Theodore Roosevelt’s Defense of the Latter-day Saints

Carter Charles

Carter Charles, “Theodore Roosevelt, Reed Smoot, the Church, and Religious Tolerance,” in Latter-day Saints in Washington, DC: History, People, and Places, ed. Kenneth L. Alford, Lloyd D. Newell, and Alexander L. Baugh (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book), 205‒22.

Carter Charles was an assistant professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University when this was published.

Theodore Roosevelt, 15 August 1913. Pach Brothers.Theodore Roosevelt, 15 August 1913. Pach Brothers.

The assertion that America is a land of religious freedom is accurate only to a certain extent. Indeed, some of those who founded the nation did so to escape religious tyranny in Europe. In 1620 the Pilgrims, one of such persecuted groups, boarded the Mayflower with travelers who had different motivations and viewpoints. Their differences, or diversity, soon became one of the greatest threats to the future of their community and to their experiment. The Mayflower Compact is evidence that they agreed to turn diversity into a strength: they combined “into a civil body politick.”[1] However, Roger Williams’s 1644 Bloody Tenet of Persecution shows that one of the historical ironies is that some of the believers also transplanted to the land of refuge the same kind of territorial religious hegemony that often informed religious intolerance they had fled. For settlers like Nathaniel Ward, religious freedom meant the opposite of the spirit of the Mayflower Compact. It meant freedom from sharing the sociopolitical realm with those who believed differently: they “shall have free Liberty to keepe away from us, and such as will come to be gone as fast as they can, the sooner the better.” Ward further asserted that “God doth no where in his word tolerate Christian States, to give Tolerations to such adversaries of his Truth [i.e., those who believe differently], if they have power in their hands to suppresse them.”[2]

Drawing on John Locke’s theory of a “body politic”[3] and theories of other philosophers, the nation’s founders sought to ensure that religious intolerance did not become the norm. Yet several cases have shown that the spirit of intolerance continued, that some Americans had yet to rise to America’s founding ideals when it came to Catholics and—as will be illustrated here—to Latter-day Saints,[4] who were often depicted as scoundrels and predators who did not belong in Washington, DC, or anywhere else in the country. But history shows there have been times when honorable men have stood for the ideals of justice, social cohesion, and religious freedom. This paper highlights how one such honorable man, President Theodore Roosevelt, embodied those ideals in 1911. It will be argued that by so doing, he made a case for a return to the best tradition of religious plurality in the country. For contextual clarity, this paper surveys the historical trend leading to Elder Reed Smoot’s election in 1902 to the U.S. Senate and his subsequent Senate trial before considering Roosevelt’s arguments on behalf of Smoot and fellow Church members, and the meaning of those arguments for social cohesion.

Brief Historical Background

The history of the Latter-day Saint movement has been, on the one hand, one of marginalization and self-isolation from its inception down to the seating of Apostle Reed Smoot in the U.S. Senate and, on the other hand, one of struggle for national acceptance and belonging. Persecutions in Missouri, for instance, led Joseph Smith to petition President Martin Van Buren for redress in November 1839. Smith reported that Van Buren sympathized with the Saints and acknowledged their sufferings, but he would not act: “I can do nothing for you,” Van Buren declared, “if I do any thing, I shall come in contact with the whole State of Missouri.”[5]

Van Buren’s reply was surely politically motivated. He was, after all, a Jacksonian Democrat; he believed in states’ rights. But as I have written elsewhere,[6] while all of that can explain his refusal to opt for a federally mandated reparation, the possibility that he may also have been genuinely constrained should not be excluded. His rhetorical “what can I do?” hints at real constitutional limitations. While those limitations were ignored, of course, when federal intervention in local matters meant dispossessing the Native Americans of their lands, they continued to inform Van Buren’s belief that he could not act on behalf of the unpopular Saints without coming “in contact [i.e., constitutional conflict] with the whole State of Missouri.” This means that while Smith was also a man of the Jacksonian age, he was probably ahead of his time in asking the federal government to order a state to respect the First Amendment.[7] Smith would denounce this constitutional discontinuity in his presidential platform, lamenting that because of states’ rights, the Constitution was “not broad enough to cover the whole ground.”[8]

