Prophets--the rightfulness of their authority or the
justice of its exercise is apostasy, is a denial of the faith, is a sin
against the Holy Ghost. The man who obeys in all things is promised that
he shall come forth in the morning of the first resurrection; the man
who disobeys, and by his disobedience apostatizes, is condemned to work
out, through an eternity of suffering, his offense against the Holy
Spirit. At the first sign of defection--almost inevitably discovered in
its incipiency--the rebel is either disciplined into submission or at
once pushed over "the battlements of Heaven!"

By such perfect means, the leaders, chosen under a pretense of
revelation from God, maintain an unassailable sanctity in the eyes of
the people, who are themselves priests. These people implicitly believe
that the voice of the leader is the voice of God. They follow with a
passionate devotion that is made up of a fanatical priestly faith and
of a sympathy that sees their Prophets "persecuted" by an ungenerous,
impure and vindictive world. We love that for which we suffer; and it
has become the inheritance of the Mormons to love the priesthood, for
whose protection their parents and grandparents suffered, and under
whose oppressions they now suffer themselves.

Joseph Smith, the original Prophet, was slain in the Carthage jail; to
the Mormon mind this is proof that he was the anointed of God and that
he sealed his testimony with his blood, as did the Savior. John Taylor,
afterwards President of the Church, was not slain at Carthage, but only
wounded; and this to the Mormons is proof that he was of the eternal
kindred of the Prophets, because, under God's direction, he gave his
blood to their defense. But Willard Richards, a companion of Smith and
Taylor, was not even injured at Carthage; and this is accepted as proof
that God had charge of his holy ones, and would not permit wicked men
to do them harm. When the people left Nauvoo and journeyed through Iowa,
some of the citizens of that state would not harbor them; and this is
argued as evidence that the Mormon movement was God's work, since the
hand of the wicked was against it; but in some localities of Iowa the
emigrants were aided, and this also is proof that the Mormon movement
was God's work, since the hearts of the people were melted to assist
it. When Johnston's army was sent to Utah, it was proof that the Mormon
Church was the true Church, hated and persecuted by a wicked nation;
when Johnston's army withdrew without a battle, it was a new guarantee
of the divinity of the work; and it is even believed among the Mormons
that the Civil War was ordained from the heavens, at the sudden command
of God, to compel Johnston's withdrawal and save God's people.

In the same way the persecutions of "the raid," and the cessation
of those persecutions--the early trials of poverty and the present
abundance of prosperity--the threat of the Smoot investigation and the
abortive conclusion of that exposure--are all argued as proofs of the
divinity of a persecuted Church or given as instances of the miraculous
"overruling" of God to prosper his chosen people. No matter what occurs,
the Prophets, by applying either one of these formulae, can translate
the incident into a new proof of grace; and their followers submissively
accept the interpretation.

On the night of April 18, 1905, Joseph F. Smith and some eight of his
sons sat in his official box at the Salt Lake theatre to watch a
prize fight that lasted for twenty gory rounds. The Salt Lake Tribune
published the fact that the Prophet of God, and vicegerent of Christ,
had given the approval of his "holy presence" to this clumsy barbarity.
A devout old lady, who had been with the Church since the days of
Nauvoo, rebuked us bitterly for publishing such a falsehood about
President Smith. "How dare you tell such wicked lies about God's
servants?" she scolded. "President Smith wouldn't do such a wicked thing
as attend a prize fight. And you know that no man with any sense of
decency would take his young sons to look at such a dreadful thing!"
Some time later, when the facts in the case had come to her, in her
retirement, from her friends, the editor called upon her to quiz her
about the incident. She said: "I'm sure I don't see what business it is
of the outside world anyhow what President Smith does. He has a right
to go to the theatre if he wants to. I don't believe they would have
anything but what's good in the Salt Lake theatre. It was built by our
people and they own it. And if it wasn't good, President Smith wouldn't
have taken his boys there."

And this was not merely the absurdity of an old woman. It is the logic
of all the faithful. The leaders cannot do wrong--because it is not
wrong, if they do it. No criticism of them can be effective. No act of
theirs can be proven an error. If they do not do a thing, it was right
not to do it; and it would have been a sin if it had been done. But if
they do that thing, then it was right to do it; and it would have been a
sin if it had not been done.

