The Church Historian's Press

March 1863

1 March 1863 • Sunday

Sunday March 1st. Bro West & myself started for Upholland where we were met by Bro Shearman at the Station. Transacted business at the morning meeting; after which I spoke. Bro West spoke in the afternoon, followed by myself and brother Shearman. The meetings were very good and the Hall was filled to its utmost capacity. There were larger attendances there than had ever been before. We took dinner at Bro Peter Rowbottom’s and tea at Bro Baldwin’s. Walked to Wigan in company with the Elders and a number of the Saints. Bro Wilson was with us all the way. I had very good liberty in addressing the Saints at Wigan. Bro West & myself returned to Liverpool in the evening.

2 March 1863 • Monday

Monday March 2nd. Balancing a/c with Brother Perkes. Engaged in Office business. In the evening went with Bro’s West and Wilson to see M. Leotard’s performances at the Amphitheatre on the flying trapeze, his performances were most extraordinary far excelling everything of the kind I ever witnessed his flights were more like those of a bird than anything that could be done by man. All his performances were very wonderful and would appear frightful were they not performed with such grace and apparent ease. The strength of his arms must be uncommonly great. He would in his swinging, propel himself from one trapeze to another. While swinging by one he would seize the other trapeze which would be swinging towards him and come down upon each arm with his whole weight & in such a manner as would break the grip of a man of ordinary strength. Once or twice I saw him seize the trapeze with one arm and swing by it. He made these flights backwards also, turning himself & leaving one trapeze to seize the other. Some flights he made again by his legs, swinging with his head downwards and carrying hold of the other trapeze with his hands, his somersaults were extraordinary. He was rapturously applauded. He is very gentlemanly in his appearance, and is probably about 30 years of age. In height he is about six feet, and is as finely built a man as I think I ever saw. He has a retreating forehead, and a very full head & a slightly retreating chin. While he was sitting in one of the side boxes, I observed him before I was aware who he was and pointed him out to Brother West remarking that he did not look like a smart man meaning so far as intellect was concerned.

3 March 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday March 3rd. Wrote several letters, and attended to other business.

4 March 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday March 4th. Had a Turkish bath in company with Bro’s West & Wilson. Wrote a number of letters. Received a very satisfactory and pleasing letter from President Young. I have been long looking for this letter as I have not heard from him since Novr 13th. The letter was dated Jany 26th. From it I learn that it is his intention to send down 500 teams to Florence this Spring. Everything was moving along harmoniously at home. He leaves me at liberty to release such Elders as I and those of the Valley Elders whom I may please to consult may decide upon and also leaves to my discretion the arrangement of the Hymn Book. I received a very long and interesting letter from Bro Geo. A. Smith in reply to a letter written by me to President Orson Hyde and the brethren of my quorum. After Bro Smith wrote it, it was read to Bro’s Orson Hyde, Wilford Woodruff and Amasa, M. Lyman, who approved of its contents and signed it. Also received a letter from Judge Phelps with a Primer accompanying it which he wished published. Attended a Concert in the evening at the Saints chapel which passed off very pleasantly.

5 March 1863 • Thursday

[Daybook goes from here to 16 March 1863] Thursday, March 5th/63. Very busy Went up to Brother Sloan’s last night in company with Bro’ West to administer to him. He was quite ill and suffering from a pain in the side. Very busy all day. Dictated an Editorial, which Bro. Graham wrote as I dictated, entitled [blank] {“To the Saints and intending Emigrants — Names &c., required immediately.”}

Wrote a number of letters and issued a circular on emigration.

6 March 1863 • Friday

Friday, 6th. Busy this morning opening and reading letters before starting to London which I did, in company with Bro. West at 9.25 A.M. Reached London about 8 p.m after a tedious ride and was met by Bro. Staines. The train was a monster one upwards of 40 carriages, it was said, and we had considerable difficulty to find one another and to get a cab. At Florence St. we met Bro’s. Bentley, Brigham jun, and Thos O King and S H B Smith and Joseph Bull and M. B Shipp. They were all well and glad to see us. Went out in the evening on an Omnibus across London Bridge and on the line of the expected procession of the Prince of Wales and his intended bride who were to be escorted thro’ the City tomorrow. Great preparations were being made all along the route[,] workmen fixing seats, erecting triumphal arches and decorations &c. The streets were very much crowded. We reached the house about midnight and retired between one and two A.M.

