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June 1855

1–2 June 1855 • Friday to Saturday

Friday, June 1, 1855. Encamped until sun down when we again hitched up and started, being desirous of getting over the worst of the road in the night. We reached the summit of the divide – a distance of from twelve to fifteen miles, all up hill & some of it quite heavy – a little while before break of day. Bro. M. F. Wilkie’s horse gave out & he had quite a time with him. We travelled down the kanyon a few miles and stopped at a patch of excellent bunch grass, but no water, to take breakfast. We then started, it being Saturday, the 2nd, for the Mohave, about eighteen miles distant, most of the road down hill, and reached there with the teams about 2 o’clock p.m. This water was very acceptable to many of the men and the animals, who seemed as though they never would be satisfied. We had travelled thirty-five miles, and the latter part of the journey was oppressively hot; what little breeze there was, was heate hot that it brought with it a suffocating sensation, and the heat was more endurable out of the breeze than in it. Bro. Wilkie suffered extremely having stayed with his horse to bring him in. It was truly delightful to get once more under the shade of trees; we had a fine camping ground, it seemed positively lovely in our eyes after passing thro’ the arid, sterile wilderness thro’ which our road had ran for some hundreds of miles, and we enjoyed it much.

3 June 1855 • Sunday

Sunday, June 3, 1855. Started about 2 o’clock a.m. and travelled about ten miles and stopped and breakfasted. Road very heavy and sandy. I worked three mules having turned out the church mule; he had “give out.” Started again and travelled about five miles further, and camped for the night; feed excellent.

4 June 1855 • Monday

Monday, June 4th, 1855. Started about 2½ a.m. and travelled about eight miles and stopped in a beautiful grove to breakfast; feed excellent, clover being plentiful. Caught some fish in an adjacent hole. Started again & travelled to the last crossing of the Mohave, where we leave it, and camped; a drive of about thirty five miles. Bro. Rich was met this morning by two young men from San Bernardino, who brought him a mule. We found several wagons encamped here being part of Bro. Mc Bride’s company on their way to the valley. I was agreeably surprised to <in> meeting them as we heard they were returning on the northern route, and more especially when I learned that there were so many <along> whom I wished to see: Bros. Mc Bride & Bro. Hy W. Bigler were here; and Bros C. W. West, Wm. Farrer, R. N. Allred and N. Tanner were between this place & San Bernardino, on their way to join the company. We spent a very pleasant evening in conversation. I was glad to see Bro. Hy on his way home from his long mission, and my prayer is, that he and his brethren, who are also returning, may be blessed and prospered.

5 June 1855 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 5, 1855. Bade the brethren adieu, and we started for the pass and they homeward. Bro. Rich left us and went on ahead. We ascended gradually to the pass about twenty miles; road good; then descended a very bad and dangerous hill, both hind wheels locked and a lariet fastened to the hind axle tree to which three men held on to keep the wagon from hurrying the mules too fast. Descended the kanyon, six miles, road gravelly sand, heavy pulling, and camped among the willows; feed rather poor scanty but water excellent.

6 June 1855 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 6, 1855. Started at daylight and went several miles down the kanyon to good feed and breakfasted. Started again and after emerging from the kanyon into the open country, we met Bros. Amasa, Charles C. & R. R. Hopkins <in a carriage;> they were well. We drove rapidly into the city and just as we entered we met the brethren coming out with their teams: Bros. West, Farrer, Allred & Tanner, I was sorry that we had so little opportunity to converse. By the invitation of Bro. Rich I drove up to his house. Lucas, Elizabeth’s oldest brother, was on the mountain hauling, but got home that night; he has no house of his own, merely boarding out. We were very glad to see him, as he was us. He intends returning to the valley this fall.

10 June 1855 • Sunday

On Sunday I attended meeting, Bro. Rich and myself spoke. During my stay of a week in this place I <we> visited many, but, for want of time, were not able to visit a great many who had invited us. <Wheat> Crops are almost a total failure here this season in consequence of the rust. I am told that it is doubtful whether they get enough of grain to seed the same amount of land again. – I sold my wagon, harness, fifth chain, stretcher, &c, also my gun, for $102; the wagon alone would have sold, a short time ago, for $125 at least, but money is so scarce that missionaries coming in, or those compelled to sell immediately, have to sell at a sacrifice.1

