March 1874

1 March 1874 • Sunday

I spent the day peacefully. I fasted and prayed as usual. I worked at preparing articles for Juvenile Instructor.

2 March 1874 • Monday

I presented to-day, under the call of the States and Territories, a Bill for the admission of Utah as a State, with a Memorial and Constitution accompanying which were adopted and framed two years ago by the Constitutional Convention. Before going to the House I called upon President Grant and told him of my intention. I hoped to be able to draw him out. He treated me courteously, said being requested by the Assembly of the Territory to present the Memorial I ought to do so; but was very non-committal.

I called upon Gen. Butler at his house this evening and talked with him about the McKee Bill and the action of the Committee upon it and that they would report to-morrow. He promised to be on hand.

3 March 1874 • Tuesday

The morning hour was consumed this morning by other business and the Committee on Territories was not called.

4 March 1874 • Wednesday

The Committee on Territories was called this morning. The following extract from the Congressional Record describes the manner in which the Bill was disposed of. (insert extract) The rule under which this was sent to the Committee of the Whole was <is> a new one, adopted since th we met. To my mind the hand of the Lord is plainly apparent in <all> this. By what seemingly simple and insignificant means the Lord brings to pass His marvelous designs! Who can see it? Not the wicked, for they deny His power and give all the glory to man. Members said to me “How well you have managed this!” God is not thought about.

Attended a dinner party given by Gov. McCormick of Arizona at his house to the Delegates. All were present but Chaffee of Colorado and we had a very pleasant time. Col. Steele of Wyoming was somewhat elated and very amusing. Mr. Chapman, Gov. McCormick’s private Sec. played excellently on the piano. McC. has an elegant home here, and his dinner was unexceptionally fine.

I enjoyed the evening and felt to glorify the Lord for His goodness. McKee looked plauged and annoyed at the Bill being so unceremoniously taken of his hands. I got up this morning feeling well. Had a sweet and heavenly time in waiting upon the Lord this morning; my joy was very great. Had a very pleasant and encouraging dream last night. I thought I was swimming a race with some other parties. They were on one stream and I on another a little way apart. I thought they started as though they were going to win; but I went through the clear, sparkling water with such ease and swiftness that I soon outstripped <them,> as I saw upon looking over towards the water they were in soon after I started. I arrived at my stopping place without the least trouble or difficulty, but no one knew anything about them, they had not been heard from.

5 March 1874 • Thursday

The day spent in discussing the Franking Bill.

6 March 1874 • Friday

Soon after the House opened this morning I received a dispatch from Gen. Thos. L. Kane informing me that he would like to see me at Barnum’s Hotel at Baltimore, where he then was, this afternoon as he had to go to Wilmington in the evening. I spoke to a number of my friends and to the Speaker to see that nothing should be considered in which I sh would be interested during my absence, which they promised they would do. I reached Baltimore a few minutes before 3 p.m., met the General and had a most delightful visit with him. I saw him go off with the train, then went to the Depot <from> which the cars were to start to Washington; reached there a little after 4 p.m. Found a letter from Bro. H. S. Eldredge, informing me that Bro. Jos. F. Smith had arrived from the Valley en route for England to preside over the mission there and that they would leave New York tonight for Washington.

7 March 1874 • Saturday

Got up early and went to meet the brethren. I missed them. Returned to my rooms and shortly afterward they came, accompanied by Bro. Hy. Sadler. Busy all day taking them around. Introduced them to President Grant and many leading men. Spent the evening in conversation.

8 March 1874 • Sunday

We spent the day in conversation and visited the unfinished Washington monument and called upon Col. Piatt, Editor of the Capital. I accompanied the brethren to the train for New York. They started a few minutes after nine in the evening. My feeling was one of loneliness after the brethren left.

