Monday, June 7, 2010

Reed Smoot Hearings: Day 10 - E.B. Critchlow, part 4

March 12, 1904

I wanted 3 parts, but I had to make a fourth for this testimony.

This part of the cross-examination seems to be to be extremely "scatter-brained" and unimportant at the first -for that reason, I do not quote much of the opening testimony from this.  After reading the testimony and questions from Mr. Tayler and Mr. Worthington and even the cross-examination from yesterday by Mr. Van Cott, I'm left to wonder if he had any direction at all for these questions.  Did Mr. Van Cott stay up late Friday night, because many of these questions seemed irrelevant to me, almost as if he was unprepared for this session.  A few of the Senators do step in and take over the questioning from time to time; at least giving the meeting some stability.  When they do this, the questioning becomes pertinent, relevant, and interesting.

Some of the questions here were confusing, and I didn't blame the witness when he responded with an answer in the form of a question, like this:  "It's difficult for me to get the scope of your question ..."

With all of that in mind, and knowing that I'm going to avoid the confusing questions completely, I'll dive into this Saturday session where they start out talking about the laws passed to prohibit the practice of polygamy.
Mr. Van Cott.  So that when those acts were passed, whether it was in 1882 or 1887, the difference between unlawful cohabitation and polygamy was clearly understood by the people of Utah?
Mr. Critchlow.  It ought to have been clearly understood.  It was the most vital question we had there in Utah.
Commentary:  Finally, a quotable question and response.  He's speaking of the laws enacted to do away with polygamy:  The Edmunds Act of 1882, and the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887.  The understanding of these laws and what they meant and did for the State of Utah and the people living there was "the most vital question" Utah had known up to that point.  I think every resident of the State would be familiar with that.

Mr. Van Cott finally comes around to something interesting.  After going through a whole lot of dialog where he has Mr. Critchlow state his opinions on knowledge of people involved in the State, those that were in the Constitutional Convention, the laws enacted, etc., he wants to have 3 pages put in the record from the Constitutional Convention.  He is asked why by Senator Hopkins, and this is his response:
Mr. Van Cott.  The purpose of the offer is to show that when the attention of the constitutional convention was called to the enabling act, namely, prohibiting forever the celebration of plural marriages, the convention had before it a condition that had existed in Utah, namely, that they had been punishing unlawful cohabitation and polygamy; that when they came to the adoption of the constitution it was no oversight in omitting the punishment of unlawful cohabitation from the constitution; that their attention was invited to it, and the expressly omitted legislation on the subject of unlawful cohabitation, but instead legislated against polygamy.
Mr. Tayler.  There is no doubt there was a law passed by the State forbidding unlawful cohabitation.
Mr. Van Cott.  That is a different thing, Mr. Tayler.
Commentary:  That's interesting, especially in light of the previous comments made by Mr. Critchlow.  Most people in the State of Utah thought unlawful cohabitation was more offensive than the act of polygamy itself; yet, the leading men of the State did not legislate against this in the State constitution.  Mr. Tayler immediately recognizes the importance of this statement and must counter it - only to be told, "that is a different thing."

In the record on pages 642-656 is a stenographic record of the speeches of the members of the Constitutional Convention for Utah talking about this very subject brought up by Mr. Van Cott.