13 June–3 July 1855 • Wednesday to Tuesday

On Wednesday, June 13th, 1855, We left San Bernardino[.] Lucas Hoagland, my wife’s brother, took us down to the coast with his team; we took provisions along, and camped out at night. We reached San Pedro, the roadstead where the steamers and other vessels landed – a bleak, exposed place – on Friday afternoon. We camped here until Wednesday, <Thursday> the 25th, <21st>, waiting for the steamer. Lucas stopped with us until Tuesday, when, his <business> compelling him, he left for home. Mr. Alexander, of the firm of Alexander & Banning, who carried on an extensive business here, told me that I could use what wood we wanted from their pile, and what water we wanted from their barrel – there was no fresh water within two or three miles of this place and they hauled what they used in a barrel on a wagon. I took cabin passage for myself and Elizabeth; the brethren, Bros. Bull, Wilkie and Fairbanks, took passage in, what is called, the second cabin. We were all troubled with sea-sickness. I was not very bad, but Elizabeth suffered considerably; she had been complaining, for nearly a week before we came on board, of being unwell. On Friday morning we anchored for a short time at Santa Barbara – quite a pretty place composed of Spanish and American buildings. On Saturday about noon we anchored at Monterey, the old capital of California, and remained a few hours; this is a very pretty situation; the pine-clad hills are close to the edge of town; their gardens are very fine. Business, they say, is very dull. At sunrise on Sunday <June 24th,> we were sailing into the heads of San Francisco and we landed between seven and eight o’clock a.m. I started immediately up town to hunt Bro. Parley, but after running around for some time to places where some of the saints used to live without finding him or any person that could give me any intelligence of him; it struck me that Father Mowry, or some of his folks, might be over on this side of the bay, and so I called there, and found them at home, and from them I learned that Bro. Parley had started for the Valley, which surprised me very much, as I had calculated on finding him here. He was spending the Sunday at Bro. Naile’s, about forty-five, or fifty miles, from here, and was intending to leave in the morning (Monday) to proceed on his journey. By the invitation of Bro. & Sis. Mowry, I brought Elizabeth and our things up to their house. She was quite unwell from the <combined> effects of her sickness and the sea-sickness, which made her <scarcely> unable to walk up. I thought I would try and see Bro. Parley before <he> I left, and, therefore, I crossed the bay and took the stage to Union city, and from there I walked to Bro. Naile’s, and met with Bro. Parley who was very glad to see me. It was an unexpected meeting to him, and he was he was very glad [illegible] indeed to see me. <agreeably surprised.> Bros. Hawkins and Rinaldo Mowry were also going with him. From Bro. Parley I obtained a general detail of the affairs <of the church> in this country; and found, what I had already made calculations on, that prospects were not bright in this country, either for establishing the press or anything else. The press was <stored> in San Francisco, and the expenses attendant on bringing it from the islands, with <storages,> cartage, wharfage &c, &c, amounted to about $100, which Bro. P. had used out of tithing money, and which he wished me to make <refund> good <to the church> when I could. The morning before I left Bro. Parley set me apart to preside over the affairs of the church in Northern California, Oregon & Washington Territories, and the British and Russian American possessions in the north; he gave me a very good blessing indeed. On Tuesday morning, <June 26,> I bade Bro. Parley and the folks, good bye; as I left, Bro. Naile gave me $5 to pay my expenses. Never in my life did I feel the weight of responsibility as at present, and, to speak figuratively, it seemed as though the weight of a world rested on my shoulders. My former experience, on the islands and elsewhere, of the power of God exerted in behalf of his people when they seek it, comes in very opportunely at the present time, for there is a great work to be done, and but very little on hand at present to accomplish it. The numerous instances of the deliverance wrought by the Lord in my behalf, stimulate me to believe that in this, my present situation he will not leave me unaided. Stopped at Bro. Nash’s, Union city, until Wednesday morning <June 27/55>. I arrived in San Francisco about noon, and found all well. Elizabeth<’s> <health> had improved; and as it had been the longest separation we had experienced since our marriage, there was quite a little demonstration of feeling at the reunion. Landing, as we did, in a strange place, and among<st> those who were entire strangers to here, and it being the first time to be ever away from her relatives, made it a little trying to her, especially in her weak state. On Sunday, July the 1st, 1855, we held meeting in Bro. Crosby’s house, about twenty-five met together; I laid before them the object of my mission to this country, and also spoke on principle, and there was a general feeling manifested <by those present> to do all in their power to aid in this work. Bros. Bull and Wilkie also spoke. We looked for Bro. Hyde to have been here to day, as we heard he was in Sacramento, but in vain. By the invitation of Bro. Horner, Elizabeth and I accompanied them – himself and wife – out to their place, about four miles out of town. On the night of Monday, the 2nd, Bro. Hyde arrived. On the 3rd of July, Tuesday, I went into town and was heartily glad to meet with him. He had seen Bro. Parley, and they had concluded, inasmuch as Bro. P. was returning and Bro. Hyde’s duties in Carson county being such as to preclude his residence for any length of time in this country – to defer publishing the paper <for the present, until something is heard from home;> but to secure a suitable building at a low rent, and proceed to publish the Book of Mormon in the Hawaiian language. Bro. Hyde wrote a letter home, detailing the situation of affairs and his own fix; and also setting forth that San Francisco is the most suitable place, in preference to Sacramento or Carson valley, for the establishment of a newspaper. they <(Bros. H & P.)> had written <jointly> an epistle to me, setting forth my duties as president, in the absence of one of twelve, in this country, and also in relation to the press &c. Bro. H. went out with me to Bro. Horner’s.

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June 1855, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 16, 2024