Despite this lack of broad territorial continuity raised by Smith, one still wonders why it was possible, long after Nathaniel Ward, to dispossess and drive away a religious group that had originated within the United States. A simple answer is that the movement was also a radical departure from and a challenge to anything that existed on the religious market. Jan Shipps suggests that Smith was a Lutheran figure in that he “not only proscribed Roman Catholicism,” but he also “went on to reject all the institutional outgrowths of the Protestant Reformation,” to the extent that “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a protest against Protestantism.”[9]

Protestants did not sit by to be protested against. They took matters into their own hands, in a Wardian fashion, to drive the Church away from the sociopolitical realm. The first step in that effort consisted in admitting that while the roots of the Church went deep into the religious and social history of the country, it was also foreign, so much so that it was not fit to belong in the land of emergence. This paradoxical belief became commonplace in the second half of the nineteenth century. Terryl Givens, whose Viper on the Hearth[10] captures well the tension between the undesirability of the Church and its quest to belong, refers—for instance—to journalist John Hanson Beadle who wrote that “the only native American Church has lost every trace of Americanism and become an essentially foreign theocracy.”[11] For Beadle, there were two explanations to this “anomaly”: it was either because “the Americans [were] not really a tolerant people, and that what is called toleration is only such toward our common Protestantism, or more common Christianity”—a sure observation that again echoes Ward’s—or because there was “something peculiar to Mormonism [that] takes it out of the sphere of religion and necessarily brings it into conflict with a republican people and their institutions.”[12] Kathleen Flake shows that some ten years later, Congregationalist minister A. S. Bailey not only concurred with Beadle but also enlivened the fire of an ontological anti-patriotism among the Saints.[13] Bailey wrote, “A traveler visiting Utah would find in the habits and customs of the people . . . more that is European than that is American. But besides these foreign customs, is a spirit foreign to the spirit of Americans, from which has sprung a system, indigenous indeed, but hostile to American ideas. The root of these anti-American influences is an organization known as the Mormon Church. . . . It possesses none of the characteristics of a Church, save a few counterfeit religious elements.”[14] Bailey argued further that because the Church was not a church, nor a religion, “according to the American idea and the United States Constitution,” it could not qualify for First Amendment protection.[15] The Wardian spirit is implicit: an organization that was not a church and that was alien did not qualify for First Amendment protection and could logically be driven away from or rooted out of the land.

The view that Latter-day Saints were so foreign that they had forfeited their constitutional rights to believe and belong as any other group of citizens was embraced by all three branches of government, including the Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States (1879). In that ruling, the court declared that the practice of polygamy made the movement foreign, that polygamy belonged “almost exclusively” with the Asiatic and African peoples.[16]

Polygamy was not the only aspect that made the movement foreign in the eyes of its detractors. It was, however, easier to rally the nation against it in a crusade of mass disenfranchisement on account not only of religious practice—as evidenced in Reynolds, followed by the 1882 Edmunds Act—but also of belief, as evidenced in the infamous “Idaho Test Oath” (1884), a law upheld by the Supreme Court in Davis v. Beason (1890) that made it unconstitutional to even believe in the doctrine of the Church. This attempt to legislate belief can be seen as the ultimate Wardian way to “suppresse” an undesirable religion.

Beyond Idaho, the disenfranchisement of Latter-day Saints on account of both religious belief and practice led to the expulsion of Elder Brigham H. Roberts from the lower chamber of Congress in January 1900. Two years later, another attempt was made to prevent the seating of Elder Reed Smoot in the United States Senate. Again, passions ran high, and public opinion about the Saints was at a low point. Being associated with the Saints, therefore, was not without political risks. But as will be shown, that did not deter Theodore Roosevelt from standing up for Smoot and religious tolerance.

Reed Smoot, the Church, and National Politics

Reed Owen Smoot was born on 10 January 1862, in Salt Lake City. He was concurrently an apostle and a United States senator for over thirty years. His father, Abraham Owen Smoot, is a more familiar name in Latter-day Saint circles, especially in Utah: the Abraham O. Smoot Building is the administrative heart of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Yet the younger Smoot’s contribution, under prophetic guidance, in bringing the Church out of obscurity and darkness cannot be overstated.

