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January 1863


Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1863

2 January

Missionary report to Brigham Young

4 January

Disturbance outside the meetinghouse but peace within

10 January

Clay in the hands of the potter; prefers preaching “the Gospel of Jesus unto the honest in heart” than “association with the so-called great men of our nation”

6 February

Encountered Charles Derry, a missionary for the “New Organization” under Joseph Smith III

28 February

Sought counsel from Brigham Young about sending his wife Elizabeth home; more about Charles Derry

11 March

Heard Charles Dickens read from Nicholas Nickleby and The Pickwick Papers

13 March

Visit to Windsor Castle

23 March

Learned about original purchase in 1698 of the Cannon ancestral home, Cooilshellagh, Isle of Man

24 June

Cannon’s wife Elizabeth with their daughter Georgiana sailed for New York

24–25 August

Travel to Gothenburg, Sweden

26 August

Disposed to be unsuspicious; gift of discernment

27 August

Visit to the palace in Stockholm; Swedish baths

1 September

Travel in Sweden

2–3 September

Travel in Norway

6 September

Conference in Norway. “My heart warms towards this people.”

10 September

View in Norway “equal to the finest in Switzerland”

17 September

Saw newly elected king of Greece, George I

19 September

Problem with indebtedness by elders

2 October

“Received a letter from my father-in-law, Bishop [Abraham] Hoagland”

6–7 October

Letters from Brigham Young Jr. and Chauncey W. West

8 October

“Singular reflections respecting my daughter Georgiana”

9 October

Learned of his daughter Georgiana’s death

17 October

Report from Brigham Young regarding emigration

22 November

Countered disturbance of meeting

31 December

Extensive counsel given to elders

1 January 1863 • Thursday

Thursday Jany 1st 1863. May this New Year to entered upon by me with renewed determinations to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him and realize his blessings and power to a far greater extent that I have yet done.

Busy in the Office all day.

2 January 1863 • Friday

Friday Jany 2nd. Dictated a letter to Prest Brigham Young this morning which Bro John C. Graham wrote as follows:

President Brigham Young

Dear Brother

Since my last to you, December 12th, I have received your welcome favor of Novr 13th[.] I was much pleased to receive it having felt considerably anxious respecting the designs of the troops who had located in such close proximity to the City.

The calm way in which you allude to them and their designs has had a very reassuring effect upon myself and the brethren. It certainly is pleasanter to hear of their remaining quietly in their camps attending to their own affairs than to hear of their being engaged in brawls in the City.

The articles mentioned in your letter that you wish Brigham to purchase shall be attended to. He has read your letter & will do all in his power to meet your wishes. I shall make the necessary arrangements in compliance with your counsel for him and Bro West to take the continental tour and visit the countries which you mention.

They spent the Christmas here and were both in good health. It being necessary for Bro Bigler to visit the Saints in Ireland —his old field of labor — they concluded to accompany him, as they did not know they would have a more favorable opportunity of visiting the Emerald Isle. They took their departure for Belfast on the 21st ult. By letter received this morning I learn that the wind blew a gale part of the passage, but they had arrived in safety, Bro’s Bigler and West being very sea sick and Brigham escaping the sensation entirely. He enjoys an immunity from sea sickness as in our voyage across the Atlantic he did not appear to have the slightest symptoms of nausea. He is growing very large, bursting all his clothes that were made for him some time ago, tho’ it is not for the want of exercise, as he informs me that he has for some time back walked, on an average, seven miles a day. When last weighed he pulled down 210 pounds. This Mission will be attended, I think with excellent effects to Brigham, and if he preserves the feelings he has at present, which with the help of the Lord he says he is determined to do, his influence will be powerfully felt for good among our young men at home.

