July 1854

1 July 1854 • Saturday

Wrote a letter last night to Bro. Wm. Farrer, Kauai.1 Copying translation of Book of Mormon Bro. Green arrived all well from Molokai and brought me a letter from Bro. Woodbury.2

2 July 1854 • Sunday

Attended meeting, I spoke followed by Bro. Hammond. Held a meeting of the foreigners, I spoke by the request of Bro. H., and was followed by him.3 Afterwards held native meeting, Bro. H. spoke and I followed. Bro. Hammond received several letters from the Valley all breathing an excellent spirit and my heart was warmed and filled with joy, and I felt to praise the Lord for giving me a portion and lot among his people. We learned with great sorrow of the decease of our beloved president and recorder, Willard Richards; there are no particulars concerning his death. A mighty man and chieftain in Israel has departed, leaving a vacancy that, seemingly, it will be hard to fill. From a letter written by Sis. [Rebecca] Riter we learn that her son and Sis. Hammond’s nephew, Saml. [Samuel] Riter, had his name down <to come to these islands,> among the names of those who were to be appointed at Conference; it is not at all likely that he is the only one. Wrote Bro. [J. W. H.] Kauwahi, Kauai.

3 July 1854 • Monday

Copying &c. Wrote a note to the brethren on Oahu [O‘ahu] and on Hawaii, and also sent one that I <had> written last evening, to Bro. Woodbury, Molokai.4

4 July 1854 • Tuesday

Writing &c. [Bro.] . . . , who was cut off sometime ago, was rebaptized this evening.

5 July 1854 • Wednesday

A feast day, held with the intention of raising what means they could for the benefit of us elders, who were intending to return. It was a neatly writt got up affair, reflecting honor on the saints; the tables were nicely arranged and covered with poi, potatoes, roasted Kalo, pig, fowl, fish, &c., &c.; bananas, water melons &c. &c. and every[thing] neat and clean, although small, it was the best got up of any feast we had had that I have <had> the pleasure of attending. Before eating we had meeting I spoke and was followed by Bro. Hammond; After meeting the saints brought forth their mites toward our return, manifesting a good, kind spirit; they gave us in the vicinity of $15. We again spoke, and had a very good meeting.5

6 July 1854 • Thursday

Writing &c. Bro. [James] Lawson stepped in about noon from Hawaii, on his way to Honolulu; I concluded to accompany him. It was with peculiar feelings that I took leave of the brethren and sisters, especially of Bro. & Sis. Hammond and family.6 The vessel, Kinoole, was very much crowded, the natives were so thick that it was with difficulty that we could get space enough to lie down. I was very sea-sick.

7 July 1854 • Friday

At day light this morning we were not five miles from Lahaina, we hadn’t a puff of wind all night. I felt to pray to the Lord to bless us with a good wind and before the sun rose we were sailing under a stiff breeze in the direction of Honolulu, where we reached about two or three o’clock p.m. We found Bros. Lewis, Johnson and [Henry] Bigler in usual health, and Sis. [Jane] Lewis in rather poor health; I was glad to see them once more.

8 July 18547 • Saturday

Variously engaged. <Wrote to Bros. Na>pela, Hammond & Allred.8

9 July 1854 • Sunday

Attended meeting, I spoke and gave a sketch of my labors since I left here in March and enlarged on various principles, and was blessed very much with the spirit. Met again after a short intermission we again <met> and had another excellent meeting. Bros. Karren, and Snider from Hawaii, and Bro. Green from Lahaina, arrived this morning; they were well.

10 July 1854 • Monday

Regulating my a/c’s [accounts]. When I arrived here from Lahaina I received two letters from the valley—one from Elizabeth and one from Angus, both excellent letters, the best, I think, without any exception that either have written. They have received my letters, as well as my portrait sent to Elizabeth which I sent by the mail of the 5th of Nov.; the cover was spoiled and the portrait was a little touched but not injured; Angus did not recogniz it recognize it, neither did Mary Alice; they thought I had altered much since they saw me. Elizabeth expressed much pleasure in receiving it and her letter was filled with expressions of <her> lasting love and affection and her anxiety to see me home this fall. Angus wrote in such a tone that I was assured that his heart was in the work. My heart was filled with peculiar feelings of love in thinking about them. Anne has had a daughter born [Eleanor Woodbury].

