December 1862

13 December 1862 • Saturday

Saturday Decr 13th I wrote a letter to the brethren of the Twelve as follows:

To President Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George, A, Smith, Amasa, M, Lyman, Ezra T, Benson, Charles, C. Rich, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus Snow, and Franklin, D. Richards.

Beloved Brethren;

I have for some time contemplated commencing to write to you regularly, but have postponed it from week to week until I almost feel ashamed of my negligence. I commence now to write to you and hope to be able to continue to do so regularly. It is my wish to see a spirit of reformation find place in the bosoms of the Elders and Saints through out this Mission, and desire to commence with myself and to give it the necessary encouragement within me. Since my departure from home I have had much joy in my labours. The Spirit of the Lord has been poured out upon the people and they have manifested a more quiet and peaceable disposition towards the Truth and the Elders than I have witnessed for years before. It has seemed to me that the Lord has been pleading mightily with the people for another time, previous, it may be, to the bursting forth of a general storm upon the nations of the earth, particularly upon the nation of Great Britain. This quiet time that we have had for the past two years has enabled the Elders to travel and preach freely and boldly unto the people the principles of the Gospel of Jesus and the honest in heart have had opportunities of embracing the same such as they would not have had if the Adversary had raged as he has done at some other times. The Saints, also, have been enabled to make the necessary preparations for gathering with less interruption and opposition than has been usual at some other periods in our history. Indeed, many of the Saints have received material aid in making their preparations for gathering from men who had no sympathy with our faith and no wish to see it prosper; the Spirit of the Lord evidently softening their hearts and inclining them to favor his people. I received a letter a few days ago from a gentleman by the name of J. B. Bosanquet; (doubtless Bro Amasa, M, recollects the name as being that of a gentleman with whom he had some sparring correspondence) making inquires of me respecting poor operatives in the distressed districts who belonged to our Church and asking me about our arrangements for our Emigration &c requesting some names, also, of persons thus situated that he might correspond with them. I furnished him the desired information and sent him some names. He has replied to me, stating, that he will furnish the necessary means to take two of the families of those whose names I furnished, to Florence: these two families are entirely destitute, not having a penny in the Individual Emigration Fund. I sincerely trust that there will be more friends of this description raised up to assist the poor Saints in escaping from the terrible condition of things in which they are involved through the rebellion of the South. Herculean efforts have been made by many of the people of England to stave off the pressure of distress from the poor of the manufacturing districts. Immense sums have been freely contributed, and it is astonishing to see the machinery that they put into operation to squeeze money from the people, and especially the working classes, who are in the receipt of any. But despite all their efforts the evil continues to increase in fearfulness and magnitude and a great many begin to be alarmed, not knowing where it will stop, as there is no reason to hope that there will be any change for the better at least for a year or two, or until peace springs up between the combatants on the other side of the Atlantic. The distress is becoming so wide spread that it is exhausting the means of those who considered themselves pretty well off in worldly means before the breaking out of the difficulty, and they are becoming engulphed in the general ruin. Occasionally there is a voice raised in favor of Emigration, but up to the present it does not meet with general favor. The majority seem to think that if they can only tide over this winter that the pinch will be past and that they will then need the operatives to carry on their labor.

The progress of events may undeceive them on this point; but perhaps when it is too late. I often think, when I read about the immense sums that are being contributed towards the relief of the distressed, how easy a matter it would be to extricate them if they would hearken to the counsel of the Priesthood in the disposition of their funds. But wisdom has not only fled from the leading men of the United States, it has also taken its departure from the Statesmen of England. They are like blind men groping in the dark & walking towards certain destruction, yet flattering themselves that they are on the high road to safety.