I am in hopes that your next letter will contain some counsel respecting the emigration[.] I have received no word as yet respecting the sending down of teams from the Valley to assist the Poor this ensuing spring. If nothing unexpected should occur, I suppose we may safely calculate upon their coming down as usual. That I may be prepared to furnish you with the numbers of those who will avail themselves of this aid in getting to the Valley I have addressed a Circular to all the Elders requesting them to give me the number, as near as they can, of those who will be able to go through with their own means, of those who will be able to go part of the way (that is, have partly sufficient means to take them from Florence to the Valley) and of those who will be able to reach Florence. As soon as I get these figures I will forward them to you. I should be pleased to have you suggest whom you would like to act as emigration agents this coming season. This is a matter I should have written to you about earlier. In case I do not get word from you in time upon this point, would not Brother William, C, Staines be a suitable man to go over and make arrangements with the Railroad company for the transportation of our people? Unless I should hear something from you to the contrary, I expect to release him to return in the Spring. I am also making calculations upon releasing all the Elders this coming Spring who left home for Europe in the Spring of 1860. They are expecting to be released, as their missions, by the time they will reach home, will extend to a three years and a half’s absence. In the absence of definite counsel from you upon the subject I am leading the Elders who came when I did, in the fall of ‘60, to expect that they cannot be spared this spring, as the wants of the Work are such that, if the fields be kept up, as at present; unless Elders come early in the Spring from the Valley, they must remain. Brother Staines is one of the exceptions out of this number, and probably brother Thomas, O. King will be; as I understand, though able to go about, the climate of this country affects him seriously. If there should be any more of the Elders whose health will be likely to fail them, they will also be released. I have endeavored to be watchful of the health of the brethren, and in making changes of fields, have had this in view, some parts of the country agreeing with particular constitutions better than others. I am thus free in mentioning these matters to you at the present time so that if there is anything that does not meet your mind your counsel upon the subject will reach me sufficiently early in the season to make any change that you may deem desirable.

We are calling out all the native help that is available; but there is a great dearth of suitable men for the ministry. I am trying, however, to arrange matters, so that in case you should not think it wisdom to send any Elders here in the Spring the Work will not suffer materially. The Elders and the Saints, generally, so far as I know, feel well, and are awakening to a sense of their responsibilities. The general feeling seems to be, among the people, that if they suffer this Emigration season to pass by unimproved they do not know when another opportunity will be offered to them. Wherever I have gone of late among the Saints eager inquiries are made of me respecting the Emigration this coming Spring. Many of those who are trying to get away appear to be harrassed by a fear that something may interpose to prevent them from obtaining the consummation of their wishes. Our prayers and our faith are being exercised in behalf of the Emigration. If it be the Lord’s will we would like to see the way kept open until the honest and the meek in these lands are gathered out. But it seems almost too much to expect that this will be carried on without <an occasional> interruption.Since my last I have met in Conference with the Elders and Saints in Glasgow, & in Edinburgh, and held meetings with the Saints in various towns in Scotland. The work is in a very health condition in that land; but the people there, as elsewhere, are very poor. I think Bro George Peacock, who is presiding over the Edinburgh Conference, would like it very well if he could be released in the Spring to return home; but he did not express himself pointedly, leaving me to draw the inference, as he said he had made up his mind years ago never to ask for a Mission and when he was called to one never to ask to be released. Last Sunday I met in Conference with the Saints in Birmingham; there was a very crowded attendance of Saints and Strangers, the Odd Fellow’s Hall, which is said to be arranged to seat twelve hundred comfortably, being packed to overflowing, almost every foot of available standing room being occupied. It is but seldom that I have had greater liberty than I enjoyed in the evening in addressing the congregation, who listened with breathless attention to the arguments I advanced in favor of Joseph being a prophet of God, and of this being the great work of the last days, of which prophets and apostles had spoken. We all rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Accept my love to yourself and to Bro’s Heber and Daniel and the brethren of my quorum and Bro Carrington. That the Lord may continue to bless and preserve you from every evil is the prayer, as ever, of your Brother.

(Signed) G. Q. Cannon.

In the afternoon and evening balancing my monthly Cash account with Bro Perkes. My cousins Fanny and Leonora Kidd called in the afternoon and stopped the evening. I conversed with them at some length on the principles of the Gospel.

3 January 1863 • Saturday

Saturday Jan,y 3rd. Started this morning at 10.30 A.M. to Birmingham where I expected to meet Brother Mills and we go on together from there to Bristol to attend the Conference which had been appointed to be held there on the morrow. I took dinner at Bro Mills’ and we started at 5 P.M. for Bristol which place we reached at 9.45 P.M. and was met at the Station by Bro Halliday. He put us in a Cab, as it was raining very heavily, and took us up to Bro Stevens’ who is the father of Sister Robert Neslin. They made us as welcome as they could.