11 July 1854 • Tuesday

Writing &c. Held officer meeting, I spoke & was blessed.

12 July 1854 • Wednesday

Writing &c. Attended meeting up the valley; we had a good little meeting. Bro. Hy. W. Bigler spoke, followed by me. They treated us to pine apples, ohia’s [mountain apples], &c. We ate supper and returned. The brethren moved down to a house that had been loaned to us for use during conference.

13 July 1854 • Thursday

I dropped a note in haste to Elizabeth, with a copy of a small work [Why the “Latter-day Saints” Marry a Plurality of Wives: A Glance at Scripture and Reason] written by Bro. Johnson, on polygamy, rebutting an article published in the “Polynesian” some time ago.9 I also sent one to Uncle [John Taylor], one to Angus, to Bros. [Joseph] Cain & Ferguson. I went to the house where the elders were staying.

14 July 1854 • Friday

Variously engaged.

15 July 1854 • Saturday

Writing the copy of the translation of the Book of Mormon.

16 July 1854 • Sunday

Held Public meeting this morning, I spoke followed by Bro. Hy. In afternoon held meeting, Bro. Uaua spoke and I followed. I enjoyed the meeting much.

17 July 185410 • Monday

We moved up to another house in town in consequence of this having to be removed; we had to pay $20 per month rent. Writing translation &c.

18 July 1854 • Tuesday

Bros. R. N. & R. A. Allred, Woodbury, Napela, Hammond and Sis. H. arrived from Maui all in good health. About noon we started for Kaneohe [Kane‘ohe] to attend conference, to be held on the morrow; Bros. Bigler, Hammond, Woodbury, and the two Brothers Allred and myself composed the party. The road was dreadful bad, mud and water below, and rain enough above to make it disagreeable; we arrived at Kaneohe, and found Bro. [James] Hawkins there and tolerably well, about 6 o’clock p.m. The saints had built a lanai (bowery) to meet in.11

19 July 1854 • Wednesday

Eating and sleeping arrangements were good, and we enjoyed ourselves, as far as these contributed to cause it, and with the pleasure of each other’s society and the spirit of the Lord to fill us with joy, caused us to have an agreeable time. In consequence of the rain the people did not come together very early. Conference convened at 10’ o’clock A.M. and on motion of Pres. Hy. W. Bigler, I was chosen President of the conference; as the people were not all here, we concluded to defer the business until afternoon. Bros. Woodbury & R. A. Allred preached this morning and I followed in a few remarks; I enjoyed the spirit very much and my heart was filled with joy and thanksgiving for all the kindness of the Lord. In afternoon, Bro. [William] Uaua was appointed Clerk, we deferred this appointment until this afternoon, waiting for him to arrive. The branches were represented <numbering> as follows: 3 Seventies, 1 High Priest, 11 elders, 23 Priests, 21 teachers, 18 deacons, 9 dead, 13 cut off, 72 newly baptized, total 715.12 Held meeting in evening Bros. Napela & Uaua <spoke.>13

20 July 1854 • Thursday

Held early morning meeting Bros. R. N. Allred & Hammond spoke. At 10 o’clock conference again convened. I spoke at some length on the laws which we ought to strive to obey in order to attain to a celestial glory—showing the different glories and the works necessary to attain to the higher or celestial glory—that we ought to be obedient to all the laws which the Lord has or will reveal, telling them that in order to please the Lord we must hold ourselves with all that we have at His disposal to be used as he may see fit through His delegated power on the earth. Bro. Woodbury followed and spoke well on the same subject. Adjourned until after noon. Met in the afternoon and appointed some few to the Melchisedek and Aaronic priesthoods. One of the brethren confessed his sins—adultery &c. &c., and Bro. Hammond & I spoke on these subjects and on others, showing what the law of the Lord would be in regard to these things were we in a situation to abide it. Bro. Paulo Maewaewa spoke, followed by Bros. Napela & Uaua, who spoke well, especially the latter; he is an excellent speaker and he was blessed with the spirit to day; he spoke as well as I ever heard him. Arrangements were made for a feast for the benefit of the returning elders to be made at Honolulu, all the saints on this side and the other to participate. Much had been said on the subject of helping the elders. We adjourned the conference sine die. We ordained those chosen and gave them some instruction. I enjoyed this conference very much the spirit of the Lord prevailed and all felt well.14