In his early years, Smoot walked closely in his father’s footsteps when it came to business and politics. He struggled, however, to emulate his parents’ devotion. Records show that he was a Saint by tradition but not by faith. Harvard Heath notes that when Smoot’s mother admonished him at the age of twenty to read the Book of Mormon, Smoot confessed, “I suppose many people of Utah and particularly my neighbors knew that I had up to that time not taken much interest in Church work. I was wrapped, body and soul, in commercial affairs. I had no testimony that this was God’s work.”[17]

Smoot’s testimony was long in coming, even after his mother’s challenge. He recalled, for instance, that he “did not particularly care about [the endowment],”[18] which he eventually obtained because his father offered him a leisure trip to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). He was indeed so wrapped up in the things of the world that he declined twice the call to go on a mission. Smoot eventually accepted a third call in November 1890 to serve in Great Britain but returned in October 1891, in part because his father’s health was declining.[19]

Smoot struggled in the mission field. Writing to Ern Eldredge, his brother-in-law, Smoot confessed, “If I am going to be anything in a religious way it will be a Mormon or at least until I find something better and I have not done that as yet, but I am afraid I shall never be very religious.”[20] His devotion had not increased one bit by 1895 when, against all odds, he was called as a counselor in a stake presidency. Not surprisingly, he voted against himself, insisting that he still needed to sit in the pews to “grow up with the people in spiritual things.”[21] Wilford Woodruff, who had extended the call, concurred: he was not spiritually of age; but the call was not withdrawn. Smoot must have felt even less spiritually mature—and probably as if the earth were retreating from under his feet—when Lorenzo Snow called him to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles five years later, in April 1900. Even his father, a committed pioneer since Nauvoo, who had always put God first, had not received such an honor. Aside from spiritual maturity, timing was also a major obstacle for Smoot to accept the call. He intended to run for the United States Senate; so becoming an Apostle the year B. H. Roberts was expelled from the House of Representatives could thwart his plans. But in this instance, Smoot chose to serve God. Little did Smoot know that his worldly talents would help fulfill otherworldly purposes. Indeed, his plans in 1900 were only delayed. With the blessing of Joseph F. Smith, who had become president of the Church in October 1901, Smoot ran for the Senate in 1902 and won the vote of the Utah legislature.[22] Seating, however, was a different story. Because Smoot was a member of the Church’s second-highest governing body, critics viewed him as the political face of the Church. The Salt Lake Ministerial Association, a Protestant umbrella organization set up during the campaign to denounce the election of a member of “the Mormon Apostolate,” took a resolution—phrased in Wardian terms—accusing the Church of fomenting “a political invasion of Congress.” The Ministerial Alliance called for a “vigorous and rigorous execution of a law like the [1887] Edmunds-Lucker [sic] law” to “drive the Mormon Church and the majority of its apostles into exile or throw them in prison.”[23] The Ministerial Association orchestrated a national drive that yielded 3,482 petitions, with about three million signatures, mainly from the northeastern states (2,476 of them), including 1,045 from Pennsylvania,[24] but less than 100 from the southern states.[25] Their efforts culminated in one of the most important religious persecution trials in the country’s history of the country since settlement.[26]

As the records show, Smoot and the Church were on trial for treason, the highest crime against the nation. Smoot and other Church leaders had to account for the Church’s nonconformity in regard to American Protestantism before two tribunals—that of the vox populi and that of legislators whose committee room had become a pillory.[27] Siding with Smoot and the Church then meant exposing oneself to popular outrage. Yet some did both during and after Smoot’s confirmation. Chief among them was President Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt’s Defense of the Saints

Theodore Roosevelt is mentioned early in connection to Smoot. Members of the Salt Lake Ministerial Association indicated in their New York Times op-ed that they would appeal to him in their strategy to oppose Smoot. During the campaign, Thomas Kearns, owner of the Salt Lake Tribune, told the Utah press that Roosevelt had commissioned him to declare that the president discouraged the election of any apostle to the U.S. Senate.[28] Roosevelt may have told Kearns something about how the people of the United States would not want a “Mormon” senator, but the president’s cordial correspondence with Smoot and his public position indicates that Kearns probably twisted the president’s words to serve his own political interest.

