The Church Historian's Press

May 1874

1 May 1874 • Friday

A beautiful day. I feel that Hazleton will not prosper from this time. Judge Harrison of Tenn. made the minority report in my case (which see) to the effect that I am entitled to the seat. An evening session on Indian Appropriation Bill which I attended.

2 May 1874 • Saturday

At the Dept’s and at the House. Merriam of New York and Burrows of Mich. are united against myself and constituents and are busy working against us as I learn

3 May 1874 • Sunday

Wrote a long letter to Bro. Joseph F. Smith, Liverpool, England.

4 May 1874 • Monday

At the House.

5 May 1874 • Tuesday

Poland reported his Bill this morning and according to an arrangement we had made Judge Crounze [Crounse] made <raised> a point of order upon it that it ought to go to the Com. of the Whole because it contemplated paying officers out of the U. S. Treasury which would require appropriations. Mr. Crounse stood up gallantly for which I felt thankful to the Lord and I also expressed my gratitude to Mr. C. (for particulars see <Congressional> Record) It is most strange that they did not perceive that this point of order would be raised after McKee’s experience; but they did not, and the movement was quite unexpected to them and Poland and the rest were taken by surprise. The object in withdrawing it was to keep it out of the Com. of the Whole, with the idea, I suspect, of getting it passed under suspension of the rules or of getting a resolution passed to have it considered at any time. They had a consultation about it afterwards in one of the cloak rooms. The Lord can defeat their plots. I met Merritt coming from this Council as I was passing to the other side of the House. Said he: “You told me in Salt Lake City that the Lord was on your side, and I am d---d if I don’t begin to believe it.” I replied: “He is, and you will yet find it out.” His retort was, irreverently, “Bully for the Lord.” I passed on.

6 May 1874 • Wednesday

At the House. Merritt takes the opportunity whenever he can of talking to me. He told me to-day that they would prepare a Bill that would not be open to the point of order made against the other Bills. To use his own language, “he don’t care a d – n about prosecuting polygamy; all he wants is the courts to run.” I believe but little that he says, for he is an arrant falsehood teller and coward, and as corrupt in regard to women, according to his own confessions, as he can be.

7 May 1874 • Thursday

The discussion of the Centennial occupied the most of the day. House now meets at 11 o’clock. Judge Crounse told me that Poland had shown him a new bill which had been prepared. It was not so objectionable in some respects as the other.

8 May 1874 • Friday

Maxwell has just returned from Utah. He has been very busy on the floor to-day interviewing members. I am told that he has brought evidence now that will unseat me, he says. I saw him showing documents to one and another, and he handed a number of papers to Merriam of New York. Another plot doubtless and another batch of lies.

9 May 1874 • Saturday

House engaged in the discussion of Indian Appropriation Bill.

10 May 1874 • Sunday

Spent most of day reading Book of Doctrine and Covenants and Book of Mormon

11 May 1874 • Monday

Today Poland asked that the Bill on Utah be considered in the House as in the Com. of the Whole. I did the best I could to prevent this; but it was carried by a heavy majority. Judge Crounse came to me and said that he had objected and Poland had appealed to him not to object as discussion would be allowed upon it, and he did not like to appear partisan and I had better get somebody else to object. Mr. S. S. Cox and Judge Holman said they would object. Mr. C. did so and a vote by tellers was demanded with the above result. Gen. Garfield, to whom I told what I wished to accomplish, came to me and said Poland was willing to put off the discussion for some time yet, so he had told him; but P. told me afterwards he wanted it called up as quickly as possible. Merritt, Carey and Maxwell and their sympathizers are urging action (see Com. Record for to morrow for proceedings)[.] Learned from Judge Harrison that Hazleton was going to bring up to Election case to morrow. Talked over the best plan of bringing the matter forward. He thought his resolution should be brought forward first. I thought the resolutions of the Com. on which all were agreed, then his. Called to see Speaker Blaine, but he was not at home; also upon Judge Crounse who agreed with my view as to manner of bringing case forward.

12 May 1874 • Tuesday

Saw Mr. Blaine this morning. He thought the resolutions upon which all the Com. had agreed would be the best to call for action upon first. (Insert proceedings from Com. Record) I had thought this resolution of Hazleton in every way bad; but through it I got a much heavier vote than I would have had without it. Indeed without it the vote declaring I was entitled to the seat might have been defeated. But this resolution enabled many to set themselves right on the record. It let them down easy, and was a tribute to their high morality and clear sense of virtue. Oh, the hypocrisy of this generation! Buffinton said to a number in my presence that if I had only four wives I was well off. He knew Members who had more women than that. He himself had <had> more than four pulling at him. Yet when it came to voting for the resolution his voice was loud for it. Milton Sayler of Ohio told me that one man voted against me, and he asked him why he did so. His reply was “O, polygamy; I don’t believe in it.” Sayler added: “Well, I will move for a Committee to investigate you. I know you have been guilty of adultery and I can prove it.” The Member replied “I did not think of that.” I feel very thankful to the Lord for His goodness. (See letter to Pres. Young to-day’s date)

13 May 1874 • Wednesday

At the House.

