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The Idaho scimitar. [volume] : (Boise, Idaho) 1907-1908
Place of publication:
Boise, Idaho
Geographic coverage:
Scimitar Printing and Pub. Co.
Dates of publication:
  • Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 2, 1907)-v. 1, no. 49 (Oct. 3, 1908).
  • English
  • Boise (Idaho)--Newspapers.
  • Church and state--Mormon Church--Newspapers.
  • Church and state--Mormon Church.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00860527
  • Idaho--Boise.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205276
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Edited by: Fred T. Dubois.
sn 88056114
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The Idaho scimitar. [volume] November 2, 1907 , Image 1


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Idaho Scimitar

Fred Thomas DuBois moved to Idaho in 1880 and quickly became involved in local politics, leading the Anti-Mormon political party of Oneida County. DuBois denounced the practice of polygamy and what he claimed was the Mormon Church's stranglehold on Idaho's Democratic Party. DuBois served Idaho Territory as a U.S. Marshal and warden of the territory's penitentiary from 1882-86.

In 1886, DuBois successfully ran for a position as Idaho Territory's Congressional delegate. Idaho was granted statehood in 1890. That same year, the president of the Mormon Church denounced the practice of polygamy, effectively ending the anti-Mormon crusade in Idaho.

In 1891, DuBois was selected as one of Idaho's first U.S. Senators. During his first term he served as Secretary to the Republican Caucus and was a member of the party's Senate Steering Committee. DuBois ran for reelection as a Silver Republican in 1897 but lost to a Populist candidate. After losing reelection, DuBois retired to his ranch in Blackfoot. He successfully ran for the Senate again in 1900 and joined the Democratic caucus. From 1904 to 1907, DuBois was heavily involved in the Senate's Reed Smoot hearings, in which he strongly opposed seating U.S. Senator Reed Smoot due to his high position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After the end of his second Senate term, DuBois returned to Boise and established the Idaho Scimitar to continue his anti-Mormon crusade. The Scimitar was an anti-Mormon newspaper published in Boise from 1907-08. DuBois established, edited, and published the paper under the banner of the Scimitar Printing and Publishing Company. The 16-page, 3-column paper published weekly on Saturdays. It featured syndicated columns from national publications as well as local news. Topics commonly found in the Scimitar's pages included agriculture, Idaho's mining and timber industries, national politics, and state-level politics in both Idaho and Utah. The "Women's Page" featured articles on politics, fashion, social clubs, and polygamy. The topic of polygamy was not limited to the women's page, however. Polygamy and Mormon control of state politics were the two most common subjects of the Scimitar's columns. Every other week the Scimitar ran a full page quoting Article VI, Sections 3 and 4 of the Idaho State Constitution:

No person is permitted to vote, serve as a juror, or hold any civil office who... is a bigamist or polygamist, or is living in what is known as a patriarchal, plural or celestial marriage... or who, in any manner, teaches, advises, counsels, aids, or encourages any person to enter into bigamy, polygamy, or such patriarchal, plural, or celestial marriage… or who is a member of or contributes to the support, aid, or encouragement of any order, organization, association, corporation or society, which teaches, advises, counsels, encourages or aids any person to enter into bigamy, polygamy, or such patriarchal or plural marriage...

Dubois used the Scimitar as his mouthpiece to continue his anti-Mormon crusade. However, the audience for such topics steadily decreased after the Mormon Church denounced the practice of plural marriage in 1890. The Scimitar folded after a year.

Provided by: Idaho State Historical Society