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January 1862


Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1862

1 January ff.

Meetings with elders and other Saints

23 January

Printing German Book of Mormon

1 February ff.

Conference at Cardiff, Wales

9 February

Spoke on attending to the Spirit of the Lord

6 March

News regarding the “Constitution of the State of Deseret”

11 March

News from Salt Lake City about a grave robber

12 March

Liverpool spring horse races

14 March

Had a boy indentured to him for seven years as an apprentice printer

20 March ff.

Chose ships the emigrants would take; bartered for fare

6 April

Disturbance by an anti-Mormon lecturer

9 April

Excitement respecting the encounter between the Merrimac and the Cumberland in the U.S. Civil War; “Babylon is ripening rapidly for destruction”

13 April

Different effects of “the Spirit of the Lord and the Spirit of the Adversary”

21 April

Emigration and instruction to “the Saints respecting their duties”; “escape from Babylon”; Protestant ministers help sponsor emigrant families

22 April

“Very poor” Saints; “the pressure of the hard times”

5 May

Received news that he had been elected U.S. senator

13 May

Cleared emigrant ships; travel to United States; sympathy for his wife Elizabeth being “in a strange land”

31 May

Feelings about being elected “U.S. Senator for the State of Deseret”

4 June

Visit with “Horace Greeley, Editor of the Tribune

10–14 June

“On Friday, 13th went … to pay our respects to President [Abraham] Lincoln”

18 June

To Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner, “we made our Constitution republican”

19 June ff.

Discussions regarding Utah statehood

24 June

“The Bill prohibiting polygamy in the Territories … was brought up and passed.”

25 June

Maine senator William P. Fessenden did not object to polygamy “on scriptural grounds” but rather “as a matter of state policy.”

1 July ff.

Called upon various senators

4 July

News from General George B. McClellan’s army near Richmond, Virginia; terrible carnage, a reenactment of the scenes of the Jaredites and the Nephites

14 July

Visit with Thomas L. Kane

16 July

Embarked on steamer for Liverpool

4 September ff.

Arrived in Hamburg; travels in Germany, Denmark

6 September ff.

Description of Danish people

12 September ff.

Descriptions of Copenhagen

24 September ff.

Visit to Amsterdam; comparison of people in Holland with the Danes

26 September ff.

Cologne Cathedral; travel through Germany into Switzerland

1 October ff.

In Switzerland

13 October ff.

In Paris

13 December

Report to members of the Twelve; efforts “to stave off the pressure of distress from the poor of the manufacturing districts”

15 December ff.

Visit to Scotland

1 January 1862 • Wednesday

Tuesday, Dec. 31/61. Started this morning early in company with Bros. Lyman, Rich and McAllister. Reached Birmingham and went to Bro. Mills’ where we found many of the brethren already arrived. {Wednesday, Jan’y 1st. 1862. Early yesterday morning I started in company with Bro’s Lyman, Rich and McAllister for Birmingham where we arrived about 12 o’clock a.m.} Among the rest was my cousin, George J. Taylor, who was very ill through the past night, bleeding freely at the lungs. This news pained me very much for I love George for his exemplary, upright course and his modest and correct deportment, and if he can live I feel that he will prove a blessing to the people, to his father’s house and to himself. I trust he may by care and refraining from exertion recover and his lungs be healed.

We <(the Presidency)> stopped at Bro. Mills[;] the other brethren were divided among the Saints.

Wednesday, Jany. 1/62. Met this morning in the Farm St. Chapel, a building belonging to the Church, and very well suited to our business. There were [blank] Elders, with mostly from the Valley and it did gave me great pleasure to see them. They looked and felt well, their countenances literally beamed with good feeling and intelligence. Bro. Amasa M. Lyman and opened the meeting by prayer and made some introductory remarks. The district presidents were called on for their reports. Bro’s. Mills and John Brown, Presidents of the Birmingham & London Districts. Bro. Rich followed and the meeting was dismissed. In evening Bro. David M. Stuart, and Bro. Gibson, Presidents of the Scottish District <Mission> and Cheltenham District, spoke and gave very favorable reports of their fields. I followed, and had the Spirit, but I was so choked up that I could not express my feelings and it was with difficulty that I restrain my emotions. Bro’s. <James S.> Brown, John Kay and Geo. Halliday, Presidents of the Nottingham Manchester and South Districts[,] then reported their districts, and with the exception of the latter reported them in good condition. Bro. Lyman followed in instructions at some length.

