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December 1852

1 December 1852 • Wednesday

As to-day was fast day I started very early for Wailuku and arrived about 9 o’clock.1 We held meeting to-day & had a good time. Bro. Hy. was well and apparently enjoying himself.

2 December 1852 • Thursday

Damp & disagreeable to-day. Translating &c.

3 December 1852 • Friday

This day is the anniversary of my Father’s [George Cannon] birth-day. If he had been were living he would <have been> 58 years <of age>; this brought <back> many recollections to my mind. Bro. Hy. started for Kula to-day. Translating &c.

4 December 1852 • Saturday

Translating &c. In evening held meeting.

5 December 1852 • Sunday

Had a very good flow of the spirit and spoke with freedom. Three baptised during intermission by Bro. Napela. In afternoon preached and attended <to> the Lord’s Supper. Enjoyed the afternoon meeting.

6 December 1852 • Monday

Wrote to Bro. Hammond, Lahaina; and to Bros. Hawkins & Keeler. Translating &c.

7 December 1852 • Tuesday

Raining all night last night. This morning soon after sunrise the south wind arose; (called by the Natives a Kona) it is a wind much dreaded on the island as it very frequently blows down houses. It was very disagreeable all day; the house trembled much—but I felt to ask the Lord to preserve the house, which was getting old and consequently not as strong as it might have been; and he heard me. In the evening the wind subsided. The family were all absent. Translating all day. Time never seemed so precious to me as it does at present, I feel smitten if I spend an half hour idly, and I desire to bend all my energies to the accomplishment of the duty assigned to me. O that it might ever be so with me, that I may feel to spend every minute profitably and in advancing the kingdom of my Heavenly Father.

8 December 1852 • Wednesday

Cloudy all day. Bro. Hy. returned from Kula; all was well there. Translating &c. in forenoon; in afternoon went to Waiehu and held meeting there as I had heard they were getting very slack. I was blessed with the spirit and <solemnly> exhorted them to forsake sin and live holy and pure, constantly <observing> all the laws of the kingdom, or their situation would be a worse one than if they had died without hearing truth. My soul is much drawn out to plead with this people to forsake sin and live in regard to these things for I feel the responsibility resting upon <me> to warn them of the wrath to come if they disobey the laws and ordinances taught unto them. I feel all the anxiety of a father for them; but O how I need wisdom and patience, & strength and grace to instruct them and to enable me myself to divest myself of every thing displeasing in the sight of my Father. I never could enter into the feelings experienced by the holy men who wrote the Book of Mormon, as I can at present; my soul shrinks from the thought of sin and my heart is pained to behold the sins of the world, I can weep over the weakness, folly and shortsightedness of man; I know that I <myself> have sinned, grossly <often> sinned against light and knowledge and that I have not lived as I ought; my soul is startled at times at reviewing my past life and seeing my many acts of folly, and neglectfulness; and when I behold the kindness, and long suffering of the Lord, I feel that words are too feeble to express the gratitude that I ought to have.

Had a conversation to day with Bro. Maiola on the barrenness of the females of the Islands, he told me that he believed one cause of it was on account of the dreadful habit they had of killing their young; they not liking the trouble &c. necessarily attendant upon child bearing; they very frequently destroying their children by the connivance of their parents without the knowledge of the husband. We have endeavored to instil into them an abhorrence of all such devilish practices and inspire them with a desire to raise children and to teach and instruct them right—the fact is, the nation is decreasing fast and unless there is an effort speedily made to stop their downward progress they must speedily be extinguished.2 The <Male> Saints at Kula, met the place where the first branch of the Church was established, met some time lately to pray to the Lord to bless their wives that they might be fruitful and raise seed unto them, and the Lord had heard their prayers and <had> blessed them <very much> in the thing they had desired.3 I went over to Waiehu this afternoon and preached to the folks there, and reproved them for their neglect in attending meetings lately, and was blessed with the spirit; on my return stopped in Bro. Gaston’s and ate supper and slept all night.

9 December 1852 • Thursday

Translating &c.

10 December 1852 • Friday4

Translating &c. About5 noon went over about three miles and baptised three; one was named Kanahunahupu a brother of Bro. Napelas, a half white of the name of Geo. Raymond and another man a native.


