United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Priv.

Proceedings before the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the United States Senate : in the matter of the protests against the right of Hon. Reed Smoot, a senator from the state of Utah, to hold his seat [Jan. 16, 1904-April 13, 1906] (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on PrivProceedings before the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the United States Senate : in the matter of the protests against the right of Hon. Reed Smoot, a senator from the state of Utah, to hold his seat [Jan. 16, 1904-April 13, 1906] (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 115)
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WASHINGTON. D. C., December 1%, 1904.

The committee met at 10.30 o'clock a. 111.

Present: Senators Burrows (chairman), Foraker, Pettus, Dubois,
and Overman; also Senator Smoot; also Robert W. Tayler, counsel
for the protestants; A. S. Worthington and Waldemar Van Cott,
counsel for the respondent; and Franklin S. Richards, counsel for
certain witnesses.


The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Tayler, call the next witness.
Mr. TAYLER. Mr. Chairman, I call Dr. J. M. Buckley.

Rev. J. M. BUCKLEY, being duly sworn, was examined and testified
as follows:

Mr. TAYI.KR. Where do you live, Doctor?

Doctor BUCKLEY. I. live in Morristown N. J.

Mr. TAYLER. What is your hu-inos or profession?

Doctor BUCKLEY. I am editor of the Christian Advocate, of New

,3 Mr. TAYLER. That is a denominational religious paper, I believe?
XJ Doctor BUCKLEY. Yes, sir.

Mr. TAYLKK. Of what church?

Doctor BUCKLEY. The Methodist Episcopal Church.

Mr. TAYLER. Are you a minister of the Gospel ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Yes, sir.

Mr. TAYLER. How long have you been editor of the Christian
"j Advocate?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Twenty-five year>.

Mr. TAYLER. How long have you been a minister ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Forty-six years.

Mr. TAYLER. Have you during your life given any attention to the
Morman Church, its history, and its doctrines?

Doctor BUCKLEY. I have.

Mr. TAYLER. How was your attention first attracted thereto?

Doctor BUCKLEY. By a settlement of Mormons within 10 miles of
my place, of being brought up, and by members of families that I
knew this was about fifty-five years ago going to Utah.

Mr. TAYLER. And have you, during your lire, been a student of
questions and cults of that kind and other kinds?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Well, where they have been forced upon me I
have studied them to the best of my ability.

Mr. TAYLER. What attention have you given to the Mormon Church
in the last few years ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. As soon as I could command finances enough to
make the trip I made a tour to Utah that was about thirty-five years
ago and saw Brigham Young in his glory and heard Orson Pratt


preach on Mormonism as distinguished from Christianity so called,
and at the request of the governor and judges I delivered an address
the same night or the same day on Christianity as distinguished
from Mormonism. And Orson Pratt's first wife and daughter, who
had forsaken him when he took up with polygamy, were present, as
were two or three hundred more Mormans who were on the margin of
the situation relatively toward Mrs. Pratt rather than toward Mor-

In order to understand the matter, I had a long interview with
George Smith, one of the three presidents, the father of Apostle
Smith, who presented me with the Book of Mormon and with four-
teen or fifteen pamphlets. I also was entertained by a Mormon who
had three wives, who expounded to me the creed from beginning to
end from his point of view.

Mr. Smith was the one who went to Jerusalem to find proof of the
truth of Mormonism and who wrote the standard history, and was
known as the historian. He thought me a possible convert, perhaps,
and was very kind and explained everything, and afterwards wrote
to me about the matter.

Mr. TAYLER. I do not care to go into details, Doctor, except to indi-
cate your intelligent and abiding interest in this question.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I went there again in 1901 to note the changes
and to study the different missions that had been established there,
and to find out why they were doing so little, 'comparatively, in con-
verting Mormons; and then I went again last June.

The CHAIRMAN. How long did you remain there in 1901 ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Somewhere in the neighborhood of four days
or five days, which I devoted entirely to this business.

The CHAIRMAN. Then when were you there again?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Last June.

Mr. TAYLER. Please state how long you were there last June ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. I went there for a special purpose, to make an
address on Sunday, in a congregation there, the same one I had
addressed thirty-five years ago, when it was beginning. I stayed
there only two days.

Senator DUBOIS. This was in Salt Lake City ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Yes, sir.