From page 554 of the committee record, this is testimony from Mr. Critchlow about the consitutional convention in Utah:
Mr. Critchlow.  Quite an effort was made in the constitutional convention, as appears in the reports and as was a matter of common knowledge there in the community at that time, to have the distinct pledge as to unlawful cohabitation put into the constitution - I mean privately, among the members, as we all understood, Mr. Varian, Mr. Goodwin, and others; but various reasons were given why they should not go beyond the exact terms of the pledge, if you call it a pledge, or the provision which was exacted from the new State by the enabling act which had just passed Congress.
He then runs down through the list of people that talked in the convention to help identify them, their political leanings and whether they were Mormon or not:
  • Mr. Varian:  Former district attorney.  Mr. Critchlow worked for him.  Prosecuted polygamy vigorously.
  • Mr. Maloney:  Lawyer from Ogden, gentile and Democrat.
  • Mr. Richards:  F. S. Richards who is present at the committee hearings.  Mormon and Democrat.
  • Mr. Thurman:  Mormon lawyer, and a polygamist.
  • Mr. Dave Evans:  Non-Mormon, former assistant U.S. attorney.
  • Mr. James:  Non-Mormon.
  • Mr. Squires:  Non-Mormon.
  • Mr. Kerr:  Mormon, polygamist, head of agricultural college in Logan, Utah.
  • Mr. Goodwin:  Editor of the Salt Lake Tribune (anti-Mormon newspaper).
  • B.H. Roberts:  Mormon, polygamist.
  • Mr. Van Horne:  Judge of the court of first instance at Cairo, Egypt.
Mr. Van Cott then wishes to get Mr. Critchlow to admit point-blank, that there is no stipulation in the enabling act of Utah (to allow them to become a State) for the prohibition of unlawful cohabitation, which Mr. Critchlow is reluctant to admit to.
Mr. Van Cott.  Now, in the enabling act for Utah there was no provision against unlawful cohabitation, was there, Mr. Critchlow?  Would you like to look at the book to refresh your recollection?
Mr. Critchlow.  I think there is.
Mr. Van Cott.  Will you find it, please?
Mr. Critchlow.  I think that the Congress of the United States when they passed the act saying that "polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited," meant to prohibit the marriage ceremony, which was a comparatively immaterial thing, and the actual living in the state of polygamy.  That has always been my contention about it.  Of course, I am no more capable of judging of that than is anyone else.
Mr. Van Cott.  No one in the constitutional convention took that view of it, did he?
Mr. Critchlow.  I do not know whether they did or not.  They were very tender in treating that subject; very tender.
Mr. Van Cott.  The provision in the enabling act is this:
First.  That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and that no inhabitant of said State shall ever by molested, in person or property, on account of his or her mode of religious worship:  Provided, That polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited.
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes.
Mr. Van Cott.  Is there anything in the enabling act bearing on the question, except what I have read?
Mr. Critchlow.  Not to my recollection.
Commentary:  Ok, well, there it is.  The United States Congress mentioned only the crime of polygamy or plural marriage as being a requirement for the Constitution of Utah.  Nothing was said about a statement of unlawful cohabitation being in the document.

Mr. Van Cott then discusses the candidacy of Mr. Smoot.  He was mentioned as a possible senatorial candidate back in 1898.  Therefore, by the time his candidacy became a reality, it was not a surprise to anyone.  One interesting thing mentioned here is that E.B. Critchlow put his "hat in the ring" to become a Senator for the State, but was never an extremely viable candidate against Mr. Smoot.

In the State Republican Convention of 1902, Mr. Critchlow was a member.
Mr. Van Cott.  Mr. Critchlow, it was well known at that time that [Mr.] Smoot was a candidate for United States Senator, was it not?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Van Cott.  I will show you the paper if you not recollect; but did you move to make unanimous the nomination of those senators and representatives who were for Mr. Smoot?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes.
Mr. Van Cott.  You did?
Mr. Critchlow.  I did.  That might be misunderstood, and I think I ought to be allowed to explain.
The Chairman.  We have your answer, and you may explain it if you want.
Mr. Critchlow.  I fought them as hard as I knew how.  I fought every man who I thought would vote for Mr. Smoot if he went to the senate.  There was quite a good deal of feeling, and it was rather a three-cornered fight.  I was there in the interest of Mr. George Sutherland, attempting to forward his hopes, and when we were beaten, as a mere matter of courtesy, in order to win as much as possible for future fights, or any other reason you please, I moved to make it unamimous.  That was all there was to it.  They had us beaten, and I thought they might as well have it unanimous.
Mr. Van Cott.  You knew that meant Reed Smoot for United States Senator if the Republican party won?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Commentary:  So, he heled to get Reed Smoot elected to the Senate, but the protested that election vigorously.  Yes, there is naturally a bit of a misunderstanding here.  His explanation is understood by me as him looking to the future and conceding the present.

