Table of Contents
Collection Overview +/-
Collection Inventory +/-
series: Memoirs and Penitentiary Materials (1884-1943)
box 1: Rudger Clawson Memoirs, Miscellaneous Materials (1926-1943)
folder 1-13: Rudger Clawson, Memoirs of the life of Rudger Clawson (1926)
These folders contain Clawson's memoirs, as dictated to his secretary in the 1930's, and consist of 492 typed pages. Pages 88-89 and 267-275 are missing.
folder 14: Miscellaneous Personal Materials
folder 15: Autobiographical Account and Family Tributes (1927)
folder 16: Guest book at the Eightieth Birthday Reception of Rudger Clawson (1937)
folder 17: Memorial Record of the Rudger Clawson Viewing, Larkin Mortuary (1943)
box 2: Penitentiary Materials (1884-1887)
folder 1: Early Account of Penitentiary Experiences (1884)
folder 2-11: Penitentiary Experiences in the Utah State Penitentiary
folder 12: Penitentiary Addresses, Speeches, Programs
folder 13: Autograph Album, Utah Penitentiary "Cohabs" (1884-1886)
folder 14: List of Men Imprisoned for Polygamy (1887)
series: Journals and Diaries (1887-1905)
box 3: Rudger Clawson Journal (1887-1892)
This box contains a personal journal describing activities and church meeting from 13 December 1887 to 2 April 1892. The first dated entry is 1 May 1891, and the previous three and a half years of material is retrospective.
box 4a: Journals (1892-1899)
This box contains restricted material use copies in boxes 5-7
box 4b: Journals (1899-1905)
This box contains restricted material use copies in boxes 5-7
box 5: Rudger Clawson Diaries (1887-1896)
box 6: Rudger Clawson Diaries (1896-1901)
series: European Mission (1910-1913)
box 8: European Mission (1910-1913)
folder 1-4: Correspondence (1910-1913)
folder 5: Report Birmingham Anti-Mormon League (1912)
This folder contains a report of a Birmingham Anti-Mormon League meeting held in the Baptist Chapel , Bacchus Road, Hansworth, Alabama
folder 6: Elder W. P. Monson Anti-Polygamy Resolution (1911)
The folder contains information on the anti-polygamy resolution adopted at a public meeting held at Watford, Herts.
folder 7: Rudger Clawson, Millennial Star Article Mr. W. T. Stead in the 'Review of Reviews' (1911)
folder 8: Report of the Conference of the Presidents of the European Missions (1936)
volume 1: Rudger Clawson, European Mission Report made by Rudger Clawson of the Council of the Twelve (1910-1913)
box 9: European Mission Correspondence (1910-1913)
box 10: European Mission Correspondence (1910-1912)
series: Miscellaneous Material (1872-1943)
box 12: Scrapbook 1 (1882-1914)
This box contains correspondence-First Presidency, Church Directives, Programs, Articles, Miscellaneous
box 13: Scrapbook 2 (1912-1913)
This box contains correspondence, Newspaper Articles.
box 14: Scrapbook 3 (1910-1913)
This box contains Clippings, Journal Extracts, Aritcles and Editorials from Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star, Ect.
