Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Idaho Campaign

The following item, included here as a somewhat tangential part of our 'Newspaper Wars Over the Manifesto' series, appeared originally as "The Idaho Campaign: The Manifesto Disconcerts Plans of Both Parties", Salt Lake Herald 21/100 (28 September 1890): 1.

The Manifesto Disconcerts Plans of Both Parties


Willis Sweet's Abusive Speech - Secretary Curtis Says It Is a Fraud - The Politicians are Nonplussed
BOISE CITY, Ida., Sept. 27 - [Special telegram to THE HERALD.]  -  The authoritative declaration of President Woodruff, received here in THE HERALD to-day, created a great deal of surprise and confusion in political circles.  Dubois had frequently declared that no such manifesto could by any possibility be made without an entire disruption of the Mormon church, and during the last week Willis Sweet, the Republican candidate for Congress, had abused the Mormons in the most violent language in a speech made in this city, which the Statesman left out of the printed report, having been informed by Fremont Wood, United States district attorney, who was camped in eastern Idaho, that something was in the wind.

Hon. Milton Kelley, former editor of the Statesman, said he thought something of the kind would have transpired before.

Ex-Delegate Ainslie, chairman of the Democratic central committee, said the Mormons meant to vote, but he feared a majority would go with the Republicans.

S. W. Moody, candidate for state auditor, was taken by surprise and did not know what to say.

Secretary Curtis said that President Woodruff had no authority to issue such a manifesto, that it is a fraud, and intended exclusively for effect in this election.

D. V. Pride said that Senator Edmunds had remarked in the Senate that the Mormons had their citizenship in their own hands, and when they chose to abjure polygamy, they would be citizens as much as anyone else.  He says there is nothing to prevent their voting.

L. H. Hayes, Esq., son of the late chief justice, said that Judge Berry and the Supreme court had held that the Mormon church of Idaho was a branch of the Utah church; that now the mother church having declared against polygamy, the matter seemed settled.  The Mormons could vote.

Fremont Wood, United States attorney, being interrogated, said he had just returned from eastern Idaho, where, through the influence of Bishop Budge, Joe Rich and R. S. Spence, President Woodruff had been induced to issue the manifesto so that the Republican ticket might be elected.

John Lemp, the wealthiest man in the county, who often takes an active part in politics, said he had no time for politics this year.  His business was too pressing.

The politicians all seem nonplussed at the turns affairs have taken and it disarranges the entire campaign work of both parties.  What may come of it no one seems to know.  Nearly all the public men of the city are out of town.  It is admitted that the Mormons hold the balance of power.

There are meetings in Middletown, Star Pomeroy, Pagette and Caldwell precincts of this county to-night.

Another trial of the Boise water works as concerns its adaptability to fire extinguishing purposes, took place this evening, with better results than before reported.
Here we get a fascinating brief glimpse into the political ramifications of the Manifesto.  The voting privileges of the Mormon bloc had been held in the balance, and the Manifesto, being taken as an actual change in stance on the part of the LDS Church, freed the Latter-day Saints of Idaho to have their political voice be heard.

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