The Church Historian's Press

March 1876

1 March 1876 • Wednesday

Called at the Dep’t of Justice and at the Treasury and had long conversations with Mr. Hodges and Mr. [blank] and explained action of Legislative Assembly upon appropriations for judicial expenses. The latter told me that Maxwell claimed the Territory owed him $30,000 principally for keeping of prisoners. A most preposterous statement. At the House, Judge White urged me to use my influence for his confirmation. Bro. <D. H.> Peerey of <Ogden> arrived here, called upon me at the House and spent part of evening at my rooms. Col. Betts also called about Judge White’s case. He is Clerk of White’s court.

2 March 1876 • Thursday

To-day the House has been agitated with the news of Gen. Belknap, the Secretary of War’s dishonesty in accepting bribes from Post Sutlers. For full particulars of the case see the Record of to-morrow’s date. It contains all the evidence as presented by the Committee to the House and published in the Congressional proceedings. An air of sadness was everywhere visible and the Republicans were especially downcast. It is a terrible blow for that party. The rumor was all over the House that Belknap had shot himself. It was not true. The report of the Com. was listened to with intense silence. The scene was a dramatic one. The discussion occupied one hour. Mr. Blackburn of Kentucky made a fine effort.

I had a very pleasant visit with John D. Huntington who called upon me this evening. He is the <youngest> brother of Dimick, Wm, Oliver, Prescinda and Zina Huntington in the valley, and I have not seen him for 30 years. We were intimate as boys, being apprentices to printing together. He is a Surgeon Dentist, no. 1 Washington Hall, Watertown, N.Y.

3 March 1876 • Friday

Went over with John D. Huntington to the Senate to see the House Com. notify that body that impeach Gen. Belknap before that body. The scene was intensely interesting. The Com. was preceded by the Serjeants at Arms of both Houses. Mr. Huntington spent the afternoon on the floor with me. He pressed me to visit him as we returned home. We had a very enjoyable visit, talking over boyhood days. He left for Philadelphia at 4.55 p.m.

4 March 1876 • Saturday

At the Departments and the House. In the evening attended the Democratic Caucus at the House of Rep’s. It was nearly 1/2 past 11 when it adjourned. The subject was the financial question. The Committee appointed to draft a Bill, 13 in number, had divided. The majority (8) had prepared a bill which was submitted. The minority also made a report. Speeches were made by a number; Senator Bayard’s was a very earnest one. But this party appears to be hopelessly divided upon this question. Each side is determined to maintain its views and not to concede to the other, and there appears to be no ground which can be accepted as one upon which all can compromise and stand. Union has fled and there is not influence apparently to restore it.

5 March 1876 • Sunday

Attended as usual to duties – prayer, sacrament, &c. Wrote argument against Christiancy Bill. Dined, myself, wife and daughter Mary Alice, at Welcker’s.

6 March 1876 • Monday

At the House, not so much confusion as usual on Mondays. As soon as the call of the States and Territories was over a motion was made to go into the Com. of the Whole on the Hawaiian treaty. Mr. Page of Cal was made very angry after the Com. arose because he could not get an opportunity to introduce a resolution which he had. He tried to effect a compromise by calling for the ayes and noes; but Mr. Southard who made the motion to adjourn would not let him introduce his resolution.

Writing on argument on Christiancy Bill in evening.

7 March 1876 • Tuesday

Procured maps at Engineer Corps to send to Pres. Young. Also at the Gen. Land Office. Wrote <a letter> to the President and wrote again <to him> enclosing a Map of the territories with new boundaries marked upon it. Mr. Fort of Ill. has a plan of consolidating the territories in such a way that all but Washington could be admitted as States. He proposes to attach Arizona to New Mexico; Wyoming, part to Montana, part to Colorado and part to Utah; Idaho part to Utah, part to Oregon and part to Washington; Dakota, part to Montana and part to Minnesota. A very exciting day. Discussion as to whether the Com. on Expenditures in the War Dep’t. should obey the subpoena of the Court and go there as witnesses with the papers &c. to appear before the Grand Jury for the purpose of indicting Belknap. Blaine, Lamar, Clymer, Blackburn, Hoar and Kasson and others participated in the discussion. Mr. Blaine received the most severe defeat I think from the hands of Lamar that has been witnessed this session.