Mr. TAYLER. Did you attend any meeting in the Temple?

Doctor BUCKLEY. I did at that time.

Mr. TAYLER. In the Tabernacle?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Yes, sir.

Mr. WORTHINGTON. That was in June?

Doctor BUCKLEY. The first Sunday in last June. When I went
there I was told I could not hear anything in the Tabernacle, as the
Mormons account the first Sunday in the month a fast day and do not
have their services on that day the first Sunday. But on arriving
I should have said when I engaged to go there on arriving I was
met by a gentleman who told me that probably the most remarkable
opportunity that I had ever had would take place that day, as it was
the annual convention of the Young Women s Union of Mormonism,
and the joint convention with that of the Young Men's, and that sev-
eral thousand representatives from every Mormon country, together
with special representatives of the leading officers of these conventions,


would be present, and that the officers would be elected for the next
year, and that as President Smith was, by virtue of his headship of
the church, a president of all such organizations as these, he would
preside. I also ascertained that this meeting had been in progress in
its more secular aspects from the preceding Friday, and this Sunday
was the grand culminating public assembly. I attended that assem-
bly, which lasted the session lasted between three and four hours
at" least, counting everything that occurred; it was from about half
past 2 to nearly half past 5 ; a little more than half past 5.

Do you wish me to describe what occurred there ?

Mr. TAYLER. Yes, if you will, Doctor Buckley.

Doctor BUCKLEY. With respect to the speeches that were made, I
have an absolute memory of every sentence that I published. I wrote
three letters on the subject when I got back, and those three letters
are in my paper ; and I am absolutely certain that the language that
I put into the mouths of the respective speakers was correct, so much
so that I would swear to it verbatim.

The CHAIRMAN. May I ask you right here to state who spoke, so
that we will know ?

Doctor BUCKLKY. Will you allow me to refresh my mind on these
details by my article?

The Cii A i R M \ N . (Vrt a inly. You have the right to do that.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I do not wish to stumble over figures and facts.

The CHAIR MAN. If you can state who spoke we will be oblige^
to you.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I will give the order. I have another copy of
the paper over there, and if you will permit me to get it it will
enable me to answer more definitely. This is the second letter.

Mr. WORTHINGTON. Let us look at the copy of the letters.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I will as soon as I have refreshed my memory.

Mr. WORTHINGTON. I was speaking to counsel.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I beg pardon.

Mr. TAYLER. Yes ; we will.

Doctor BUCKLEY. The first speaker was Mr. B. H. Roberts. I
think it is important to what I have to say about President Smith
that this brief account should be read, if vou will allow me to read it.

The CHAIRMAN. I will ask you first to give the names of the persons
who spoke.

Doctor BUCKLEY. Mr. Roberts spoke.


Doctor BUCKLEY. And then, after him, President Elmina S. Tay-
lor, of the Young Ladies' Association, or, rather, she not being able
to fill the building with her voice, her second counselor did so. The
next person to speak was the secretary, who gave the statistics of the

Mr. WORTHINGTON. The secretary ; what is her name ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. It was a man in this case. His name I do not
know, but the figures showed a total of one hundred and

The CHAIRMAN. Give the names of the speakers. - You have named
three. I want to know who spoke.

Doctor BUCKLEY. They then proceeded to vote and to elect the
officers, and elected President Smith, and as has assistants Heber J,
Grant and B. H. Roberts.

The CHAIRMAN. Did anybody else speak?


Doctor BUCKLEY. I have given the names of all the persons who
spoke up to that time.

The CHAIRMAN. During the day ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. During the meeting. The only speaker after this
was President Smith, who spoke two hours, or nearly that.

The CHAIRMAN. After that?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Nothing was done after that except to close in
the usual way.

The CHAIRMAN. I am sorry to have interrupted you. Now go on
in the usual way.

Doctor BUCKLEY. It is no interruption. This is a matter about
which I do not know anything as to procedure, and I should be very
glad to be interrupted.

The CHAIRMAN. I merely wanted to know who spoke.

Doctor BUCKLEY. Yes.

Mr. TAYLER. How large an audience was present?

