Monday, June 7, 2010

Reed Smoot Hearings: Day 9 - E.B. Critchlow, part 2

March 11, 1904

This is the second part of the testimony given by E. B. Critchlow.

Mr. Critchlow is asked to continue on his line of thinking from the previous day, and in so doing he reads from a letter written by Moses Thatcher to Lorenzo Snow, dated December 12, 1896:
"I do not claim that I cannot be wrong.  But with the light I have the manifesto (applied as its construction will allow, or as it would be interpreted by men whose personal ambitions might control and subvert their sense of right) could be operated to the injury of the State ... I am with the State constitution in the declaration that there shall be an absolute separation of church and State; that the State shall not control the church, nor the church encroach on the prerogatives of the State ... I invite neither the support nor the opposition of the church.  It has no concern in political issues.  The members of my former quorum have deemed it expedient to deprive me of my priesthood.  If I discuss their action, it is as a church member.  As a citizen and a Democrat I concede their right to discipline me for any cause whatever.  As a member of the Democratic party, as a citizen, I deny their right or their intention to interfere with my politics, the threat of the Deseret News, as the church organ, to the contrary notwithstanding."
Commentary:  Moses Thatcher was disciplined for making this letter public.

Mr. Critchlow then spends a little bit of time talking about the "Evans anti-polygamy" bill.  The design of this bill was not to overturn the national laws, but to "limit the prosecution for certain classes of offenses."  The bill passed the Utah houses of legislation, and was then vetoed by the Governor of Utah, a Mormon.  This all happened in 1901.  The bill created quite a bit of publicity both inside and outside of Utah because of the topic of it.  In the end, Mormons voted both for and against the bill with non-Mormons voting both for and against the bill.
Senator Overman.  What was the general sentiment all over the United States, so far as you could gather [about this bill in Utah]?
Mr. Critchlow.  The sentiment over the United States, so far as I could gather from the press, was that it was recognized as being a measure which had been intended to further the practice of polygamy and that it was a very proper and manly act on the part of the governor to veto it.
Commentary:  The Senator here is asking the opinion of Mr. Critchlow about the entire United States, without objection to the question from anyone.  However, later when Mr. Van Cott asks the same type of questions (asking about the general feeling of the people of the United States) of Mr. Critchlow, Senator Hopkins steps in and says the question is improper because of its scope and the fact that Mr. Critchlow couldn't possibly know what 80 million people think.

Mr. Critchlow then reads part of the veto response from Governor Wells concerning this bill:
"In my opinion nothing can be clearer than that this bill, if passed, would be welcomed and employed as a most effective weapon against the very classes whose condition it is intended to ameliorate.  Furthermore, I have every reason to believe its enactment would be the signal for a general demand upon the National Congress for a constitutional amendment, directed solely against certain social conditions here, a demand which, under the circumstances, would assuredly be complied with.  While it may be urged that in any event only the few could be made to suffer, is it not an odious thought, repulsive to every good citizen of whatsoever creed or party, that the whole State should thus be put under a bad?"
The entire veto response from the governor can be found here; the date is March 15, 1901, and the newspaper is the Salt Lake Herald.
Mr. Critchlow.  After the measure had passed, and while it was in the hands of the governor for action, there appeared an editorial in the Deseret News, I think under the date of March 12, 1901, and then after the veto message, which was on the 14th, there were numerous editorials in the Deseret News upholding the bill and contending in favor of the wisdom  of that class of legislation, and of this bill in particular.
Mr. Worthington.  And the members of the legislature did not respond to the views of the church as expressed through the news?
Mr. Critchlow.  No, sir.
Senator Beveridge.  Did the church authorities favor this bill?
Mr. Critchlow.  Those of the church authorities who expressed themselves did.
Senator Beveridge.  Some expressed themselves and some did not?
Mr. Critchlow.  I know of none of the authorities who expressed themselves against.
Commentary:  Despite the fact the Deseret News, the editorials in that paper, and several prominent church authorities expressed their approval of this bill, it was still vetoed by the governor.