4 January 1863 • Sunday

Sunday 4th A mob of low characters incited by an Apostate of the name of Wm Saunders Parrott, surrounded our meeting house every meeting and tried by every means in their power to annoy us and disturb our meetings by yelling and making every kind of noise, and throwing stones and dirt at the door and those who tried to enter. Parrott had been busy all day yesterday advertising our meeting, and endeavoring to stir up excitement about us. He came into the morning and afternoon meetings and made grimaces and contortions all the time he was there; but in the evening he did not dare to venture out, as he has to be led by the hand in the dark. Between the meetings he stood on a chair opposite the meeting house and harangued the mob, and distributed pictures of various kinds to them. A number of them accompanied him to the afternoon meeting and would have been pleased to have been able to disturb our meeting inside; but they failed. We had a very peaceful time all day inside the house. The Spirit of peace was in our midst and we rejoiced the more because of the contrast between the row outside and their ineffectual attempts to disturb us and what we enjoyed within. Bro’s Halliday, Wm Willis, Thos Gates, Chas H. Rhees and Thos Jeremy and several presiding Elders of Branches spoke during the forenoon. I spoke in the afternoon and evening, and Bro. Mills followed in the evening. We had a very good time.

5 January 1863 • Monday

Monday Jany. 5th. Started for Bath this morning in company with Bro Mills. We expected to have met with Bro’s Halliday & Jeremy at the Station, but missed them. Had an exceedingly pleasant visit to the City. We visited the principal streets and places and I think it the prettiest city I have seen in Great Britain. We called upon Sister Parrott and family and spent a short time, then went to Bro Dellimore’s to dinner. He was quite sick in bed with the Rheumatism; we administered to him and the President of the Bath Branch, Bro Davis, who was troubled with a cold. After dinner we returned to Bristol. Held Council meeting with the Officers and spoke to them. Had a very good tea party in the evening. Songs, Recitations & anecdotes were given for our amusement. I spoke for a short time. Slept at Bro Halliday’s.

6 January 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany 6th Arose early in the morning, and bade Bro’s Halliday and Willes good bye, and accompanied by Bro Hewlett to the boat. Bro’s Mills, Jeremy and myself embarked for Cardiff which place we reached after two hours sail. It was pleasant, but rather cold. Stopped at Bro Evans’ the President of Cardiff Conference. In the afternoon visited Cardiff Castle; was shown the dungeon where Robert, Duke of Normandy and King of England was imprisoned by his brother Henry for twenty-six years and where his eyes were destroyed. A castle belonging to the ancient Kings of Britain stood here, it is said, hundreds of years before Christ. We went through the grounds of the castle; they were very beautiful. It rained very heavily. In the evening held a meeting which was well attended. I spoke and was followed by Bro Mills in testimony. We were both blessed with excellent liberty. In the course of my remarks I alluded to the miserable falsehoods told by William, O. Owen (who was cut off a few weeks ago for his corrupt and wicked conduct) in his recent lectures in Cardiff and showed in a brief, but, as I think, convincing manner how totally unreliable the testimony of such a man is, and pointed out the causes which must have been operating—namely, his wicked and unvirtuous conduct—to bring him into his condition of opposition to the work of God. Bro Mills’ testimony in favor of President Brigham Young and the condition of affairs in Utah was very powerful and of a character to impress the people with its truthfulness. Slept at Bro Evans’ with Bro Jeremy.

7 January 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday Jany 7th. Took breakfast this morning at Bro Shepton’s. Took train for Liverpool, via Newport, Bro Mills and myself travelling together as far as Hereford. Missed the connection at Shrewsbury and was detained three hours in consequence. Arrived home between half past 8 and 9 o’clock. P.M. Found all well and Sisters Spencer and Mc Manus here on a visit.

8 January 1863 • Thursday

Thursday 8th. Busy opening and reading letters. Dictated editorial — “Exemption of the Saints from pestilence. — Sanitary Hints.”

9 January 1863 • Friday

Friday Jany. 9th. Dictated a great number of letters connected with Office and Church business.

