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March 1877

1 March 1877 • Thursday

Met at 03 o’clock and remained in continuous session till after 4, Friday morning. The filibusters were more successful in their maneuvers to-day in keeping off the count than was expected they would be. Mr. Randall refused to entertain some motions that were made, at which some of them grew very excited and a scene ensued such as I never witnessed in any assemblage, and I have seen some very violent times in Congress. It was beyond description and reminded me <more> of scenes that are described as having occurred in the French Assembly during the revolutionary period than anything else I could think of. The noise of many speakers yelling at the top of their voices in the most vehement manner and gesticulating frantically, endeavoring to make themselves heard above the din, was disgraceful. Mr. Beebe of New York became so excited that he jumped on one of the desks and declaimed from that eminence, claiming his rights as a representative of the people. He said he had acted with the majority in opposition to the filibusters, but he thought their rights invaded and he and those acting with him claimed that they were representatives of the people and had their rights as well as the speaker his. Mr. Sparks of Illinois, usually a well balanced man, seemingly lost his head and became very excited. Of course excitement on one side begat excitement in the House in the galleries <&> on the floor, which was crowded. Mr. Randall maintained his temper admirably though he manifested a resolute determination to enforce order and have the proceedings conducted according to his views of parliamentary law. As soon as he could obtain quiet he ordered the floor cleared of everybody not entitled to its privilege and threatened the galleries if there was the slightest demonstration. Vermont was finally disposed of, the Houses met in joint convention and resumed the count till Wisconsin was reached, when they separated. After some filibustering, discussion was commenced, and that was finally disposed of but amid great excitement at times. The Senate was notified and a great many Democrats withdrew from the floor determined to take no part in the proceedings, nor to grace the scene by their presence. After Wisconsin’s vote was announced the Presiding Officer requested the tellers to ascertain the result and hand it to him. He then declared that 38 states having voted, and there were 369 electoral votes, of which 185 were necessary to an election; that Rutherford B. Hayes had received 185 votes and Samuel J. Tilden 184 votes for President; that <Wm A.> Wheeler had received 185 and Thos. A. Hendricks 184 votes for vice-president. He then announced that Rutherford B. Hayes was elected President of the United States commencing on the 4th of March for 4 years, and William A. Wheeler vice-president for the same period. The two houses separated and the House adjourned till 12 o’clock to-morrow.

2 March 1877 • Friday

House kept in session till between 5 and 6, adjourned till 8 and then sat till about 2 o’clock, when it took on a recess till 03.

3 March 1877 • Saturday

Met at ten and remained in session till between five & six, took a recess till nine, remained in session till between two and three, then took a recess till 8 of

4 March 1877 • Sunday

All the appropriation bills of any importance were passed except the army bill upon which the two houses could not agree. The House had cut down the salary of the general of the army, had reduced the army, and also inserted a section in the bill which restricts the President from using the army to sustain the governments of South Carolina and Louisiana contrary to the wishes of the people, meaning the Chamberlain and Packard governments. The Senate was willing to concede every point but this last so the bill failed. Speaker Randall delivered his valedictory address, the House having previously passed a resolution of thanks to him. The Republicans were displeased with his valedictory, thinking it too partisan. At 12 o’clock just after finishing, he declared the 44th Congress adjourned without day. Having been up so much the last three nights I felt quite unwell and suffered a little from cold also. I have had some conversation with General Garfield and Mr. Foster (the latter represents the district in which Gov. Hayes lives) about the propriety of my having an interview with Mr. Hayes upon our affairs before I return home. They think it would be desirable and express the opinion that Gov. Hayes will be glad to converse with me; but to have a suitable opportunity I shall have to wait several days, as he will be very much crowded with business.

