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February 1875


1 February 1875 • Monday

Mr. Hale of Maine introduced a resolution, under the call of the States and Territories, to amend the rules. Mr. Randall of Penn. raised upon it the point of order that it being neither a bill nor a joint resolution it was <could> not properly be introduced. The Speaker ruled against the point of order. Mr. Cessna introduced another resolution to the same effect. Mr. Randall again made the point of order and the Speaker again ruled against him. R. then appealed to the House from the decision of the chair and the latter was sustained by a strict party vote: 174 ayes; 84 noes and 32 absent, a very full house. Afterwards Mr. Butler of Mass. introduced an amendment to the rules which he wished to have adopted under suspension of the rules. Two-thirds did not vote for it and it failed. He next tried to get a resolution adopted for the Com. on Rules to report a <new> rule and no dilatory motions be allowed to interpose. For this also he failed to get a vote of two-thirds. A recess was afterwards taken till 10 to-morrow. This was for the purpose of introducing a new rule under the suspension of the rules, hoping by that time to get 2/3 of the House to vote for it. This has been a very exciting day. Considerable feeling manifest.

2 February 1875 • Tuesday

Another very exciting day. After two or three attempts to suspend the rules had failed, a motion of Mr. Kasson’s to that effect was successful; the vote stood 181 ayes; 90 noes; not voting 19. The House is very full. The Republicans have spared no pains to get all they could to be present; the Democrats have been equally diligent, only 4 of their party being absent. Mr. Garfield from the Com. on Rules reported a new rule. A most exciting discussion followed participated in by Garfield, Beck, Butler, Cox, Schofield, Lamar and the Speaker, Blaine, who left the chair and took the floor. Mr. Butler having been called to order for not addressing the chair and making his points with the galleries he left his place and addressed the House from the Clerk’s desk. Mr. Randall, Williams of Wis., and Hawley of Conn. addressed the House also. The rule was carried. This has been a field day, the best speakers were on the floor and they were full of fire.

3 February 1875 • Wednesday

The Civil Rights Bill was reported to-day and Mr. Butler spoke so strongly of the South that Mr. McLean of Texas retorted and considerable feeling was shown. A number of members addressed the House. A recess was taken till ½ past 7 and the evening was occupied in discussion.

4 February 1875 • Thursday

Appeared before the Com. on the Department of Justice to show the impropriety of a Bill now before them, and urged by ex-Gov. Woods & Maxwell, making the expenses of the Courts chargeable to the countries and the Ter. They said they were satisfied it was wrong after hearing my statements and views. Another exciting day in the House. Many spoke and among others John Young Brown of Ky. He delivered a most severe philippic on Gen. Butler, which created tremendous excitement. Two resolutions were introduced one to censure him at the bar of the House, the other to expel him. Such was the excitement that I think the latter would have carried had it been submitted without discussion. The talk, especially the citing of similar instances in past times, cooled the House somewhat, and Mr. Dawes withdrew his resolution to expel and the other was adopted. Mr. Brown was led to the bar of the House by the Sergeant at Arms and <was> censured by the Speaker.

The House took a recess till 10 to-morrow.

5 February 1875 • Friday

Discussion continued on Civil Rights Bill. In his remarks Gen. Butler tried to get even with Mr. Brown by repeating some passages in his history – a rebel letter &c but was called to order by Mr. Hale several times. The Bill passed by a vote of 162 ayes; 99 noes and 28 not voting.

The Legislative and Appropriation Bill was brought up. In this Bill ex-Gov. Wood had had inserted in the Senate an amendment to the following effect. I had labored with the Com. and had succeeded in having it non-concurred in. Woods had heard of this and when the Bill came up this afternoon he went around to Merriam, Shanks and every other anti-Mormon member to get them, I thought, to stick to the Amendment, the House refused to concur in it. So it is beaten for the present. For these things I am thankful.

6 February 1875 • Saturday

An attempt was made to-day by Mr. Smith, Chairman of the Com. on Elections, to bring up my case to-day with a view to my exclusion. Mr. Hale of N. Y. raised the point of order that this was not a privileged report. The Chair desired time to consider it and so it went over. One of the Members said it did seem as though the Lord was on my side. I know He is. Called in evening to see Senator Sarjent. He says Mr. Blaine appears to be of opinion a majority vote can expel a Delegate; but he thought the co-relative proposition ought to hold good, that a Delegate not being a Member a report to exclude him was not a privileged one. He said he would see Mr. Blaine.

7 February 1875 • Sunday

A very cold, stormy day. Snowing and blowing. I did as usual on Sunday.

I had a visit on Monday last from Bro’s. M. Thatcher and C. Nibley. They stayed till Friday and were joined by Bro. Jos. Thatcher; he having been in Virginia.

I sent my manuscript speech, – which I had prepared to deliver when my case came up – to Gen. Kane to revise, he having requested me to do so. He returned with a very few <verbal> amendments. He said the speech was a strong one and would do me credit anywhere.

8 February 1875 • Monday

At the Departments in the morning, then went to the House. Numerous inquiries were made into about my case by Members of me, when it was coming up, &c. I understand that Judge H. B. Smith intends to bring it up to-morrow if he can.

9 February 1875 • Tuesday

Mr. Smith tried to get the floor to have my case brought up. For my description of the scene see letter to Pres. Young of to-day’s date; also Congressional Record. I felt very undisturbed and calm. I know the Lord hears and answers my prayers.

10 February 1875 • Wednesday

At the House. Nothing of particular importance transpired.