8 March 1876 • Wednesday

Another exciting day. A witness, Mr. Wolf, was brought to the bar of the House because of his refusal yesterday to answer questions propounded by the Naval Committee. He had purged himself of contempt before being brought into the House, (having been kept in confinement all night,) while before the Com. this morning. He was merely brought in to be discharged this morning; but as <he> passed to the bar of the House in the custody of the Sargent-at-arms he appeared much cut up and nervous and while at the bar fell down or worked out of his chair in a fit. The galleries were full and there was a scene of great excitement till he was carried out. The discussion over the report of the Com. on Judiciary asking time to get more evidence in the Belknap Impeachment trial was of a political character, each party trying to get all the advantage possible.

9 March 1876 • Thursday

Attended meeting of Com. on Territories in Senate this morning prepared to argue against Christiancy’s Bill. Mrs. Spencer of the National Woman’s Suffrage Society and Mrs. Lockwood made arguments against that feature of the Bill which took away the right of suffrage from the women of Utah. The argument of the former was full of abuse of the people of Utah; but she said some good things concerning us; she made very severe remarks also upon so-called Christian civilization. Mrs. S. spoke very strongly and emphatically against the Bill and had little to say offensive to us, except that she abhorred polygamy. They ended at 1/4 to 12. I then had the privilege; but I told the Com. I had not time to say what I wanted, so I was assigned time at the next meeting.

10 March 1876 • Friday

Called at the Treasury Dep’t. to see correspondence between Sec. Black and the Dep’t. on the Deficiency needed for expenses in the Ter. At the House.

11 March 1876 • Saturday

At the Treasury and Post Office Dept’s. At the House.

12 March 1876 • Sunday

Attended to usual Sunday duties. Wrote editorial for Juvenile Instructor.

13 March 1876 • Monday

Attended meeting of Com. on Appropriations to be heard respecting an appropriation for printing our laws and other things. In evening writing upon argument for admission.

14 March 1876 • Tuesday

Again at <meeting of> Com. on Appropriations. Was listened to, and the sum I asked <for> ($4,000) to aid in printing the laws was promised. I also explained about the passage of the Poland Bill – that it made the U. S. Marshal the officer of the Courts, but that many of the people felt if the U. S. Marshal was made the officer of the Courts, the U. S. ought to pay him, and I thought they ought to make an appropriation to that end. This also they thought favorably of. When I explained the manner in which the $23,400 had been misappropriated that ought to have gone to paid the Legislative Assembly and that the Assembly had served without a dollar of pay, Mr. Randall, the Chairman, asked some questions about it, and was so struck with the self-denial of the Members that he said he did not like to see so excellent and honorable a record changed by having money asked for to pay them. I told him that I did not ask the Com. any appropriation to pay them.

15 March 1876 • Wednesday

Called at Agricultural Bureau about seeds. At the House. In the evening writing my argument against Christiancy’s Bill.

16 March 1876 • Thursday

At the sitting of the Senate Committee on Territories. Made my argument against Christiancy’s Bill. There were present of the Com. Hitchcock of Neb., Chairman, Christiancy of Mich., Maxey of Texas, Patterson of S. C. and Cooper of Tenn. Baskin was present and Christiancy was quite anxious to have him heard. But my argument occupied the time the Republican members had to spare before their caucus, so Baskin has to wait till next Thursday. Mr. Willcox an advocate of female suffrage was also there to be heard against the Bill.

At the House.

17 March 1876 • Friday

At meeting of Territorial Delegates and at House. Wrote to President Young. Sent dispatch for copy of election law; also one in cypher to know how Judge Titus would be liked as Chief Justice of the Ter. Mr. Stevens of Arizona said he would like to be re-appointed to Utah and if we would like to have him, he would get Senator Cameron to have him recommended. House adjourned until Monday.

18 March 1876 • Saturday

Busy in various ways. At Agricultural Bureau, at Capitol Library gathering statistics for my argument on admission. Writing on that in evening. Weather very cold.

19 March 1876 • Sunday

Attended to pule [prayer] in the morning as I do every morning with my lole luakini [temple clothes]. Attended to Sacrament as usual.

20 March 1876 • Monday

Very stormy. Wore my rubbers for the first time this winter. At House all day.

