The Church Historian's Press

March 1879

1 March 1879 • Saturday

<Congress> Met at 10 o’clock. I spent most of the day in the Senate. I had arranged with Senator Eaton of Conn. to <move to> strike out the objectionable clause in the Sundry Civil App. Bill. I had written all the points against the clause for him. He attempted to have it stricken out when the Senate reached that part of the Bill, but Windom, the Chairman of the App. Com., suggested that they should get through with the Senate <Com.> amendments first, and then they could return and take up that and other amendments. So it passed over. Between 11 and 12 p.m. they reached it. Sen. Eaton had let every body else put in his amendments before he attempted to get in his. I saw Windom was impatient to get the bill closed and to cut off discussion and I suggested to Sen. Eaton that he would try to cut him off from making his motion. He is a rough speaking man and he swore they dare not do that. When he made the motion Windom moved to lay it on the table. This cut off debate. The Senate was sleepy, stupid and indifferent. Eaton <had> lost his voice and could not be heard. (I almost thought he was drunk, but I am satisfied it was exhaustion that made him appear so.) None of the other Senators to whom I had spoken said a word or made a move. Windom’s motion was carried so the Vice President announced. Eaton tried to get the ayes and noes. But this failed. Eaton was mad and he swore he would try it again in the Senate – (this was in Com. of the Whole). My thoughts were very bitter. I had worked exceedingly hard to have this understood. Senators had promised to help repeal this, and here I was with the attempt defeated and none to say a word, every one apparently utterly indifferent. Senator Eaton is noted for bull dog tenacity and pluck. He is most fearless, and though apparently defeated, he was far from thinking so himself. Senator Conkling and he, though of opposite politics are great friends, and he seeing Eaton unable to make himself [heard] came over and asked him about the matter, what he wanted, &c. In the meantime, Senator Sarjent [Sargent] who had promised me to do what he could, and upon whom I have always relied for help and never without receiving it, asked Eaton to let him speak. He proposed a change in the amendment made by Eaton and spoke strongly for <during> the five minutes allowed by the rule. Edmunds of Vermont replied. He talked from the stand point of our Federal enemies; said it was necessary to enact legislation of this kind, for the Legislative Assembly of Utah would not appropriate the money necessary to pay the expenses of the Courts &c. I gave Senator Sarjent [Sargent] some items to reply to Edmunds; but he informed me that he could not speak again, as the rule confined them to one speech each upon a question. Senator Conkling got the floor, however, and he spoke very strongly in his bland way, not in defence of Utah, but in reprehension of such legislation as was proposed in this Bill. Sen. Sargent had aroused the Senate from their lethargy, and this speech of Conkling’s was listened to attentively. Edmunds got up to reply to it, and Sargent made the point of order against him that he had already spoken once. E. then made a formal motion pro forma and spoke to that. Sargent did the same and followed him. Among other things he said that with the exception of polygamy the Mormons were good citizens; said he I assert that they are honest, industrious and thrifty, and I pause to have that contradicted if it can be. Not a word was said by any one, and he continued his remarks. Senator Teller of Colorado followed, also, in [missing word] of the amendment to strike out. When the vote was taken I could only hear one or two voices against the amendment, and it was declared carried. A number of Senators came and congratulated me upon my success, and I thanked them all for their aid. Mr. Fenn, Delegate from Idaho, has helped me in this matter to the extent of his ability. I felt greatly rejoiced at the result.

2 March 1879 • Sunday

At about one o’clock Sunday morning the House adj took a recess until 9 o’clock a.m.

After we met and proceeded to business, a man in the gallery arose and in a loud voice denounced Congress as Sabbath breakers. He said that the wicked should be turned into hell with all the nations that forgot God, and made many other remarks before he was silenced and taken out. This had an effect upon many. An attempt was made to get an adjournment until to morrow morning, then till midnight to-night (Sunday) but the House refused to assent, and a recess till 9 p.m. was taken.

Bro. J. L. Rawlins is here to argue cases before U. S. Supreme Court.

Met at 9 p.m. very stormy weather, and remained in session till near 1 o’clock a.m. on Monday. Took a recess till 10 a.m.

3 March 1879 • Monday

After meeting again was called out to meet Bro. Wm Jennings of Salt Lake City and Bro’s. J. H. Martineau and son of Logan, who had arrived this morning. I took them around the Capitol. Bro. Geo. Stringfellow is also here. He and Bro. Jennings are here interested in a case before the U. S. Supreme Court, for the title of property bought of Pres. Young and claimed by the heirs of Joseph Cain. Bro. Rawlins is here as counsel in the case. I dined with Bro’s. Jennings, and Martineau at Willards.

4 March 1879 • Tuesday

With the exception of a recess for dinner from 6.30 till 9 <a.m.> o’clock <and for breakfast from 7.20 till 9 a.m. Tuesday,> the House remained in session till 12 o’clock noon on Tuesday when the Speaker declared Congress adjourned without date. (sine die)

There was much confusion and disorder during the night and morning

In the afternoon of Tuesday, President Hayes issued a proclamation calling Congress together on the 18th inst. There being so little time I have concluded not to return home and have telegraphed to this effect to Pres. Taylor.

Went with brethren to Navy Yard. Examined the Saratoga and the Passaic iron clad or turret ship and a torpedo vessel. The Commander of the Saratoga is Lieut. Com. Evans, who was nominated by Capt Hooper as Cadet and who is the youngest man who has ever held his rank in the U. S. Navy.

Very much in need of sleep.

