January 1875

Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1875

5 January ff.

Newspaper articles and Cannon’s comments on interference of the U.S. troops with the Louisiana legislature

7 January

Rejection of a suggestion to hire a lobbyist

9 January ff.

Cannon’s case before the Committee on Elections

1 February ff.

Activities in Congress; attempts to exclude Cannon from his seat

19 June ff.

Travel south from Salt Lake City to meet with the Saints

25 June

Locating a site for the Manti Temple

20 August ff.

Meeting with the Saints in the northern part of Utah

1 September

Cannon’s love and esteem for George A. Smith

5 September

Funeral of George A. Smith

7 September ff.

Meeting with the Saints in the northern part of Utah

15 September

“Visited the various departments of manufacture which have been started here on the cooperative principle”

18 October

Brigham Young’s response to the Ann Eliza Webb case

21 October

Rebaptizing church leaders

1 December ff.

In Washington DC

1 January 1875 • Friday

Dressed myself in what is called, full dress and hired a carriage and attended the reception of the President at the White House. Though the attendance of Diplomatists and officers of the army and Navy was good, the general attendance was not near so good as last year. Messrs. Steele & Maginnis of Wyoming & Montana accepted seats in my carriage, and Mr. Hailey of Idaho with a friend followed in another carriage. We called upon Secretaries Fish, Bristow, Delano, Jewell and Williams, Chief Justice Waite, Senators Thurman, Sargent & Pease, Gov. McCormick and others. I enjoyed the day very much and was well received. It was not, however, personal enjoyment which prompted me to make these calls, it was what I thought to be policy.

2 January 1875 • Saturday

Busy at the Departments

3 January 1875 • Sunday

[I fasted today and prayed to God.]1 Spent the day in peace.

4 January 1875 • Monday

Determined to get rooms out of the Hotel (Willard’s) as I felt too cramped there. The room was a very convenient one, but it was rather gloomy. I am charged $38 a week for the room, my board and fire. I can for a less price get good rooms outside and pay my board at the Hotel. Saw Mr. Chapman and he promised to hunt me up rooms. Those I had last session suited me very well; but the people had moved to Chicago.

5 January 1875 • Tuesday

House met to-day. Mr. Chapman secured me rooms at Mr. Dougherty’s 1340 I Street N. W. on the first floor, to which I moved to-day.

[various newspaper clippings taped together overlaying page]

W [torn][illiam] Belknap, Secretary of War, Washington D. C.

[torn] [It] is with deep regret that I have to announce to you the existence in this State of a spirit of defiance to a lawful authority, and an insecurity of life which is hardly realized by the General Government or the country at large. The lives of citizens have become so jeopardized that unless something is done to give protection to the people all the security usually afforded by law will be overridden. Defiance to the laws and the murder of individuals seems to be looked upon by the community here from a standpoint which gives impunity to all who choose to indulge in either, and the civil government appears powerless to punish, or even arrest. I have to-night assumed control over the Department of the Gulf.

P. H. Sheridan, Lieutenant General.

Headquarters Military Division of the Missouri,

New Orleans, La., Jan. 5, 1875.

The Hon. W. W. Belknap, Secretary of War, Washington, D.C.

I think the terrorism now existing in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas could be entirely removed and confidence and fair-dealing established by the arrest and trial of the ringleaders of the armed White Leagues. If Congress would pass a bill declaring them banditti , they could be tried by a military commission. The leaders of this banditti, who murdered men here on the 14th of September, and more recently at Vicksburg, Miss., should, in justice to law and order and the peace and prosperity of this southern part of the country, be punished. It is possible that, if the President would issue a proclamation declaring them banditti, no further action need be taken, except that which would devolve upon me.

P. H. Sheridan,

Lieutenant General United States Army

War Department,

Washington, D. C., Jan. 6, 1875.

Gen. P. H. Sheridan, New-Orleans:

The President and all of us have full confidence in and thoroughly approve your course.

Wm. W. Belknap, Secretary of War.