9 March 1874 • Monday

Very busy this morning. The news of the death of ex-President Millard Fillmore had been received, so as soon as the morning hour was through, the House adjourned at 1.13 p.m. I started for Wilmington, I having promised Gen. Kane that I would meet him there this afternoon. Reached about 6 p.m. and found him, he having just arrived. We ate together and spent the evening and night until a few minutes before 2 o’clock when I went to the train for Washington. We had a very pleasant time together. I had, by the General’s request, taken with me from our previous interview, the Mss of Mrs. Kane’s diary to examine and give my views concerning. I wrote him the following letter in the subject: (insert copy of letter. Rough draft filed among private letters) At Wilmington I stopped at the Clayton House. I got a sleeping berth on palace car to Washington.

10 March 1874 • Tuesday

Maxwell is pushing the contest case, and is anxious to have the Committee on Elections set a time for the hearing of the case. Looking at the matter as men view such things and it would seem as though, with the prejudice existing on the subject of Mormonism, he would be able to give me trouble. But my trust is in the Lord. He sent me here; he knows my position; he has always been my Friend and I rely upon him now. At the House all day.

11 March 1874 • Wednesday

Busy in the morning and at the House. Senator Sumner was said to be dying. Dispatches were sent to the House reporting his condition. At 10 to 3 p.m. he died and the House adjourned.

12 March 1874 • Thursday

The House met to-day. After prayer by Chaplain waited without doing any business for 15 or 20 minutes for Resolutions from the Senate respecting Senator Sumner’s demise. After they were read, Judge E. Rockwood Hoar arose and in a few very appropriate and feeling remarks alluded to the great loss the country & the State of Mass. had sustained in the death of Charles Sumner, presented Resolutions, after which the Speaker appointed nine members of the House to attend the funeral and accompany the remains to Boston in addition to the Mass. delegation. The House then adjourned.

13 March 1874 • Friday

House met at 12 m. At 12.20 walked over to Senate chamber to participate in ceremonies over the remains of Charles Sumner. He had lain in State since 9 o’clock in the Rotunda, where thousands had been to see his corpse. After the House entered the Senate Chamber the Supreme Court of the U.S. were announced, then the President & his Cabinet. They with the House Com. sat in front of the circle on the right of the President of the Senate, then the Diplomatic Corps, then the House of Representatives. The Senators sat on the left of the President of the Senate, occupying that side, Sumner’s chair being empty and draped in mourning. The officers of the Army & Navy occupied the sofas in the rear. The galleries were jammed. Chaplain Butler of the House prayed and read a portion of scripture. Then Chaplain Sunderland of the Senate read a portion of scripture and prayed and afterwards pronounced a benediction. His prayer was much criticized for its length and verbosity. Gov. Hawley of Conn. who sat next to me, said to me at its conclusion that Sunderland was “a damned ass.” After this we withdrew to the House and adjourned. The corpse was taken to the special train and with Committees started for Boston.

14 March 1874 • Saturday

Very busy answering letters. The day was devoted at the House to debate only. Was there until adjournment. In evening had a visit from Mr. Somes, ex-member from Maine, one of the men who first organized the Republican party. We talked about the principles of Mormonism, the gospel, which I explained to him and with which he was much interested. He leans to Spiritualism, though he says he is not a Spiritualist. He told me of a woman medium with whom he was acquainted during the war who had remarkable revelations. Abraham Lincoln, then President, and his wife had him her brought to the White House and he and his wife were invited. She had manifestations in the presence of the President and dictated a line of policy for him to pursue in regard to several public measures. Whether he would intended to carry them out on his own judgment in that way, of course Somes said he could not tell, but he did carry them out just as she had suggested. If her suggestions had not influenced him, then there was to say the least, singular unanimity in their thoughts. She was a frequent visitor there. I have heard it said that Lincoln consulted mediums in regard to the conduct of public affairs. This confirms it. Somes tells me that there is a secret political organization of Spiritualists now in process of formation from which he expects great results. He does not want it mentioned. There is but one individual besides myself to whom he has given any hint of it.

