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February 1878

1 February 1878 • Friday

Passed a better night; but still quite indisposed. Weather better. I went to the House. Wrote several letters. House adjourned till Monday.

2 February 1878 • Saturday

Went to the House and attended <to> other business. Health a little better, though throat is quite sore yet.

3 February 1878 • Sunday

Felt better to-day. Had a call from Judge Stiles. A newspaper reporter of the Post – Gordon – called upon me. Among other things which he told me was that Hemingray and John C. Young said that I had taken two new wives since I was a Member of Congress, that the wife I had with me was not my legal wife, and therefore I did not take her out and she was not seen on the street, and that they intended to have me arrested &c. These miserable wretches are circulating all manner of lies. In evening called at the Riggs House to see Mrs. Hooker. While we were conversing a Dr. Lawrence came in. We had a very interesting evening. She related to me the particulars of the interview she had with Hemingray and Young. She had headed H. at every turn and completely baffled him. He had given her an article from the Tribune to read concerning plural marriages being carried on to a greater extent now than heretofore. She said the article was repulsive to her and told him so, and that the first thing the writer would do if he visited New York would be to go to a brothel. This non-plussed Hemingray. She spoke of the pleasure she had in becoming better acquainted with us; she said I have told many of my friends that I would rather be the <your> 50th wife than be the only wife of hundreds of men whom I know. I replied that I thanked her for the compliment and I accepted it as such more to my religion than to me personally.

4 February 1878 • Monday

At the House. In evening called with my wife upon Mrs. Hooker; met Mrs. Sara Spencer there; had a pleasant interview. Called upon Mr. & Mrs. Fort and Mr. & Mrs. Lander and their daughter-in-law.

5 February 1878 • Tuesday

At the House. In evening took Elizabeth to Ford’s Opera House to listen to a lecture by Col. Donn Piatt in behalf of the Workingmen’s Ass. I was desirous to hear how he would treat the subject of capital and labor, he being a man of culture. The audience was a tolerably large one and principally working people; I did not see a face that I knew. It was an inflammatory lecture and whenever there was the least suggestion of violence to obtain rights (to which there were frequent allusions during the lecture) it was applauded vociferously.

6 February 1878 • Wednesday

Attended meeting of sub. com. of Com. on Ter. this morning, but found my presence was not needed, the meeting being for the Com. alone. Hemingray and John C. Young were present also with two reporters. This morning’s Post contains an interview had with me. There are some expressions I did not use; others <things> which I did say that did not appear. Among other things I am made to say about Young that he ought to be kicked and if he were kicked he did not have courage to resent it. He came into the Com. Room this morning with a new cane. He tried to catch my eye, and failing to do so, he came up to where I sat at my side and said: “so you think, Mr. Cannon, I ought to be kicked? and that if I were I have not courage to resent it. I will show you about that and give you a chance to show what courage you have.” I did not notice him; I did not even turn my head. Had it not been for his family I should have had him a policeman called and had him arrested for a breach of privilege[.] He would have found that he could not insult or threaten a Member with impunity in the Capitol. I told the Chairman of the sub. Com. and said that I should object to his being admitted into the Com. room again. He said he had no rights there; he was only admitted by sufferance.

7 February 1878 • Thursday

At the House. Called upon Pres. Hayes & Atty Gen. Devens in morning. They both think a new Marshal will have to be appointed for Utah.

8 February 1878 • Friday

My health was not good through the night; feverish and restless.

At the House.

9 February 1878 • Saturday

The House met to-day for debate only. Was at the House.

10 February 1878 • Sunday

Had an interview with Col. Corkhill about removal of Schaeffer, Chief Justice. Had a call in the evening from Mr. & Mrs. Peck. He is employed in the Gov’t. Bureau of Engraving. She is a daughter of parents named Whipple, who were Mormons (I understand) previous to the death of the prophet Joseph and afterwards joined Jas. J. Strang (who claimed to be the leader of the Church) and lived with him on Beaver Island.

11 February 1878 • Monday

At the House. Received letters from home. My brother Angus and Geo. Reynolds write me about divisions among leading men respecting nominees for City Council, &c. Some have got together and nominated a so-called Conservative ticket. They take the Mayor and Aldermen agreed upon in the regular Convention; but substitute F. K. Benedict, John Wayman, Jas. W. Cummings, Elias Morris, Philip Pugsley, John H. Smith, Wm H. Rowe, Thos W. Jennings and John H. Rumall, as Councilors. Morris, Cummings and Smith are on the People’s ticket. They substitute Charles Smith as Recorder in place of John T. Caine and Thos Dobson as Marshal in place of Andrew Burt. Bro. Reynolds writes that Bishop Hunter’s counselors – L. W. Hardy and R. T. Burton – and LeGrand Young, W. W. Riter, W. C. Dunbar, G. M. Ottinger, Geo Romney, L. S. Hills, Jennings, Wayman, Benedict, <Wm> Fuller (printer) Pugsley, R’d, Margetts and associates, are active in this matter. Angus has been exerting himself to counteract their schemes and has done manfully. Division at home makes me feel heartsick. While we are united I have no fears of our enemies; but when we quarrel among ourselves I know there is danger. I am surprised at no name which has been mentioned as connected with this division, excepting Bishop Hardy, and not much at him. The others mentioned have been giving signs for years such as have prepared me to expect such action as this. I would be despondent if I would let myself; but why should I? The devil is not dead. He leads men astray. He will do so, and many probably will fall away and try to tear down the Work they once helped to build up; but what of that? The Lord’s purposes will hasten on. He His word has gone forth concerning the dispensation of the last days. It will triumph. The Lord will bear it off triumphantly, and woe to the men who get in its way to obstruct its progress or to try and overthrow it.