Washington, Jan. 6, 1875

To Gen. P. H. Sheridan, New Orleans, La.:

I telegraphed you hastily to-day, answering your dispatch. You seem to fear we will be misled by biased or partial statements of your acts. Be assured that the President and Cabinet confide in your wisdom, and rest in the belief that all acts of your have been and will be judicious. This I intended to say in my brief telegram.

Wm. W. Belknap, Secretary of War

New-Orleans, Jan. 6, 1875.

The Hon. W. W. Belknap, Secretary of War, Washington:

The city is very quiet to-day. Some of the banditti made idle threats last night that they would assassinate me because I dared to tell the truth. I am not afraid, and will not be stopped from informing the Government that there are localities in this Department where the very air has been impregnated with assassination for some years.

P. H. Sheridan.

[End of newspaper articles]

6 January 1875 • Wednesday

The news from Louisiana of the interference of the U. S. troops with the Legislature, and the despatches of Sheridan Lieut. Gen. of the Army, in which he and the replies to them by the Sec. of War (Belknap) are creating great excitement. It is easy to perceive in these events the fulfilment of the word of the Lord concerning this nation. It will devolve upon the Latter-day Saints to uphold constitutional government upon this land and that day does not seem far distant as affairs are now shaping. Anarchy reigns in Louisiana and Mississippi, Arkansas and South Carolina are nearly in the same condition. How long before other States in the conflict of parties for power will be in the same position? or until the General Government will be contended for by factions? He that will not take his sword to fight against his neighbor must yet flee to Zion. Grant and others would like to involve the Saints in trouble, to have an excuse for letting the military loose upon us and to strip us of all our rights under the civil government; but thus far they have failed. They must beware or the evils they would bring upon us will fall upon themselves.

7 January 1875 • Thursday

I had a call from a man named Randall, a Claim Agent, an attorney, really a lobbyist. He showed me letters from Geo. C. Bates, Esq., to prove that he was friendly to Utah &c. After conversing about having McKean changed &c he then turned the conversation to my case. He said that the Com. on elections would take up my case this morning. He had been conversing with an ex-Member of Congress, a Radical, a strong man, &c, about it to know if anything could be done in the matter. He had replied that he would find out. Last night he had come to him and said that the proceedings could be stopped if I wished. The idea being that if I would pay money those who were pushing the matter (Hazleton of Wis. and others) could be bought off. After saying considerable about this ex-Member and his influence, I asked him if he was at liberty to give me his name. He hesitated. Said I “is it Kelsey?” At my mention of the name he appeared surprised. He had told me that he claimed to be the author of the Poland Bill, which I knew was not true. “Why,” said I, “he was Maxwell’s striker last session, was hired by him, did all in his power to get me unseated, to get the Poland Bill through; and I beat him by keeping my seat and by getting that bill emasculated.” “Yes,” said Randall, “he did help Maxwell last session; but his retainer is now out. He is at liberty to work on your side, and is an energetic, tireless worker.” I gave Mr. Randall to understand that I asked no odds of Kelsey or any of the lobby, and as to my employing any of them it was out of the question. He had a good deal to say upon our affairs and we then parted. I cannot express the feelings of contempt I entertain for this man Kelsey and men like him. They are treacherous, dishonorable and so thoroughly mercenary that they would betray any cause for money. The Committee met but there was no quorum, so my case was put off till Monday.

8 January 1875 • Friday


Hazleton announced his programme again respecting me through the newspapers. It is to the effect that he is going to move his resolution as soon as a quorum of the Com. can be got together and afterwards introduce it to the House. I think of Haman and the gallows he told his friend she had prepared for poor Mordecai. But little done in the House to-day. The Senate has been excitedly discussing Louisiana affairs, all the interest is concentrated there. House adjourned till Monday. Spent the evening in a call upon Mrs. Briggs and Son.