Mr. Critchlow then goes into history about the candidacy and election of Reed Smoot for Senator.  This covers the period of the legislature of 1903.  The most interesting opening statement of this time-period is the following:
"... it was generally understood and conceded throughout the State that Senator Smoot would, in all human probability, be the next United States Senator provided the Republicans should be successful in electing a majority of the legislature of 1903."
Commentary:  That sounds almost like a foregone conclusion that Reed Smoot would win.
"The republicans were successful, and the ticket was elected, and immediately upon that, and even I think before election, certainly immediately after the election, there was very determined opposition upon the part of the Ministerial Association, and very determined expressions of opinion upon the part of non-Mormons, and Mormons as well, upon the question as to the propriety of the election of Apostle Smoot to the Senate of the United States.  This was expressed both in print and in private conversation ... it was well known to all of us that his candidacy evoked a very wide opposition among what may be called the lay members of the Mormon Church."
Mr. Critchlow then defines what the Ministerial Association is:
It is "an association of evangelical or protestant ministers of the city of Salt Lake, excepting, however, the Protestant Episcopal Church ... Roman Catholics [and] the Mormon Church ... They have weekly meetings, as I understand, to discuss general matters of interest to all of them."
Senator Smoot's lawyer goes off a bit on the admissible evidence for the committee.  Here is a piece of what he says:
Mr. Worthington.  The Leilich charge is one which was presented to the Senate, signed by Leilich only, in which it is charged that Senator Smoot is a polygamist, that he has plural wives, and it is charged that he has taken an oath as an apostle inconsistent with his Senatorial oath.  Those charges have been published all over this country, and I presume it is true that Senator Smoot has never taken any notice of them.  And yet when we come here we find that even the father of this charge will not come here and say he ever has had any proof to justify the making of it, and counsel have specifically announced, from the beginning to the end, that so far as they know there is no truth in either of those charges ... And yet when we come to the facts of the case we find that the charges are absolutely without foundation, and that there is nobody who will come here and stand sponsor for them.  If it is charged that Senator Smoot has made admissions to anybody, let those persons be brought here.  The subpoena of the committee will reach them wherever they may be.  Let us have their statements, made under oath, with the opportunity to cross-examine - the two sure tests of the weight of testimony.
At 11:55 AM the committee recessed for lunch until 2:00 PM.

The first statement made by Mr. Critchlow is to the objection or reason Mr. Smoot should not be a Senator from Utah.
Mr. Critchlow.  In conversation as well as the public prints, both in Utah and elsewhere, the attention of the people was drawn to the fact that the entry of an apostle into the political arena, clothed, as the apostolate and presidency of the church are recognized as being clothed, with such tremendous power in the State of Utah, a power which extends into the most minute details of religion and business and politics, was such as could not be tolerated under our system of government, and that was the objection to Mr. Smoot.
     I think I ought to say in that connection that never at any time, so far as I am aware, were the personal qualifications of Mr. Smoot or his fitness, outside of his relations to the presidency and apostolate of the church, brought into question by anyone.
Commentary:  In other words, Reed Smoot is a very good choice for a Senator, as long as he isn't an apostle as well.
Senator Dillingham.  May I inquire, in that connection, who was responsible for this form of petition that was sent broadcast from over the country?
Mr. Critchlow.  You are referring to the protest?
Senator Dillingham.  I am referring to the petitions that have come into the Senate from every State and almost every town in the country protesting against the seating of Mr. Smoot.
Mr. Critchlow.  I can only speak from information, and that is to the effect that it is due to the concerted action of certain organizations of women, the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the International Congress of Mothers, or some such organization as that, and, I think, the Interdenominational Council of Women ...
Senator Beveridge.  Who got this protest up, Mr. Critchlow?
Mr. Critchlow.  The material of it was supplied in large part by Doctor Paden, and it was written, so far as the form of it and the connecting matter, etc., was concerned, by myself.
Senator Beveridge.  Who got the signatures to it?
Mr. Critchlow.  I did.
Senator Beveridge.  You got up the protest, then, practically?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir; to the extent I have suggested.
Commentary:  Mr. Critchlow, it would seem, is almost entirely responsible for the protest against Senator Reed Smoot.  He gives credit to Dr. Paden for gathering a lot of the information (probably the doctrinal information included - references to scriptures, etc.); however, it was he who put it together correctly, collected the signatures, and properly delivered it to Congress.