21 July 1854 • Friday

Held early morning meeting. I spoke, and was blessed with the spirit very much. I enlarged on the object of our living here that riches &c. were only secondary things, that the Spirit of God and the eternal riches were the things to be sought after and obtained by us; the world were on the wrong track, they hadn’t the right object in view; they had not started right; we had the right foundation, if we “seek the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, all these things will be added unto us.”15 Riches are easily obtained if we take the right course, not to set our hearts on them but on the Kingdom, its spread, and its establishment on the earth. So it is with all knowledge, every thing good and great, pure and exalting principles, they will all come along in their time and place and we will improve in all these things, lay up eternal riches, if we only take the right course, for we are built on the right foundation, and the spirit will take these things and shew them unto us. I then spoke at some length on cleanliness and <on> the laws necessary for us <them> to obey to become one with us, showing how much better it is to observe these things. I said, a man or a woman filled with the spirit of God cannot go uncleanly, it will teach them better, and if they will not hearken to its promptings, why it will leave him. Bro. Hammond also spoke <well> on these same subjects. and Bro. Redick N. Allred also spoke.16 After breakfast we started for Honolulu, the roads were bad, very muddy indeed. I pulled off my shoes and stockings and waded thro’ it, also Bro. Reddin A. Allred; it was very disagreeable indeed.17 Arriving at Honolulu we found Bros. Wm. Farrer, Burnham & Rice from Kauai; they were well, excepting the effects of sea-sickness; I was very glad to see them.

22 July 1854 • Saturday

Writing &c. The arrival of the mail brought me two papers but no letters;18 from the papers we learn of the decease of Father John Smith, uncle of Joseph [Smith] and father of Geo. A. [George A. Smith], Patriarch of the Church; he died on the [blank] day of April [May 23], 1854.

He has filled the measure of his days with honor and gone to his grave lamented and missed by all. In the conference minutes I notice the appointment of upwards of twenty [to serve in the Sandwich Islands], several of whom I am well acquainted with several of them: Orson Whitney, Joseph Smith [Joseph F. Smith] (son of Hyrum,) Joseph A. Peck, &c. &c. Bro. Geo. A. Smith has been appointed Historian & General Church Recorder and Bro. Jedidiah M. Grant second counsellor to Pres. Brigham Young; in my own mind I had felt impressed that these would be the brethren selected.19

†I went down and witnessed the embarkation of the King [Kanehameha III] and suite on board of the English War Steamer, Virago; it was quite a pageant; The King and the Princes [Alexander Liholiho and Lot Kapuaiwa] were in uniform as well as several of his suite, governors, military officers &c. &c.; several officers, among them the commodores, were there from the united French and English fleets, composed of several frigates &c. which lay, with the exception of the Virago which had entered, outside of the harbor.20

23 July 1854 • Sunday

Had a meeting this morning of all the elders excepting Bros. Keeler and [Gustaf] Linn who have not yet arrived,21 and we made confession one to another for all our unwise speeches &c.; a good spirit prevailed and I felt the spirit.22 Attended <public> morning meeting, a very good congregation present. Bro. Woodbury spoke and by the Spirit, followed by Bros. Napela, Hammond & myself; we had an excellent meeting; Haalelea was present. In afternoon, Bros. Redick, Reddin & I spoke and Bros. David Kaauwai & *Napela followed,23 there was much good instruction given and I felt the spirit much. In afternoon had a counsell meeting and I gathered from the remarks dropped that I would be sent home as quick as possible with the intention of returning. In evening we held meeting.24

24 July 1854 • Monday

A glorious anniversary. May it be enjoyed by all at home. Engaged with Bro. Lewis in settling up the books of the Tin Shop. Had a long conversation in the evening with Haalelea on principle and on the land on Lanai. He is believing the work and speaks favorably; he desires us to take his land for three or four years and experiment, if we succeeded, then, at the expiration of the time of trial, to come to <an> arrangement equitable to all parties. He intended to make out papers; he had made out papers showing his feelings in regard to this land and the arrangements he had come to with us, to be left, in case of accident, with his will &c. to his heirs. He said, Why should <I> do wrong to the church which I believe in?25