10 January 1863 • Saturday

Saturday. 10th. Wrote to Bro. Heber C. Kimball <& to my Bro David> as follows:

Dear Brother David

I feel condemned for my protracted silence; for I realize that whether you and Angus write or not, I should not neglect my duty in writing to you; but should rather seek to strengthen the ties which bind us together, while deprived of personal intercourse, by intimate and frequent correspondence. I presume we can all make apologies for our neglect in writing. You, who have had the difficulties of a new country to contend with and a home to create have doubtless had every moment of your time occupied, and when not occupied in physical labor, have had your duties as an Elder and Saint to attend to, and when you have had leisure I can readily understand that you have felt too tired to take up your pen and write a letter. Though I have not had labors of this character to attend to, yet my time has been fully occupied, so much so, that I have felt to be reproached for my neglect in writing to my brothers and sisters. It has been a rule with me to attend to my public duties first, and always let them take the precedence of my private obligations. And this being the case I have never found leisure since my arrival in England that I could not find business pertaining to my position to attend to. I know that this can be carried too far, for the Lord and my brethren do not require me to neglect those other duties which keep up so tender and delightful an intercourse as that which ought to exist between brothers. I have been exceedingly anxious to hear from you; but all that I have been able to learn has been through Sarah Jane’s letters. She has not failed to communicate to me all she could learn but what she has sent me has been so meagre that it has only whetted my curiosity to hear more. There are a thousand questions that I could ask if I were with you, or that I could ask any body else who knew you & your family and circumstances. I hear that you are doing well, and that you are satisfied with your new location. This is pleasing news to me; for the idea that I had of that country previous to your settlement there was anything but a favorable one, and I was afraid that you might get discouraged. It is turning out I suppose much better than any of us expected, for I now hear very flattering accounts from there. I make allowance, however, for a little exaggeration in the matter. Another thing connected with your removal South was that we were to be again separated. If I were to consult my natural feelings, this would be disagreeable to me. If I could have my wish, nothing would please me better than to have my brothers and sisters live near to myself. But in all these matters I now that the Lord overruleth for the best, and if we could be in his hands as clay in the hands of the potter, he will fashion us into vessels of honor for his glory. I am learning very rapidly to make my happiness consist in doing the will of God our Father. I know there are many things in the past that if I had had my way I would have arranged differently; but I am now convinced that my arrangement would have been a bad one, and that out of seeming evil the Lord has brought forth great & abundant good. I have no doubt it will continue to be so in the future, and we may as well learn this to begin with as to wait until Death to learn it. I hope yourself and Wilhelmina and David Jr and Angus & his family and Orin and Annie and their family and Leonora have all enjoyed good health since you have been there, and that your children are growing in body and mind and likely to prove worthy representatives of their Parents. There will be such a strong party of you after awhile that you will draw us to you.

As the President is counselling the Twelve to move to various settlements, as I learn by news from home, I scarcely know where my lot will be cast. It will be all right, however, wherever it may be, if I only do right myself. I hope to have the privilege yet of visiting you in your new home.

I scarcely need relate to you any personal incidents that have transpired since you left here, because, I presume, you have learned them from those who correspond with you in the Valley. Cousin George, J. Taylor bled at the lungs so freely last winter, that we were very much alarmed for his safety. After our General Conference, in January 1862, I brought him up to Liverpool with me, where he remained until he left for home. During that time he improved in health and made himself as useful as he could. My own health has been very good, generally, though I suffered last winter from palpitation of the heart and from pain in my breast — affections which my trip to the States had a tendency to remove. Elizabeth is in better health now than she has been before since our arrival in England. She was very sick indeed last Spring and was brought almost to the gates of death by the gastric fever. For ten or eleven days I did not sleep scarcely more than an hour consecutively, and during that time never had my clothes off to lie down. She was so reduced that I moved her from one bed to another — carrying her in my arms as I would a child. It took her some time to recover from the effects of this illness. It was pretty hard on Georgiana; and her little pinched up face gave me evidences (which grieved my heart) that she suffered also. Of course she had to be weaned. She has been very healthy from her birth and has given us no trouble except once or twice in teething. She is quite large of her age, & thrives finely, but is very backward in her walking. She will be 20 month’s old on the 21st instant, and yet she cannot walk alone. She can walk round by chairs and other things but will not venture away from a support. This does not arise from any physical defect, so much as from her excessive timidity and caution, joined probably to a little weakness in the ankles. She is becoming very interesting and is a great comfort to her Mother.