11 December 1852 • Saturday

Expecting to go to Lahaina to-day, threatening to rain to do very much. Bro. [Kimo] Pelio had promised me a horse to go; he hunted all day yesterday in company with Bro. Maiola unsuccessfully; they again started this morning and succeeded in finding it, but could not catch it; Bro. M. came down to tell me of their ill success. I then proposed for Bro. Hy. [Henry Bigler] & I to accompany them to help catch it; we found her and soon ascertained that she was very wild and had no disposition to let us catch her. Bro. Hy. & I prayed that she might become tractable that we might be able to catch her. She broke through once and came again towards me with apparently the same intention. I then prayed for the Lord to enable me to catch her if it was his will that I should go, and she stopped running and stood stock still while I went up and caught her. I felt very much pleased and thankful to the Lord for his goodness in hearkening unto my prayer. The Natives were much surprised.6 I started for Lahaina and after crossing the mountain when close to a place called Ukumehame, it thickened up and the clouds gathered around as though in discharging their contents they would give me a severe drenching. I called upon the Lord to deliver me from the rain as I had a good distance to ride; the Lord heard my prayer and the rain was taken all inland and a few drops only reached me. I arrived in Lahaina about 8 o’clock and found all well, Bro. & Sis. [Francis and Mary Jane] Hammond and babe [Francis Jr.] and Bro. [John] Woodbury also, who was on a visit from Molokai [Moloka‘i].7

12 December 1852 • Sunday

We arose this morning and attended meeting; it was held in a new house that the saints here had hired for Sunday meetings. Bro. H. called on me to speak and I spoke and was blessed. Attended public meeting at 9 o’clock; there was a very good attendance, preached and had a tolerable portion of the spirit. We met again in the afternoon at 3 o’clock and again preached and was blessed with a glorious flow of the spirit and was enabled to advance some of the principles of truth through its influence and power.8

13 December 1852 • Monday

Attended meeting this morning; preached &c. The brethren here were very anxious to have me stay over another Sunday with them; after some deliberation I consented. My reasons for wishing to return were, to attend to the translation of the Book of Mormon, but by the kindness of Bro. [William] Uaua, who offered me his house to live in, this was obviated.9

14 December 1852 • Tuesday

Writing &c. Commenced writing a letter to Bro. [Joseph] Cain.

15 December 1852 • Wednesday

Translating &c. In afternoon had preaching meeting Bro. H. preached. Last night we were awakened by Bro. Uaua; he wanted us to go down and see his wife who was being delivered of a child. We, Bros. H., W. and I,10 accompanied him, to his place and found a <white> man who professed to <be>11 an accoucheor [accoucheur] who had <been> brought by the relatives of Sis. Uaua; they did not belong to the church.12 When we entered he told us that the child was dead and unless the mother was speedily relieved she must also die. He had sent her some powders by her people in the morning when the pains commenced <to assist> which she had taken—her pains were strong and natural in the day time; but when we arrived th (between 12 and 1 o’clock) they were not natural, she merely straining and the folks telling her to hold her breath; it was very apparent that her strength was fast failing. I felt much concerned and anxious to see her safely delivered and I prayed in my heart for her; Bro. Uaua called on me to pray with them which I did. I afterwards went out and plead with the Lord to save both the mother and the child, it was a business of which we were all ignorant and I felt to desire Him in his infinite goodness and mercy to exert his power in her behalf. I returned into the house and sat a few minutes, and then Bro. Hammond and I went out and while conversing outside we heard a noise inside and returned into the house; she was just being delivered of a fine girl, alive. We felt to praise the Lord for his manifold mercies, and all the household rejoiced also.13

16 December 1852 • Thursday

Writing the translation &c. Bro. Uaua baptized two.

17 December 1852 • Friday

do. do.14

18 December 1852 • Saturday

Variously engaged.

19 December 1852 • Sunday

Preached this morning and had a good flow of the spirit and a good attendance.15 In afternoon preached again on priesthood and had a very good flow of the spirit and was enabled to show forth the necessity of men having the priesthood in order to act in the things of the Lord &c. Several proposed to be baptised—and in the evening there were eight initiated into the kingdom.

20 December 1852 • Monday

Confirmed this morning those baptised yesternight. Writing home &c. Bro. [David] Rice came from Waiehu and brought a horse for Bro. Hammond to go over and spend Christmas at Bro. [Albion] Burnham’s Makawao. It commenced raining this evening.