15 March 1874 • Sunday

A quiet Sabbath-like day to me. I offered my prayers to the Lord and spent the day resting quietly and reading the Book of Mormon. Took dinner at Welcker’s after which took a walk. In evening had a visit from an old Kirtland Mormon by the name of C. R. Tuttle, who lives at New Brighton, Penn. He is here getting a patent for a knitting machine. He seems to have a love for the principles and people, esp and looks towards the Valley; but he is like a stray sheep. He has acted as an Elder and presiding officer of a branch for the sons of the Prophet Joseph. He is not, I infer, connected with them now, and says they are in the dark. He <has practiced medicine.>

16 March 1874 • Monday

Not much business was done in the House after the call of the States and Territories. House adjourned at 3.30 p.m. I spent the evening reading Smile’s “Huegenots in France.”

17 March 1874 • Tuesday

Went to Agricultural Bureau to-day about seeds to send home. Wrote to Bro. McKenzie. Busy at House all day. It was voted to devote to-morrow to discussion of the question of cheap transportation only as the Members having been invited to go to the launch of the City of Pekin, one of Pacific Mail S. S. Co’s fleet, at Chester, Penn., wanted to go there. In evening had a visit from Mr. Somes and explained many principles of Mormonism to him, in which he was much interested; but he is charmed with Spiritualism, though he continues to assert he is not a Spiritualist. Judge G. P. Styles also called.

Carey, U. S. Attorney for Utah, I see has got back from Utah whither he has been for some purpose, probably to raise funds and concoct more schemes to accomplish their base designs against the people. What a spectacle in a Republican government! A man conspiring against the liberties of a people whom he has been appointed <and paid> to serve!

18 March 1874 • Wednesday

I concluded to go to the launch myself as I had never seen one, and I thought the trip would do me good. Sat in Drawing Room with Senator Kelly of Oregon, Judge Drake, formerly Senator from Missouri, <Judge Crounse, Member from Nebraska,> Col. Steele, Delegate to Congress from Wyoming and a Mr. Smith from the Naval Construction Bureau. There were a great many in the company. The launch was a great success. The vessel is iron and said to be the second largest steamship in size to the Great Eastern. Her tonnage is upwards of 5,200 tons. Her length 431 feet and breadth of beam 48 feet. A collation was furnished after the launch which took place at 1 p.m. We returned to Washington at 8.30 p.m. having had a very pleasant trip.

19 March 1874 • Thursday

Busy at the House. Sam. Merritt, ex-Delegate from Idaho, now a lawyer in Utah, who introduced the Merritt Bill against Utah in the last Congress was at the House to-day having just arrived from Salt Lake City. He has come down in the interest of the “Ring” to help get legislation through. He professes to be friendly with me. Mr. Tuttle spent evening at my rooms.

Sent two sacks of various kinds of seed to persons in various parts of the Territory.

20 March 1874 • Friday

Called at the Botanical Garden and selected plants to send home. Arranged with Adams’ Express to carry them. At the House all day. Mr. Somes spent evening with me.

21 March 1874 • Saturday

At P.O. Dept. on business. Saw Mr. Somes freeze ice in a vial at his Office by means of a spray of atomized vapor ether. Did this to illustrate his patent freezing or ice making machine. At the House. Judge Barber of Wis. told me secretly that Merriam of N. Y. had the affidavit of a man who says that I tried to induce him to kill Babbitt while he was going to the States in his company on the ground that he was a wicked man and he should make a “blood atonement” – that he did not kill him but Babbitt was killed two years after and doubtless for that reason. The man’s name was a German one, and as he pronounced it was that I think of the Jew Abraham, who has recently returned to Salt Lake City. B. told Merriam in reply to his question as to what he thought about it that it was a damned lie, he believed. I rejoice that I am counted worthy to have such charges made against me falsely. The wicked lied about the Lord Jesus, the holy prophets and why should I escape if I wish to be one with them? This false wretch I never saw or spoke to in my life that I know anything about, and when Babbitt was killed I was in Cal. and had been for upwards of two years.

22 March 1874 • Sunday

Col. Grafton, partner of Gen. Paine my attorney in the contest case brought me a notice <yesterday> to sign to serve on Maxwell, objecting to the interrogatories propounded to his witnesses and all the answers thereto for the reason that I had not received notice according to law of his intention to take their depositions and because they were not taken before a legal officer.

A quiet Sabbath which I enjoyed in my usual way.