My trip to the States was a very pleasant one; and Bro Hooper and myself in our capacity as Senators, were treated with great courtesy and consideration and accomplished as much as could well be expected under the circumstances. When we parted, he to return home and I to come back to England he thought that we would have to spend this winter there. I have been pleased, however, in being excused this trip for the present, having been advised by the President that only in the case of our being admitted as a State need I go over there, and then to take my seat as Senator. I say that I have been pleased that I had not to go, not but what it would have been a pleasure to do whatever might be required of me, but when there was a choice my inclinations would lead me to prefer the preaching of the simple and pure principles of the Gospel of Jesus unto the honest in heart and the visiting of them in their lowly abodes to the association with the so-called great men of our nation. I have had much joy in my labors and I have felt that I have been greatly blessed.

You will be surprised, probably, to see that this letter is not in my own hand writing, but I have found it impossible of late, to visit the Conferences, attend to the Star, and the business of the Office and the large correspondence which naturally belongs to the position of President and do the writing myself. Of late I have commenced dictating all my correspondence using Bro John C. Graham as an Amanuensis, so that you receive my language but in his handwriting. I found, if I wrote you at all I must do it in this way. I shall write soon to Angus and if possible to Orin and Annie. Elizabeth joins me in love to every one of you, not forgetting Sarah Maria and Amanda, whose names I have not previously mentioned. May the Lord bless you all, is ever my prayer. Write when you can. Your Affectionate Brother

(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon.

Bro and Sister Mills arrived in the evening from Birmingham on a visit.

11 January 1863 • Sunday

Sunday Jany 11th My birth-day. I started early this morning for Bolton, where I was met by Bro Kay. We held morning and afternoon meetings here at both of which I spoke. There was an excellent attendance. Bro’s Miles, P. Romney and James Lythgoe were also present. In the evening returned to Liverpool.

12 January 1863 • Monday

Monday 12th. Had a call from my father’s cousin, James Crawford. Sister’s Graham and Mary Spencer were here in the evening.

13 January 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday 13th. Busy with Office business. In the afternoon went out with Bro & Sister Mills and my wife to Bro Carrington’s at the Old Swan, returned in the evening.

14 January 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday Jany. 14th. Dictated Editorial, “Slanders against the Truth and its believers Readiness of the world to believe in them.” Bro & Sister Sloan took tea with us and we accompanied Bro & Sister Mills to witness a Pantomime at the Theatre Royal.

15 January 1863 • Thursday

Thursday 15th. Busy about Office, writing &c. In the evening we accompanied Brother and Sister Mills to see Professor Anderson, the “Wizard of the North.” His performances were very excellent exhibitions of skill.

16 January 1863 • Friday

Friday 16th. Busy in the Office all day.

17 January 1863 • Saturday

Saturday 17th. Took train this morning for Nottingham, where I arrived about the middle of the afternoon. I found Brother’s Chase and Pixton well; they were very glad to see me. In the evening I had a long conversation with Mr Fussel, who is head of the School of Art in this town. He is a very intelligent man and favorably impressed by our principles. He talks of making his future home with us in the mountains. A great number of the Saints came in also during the evening.

18 January 1863 • Sunday

Sunday Jany. 18th. At meeting in the morning during which Bro’s Chase and Pixton gave a representation of the Conference and the former read the financial report &c. I spoke a little during the forenoon & occupied the afternoon and evening, and enjoyed excellent liberty in talking to the people but especially in the evening, when the Assembly rooms which were hired for the occasion was filled to overflowing, and excellent attention was paid by the Congregation. I took dinner with Bro Whittaker and tea with Bro Riley. We selected Brother Henry Arnott to the ministry and in the evening after meeting ordained him.

19 January 1863 • Monday

Monday 19th. I started after breakfast for Liverpool, the brethren accompanying me to the Station. Found all well when I returned.

20 January 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday 20th. Busy about Office business all day. Dictated Editorial “Ye ask & ye receive not, because ye do not ask aright.” In the evening took Bro & Sister Mills and my wife to Hengler’s Circus.