21 December 1852 • Tuesday

We had a regular Kona, as the Natives call the South wind, it is a very violent wind in some parts of the Island frequently blowing down houses and tearing up trees &c.; it was accompanied with heavy rain last night and to day—the water ran down the street at the side of the yard a perfect torrent. There were a great many banana trees blown down, which is quite a loss to the people as they <will> only produce one bunch of fruit and then are cleared away for the suckers that spring up from the root to grow and bear so that all that are uprooted by the wind are fruit bearing trees.

22 December 1852 • Wednesday

Still stormy. Writing home &c.16

23 December 1852 • Thursday

do. do.17 I have written since I have been in here this time a letter to Bro. Joseph Cain, to Uncle and Aunt [John and Leonora Taylor], to Elizabeth [Hoagland], to Charles and Mary Alice [Lambert] with one for Anne [Cannon] enclosed in theirs.

24 December 1852 • Friday

Showery with clear intervals. Bro. Rice concluded to start although it was quite threatening. As Bro. [James] & Sis. Kipp were going also I thought it wiser to stay until there was a bette better prospect and go all together. After noon it broke away, and we made up our minds to start. Bro. Hammond thought he would also go, and started and rode about two miles with us, but finally concluded to return as Sis. H. had nobody to stay with her, and he felt as though he could not enjoy himself. We arrived in Wailuku about nine o’clock in the evening; we had a slight shower while between Waikapu and Wailuku, but did not get much wet. Bro. [James] Keeler had been here and he & Bro. Hy. had gone to Makawao this morning. The were Bro. [Jonathan] Napela and folks were well and appeared glad to see us. It rained nearly all night.

25 December 1852 • Saturday

It was a very fine morning and we got ready and started for Makawao. Bro. N. also g with us; when we got down to Kahului we same saw a boat coming from a vessel which had just anchored. Bro. John Winchester was on board, he having just returned from Honolulu for which place he had started when I was in Lahaina; he took my watch with him to get it repaired and had brought it back well fixed, including the key it had cost $9.50, towards which I had let him have a <gold> key that I bought in Cailifornia for $5.50, he did not wish to take it, but I pressed him. Bro. & Sis. [Philip and Jane] Lewis and Bro. [William] Farrer were all well when he left. When we arrived at Bro. [Albion] Burnham’s we found Bro. [James] Hawkins there, all were well; he had been absent about 8 or 9 weeks and between him and Bro. Keeler, they had baptised about 90. We had a splendid supper, a some fine mince pies, the first I had tasted since I left home. Sis. B’s [Mary Burnham’s] cooking is excellent. In evening held a meeting and enjoyed it much; I spoke somewhat on the principle of our endeavoring to ascertain the object of our coming upon the earth, that our time might not be uselessly spent, but that it might be profitable to us. On every hand we can behold men toiling with all the faculties of their soul for that which perisheth and which cannot be of any benefit to them hereafter, as though the Lord had sent them here and given them a tabernacle that they might accumulate riches <only> &c., things that we all well know do not go with us beyond the tomb. This was not, nor is not, the design of the Father of our spirits; but it was, that we might fit and prepare ourselves for a glory at his right hand, by acquiring knowledge and experience and by accumulating stores of faith and wisdom, things that would accompany us beyond the tomb.

26 December 1852 • Sunday

Bro. Hawkins and Bro. Napela left for Wailuku to attend meeting there. Bro. H. returned again in evening.

27 December 1852 • Monday

Variously engag<ed.>

28 December 1852 • Tuesday

do. do.

29 December 1852 • Wednesday

I started for Wailuku stopped on the way at Bro. Winchester’s and found Bros. Hy. and Keeler, they left Bro. B’s yesterday to come down here. On account of the rain we did not leave.

30 December 1852 • Thursday

Bros. Hy. & Keeler started for Wailuku, as I was getting ready it threaten<ed> a storm and I concluded to stay. Very violent wind all night.

31 December 1852 • Friday

Windy &c.


  1. [1]The day had been “set apart by the church as a day of fasting and prayr to the Lord that he would roll on his kingdom in these Islands” (Hammond journal, Dec. 1, 1852).