box 15: Miscellaneous Correspondence (1910-1942)
folder 1-8: Miscellaneous Correspondence (1910-1913)
folder 9: Ezra Taft Benson (1913-1935)
folder 10: Amos R. Cook (1913)
folder 11: James Coughlan (1913)
folder 12: James Faggo (1913-1937)
folder 13: George F. Gibbs (1910-1922)
folder 14: Heber J. Grant (1910-1940)
folder 15: Anthon H. Lund (1908-1912)
folder 16: Francis M. Lyman (1910-1913)
folder 17: Richard R. Lyman (1933-1936)
folder 18: David O. McKay (1911-1912)
folder 19: Charles W. Penrose (1910-1913)
folder 20: Richard S. Sleight (1912)
folder 21: George Albert Smith (1911)
folder 22: Hyrum M. Smith (1913-1914)
folder 23: Joseph F. Smith (1910-1913)
folder 24: Joseph Fielding Smith Jr. (1911-1912)
folder 25: Reed Smoot (1910-1911)
folder 26: W. T. Stead (1911)
folder 27: James E. Talmage (1911-1912)
folder 28-29: The Potter Case (1910-1913)
box 16: Family Correspondence, Family Records (1878-1943)
folder 1: David James to Lydia Clawson (1887-1889)
folder 2: Horace G. Whitney to Lydia Clawson (1903)
folder 3: Rudger Clawson to Lydia Clawson Hoopes (1936-1943)
folder 4-6: Rudger Clawson to Lydia Clawson (1885-1912)
folder 7: Millie Spencer to Lydia Clawson (1888)
folder 8: Rudger Clawson to Spencer Clawson (1885-1887)
folder 9: Rudger Clawson to Hyrum B. Clawson (1910)
folder 10: Samuel G. Clawson to Rudger Clawson (1911-1941)
folder 11: Rudger Clawson, Biographical Materials
folder 12-13: Margaret Gay Judd Clawson, Rambling Reminiscences
folder 14: Lydia Spencer Clawson Business Records (1878-1940)
folder 15: Reminiscences of Hiram B. Clawson (1912)
folder 16: Amelia Spencer Stewart, A Short Sketch of the Life of George Cutliffe , John Cutliffe, Born in the Mannor of Damage (1939)
folder 17: Daniel Spencer, Biographical Materials
folder 18: Samuel G. Spencer, Some Reminiscences
box 17: Books and Records (1872-1906)
volume 1: Diary, Rudger Remus Clawson, Summary by Rudger Clawson (1904)
volume 2: Newspaper Clippings, Joseph Standing Murder (1879-1880)
volume 3: John Nicholson, The Martyrdom of Joseph Standing: or, the Murder of a Mormon Missionary. A True Story (1886)
volume 4: Record Book, Poetry (1906)
volume 5: Letter Press Book, Hiram B. Clawson (1872-1874)
folder 1: Letter Press Book, Clawson photocopy of book 5
box 18: Books and Records (1870-1911)
volume 1: Newspaper Clippings (1870-1875)
volume 2: Lydia Clawson, Scrapbook (1884-1885)
This volume contains a book of clippings regarding polygamy, Browne's Phonographic Monthly
volume 3: British Newspaper Clippings Mormon Topics (1911)
volume 4: Newspaper Clippings Miscellaneous
folder 1: Temple Record (1901-1938)
box 19: Blessings, Ordinations, Prayers, Sermons (1883-1941)
folder 1: William J. Smith, Patriarchal Blessing of Rudger Clawson (1883)
folder 2: Patriarchal Blessings (1922-1938)
folder 3-4: Miscellaneous Blessings (1922-1938)
folder 5-7: Ordinations (1889-1937)
folder 8-9: Appointment Blessings (1923-1931)
folder 10-11: Missionary Blessings (1920-1932)
folder 12: Blessings (1924-1929)
folder 13: Dedicatory Prayers (1924-1933)
folder 14: Invocation Portland Oregon (1920s)
folder 15: Rudger Clawson Dedication of the Grave of Anthony W. Ivins (1934)
folder 16: Funeral Sermons (1926-1941)
box 20: Talks, Speeches, Sermons, Newspaper Clippings (1901-1943)
box 21: Talks, Addresses, Articles (1879-1942)
folder 1: Talks Notes Incomplete
folder 2-3: Talks Notes
folder 4-5: Talks and Addresses Notes
folder 6: Articles Published
folder 7: Radio Addresses
folder 8-11: Talks and Addresses Notes (1920-1933)
folder 12-14: Talks and Addresses (1934-1938)
folder 15: Articles Published in Liahona and Young Woman's Journal (1914-1942)
folder 16: Letters of Condolence (1879)
This folder contains information regarding Joseph Standing's death and mentions Clawson's testimony at trail.
folder 17: Diary Extract (1901)
This folder contains information concerning Heber J. Grant's mission to Japan.