The Senators know that Mr. Critchlow is a friend of Mr. Rawlins, the former Senator defeated by Reed Smoot.
Senator Beveridge.  What is your business connection with Mr. Rawlins?
Mr. Critchlow.  I was his law partner for six years.
Senator Beveridge.  Were you his partner at the time of his last election to the United States Senate?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir; we dissolved our partnership when he come to Washington as Senator.
Senator Beveridge.  You had been partner with him up to that time?
Mr. Critchlow.  For six years prior to that time.
Senator Beveridge.  Mr. Rawlins was defeated for the Senate by Mr. Smoot?
Mr. Critchlow.  Well, I  hardly would say -
Senator Beveridge.  He was a candidate, was he not?
Mr. Critchlow.  He was a candidate in a legislature which was Republican.
Senator Beveridge.  Of course; but he was a candidate before the legislature, and so was Mr. Smoot?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Senator Beveridge.  And Mr. Smoot got the votes?
Mr. Critchlow.  Mr. Rawlins got 6 votes and Mr. Smoot got -
Senator Beveridge.  Got the remainder?
Mr. Critchlow.  Not all the remainder; nearly all.
Commentary:  This doesn't prove anything except that Mr. Rawlins, the former Senator, and Mr. Critchlow were law partners for 6 years (probably good friends to work together that long) and it may have been somewhat coincidental that the former Senator's law partner was the lead in the protest against the person that defeated him.  Again, this doesn't prove a single thing; however, it does raise eyebrows I think.

Mr. Critchlow then describes the general opinion among non-Mormons and Mormons alike as to Mr. Smoot's candidacy for Senate:
"... in the event that men who were of the general authorities of the church, such as the presidency and twelve apostles, were to become candidates for the United States Senate, there was no opportunity amongst the lay members of the church, so to speak, to ever aspire to any high office, for the reason that it would be understood that consent given under the circumstances, as it must necessarily be given by those in the quorum, would be equivalent to the practical indorsement of the presidency and twelve apostles, and that no member of the Mormon Church would ever dare to aspire to political preferment in opposition to the men holding such positions.
From here Senator Beveridge questions the language that Mr. Critchlow used to describe this opinion.
Senator Beveridge.  Now, in reference to that.  You say "dare to aspire?"
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Senator Beveridge.  What would happen to them if they did dare to aspire?  Suppose some member of the Mormon Church did dare to aspire, what would happen?
Commentary:  I have to jump in right here.  Why is Mr. Critchlow suddenly the expert on what the Mormon Church would do?  I guess they want the non-Mormon viewpoint of what people believe the church would do, even if it isn't true.
Mr. Critchlow.  He would undoubtedly be dealt with if he persisted in his political canvass in opposition to the will of the members of the higher quorum.  He would undoubtedly be dealt with for his fellowship as being out of harmony.
Senator Beveridge.  What do you mean by being dealt with?
Mr. Critchlow.  I mean he would be called in question as being one who is out of harmony, and who is not disposed to take counsel from those who are above him.
Senator Beveridge.  You are speaking, now, of a member of the church as well as an officer?
Mr. Critchlow.  Of a member as well as an officer.
Senator Beveridge.  Still, what could be done with him?  Out of harmony you say.  What would be done with him?  Would he be punished?
Mr. Critchlow.  He would be disfellowshipped from the church and ostracized from the society of those who were formerly his coreligionists.
Senator Beveridge.  Do you know of anyone who is not an officer who has been excommunicated from the church?
Mr. Critchlow.  I know a great many persons who have been excommunicated from the church for being out of harmony with it.
Senator Beveridge.  For the offense of independent political action?
Mr. Critchlow.  I cannot at this moment recollect any one individual man for independent political action, but in business.
Commentary:  This is interesting.  He strongly believes that if any member runs politically against a member of the church hierarchy, they will be disfellowshipped.  He cannot name any one single man where this has happened, but believes that because it has happened in business, so it would carry the same weight and punishment in politics.

