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October 1859

21 October 1859 • Friday

Friday, Oct. 21st, 1859. Twelve months today I landed at Florence from the Valley. This morning I was up early, called at Bro. Richard Morris’ and at Bro. Lark’s; I had conversation with the latter on Church matters. Started for Philadelphia; Sister Calkins accompanied me; she desired to see the country and visit the Saints. Took the cars to Trenton and then the steamboat to Philadelphia; arrived about 4 p.m. Stopped at Sister Fenton’s.

22 October 1859 • Saturday

Saturday, 22nd. Arose early and started at ½ past 7 to Minersville in company with Bro. Maeser. Made a mistake, and went to <past> Schuylkill Haven to Pottsville, and had to walk six or seven miles in consequence instead of two. I was not well, and grew very faint on the road; Bro. Maeser carried my carpet sack, and by resting frequently, I succeeded in reaching Bro. James Sewell’s house, Hecksherville. Was We were cordially welcomed, and I was glad to get to the house of a friend.

23 October 1859 • Sunday

Sunday, 23rd. Ascended the mountain and was shown by Bro. Sewell slopes where coal had been dug. I felt to sympathise very much with the brethren in this neighborhood; they are all coal miners, and have to descend daily into the bowels of the earth at the risk of their lives to earn a subsistence for themselves and families. Accidents were not uncommon, and they were all more or less scarred and cut up; one of the brethren about a year ago was killed by part of his head being blown away; others had only been kept from death by the exercise of faith and the administration of the ordinance. I want to see them get out of these dangers, and though they have not much means, yet I counseled them to get ready to go West in the Spring.

In the afternoon held meeting. The Sacrament was administered, and I spoke to a goodly number of Saints, followed by Bro. Maeser. Took tea with Bro. Moffatt. In evening held meeting again; I addressed the Saints.

24 October 1859 • Monday

Monday, Oct. 24/59. Writing &c. Took tea at Bro. Marsden’s. Held meeting in evening; Bro. Sewell spoke, followed by myself and Bro. Maeser. An excellent spirit prevailed in this as well as the other meetings. The people They appear to be a good people and an excellent spirit prevails. I have been agreeably disappointed in the people <them> and their houses, and manner of living; I was not prepared to see so cleanly a people. They are a <very> kind hearted, people and have treated us with all possible kindness <regard.> This mountain air is very bracing to me, and my appetite is very keen. Bro. Sewell is president of the branch, and is much beloved by the people, and he is attached to them; they say he shall not leave them; they are determined to stick to him, and he is equally averse to leaving them.

25 October 1859 • Tuesday

Tuesday, 25th. A beautiful morning. We start on our return over the mountain to Minersville, where we take the cars to Schuylkill <Cressona.> Haven. We took with us a dog, a very fine spaniel, that I bought of one of the sisters with the expectation of taking it through to the Valley. We tied him up for the night; but he got loose, in the night, and when we arose in the morning he was nowhere to be seen. We stopped at Bro. <A. M.> Mortimer’s, President of the Branch. He is foreman of the carpenters and painters on the RailRoad. We took supper at Bro. Rudy’s. Mrs. Mortimer and Mrs. Rudy are not in the Church. The appearance of the coal fields at Hecksherville and Minersville, reminded me of the volcanic craters of the Sandwich Islands – the extinct crater of Hale-a-Ka-la on Maui and the active volcano of Kilauea on Hawaii – the piles of coal looking like the heaps of lava and scoria found in the bottoms of the craters.

26 October 1859 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct. 26th/59. I wrote a letter to Elizabeth. Snowed to-day quite heavily through the afternoon. Held meeting in the evening; I spoke with considerable freedom. A young man was present who did not belong to the Church, who I heard afterwards said that he was satisfied that the gospel as taught by us was true; and I think will likely be baptized.

27 October 1859 • Thursday

Thursday, 27th. Started this morning to Schuylkill Haven, there took the cars to Harrisburgh, via Reading. Stopped at Harrisburgh through the night.

28 October 1859 • Friday

Friday, 28th. After breakfast took the cars to Chambersburgh, thence went by stage to Quincy, where we were met by Bro. David Robison who took us to the his house and entertained us kindly. Bro. David Robison and Bro. Wm Robison, brothers of Bro. Daniel, and their father spent the evening with us.