25 July 1854 • Tuesday

Conference was adjourned yesterday in consequence of the non-arrival of Bros. Keeler & Linn. At ½ past 9 A.M. it was again convened; I was chosen Clerk, yesterday.26 Philip B. Lewis was sustained as President of the mission on these lands, Bro. Karren was sustained as his counsellor and on motion Bro. B. F. Johnson was unanimously chosen as counsellor pro tem. to Bro. Lewis in place of Bro. Tanner, who had gone to the coast [California]. The Presidency at home, the Twelve and all the constituted authorities. A vote was then taken to release honorably Bro. Wm. McBride from this mission, as he was well employed there [California] under the counsel of the Presidency there and his health did not admit of his return. Bro. Tanner was left to act as circumstances might dictate and in accordance with the counsel of the Presidency there. The conferences were then represented by the presidents, making: [blank] Branches, [blank] Seventies, 1 High Priest, [blank] Elders, [blank] Priests, [blank] Teachers, [blank] Deacons, [blank] Members, [blank] Dead; [blank] Cut off, [blank] Added since last conference, [blank] Removed, [blank] Total in good standing.


By Whom




High Priests







Cut Off

Added since

last conference


Total in

good standing


H. W. Bigler


R. N. Allred


Wm. Farrer


T. Karren


J. S. Woodbury


B. F. Johnson

[Bro.] . . . was then suspended by an unanimous vote for his conduct in using an influence against the work; he had gone to the Whale Fishery. Others were appointed to visit delinquent brethren. Conference was then adjourned until 2 p.m. Bro. Johnson & I went to see Bro. [Ornan] Clifford who was delinquent; he promised to call and see us.27 I was engaged also in looking for a vessel to go to the coast. At 2 o’clock p.m. met[.] I was released from the clerkship and Bro. Winchester appointed, in consequence of me being very busy in preparing to return. The return of the elders, that is, the first five, was then discussed; it was motioned & seconded and carried unanimously, that we are at liberty to return and that we receive recommendations from this conference signed by the Pres. showing that we have been honorably released.28 Reports were then made by me as Chairman of the Committee for the procural of the Press, on the condition of the finances and their operations since last conference, which were accepted by a vote of the conference.29

My case was then taken up and a motion was then made that a letter be sent to the [First] Presidency requesting them, that, inasmuch <as> my services were necessary both as a member of the [press] committee and in the establishment of the press and the labors connected therewith in the shape of matter for printing, they be solicited to return me as soon as practicable. Bro. Hammond then made his report from the Committee appointed to find a location for the gathering of the saints. Accepted.30 Adjourned till morning at 9½ A.M.31

26 July 1854 • Wednesday

Conference met and being opened by singing & prayer proceeded to act in relation to Lanai as a place of gathering. It was voted and unanimously carried that the experiment be made on Lanai and that that be the place <of gathering,> and that the committee be honorably discharged from their labors. Considerable talk was had in regard to establishing the gathering place, the mode of operation, & the proper securing of the *land.32 The elders were then distributed as follows: Elder Woodbury to Oahu; Elder Hammond to Maui conference: The committee appointed to draft a memorial about schools made their report.33 We adjourned until 2 o’clock p.m. Bro. Johnson & I went to see about getting passage; we can get on the steamboat [Polynesian] in the 2nd cabin [steerage] for $50 a piece.34 We had a meeting according to the order and were much blessed.35

Elder Hammond, Farrer & Woodbury made reports in regard to the duties assigned them, translating portions of Book of Doc. & Cov. [Doctrine and Covenants], compiling synopsis & composing & collecting a book of hymns. It was motioned that Elder Farrer & myself take the manuscript of the synopsis and complete it at the earliest convenience and for me to bring it back with me when I return.36 The elders were then distributed as follows: Elder Woodbury to Oahu; Elder Johnson over the white branch in Honolulu; we divided Hawaii into two Conferences, Hilo & Kohala, the boundaries to be Laupahoehoe Gulch and the boundary line between Kona & Kohala; the Conference of Hilo to include the districts of Hilo, Puna, Kau [Ka‘u] and Kona; the Conference of Kohala to include Kohala & Hamakua;37 Bro. Karren was appointed to take charge of Hilo Conference and Bro. R. N. Allred to Kohala; Elder Snider to labor under Bro. Karren, & Elder Linn under Bro. Allred; Elder Hammond to preside over Maui conference; Elder Lawson over Molokai; motioned that Elder Green labor on Lanai in the Maui conference. Adjourned until 7 p.m.