8 March 1863 • Sunday

Sunday, March 8/63. At about ½ half past 1 p.m. we started for the Music Hall, which had been hired expressly for the Conference. Conference was opened at ½ half past two. The body of the hall —a very fine commodious one — was crowded. Bro. Staines spoke & then represented the condition of affairs the Conference which was very flattering and alluded to his departure for home. Bro’s. B. Young jun and Thos O. King, followed him, expressing their own feelings & representing their districts. Bro’s. West, S. H. B. Smith, and Shipp followed in testimony and spoke with the Spirit. I proposed the authorities and nominated Elder Richd Bentley to the Presidency of the London Conference in the stead of Bro. Wm C. Staines whom I released to go to the States to act as in conjunction with Bro. J G Bigler, as Agent for the emigration in the States. I alluded in warm terms to the labors and faithful diligence of Bro Staines and blessed him to which the congregation responded with a loud Amen. I also made some remarks upon emigration &c. After meeting went to tea at Bro. Debenham’s. In the evening the hall was very much crowded. I spoke for about two hours and had very good liberty.

9 March 1863 • Monday

Monday, March 9th/63 Started this morning into the City and called upon George Peabody & Co. about obtaining Certificates of Deposit. Called upon Grosvenor, Chater & Co., the paper dealers, about paper for the hymn book and also upon Day & Son about ob having the President’s likeness engraved for the plate of the First Presidency & Twelve. Went to the British Museum and spent two hours. In the evening went to the Theatre Royal. {Theatre Royal Haymarket and saw “Our American Cousin,” performed.}

10 March 1863 • Tuesday

Monday Tuesday 10th/63. Recd a letter from Sister Griffiths, who wrote very kindly, also one from Bro. Bigler, the latter of which I answered. We visited the Regent’s Park and the Zoological Gardens. Saw our “American Cousin” in the evening.

Tuesday, 11th/63

Went to Brother & Sister Andrews for tea, and then took the underground railroad from King Cross Station to Paddington for the purpose of coming back through the city and seeing the illuminations. We passed through the principal streets and saw the most of the illuminations which were very splendid. I never saw such crowds in the streets as there were this evening. We walked indian file and being all strong and heavy, eight of us in number, we forced ourselves through the crowd with comparative ease. We were all very much tired when we got home a little before midnight. I afterwards heard that 6 persons were crushed & trampled to death.

11 March 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 11/62 <63> Attending to business all morning; at Day & Son’s and about the President Young’s likeness. Made an arrangement with them to engrave it. Called at Grosvenor, Chater & Co’s about paper for Hymn book. Went to the Crystal Palace in the afternoon with Bro’s. Staines, Bentley, Brigham, Shipp & West. Returned in time to go to Hanover Square Rooms to hear Chas Dickens read from Nicholas Nickleby and [blank] {“Pickwick.”} He read in eight or nine different voices in the first and five or six in the second readings pieces.

12 March 1863 • Thursday

Thursday, 12/63 Wrote a circular to all the Presidents of Conferences urging them to be prompt in sending in their lists of names and deposits of emigrants, then went to Day and Son’s with the plate of the First Presidency and Twelve and then to Grosvenor, Chater & Co about paper. Went to the House of Commons and by the kindness of Brother Wootten secured passes to the gallery. We sat there about two hours listening to Sir George Gray, Home Secretary, Mr Layard, Under Secretary of State, Mr Gladstone, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Lindsay. We saw Lord Palmerston, but did not hear him speak. In the evening went with Bro. West to see Aurora Floyd and the Honeymoon at the Princess’; the former was acted very finely, Miss Amy Sedgwick taking the principal part.