box 22: Rudger Clawson, Conference Talks and Reports (1888-1942)
box 23: Rudger Clawson, Miscellaneous Materials (1880-1941)
volume 1: Ready References, A Compilation of Scripture Texts (1887)
volume 2: Sacred Hymns and Spiritual Songs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1887)
volume 3: Autographed Bible signed by Hiram B. Clawson
folder 1: Personal Materials Miscellaneous, 1886-1935
folder 2: Brigham City Tabernacle Subscription List (1880)
folder 3: Harriet Snow Estate Documents
folder 4: James Nelson Funeral Transcript (1911)
folder 5: Tribute, to Erastus Snow by Heber J. Grant (1911)
folder 6: Organizational Document Polynesian Genealogical Association
This folder contains information on the association organization under the direction of President E. Wesley Smith.
folder 7: Hawaiian Sugar Plantation (1920-1921)
folder 8: John J. McGregor Report to the First Council of Seventy (1922)
This Folder contains information concerning the division of the Ogden 76Th Quorum of Seventy.
folder 9: Report, Reorganization of Financial System at the President's Office, under Administration of Presidents Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith.
folder 10: Reed Smoot, Memorial Service (1941)
folder 11: Letter, By Mayor to Honorable Board of [Salt Lake] City Commissioners (1943)
This folder contains a letter concerning the Rudger Clawson property.
folder 12: Pamphlets, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
folder 13: LDS Church Pamphlets and Brochures
folder 14: Articles Millennial Star, Relief Society Magazine, and Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine
folder 15: Miscellaneous LDS Subjects
folder 16: James H. Anderson, Story of the Gospel of Christmas told in the New Testament,
folder 17: Heber Q. Hale, "A Heavenly Manifestation"
folder 18: Letters
folder 19: Journal Extract " White Horse Prophecy"
This folder contains a prophecy by Joseph Smith, related to Edward Rushton and Theodore Turley. Taken from the journal of John J. Roberts of Paradise, Utah
folder 20: Article Adam, the Father of God of the Human Family (1933)
folder 21: List, Names of Apostles who were not of the Twelve
folder 22: Presbyterian Anti-Mormon Resolution Ten Reasons why Christians Cannot Fellowship the Mormon Church
folder 23: Miscellaneous Articles
folder 24: Statement
This folder contains a statement concerning the testimony of Sister Rollingson that someone who would be called as an apostle was in the branch meeting.
series: Addendum (1871-1943)
box 24: Correspondence, Writings , Certificates, Polygamy Trial Testimonies and Case file (1873-1843)
folder 1-11: Correspondence (1875-1943)
folder 12: Clawson, Rudger Little Dick and the Giant (1873)
folder 13: Clawson, Rudger The Mountain Meadows Massacre (Clawson, Rudger)
folder 14: Clawson, Rudger Standing upon the Threshold of the Twentieth Century
folder 15: Certificates (1879-1942)
folder 16: Testimony in the Clawson Trial, Clawson V.S. United States (1884-1885)
folder 17-19: Polygamy Trial Case File (1884)
box 25: Biographical Materials
box 26: Penitentiary Materials, General Materials
folder 1-9: Penitentiary Experiences
folder 10-11: Penitentiary Autograph Albums (1886-1888)
folder 12: Joseph Standing
folder 13: Sermon on Joseph Standing (1927)
folder 14: Typescript Diary of Samuel G. Clawson (1911)
folder 15: Temple Donations, Tithing Settlement (1880-1941)
folder 16-17: Genealogical Records
folder 18: Family Group Sheets
folder 19: Lists of Great Grandchildren
folder 20-23: Baptisms and Endowments for the Dead
folder 24: Sealings for the Dead
folder 25: William T. Stead
box 27: Memoriams and Funeral services, General Material
folder 1: Solemn Assembly, Minutes of First Presidency (1899-1900)
folder 2: Lydia E.S. Spencer Clawson, Funeral Service (1941)
folder 3: Funeral of Rudger Clawson (1943)
folder 4: Anthon Henrik Lund-In Memoriam (1921)
folder 5: Junius Free Wells-In Memoriam (1921)
folder 6: In Memoriam-Emily Sophia Tanner Richards (1929)
folder 7: In Memoriam-Elias Conway Ashton (1920)
folder 8: Memorial to Elizabeth Claridge McCune (1924)
folder 9: Richard W. Young-In Memoriam (1920)
folder 10: Tributes to the Memory of Hyrum M. Smith (1918)
folder 11: John Watson (c.1934)
folder 12: New Testament, with Notes and Clippings by Rudger Clawson
box 28: General Materials (1871-1943)
folder 1: Blessings-Rudger Clawson