14 May 1874 • Thursday

At the House of Rep’s. In evening went to hear Dr. De Costa deliver one of the Toner Lectures. It was on heart diseases arising from strain and overwork. I was much pleased with the lecture and was struck in listening to it with the advantage Latter-day Saints had in having the word of the Lord to tell what is good for them and what is not good, and how to live, &c. Ruptures of the heart can be produced by <violent> physical exertion; it <they> can also be produced by sudden mental shocks, of which he gave instances. Functional derangements long continued will pro- become organic disease. Among the causes of heart disease, besides those mentioned are, everything that will produce excessive heart action, <excessive> dancing, great use of tobacco, tea, wines and spirits, heavy eating and drinking, going to work too soon after fevers, especially typhoid, long engagements have a bad effect upon that organ, there is danger of it being brought on at age of puberty (he did not say but I suspect by secret habits) <and by> dyspepsia. Besides these causes it is inherited in many instances and in others produced by rheumatism. Rowing and base ball rarely produce it, because there are seasons of rest; but if these were to be followed persistently there would be danger. Haste, excitement, violent shocks, running to catch trains, &c &c ought to be avoided. Where there is violent or quickened heart action, lying in a recumbent posture is good two hours a day say; digitalis, aconite and bromides are good <remedies.> But the removal of the cause is the first thing. All this the Saints are taught in the gospel. Not to use <tobacco> tea, coffee, liquors, not to stimulate or excite themselves, to eat and drink moderately, to retire and rise early, to avoid haste, excessive or loud laughter – to avoid all the causes which this Doctor says produces diseases of the heart. He and his fellows have obtained this knowledge by years of study and close observation, the Latter-day Saints’ children are taught it in a few words by revelations from God. He mentioned ice, not too long applied, over the heart as <a> good remedy for excessive cardiac action.

15 May 1874 • Friday

At the House - Recd letter from Pres. Young (9th)

16 May 1874 • Saturday

At the House.

In evening called upon <Mrs.> Charlotte Cobb Godbe at Mr. & Mrs. Kiskadden’s. They had called upon me the day before. Mrs. G. has lost her confidence and faith, and she is now chasing bubbles. Her feelings are in many respects kind to the people; but she has been led away by her husband and is now afloat and is now pursuing a phantom. She has a mission now to redeem and elevate her sex

17 May 1874 • Sunday

Spent the day reading Books of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants.

18 May 1874 • Monday

Received a notice to appear before the Committee on Elections this morning. I was asked by Hazleton of Wisconsin what course I wished to <have> taken in the investigation of my case. I replied that as I was to be investigated and not to investigate I had nothing to suggest. Did I wish to make a statement? No, I had none to make at present. Did I wish to have more testimony taken? No; but this would, of course, depend on what the Committee did. If they had more taken, I might have to take additional. Would I be willing to have the case submitted on the testimony already taken and printed in the contested case? I had no objections to that. Mention was made of an affidavit made by Ann Eliza Webb giving the Endowment covenant or oath and describing my family &c, but Hazleton said that would not be used.

