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Frank Jenne Cannon (January 25, 1859 – July 25, 1933) was the first United States Senator from Utah, who served from 1896-99.[1]



Born in Salt Lake City, he was the eldest child of Sarah Jenne Cannon and George Q. Cannon. His father was an Apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later was a member of its First Presidency. After attending the school in Salt Lake City, he studied at University of Deseret, graduating at the age of 19. He would marry Martha Brown of Ogden in 1878.[2]

In 1891 he helped to organize the Utah Republican Party.[3] After a failed bid to become Delegate from the Utah Territory, he succeeded and served from March 4, 1895 to January 4, 1896. Cannon was chosen in the latter year to serve as Senator by the Utah Legislature and served in the United States Senate, initially, as a member of the Republican Party; however, he later became a member of the Silver Republican Party[4] founded by his successor (and future employer at the Salt Lake Tribune) Thomas J. Kearns.[5] Cannon affiliated with the Democratic Party in 1900 and served as its state chairman 1902-4.[6]

After failing to be re-elected to the U.S. Senate by the Utah legislature, in part due to opposition by the Mormon hierarchy,[citation needed] Cannon spent then worked as the editor of several newspapers, including the Salt Lake Tribune,[7] the Ogden Herald (Ogden, Utah) and established the Ogden Standard.[citation needed]

Cannon later rejected Mormonism and wrote a book, with Harvey J. O'Higgins, called Under the Prophet in Utah exposing the rigidly hierarchical nature of the Mormon organization. The book denounced what the authors described as the "church" leadership's "absolutism" and "interference" in politics: "[Mormons] live under an absolutism. They have no more right of judgment than a dead body. Yet the diffusion of authority is so clever that nearly every man seems to share in its operation... and feels himself in some degree a master without observing that he is also a slave".[8]

During the last two decades of his life, he lectured against Mormonism and in support of "free silver" policies (as opposed to the Gold Standard). He died, at the age of 74, in Denver, in 1933.[9]

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Senate Website: Utah Senators [1]
  2. ^ Utah History Encyclopedia, "Frank Cannon" [2]
  3. ^ Utah History Encyclopedia, "Frank Cannon" [3]
  4. ^ Official Senate Website: Utah Senators [4]
  5. ^ Utah History Encyclopedia, "Frank Cannon" [5]
  6. ^ Bibliographical Directory of the United States Congress [6]
  7. ^ Utah History Encyclopedia, "Frank Cannon" [7]
  8. ^ Excerpts from Under the Prophet in Utah [8]
  9. ^ Utah History Encyclopedia, "Frank Cannon" [9]

External links

United States Senate
Preceded by
United States Senator (Class 1) from Utah
Served alongside: Arthur Brown, Joseph L. Rawlins
Succeeded by
Thomas Kearns

Redirecting to Frank J. Cannon


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