9 January 1875 • Saturday

Busy at the Departments, attending to <pay for> freight & transportation of Gov. over Utah Central R.R.; also increasing mail service from Salt Lake City to Park City via Parley’s Park; also to get estimate of appropriations for surveying increased. Also called upon Gen. Paine to consult him about writing a letter to the Com. on Elections stating that as I am indicted and under bonds and liable to be called home to trial at any time, I do not think it fair to me to decide upon my case in Congress, &c. The Gen. wrote the letter; but I did not like the way he framed it. Very cold this evening.

10 January 1875 • Sunday

I fasted to-day; but was so crowded with correspondence that I spent time writing to the President Young and others, and also in writing the following letter to the Committee on Elections in reference to my case

11 January 1875 • Monday

I called upon Judge <H. Boardman> Smith, Chairman of committee on Elections and gave him the letter to the Committee. I told him I did not want to bring up my own case; and therefore did not wish the letter read to the Com. until it did come up.

Crossland <of Ky.> came after the House had met and told me that the Committee, eight of them being present, had by a majority vote agreed to report to the House the resolution to expel me. The Chairman would get up the majority report and Harrison of Tenn. and he were to get up the minority report. Pike of New Hampshire afterwards told me I had better get ready for the case would soon be brought up in the House.

12 January 1875 • Tuesday

Todd of Penn. told me he hoped to tie up the resolution in the Com. but and therefore voted against it; but when he found his vote would not do that, and afraid of the attacks which he might be made upon those who voted against it, he had changed his vote. He had told the Chairman he said in making his report to state to the House that the Committee was divided and as it was a delicate question, they preferred submitting it to the House for its decision. Mr. Rainey of South Carolina, a colored man, a light mulatto, came to me and said that he wished me to understand that without any solicitation on my part he should vote against the resolution. I was touched by his gentlemanly conduct. Succeeded in getting a general bill for Railroads over the public lands through the House, a very important measure. Fought a bill for a toll road in Little Cottonwood Kanyon introduced by Bradley of Mich. I spoke against it; but after a gallant fight by the Democrats & a few Republicans it was carried.

13 January 1875 • Wednesday

I thought the toll road bill was carried last night; but this morning I succeeded in getting enough members to vote for the ayes and noes, on the motion of Mr. Finch of Ohio, and the bill was beaten by a vote of 126 to 95. I was much pleased at this result, for it was unexpected, though I had talked to many members about it. Mr. Bradley who introduced and reported the Bill came to me afterwards, and said he guessed I must have been up all night interviewing members. I laughingly replied that I had lost no sleep over the bill. Well, said he, every member I spoke to said he <you> had seen him. He was chagrined at the defeat of his bill, for he supposed its passage was an accomplished fact.

14 January 1875 • Thursday

At Departments and House. Wrote to Gen. Kane also a long letter to Hon. Eli K. Price of Philadelphia describing my case, the attempt that was to be made to unseat me, the reasons why it should not be done and appealing to him as a man of influence, not to have members pause and reflect, not for my sake personally but for my constituents whose right to select their representative would be struck down in my person.

15 January 1875 • Friday

Had conversation with several members upon my case. House adjourned until Monday and I concluded to go to Philadelphia

16 January 1875 • Saturday

Arose this morning at Philadelphia. Took breakfast at the Continental, then went to Gen. Kane’s. His wife and daughter had gone to his father-in-law’s. Wrote a letter to Mr. Speer, who had been at Vicksburg on Congressional Investigating Com., and directed it to his home at Huntingdon, Penn., thinking he might return there instead of to Washington. I told him what the Com. on Elections had done and asked him, if he would not be at Washington on Monday, to telegraph his views to the Com. Called upon Mr. Price. He and Gen. Kane are doing what they can in my favor. Visited Academy of Arts after dining with Gen. Kane. Took 6 o’clock train for Washington. Gen. Garfield on train had interesting conversation with him on our views and doctrines.