19–21 May 1874 • Tuesday to Thursday

To-day I received a letter from Bro. Staines at New York informing me that Gen. Kane would be at Barnum’s Hotel, Baltimore, on Wednesday morning, where he would like to see me. I made up my mind to go over there to-morrow morning early to see him. While at the House to-day a page came to me and said a gentleman was in Mr. Curtis’ seat (Mr. C. is Representative from Gen K’s district) who wished to see me. It was Gen. K. We took dinner together at Willard’s and we sat up conversing until 11 p.m. He says he gets bad reports about our affairs, that there is danger of legislation hostile to us, the Poland Bill, passing. He would be alarmed if he had not seen times fully as threatening from which we had escaped. He thought of publishing another edition of Mrs. Kane’s correspondence to circulate privately. The few copies he had published had done good. He thought of getting his father-in law, Wm Woods, Esq., to consent to write a preface and have it published in his name. He is as full of love and concern for the people as ever. The United order delighted him. He talked very plainly to me about taking more pains in keeping papers. I ought, he said, to be a counselor in legal matters. I am too diffident, he says, the most diffident of any man he ever met. He spoke flatteringly of my powers and the logical and judicial character of my mind; that I myself was not aware of my power in this particular; that I ought to use the influence which I had and carry things through, that people would like it better. He compared it to tying up the◊◊ articles in bundles, and finishing the work on them. My companions, Pres. Young and others and the people would be better pleased <he thought> if I would have more confidence in myself and tie things up ready for putting away. This he meant as a figure. But he thought I had powers which I ought to use with confidence. In legal matters especially I ought to put myself in communication with a good sound lawyer, who could correct any solecisms I might be fall into, upon being referred to and then I could act with confidence and use the powers which God had given me. Recurring to a conversation we had had of one time in which I had intimated a desire to see him yet a U. S. Senator for our Territory when it should become a State, he said, it had been on his mind to tell me his feelings upon this point when he saw me. He had no wish to be in Congress, had no desire to be a Senator, could have had gratifying public positions if he had desired, but he wished to be free, and in private life his influence was greater in many respects than if he were in office. If our people wished to do him any favor, the greatest, he felt now, they would confer upon him would be to let him carry out as he pleased his views in the education of the rising generation. On this subject he spoke very enthusiastically. His feelings upon this subject in relation to our children are intense, and I cannot refrain from fully sympathizing with him. He wishes them educated at home, free from evil and corrupting influences and examples, where faith in God and virtue and purity can be preserved. I hope that he may have the amplest opportunity of putting his views into practical operation for the benefit of our children.

He intended to have gone to Philadelphia on Wednesday morning; but stopped the day. I again spent the evening of with him; we sat up till near midnight.

Thursday morning I bought him gloves; he went to Nellie Grant’s wedding and afterwards started for Philadelphia.

Poland got the floor twice to-day (Thursday) to have his bill considered and was taken off both times by calls for the regular order. He is like a hen which wants to lay, he is so uneasy. Merritt and Carey are both very anxious. I keep praying and trusting in the Lord that he will defeat them.

22 May 1874 • Friday

The Committee on Elections have had two meetings since Monday to consider my case. Yesterday <Hazleton> introduced a Resolution which he wished them to adopt and then submit to the House asking for authority to send for persons and papers. This was to furnish evidence, which he found they did not have, to prove that I had married a wife or wives since the passage of the law of 1862. Four voted against the Resolution – a majority. He called for the ayes and noes and still he was in the minority. This plagued him. I had a conversation <to day> with Mr. Pike of New Hampshire, who is on the Com. and he surprised me by his statement of his views and the arguments which he used on my side in the Com. Surely the Lord has touched his heart and enlightened his mind, as He has those of others of the Com. I thank the Lord for His goodness.

23 May 1874 • Saturday

Again Poland tried to get his bill in. The Clerk commenced to read it, when a motion to adjourn was made and insisted on and was carried. I praise the Lord for His wonderful providences. We are gaining time and this is what we want. I returned to my rooms happy in the Lord and anticipating a peaceful day to-morrow.

24 May 1874 • Sunday

To day was a happy, peaceful day to me. I fasted and prayed and had an exceedingly precious time. O the goodness and mercy of our God, how great they are! When I think of what He has done for me, from my childhood through my life till now, my heart almost melts within me and I cry for joy. O if men only knew Him and would turn from their sins and serve Him how blessed they would be. He has been a kind and tender Father to me all my days – a God of revelation, teaching me His will, pointing out to me what to do, revealing unto me what course He desired me to pursue and what the results would be. He has never left me at any time during my life in doubt or darkness. In my boyhood He revealed His will unto me, gave me a knowledge of His gospel and has heard my prayers and shielded and preserved me. When I think of all that He has done for me and the favors He has shown me, my heart swells with thanksgiving and praise and I could cry aloud his glory. My prayer now is Oh, that He will deliver Zion from the present peril, ward off every attack and blow, deliver me from my enemies, and permit me to return in peace and safety without any unfavorable action by Congress on our affairs.

25 May 1874 • Monday

As I reached the House this morning I was told by one of the doorkeepers that I was wanted at the Com. on Elections. I went there and found Maxwell and Bella Kimball, who had been Hry Lawrence’s second wife, a granddaughter of Pres. H. C Kimball’s, being a daughter of his son Wm’s, awaiting my arrival. There were present: H. Boardman Smith, the Chairman, Hazleton, Todd, Robinson, Hyde and Crossland. When I went in I shook hands with Bella and took my seat. Hazleton then made a motion that her testimony be taken. No one voted for it but himself and none dissented. He proceeded to interrogate her and brought out the following that she was in <the> company in which my wife Eliza and myself traveled after our marriage, that she was my fourth wife, that we were assigned a room together, that she saw my things in the room, that she was introduced to her as my wife by her grandfather, that my first wife was in company, that sometime after she met her again and she had a child which she said was hers, &c. After they had got through their questions Hazleton wanted to know if I wished to ask her anything. I replied I had not. She then proceeded in an apologetic manner to say how embarrassing it was to her to have to give <come here and give> such testimony about a man whom she had respected; but she felt that she owed it to herself and the people of Utah to do this. In the meantime Kiskadden, Carey & one or two others came in the room.

