The Church Historian's Press

June 1874

1 June 1874 • Monday

At House

2 June 1874 • Tuesday

This morning Poland got the floor for his bill and was determined to put it through under the previous question. I saw Speaker Blaine and asked him about getting more time. He could do nothing only as P. permitted unless the House voted down the previous question. He urged me to see Poland. I did so. He said he would speak a few minutes, then move the previous question and give me three quarters of an hour and he would use the remainder of the time. (See Record for proceedings) Judge Crounse and Mr. Potter both wished to speak. It was a bold thing to speak in favor of us. While Crounse was speaking some were swearing at him. Hawley of Illinois was particularly bitter. He sat within my hearing of his remarks. McKee said if he could he would have every Mormon man castrated. The subject of Mormonism arouses madness in some men when mentioned as the waving of a red flag does in a wild bull. Jasper D. Ward: let him be remembered, O God. I was thankful that we did not worship such a God as he did. Our God is Him whom Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshipped – Jehovah – the friend of the polygamist Abraham. While he spoke the a vision of the scenes of the past swept through my mind: The murder of Joseph and Hyrum, the shooting of Uncle Taylor, the driving into Nauvoo of men, women and children by the mob, who burned their houses and destroyed <everything they could not> off and robbed them of], their property – the expulsion of the Saints from Illinois – leaving their Temple and all behind, for which no one had been punished – no murderer or robber had received the least punishment! And yet this bullying, vaporing representative from that State can talk of fair play!

Our enemies are jubilant. My trust is still in the Lord. He has promised to take care of us and to redeem Zion.

3 June 1874 • Wednesday

Wednesday, 3 The opinion seems general that I shall be expelled. Mr. Pike asked me what I should think if I were expelled. I replied I would think it all right. God had this matter under His control and I felt calm and unconcerned. I talked to him till my own eyes filled with tears and his too. The spirit rested upon him and he talked very strongly setting forth legal reasons in favor of my side of the case. I got a hint to-day that Mr. Blaine did not feel friendly to us, and rather favored harsh measures.

4 June 1874 • Thursday

Thursday Mr. Fitch told me as a great secret that Grant had promised if the bill did not pass he would call an extra session. He thought without doubt I would be expelled. His talk was very discouraging for us. I cannot get concerned. I feel very calm and devoid of fear. I cannot feel yet that we are to have hostile legislation or that I am to be expelled. I so wrote to President Young yesterday (see letter) The Lord has not revealed to me (or if He has I have failed to comprehend it) that these events shall occur, yet if I trust my outer senses they would seem inevitable. Horace H Harrison of Tennessee and Jason Niles of Miss. both told me they regretted voting for that Bill. Roderick R. Butler told me that he voted for it after he saw it was carried. He did not want it, but he saw his vote would not defeat it and therefore voted as he did. We cannot trust man, God is our only strength and Friend.

12 June 1874 • Friday

I called upon Senator Frelinghuysen this morning evening and had a free and full and, to me, satisfactory conversation upon the Poland Bill. I pointed to him amendments which should be made in the Bill[.] He said he would admit them as far as he was concerned, but they would have to be presented by some one else, he would not like to offer them. One was [blank]

19 June 1874 • Friday

I thought I would fast to-day, and ask the Lord, as I had done before, to grant unto me the privilege and blessing of returning home when Congress should adjourn of returning home in peace and safety and without anything having been done in the shape of legislation hostile to Utah or to endanger my seat. I called upon Senator Frelinghuysen this morning. He said he thought the amendments which he had shown me would be inserted in the Bill. I said I hoped he would see reasons not to report. He replied with some asperity that that would be an act of perfidy; that Utah should obey the same laws as the rest of the Union; how could laws against polygamy be enforced in New Jersey if Utah were a State and it was practiced there; it could not be permitted, &c. I replied very gently. I was in no mood to quarrel or to strike back in the spirit which he had; but my usual combativeness which such language and manner arouses was did not manifest itself. He said that the President and the Attorney General both said that legislation was needed. I spoke of the motives which actuated our enemies. He was disposed to get angry at that, because he said that his motives were good. I told him that if I viewed him as prompted by the motives which I knew others to be possessed of, I should not think of calling upon him. Before I got through talking to him my feelings almost overcame me. He noticed it and he was touched by it. He said it was a painful duty which he had to perform and he wished he did not have it to do. Before we got through he was much softened, and when I attempted to go he stopped me. As it terminated, I was glad I called upon him. Whatever he may do, I now feel that I have done my duty. I was overcome by my feelings after leaving there and I wept like a child. For myself I care but little, my feelings go out for Zion and the welfare of her children. Received a letter from my son Abraham, dated the 13th, informing me that he had a sister born at 1/2 past 1 o’clock of that day. His Ma was feeling pretty well. I feel very thankful for and glad at hearing this news.

20 June 1874 • Saturday

Saturday Called up Senator Sargent. He intends to present the amendments to the Poland Bill which I made out for him. Merritt & Carey haunt the Senate. In fact they <are> on the floor all the time. Both Houses are working very hard.

21 June 1874 • Sunday

Had a peaceful day. Fasted all day. Busy packing. Had a call from Judge Stiles and a friend of his, Professor Tibbits.

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June 1874, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 21, 2024