Doctor BUCKLEY. The building is supposed to hold about 12,000
persons; some say 14,000. In the intervals, while they were voting,
I counted the audience as far as I could see, and where I did not see
another person told me at the close that it was about as full in the
gallery I could not see into as it was elsewhere. I made out there
were about 11,000 persons in the building. It is barely possible there
were not so many, but the very choir itself had more people than most
churches have.

Mr. TAYLER. Doctor, respecting the subject of plural marriage
the subject of cohabitation with plural wives what, if anything, did
Brigham H. Roberts, as he was the first speaker, say ?

Mr. WORTHINGTON. Is it all in print in the paper ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. No, sir ; it is not all in print in the paper. Other-
wise I would not have troubled myself to try to bring it up. He said
nothing whatever. B. H. Roberts said nothing whatever with regard
to that subject. He was set for a welcome, however, devoting one-
half of it to a splendid picture of President Smith, and he spoke
without reserve of the proceedings of Smith and others before this
committee, and he uttered this sentence, which and I recognize
myself as being under oath is exactly verbatim :

" Placed before the leading men of the nation, engaged in an un-
equal conflict with the Government, he met them as an honest man,
a product of Mormonism, and gave to the nation the truth concern-
ing a despised people."

That sentence is absolutely as stated. That is all I saw fit to put
in that B. H. Roberts said.

Mr. TAYLER. Now, what did Joseph F. Smith say in relation to
that subject?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Joseph F. Smith-
Senator FORAKER. Why not take the speakers in their order?

Mr. WORTHINGTON. Taylor was the next one who spoke.

Doctor BUCKLEY. As I have it recorded here :

" President Elmina Taylor, of the Young Ladies' Association, was
to speak, but was physically unable to do so. Her second counselor,
Mrs. Martha H. Tingey, spoke, and did so with as much of a heart-
felt and earnest manner as would be heard in our Woman's Mission-
ary Societies."

The next speaker, whose name I could not catch, as it was an-


nounced in a feeble way, " discussed the cooperation of parents in
home preparation." That is the order of speakers up to the time
that the president spoke. As to what he said-
Mr. TAYLER. I did not attach any importance to what anybody
might have said except those who were high in the church.

Senator FORAKER. I supposed the witness had something to quote
from each speaker.


Senator FORAKER. I am sorry to have interrupted you.

Senator OVERMAN. I understood you to say that before the presi-
dent spoke (I y had an election and elected Mr. Grant

Doctor BUCKLEY. Yes, sir; and the election was most extraor-
dinary in character.

The CHAIRMAN. Was that after the president spoke?

Senator OVERMAN. No; before.

Doctor BUCKLEY. No ; before. It was after Mr. Roberts spoke.

The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.

Mr. TAYLER. Describe this election.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I put it in one paragraph and described it abso-
lutely at the time, and 1 think I can save time by just reading the
single paragraph:

" The method of voting was specially interesting. It was done by
the uplifted hand. < )llicers are not said to be elected, but ' sustained.'
The authorities prepare the list, read the names, and the vote sus-
tains them or otherwise. This word is used all the way through.
After sustaining the president of primaries and counselors, secre-
tary and treasurer of the primaries, the president and counselors of

tary and treasurer, musical director and assistant, and all the aids
were sustained."

None of the so-called " bosses " of the country have ever attained
such control as was here manifest.

"All the votes were unanimous, and as the name of each proposed
officer was read a great forest of hands was raised with mechanical

" In one case the reader of the report made a mistake and read a
name which should not have been, but the nomination was unani-
mously sustained. Immediately afterwards, the mistake being dis-
covered, the right name was put and that was unanimously sustained.
The time kept by the great organ and the choir was perfect, but not
more so than the time kept by these voters."

That is all upon that point.

Mr. TAYLER. You may proceed to state what President Joseph F.
Smith said in relation to the subject to which I have referred plural
marriage, celestial marriage, cohabitation with plural wives, or his
appearance before this committee.
i Doctor BUCKLEY. President Smith began with these exact words :

" I have been requested to make some remarks relative to the great
and important subject of marriage, but as I have very little time in
which to speak I can not hope to say all that might be said on this

That was the opening.


" He began by saying that a great many people in the world regard
marriage as a mere business or social contract, terminated at death,
and governed largely by laws of convenience and the laws of the land,
in force and effect only for this life. The result of this custom is
that the yoke of matrimony sits very easily upon the shoulders of most
men, and also upon many women. The latter, however, assume the
greater responsibilities in this relation, as they have to bear the burden
of motherhood."