26 May 1874 • Tuesday

The gentlemen who voted against the resolution of Hazleton respecting the sending for witnesses were not present yesterday, excepting Mr. Hyde. They met with the Com. this morning and had a lively time I understand. They (Harrison, Pike & Speer) felt indignant that a witness should be introduced there when they were absent. A claimant for a seat (Gen. Sheridan of La.) told me that they had a h—l of a row.” This he had been told by one of them.

Poland watching for a chance to get his Bill in. He asked for some amendments to be printed to-day.

27 May 1874 • Wednesday

At the House, watching and working.

28 May 1874 • Thursday

According to the statement of the condition of business by the Speaker Mr. Poland had the right to the floor for the Utah Bill. This morning I was greatly comforted while [praying in my temple clothing]1 by the spirit of prophecy. I felt assured that nothing should be done to hurt Zion. I felt peaceful and happy. Poland saw that Maynard was ready to dispute for the floor with his currency bill, so he offered to yield with the understanding that he waived none of his right of precedence by so doing. The Speaker said that <after> the currency Bill there would be the Army Bill which had been set for that day, then the Utah Bill would have the right. Thus another day of peace and deliverance is granted. A short time before the meeting of the House this morning the Clerk of the Com. on Elections, Mr. Wells, came to me and said the Chairman desired to know if I had any statement to make or any farther evidence that I wished to have taken. I replied that I had not. I was too busy at the moment to go the Com. Room in person. Afterwards I saw the Chairman and explained to him why I did not wait upon him myself in reply to his inquiry. He said that was all right. I explained to him that I did not feel to make any statements, explanations or defence; but to leave the matter entirely in their hands. I thought that Mr. Hazleton had acted basely in this matter. For myself I did not fear investigation, not even microscopic. He replied he saw perceived that, and said he, Mr. Cannon, the Com. all like you personally and you are very strong in the House, you have a great many warm friends. He then proceeded to state what kind of a Report would be made, though he admitted that the Com was divided. They would report for my expulsion and bear testimony to my character as a gentleman, &c, &c, (all of which was intended to be very complimentary to me) and recommend the adoption by the House of some rule by which no polygamist would be allowed to sit as a Member. There was an issue between us and the Government and it would not do to appear to sanction polygamy. He said that he would not suffer any reflections to be made upon me without speaking himself and he should not hesitate to declare that the man who married four wives and kept them was far more honorable than a man who had mistresses. All he had to say did not impress me in the least with the idea that I should be expelled. Thus far I have had no impression that I would be unseated. Sometimes I am almost inclined to think that <maybe> I am too unconcerned about this; but I have had no apprehensions of such a result. I rep said nothing to him about my feelings on this point. I told him, however, that the adoption of such a Resolution by Congress would be a terrible precedent and one they would be sorry for. I sketched to him the course which statesmen should take in dealing with this question, in which he partially acquiesced and to which he offered no objection. We had a very free and pleasant talk.

29 May 1874 • Friday

Friday, the 29th The Army Bill was not finished yesterday, and it came over as unfinished business and was disposed of to-day. After which an appropriation Bill to which the Senate had made amendments was discussed. We adjourned till Monday. Another week gone and we still unharmed by legislation. How thankful I am to the Lord for His tender mercy! All day yesterday our enemies were on the alert expecting the Bill to come up – Merritt, Maxwell & Carey on the floor, Mrs Kiskadden, Bella Kimball and one of Maxwell’s strikers in the gallery; but they were disappointed. Merritt begins to accuse Poland of treachery as he did others last Congress. He says nothing to me, but I hear of it. Gen. Kane sent me 16 copies of “Pandemonium or Arcadia, which?” being written by his wife as her visits to 12 Mormon homes in Utah. I arranged with Col. Piatt to have the leading correspondents here get each a copy and saw Mr. White of the <N. Y.> Tribune, Mr. Wight of the N Y Times and Mr. Adams of the N. Y. World, myself.

30 May 1874 • Saturday

Saturday, 30 Decoration day – a holiday.

31 May 1874 • Sunday

Sunday, May 31 Fasted and prayed

Cite this page

May 1874, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 18, 2024