August 1854

2–7 August 1854 • Wednesday to Monday

On deck every day, engaged reading, talking with the 1st officer on our doctrines, polygamy &c.; he did not believe, but was not bigot<t>ed or much prejudiced, and conversed freely. I hope the ideas or seed dropped may, at some future day, induce reflection and bring forth fruit. The weather has been fine and pleasant; the vessel gliding along with very little more jar then would be felt on a steam boat on the Mississippi river; indeed, a considerable part of the time we could not hoist any canvass, being impelled solely by the propeller. For a day or two we have had a breeze, and I have incidentally heard that we have made 205 miles this last 24 hours[.]

8–11 August 1854 • Tuesday to Friday

Writing letters to Bros. [Philip] Lewis and [Benjamin F.] Johnson, & [Francis] Hammond at the islands, and to Uncle and Aunt [John and Leonora Taylor], Elizabeth [Hoagland], Bro. Jos. [Joseph] Cain, and to Chas. [Charles Lambert], Angus [Cannon] &c. We expected to have been in San Francisco ere this but our coal has failed, and we have had to use the sails and drag the propeller.1 Every thing has gone on about as usual; one man has been put in irons for refusing to do duty, but on promising to go to work, was released.

12 August 1854 • Saturday

Foggy; we made a small island [one of the Farallon Islands], early in the morning but about sunrise we dropped anchor in consequence of the fog. After lying at our anchor a few hours the fog began to clear up, and we again got underweigh. We soon passed the heads [the entrance] and went up the bay at a beautiful rate. San Francisco has altered much; new wharves and new buildings has given the place another aspect.2 In levelling the streets they have had great labor in levelling blasting, excavating &c., the ground being very hilly. We landed at the wharf about 12 at noon.3 By the request of the brethren, Bro. Bigler and I started to try and find some of the saints. At On knocking at the door of a house where we expected to find a bro. [Zacheus] Cheney we were very agreeably surprised to see Sis. Elizabeth Pratt opening an adjoining door. I recognized her immediately and was speedily introduced into a room where Bro. Parley [Pratt] was, who gave us a hearty welcome. My joy was unbounded in again being permitted to tread on the shores of Zion and again behold one of the apostles of the Lamb. I could scarcely contain myself and I felt to glorify and praise my Father in heaven.4 I also learned that the brethren who had accompanied him from the Valley, twenty in number, for the islands, were all here and in the adjacent country.5 They (Bro. Parley and Bro. [Nathan] Tanner) have been earnestly striving to procure a vessel to send to the islands; and have one in their hands, but are considerably embarrassed for want of means.6 Bro. Parley has held meetings all the time at his house and has preached every opportunity—the people are hard hearted and careless and the truth has no charms for them. He is also engaged writing his history and he has and an idea of having it published.

[13 August 18547 • Sunday]

On Sunday, the 13th we had a meeting to day and Bro. Pratt called on me to give a recital of our travels labors and the prospects of the work &c.; and I was much blessed and had the spirit. The privilege of once more meeting with the saints on the land of Zion in the possession of health and a portion of the spirit and without any feeling of condemnation, filled me with feelings of peculiar love and gratitude to the Lord for his preserving care. Bros. Bigler and [James] Hawkins likewise spoke and were blessed.8

14 August 1854 • Monday

Bro. Pratt thought that as the brethren [William Farrer, Bigler, and Hawkins] had a chance they had better cross over the bay and get work and if it was agreeable to my feelings he wanted me to stop with him and copy and help him revise his history ready for press. I readily acquiesced in this and thought it a privilege and an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge by listening to his teachings and conversations. The brethren crossed over the bay and got work at digging potatoes &c.—times are very hard and money scarce and they were lucky in getting employment as there were great numbers of men seeking employment. I went to work copying, and copied, revised &c. for <nearly> six weeks, and completed the 1st vol. of his history. This time passed off as agreeably as any one could have wished, and I felt much benefitted and blessed in conversing with and in listening to Bro. Parley; his great experience, wisdom and profound acquaintance with the principles of the gospel and the great simplicity and plainness with which he explained any subject that he conversed upon, was extremely instructive and attractive to me, and I was never tired of listening to his remarks.9 This, combined with the extreme kindness of himself and wife Elizabeth, will always cause me to look back with feelings <of> pleasure and satisfaction to my residence in his family.10

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August 1854, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 27, 2024