2 January 1862 • Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 2/62. Met at 10 A.M. The brethren continued their representations. Bros Bro. Bigler, President of the Irish Mission, and Bro’s. Blackburn, Gleason, and Jeremy reported their various fields – Bedford, Newcastle-on-Tyne, and the Welsh Mission — in very favorable terms. Bro. Rich followed and meeting dismissed. In the evening Bros. Joseph F. Smith, DelaMare and Bramall represented the Sheffield District the Channel Islands and Southampton District and in as being in a very good condition. Bro. Lyman followed at some length in very instructive remarks. Received a letter from President Young under date of Nov. 29th in which he informs me that Telegraphic news of the same even dates is transmitted from New York the Eastern States to the Valley. He gives me liberty in this letter to release such Elders as the Spirit may dictate or circumstances require, the privilege extended to Bro’s. Lyman, Rich, Gibso and Van Cott to return[,] not precluding or interfering with the release of others.1

3 January 1862 • Friday

Friday, 3rd. Met at 11. o’clock this morning in the Chapel. After singing and prayer I addressed the meeting, bearing chiefly upon the feeling of nationality which has unfortunately been indulged in by Elders and others, and showed the superfluity and disaster of entertaining such views. Also urged the young men to avail themselves of the opportunities offered and improve in their deportment and language — so that they may be classed among the educated men of the earth — and with the principles of truth on their side they would surpass them. Showed the Elders that they had ample opportunities of realizing experience in their intercourse with, and travels among mankind, which would prove of great value in <their> future lives. I had the Spirit upon me during my remarks.

Brother Lyman then addressed the brethren briefly making some very appropriate remarks in his usually eloquent manner. After singing “Come, come ye Saints.” meeting was dismissed with prayer by Prest. Rich.

Met again at 4 P.M. when I arose and instructed the brethren who were present to speak as they might feel led by the Spirit suggesting that the District Presidents should not occupy the time as they had already spoken, but allow those who had been denied the privilege to occupy the time. Quite a number of the brethren then briefly spoke their feelings expressing their desires to labor for the <improvement and> welfare of themselves, mankind and the work they represented. A very good Spirit prevailed throughout. I then arose and presented some items of business relative to releases and appointments in various portions of the Mission. Among the rest was the release, on a/c of ill health of my cousin George J. Taylor. I read a letter from Elder John Van Cott giving a very cheering report of the work’s progress in Scandinavia and the North of Europe. Brother Lyman made a few remarks suggesting that we no longer say “Mormonism” when we mean the Gospel. Sang “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” and were dismissed with prayer by Brother Lyman

4 January 1862 • Saturday

Saturday 4th <11. A.M.> After singing and prayer (by Br. Rich) I addressed the brethren mainly upon the advantages of self culture and improvement urging them to write for the Star and in doing so to not feel discouraged if nineteen articles out of twenty should be rejected. Showing the difficulty attending first attempts to do anything of importance as it should be done. Illustrating my observations by recounting episodes of my <own> experiences. I then urged upon those present the necessity of extending the circulation of the Star, giving a plain exposition of the affairs of the office at L’pool, and explained the importance of having the Stars and Journals among the people as missionaries or silent monitors who <that> could go where other missionaries could not. Urged the importance of attention to the payment of Tithing. Exposed the fallacy of excluding certain countries from the benefits of our faithful exertions on account of a foolish <preconceived> predjudice against certain classes such as the Irish showed that it was not an inherent or innate opposition to the Gospel that prevented them from joining us; but the circumstances by which they were surrounded and the powerful opposition which met the endeavors of the Elders to introduce the principles of truth among them.

Br. Rich followed briefly expressing a desire to see the Elders improve and progress, spoke of the necessity of using correct language in attending to the duties of our callings such as ordinations, confirmations, etc. pointing out what he esteemed deemed errors that should be avoided.

Br. Lyman followed on the subject of emigration suggesting that if a man could not emigrate his whole family he had better send his wife and children instead of leaving them to extricate themselves. Prayer by Brother Lyman.

4. P.M. I opened the meeting by prayer and made a few remarks in reference to forwarding the Stars and Journals to the various districts and conferences and alluded to my remark on a previous occasion in reference to this subject.

Br. Lyman then showed the necesity of dispensing with long prayers in attending to the duties of confirmation blessing etc. The folly of asking the Lord for everything required in time & then repeating in detail. Then called on Br. Louis A. Bertrand to represent the French Mission. After he <(Bertrand)> had done so he <(Br Lyman)> continued his remarks stating that if France could be preached in as other countries the people would obey as they did in others, exhorted the Elders to be liberal in their feelings to all men and nations. Singing “Do what is right.” Prayer by Br. W. G. Mills.

5 January 1862 • Sunday

Sunday 5th A conference was held in the Oddfellows Hall for the Birmingham District. Br. Rich addressed the assembly in the morning at length urging the Saints to live their religion and imparting much instruction calculated to benefit both Saints and Strangers[.] Bro. Lyman followed briefly with a few pointed remarks. I addressed the meeting in the afternoon which was numerously attended about 2000 being present in all including strangers, preaching principally on prophecy and its literal fulfillment quoting from the Book of Mormon and referring to the predictions of Joseph in this dispensation. Brother Lyman addressed the meeting in the evening in his customary wealth of language to the satisfaction of those present.

6 January 1862 • Monday

Monday 6th 11 A.M. The Elders again assembled in the Hockley Chapel when Br. Lyman addressed the Elders on the necessity of all adhering strictly to the positions assigned them in their various fields of labor, that they may take advantage of good impressions they make to add souls to the kingdom — urged the importance of example as well as precept and exhorted them to sustain those placed over them and aid in every possible manner the dissemination of truth.