For example, to the question “Who was the greatest statesman whom you met in your thirty-year career as Utah’s Senator?” Milton R. Merrill quotes Smoot’s unequivocal response: “Theodore Roosevelt.”[29] Merrill concludes that Smoot’s four years of investigation and scrutiny came to a positive end thanks to the continued efforts of Theodore Roosevelt. He held Smoot in high regard simply because during their first interview, Smoot gave the president his word that he was a loyal citizen and was not a polygamist. Upon hearing that, the president reportedly replied, “Senator Smoot, that is enough for me.”[30]

James S. King, Theodore Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders portrait, ca. 1912.James S. King, Theodore Roosevelt, head-and-shoulders portrait, ca. 1912.

On 8 January 1904, less than a year later, with the investigation still underway, Smoot reported to Joseph F. Smith that Roosevelt confirmed he would be an indefatigable supporter. Roosevelt, Smoot said, “would assist me in this matter in every way in his power.” He promised to strategize with Smoot, considering “the supposed [negative] attitude toward me of each of the members of the Committee, and he promised me that he would see the greatest number of them. . . . He told me also that he would see that Senator [Albert J.] Beveridge was put right on this subject.”[31] And Beveridge, a Methodist, saw to it that Smoot was confirmed. Before the vote, he declared with passion, “Obedience to law, tolerance of opinion, loyalty to country—these are the principles which make the flag a sacred thing and this Republic immortal. These are the principles that make all Americans brothers and constitute this Nation God’s highest method of human enlightenment and living liberty. By these principles let us live and vote and die, so that ‘this Government of the people, for the people, and by the people may not perish from the earth’ [Applause in the galleries].”[32]

Years after the hearings and Smoot’s confirmation, Roosevelt was attacked in the media for rubbing shoulders with the “Mormon devils” in return for the votes of Utah and the surrounding states. Frank J. Cannon (a son of George Q. Cannon) publicly blamed Roosevelt for helping the Saints into national politics and for condoning the supposed resurgence of polygamy. Cannon accused him further, saying, “President Theodore Roosevelt, representing the majesty of the Republic, stayed us when we might have won our own liberties. 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 [F. Smith], the tyrant of the Kingdom.”[33]

Theodore Roosevelt riding in an early automobile. American Press Association (1910).Theodore Roosevelt riding in an early automobile. American Press Association (1910).

In January 1904, McClure’s Magazine ran a special issue that illustrated the public’s hostile views about the Church. The issue’s cover showed the Church’s iconic Salt Lake Temple enveloped in red and dark colors and announced that the intention of the magazine was to uncover the deep, hidden secret the image conveyed: the practice of polygamy was thriving in Utah.[34] The cover’s flame-red color also announced the intent of the magazine to use polygamy, once again, to light a fire. The introductory paragraph of the article read in part, “Extensive investigations recently made by McClure’s Magazine . . . show that polygamy is still practiced in the Mormon States on a considerable scale. Burton J. Hendrick . . . has gone thoroughly over the ground—he has traveled through the Mormon towns in Utah, talked with scores of people, and derived his information largely from Mormon sources.”[35]

In their February issue, McClure’s published the portraits and names of seven Apostles[36] who had claimed to have received revelations from God to ignore the Manifesto and take plural wives.[37] Fact-checking was not as widespread then, but it was not unusual for journalists to “double-check” sources. And that is what Isaac Russell, a Church member and journalist, did.[38] Russell wrote Roosevelt, asking him to address opponents’ accusations of collusion regarding the seating of Reed Smoot. Roosevelt sent Russell a lengthy letter whose content will soon be considered. Russell’s second approach was to debunk McClure’s February claims in Collier’s Weekly. Russell shows in the article that the assertation that McClure’s Burton J. Hendrick “ha[d] gone thoroughly over the ground” was at best superficial: five of the seven apostles who had supposedly unearthed the practice of polygamy must have been doing that from beyond the grave because they were all dead,[39] and the remaining two polygamists (Cowley and Taylor) were apostles in name only because they were disfellowshipped in 1904 during Smoot’s Senate trial.