folder 2: Patriarchal Blessings
folder 3: Missionaries Set Apart by General Authorities (1917-1942)
folder 4: Lydia Spencer Clawson-Biography
folder 5: Lydia Spencer Clawson Estate
folder 6: Financial Contributions (1923-1943)
folder 7: Last will and Testament
folder 8: Deed of Conveyance (1871)
folder 9: Funeral Prayer
folder 10: Dedication of Grave
folder 11: Margaret Judd Clawson, Funeral Services (1912)
folder 12: Hiram B. Clawson, Funeral Services (1912)
folder 13: History of Box Elder Stake, by S. Norman Lee
folder 14: Newspaper Clippings
folder 15: Miscellaneous Documents
box 29: General Materials (1904-1941)
box 30: Correspondence, Speeches, Miscellaneous (1904-1941)
folder 1: Photo of Pearl Udall with Letter
folder 2-10: Correspondence
folder 11: Lydia Spencer Clawson, Autobiography
folder 13-14: Letters of Condolences (1941)
folder 15-16: Lydia C. Hoopes, In a Vacuum
folder 17: Samuel G. Clawson, Diary (1911)
folder 18: Speeches
folder 19: Prayers
folder 20: Blessings
folder 21: Radio Talks
folder 22: Certificates and Forms
folder 23: Rudger Clawson Miscellaneous
folder 24: Telegrams
folder 25: Salt Lake Theatre
folder 26: Printed Material
folder 27: Miscellaneous
Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-
Rudger Clawson (1857-1943) was born on 12 March 1857, in Salt Lake City, the son of Hiram B. Clawson and Margaret Gay Judd. He attended school in the Salt Lake Nineteenth Ward, the Social Hall, and the University of Deseret in the Council House.
From 1875 to 1877 Clawson worked as a secretary to John W. Young, a railroad contractor, in both Salt Lake City and New York City, Clawson was professionally trained in shorthand and bookkeeping, and graduated in 1877 from Scott-Browne's College of Phonography in New York City. Examples of his shorthand are found in his first diary and in a few of his letters to Lydia. He also used his skills in shorthand when he served as official reporter for four sermons delivered by apostles in the Sunday meetings at the Salt Lake Tabernacle.
On 9 April 1879, Clawson was called to serve as a missionary to the southern states mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On 21 July 1897, near Varnell's Station, Georgia, he and his companion were abducted by an angry, anti-Mormon mob evidently intent of giving the two young men a severe beating, but instead led to the murder of his companion, Elder Joseph Standing, when the latter provoked his abductors. Clawson's mission ended after only this short beginning, as it then became his assignment to accompany the body of his slain companion back to Salt Lake City.
From 1879 to 1880 Clawson worked as a corresponding secretary for Zion's Co-operative Mercantile Institution, and from 1882-1884 he worked as a bookkeeper for his brother, Spencer Clawson, in the wholesale dry goods business.
On 12 August 1882, Clawson married Florence Ann Dinwoodey, the daughter of Henry Dinwoodey and Anne Hill, at the Salt Lake Endowment House. About six months later and with his wife pregnant he announced to her his intention of taking another wife. Accordingly, on 29 March 1883, he married Lydia Elizabeth Spencer, daughter of Daniel Spencer and Mary Jane Cutcliffe, at the Endowment House. In 1884 Clawson was indicted for polygamy and unlawful co-habitation. Because the case could not be proven, the trial ended with a hung jury. The next day Clawson's plural wife, Lydia, was located by the authorities and a second trial was held, but she refused to serve as a witness and was committed to the Utah Territorial Prison for contempt of court. The following day Clawson asked her to testify and as a result he was convicted on 25 October 1884 and she was released. Although he expected that the sentence would be for about one year, on 3 November 1844 Judge Charles S. Zane sentenced him to four years imprisonment and fined him $800. Clawson thus became the first Mormon polygamist to be imprisoned. After serving three years, one month and ten days of his sentence, he was pardoned by President Grover Cleveland and was released from prison on 13 December 1887. Perhaps as a reward for so nobly defending the principle of polygamy, Clawson received their second anointing one week after his release from prison. This anointing in Mormon belief assures exaltation in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.