Mr. Critchlow mentions the Walker Brothers who in the 1860's were counseled to not open up a mine in Utah because it would drain the resources of the State/Territory and bring in non-Mormons.  These men refused to listen to the counsel, went ahead with their mining operations, and were excommunicated.  To this report, Senator Beveridge responds:  "I think this is very serious."

He gives another, much more recent example:
"The people of Brigham City wanted to own their own electric-light plant, and a private corporation there which was engaged in the electric-lighting business induced President Kelly to favor this by offering him a present of 1,000 shares of stock.  Kelly then told the mayor of the city that he had had a revelation on the subject; that he was right, and that God had told him that the city ought to be lighted by a private company, of which he, Kelly, should be the president.  This matter was brought up at a meeting at the tabernacle at which were present the mayor, Mr. Bowden, Apostle Clawson, Peter Knudson, a member of the city counsil; Isaac A. Jenson, a member of the council, and J.P. Christianson, a member of the council.  This was called, as I understand it, on Sunday afternoon to pass a resolution which Apostle Rudger Clawson and Kelly had presented to them upon this subject.
     "The people had an election upon the subject and, without going into details, a very acrid controversy arose between the authorities of the church and the people, and for the offense of standing in opposition to the priesthood on the subject of a municipal lighting plant a number of the people in Brigham City were brought up before the high council and lectured and tried for their fellowship."
Commentary:  Wow.  If this is true, that's wild.
Senator Beveridge.  As a citizen of Utah, do you yourself believe that anybody out there told the common council that they had a revelation from the Lord on an electric-light plant?
Mr. Critchlow.  I have not the slightest doubt of it, Senator; not the slightest doubt in the world.
Mr. Worthington.  You said for these things the members were cut off.  What do you mean by "cut off?"  Do you mean excommunicated?
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes; disfellowshipped.  As the expression goes in that community, the right hand of fellowship is withdrawn from them.
Commentary:  I have actually heard that phrase before - "right hand of fellowship."
Senator Beveridge.  Let me ask you a question or two, if you please.  I assume - if I am not right you can tell me - that the members of the Mormon Church usually accept the so-called revelations when their superiors give them.  Is that correct, do I understand?
Mr. Critchlow.  Speaking as a practical matter, Senator, I say that they do accept them in the sense that they act in accordance with them, whether as a matter of conscience and belief -
Senator Beveridge.  I mean as far as their actions are concerned.
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes, sir.
Commentary:  Again the Senators are concerned and interested in the amount of control the authorities of the church wield.  This is the "power" question asked in the form of 'do the members obey revelations' from the church.  Nothing new is said here; however, this is from a non-member in whom there seems to be a lot of trust about the history and general knowledge of the area.  In other words, whatever Mr. Critchlow says, it is likely to be taken with a great deal of weight by the committee members.  This question was asked in the context of the members of Brigham City believing the purported revelation given by their Stake President.
Senator Beveridge.  How do you reconcile that with the people accepting in their actions these revelations which you say it is their custom to do?  They did not accept it in that instance, did they?
Mr. Critchlow.  In this particular case they went before the people and the people refused to take the revelation from Mr. Kelly.
Senator Beveridge.  Yes ... evidently the people did not think Mr. Kelly's revelation was valid in that instance on electic lighting.
Commentary:  Whoops.  Mr. Critchlow spoke too soon.  The people only accept revelations that make sense to them.
Senator Beveridge.  You helped prepare this case, did you not, with Mr. Tayler?
Mr. Critchlow.  Only since I have been here, since I arrived in Washinton; not at all before that.
Commentary:  Well, not only did he prepare the protest against Senator Smoot, he helped prepare the case to be presented against Senator Smoot.  I guess he has a very large interest in seeing Senator Smoot turned out of office.