12 February 1878 • Tuesday

At the Departments and the House. About 2 p.m. the Senate came over to the Hall of the House to take part in the ceremonies of accepting Carpenter’s picture of the signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Gen. Garfield and Alex. H. Stephens made the speeches. Mr. Stephens sat in his little chair on wheels on which he propels himself or is propelled, and delivered his address. His body is frail; but his mind is bright and active and his voice is strong. He spoke without notes; Gen. Garfield’s speech was written.

13 February 1878 • Wednesday

Called at the Dept’s and went to the House. A stormy session, considerable feeling and excitement over the sale of the Presidency.

Had some words with Jas. N. Tyner 1st Ass’t. P M Gen. about Ben Paddock P. M at Silver Reef. He is described as a man who should not hold the office; but they have got the idea into Tyner’s head that it is the Mormons who want him removed to get Jos. E. Johnson appointed in his stead. Tyner is a popinjay who entertains a dislike against Mormons and never did one of them simple justice, to my knowledge.

14 February 1878 • Thursday

At the Dept’s and the House.

15 February 1878 • Friday

At the House, also at the Departments. Mrs. H. S. Kimball sent her card to me with the request that I should call upon her at Willards[.] I called and met her husband and herself. She is not well. She described an interview she had with Hemingray in the reception room of Willard’s. There were many present. She had recourse to ridicule and created several laughs at his expense on the ground of his trying to take away the suffrage from the women of Utah.

16 February 1878 • Saturday

Called at the Dept’s, also at the House, the latter was not in session. Took the children with me.

17 February 1878 • Sunday

Ua hoole au i Ka ai. [I fasted.] Attended to the Sacrament. Wrote a letter to Bro. Brigham Jr., also an editorial for the Juvenile Instructor.

18 February 1878 • Monday

Attended meeting of Ter. Delegates this morning. Had considerable conversation with Mr. Max Gowan and Mr. Conger of Mich. concerning Utah affairs. I heard to-day that the President had decided to give Mr. Shaughnessy the position of U. S. Marshal of Utah. At this Capt. Parsons, who has been here for three months and upwards seeking the position feels disappointed.

19 February 1878 • Tuesday

At the House. An exciting session over Louisiana affairs. Felt anxious to hear from home respecting action upon election bill. Received a dispatch from Bro. J. B. Milner in which he informed me that there were 20 in the House favorable to the enactment of a secret ballot and 2 against, and the Council stood in the same proportion.

20 February 1878 • Wednesday

At the House. Sent a dispatch to Pres. Taylor. He replied that election and registration law would pass both Houses.

21 February 1878 • Thursday

Went to the Treasury to see the First Comptroller about O’Shaunessy’s accounts, the report having reached me that he was not all right as <U.S.> Marshal of Miss. As his name is mentioned for U. S. Marshal for Utah, I thought I had better find out the true state of the case. I afterwards saw the Attorney General upon the subject. He said that there was nothing wrong about his accounts.

Mr. J. Taylor Jones of Ala. told me that Mr. Turney <of Penn> had agreed with the other Members to draw up an election law for Utah, also Mr. Cravens of Ark. He himself had opposed it. Cravens thought it better to disfranchise the women. The others opposed this. Received a dispatch from Pres. Taylor that the new election & registration law had passed the House by a large majority and he would advise me when it passed the Council.

House adjourned till Monday.

22 February 1878 • Friday

I learn that Mr. Turney’s action is based on the idea, gathered from the Salt Lake Tribune sent to him, that the legislative action upon election law is a ruse intended to deceive and gain time so as to avert congressional action.

Col. R. S. Parsons, ex-M. C. of Cleveland, now proprietor of Cleveland Herald got some items from me a few days ago concerning Utah. He embodied them in a letter to his paper. This letter called forth a letter from Dr. T. T. Seelye, brother of Professor Seelye ex. M.C., speaking in very complimentary terms of Utah and her people. Mr. Parsons asked me to write a letter and what I pleased about Utah from my stand-point for his paper.

23 February 1878 • Saturday

At the Dept’s and the House.

24 February 1878 • Sunday

Attended to the Lords Supper.

25 February 1878 • Monday

Met with Delegates and at the House.

26 February 1878 • Tuesday

Called upon Senator Thurman and Senator Edmunds respecting the confirmation of Mr. Shaughnessy as U. S. Marshal of Utah. I called their attention to his operations in Miss. as U. S. Marshal and desired an examination of them. Senator E. is Chairman of Com. on Judiciary and he thanked me for calling his attention to these matters.

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February 1878, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 24, 2024