On 23 December 1887, Clawson received the call to become the president of the Box Elder Stake. In January of 1888 his family moved their residence from Salt Lake City to Brigham City. The next month he was sustained as president by the Box Elder Stake members at their quarterly stake conference, and was ordained a High Priest and set apart by Lorenzo Snow. Clawson was invited to speak at the 1888 general conference. President Wilford Woodruff (who was in hiding to avoid prosecution for polygamy) had left instructions with Lorenzo Snow to not allow any discussion of polygamy at the conference. However, on 6 April less than four months after being released from prison Clawson delivered a stirring speech in which he referred to his conviction and imprisonment in 1844 for the crime of living the principle of polygamy and declared that his testimony was strengthened by his three-year incarceration. In order to soften the strength of Clawson's defense of polygamy the following statements were omitted form the report published in the LDS church-owned Deseret Evening News "the Lord has revealed the principle of celestial marriage. Do we believe it is true? We most assuredly do. And will we honor this principle? By the help of the lord we will honor it and honor him. By the help of the lord will not make the promise to do away with this principle any more than we will promise to do away with the principle of faith, (repentance), baptism, or the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost." In May of 1891 Clawson looked back at the delivery of this speech and the discussion it had aroused and said. "My remarks... occasioned a great deal of comment at the time, not only among the saints but to some extent among the gentiles ... It will be remembered that in the year 1888, the crusade against our people was prosecuted with great vigor by the Government and some were of opinion that the remarks ... would have a tendency to increase the violence of the persecution."
During the next few years three of Clawson's children died. His son, Daniel Spencer Clawson, died on 4 May 1893. His daughter, Vera Mary Clawson, died tragically on 13 March 1897 as a result of drinking some furniture cleaning fluid. On 19 April 1898 his oldest son, Rudger Elmo Clawson, died. This was Clawson's son by his first wife, Florence Ann Dinwoodey, who had divorced him because of her unwillingness to live in polygamy.
On 10 October 1898, Clawson was ordained an apostle by President Lorenzo Snow. Three days later he attended his first meeting with the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles. As a result of his elevation to the apostleship, he moved his residence from Brigham City to Salt Lake City in July of 1899, but was not released as Box Elder Stake President until the following November.
On 6 October 1901, Clawson was sustained at general conference as second counselor in the First Presidency, but President Snow died only four days later. It was decided, however, not to dissolve the First Presidency until after the funeral on 13 October 1901. Because of the suddenness of President Snow's death, Clawson was never formally set apart to this position by the church leaders: Clawson's seven days in this high office is the shortest period of time that anyone has served in the LDS First Presidency.
In June 1912 Clawson arrived in Liverpool, England, to preside over the European Mission, and served in this position until April 1913.
In November 1918 as a result of Anthon H. Lund's being made a member of the First Presidency, Clawson was sustained as acting president of the Council of the Twelve Apostles. Finally, on 10 March 1921, he became President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, during his long service to his church; Clawson spoke at church gatherings of many sizes and in many places for over half a century. In 1942, one year before his death, he compiled the statistic that he had attended 10,637 meetings and had addressed the congregation at 5,792 of these.
During an interview conducted around the turn of the century, Clawson was asked what the most important reason for his success in life was. His unhesitating response was: "My success in life, if I have attained to any, is due to a fixed an unyielding determination on my part to seek and abide by counsel. I know there is safety in counsel."
Rudger Clawson died on 21 June 1943 Clawson died in Salt Lake City at the age of 86. At the time of his death he had served in the Council of The Twelve Apostles for a total of 45 years.