Met according to adjournment. After conference was opened as usual, the subject of gathering and having some one take charge of it, was discussed at some length and much light elicited, I felt edified. at It was motioned that Elder Green labor on Lanai in conjunction with Elder Hammond in preparing a gathering place for the saints and the farming operations under the direction of the presidency of the islands. Bros. Van Houten & [Augustus] Side made liberal offers in assisting in this matter; Bro. V. H. having offered the use of two plows, chains, yokes &c., also, in the event of a bargain falling thro’ which was now pending, he would be able to help with some teams. Bro. Side offered his services for one year at least, either his own labor or the produce of it, as should be thought wisdom. We accepted these offers gladly feeling that there was a providence in it, as their services were very much needed.38 Bro. [Marcus] Baker, on motion, was chosen as an Elder <& appointed> to labor on Maui under the direction of Bro. Hammond. Also Bro. Napela was appointed to labor on the same island under the same president. Also Bro. Kauwahi was appointed to labor on the island of Kauai under the direction of Bro. R. A. Allred. Motioned that to-morrow be a day of fasting & prayer, and, after the business of Conference is transacted, that we have a blessing meeting. Adjourned until 9 A.M. on the morrow.39

27 July 1854 • Thursday

Met according to order, and I enjoyed it exceedingly. Conference met according to adjournment. It was motioned that Bro. [David] Rice be released to go to the Valley by way of the states and receive a recommend from this conference.40 Conference was then adjourned until the 6th of April, 1855.

At 12½ noon we met again, and I enjoyed it excellently; they gave the meeting into the hands of the brethren, I spoke first and was so much affected that I could not talk, my feelings were past description; the thoughts of parting with the brethren & sisters with whom I had passed so many pleasant hours; <with whom I> we had labored and toiled together, counselled & prayed together, and had times of rejoicing, and it made me feel bad and I felt the pangs of parting strongly. We had a long meeting every one speaking their feelings freely, Bros. Woodbury & Johnson spoke in tongues and the interpretation was given; all felt the importance of hearkening more diligently than had been heretofore done, to the counsel of the presidency here. On this subject I felt much impressed, also on the habit too prevalent among the elders, of canvassing each other’s peculiarities and commenting on these things; it resulted in disunion and feelings among each other. Our feelings were softened down and the spirit of prophesy and teaching rested upon us, and all were edified and strengthened.41

We adjourned until evening & had a blessing meeting. Bro. Lewis was anointed and blessed first, under the hands of his counsellors and the brethren bro. Johnson being mouth; Bros. Johnson & Karren were then blessed, bro. Lewis being mouth. I then received mine from under their hands, Bro. Karren being mouth, I received a powerful blessing, the gift of eternal lives, the blessings of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, a very numerous posterity, a great name among the Israel of God, <&> a strong intellect were sealed upon my head, that I should be blessed with means in returning, and my voice should be heard as a trump, for I should yet go forth among other nations.42 We were all blessed and an excellent spirit prevailed; I was blessed with the spirit of blessing to a very powerful extent and I had the spirit of prophecy rest upon me mightily. I was mouth several times, and afterwards, by the request of Bro. Lewis, I blessed him and also Bro. Johnson. I spoke, and gave my feelings in relation to several principles—revelation, prophecy, and the great necessity of obedience to all authority in the Kingdom of God.43

28 July 1854 • Friday

Our passages were secured to-day on the Polynesian, a steam-boat, who starts to morrow; we pay $50 for second cabin.44 We are looking very anxiously for the arrival of Bro. Keeler. Busily preparing for starting.