Russell also published Roosevelt’s response to the accusations leveled at him. Instead of backing down, Roosevelt doubled down on his defense of the probity of Church members and of their rights:

The Mormon has the same right to his religious belief that the Jew and the Christian have to theirs but like the Jew and the Christian, he must not practice conduct which is in contravention of the law of the land. I have known monogamous Mormons whose standard of domestic life and morality and whose attitude toward the relations of men and women was as high as that of the best citizens of any other creed; indeed, among these Mormons the standard of sexual morality was unusually high. There [sic] children were numerous, healthy, and well brought up; their young men were less apt than their neighbors to indulge in that course of vicious sexual dissipation so degrading to manhood and so brutal in the degradation it inflicts on women; and they were free from that vice more destructive to civilization than any other can possibly be[:] the artificial restriction of families, the practise of sterile marriage; and which ultimately means destruction of the nation.[40]

Establishing further connections between family, citizenship, and the future of the nation, Roosevelt wrote,

If the average man is not most anxious to be a good father, performing his full duty to his wife and children; if the average woman is not most anxious to be a good and happy wife and mother, the mother of plenty of healthy and happy and well trained children then not only have the average man and the average woman missed what is infinitely the highest happiness of life but they are bad citizens of the worst type and the nation in which they represent the average type of citizen is doomed to undergo the hopeless disaster which it deserves. In so far as the Mormons will stand against all hideous and degrading tendencies of this kind, they will set a good example of citizenship. . . . The Mormons who realize this fact and stand as you [Isaac Russell] do, and as I have every reason to believe Senator Smoot does, on these matters, are not only fighting for the best interests of the Mormon Church, but are performing well the highest duties of American citizenship.[41]

Times have changed since Roosevelt, of course. But the general tone of his statements suggests he was most interested in a virtuous cycle of family life that included not only the number of children raised and taught at home but also good matrimonial relations, as well as high moral and sexual standards. The Saints were to be exemplified because they were “performing well the highest duties of American citizenship.”[42] Latter-day Saints, in his view, belonged in the country as much as “the best citizens of any other creed.”[43]

Ultimately, Roosevelt’s defense of the Saints was a departure from the spirit of intolerance and of suppression of those who believe differently. It was a stand for social cohesion and for the sharing of the sociopolitical realm. Roosevelt took a higher ground, one consistent with the spirit of the Mayflower Compact, creating strength out of differences by uniting different groups into a “civil body politick.” Sociologist Robert Bellah later called this approach a “civil religion,”[44] a notion he borrowed from Rousseau’s Social Contract.[45]

Rousseau’s “civil religion” was supported by four pillars: the existence of (1) God, (2) of an afterlife, (3) reward for virtue and punishment for vice, and (4) religious tolerance. Still, Rousseau saw the need for a “civil religion” because Christianity, as he had experienced it, was no longer that of “the Gospel.”[46] He did see something sublime in Christianity, especially the belief that humans are one family in God, that does not dissolve at death.[47] Conversely, Rousseau considered that one of Christianity’s weaknesses was that “instead of attaching the hearts of the citizens to the State, it detaches them as it does for all other earthly things.”[48] Rousseau’s remedy to the patriotic apathy and disconnect with the non-Christian part of a nation was a secular, “purely civil religion” for which the sovereign had the right “to decide the articles—not exactly as religious dogmas but as feelings of sociability—without which it is impossible to be a good citizen.”[49] It is tempting to interpret the term secular in light of its modern-day understanding. There is in Rousseau’s theory a thread that runs through “secularization,” “secularism,” and “separation of church and state,” with the state having its own nonreligious religion. But he would have rejected any appropriation of the theory to force religion out of the public square. His intent, in proposing a “civil religion” was to ensure that people of all creeds—and noncreeds—could find a reason and a space where they could belong together.

Theodore Roosevelt on horseback. © 1907 by B. M. Clinedinst.Theodore Roosevelt on horseback. © 1907 by B. M. Clinedinst.

Applied to Roosevelt, Rousseau’s articles of a secular religion need to be understood as the Constitution and other laws that the “sovereign”—that is, Roosevelt, previous presidents, or magistrates—had approved to determine the conditions of social acceptance and participation in national life. By those articles, the Saints were both “fighting for the best interests of the Mormon Church” and “performing well the highest duties of American citizenship.”[50] In making that observation, Roosevelt not only broke from Ward; he also disavowed James Buchanan, who had marched American troops against the supposedly treasonous Latter-day Saints in Utah. Roosevelt had a clear understanding of how the Saints navigated religion and country. Latter-day Saints could declare, as Smoot did in his final remarks before his confirmation as a senator, “I owe no allegiance to any church or other organization which in any way interferes with my supreme allegiance in civil affairs to my country—an allegiance which I freely, fully, gladly give.”[51] Rousseau would also have praised the way the religion of the Saints allowed for a balance between devotion to God in otherworldly, or spiritual, matters and devotion to country in this-worldly, or civil, ones.[52]