Content Description +/-
The Rudger Clawson papers (1870-1943) consists of memoirs, autobiographical accounts, diaries, letter books, loose letters, scrapbooks, newspaper and periodical clippings, printed books and miscellaneous documents. Clawson served in many official capacities in the LDS Church, including missionary, stake president, apostle, and second counselor to the president of the church.
When Clawson was almost seventy years old, he began to dictate his memoirs to his secretary. This process began in 1926 and continued into the 1930's. The memoirs recount numerous experiences from his early life to the end of his term as president of the European Mission in 1913. The collection also includes an account of his life, which is part of the celebration for his seventieth birthday.
Clawson was sentenced to prison for the practice of polygamy and was kept in the Utah Territorial Prison for over three years. He worked on several drafts of his account of prison experiences during his incarceration from November 1884 to December 1887. His first-hand accounts provide valuable insights into prison life during this period, including an inmate's suggestion on how best to rob a house and a description of the "sweat box" used to discipline prisoners.
The diaries of Rudger Clawson cover the period from his release from the penitentiary through December of 1905 a period of eighteen years. The first diary is a large leather volume which covers events from December 1887 until April 1892. There are ten smaller diaries which cover the period April 1892 to May 1899. On the front end-papers Clawson would occasionally list important events recorded within the diary. For example, book nine shows "Bishop F. Durfey's dream page 4," which refer to a dream in which a personage announced that the millennium would begin in thirty years. The remaining diary entries are typewritten sheets and continue through December 1905. The diaries are centered on the meetings Clawson attended and provide attended and provide insights into how the church meetings were structured, the favorite hymns sung, scripture recitations or talks during the passing of the sacrament and the contents of speeches to members.
Clawson was called to preside over the European Mission in April of 1910, and served in that position for three years. During that time a number of items were generated, including a letter book of correspondence with the church leaders in Salt Lake City, and two Letter books of correspondence with church leaders and members in editorials published in the Millennial Star from June 1910 to April 1913. Near the end of the latter year he presented to the church leaders a Report on the European Mission, a copy of which is included in the collection.
The Collection includes various biographical sketches of Clawson and of his plural wife's relatives and ancestors, including Margaret Gay Judd Clawson, Hiram B. Clawson, George Cutcliffe, John Cutcliffe, Mary Jane Cutcliffe, Daniel Spencer, and Samuel G. Spencer. The collection includes a letterpress book of Clawson's father, Hiram B. Clawson, of business letters from May 1872 to June 1874. The personal diary of Clawson's son, Rudger Remus Clawson, provides daily entries from January to August of 1904.
A number of the notes and drafts of his talks delivered at various church functions are preserved in the collection, as well as speeches presented at general conferences from 1898 to 1942. The collection contains numerous blessings Clawson gave church members to the priesthood, settings apart to a church office, appointment blessings, missionary blessings, blessings before leaving home to attend school, and blessings before traveling.
Because Clawson was such a dedicated diarist, one is able to view through his eyes various developments during this transitional period in LDS history. Information is presented on the following subject: Theological speculation among the brethren; changes in church policy and doctrine; questions about post-manifesto polygamy; variations in emphasis on the Word of Wisdom; use of wine in the sacrament; rulings concerning colonization and emigration; financial disclosures concerning church assets; political aspirations of George Q. Cannon and Reed Smoot; conflicts between the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune; differing attitudes toward Freemasonry, Elks, and other secret societies; priesthood regulations and the need for church courts; denial of the priesthood to blacks; and the evils of dancing, card playing, chess, and checkers.
The Rudger Clawson collection is of considerable importance to both the serious historian and the amateur researcher because of the wealth and variety of data provided. The collection provides valuable insights from a man who lived half of his long life in the nineteenth century and half in the twentieth century.
Collection Use +/-
Restrictions on Access:
Access to original diariesrestricted. Patrons must use photocopies. Twenty-four hours advance notice encouraged. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Administrative Information +/-
Boxes 1-23 were donated by the Lydia Clawson Hoopes Estate in 1983.
Boxes 24-32 were donated by Roy and David Hoopes in 1989.
Processed by Stan Larson in 1986.
Materials are in English.
13 linear feet
Language of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid encoded in English.
Author of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid preapred by Stan Larson
EAD Creation Date: