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March 1873

1 March 1873 • Saturday

Saturday, March 1. The question of salary came up this morning and <it> was by motion changed to $6,500 per annum for Senators and Members and passed. To-day our enemies were anxious to get up the Frelinghuysen Bill and pass it. They had resolved upon getting it up this evening. All the feelings that I had in my dream I began to experience this evening. There was a time that I awaited its advent as I imagined in my dream that I awaited the shock of battle. I was nerved up in the same way. Clagett acted like a hen that wanted to lay. He was fidgetty and anxious and was charged ready to fire off. He got the floor and was twice recognized by the Chairman of the Com. of the Whole, Mr. Wheeler, and had his speech prepared, written out and in his hand; but was choked off both times; the first by Mr. Farnsworth introducing an amendment; the last time by Gen. Garfield moving the previous question, despite the remonstrances of Clagett, by which further debate was cut off. He intended to commence by speaking on some claim and then branch off on to the Utah question, feeling confident from his past success in getting the ear of the house that he could secure a hearing again. Merritt had also come down to the front to be near Clagett to support him. As soon as Clagett found that he could not interject his speech in then, he went over to Judge Bingham of Ohio, chairman of the Judiciary Com. and had a consultation with him. It was then arranged as I afterwards learned that further on in the evening B. was to try and get it up. Maxwell was back in Clagett’s seat waiting for the onslaught with great anxiety; Clagett went back to him and had a talk with him and then went off to smoke. In the meantime a collation had been prepared in a Committee room down stairs and some excellent punch, so said, had been furnished. Of this many partook freely and about midnight the effects were very visible in the noise and confusion which prevailed. Beck of Kentucky made a motion to take a recess until 9 o’clock Monday morning; other motions to adjourn and take a recess were also made; but with no effect; they were voted down two to one. Every moment I expected our matter to come up. The noise and confusion increased, and finally Gen. Garfield made a motion to take a recess until 9 o’clock Monday morning – the same motion they had voted down just before – and it was carried. We rejoiced exceedingly. We had another day’s grace. We had a quiet Sabbath granted unto us and I praised the Lord. Merritt afterwards told me that it we owed our escape that night to that punch. Bingham had got tight he said and they could not trust him to present the matter. Clagett, Merritt, Maxwell & Co. were mad; but we were gratified.

2 March 1873 • Sunday

Sunday, March 2 We had prepared amendments which Bro. Hooper would do his best to get adopted. I have kept a copy of them. We were tired to-day. It was stormy. We rested and had peace.

3 March 1873 • Monday

Monday, March 3. The same old feeling of being nerved up as if expecting a shock. I prayed earnestly and constantly in my heart for the Lord to defeat our enemies and I had peace. The first proceeding after the reading of the minutes was to commence at the calendar. Each man was striving to get his measure through. The Speaker told the members that if they would keep their seats and not call for <the> ayes and noes, unless they wished to stop a measure and to find out if two-thirds were in favor of it, he thought they might get through the calendar in a few hours and every Bill could come up in its regular order. Then the Bills were crowded through like grain through a hopper, under the suspension of the rule. There appeared no human possibility of escape, for the Frelinghuysen Bill was on the calendar, low down it was true but <at> the rapid rate they were crowding through legislation it could not be long until it was reached. Clagett and Merritt were very active and very gleeful. The latter told me they had got us now, and swore by his Maker that they were going in for results now and not for talk. Bro. Hooper saw Clagett, and to see how he felt, asked him if he thought the Bill would pass. He swore and said that it had got to pass, that he would force it through. They, every little while, would go up to the Speaker’s Desk where the Bills lay and examine the pile to see how far it was down. Maxwell and they were in great glee. I did not see how we were going to escape, but yet I had faith that something would interpose to prevent the passage of the Bill; but I did not know what it would be, or how it would be prevented. At 5 p.m. took recess till 1/2 past 7 and still it was not reached. I paced up and down one of the cloak rooms within hearing of the business, and calling called upon the Lord in my heart for that deliverance which I knew that no one but He could give. The exultation of our enemies was unconcealed. In imagination they already had their feet upon our necks. Two o’clock in the morning of Tuesday came and still they were crowding through Bills. There were but two Bills to pass which could be passed in two or three minutes and then the Frelinghuysen Bill was reached. Confusion and excitement prevailed and it seemed like a time that an attempt to reason upon such a subject, with so great a feeling of hurry prevailing, would be useless. We had done all in our power, and if the Bill was not to pass, only the power of God could prevent it. Just then the Judiciary Committee brought up the impeachment cases of Judge Delahay of Kansas and Judge Sherman of Ohio. This subject consumed an hour. Three o’clock had come and still no action on the Frelinghuysen Bill. Then members began to present resolutions, bills &c upon which they wanted action. Speaker Blaine recognized them and half an hour was thus consumed. Our enemies active and urgent tried to press the Frelinghuysen Bill on to the notice of the House; but in vain. I felt faint and hungry, went down to the restaurant and got a piece of pie, was only absent a few minutes and when I came up the House had just adjourn taken a recess until 1/2 past 9. I was surprised and yet exceeding glad. I thought of my dream again. The dispersion of the Members reminded me of the dispersion in the dream. Our enemies were swearing mad. Merritt said we had bribed the Speaker and <that> damned old Bingham. Clagett and Maxwell were also furious.