Mr. Van Cott then asks Mr. Critchlow about his personal feelings of him being elected.
Mr. Van Cott.  As defining your mental attitude at this time, is not this correct?  If Mr. Smoot were a non-Mormon at the present time, he would be entirely unobjectionable as United States Senator?
Mr. Critchlow.  I may say even more than that.  If he were not a member of the presidency and the apostolate, he would be unobjectionable to me as a member of the United States Senate.
Mr. Van Cott.  If he were a member of the church, but not of the general authorities?
Mr. Critchlow.  Not of the general authorities.  That is a better way to put it, perhaps.
Mr. Van Cott.  It is because he is one of the general authorities?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Mr. Van Cott.  You knew that when you moved to make unanimous the nominations of senators and representatives?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes.
Commentary:  I guess if the aim of the cross-examination is to show a possible duplicity in thought, this is one way to do it (along with the others already shown: voting for, traveling with, not prosecuting or admonishing known polygamists, etc.).  In this instance he forwarded the cause of putting Reed Smoot in the Senate.  I presume that Mr. Critchlow is a tad miffed right now with this line of questioning.  He had to know something like this would be coming.  He's a very credible witness, so the defense has to find a way to put some chinks in his armor.  I think they're doing a good job.

Senator Hopkins jumps in to ask a few questions of the witness.
Senator Hopkins.  Do you say that the Mormon Church has no more influence over Senator Smoot now than it would have if he were United States Senator without holding the position he does in the church?
Mr. Critchlow.  I do not know that I can answer that question yes or no.  What I meant to say is this:  Given any individual lay member of the Mormon Church, and the leaders of the church gave to him a command to obey certain counsel, that thus and so is the will of the Lord, and we want you to do it, that man must do it or he must get out of the church.
     I would say that would be the attitude of a member of the quorum of the apostles and first presidency.  If the president or the quorum of the apostles said to a member thus and so you must do, he must do it or get out of the quorum of apostles.  What I say that they do not have the control over the people as a mass I mean to say this:  That they cannot go, nor so far as I have observed or ever heard do they ever go, out in the community and say to the people as a mass so and so much be done.
     Their orders, and behests, and counsel are given to individuals; and in respect of the control of the people in political affairs, they never do say, and indeed it would be subversive of the very object of their control if they did, to the Mormons as a mass, "You become Republicans," or "You vote the Democratic ticket this year."  That would be subversive of the very element of control which is valuable to them.  There are certain persons in the Mormon Church, in a community, to whom they may say, "I want you to see that So-and-so votes this ticket" or "the other ticket," and enough are set apart or controlled in that way from thie floating contingent to make the thing go anyway they please.
Senator Hopkins.  Now, is Senator Smoot any more under the control of the Mormon Church in the discharge of his duties as United States Senator than he would be if he were simply a lay member of that church, holding no office whatever in the church?
Mr. Critchlow.  That I am unable to say except in this way:  He would have to obey the members of his quorum or his particular ruling file leaders in any particular; and, viewing it in that sense, any good member of the Mormon Church is just as much under the control of the president of the church, of course, as is the quorum, and if possible it might be even more so, because of the difference in elevation between the president and subordinate member.
Senator Hopkins.  In other words, he has more to lose now if he should disobey the church than if he were a lay member?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Senator Hopkins.  That is, he has his ecclesiastical position to lose, in addition to the good will of the church, a position he could not lose if he were simply a member, because he would not hold it.
Mr. Critchlow.  True; but if I might be permitted to add just one observation there, from the history of the church and its practical operations we know that the president of the church and the quorum of apostles are always one, absolutely one, in unison and in harmony upon any particular question, or if one gets out of harmony, as Moses Thatcher did, he gets out of the quorum of apostles.
Commentary:  That is, in a nutshell, how Mr. Critchlow views the power the presidency of the church and the quorum of 12 apostles hold over the members of the church.  He considers that Reed Smoot is now, more than ever, under the control of the quorum, and as such must be responsible for their counsel and direction.

Mr. Van Cott.  If any Mormon should be a United States Senator, he could be charged with being subject to the will and dictates of the church absolutely just the same as Mr. Smoot is in this case?
Mr. Critchlow.  No, sir.  If he is a member of the quorum the will and the practices and the control of the church are his will, his control.  His views are absolutely molded into harmony with those of the head of the church, whereas if he does not belong to that quorum, then it cannot so be said.  That is what I am trying to enforce.
Commentary:  So there's the summation of his feelings on the matter.