5 March 1877 • Monday

I repaired to the Senate where all the dignitaries were congregated. The Diplomatic Corps were out in full feather. Their costumes seem strange to us, they are so heavily laced and have an air of flunkeyism about them[.] They and the judges of the Supreme Court, <&> the members of the House of Representatives occupied the side of the chamber to the right of the President, and the Senators, officers of the army and navy and other distinguished visitors, seats to the left. Ex-president Grant and President Hayes sat with their backs to the president’s desk facing the centre aisle. A motion was made that Senator Howe administer the oath to Thomas W. Ferry, Senator from Michigan and that he be elected President pro tem. of the Senate. The Secretary put this question. It was carried and Senator Howe administered the oath, Senator Ferry repeating the words as the former spoke them. Senator Ferry thanked the Senate for that mark of their confidence and instructed the Secretary to call the roll of the new Senators. They came forward, four at a time, and were sworn in. Objection was made to Mr. Kellogg and he and Mr. Lamar and Mr. Morgan being objected to were not sworn in. The Vice-President Wheeler entered the Senate on the arm of Senator McCreary of Kentucky and went forward to the President’s desk, where he delivered an appropriate address of a few minutes length in a clear voice and then had the oath administered to them him, by president pro tem. Ferry. The Sergeant-at-Arms then announced the order in which the procession should move to the eastern portico of the capitol where the inauguration ceremonies should take place. The galleries were crowded with fashionable people, principally ladies, whose costumes were very brilliant. After arriving at the eastern portico in front of which thousands of people were standing, President Hayes proceeded to read his inaugural address after which the inaugural addre <oath was administered> to him by Chief Justice Waite. Cannon fired, music played, and the procession formed and escorted him to the White House. In the evening the city was illuminated. Pennsylvania avenue presented a very brilliant appearance. Flags were hung in great profusion on the principal buildings and at intervals were stretched across the avenue as were also Chinese lanterns. Calcium lights were fixed on both sides of the street at intervals from the Treasury to the Capitol, and the street was nearly as light as day. The torch-light procession made a fine appearance but it was noticeable that the torchbearers were nearly all negroes, who seem to look upon the election of Hayes and Wheeler as a triumph of their race over the whites.

Received two letters from Gen. Kane for President Young which I was to deliver. In his note to me he expressed the desire that I should copy them if I wished. The following are copies:

6 March 1877 • Tuesday

I called early at Mr. Foster’s and found him still in bed. Sometime afterwards I called again and he had just arisen. I made an appointment to meet him after breakfast when we would go to the White House. We found such a throng there, and the President so closely occupied that after waiting two or three hours Mr. Foster deemed it better to defer the interview till later in the week when he would be less crowded. Of course as long as there is a probability of seeing him I shall stay although I am very anxious to get home, feeling that my work is done here. I will return with much greater satisfaction after having seen and conversed with him upon our affairs than I would without such an interview.

24 March 1877 • Saturday

Started this morning from my place on the river for the City. John Q. drove me up and I started at 7 o’clock on the train south, en route for St. George, President Wells having kindly offered me a seat in one of his vehicles. Bro. Samuel Woolley proffered to carry my valise to St. George. The teams and carriages were taken on the train to the end of the track. We drove to Nephi that day. I put up at Bro. Pitchforth’s. We held meeting in the evening.

25 March 1877 • Sunday

Held meeting this morning, and then drove to Lavan. Bishops E. D. & Saml Woolley left Nephi for Sanpete Valley. There were ten of us in company: Pres. Wells, Lydia Ann, his wife, and his daughter Martha Deseret, Catherine and Emeline, his sons Junius F. and Heber, and Bro. Chas Burton and teamster Bro. Thos Fedden and myself. He had one traveling carriage on which he worked four mules, and in which he and his wife and two daughters and the teamster and myself rode. The other was a spring wagon, on which he worked mules, and the rest rode in it. I stopped at Bro. [blank] and was kindly entertained.

I omitted to mention that Bro. O H Riggs had a carriage in company in which he rode alone.

Held meeting in the evening.

26 March 1877 • Monday

We drove to Scipio to-day, stopping at the Sevier Bridge to feed and water the teams and lunch. I stopped at Bro. Jesse Martin’s. Held meeting with the people

27 March 1877 • Tuesday

Drove to Fillmore. I proposed to Pres. Wells that I go on to Meadow Creek and hold meeting with the people there. Bishop Callister sent his team and carriage to carry me down. I stopped at Bro. [blank] the president of the Ward. Held a crowded meeting in the evening.

28 March 1877 • Wednesday

Got aboard the carriage when Bro. Wells and party came up, and we drove to Cove Creek. Was kindly entertained by Bro. Ira Hinkley.

29 March 1877 • Thursday

Threatened storm, but we reached Beaver before it broke upon us. I stopped at Bishop Murdock’s. Held meeting in the evening. I spoke at this as I had at all our previous meetings.

30 March 1877 • Friday

We drove to Parowan, stopping at Buck horn Springs to feed the teams. The traveling to-day was unpleasantly cold. Snow and hail fell. I stopped with Bro. Jesse N. Smith at Parowan; and we held meeting, which was well attended.

31 March 1877 • Saturday

Another cold day. Drove to Cedar. I was entertained by Bishop Hy. Lunt. Held meeting in the evening.

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March 1877, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 14, 2024