This reliance upon the almighty power and prophetic infallibility of the
leaders prevents the Mormon people from truly appreciating the dangers
that threaten them. It keeps them ignorant of outside sentiment. It
makes them despise even a national hostility. And it has left them
without gratitude, too, for a national grace. Before these people can be
roused to any independence of responsible thought, it will be necessary
to break their trust in the ability of their leaders to make bargains of
protection with the world; and then it will still be necessary to
force the eyes of their self-complacency to turn from the satisfied
contemplation of their own virtues. "You will never be able to reach the
conscience of the Mormons," a man who knows them has declared. "I
have had my experiences with both leaders and people. If you tell them
'You're ninety-nine-and-one-half per cent. pure gold,' they will ask,
surprised and indignant: 'What? Why, what's the matter with the other
half per cent?'"

Chapter XX


Of the men who could have written this narrative, some are dead; some
are prudent; some are superstitious; and some are personally foresworn.
It appeared to me that the welfare of Utah and the common good of the
whole United States required the publication of the facts that I have
tried to demonstrate. Since there was apparently no one else who felt
the duty and also had the information or the wish to write, it seemed
my place to undertake it. And I have done it gladly. For when I was
subscribing the word of the Mormon chiefs for the fulfillment of our
statehood pledges, I engaged my own honor too, and gave bond myself
against the very treacheries that I have here recorded.

We promised that the Church had forever renounced the doctrine of
polygamy and the practice of plural marriage living, by a "revelation
from God" promulgated by the supreme Prophet of the Church and accepted
by the vote of the whole congregation assembled in conference. We
promised the retirement of the Mormon Prophets from the political
direction of their followers--the abrogation of the claim that the
Mormon Church was the "Kingdom of God" re-established upon earth to
supersede all civil government--the abandonment by the Church of any
authority to exercise a temporal power in competition with the civil
law. We promised to make the teaching and practice of the Church conform
to the institutions of a Republic in which all citizens are equal in
liberty. We promised that the Church should cease to accumulate property
for the support of illegal practices and un-American government. And we
made a record in proof of our promises by the anti-polygamy manifesto
of 1890 and its public ratification; by the petition for amnesty and
the acceptance of amnesty upon conditions; by the provisions of Utah's
enabling act and of Utah's state constitution; by the acts of Congress
and the judicial decisions restoring escheated Church property; by the
proceedings of the Federal courts of Utah in re-opening citizenship
to the alien members of the Mormon Church; by the acquiescence of the
Gentiles of Utah in the proceedings by which statehood was obtained;
and finally, and most indisputably, by the admission of Utah into equal
sovereignty in the Union--since that admission would never have been
granted, except upon the explicit understanding that the state was to
uphold the laws and institutions of the American republic in accordance
with our covenants.

Of all these promises the Church authorities have kept not one. The
doctrine and practice of polygamy have been restored by the Church, and
plural marriage living is practiced by the ruler of the kingdom and his
favorites with all the show and circumstance of an oriental court. There
are now being born in his domains thousands of unfortunate children
outside the pale of law and convention, for whom there can be
entertained no hope that any statute will ever give them a place within
the recognition of civilized society. The Prophet of the Church rules
with an absolute political power in Utah, with almost as much authority
in Idaho and Wyoming, and with only a little less autocracy in parts
of Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and New
Mexico. He names the Representatives and Senators in Congress from his
own state, and influences decisively the selection of such "deputies of
the people" from many of the surrounding states. Through his ambassadors
to the government of the United States, sitting in House and Senate, he
chooses the Federal officials for Utah and influences the appointment of
those for the neighboring states and territories. He commands the making
and unmaking of state law. He holds the courts and the prosecuting
officers to a strict accountability. He levies tribute upon the people
of Utah and helps to loot the citizens of the whole nation by his
alliance with the political and financial Plunderbund at Washington. He
has enslaved the subjects of his kingdom absolutely, and he looks to it
as the destiny of his Church to destroy all the governments of the world
and to substitute for them the theocracy--the "government by God" and
administration by oracle--of his successors.

And yet, even so, I could not have recorded the incidents of this
betrayal as mere matters of current history--and I would never have
written them in vindication of myself--if I had not been certain that
there is a remedy for the evil conditions in Utah, and that such a
narrative as this will help to hasten the remedy and right the wrong.
Except for the aggressive aid given by the national administrations
to the leaders of the Mormon Church, the people of Utah and the
intermountain states would never have permitted the revival of a
priestly tyranny in politics. Except for the protection of courts and
the enforced silence of politicians and journalists, polygamy could not
have been restored in the Mormon Church. Except for the interference
of powerful influences at Washington to coerce the Associated Press and
affect the newspapers of the country, the Mormon leaders would never
have dared to defy the sensibilities of our civilization. Except for
the greed of the predatory "Interests" of the nation, the commercial
absolutism of the Mormon hierarchy could never have been established.
The present conditions in the Mormon kingdom are due to national
influences. The remedy for those conditions is the withdrawal of
national sympathy and support.