29 October 1859 • Saturday

Saturday, 29th. Slept last night for the first time in my life under a feather bed, a Penn Dutch fashion; a very warm covering. Visited the Saints through the day.

30 October 1859 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 30th, 1859. Stopped last night at Bro. David Robison’s. Administered to his wife for the neuralgia or tooth-ache and she was instantaneously relieved. Held council meeting this morning and the case of Bro [last name redacted] was brought up. He was charged with drunkenness and with being seen in a house of ill-fame. This man holds the priesthood of a Seventy and was at Nauvoo; but he has now become a complete slave to his appetite for strong drink. He has repeatedly promised to repent, and begged the brethren to have mercy upon him and they have borne with him till they are tired. He acknowledged what he was charged with; but denied having commited anything criminal. I talked very severely upon his course of conduct; but, as he besought mercy to be extended to him, I told the brethren to try him once more and they consented. He has had an idea, so I was informed, that being a Seventy the branch could not handle him, but I undeceived him on this point and told the branch how to proceed in such cases. If a man held a standing in a quorum in Zion, no branch outside of Zion could cut him off; but they could disfellowship him, and forward the minutes of their proceedings to his quorum in Zion, and they could take the necessary action upon him and if need be cut him off.

Held public meeting in the afternoon in the school house; a good many strangers were present. I spoke and had much of the spirit, and several afterwards acknowledged that what had been preached was true. Some two or three drunken fellows attempted to disturb the meeting; I called once or twice but it only had the effect to keep them quiet for a few moments. The presiding elder, Bro. Daniel Robison, finally went to them and told them if they [did not] stop their noise they would be put out of meeting. They made some remarks in reply and he called on his brother Wm to put them out. Wm Robison, a fiery, fearless man, a man, though not very large, of whom the whole country stands in dread he is so <strong and,> terrible when roused, stepped towards <them,> and for a few moments the whole house was in commotion, fully expecting a row. I called to Wm to stop and sit down; but he told me afterwards he did not hear me. When he went to them, they hauled in, and acted as though they would rather have him keep off and not touch them. They afterwards sat quiet while they remained in the meeting. After the meeting, they quarreled among themselves, each blaming the other as the cause of the disturbance and got so far, one of them did, as to rub his fist under the nose of the other two and dare them to fight, saying he could whip them both.

Took tea at Sister Miller’s; Mr. M. is not in the Church but is favorable and makes calculations I believe on gathering in the spring. Mrs. M. is a Lang; they are rather numerous here. In evening held meeting at Bro. Daniel Robison’s house. The house was very much crowded and numbers stood outside. We blessed a child of Bro. R’s before commencing to speak; it was named George Cannon. This is the second child that has been named after me lately; Bro. Spencer in Philadelphia has a son named Geo. Cannon. I spoke to the people, showing from the scriptures that such a work as this must that we testified of must come forth, and must accomplish what this is now accomplishing, or the words of the prophets and apostles would fail; and reasoned at great length on the condition they world would be in when it should come forth, and what effect its coming forth would have. The congregation was very attentive, seemed completely enchained, and it is seldom that I <have> spoken with greater freedom and power.

Before the meeting this evening, in company with Bro. Maeser and other elders, I administered again to Sister Robison, she having been out and exposed herself and received another attack of severe tooth-ache. She obtained immediate relief; but I felt the <same> symptoms, stronger than I ever experienced in my life before; I did not have them long, however, I never have had the regular tooth-ache, this is was the nearest approach to it of anything I ever had before.

The people in this neighborhood have been and still are much terrified at the recent outbreak at Harper’s Ferry, and some of them who have heard the elders for years back, preaching and prophesying of calamity, disunion &c begin to remember their words and think they are coming true; some of them are quite excited on the subject. In my remarks I dwelt on these subjects somewhat, told them that they had been duly warned, and now they were without excuse.

31 October 1859 • Monday

Monday, Oct. 31st, 1859. Started this morning for Philadelphia, took the stage from Quincy to Chambersburg, then by cars to Harrisburgh, then by cars to Philadelphia, where we arrive about 9 o’clock p.m.

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October 1859, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 21, 2024