23 March 1874 • Monday

Clerk of the Com. on Elections gave me notice to-day that the Committee had appointed next Monday morning for the hearing of my contest case. Had interview with Gen. Paine, my attorney on the subject.

To-day is always a disagreeable day to me. The rules can be suspended by a 2/3 vote and anything be put on its passage. Much mischief can be done. It is called by the Members “Devil’s Day.”

Called upon Col. Steele, Delegate from Wyoming in the evening.

24 March 1874 • Tuesday

Merritt, Carey and Maxwell keep very busy pouring their lies into the ears of members and all who will listen to them. My prayer is that their lies will recoil on their own heads and they be caught in the snares they spread for the feet of the Saints.

Sent a telegraphic dispatch to-day to <ex->Gov. Mann at Salt Lake City asking him about notices for depositions served by Maxwell or his attorneys.

Judge Styles called on me in the evening.

25 March 1874 • Wednesday

Recd letter from my son John Q. in which he says all are suffering from colds but otherwise are well; also a notice from Bro. Geo. Swan of a dividend of 3 pr. cent on the stock of the Utah Central. Merritt, in a conversation to-day, told me he could arrange a Bill which he thought would suit me; but said he you are opposed to everything. I told him I was the determined opponent of special Congressional legislation. It was not needed for Utah. What was <is> wanted is the removal of the obstructionist officers – Judge McKean &c. You know, said I, that he is the sole cause of the difficulty. I was told, I added, by a man who knew him intimately (Dr. Taggart) that he was the laziest man he ever knew. I have no compromises to make &c. &c. He would like to have me concede something. I do not feel to yield a hair’s breadth. If they force legislation, then I shall try and amend it the best I can. Merritt talks very differently now to what his talk last winter. Then he told me I had better let influence Hooper to yield to their Bill, for it would be much worse for us this session as there would be 50 Methodist preachers in this Congress. I told him the Lord could manage them as easily as could that Congress. To-day I told him he had better quit his foolery and help get the Territory into the Union as a State, then they could have courts. His reply was they would run him out of the country. He admitted, however, that if Congress did not legislate, Utah should be admitted. Wrote to Gen. Kane.

26 March 1874 • Thursday

Busy at House. Met Bro. W. C. Staines at R. Road station this afternoon, he having come from New York on a visit. I arranged for a bedroom in the house where my rooms are, and we can take our meals at Welcker’s.

27 March 1874 • Friday

Enjoyed the visit of Bro. Staines. Was at the House all day.

28 March 1874 • Saturday

Was at the House. Bro. Staines has made his visit very interesting by his lively conversation.

29 March 1874 • Sunday

Enjoyed the day with Bro. Staines. In the evening I accompanied him to the Railroad Station and he took the train to Philadelphia

30 March 1874 • Monday

The contest case of “Maxwell against Cannon” came up this morning at 1/2 past 10 before the Committee on Elections. Ex-Judge Hawley, formerly U. S. Ass. Justice for Utah, appeared as Maxwell’s attorney. He occupied the time. He endeavored to prove from the testimony that I was a polygamist and therefore ineligible, that the people who voted for this me knew this and therefore their votes were void and Maxwell, though a minority only voted for him, was the duly elected delegate. He tried to be very severe, and was very bitter and abusive.

31 March 1874 • Tuesday

Again before the Com. on Elections and again Hawley occupied the time. His talk to-day was principally a rehash of what he said yesterday. Of course I cannot tell what effect his talk and arguments have on the Com.; but they are very flimsy and shallow to me. He was very much disconcerted by a remark of the Chairman to the effect that the authorities which he was quoting to prove that under certain circumstances votes were thrown out, would prevent Maxwell from taking the seat. He put it as a question: “How do you propose to show that Mr. Maxwell can be elected if the vote <is to> be thrown out? If the vote is thrown out, he has none.” This nonplussed Hawley and he stammered and finally said that there was no attempt made to prove that Gen. Maxwell’s votes were not all right! He went on with his argument and again the Chairman told him that in the cases he quoted both candidates, Democrats and Republicans – were thrown out. I feel very calm and undisturbed. My trust is in the Lord.

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March 1874, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 27, 2024