Senator Overman has a book called, Orson Pratt's Works, and from page 41, he reads (he states that the book was just handed to him this morning) and asks, "I want to know if that is their teaching today":
"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.  God, having made all beings and worlds, has the supreme right to govern them by His own laws, and by officers of His own appointment.  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."
In response to this reading, here is what Mr. Critchlow says:
Mr. Critchlow.  It undoubted is, if the Senator please.  It is a theocracy, a hierarchy, a government of priests, and the highest priest must necessarily govern, and that may be illustrated and enforced by almost every issue of the Deseret News, in which the sermons of their presidents, and seventies, and so on, are published every week and have been for ten years past.  That is true of current volumes and the volumes of former years.

The committee recesses from 12:50 PM to 2:00 PM.

Mr. Van Cott.  I believe you have already stated that you thought that Wilford Woodruff was an honest, conscientious man?
Mr. Critchlow.  He was so regarded by the non-Mormon community as being such a man.
Mr. Van Cott.  Do you regard [John Henry Smith] as a truthful man?
Mr. Critchlow.  In anything where his church is not involved I would.
Mr. Van Cott.  Where his church is not involved?
Mr. Critchlow.  I regard him as beinglike any of the rest of them.
Mr. Van Cott.  Well, how is that?
Mr. Critchlow.  Making statements that are not true as to matters of fact as respects their practices.
Commentary:  So Mormons are truthful, as long as they don't speak about their church practices, because it is possible they will then lie.

While Mr. Van Cott is having Mr. Critchlow investigate a record, Mr. Tayler speaks up:
"Mr. Chairman, while the witness is looking at that, I want to say just a word, in justice to myself, but not in reference to this question or this line.  Many things have been asked that I thought were not relevant or in any way competent.  I have not objected, because I shall not object to any question that is asked this witness.  If the committee should feel that the examination is going along lines that are not profitable, I want the committee to interpose, because we do not want to be accused of attempting to narrow the inquiry."
Commentary:  Mr. Tayler has been particularly pleased with the questions given by Mr. Van Cott either.  I guess I can say I'm not surprised at all.

In 1895, B.H. Roberts ran a campaign against the wishes of the church, much like the campaign that Moses Thatcher ran.  In a like manner, B.H. Roberts refused to sign the political manifesto just as Moses Thatcher refused to sign it.  The church opposed Mr. Robert's candidacy, and he was eventually defeated.  During this time Mr. Roberts was out of harmony with his brethren in the quorums; however, he did repent of this problem.  Mr. Critchlow is asked how he knows that Roberts "repented."
Mr. Critchlow.  In the sermons of the apostles and leaders of the church explaining this manifesto matter, that he was for some six weeks prayed with and labored with by the apostles, and finally he stated that he had a vision in which a number of his dead and gone ancestors came to him and he saw them in a state of -
Mr. Van Cott.  Coma?
Mr. Critchlow.  No; he saw them lost and in perdition because of the fact that he could not go into the temple and be baptized to save their souls; and for the sake of his dead ancestors, and in order that he might enjoy the privileges of the church and be baptized for them, he put himself in harmony with the apostles of the church.

Mr. Critchlow is asked to name the members of the "supervising committee of elders" to help with legislation in the first legislative session of 1896.  He names six men:  Charles W. Penrose, W.W. Riter, James Sharp, William H. King, F.S. Richards [attorney at the committee hearing], and Joseph M. Tanner.
Mr. Van Cott.  How do you know the church appointed those men to supervise legislation?
Mr. Critchlow.  By the admissions made by George Q. Cannon and by Heber J. Grant and by certain of the members of the committee in public interviews, which were had with them directly after the charge was made, which was in April, 1896.
Mr. Van Cott.  And in what papers were those interviews reported?
Mr. Critchlow.  They were reported in the Sale Lake Herald, at that time edited by Brigham H. Roberts; in the Salt Lake Tribune, and I think the interviews with George Q. Cannon and Heber J. Grant were also in the Deseret News, but of that latter I cannot speak with definiteness.

This is the end of the cross-examination.

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