The quiet times that we have had of late and the freedom from opposition, have, I fear, caused many of the Priesthood and Saints to grow careless respecting their duties. I have been reminded very much of late of the expressions of the Servants of God in the Book of Mormon respecting the slothfulness of the people and the ease with which the Adversary gains power over them. It seems, notwithstanding the knowledge we have attained to and the many illustrations that have been given to us of the necessity of being continually diligent, that many of the Elders who ought to be men capable of leading the people in the paths of Salvation require to be continually watched and reproved, or they will relapse into wickedness. As you will doubtless see by the Stars, which are sent you regularly, two of the Valley Elders—Eugene Henriod, of American Fork, and William, O. Owen, of Battle Creek—have been Cut off for Adultery & corrupt conduct. One by his own confession, and the other by the testimony of others, [4 words redacted]. The former has started ostensibly with the purpose of going home and submitting himself to whatever President Young may dictate. He professed to be very penitent and repeatedly vowed that he had confessed all he had been guilty of. I told him that I had doubts respecting the sincerity of his confession; but he continued to asseverate up to the last that he had told all that he had done that was wrong. [13 words redacted]. He had scarcely sailed from these lands, however, when Bro William Bramall wrote to me that a girl in his Conference—a sister in the Church—had confessed to him, weeping bitterly and expressing the agony that she had endured, that she had been seduced by Eugene Henriod, [24 words redacted]. Owen manifests no wish to return, I hear that he talks of sending for his family, and that he expresses his intention to join with another man to start a Church on his own hook.

I have felt impressed by the Spirit to lift up my voice and labor to the extent of my ability in awakening the Elders to a sense of their condition, many of them are slothful and have fallen asleep on their Watchtowers, and have suffered themselves and the people under their charge to be overcome by the mists of darkness with which Satan endeavors to becloud the understanding of the children of men. I have never felt more in my life like girding up my loins and going forth among the people in the Spirit and power of my calling than I do at present, and I pray that this feeling may continually increase within me. I feel led by the Spirit to call upon the Priesthood and Saints to reform by sincerely repenting & humbling themselves before the Lord. So far as I know, the faithful Elders respond willingly and gladly to this call, and express the wish to do all in their power to purify themselves and the Saints among whom they labor. Bro’s Bigler and West are now travelling through the Conferences and are in the enjoyment of good health and Spirits; though Bro Bigler wrote to me last week that he was somewhat worn down, his labors having been quite arduous of late. I have instructed them to rigidly scrutinize the books and accounts in the various Conferences, as these men who have just been cut off, with another by the name of William Gibson, who went home last spring, have been grossly delinquent in monetary matters. What time I can spare myself I also spend in visiting the Conferences. Since my return from my visit to the Missions on the Continent on the 1st of November I have met with the Elders and Saints in Conference in this place, Leeds, Oldham, Preston, Derby, and Sheffield. I expect to start to Scotland this afternoon, where I shall probably meet with the Elders and Saints in Conference tomorrow, at Glasgow, and another day at Edinburgh.

My constant desire, brethren, is, that I may be faithful to my calling all my days, and that I may ever be counted worthy of an association both here and hereafter with yourselves. It is a constant cause of thankfulness to me that I have been so honored of the Lord as to be admitted into such close relationship with you who are His chosen servants. In this, the earliest and strongest wish of my heart which I have secretly entertained since I first became acquainted with the Gospel, has been gratified, and my language fails to convey the feelings of thankfulness which I entertain on this account. May my future life in all its details bear witness to the continued possession of this feeling and my appreciation of the blessings which as a member of your quorum I enjoy. I know that I in common with all my brethren have your faith and prayers; but if there is anything that I could say that would increase the fervor and faith of your supplications in our behalf I would say it gladly. In and of myself I feel very weak, but if I am faithful and humble I know that the Lord can increase my strength and my power to do good.

Accept my love to yourselves individually, and to your families to whom I desire, with my wife, a kind remembrance. That the Lord may ever bless you and endow you with every gift and qualification to enable you to magnify your high and holy callings, and that your lives may also be preserved long upon the earth is the prayer of

Your Brother, as Ever,

(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon.

I also finished my letter to President Young commenced yesterday evening and my letter to Judge Phelps; I find that I can get through with a much larger amount of correspondence by having Bro John, C. Graham write as I dictate than any other way that I have adopted, I was surprised when I tried the plan, at the amount of work I could accomplish by this means. For two or three weeks back I have dictated my editorials to Bro Sloan who takes them down in short hand and transcribes them. The adoption of this system facilitates the performance of my labors very much as the Editorials are what I want and I have more time to attend to the other business of the office. I have felt very much stirred up of late to write plainly and pointedly to the Priesthood and Saints. I think that a reformation is needed very much. I desire to be filled with the Spirit of it myself and to impart it unto others. I do pray the Lord that I may be able to magnify my office and calling and do my whole duty while on this Mission.

Started at 1 P.M. for Glasgow. I was much hurried in getting away as I kept writing until the last moment. I changed carriages at Carlisle and arrived at Glasgow 9.30 P.M; was met at the Station by Bro’s Stuart & Sands who took me in a cab to the latter’s house. I was much pleased to meet with the brethren & they on their part to see me.