13 March 1863 • Friday

Friday March 13/63. Wrote two or three letters. Went to Grosvenor, Chater & Co with Bro. Shipp to give some orders about paper. Then went to Paddington Station and took train for Windsor where we arrived about ¼ to 3 p.m. We followed the crowd, which was very great, and passed the Hall in which the doors of the Bride & Bridegrooms Bridegroom and their attendant’s rooms led. The Prince’s rooms were very fine elegant indeed, the Prince of Wales’ room had a very be was papered with a very beautiful <blue> satin paper, having for its principal figure his <the Prince of Wales’> feathers. The Princess Alexandra’s room was papered splendidly with a beautiful satin paper of a peach blossom color, set off with white trimmings; the figure was the arms of Denmark. From this Hall we entered the nave of the Chapel which was seate filled with seats erected for visitors to the wedding. From this we entered the Chapel (St. George’s) in which were the Stalls of the Knights of the garter, their banners hanging over their stalls. The royal pew was not entered from the body of the chapel and it jutted out from the wall like a bow window, the occupants being able to look down upon the altar &c. Temporary seats had been arranged for the Diplomatic Corps and the nobility. The Knights of the Garter occupied their stalls. From the Chapel we passed through a portion of the Castle grounds; but the Castle was clo itself was closed[;] visitors as the Queen and Royal family were dwelling there. Returning through the Chapel again we met Brother West and found Brigham outside. We returned to London again we took train by the underground railroad from Paddington to King’s Cross, where Brigham separated from us and returned to the Office. Bro’s. West, Shipp and myself went to Bro. Groves where we found Bro’s. Staines & Bentley and took tea with them.

14 March 1863 • Saturday

Saturday March 14th Brother Bentley accompanied me this morning to the King’s Cross Station and I took train to Longton, Staffordshire, where I had an appointment to meet the Saints in Conference tomorrow. Changed at Derby and remained nearly an hour. I reached Longton in the evening and with a little trouble succeeded in finding the house where the Brethren <were> stopping (Bro Cresswell’s) Bro’s Mills, C. Taylor, & Hopwood were there. We visited the Market House in the evening.

15 March 1863 • Sunday

Sunday, 15th/63. Held meetings three times to-day, tho’ there were so few together in the morning that we did no more than sing and pray together. The other meetings were well attended and we enjoyed ourselves.

16 March 1863 • Monday

Monday, March 16/63. Visited the a Pol a China manufactory at which Bro Cresswell was working. We were taken through all the departments and shown the various processes of manufacture. There was It requires more labor to make China ware than I had supposed. The painting especially was much more required an amount of labor of which I had no conception [end of daybook]

17 March 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday March 17th. Busy writing, giving instructions and letters of introduction to Elders J. G. Bigler & W. C. Staines as they were going over to act as Emigration Agents on the other side. They were instructed to transfer all business papers &c to whoever might be appointed and sent down from home to superintend the Emigration and were to act under his or their direction.

18 March 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday March Accompanied Bro’s Bigler and Staines on board the steamship “City of Washington,” in company with Elder John, M. Kay. Writing letters in the evening.

19 March 1863 • Thursday

Thursday March Elders John, M. Kay and Brigham Young Junr left for the Isle of Man.

20 March 1863 • Friday

Friday March Busy in the Office business.

21 March 1863 • Saturday

Saturday March Started this morning for Cheltenham to attend Conference. As I was not met at the Station by any of the brethren and was a stranger in the town I had some trouble in finding the brethren. I met Bro’s Willard, G. Smith & George, W. Grant in the street and was guided by them to a place of lodging where we were joined by Brother’s Wm Thurgood and George Taylor and afterwards by Bro J. G. Holman, who had arrived from Derby. Took a stroll through the town which contains the best houses and is the most beautiful town I have seen in England. In the evening went to see Martin’s great picture of the fields of heaven, the last judgment day, opening of the sixth seal. They were magnificent paintings, but rather fanciful.

22 March 1863 • Sunday

Sunday March 22.nd Held 3 meetings & spoke three times. The other brethren also occupied a portion of the time. We had a very good time and the Saints enjoyed themselves. Brother Holman was appointed District President. I was anxious that he should take charge of the District as the 3 Conferences composing it were very much in debt, through the mismanagement to call it by no worse a name of the former District President (W. Gibson). This indebtedness had been studiously concealed from me until quite recently. Bro’s Holman, W. G. Smith and myself took dinner with Sister [blank] who is living as a Servant to a professor of music. He and his wife were quite desirous that we should take dinner there. His wife had made the pastry herself for the purpose. They did not show themselves, however. Took tea at Sister Hobbs’.

23 March 1863 • Monday

Monday March 23.rd Started very early this morning for Liverpool. Found all well. A telegram appeared in to day’s paper stating that a collision between the military and the Citizens of Utah was imminent in consequence of Governor Harding, Judges Waite and Drake having called upon Col. Connor to arrest Presidents Young, Kimball, and Wells. The Citizens, it was stated, were in arms, and determined to resist the arrest of the Presidency by military force.