11 February 1875 • Thursday

At the House; busy writing letters

12 February 1875 • Friday

Same as yesterday

13 February 1875 • Saturday

At the Departments and the House

14 February 1875 • Sunday

I fasted as usual to-day

15 February 1875 • Monday

At the House. A day of confusion until 2 o’clock when the Com. of the District of Columbia got the floor. Judge Hoar announced death of his colleague, Mr. Saml Hooper. A resolution was adopted to meet at 11 A.m. from now till again changed

16 February 1875 • Tuesday

Met at 11 o’clock. At 2 p.m. the funeral of Hon. Sam’l. Hooper took place at the House of Rep’s. Dr’s. Butler and Aiken officiating. The first read portions of scripture. The second read prayers out of the Episcopal prayer book. The Hall and galleries were crowded. President Grant and Cabinet, the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Senate & the Members of the House being present.

17 February 1875 • Wednesday

At the House. Judiciary Com. had this evening assigned to them to report bills. Among others (H. 3996) was one giving to the district courts of the Ter. of Utah the power to condemn land for Railroad purposes – a power held under our Territorial laws by the Probate Courts until <the> Poland bill took it away from them. Some of my friends, thinking I was not there, had questions to ask and remarks to make about it. I afterwards spoke and endeavored to show how much better it would be to have this power given to any court of record which would include probate and district courts, and made a motion that the bill be so amended, which Poland accepted. Felt thankful for my success.

18 February 1875 • Thursday

At the House. Evening Session.

19 February 1875 • Friday

At the House.

20 February 1875 • Saturday

The Bro’s. Thatcher and Nibley arrived. The appropriation bill in which ex-Gov. Woods had got an amendment inserted, described in my journal of Friday, the 5th, had been returned to the Senate. They refused to agree to the changes made by the House, among others to that made in our legislative appropriation, and they asked for a Committee of Conference. Sargent was one of the Senate conferees, and I wrote a strong letter to him against this feature in the Bill and gave him a copy of a dispatch I had received from Mayor Wells in response to my inquiries. This letter and dispatch he had read to the Conference Com. and the Senate conferees admitted that if they had had this letter before they had amended the Bill they would not have amended it. Senator Sargent dropped me a note informing me that I must get proof that the Legislative Assembly had not met since passage of Poland Bill, as that was a pivotal point in the minds of the Com. I found a Memorial from the Assembly to Congress which I had presented last session, and gave that to Sargent. From that it was plain that as it was in Session in Feb. and <could> only sit by law 40 days it could not have been in session in June when Poland bill became law. Saw and had talk with Starkweather, one of House conferees

21 February 1875 • Sunday

Moses and Jos. Thatcher went to see relatives in Virginia. Bro. Nibley was with me most of day. I did not omit my usual Sunday practice of fasting and prayer.

22 February 1875 • Monday

A noisy, busy day at the House. Introduced bill taking away absolute veto power from the Gov. of Utah. Held an evening session.

23 February 1875 • Tuesday

Discussing the tax bill. I attended Pres. Grant’s reception in the evening

24 February 1875 • Wednesday

The House had under consideration the Sundry Civil Service appropriation bill. Took recess a little before 5 p.m. until 7½ p.m. with the understanding to continue work on that; but in evening attempted to get up what is known as the “force bill”, which among other things gives the President the right to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The contest was badly managed on the part of the Republicans. The Democrats succeeded in filibustering all night, the Republicans not having of their own numbers a quorum of the House were unable to check them. There was bad leadership on the part of Gen. Butler; I think his move was ill-timed and badly arranged and only wasteful of the physical strength of his men. By arranging beforehand he could have secured a quorum of Republicans, and when at 10 o’clock in the evening he saw this could not be obtained, he ought to have tried some other plan. I was reminded of what the Swedish Chancellor Oxenstjerne said to his son when he took him to see the Swedish Parliament: “Behold, my son, with what <how> little wisdom the world is governed.”

25 February 1875 • Thursday

I was at the House until breakfast time this morning watching the contest. The contest continued until afternoon before a quorum of Republicans could be obtained. Twenty-nine hours from the time of meeting yesterday the House adjourned.

26 February 1875 • Friday

By agreement – a sort of compromise – the reading of the journal was not insisted upon by the Democrats on the condition that the House proceed to-day until 5 p.m. with the Sundry Civil appropriation bill, then a recess to be taken till 7.30 p.m. when the “force bill” should be discussed. Coburn of Ind. led off in the discussion in the eve. He is the man who introduced the “force bill.” He was followed by Buckner of Mo. who divided his time with Willard of Mich. (who made a very telling speech against the bill) and Sener of Vir. Then Albright <of Penn> spoke an hour. Then Hays of Ala. and Hawley of Conn. The latter made a bold speech against the bill. After midnight adjourned.

27 February 1875 • Saturday

This morning discussion of “force bill” resumed. Luttrell of Cal. divided his time with Cook of Ga. and Eldredge of Wis., then spoke himself and gave Lamar some time, but he was interrupted and his time consumed. The House treated him discourteously, the Southern carpet-baggers especially were determined he should not speak if they could prevent it. Cannon of Ill. had the next hour, which he in part also only occupied. Several others spoke, but Burrows of Mich. brought down the House in applause at his speech which was splendidly delivered, but which was an inflammatory, denunciatory attack upon the South. Under the skilful management of Mr. Sam. Randall the House was kept from reaching a vote upon the Bill until near midnight, and it would not have been affected then, had not the Republicans compromised and agreed to adjourn, the Democrats agreeing to not require the reading of the journal on Monday morning.

28 February 1875 • Sunday

Busy to-day sorting papers, &c