14 December 1862 • Sunday

Sunday Decr 14th Met this morning in Conference. After a report of the Statistics and finances was read and the authorities were proposed, I spoke and was blessed in speaking, also in the afternoon and evening at which meetings I occupied all the time. The people felt exceedingly well as did I myself. Bro’s David Gibson and William Warnock, travelling Elders, the former from the Valley, were both at Conference.

15 December 1862 • Monday

Monday 15th. We started for Lanark this morning for the purpose of visiting the falls of the Clyde, about two miles distance from the former town. We reached there a little after noon and called upon some of the Saints there, a family of the name of Anderson (Alexander) Weavers, consisting of the man, woman & four children, three nearly grown, and also a family of the name of Craig (James) consisting of the man & woman and two children, and the Mother of Sister C. who was 81 years of age and bed ridden. She is the mother of Elder Samuel Hargreaves who returned from his Mission to England last year to the Valley. As I was the first Apostle any of these people had seen they were much delighted to see me. Bro Craig accompanied us to the Falls, we also had a guide, the regulation of the owner of the grounds requiring the presence of a guide before we could be admitted. The scenery around the Falls is very beautiful and grand. There are two falls, one about half a mile above the other. The lower falls are about [blank] feet from the top. There are two falls at this spot, the upper one falling about [blank] feet on to a ledge & then tumbling again [blank] feet. There is an old castle in ruins dating from 1082 above the falls. We were shown a cave in which Sir William Wallace tradition says, secreted himself. It is called after him. In looking at these falls I was reminded of a dream which I had last week. I dreamed of being at such falls as these, and crossing a portion of them on a little bridge. At the upper falls I found the little bridge and crossed it as I dreamed. The whole dream being forcibly brought back to my mind by this scene. Returned to Lanark and ate dinner at Bro Anderson’s. Sister Craig gave us a vest pattern a piece of their own weaving. We administered to a man and his child; his knee was swelled. His name was Blakeley. Returned to Glasgow in time for the evening party, we had an excellent time at this Soiree. A splendid tea being served up by Mr Bell the hotel keeper in whose house the hall was in which we held our meetings. His charge was a shilling a head for adults and half price for children. In the middle of the evening he served up some fruit — apples, oranges, raisins and almonds. The singing and stories were very good indeed. Sister Elizabeth Lindsay who sang is the best singer I think I ever heard and Geo Lockhead is the best teller of Scotch stories I ever listened to. He is inimitable. The evening’s amusements passed off very pleasantly. After the singing &c was over I was presented with a Scotch plaid and bonnet the President of the Branch, Bro Patrick, putting them both on Highland fashion & making a short presentation speech in the name of the Saints. I was much embarrassed as the gift was quite unexpected by me. I made a few remarks which were very well received, because they were heartfelt and I believe the people realized they were and they passed off much better probably than more elaborate remarks might have done. The plaid was a black and white check & very fine.

16 December 1862 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Decr 16th We started this morning to Ayr, for the purpose of visiting the birthplace and monument of Burns, the Scottish Poet. It was a wet day and we took a Cab, these places being about two miles from Ayr. The monument is erected on an elevated piece of ground close to the Doon which Burns has made so famous by his poetry. It is enclosed in a beautiful garden full of shrubs and flowers of about two acres in extent. Close by the monument is the bridge over which Tam O’Shanter rode his trusty mare Meg in such hot haste when pursued by the witches whom he had disturbed at their midnight revels in the old Church, as described by Burns in his poem. We went on to the bridge and saw the keystone which Tam reached in time to escape all safe from the hands of the hellish crew, excepting the loss of Meg’s tail.

Visitors to this spot had chipped considerable of the stone off to carry away as mementoes of the spot. At the old Church, the walls of which stood without any roof and were supported by the aid of iron stays, we found an old man, upwards of eighty years of age, who had charge of the grounds and who acted as guide to strangers. He showed us where the road used to run at the time that Tam O’Shanter took his ride, the window he looked in at when he saw “Auld Nick” and the witches at their midnight dances, and described the points brought out by Burns in B’s own language. He seemed to have the poem by heart. He showed us “Souter Johnny’s” grave – Tam’s boon companion – the name on the stone was John Sauchlin. He did not know him, but he knew his son very well, and he was well acquainted with Tam O’Shanter & his family. He has children living in the neighborhood yet. We visited the cottage where Burns was born, and saw the room and the bed, the room having been changed but very little since then. The house is now a tavern.