In the evening had a large Tea Party in the Oddfellows Hall where about 600 or 700 people were assembled, towards the close of which br. Lyman made some very appropriate remarks. The evening was spent in listening to songs recitations and music on the accordeon by a little female prodigy

7 January 1862 • Tuesday

Tuesday. 7th Started for L’pool with my wife and daughter about 1 P.M. and arrived in L’pool the same evening in time to meet Brs. Kay[,] Bull, Sloan and Taylor at the Lime St. Station.

8 January 1862 • Wednesday

Wednesday 8th [no entry]

18 January 1862 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 18th 1862. A very cold morning. Started in company with Br. Lyman to attend a Conference at Norwich. Br. Richs ancle being lame — the result of a sprain received when he was in Norway — he remained in L’pool. By the aid of feet-warmers (tins filled with hot water) we kept comfortable until we reached Peterborough, where we changed. From this place on we wrapped up in our shawls and managed to keep tolerably comfortable (having to stop at Ely about an hour for a train) until we reached Norwich. The English railway carriages are not warmed, and it is very uncomfortable traveling in them in cold weather unless the traveller takes the precaution to carry with him plenty of extra wrappers, and even then he is apt to suffer. During a part of this trip we had feet warmers, the only time, with one exception that I enjoyed so grateful a luxury. Met at the Station by Bros. Blackburn and Bramall; they took us to the chapel House, in a House connected with the Chapel in which the Saints meet — where we met Bro. Bentley and a number of the Saints. Bro. & Sister Thrower live at the house and the Elders stop with them. They entertained us very kindly.

19 January 1862 • Sunday

Sunday, 19th. Met with the Saints this morning. I proposed the authorities and then spoke, followed by Br. Lyman, and in the afternoon the same. In the evening Br. Lyman spoke. I enjoyed the meetings very much, as did the Saints.

20 January 1862 • Monday

Monday, 20th Commenced to write an editorial “The Elders of Israel should be, etc —In evening attended a tea-party at the Chapel followed by some amusements. There is a very remarkable boy here belonging to a family in the Church by the name of Dame. He is ten years old, and can play on almost any instrument that be brought to him almost intuitively. His taste for music appears to be exquisite. He is capable of performing the most difficult pieces on the Piano-forte — when only five year’s old he was able to play tunes on that instrument. He is a modest little fellow, with but little to say, but answering quite manly when addressed.

21 January 1862 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany. 21st. 62. Went out in company with Bros. Lyman, Blackburn, Bramall and Bentley to visit and take dinner with Bro. and Sister Clark; they will live a little out of the City. We met with a Mrs. Plumstead there a neighbor of theirs who is inquiring after the truth. She is very favorably impressed.

22 January 1862 • Wednesday2

Wednesday, Jan 22/62. After breakfast did a little writing then went up to Bro. Reynolds’ Daguerreotype Gallery. He took <my Photograph and> Bro. Lyman’s and my Photograph. Took dinner <and tea> with him and his mother in company with Bro’s. Lyman, Blackburn & Bramall <& Webb>. Finished the editorial I commenced on Monday, and mailed it. Held meeting in the [blank] {Assembly rooms} at which there was a tolerably good attendance of strangers: Bro. Lyman preached.

23 January 1862 • Thursday

Thursday, 23rd. Started early this morning for Liverpool. Sister Hewitt arose very early and prepared breakfast for us. Bro. Amasa and I travelled as far as Peterborough <together> where he there took a train for Birmingham and I proceeded on to Liverpool. I found Elizabeth very unwell in consequence of a cold she had taken thro’ getting into the bath tub to wash herself when the water was cold. She spent a very miserable night. Bro. Bull and Bro. Kay have done very well with the Printing Machine <while I have been absent.> Having <They have> struck off all the forms of the German Book of Mormon from the stereotype plates, (excepting the index and title page) which the machine-man had before had left unfinished —a very difficult and annoying job. Bro. Rich and Cousin George both feel better than they did when I left. George was very bad the day I left home. I am delighted to see him improve.

24 January 1862 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 24th/62. Felt unwell all day, my bones ached as though I had caught a severe cold.3

Footnotes

  1. [1]The daybook entries end here and resume on 22 January.

  2. [2]The daybook entry for 2 January 1862 is followed by ones for 22 and 23 January 1862. The daybook then breaks with Friday, Jany. 24th. 62. Felt unwell all day, my bones ached as though I had caught a severe cold. This is followed by a blank half of a page, with the next entry beginning Wednesday, Mar. 12/62. My son Abraham’s birthday. This section ends with the close of 12 March 1862: Wrote an editorial “The new State of Deseret” and resumes on the next page with Thursday. April 3rd (contd). The continued passage begins with Started to Nottingham and goes to 7 April 1862. The daybook entry of 7 April 1862 ends here: Monday, 7th, 1862.

  3. [3]Daybook entries end again here and resume on 12 March.