Roosevelt’s defense of Smoot and the Church sounds somewhat like a precursor to the prophetic invitation issued in 1995: “We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”[53] The way the family is defined today is different compared to Roosevelt’s time, but the overall principles are timeless: family provides balance to our lives. It is the very essence of and gives meaning to our existence as social beings; and it is what sustains nations and guarantees their continuity. Roosevelt understood the close interconnections between family and country and saw, in spite of bigotry, how the Saints were upholding it. He did not have to step into the fray to defend a group of believers who were not popular. But Roosevelt did so because he understood how cohesion was in the country’s best interest. His courage in consistently supporting a despised religious group is probably among the reasons Smoot felt he was “the greatest statesman” he associated with during his thirty-three years as a U.S. senator.[54]


[1] William Bradford, “The Mayflower Compact,”

[2] Nathaniel Ward, The Simple Cobler of Aggawam in America (Boston, MA: James Munroe & Company, 1647).

[3] See John Locke’s 1668 Two Treaties of Civil Government, more specifically the chapter “Of the Beginning of Political Societies.”

[4] Mark W. Cannon, “The Crusades Against the Masons, Catholics, and Mormons: Separate Waves of a Common Current,” BYU Studies 3, no. 2 (1961): 23–40.

[5] “Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo, Illinois, High Council, 5 December 1839,” 85, The Joseph Smith Papers.

[6] Carter Charles, “Review: In the Whirlpool: The Pre-Manifesto Letters of President Wilford Woodruff to the William Atkin Family, 1885–1890,” International Journal of Mormon Studies 4 (2011): 107.

[7] The First Amendment was generally construed as applying only to Congress before Cantwell v. Connecticut (310 U.S. 296, 1940). Despite that decision, the Constitution of Maryland contained, until Torcaso v. Watkins (1961), a provision that required prospective office holders to declare a “belief in the existence of God.” This decision does not eradicate God from public life; it removes obstacles that excluded from the public square people who believed differently.

[8] “Discourse, 15 October 1843, as Reported by Willard Richards,” 128, The Joseph Smith Papers. Smith must have used the phrase “the whole ground” in the same sense that Van Buren did in “The Whole State of Missouri,” meaning that they were not referring to population and constituents but to the legal and administrative entities of “country” (for Smith) and “State” (for Van Buren).

[9] Jan Shipps, “The Mormons in Politics: The First Hundred Years” (PhD diss., University of Colorado, 1965), 38.

[10] Terryl L. Givens, The Viper on the Hearth: Mormons, Myths, and the Construction of Heresy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997). Givens’s title came from a series of two articles published by Cosmopolitan Magazine in 1911.

[11] John H. Beadle, “The Mormon Theocracy,” Scribner’s Monthly, July 1877.

[12] Beadle, “Mormon Theocracy,” 392.

[13] Kathleen Flake, The Politics of American Religious Identity: The Seating of Senator Reed Smoot, Mormon Apostle (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 22.

[14] Rev. A. S. Bailey, “The Anti-American Influences in Utah,” in The Situation in Utah: The Discussions of the Christian Convention, Held in Salt Lake City, Utah, April, 1888 (Salt Lake City: Parsons, Kendall & Company), 17–18, emphasis added.

[15] Bailey, “Anti-American Influences in Utah,” 18.

[16] Reynolds v. United States—98 U.S. 145 (1879).

[17] Harvard S. Heath, “Reed Smoot: The First Modern Mormon” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1990), 30.

[18] Proceedings Before the Committee on Privileges and Elections of the U.S. 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, vol. 3 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1906), referenced hereafter as “Proceedings.”

[19] Flake, Politics of American Religious Identity, 40.

[20] Correspondence to Ern Eldredge, 28 January 1891. See Harvard S. Heath, ed., In the World: The Diaries of Reed Smoot (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), xxxi.

[21] David John Journal, April 21, 1895. Quoted in Heath, “Reed Smoot,” 65.

