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Joseph Lafayette Rawlins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Joseph Lafayette Rawlins
Joseph Lafayette Rawlins.jpg
United States Senator
from Utah
In office
March 4, 1897 – March 4, 1903
Preceded byArthur Brown
Succeeded byReed Smoot
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives from Utah Territory's at-large congressional district
In office
March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1895
Preceded byJohn Thomas Caine
Succeeded byFrank J. Cannon
Personal details
Born(1850-03-28)March 28, 1850
Millcreek, Provisional State of Deseret, United States
DiedMay 24, 1926(1926-05-24) (aged 76)
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Resting placeSalt Lake City Cemetery
40°46′37.92″N 111°51′28.8″W / 40.7772000°N 111.858000°W / 40.7772000; -111.858000
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Julia Elizabeth Davis
Boyce [1]
Alma materIndiana University

Joseph Lafayette Rawlins (March 28, 1850 – May 24, 1926) was a delegate to the U.S. Congress from Utah Territory and a Senator from Utah after statehood was achieved.

Rawlins was born at Millcreek in the Provisional State of Deseret (Millcreek is in present-day Salt Lake County, Utah).

Rawlins pursued a classical course at Indiana University in Bloomington. He was a professor at the University of Deseret in Salt Lake City from 1873 to 1875. He then studied law; he was admitted to the bar in 1875, and he commenced practice in Salt Lake City. Raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), young Rawlins disliked the practice of plural marriage and was grateful that his father, Joseph Sharp Rawlins, resisted the pressure of the church to take a second wife. However, when the elder Rawlins did succumb to the wishes of the authorities, his son began questioning the principles and practices of Mormonism. By the time Rawlins returned to Utah after his first year at college, he was well on the way toward apostasy in his views, and by the time he became Salt Lake's city attorney, he considered himself a non-Mormon. He never returned to the church.[2]

Rawlins was elected as a Democrat as Utah Territory's delegate to the Fifty-third Congress (March 4, 1893 – March 3, 1895). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1894 to the Fifty-fourth Congress. After Utah achieved statehood in 1896, Rawlins was elected by the Utah State Legislature as a Democrat to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1897, to March 4, 1903. He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election.[3]

Afterwards, Rawlins continued the practice of law in Utah. In 1921, he withdrew from public life and active business, and he died in Salt Lake City. He is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.

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See also


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "The Unfavored Few": The Auto-biography of Joseph L. Rawlins [ed. and amplified by Alta Rawlins Jensen]. Salt Lake City: privately printed, 1956, pp. 63–65, 125.
  3. ^ "REED SMOOT SENATOR". The New York Times. January 21, 1903. p. 3.

External links

United States Congress. "RAWLINS, Joseph Lafayette (id: R000073)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John T. Caine
Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
from Utah

Succeeded by
Frank J. Cannon
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Arthur Brown
 U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Utah
Succeeded by
Reed Smoot
This page was last edited on 22 September 2019, at 13:43
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