-- Tuesday, Jan 29, 1901
[Apostle John Henry Smith Diary] Salt Lake City
I posed for two hours today for Mr. Taggart to paint my picture. I attended a meeting to talk over the question of libel by the Tribune of Prest. L. Snow. Lorenzo Snow, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith, Wm. B. Preston, John R. Winder, Abraham O. Woodruff, Reed Smoot, Rudger Clawson,
Angus M. Cannon, Charles W. Penrose, LeGrand Young and Frank S. Richards and myself met and talked over this question. (1)
[Apostle Rudger Clawson Diary] Salt Lake City. Clear and cool. 10 a.m. Attended a meeting of the board of directors of the Utah Light and Power Company to consider a proposition made by the New Heat Light and Power Co. for the purchase of a new light, recently invented and now owned by said company, manufactured from coal oil (vapor gas). It is a light equal to, if not brighter than, the electric light and costing about one tenth as much. The price they demanded for the control of the new light in Utah was $50,000. The deal was not consummated, but our company is very anxious about it, as the new light certainly is a menace to the business of the Utah Light and Power Co. We meet again tomorrow for further negotiation.
12:30 noon. Meeting at the President's office. Present: the First Presidency, Apostles B. Young, J. H. Smith, A. H. Lund, A. O. Woodruff, R. Clawson, Reed Smoot, Bp. W. B. Preston, J. R. Winder, Attorneys LeGrande Young and F. S. Richards, C. W. Penrose, and Bp. H. B. Clawson, and G. F. Gibbs, clerk.
Pres. Snow stated that a very serious charge had been made by The Salt Lake Tribune against the Presidency of the church to the effect that they had sold out or bargained away for a money consideration the United States senatorship to Thos. Kearns. The purpose of the meeting, therefore, was to consider the wisdom and propriety of starting a suit for libel against the publishers of that paper. By request of Pres. Snow, Elder C. W. Penrose read a number of excerpts from different issues of the Tribune covering the change.
In the opinion of the attorneys present there was good ground for a libel suit and this view was shared by all present. After some discussion it was unanimously decided that it would not be wisdom for President Snow to institute the suit, but that this should be done by Thos. Kearns, who was equally interested in the matter, and that Pres. Snow could bring suit later on, if deemed advisable.
Many, if not all of the brethren present, felt that if by this arrangement Thos. Kearns was vindicated before the courts and the public, the Presidency also would naturally share in said vindication. It is sufficient to say that there is not the least coloring of truth in the charge, but it is a malicious libel on the part of the Tribune. Pres. G. Q. Cannon was delegated to confer with Thos. Kearns relative to the matter. (2)
1 - Jean Bickmore White (editor), Church, State, and Politics: The Diaries of John Henry Smith, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1990, http://bit.ly/johnhenrysmith
2 - Stan Larson (editor), A Ministry of Meetings: The Apostolic diaries of Rudger Clawson, Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, Salt Lake City, 1993, http://bit.ly/rudgerclawson
LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow
Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow
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