21 January 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday Jany. 21st. Bro Mills & wife returned to Birmingham, expressing themselves highly pleased with their visit.

22 January 1863 • Thursday

Thursday 22nd. Busy writing.

23 January 1863 • Friday

Friday 23rd. Dictated Editorial “The Straight and Narrow way — Who can find it.”

24 January 1863 • Saturday

Saturday 24th. Started for Norwich to attend Conference on the morrow, had a long tedious ride, reaching that city at 8.30. I was met at the Station by Bro’s Bentley, Bull, Sears, & Webb; found Bro Neslen at Chapel House. Spent a very pleasant evening together. I did not get to bed till two o’clock A.M.

25 January 1863 • Sunday

Sunday 25th. Met in the Saints’ Chapel[.] The usual business of the Conference was attended to, Bro Bentley & the Elders laboring under his direction gave an account of their labors and the condition of their fields. Brother Bull, who was there on a visit also spoke, after which I made a few remarks. In the afternoon and evening I occupied the time and enjoyed the meetings very much.

26 January 1863 • Monday

Monday 26th. Busy writing. Started about 1 o’clock in company with Bro’s Bentley and Bull for Lowestoft. While there we stopped at the house of Sister Griffith whose husband is not in the Church and is confined to his bed with sickness. We were very kindly entertained by her she doing everything in her power to make us comfortable. She is a woman who has moved in very good circles and who lives now very comfortably. She has two little daughters her only children who are at a Boarding School in the town, and who were granted as a special favor, which they appeared to appreciate very highly the privilege of spending a few hours at home because we were there.

27 January 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday 27th. We visited various places in the town and called at the Photographic Saloon of Bro Reynolds who insisted on taking the likeness of me. He had taken likenesses of Bro’s Bentley and Bull, which he had painted very beautifully in oil. In the evening held meeting in the Chapel. There was a good attendance of Saints and strangers to whom I spoke having excellent liberty.

We took tea at Bro Rockham’s this evening <&> after evening meeting went to his house and ordained Bro John, R, Howard, having selected him to travel in the ministry.

28 January 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday Jany 28th. We were awakened this morning by Sister Griffith at 1/4 to 5, she having I suspect with her girls sat up all night (or the part of it that we were in bed as we sat up till long after Midnight) that she might awaken us and get something ready for me to eat before starting. I started a little after six from the Station for Liverpool, which place I reached late in the afternoon, found all well.

29 January 1863 • Thursday

Thursday 29th. Busy all day in Office. In the evening held meeting at the Hall in this town. Had a tolerably good attendance and enjoyed myself in speaking. There was a lady present by the name of Howard, who had been anxious for some time to see me, she had heard my name & wished to know whether I belonged to the family with whom she had been acquainted in former years. She was intimately acquainted with my mother’s relations and had known my Father and Mother before they emigrated and had often nursed me when a child. Her husband James Howard, whom I recollected very well when she told me who she was, was a fellow apprentice of my uncle Henry Quayle. She is an aunt to Bro Laurenson who belongs to this branch and is a sister of Bro Laurenson who is in Provo. She seems to be favorably inclined to our principles & expressed great delight at seeing me.

30 January 1863 • Friday

Friday Jany 30th Bro C. W. West arrived from Wales to day, his health being somewhat impaired by a severe cold which he had caught[.] I had advised him upon hearing of his cold to come to Liverpool & recruit as I think his lungs are rather delicate and he must be careful of himself in this damp climate. My little daughter, Georgiana, appeared quite unwell this evening, seemingly arising from teething, she has considerable cough also.

31 January 1863 • Saturday

Saturday 31st. Georgy still continues unwell. In the evening went with Bro West to the Turkish Baths. When I returned I found a letter from Bro Kay stating the advantage there would be in my going to Manchester this evening to be ready for the meetings he had appointed for tomorrow instead of waiting until tomorrow morning to go. Altho’ Georgy was very ill I thought it better to leave this evening as I might disarrange Bro Kay’s plans if I did not. I administered to her with Bro West before I left, committing her into the hands of the Lord. I reach Manchester about 9 o’clock; was met at the Station by Bro Kay, slept at his house all night. Sister Kay’s health was only tolerable.