21 March 1876 • Tuesday

Met with Com. on Territories of the House and made my argument before them in favor of the admission of Utah as a State. There were present: Southard of Ohio, Culberson of Texas, Caldwell of Tenn., Fort of Ill., Bagley of N.Y., Freeman of Penn, and Franklin of Mo. & Patterson of Col. They listened attentively, and I thought were impressed with my reasons. I occupied about 45 minutes. Some of them requested me to publish my arguments. I was told afterwards by members to whom the members of the Com. had talked that I had made a very strong and able argument. I wish it was so strong that they could not resist it and they would give us our rights. Very cold to-day,

22 March 1876 • Wednesday

In Congressional Library hunting up particulars about Colonies, whether their Governors had veto power, &c. Found that Rhode Island and Conn. had elected their own governors under their charters; the Crown had reserved the right of approval, however. In those colonies neither the King nor the Governor were able to negative laws passed by the Assemblies.

A rather exciting day, plenty of discussion, in which Blaine, Cox, Goode of Va. and others took part. The Bill was to make a misdemeanor of the too common custom of exacting contributions from employés of the Gov. for political purposes.

23 March 1876 • Thursday

Called upon Mr. Geo. F. Hoar of the Judiciary Com., to whom Bill 177, giving the Legislative Assembly of Utah the right to pass a Bill over the Governor’s veto by a 2/3 vote, was referred. We had quite a conversation on the subject. He would give the Bill attention as soon as he could; but thought it would be wise to not push it this session, as when the elections were over it would pass with less trouble. This interview impressed still more deeply upon me the fact, that it is through the Lord alone that we shall get our rights. Men are ready to consider and <generally to> act upon measures that have for their object the deprivation of our rights; but to recognize our rights they are very loth and see many obstacles in the way. I feel that God will give them to us, and that, too, before very long. Met with the Senate Com on Territories. Baskin delivered a bitter malignant argument against Utah and in favor of the Bill. I succeeded in getting the opportunity to be heard. For particulars see letter to Pres. Young of this date.

24 March 1876 • Friday

Busy and at the House.

25 March 1876 • Saturday

Went early this morning to the Station to meet Bro. John W. Young and wife Libbie. They came from New York. Bro. John W. left the Valley the Wednesday before last. I breakfasted with them at the Arlington and we visited together, the day being so stormy we could not go out much, though we went to the Capitol. Geo. C. Bates, an attorney from Salt Lake called upon me.

26 March 1876 • Sunday

Visiting together and attended to Sacrament. Elizabeth has been confined to bed for two or three days, her complaint requiring her to keep very quiet. Mary Alice and myself ate dinner with Bro & Sister Young at Welcker’s

27 March 1876 • 1876

Succeeded this morning in company with Col. Steele of Wyoming in getting the service increased from Evanston to Soda Springs from a semi-weekly to tri-weekly. Mr. Tyner, second assistant postmaster general, readily granted this, much to the surprise of many, the policy being one of retrenchment. Bro. John W. Young was on the floor of the House. He had a desire to call upon President Grant. I went with him to the White House. He had withdrawn from the office and it was beyond his time for receiving callers. We left our cards with the usher. As soon as he saw our names he bade us stop and went into the President’s private apartments and found him. He came into his office and received us. The conversation was upon the mountains and the snow and general topics. Our affairs were not touched upon.

28 March 1876 • Tuesday

Busy at the House.

29 March 1876 • Wednesday

At the House in the day and evening.

30 March 1876 • Thursday

At the House; had an evening session for the discussion of the Legislative and Appropriation Bill.

31 March 1876 • Friday

A man by the name of Sumner Howard of Mich. has been nominated for District Attorney for Utah. I have made inquiry of members respecting him. The reports are generally unfavorable. He was nominated as Indian Agent in his own State, but the nomination was protested against by several but especially by Hon. Jay Hubbell. I wrote to Pres. Young, which letter see for particulars respecting Howard. At Democratic caucus in evening when managers of Impeachment trial of Belknap were selected: Scott Lord of N.Y., Lynde of Wis., MacMahon of Ohio, Knott of Ky. and Jenks of Penn; democrats, and Wheeler of N.Y. and Hoar of Mass., Republicans. Some urged that the Republicans should be allowed to select the men they wished as managers, but that was overruled

Received a letter from Pres. Young this morning and was much gratified at its receipt. He says: Our news from the Elders in the field continues excellent. Never since God established the Church through Joseph Smith has “Mormonism” been growing stronger or spreading out more rapidly than at present.

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March 1876, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 25, 2024