Returning to Ayr we stopped and took dinner at the Tam O’Shanter house where Tam and his cronies used to have their drinking bouts and from which Tam started on the night of his famous ride. The chairs which he and “Souter Johnny” occupied are there and the “bicker” a small vessel made out of staves which would hold about a gill — out of which the thirsty souls drank their ale. This latter was banded with silver at the top and bottom with lines from Burns engraved upon them. We drank out of it. We took the train to Kilmarnock at 4 P.M. Went to Mr. Sprunt’s. He is not in the Church having been cut off some time back; his wife is a member. We stopped there an hour or two; Bro Aird the President of the Branch came for us and took us down to Bro Livingstone’s from which place we went to meeting. Had a very good meeting. I occupied the time. Slept at Sister Robinson’s, daughter of Bro Aird’s.

[inserted sheet] I beg to answer your letter requesting information as to the height &c of the Falls of the Clyde. From the town of Lanark to the Gate or Lodge, the distance is one mile, and from the Lodge to the lower fall, Cora Linn, is also one mile. This fall is 85 feet from the top of the basin beneath. The upper part of this fall is 40, and the lower 45 feet high. The basin is 30 deep, encircled by steep rocks on each side, rising far above the falls. On the summit of the rocks, on the opposite side from where the visitor stands, are the ruins of the ancient house of Cora, and about a hundred yards farther up the river the present mansion house of Cora. From the Cora to the upper or Bounington Fall, the distance is half a mile. Going to this fall is Wallace’s Cave, and a place called the Lover’s Leap, supposed to be the narrowest part of the Clyde, being only 4 yards wide. The Bounington fall is 32 feet deep, & about a quarter of a mile above it stands Bounington Mansion House. This is about all the information I can furnish you with, and trust it will be satisfactory. [end of insert]

17 December 1862 • Wednesday

Wednesday Decr 17th Went to breakfast this morning at Mr Sprunt’s. He took us through the Railway Machine Works which were very interesting to me. From there we went out, about 1½ miles, to Father and Mother Lindsay’s where we took dinner. We returned to Kilmarnock and took train at 2.10 P.M. I had some plain talk with the Elders — D. M. Stuart, Robert Sands, David Gibson & William Warnock, respecting the course they must take in their labors, warning them particularly against drinking liquor with the people — a very common habit in this country. Spent the evening very pleasantly at Bro Patrick’s the President of the Branch.

18 December 1862 • Thursday

Thursday 18th. Writing to Liverpool. Started this afternoon to Paisley. Ate dinner at Bro Garrick’s and wrote while there, the Preface to the 9th. Volume of the “Journal of Discourses.” Went from there to Bro Gardiner’s. Met with the Saints and had a very good time. Ate supper at Bro Gardiner’s and slept at Bro Thornton’s.

19 December 1862 • Friday

Friday Decr. 19th. Ate breakfast at Bro Thornton’s, then visited Sister Gibson, and Bro & Sister Murray, and from there went to Coate’s Thread Mill. We were kindly shown through the mill in which about 1500 persons are employed. The machinery is very extensive and beautiful and every thing is conducted with great order and the Mill is exceedingly clean. Went to Bro Gardiner’s and administered to his wife who had a very sore leg. Before I left he pressed upon me the acceptance of the cloth for a petticoat for my wife of which he is a manufacturer. Visited Sister Hunter’s, whose husband is a Captain of the Police but not in the Church, who desired us to eat and drink a little. We returned to Glasgow and had, by hurrying, barely time to reach the Station in time to take train for Stirling. We bade Bro Sands and family good bye with regret. They are very fine, good people. We reached Stirling and visited the Castle and grave yard. Saw the round table where the Knights held their meetings. It is cut out of the sod and made very distinctly. The ladies in old times sat upon a point which we ascended watching the Knights as they fought in the tournament on the level below. The view from here is very splendid, the Grampian Hills and Ben Lomond being seen in the distance. The battle field of Bannockburn, which we passed on the railway, is also plainly to be seen, also the National Monument which is being erected to Wallace’s memory upon Ailsa crag. The oldest grave stone in the Church Yard is dated 1523. They buried in the yard long anterior to this, but they did not use grave stones so extensively then. It was very stormy. We returned to Stirling and started for Edinburgh which city we reached between eight and nine. We were met at the Station by Bro’s Peacock and Jas. C. Brown, the former, President of the Conference, and the latter Travelling Elder. We were very glad to see each other. They took us to Bro Peter Mc Comie’s, 162 Pleasance. We were warmly and kindly entertained.

