The Church Historian's Press

December 1857

1 December 1857 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 1st/57. This morning I was surprised to meet at the Office door Bro. John Scott who started on a mission to Great Britain from the City of the Saints at the same time that I came to this country. He informed me that Bros. Orson Pratt, Ezra T. Benson, John A. Ray, John Kay, Wm. Miller and himself arrived in San Francisco on the Sonora yesterday from England, via New York. They were travelling incog. They left England on the 14th of Oct., five days after receiving the news of the trouble at home by Bro. Saml W. Richards. Bro. Richards stopped, and calculated on leaving early in the Spring for the Valley. The brethren thought it best, when they received permission from the President, to return as speedily as possible, and as the eastern route would be closed by snow and troops, they thought the southern route by San Bernardino was the most feasible under the circumstances. In the evening I had an interview with Bros. Pratt & Benson; they came to the Office. They counseled me to settle up my business and accompany them home. Bro. Pratt said I could go through with him.

2 December 1857 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 2/57. Busily employed all day in making preparations for our departure; storing our press, type etc. and settling up all my business concerns. I left the press etc. in charge of Bro. Eveleth and all my unfinished business, taking receipts from him for all that I left in his hands.

3 December 1857 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 3rd. I was up all night getting ready, and had barely time to get down with my things to the Steamer by the hour of departure. I leave San Francisco without a sigh of regret; my only regret is that <all> the brethren and sisters who have the desire to leave but have not the means, are not also able to leave, and my prayer is that their way may be opened. I feel clear from the blood of this people; I have labored – diligently labored to lay before them the principles of salvation by means of the press and public preaching, but to all the offers of salvation they have turned a deaf ear, and they have treated all our testimonies and warnings as idle tales. I feel thankful for the privilege of leaving them, and returning once more to the society of the saints in Zion. It has been no pleasure to dwell in their midst; nothing but the knowledge that it was a duty sustained me; there was <is> nothing in common between the Gentiles and the Saints, the north and south, light and darkness are no farther apart than are the ways, views and practices of the people of God and the <people of the> world.

The brethren were before named were all on board as well as Bros. Bull, McEwan & Cowley. I was quite seasick. Passed Monterey in the evening. I spat blood in the night, caused, perhaps, by violent straining in vomiting.

4 December 1857 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 4th/57. Seasick in morning, better towards afternoon. Passed San Luis Obispo. We stopped there several hours discharging freight.

5 December 1857 • Saturday

Saturday, 5th/57. Touched at Santa Barbara, landed freight and passed on. This evening myself and Mr. Waite, the Postmaster of Los Angeles and formerly editor of the Los Angeles Star got into conversation on Mormon topics and the present attitude of the people of Utah and we became so interested and talked so loudly that all the cabin passengers gathered around to listen. He finally acknowledged that I had the best of the argument. I talked plainly and pointedly on the subject of our troubles, defended the course of Gov. Young and the people of Utah as being perfectly constitutional and proper, and asserted that any other people, whether of California or any other State of the Union, who had any of the spirit of freedom burning in their bosoms, would take a similar course under the circumstances. We talked for a length of time on these subjects, and it seemed to be quite an easy matter to rebut all his arguments and assertions. A U.S. Officer who, with a detachment of men, was on his way to San Diego, listened very attentively both while talking on our rights as American citizens and afterwards while conversing on our principles.

Reached San Pedro at about 10 o’clock p.m.

6 December 1857 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 6/57. Engaged <in> landing our things this morning. Had to remain all day to wait for teams to take Bro. Pratt’s carriages and the other brethren’s wagon up to San Bernardino.

7 December 1857 • Monday

Monday, <Dec.> 7th. <1857>1 Loaded up, and about noon started and travelled about 14 miles and stopped at a Spanish house for the night. Very cold and disagreeable.2

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December 1857, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 19, 2024