17 January 1875 • Sunday

[I fasted today and prayed to God that he would help me.]2 Received the following letter from Mr Price (insert letter). Called upon Alex. H. Stephens and talked over my case with him

18 January 1875 • Monday

Busy at the House. The Com. of Elections met but had no quorum

19 January 1875 • Tuesday

Busy at the Departments. Met with Com. of Delegates. Introduced to a Mr. Blair of San Francisco who had just returned from Mexico where he had been in the interest of a company to obtain a grant of land for the building of a Railroad from the port of Guaymas in Sonora to the line of Arizona, a distance he estimated of about 287 miles. He called the distance from Guaymas to Tucson 363½ miles. For every mile of R. Road he is to receive 22,600 acres of land until half the waste lands of the State of Sonora are exhausted. There will <are> probably not more than six to eight million acres of waste land in the State, as <half> this quantity will not cover his grant, he expects the Mexican government will make up the difference to him. He came here purposely to see me on the subject, thinking we would take hold of the scheme and furnish emigrants to settle the land. He can select the land any where in the State, but the latter must have the alternate piece and he is bound by the concession not to sell to any American[.] He spent some time in the evening talking the subject to me.

20 January 1875 • Wednesday

Ben Holladay has had conversation with Speaker Blaine upon my case. He speaks warmly of us. He denounces the proposed action in my case as tremendous folly on the part of the Republicans. He is a very rough, swearing man, but his views of our position and his estimate of the character of Pres. Young and the people of Utah are very correct.

21 January 1875 • Thursday

Mr. H. Boardman Smith presented report of Com. on Elections in my case to the House with the request that it be printed and laid on the table. Being a question of privilege it will be taken up at any time. Judge Harrison’s report adverse to expulsion was not presented to-day. It was not quite ready. Himself, Thomas of North Carolina, Lamar of Miss., Crossland of Ky., and Speer of Penn. signed it. Pike of N. H. would sign neither report, though his sympathies were with me, but there is the election in his State pending, and as he is a candidate I suspect that <is> his reason for not signing the report.

22 January 1875 • Friday

Private Bill day. Mr. Harrison made his report and it was ordered printed.

23 January 1875 • Saturday

Busy at work at my speech, and up at the House. Answered letter of my son John Q. respecting going to West Point.

24 January 1875 • Sunday

Bro. Spencer Clawson arrived to-day from home en route to N. Y. He reports all well.

25 January 1875 • Monday

Up till 5 o’clock this morning preparing and copying speech. Bro. S. Clawson helped me copy. Gen. Kane had made me promise that I would let him see before delivering it what I had to say. Sent him copy. Busy at House.

26 January 1875 • Tuesday

Took Bro. S. Clawson through the note printing department of the Treasury. A large number of females, generally young, are employed in counting and examining & printing notes greenbacks. In the rooms where the word got out that I was the Delegate from Utah whose four wives they papers had had so much to say about, we were much stared at.

Busy at House.

27 January 1875 • Wednesday

Fillibustering commenced to day to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights bill, the Republicans were determined to pass it and to break down the opposition to it. The contest was is one of physical endurance.

Received my Mss. from Philadelphian with a letter from Mrs. Kane stating that as the General was absent and would be all week and I had said I would [need] the speech by to-day she thought it better to return it unopened. Was. up at the House till past midnight

28 January 1875 • Thursday

Still fillibustering. Remained at House till midnight.

29 January 1875 • Friday

Fillibustering till 25 min. past 10 this morning when the Republicans broke, made a motion to adjourn till to-morrow at 12 and the Members left glad to go and get some rest. The House had been in continuous session 46 hours and 25 min., during which 75 roll calls were made, involving the call of upwards of 50,000 names

30 January 1875 • Saturday

Met at 12 m. Democrats insisted on the reading of the roll calls as the votes were recorded. Republicans protested; but Speaker ruled that if demanded they must be read. The object in this was to consume time so that no notice to amend the rules could be introduced. This monotonous reading continued until nearly five, the Democrats taking turns to check the clerks to see that no skipping was done. Finally the Republicans made a motion to adjourn, having got the ruling from the Speaker that if the House adjourned before the reading of the journal was completed it could not be called for on Monday; to-day’s journal would be the only one in order.

31 January 1875 • Sunday

A wet day. [I fasted today and prayed to God].3

Cite this page

January 1875, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 22, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1870s/1875/01-1875