  2. [2]The situation to which Cannon referred was noted by others. The Reverend Lorenzo Lyons wrote in 1833 that he found “none of that mother’s fondness of her darling child” that he had known in the United States (as cited in Grimshaw, “New England Missionary Wives, Hawaiian Women,” 78). The Reverend T. Dwight Hunt later noted: “Children were neglected. Indeed, children were often considered a burden. Contrary to nature, wives often rendered themselves childless. More frequently they gave away children as soon as they were born. If no one would take the child for the trouble of rearing it, the unnatural mother would often strangle it, or bury it alive! It was estimated by foreigners who first resided among the people, that two thirds of the infants born, died thus by the hands of their parents” (Hunt, Past and Present of the Sandwich Islands, 42). While the women sent to the islands by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions had worked hard for thirty years to end widespread abortion and infanticide, these practices, while in decline, apparently continued. For additional information on the efforts of these missionary wives see Grimshaw, “New England Missionary Wives, Hawaiian Women”; Grimshaw, Paths of Duty.

  3. [3]Cannon initially began writing the next day’s date following this sentence but crossed it out and added the additional information.

  4. [4]Cannon originally wrote the month as February but changed it to December.

  5. [5]Written over I.

  6. [6]Bigler later recalled that “the animal could not be caught when at last Brother Cannon said to me let us pray and ask the Lord which we did, [then] Elder Cannon walked up and put the bridle on the horse with out further trouble” (Bigler journal, LDS ledger, Nov. 21, 1853).

  7. [7]Hammond reported that “Bro Cannon arrived from Wailuku to Spend the Sabbath with us. The Lord was very kind to him in blessing him in catching his horse, to ride over and in protecting him from the rain while on the road” (Hammond journal, Dec. 11, 1852).

  8. [8]Hammond wrote about the meetings in greater detail: “At Sun rise met. . . . Bro. Cannon addressed them on the general appearance of the Church at the present time. . . . At 9 O.C. A.M. met again had a very respectable congregation. Bro. C. preached from the 29 of Isiah. he spoke well caused me to rejoice with joy again to hear his voice lifted up in the defence of truth. . . . 3 O.C. p.m. met again had not a very full house, but a very attentive one. Br. C. preached from Mat 24. 38, 39, and so forth, as the days of Noah, so also shall be the coming of the Son of Man. He preached first rate, had a good flow of the Spirit, and of the language, I never heard him speak better” (Hammond journal, Dec. 12, 1852).

  9. [9]Hammond provided additional details about the meeting: “This morning met with branch at our old meeting place. Bro C. spoke a little on the principle of baptism, of being buried with Christ &c. there was a few new ones came into meet with us. I[t] was voted that Bro. C. stay with us this week, which the brethren & sisters all gladly responded to” (Hammond journal, Dec. 13, 1852).

  10. [10]The comma has been added in pencil.

  11. [11]This word was written above four or five undecipherable crossed-out letters.

  12. [12]An accoucheur is a male who assists at a childbirth.

  13. [13]Hammond also recounted the birth of Uaua’s child: “At 12 O.C. Midnight, we were called by Bro. Uaua to go and administer to his wife who was labouring in childbirth, and had been labouring for about 24 hours they had a Gentile Doct. there who had been giving medicine, but when we got there he said the child was dead in consequence of their not doing as he wanted them, but we told them to not be discourage[d] but to have faith and lift up their hearts in prayr. we all knelt down and prayed, bro. C being mouth, we then directed the mother of the girl which was sick how to do, and what to do, and got their faith started and in about ½ an hour she was delivered of a fine little girl, they all ascribed it to the Lord the right source, except Doct. and I do not know what he thought of the Mormon Elders being Midwives, nor I do not care” (Hammond journal, Dec. 15, 1852). The missionaries also held a morning meeting at which “Bro. C Spoke on the Subject of contending for the faith that was once delivered to the Saints” (Hammond journal, Dec. 15, 1852).

  14. [14]During the day a meeting was held at which Cannon preached “on the dutyies of the Teachers, and Diakons [Deacons], and members” (Hammond journal, Dec. 17, 1852).

  15. [15]The elders “had about 200 out to hear us preach, Bro C. preached Is [Isaiah] 55.8,9” (Hammond journal, Dec. 19, 1852).

  16. [16]The missionaries were waiting for the weather to clear so they could travel to Makawao for previously scheduled Christmas activities (Hammond journal, Dec. 22, 1852).

  17. [17]Regarding the day’s events, Hammond wrote: “Commences with showers from the South, very little wind. There has a great deal of rain fell these last few days, more than has fell for 8 months before. . . . Bro. Cannon & I went down and blessed the little child of Bro. Uaua 8 days old to day, the same which we attended at its beirth. Bro. C. was mouth” (Hammond journal, Dec. 23, 1852).