Break the power at Washington of Joseph F. Smith, ruler of the Kingdom
of God, and every seeker after federal patronage in Utah will desert
him. Break his power as a political partner of the Republican party
now--and of the Democratic party should it succeed to office--and every
ambitious politician in the West will rebel against his throne. Break
his power to control the channels of public communication through
interested politicians and commercial agencies, and the sentiment of the
civilized world will join with the revolt of the "American movement" in
Utah to overthrow his tyrannies. Break his connection with the illegal
trusts and combines of the United States, and his financial power will
cease to be a terror and a menace to the industry and commerce of the
intermountain country.

The nation owes Utah such a rectification, for the nation has been, in
this matter, a chief sinner and a strong encourager of sin. President
Theodore Roosevelt, representing the majesty of the Republic, stayed us
when we might have won our own liberties in the revolt that was provoked
by the election of Senator Apostle Reed Smoot. Misled by political
and personal advisers, the President procured delays in the Smoot
investigation. He seduced senators from their convictions. He certified
the ambassador from the Kingdom of God as a qualified senator of the
United States. He gave the hand of fellowship to Joseph, the tyrant of
the Kingdom. He rebuked our friends and his own, in their struggle
for our freedom, by warning them that they were raising the flag of a
religious warfare. He filled the Mormon priests with the belief that
they might proceed unrestrainedly to the sacrifice of women and children
upon the polygamous altar, to the absolute rule of politics in the
intermountain states, and to the commercial exploitation of their
community in partnership with the trusts. The one policy that President
Taft seems to have accepted unimpaired from his predecessor is this
same respect for the power of the Mormon kingdom. In his placid but
wholehearted way he has encouraged his co-ordinate ruler, the Mormon
Prophet, and extended the Executive license to the support and
inevitable increase of these religious tyrannies of the Mormon hierarchs
which now the people of Utah, unaided, are wholly unable to combat.

And the nation owes such a rectification not only to Utah, but also to
itself. The commercial and financial Plunderbund that is now preying
upon the whole country is sustained at Washington by the agents of the
Mormon Church. The Prophet not only delivers his own subjects up to
pillage; he helps to deliver the people of the entire United States.
His senators are not representatives of a political party; they are the
tools of "the Interests" that are his partners. The shameful conditions
in Utah are not isolated and peculiar to that state; they are largely
the result of national conditions and they have a national effect. The
Prophet of Utah is not a local despot only: he is a national enemy; and
the nation must deal with him.

I do not ask for a resumption of cruelty, for a return to proscription.
I ask only that the nation shall rouse itself to a sense of its
responsibility. The Mormon Church has shown its ability to conform to
the demands of the republic--even by "revelation from God" if necessary.
The leaders of the Church are now defiant in their treasons only because
the nation has ceased to reprove and the national administrations have
powerfully encouraged. As soon as the Mormon hierarchy discovers that
the people of this country, wearied of violated treaties and broken
covenants, are about to exclude the political agents of the Prophet from
any participation in national affairs, the advisers of his inspiration
will quickly persuade him to make a concession to popular wrath. As soon
as the "Interests" realize that the burden of shame in Utah is too large
to be comfortable on their backs, they will throw it off. The President
of the United States will be unable to gain votes by patronizing the
crucifiers of women and children. The national administrations will
not dare to stand against the efforts of the Gentiles and independent
Mormons of Utah to regain their liberty. And Utah, the Islam of the
West, will depose its old Sultan and rise free.

With this hope--in this conviction--I have written, in all candor,
what no reasons of personal advantage or self-justification could
have induced me to write. I shall be accused of rancor, of religious
antagonism, of political ambition, of egotistical pride. But no man
who knows the truth will say sincerely that I have lied. Whatever
is attributed as my motive, my veracity in this book will not be
successfully impeached. In that confidence, I leave all the attacks that
guilt and bigotry can make upon me, to the public to whom they will
be addressed. The truth, in its own time, will prevail, in spite of
cunning. I am willing to await that time--for myself--and for the Mormon

The End

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