Elder Sloan arrived from the Isle of Man whither he had been on a visit & searching up my genealogy. He had learned on an examination of the records that an ancestor of mine had first come into possession of the Cooilshellagh by purchase in the year 1698. He was John Cannon, my Great, great, great-grandfather.

One of the name, <but whether an ancestor of mine, I have no means of knowing,> John Cannon, had a farm transferred to him in the year 1614. It is quite probable that he was one of the family. He <Bro’ Sloan,> had traced my mother’s family — the Quayles — back to my great, great, great-grandfather, when he was unable to trace it further on account of the great number bearing the same name.

24 March 1863 • Tuesday

Tuesday March Word was brought to the Office this evening by one of the printers, that a telegram had been received in town from Queenstown and contained in the 3rd edition of the Daily Post that “Brigham Young had been arrested for bigamy.” I tried in vain to obtain a copy of the telegram.

This news made me feel very bad, as coming so close after the news of yesterday I feared there might be some foundation for it. I got relief from my sadness by prayer, after which I felt comparatively easy.

25 March 1863 • Wednesday

Wednesday When I read the full telegram this morning I saw there was no room for fear, as it stated that he had been released on bonds. Bro’s Kay & B. Young Junr returned to day, and with my wife and Bro Bull went with me to Bro Lawrenson’s where I married Elder Robert Wilson to Sister Jane Swift of Upholland.

30 March 1863 • Monday

Owing to the hurry of Emigration &c I have not kept my journal with proper punctuality for a few months. On the 30th of March 1863 I received a letter from John Sabin Smith & his wife, of Birmingham, the following of which is a copy: —

12½ St. Paul’s Square,


March 30th, 1863.

Dear Brother Cannon

It is with peculiar feelings and sorrow that we send these sad news to you. We feel that you are desirous of the salvation of Israel and whoever are labouring with you; and are working in an opposite direction are injuring the cause of God and the progress of his kingdom. We have long felt grieved to hear that President W. G Mills has tried to seduce one of the sisters, and we begin to fear that it is really so, as iniquity abounds in the West Bromwich Branch without being checked, and some of the Birmingham Saints are beginning to feel bad about it. I should have written sooner, but Sister Smith prevailed on me to wait until we were more firmly convinced of the truth of it. We have ever felt an interest in the work of God, and of being on hand to help to roll it forth with our humble exertions; we never felt more grieved than at the present time. If you could possibly make it convenient to visit the West Bromwich Branch, you will then know the truth of our statement; & we are willing to give up our Authors, - so you see there is nothing undermining in the matter. A man in the occupation of Brother Mills, is calculated to do either a great amount of good or a great amount of harm. We thought it our duty to apprize you of it.

We hope, with the blessing of God, this will find you and your wife and family in good health, as it leaves us at present; thank God for it.

We conclude, praying God to bless you and your fellow laborers,

We remain Yours truly in the Gospel of peace,

John Sabin & Emma Smith.

As I could not go to Birmingham myself, I wrote as follows to Bro West who was at Nottingham, requesting him to go there.

March 30th 1863.

Dear Brother Chauncey,

The enclosed speaks its own tale. Please preserve it and keep its contents to yourself, for the charge may be utterly false. I would like you to take steps to prove or disprove the charge as soon as you can. I would not compromise myself by writing, and therefore think the safest and only way to investigate the matter is to have the personal presence of yourself there. The writers of the enclosed are employed at Garside’s silver chain factor; he is the book-keeper and they live up in the yard of the factory. You may recollect them by this description. Whether you had better see them first or go to the other place direct I will leave you to decide; but should think the former course preferable, as you will get the clue, if there be any, and ascertain whether they have good grounds for their charges. Of course your production of their letter to me will be an evidence to them that you are authorized by me to hear all they have to say on the subject. Be careful about committing yourself by any expression to them which they can retail again. You will need to exercise wisdom. The charge seems quite incredible; but whether true and false must be attended to, as the feeling they (and it may be others have) must not be permitted to go unattended to. Accept my love in which Elizabeth and Brigham joins, also to Bro Chase. You have the prayers of Your Brother

(Signed) Geo, Q. Cannon

Cite this page

March 1863, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 21, 2024