4 March 1873 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 4. This morning they commenced at the calendar. The two Bills were soon passed, then came the Frelinghuysen Bill; but Mr. Sarjent of California objected to the consideration of so important a Bill when there was no quorum present. It was laid aside informally; and from that <time> until half past eleven, when upon motion it was decided to transact no more legislation, it could not be reached. Business of various kinds was attended to; but that could not be got up. Our enemies were furious. Maxwell said he would take out British papers and be an American citizen no longer. Clagett asserted that we had spent $200,000 on the Judiciary Committee and Merritt swore that there had been treachery and we had bribed Congress. But I thanked and praised God who was our Friend and mightier than they all. By seemingly small and insignificant means he had brought to pass marvelous results, and to Him all the glory was due. I was hurt this afternoon by a remark of Capt. Hooper’s. I was speaking in the presence of Sister Hooper of how wonderfully God had delivered us and how plainly His hand was to be seen, when the Captain said that it was all perfectly natural, that God had nothing to do with it or words to that effect. I was shocked, for after our experience of the past weeks and especially the past few days, I thought that he of all men ought to recognize and acknowledge His hand and providence in what had occurred and told him so, also that I did not like to hear him make such remarks, I thought them sinful; in which Sister H. joined. He replied that he could say, he guessed, what he pleased, and then the subject was dropped. I was deeply pained. I knew that he was skeptical; but I was scarcely prepared for this denial of God’s interposition in our case. To my mind His Hand had never been more plainly manifested than I have seen it these few days. How relieved and glad I am at what has occurred. I have felt for two or three days like a m mentally as I would physically if I were holding up against a heavy load that was likely to roll on to me. I saw the inauguration ceremonies. The day was a dreadfully cold one. I hunted up Willard Young who was here with the West Point cadets and had a long conversation with him. He and Spencer Clawson came up and visited us in the evening.

5 March 1873 • Wednesday

Wednesday, 5 Went to Post Office Department and attended to business. Saw Postmaster with Capt. Hooper about having box delivery extended to Salt Lake. He said whenever he could be satisfied there were 20,000 people there he would extend the delivery there.

6 March 1873 • Thursday

Thursday, 6. Busy to-day. Called at Navy Department and saw about Cadet-ship. Left Washington for Philadelphia at 5.20 p.m. Could not get lodgings at Continental Hotel and put up at the St. Lawrence.

7 March 1873 • Friday

Friday, 7. Bought rag cutter of W. Gavitt and visited paper mill. Looked at carriages for Bro. Hooper at factory of Rogers. Left for N. Y. at 3. p.m. Reached at 6 p.m. Put up at the St. Nicholas Hotel; met Bro. John W. Young.

8 March 1873 • Saturday

Saturday, 8. Bought engravings for Juvenile Instructor of Rev. John Liggins. Bought stereotyping machine of Mr. Senior. Called upon Kountze Bro’s. Bought piano of U.S. Piano Co. Called upon Hoe & Co. about printing machine. Bro. Sharp and son John arrived from Boston last night. The latter took me to see Sothern as David Garrick.

9 March 1873 • Sunday

Sunday, 9. Called upon Mr. Lyman Richardson of the Omaha Herald, also Stirling Morton of Nebraska city. Spent the day with Bros. Sharp and Bro. Spencer Clawson. Bro. Hooper telegraphed that he would leave Washington in the morning. I replied that I would join him at Harrisburg.

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March 1873, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 19, 2024