29 July 1854 • Saturday

Went up the [Nu‘uanu] valley early this morning to take a bath, it was is altogether probable that, if not our last bath together at this place, it will at any rate be the last for some time. A Mr. [James] Whittet was baptized with his wife, a native woman, this morning at this place, by Bro. Lewis; we confirmed him and ordained him an Elder; he and his wife were intending to take passage with us, intending to go to San Bernardino to reside. Busily engaged looking after passage, making preparations &c.; she is to sail at 1 o’clock. We regretted very much that we could not stay longer, as every thing had been so hurried that we had not the time we wished to tell our feelings or to get properly ready, and the non-arrival of Bro. Keeler filled us with sadness, as we were all anxious to see him and have him accompany us; we would have let this chance slip and waited for another, chance but Pres. Lewis and the brethren thought we had better go on this vessel. There was a feast to day got up by the saints for our benefit; when it was appointed it was expected that we would be there and we would have a two days’ meeting. At 11 o’clock we repaired to the meeting house; every thing was in fine order, food &c. in profusion, and all seated awaiting our arrival. Bro. Henry spoke telling them of our hasty leave and of his feelings &c.; after which, by request, I asked a blessing and the onslaught commenced. I could not eat, all my appetite had left me, the thoughts of leaving those with whom I had been associated in all circumstances for years on the closest terms of brotherly intimacy, deprived me of all relish for food, and I sat busily engaged in reviewing the past, finding ample food for reflection; my feelings were poignant, and the pangs of parting deprived me of all feelings of joy at the prospect that was opening before me, of seeing my mountain home with all its loved associations. After dinner I spoke and bade them farewell, bearing my last testimony to them that the work we had preached in their ears was indeed the truth of heaven, and exhorted them to hold fast to it, and to pay continual and strict attention to the words of the servants of God who should be in their midst; desiring them to bear us in mind continually before the Lord, as we would them. Bros. Farrer & Hawkins also spoke in the same strain. The saints then came forward and gave in their freewill offerings amounting to about $66 and a colt, for which Bros. Lewis & Johnson gave $20, more probably than it will bring, if sold. Bro. L. gave us $17.50 which had been placed in his hands by Bro. Side to dispose of. When the passages were engaged we had not near enough money to pay them, but we felt that the way would open to get it; I never have had any dubiety on my mind on this score, and the Lord has opened our way to the astonishment of us all. May this be our blessing in preparing to cross the plains for the [Salt Lake] valley, is my prayer to the Lord.45

After meeting we hurried down with our things to the vessel in company with all the brethren and Sis. Hammond & little Franky [Francis Hammond Jr.], and followed and preceded by a large concourse of natives, all filled with sorrow at the thoughts of parting with us. At 2 o’clock p.m. we loosed from our moorings and bade farewell to all. When the signal was made for all to repair on board I had considerable difficulty to make my way to the vessel in consequence of the press from all quarters to shake hands with me, it was hard, very hard parting with the brethren and with Sis. Hammond—Sis. Lewis I had bid good bye at the house; she was unwell—they manifested so much feeling, if they had been my own brothers and sister according to the flesh, I could not, I think, have felt worse. Sis. H. said it was like parting with a brother—their kindness, I trust, I shall never forget while memory holds its seat, as it has always been brotherly and sisterly. In the hurry and excitement of leaving I had scarcely time to think, and it was only when the shores of Honolulu were receding in the distance and the vessel was whirling us rapidly tow out of the harbor and from the islands, that I could begin to realize my feelings and position, and a feeling of lon[e]liness crept over me at being so suddenly separated from the midst of so many of the brethren and launched forth again on the mercies of the world. As I was bidding Bro. Hammond good bye, he slipped something into my vest pocket, which I afterwards found to be a $10 piece; I pray the Lord to bless him for his kindness.46

I am again on the ocean with my face Zionward, the gaol [goal] of all my hopes and desires—it seems to me that I shall feel very happy when I can again set my foot on the land of Joseph—that choice land above all other lands, the scene of so many important transactions and the where so many stupendous transactions works will be accomplished in the last days, about which prophets have prophesied and poets sung; the only drawback to my happiness is the absence of Bro. Keeler. I feel to sympathize with him, for I can imagine what his feelings must be when he arrives and finds us gone; and my prayer is that he may be supported by the spirit of the Lord.47

Before evening closed around us we were all sea-sick.48

30 July–1 August 1854 • Sunday to Tuesday

Confined principally to my berth in consequence of the disagreeable feelings attendant on sea-sickness.

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July 1854, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 25, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1850s/1854/07-1854