20 December 1862 • Saturday

Saturday Decr. 20th. We visited the Agricultural and Industrial Societys rooms, the College Museum, and the College of Surgeons. Took an excellent bath. Went in the evening to the Picture Gallery. Bro’s Baxter and Mc Cune are from Dundee.

21 December 1862 • Sunday

Sunday 21st. Attended morning, afternoon, and evening meetings: Bro McCune occupied the time that was not consumed in business in the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon and evening and felt very well.

22 December 1862 • Monday

Monday 22nd. Went up to Arthur’s seat, a very high hill close to the city, and had an excellent view of the surrounding country. We prayed while there, Bro’s D. M. Stuart, Geo Peacock, W. Baxter, M. Mc Cune, Jas C. Brown, Alexander Letham and myself, being in company and every one praying. In the afternoon took lunch and tea at Brother Anderson’s, Leith. Mrs A, and the most of the family are not in the Church. Robert, one of the sons, is in the Office. They are very fine family, but some of them are considerably Gentile. In the evening attended a party of Saints at Union Hall the usual place of meeting. The singing and recitations were very good. I spoke for a short time. We had an excellent evening of enjoyment and everybody appeared pleased and well satisfied. A Mr Thompson, whose father is in the Church played several tunes very beautifully upon an <accordion.>

23 December 1862 • Tuesday

Tuesday Decr. 23rd. I started this morning for Liverpool. Bro Peacock purchasing my ticket for a first class carriage. I bade the brethren farewell, all the Elders and some of the Saints accompanying me to the Station. At Carlisle I met Bro’s West and Gleason at the Station. They were both well. Bro West accompanied me to Liverpool, we had a very pleasant ride reaching there at 4.45 P.M. We found Elizabeth & Georgiana both well and Bro’s Brigham Junr & Jacob, G. Bigler here.

24 December 1862 • Wednesday

Wednesday Decr 24th Brother Bull arrived to day and in the evening Bro & Sis Kay. I dictated an Editorial to day entitled Eternal Vigilance, the Price of Safety.

25 December 1862 • Thursday

Thursday 25th Arranged for a Christmas dinner for the Elders and the brethren in the Office, there were present: Elders Bigler, West, B. Young Junr, John M, Kay, and Sis Kay Elders Bull, Shearman, Sloan, Perkes, Graham, and Sister Graham. Bro’s D. M. Mc Allister, Robert, R, Anderson, Ephraim & Wm McMillan. The dinner was excellent and did Elizabeth credit and all enjoyed themselves very heartily. In the evening we all attended a tea party in the Chapel, and had an excellent evening’s enjoyment in listening to the singing recitations and acting. There were two pieces performed: “The Phenomenon in a Smock Frock,” and “Box and Cox.” The acting of Bro’s Graham and Perkes was admirable. The folks from the Office were the main contributors to the evening’s amusements, and I was much gratified with their efforts.

26 December 1862 • Friday

Friday, Decr. 26th. Dictating letters to-day.

27 December 1862 • Saturday

Saturday 27th. Conversing with Bro’s West and Bigler respecting condition of Conferences & Elders that were to be released the coming Emigration. Took cars for Birmingham in the evening with Brother B. Young Junr. Met at the Station by Bro Mills.

28 December 1862 • Sunday

Sunday 28th Met with the Saints in Conference to day at the Odd Fellows Hall. We had very fine meetings; and, in the evening, I spoke on the mission of Brother Joseph Smith, and the divine evidence in its favor, with great freedom to a very attentive congregation of about 1200 persons. Bro. Brigham Junr and myself both spoke, throughout the day.

29 December 1862 • Monday

Monday 29th We, Bro Brigham Junr and myself returned to Liverpool.

30 December 1862 • Tuesday

Tuesday 30th Bro & Sis Kay returned to Manchester. Busy in Office.

31 December 1862 • Wednesday

Wednesday 31st Busy all day in the Office.

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December 1862, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 27, 2024