Senator Beveridge wants to know more about the history behind Mr. Critchlow's involvement in writing this protest:
Senator Beveridge.  You said you got up this protest and that you secured the signatures to it.
Mr. Critchlow.  Yes.
Senator Beveridge.  How did you happen to do that?
Mr. Critchlow.  It happened in this way.  Before the Roberts matter was on before the House of Representatives, I was applied to by my friend, Doctor Paden, who was a college mate of mine, to assist him in getting up the protest.  I wrote the protest in the [B.H.] Roberts case.
Mr. Worthington.  Who did you say?
Mr. Critchlow.  Doctor Paden, the first signer of this protest.  I wrote the protest and advised the committee as to the proper method, in my judgment, of getting it before the House of Representatives.
Senator Beveridge.  That is, in the Roberts case?
Mr. Critchlow.  In the Roberts case.
Senator Beveridge.  Were you employed in that case?
Mr. Critchlow.  Not at all.  I never received any employment in any of these matters.
Senator Beveridge.  That is all right.
Mr. Critchlow.  When this matter came up he applied to me and said that he was one of the committee of the ministerial association; and again, as a matter of general interest as a citzen, I took the matter up and studied over it considerably, and with him drafted this protest.  It was then to have been submitted as a protest from the ministerial association.  I stated to him that, on account of the prejudices which had been engendered in the State against the ministerial association - because up to that time they had been the only persons who had ever protested against the condition of affairs there - if others than members of the ministerial association could be gotten to sign that protest it would have much more weight locally and perhaps some more weight in the country at large.  He expressed himself as more than gratified if that would be done, and I told him I had no doubt I could secure from my own acquaintence at least fifteen or twenty persons to sign that.  I did secure all but the names of the three persons who are there as members of the minsterial association - Doctor Paden, Mr. Brown, and Mr. Leilich.
Senator Dillingham.  Then are we to understand this movement was really inaugurated and pushed by the ministerial association in the first instance?
Mr. Critchlow.  In the first instance it was inaugurated by them because, if I may say so, they were up to that moment the only perons who ever made any public protest against the condition of affairs in that State.
Senator Dillingham.  Then, in the past, it is true, I suppose, that all of the religious denominations, through their ministers and their chief officers, have taken an active interest in the politics of Utah?
Mr. Critchlow.  I think so; yes, sir ... when I say that they took an active interest in politics it is only in the sense that the politics and the religion of Utah have been so absolutely interwoven that a man could not take an interest in the religious aspect of the matter without taking an interest in the effect of the religious system upon the political status.
Senator Beveridge.  As I understand you, Senator, you want to know what they do?
Senator Dillingham.  Yes; I was asking simply what they did.
Mr. Critchlow.  They take the same interest in politics that members of the same denominations do, within my observations, in other States.
Senator Dillingham.  Is it not true that they have been a combined force against the force of the Mormon Church?
Mr. Critchlow.  They have endeavored to be, I think, sir.

Mr. Worthigton tries to sum up Mr. Critchlow's feelings on this matter with a simple question.
Mr. Worthington.  I understand you consider it politics for religious organizations to get a man into the Senate, but it is not politics to try to get him out?
Mr. Critchlow.  I have no understanding upon that subject.  In fact, I have not known that they made any effort to get anybody into the Senate.
Mr. Worthington.  You said the Mormon Church did.  The effect of what you said is that the Mormon Church has put Mr. Smoot here, and that is politics.
Mr. Critchlow.  I say the leaders of the Mormon Church have given their consent, and that Mr. Smoot comes here, and that Mr. Smoot and his coleaders of the Mormon Church are responsible for the condition of things there, and that Mr. Smoot is responsible for things there, because by one word Mr. Smoot could either stop what is going on there or would no longer be an apostle of the Mormon Church.
Senator Beveridge.  Are you testifying to a fact?
Mr. Critchlow.  I am testifying to a fact; yes, sir.  I beg your pardon - a deduction.
Senator Beveridge.  Are you testifying to a deduction?
Mr. Critchlow.  I am testifying to a deduction which the whole community of Utah makes from the known facts which exist there.

This is the end of the direct-examination.  In the next part, the cross-examination will commence.

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