This language was true of Mr. Smith. He said these things, but
he elaborated. Where it was vital I committed it to memory. I
ought to say, perhaps, that owing to illness, which prevented me from
writing for seven years, except in signing checks, etc., or some little
business of that kind, when I was a young man, I had to acquire the
power of being able to recite for weeks at a time everything that
interested me, and I make no notes of any kind. I will say that a
Mormon wrote for the rest of my manuscript, which I had not used.
He wanted to get it. I am certain as to the language, more so
than the average stenographer would be, for he might misunderstand.
It is a peculiar thing, but it is a fact, and everything that I have here
in quotation marks I have no hesitation in declaring was verbatim.

" I hold and feel that the responsibility of the man in entering
upon married life should be just as great as that of the woman. The
world holds the ties of wedlock in light esteem. The secular press is
filled with slurring allusions, coarse jokes, and caustic jibes at the
marriage relation. Men, and many of the women, consider the oath
of fidelity in the marriage ceremony with ill-concealed contempt. All
this results in licentiousness and widespread immorality."

He then read from the first chapter of Genesis the passages about
creating men in male and female, and then said this :

" When Adam and Eve were created the command was that they
should multiply and replenish the earth. They were formed in the
image and likeness of God, and bound together not for this life alone,
but for time and eternity, a custom which God designed should be
perpetuated in the earth. This was not a civil contract, but a con-
tract wrought out by God for the guidance and rule of life of His

He then threw out an intimation that God is male and female, and
then proceeded :

" From this portion of the Scriptures we learn that marriage was
intended to continue through all ages. It was formed for immortal
beings; it is not a civil contract until death shall thus part; it is a con-
tract between two immortal beings, to continue both in this world and
in the next. I repeat it, the word of the Lord is that man was made
in the image and likeness of God, male and female."

That he powerfully emphasized.

" This fact people will not understand and its application to the
question of marriage they will not comprehend. Neither will they
comprehend the teachings of the Gospel."

That is what he said at that time on that point.

" He then returned to the subject previously mentioned. c Mar*
riage is a standing joke with many. In entertainments marriage is
made light of. In many of the newspapers jokes are cracked ancr
remarks are printed ridiculing the holy institution of matrimony.

'C1CU. \AJ ttJlUtllCJL . J. VVU11U.O1 11. Ilt3 Will UUlO

and a negative opinion was given. Hardly
*ed before he exclaimed: 'Many people in


It is abominable. This state of things is one of the curses of the
world to-day.' v

He then expatiated for about ten minutes on the extremes to
which divorce has gone. Up to this time his general style had been
that of a kind old gentleman who was preparing himself for further
application; he opened his matter. Up to that time he looked like
a man 75 years of age from where I stood, but subsequently I saw
him and I also ascertained his age ; but at this point he lifted himself
up to his full height and he exclaimed:

:< This sort of thing can not exist in Zion with impunity."

That is, the divorce business or trifling about marriage.

He then spoke of the mothers of his children.

" The mothers of my children were given to me by God as saints
of God. I thank them for what they have been and are to me."

I turned this into the third person as a narrative.

" I thank them for what they have been and are to me."

" He alluded to the jokes that men make upon mothers-in-law,
and declared that it shows a degraded condition of society. One of
these close listeners whispered to another: ' I wonder if he will dare
to say " mothers-in-law," ' a
had the words been uttered

this world joke about their mothers-in-law, as if to have a mother-
in-law is one of the curses of humanity. I want to say now, to you
all, that the best friends I ever had nave been my mothers-in-law.
I loved and honored them and shall ever hold their memory sacred.
They were true women and worthy of their daughters.' ' :

The audience, notwithstanding they knew- that he had 5 living
wives and 45 children, heard this statement quietly and respectfully.
He uttered it with solemnity, with reverence, and with pathos. He
then took up, one by one, several New Testament passages, and
attempted to harmonize them with Mormon ism. He took up the case
of the Sadducees when they said to Christ, " Whose wife is she in the
resurrection ?" He read what Christ said in reply, and then said that
Christ " intimates that she belonged only to the one to whom God had
given her." * * " Soon after uttering these words a great
change took place in his manner. His voice rang out as- strong and
clear as that of William J. Bryan "

I am reading from the paper.