[22] Direct suffrage for Senators came with 17th Amendment in 1913.

[23] “Oppose Mormon Candidate,” New York Times, 25 November 1902; emphasis added.

[24] Heath, “Reed Smoot,” 97, plausibly explains why so many petitions came from Pennsylvania.

[25] Heath, “Reed Smoot,” 95–96.

[26] Carter Charles, “L’intégration Politique des Mormons aux États-Unis, de Reed Smoot à Mitt Romney” (PhD diss., Université Bordeaux Montaigne, 2013), 157–250.

[27] Carter Charles, “Mormonism in America: Itinerary to Allegiance from Joseph Smith to Mitt Romney,” in Handbook of Contemporary Christianity: Movements, Institutions & Allegiance, ed. Stephen Hunt (Leiden, NL: Brill, 2006), 441–60; Charles, “Mormonism in America,” 168–73.

[28] Flake, Politics of American Religious Identity, 12–13.

[29] Milton R. Merrill, “Theodore Roosevelt and Reed Smoot,” Western Political Quarterly 4, no. 3 (September 1951): 440–53.

[30] “Reed Smoot to Joseph F. Smith, March 5, 1903,” quoted by Merrill, “Theodore Roosevelt and Reed Smoot,” 441.

[31] Merrill, “Theodore Roosevelt and Reed Smoot,” 441.

[32] Albert Jeremiah Beveridge, The Reed Smoot Case: Speech of Hon. Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana, in the Senate of the United States, in Support of the Minority Report . . . (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1907), 15.

[33] Frank J. Cannon and Harvey J. O’Higgins, Under the Prophet in Utah: The National Menace of a Political Priestcraft (Boston, MA: C. M. Clark, 1911), 399–400.

[34] Burton J. Hendrick, “The Mormon Revival of Polygamy,” McClure’s Magazine, February 1911; Burton J. Hendrick, “Mormon Theological Doctrine,” McClure’s Magazine, January 1911.

[35] McClure’s, January 1911, 243.

[36] George Teasdale, John W. Taylor, Brigham Young Jr., Matthias F. Cowley, Abraham H. Cannon, Marriner W. Merrill, and Abraham Owen Woodruff.

[37] Hendrick, “The Mormon Revival of Polygamy,” 451, 453.

[38] See Isaac Russell Papers, Special Collections M444, Stanford University. Russell was also a Philippine-American War veteran with the Utah Volunteer Battalion, serving under Richard W. Young, the distinguished West Point graduate and grandson of Brigham Young, who commanded the battalion and returned to the Philippines as president of the criminal branch of the American Supreme Court there. See Proceedings, vol. 2:950–51; and Louis Paul Murray, “Life of Brigadier General Richard W. Young” (master’s thesis, University of Utah, 1959).

[39] Russell republished the picture page, titling it “Dead Apostles Pictured as Alive.” Isaac Russell, “Mr. Roosevelt to the Mormons: A Letter with an Explanatory Note by Isaac Russell,” Collier’s Weekly, April 1911, 28.

[40] Russell, “Mr. Roosevelt to the Mormons,” 28.

[41] Russell, “Mr. Roosevelt to the Mormons,” 28.

[42] Russell, “Mr. Roosevelt to the Mormons,” 28.

[43] Russell, “Mr. Roosevelt to the Mormons,” 28.

[44] Robert N. Bellah, “Civil Religion in America,” Daedalus 96, no. 1 (1967): 1–21.

[45] Du Contrat Social ou Principe du Droit Politique (On the Social Contract or Principles of Political Rights) (Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1762). All translations are mine.

[46] Du Contrat Social, 237.

[47] Du Contrat Social, 237.

[48] Du Contrat Social, 238.

[49] Du Contrat Social, 244.

[50] Russell, “Mr. Roosevelt to the Mormons,” 28.

[51] See Senate Congressional Record, 1907, 3270; emphasis mine.

[52] For Rousseau, “The citizens report of the opinions to the Sovereign only insofar as these opinions have to do with the commonwealth” Du Contrat Social, 242-243.

[53] See “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, November 2020, 129.

[54] Milton R. Merrill, “Theodore Roosevelt and Reed Smoot,” Western Political Quarterly 4, no. 3 (September 1951): 440.