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February 1859


Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1859

Undated summary

Met with “Roger A. Pryor, the editor of the States”; “interviews with all the editors in Washington”

21–24 February

Desire to help “roll back the stream of falsehood and misrepresentation”

2 March

Requested editors of the Philadelphia Press and Washington Union to republish clippings

3 March

News of birth of son to Sarah Jane; Cannon’s prayers for his family

4 March

Met with “the proprietor of the Mo. Democrat

9 March

Received news of blessing of “Franklin J. (Jenney) Cannon”

20–21 March

Lecture by Thomas L. Kane on “the Executive of Utah”

22 March

Visit to Hoagland family members

24 March

Received “a copy of a memorial of the Legislative Assembly of Utah to be admitted into the Union”

28 March

Thomas L. Kane said public feeling was softening toward Mormons

23 October

Counsel to coal miners in Pennsylvania to “go West in the Spring”

30 October

Disturbance by “drunken fellows” in a meeting; people in neighborhood “terrified at the recent outbreak at Harper’s Ferry”

[Undated summary of activities]

I have been so busy traveling about for some time that I have not had time to write my journal regularly; but I shall write it from time to time as I can get opportunity. On Tuesday, the 25th January/59 I started in company with Bro. Horace S. Eldredge for Washington. This was my second trip to the capital. <The first time> I spent between seven and eight days there, <from the 23rd of Dec. to the 31st.> waiting principally to see Roger A. Pryor, the editor of the States; my visit was I thought somewhat successful. He seemed quite interested in the subject of our belief and expressed a desire to get a Book of Mormon; I was the first “Mormon” he had ever conversed with. I promised to get him a Book of Mormon and also a Spencer’s Letters, and he told me he would read them prayerfully. This second visit however found him much changed in feeling on this subject. I gave him the Book of Mormon and the Letters; but he had apparently no interest in receiving them. He had no time to look into the matter, so he said, and though he treated me politely in our interviews, yet it was evident that the subject of Utah and the Mormons was rather distasteful. The cause of this change in his feelings I attributed to the poison that had <been> instilled into his mind by wicked men, Judge Eckels and men of that ilk with whom he informed me he had <had> conversations.

Bro. Eldredge remained in Washington about ten days, and then left for the north; I remained over a week afterwards, making my absence from Philadelphia three weeks duration. I had interviews with all the editors in Washington, and conversed on the subject of Utah and her affairs; they all talked fairly, but it is one thing to talk <&> another thing to act where “Mormonism” is concerned.

I reached Philadelphia on the Tuesday evening, the 22nd <15th> of Feb./59. The next day I went out to Fern Rock. I found the Col. confined to his bed. During my absence he had been severely attacked by pleurisy; he was much better, but was by no means free from pain. Our conversation was quite lengthy; he was much interested, as he always is when we have conversations on those subjects that lie nearest our hearts, so much so that his wife and mother both came up several times to check him and warn him of the effects. It was thought best for me to visit New York and St. Louis.

18–19 February 1859 • Friday–Saturday

Friday, the 18th of Feb., 1859, I started at 11 p.m. for New York, reached there at 4 a.m. on Saturday, the 19th. Finished my business this day.

20 February 1859 • Sunday

Sunday, the 20th. Wrote to Bro. Calkins, Eng. acknowledging receipt of £50, etc.

21–24 February 1859 • Monday–Thursday

Monday, 21st of Feb., 59. Started this morning for St. Louis on the 8 o’clock train by the N.Y. & Erie Railroad. Traveled until 11 a.m. on Tuesday when I reached Cleveland, Ohio. Mother’s sister Catherine and family are residing at this place, and I concluded to stop here until the next train left at 8.10 p.m. After some little trouble hunting their place of residence I succeeded in finding them. They appeared to be very glad to see me. Aunt’s husband died last summer. The family consists of Aunt Catherine, Thomas her oldest, Mary Ann, Eleanor, Emma and Margaret. Aunt’s health is not very good. The family are dependant principally upon Thos.’ labor; he is chief engineer on the Propeller Northern Light, running on the Lake Superior trade. My visit was a very agreeable one, and they pressed me strongly to stay longer; but I felt that I could not spare the time. If I could stay any time when I returned, I promised that I would.

I travelled that night on rail to Cincinnati, which place I reached at 8.10 a. m. on Wednesday; thence by steamer, the river being high and the track submerged, twenty-five miles to Aurora, and then took rail to St. Louis, which place I reached at about 7 o’clock on Thursday morning. Bro. Eldredge arrived with his family the evening previous. I stopped at Bro. Eldredge & Coward’s office. Bro. Kesler and all the rest were well. After arriving here I received a long letter from Pres. B. Young giving me a good many items connected with matters and things in Utah. I was much pleased to receive it, and my prayer and desires are that I may be able to carry out the instructions that have been given me, fill my mission successfully and be the means in the hands of the Almighty of helping roll back the stream of falsehood and misrepresentation that has <almost> covered up the true state of things in the Valley. This letter came by way of California to St. Louis.

27 February 1859 • Sunday

Sunday, Feb. 27/59 Went with Bro. Coward to meeting at Bro. Savage’s. I addressed the Saints. There appears to be an indifferent, careless spirit prevailing to too great an extent among those who are numbered with the Church. Took supper at Bro. Walter Huish’s.

28 February 1859 • Monday

Monday, 28th. Had an interview with the Agent of the Telegraph <Associated> Press; not so satisfactory as I could wish; but still I hope that it will not be entirely fruitless. His name is C. J. Osborn. Took supper at Bro. John Gordon’s.