" He was not defiant, but most earnestly definite and determined as
he exclaimed : ' I dare not and can not cast aside those to whom God
in His infinite wisdom has joined me for time and for eternity. I
dare not and will not cast aside the mothers of my children. If I
did I should forfeit all the blessings that God will bestow upon those
who are faithful to their trust. If I did I should be forever damned
and be forever deprived of the companionship of God, my wives, my
sons, my daughters, and all those most dear to me throughout

" ' I am not a coward or a craven thing. I may be driven to the last
extremity, but I would not shrink from exile, imprisonment, or any
earthly hardship that might come to me in fulfilling my duty to Gocl
and man. When it comes, however, to throwing aside all hope of
future happiness, all expectation of continued union with those I
love, I will not make such a sacrifice. I dare not and can not. I am


not prepared to forfeit an eternal inheritance by yielding to the cus-
toms of the world. I can not, I dare not risk eternal damnation by
putting away the responsibilities which God has placed upon me.
But rather I will be true to my duty, true to my trust, true to my God,
my wives and my children.' r

He concluded by showing that Mormonism was not a system of
adultery, but a system of marriage, and concluded with this" passage,
finally :

" Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed
adultery with her already in his heart," and called upon the people to
avoid adultery as they would a pestilence.

Now, so far as the quotations are concerned, where they are strictly
marked in as quotations, they are absolutely correct, and in order to
make them correct beyond all doubt before publishing them, I exhib-
ited them to three respectable persons who heard them at the time.

Mr. TAYLER. I think that is all I wish to ask Doctor Buckley.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know whether the twelve apostles were
present at this meeting?

Doctor BUCKLEY. All the apostles that were in town, that were
there at all, were there. All the dignitaries were there that they
could muster.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know Senator Smoot?

Doctor BUCKLEY. I do not.

The CHAIRMAN. You would not be- able to state whether he was
there or not.

Doctor BUCKLEY. No, sir; and I only knew who were there by my
guide, a friend of mine who lived there. He pointed out such ami
such men to me. But when I found that President Smith was going
to speak naturally enough I concentrated my attention more particu-
larly on every motion he made and eveiy word he said. He rose at
different times to do different things as chairman, but he did not say
anything on these subjects except in this long address.

The CHAIRMAN. I do not remember exactly what you said about
Apostle Grant.

Doctor BUCKLEY. I said nothing about him, except that in the
voting he and B. H. Roberts were sustained as assistants to President
Smith in his duties as president of the Women's Association and the
Young Men's.

Senator OVERMAN. Was Smith nominated for the position, or how
was it reported by the secreta ry ?

Doctor. BUCKLEY. The secretary just came forward and read the
list prepared by the committee or the authorities.

Senator OVERMAN. What committee or what authorities?

Doctor BUCKELY. It was the committee to nominate a nominating
committee ; a nominating committee for all the general officers of the

" The authorities prepare the list, read the names, and the vote
sustains them or otherwise."

They do not use the word " elected " at any time or place.

Senator OVERMAN. You do not know w r hat authorities prepared
the list whether the twelve apostles, or who ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Undoubtedly the president himself and his
twelve counselors ; but that is an inference.


Senator OVERMAN. There was nothing said about that in the*
meeting ?

Doctor BUCKLEY. Nothing. He said "those who had been pre-
pared." He made some remark about the general confidence that
they exhibited in the authorities.

Senator FORAKER. Have you any personal knowledge of Senator
Smoot that you can give?

Doctor BUCKLEY. None whatever. You would hardly consider
what they said to me about Senator Smoot as knowledge.

Senator FORAKER. I was not inquiring for what the people had
said by hearsay.

Doctor BUCKLEY. No. While I was there I asked all sorts of peo-
ple. Mormons and others, whom I met how Senator Smoot stood
in the whole community, the whole general community, and I got
plenty x>f answers. Would it be proper for me to say that not a
syllable was breathed against him; that many commended him

Senator FORAKER. I was not inquiring for hearsay information

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on PrivProceedings before the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the United States Senate : in the matter of the protests against the right of Hon. Reed Smoot, a senator from the state of Utah, to hold his seat [Jan. 16, 1904-April 13, 1906] (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 115)