5 March 1879 • Wednesday

Wednesday, the 5th.

Showing the brethren various places of interest. Took them to Corcoran Art Gallery. Spent the evening in conversing about our principles.

6 March 1879 • Thursday

Thursday, the 6th.

Spent the day as yesterday and the evening at the Skating Rink. The floor was black and very smooth, made of asphaltum. The skates were on rollers, and those accustomed to them glided along swiftly and gracefully. Bro’s. Rawlins and Martineau tried them on and they furnished us amusement to watch their awkward movements.

I introduced the brethren to President Hayes this morning. He thought from our appearance that our country must be a healthy one.

7 March 1879 • Friday

Friday, the 7th

Visited Mrs. Ketcham’s with the brethren to look at my bust. Mr. Corkhill and Mr. Ketcham, her husband, came for us. I afterwards introduced Bro. Martineau and son to Gen. Williamson, Commissioner of Gen. Land Office. They afterwards left for New York. I wrote a long letter to President Taylor. Mr. Biddle came here this morning to argue case with Bro. Rawlins. It did not come up and he returned to Philadelphia. Mr. Ketcham took us to see Kellar, the magician, this evening. The perpormance [performance] was very good and his tricks were skillfully done.

8 March 1879 • Saturday

Saturday, the 8th

Spent the day in the Law Library looking up matter for my contemplated review of the U. S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Bro. Reynolds. At 6 p.m. went upon invitation of Gov. R. C. McCormick to his residence to dinner. Spent a very pleasant time. There were himself and Mrs. McC. and her mother, Mrs. Senator Thurman.

9 March 1879 • Sunday

Sunday, the 9th.

We walked out to the Soldiers’ Home and spent the day together.

I wrote a letter to my sons John Q. and Abraham about business affairs. I received the sad intelligence by telegram from my son Franklin of the death of his little girl. She died this morning. The news of her birth surprised as it was earlier than I had been led to expect it to be, and perhaps it was premature.

Took dinner at Willards with Bro. Jennings

10 March 1879 • Monday

Monday, the 10th

Spent some time in the library. Mr. Biddle came down from Philadelphia in response to telegram from Bro’s. Jennings, Stringfellow & Rawlins; they having reason to believe cases would come up.

In evening I went with Bro’s. J. & S. to see Boucicault’s Shaughran at the Theatre. It is an amusing piece.

11 March 1879 • Tuesday

At the Library

The case did not come up to-day.

12 March 1879 • Wednesday

At the Library. Cases were not reached to-day. Invited by Mr. Corkhill and Mr. Ketcham to eat dinner. Judge Miller of the U. S. Supreme Court was invited to meet us, also Col. Corkhill, son of Mr. C. and son-in-law of the Judge. Bro’s. Jennings and Stringfellow were also invited. Had a very pleasant visit.

13 March 1879 • Thursday

The case of the Cain heirs against Bro’s. Jennings, Stringfellow and the Executors of the estate of Pres. B. Young came up. Bro. Rawlins opened <for us.> Mr. Baskin followed for the heirs. Mr. Biddle closed for us. There is a feeling of repugnance which I have for this man Baskin which I cannot overcome. He is a wicked, unscrupulous man, as his conduct towards me in trying to get my seat in Congress and now his advocacy of this case, proves. My impressions concerning him are deepened by his present action. This case has been fostered and encouraged by him, and has no more shadow of right, in my opinion, than his claim to my seat.

Mr. Biddle has a remarkable grasp of mind and power of putting his points forcibly to the Court.

Bro. Stringfellow left for Philadelphia and Bro. Jennings for New York this p.m.

14 March 1879 • Friday

The case of Pres. Young’s executors vs. Mrs. Orson Pratt came up to-day. The principles involved in the case were the same as in the case of yesterday, and were therefore, not argued at length.

Mr. Biddle opened. Mr. Baskin followed and Bro. Rawlins closed.

Mr. Biddle left for Philadelphia and Bro. Rawlins for home.

15 March 1879 • Saturday

Busy at work at my review of the decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in the case of Bro. Reynolds.

16 March 1879 • Sunday

The same as yesterday.

17 March 1879 • Monday

The same as yesterday.

In the evening at the Democratic caucus. Contest for Speakership between Mr. Randall and Mr. Blackburn. The former got 75, the latter 57, votes. The other old officers were re-elected.

18 March 1879 • Tuesday

The House organized to-day by <re->electing Mr. Randall, Speaker, and the other officers as in the 45th Congress. We were sworn in. Seats were drawn for by a blind folded page drawing names from a box, and as each name was called the Member thus called selected the seat that suited him best out of those not chosen. I got a good seat. Exchanged with J. Proctor Knott of Ky., at his request.

19 March 1879 • Wednesday

Discussing election of Mr. Hall of Florida. He was sworn in.

20 March 1879 • Thursday

Discussing Cincinnati elections.

Received sweet letters from home, from my wife Elizabeth, daughter Mary Alice and my sons John Q. and Abraham H.

John Q. is managing my affairs at home very satisfactorily.

21 March 1879 • Friday

The House adjourned till Tuesday next.

Wrote letters in reply to those received yesterday except to Mary Alice. Wrote also to my other folks.

22 March 1879 • Saturday

Received a telegraphic dispatch from Bro. Geo. Reynolds to the effect that Mr. Sheeks had been informed the Attorney-General was going to apply for a Mandate in Bro. Reynolds’ case on Monday. Called at Judge Miller’s to see about it. He was in consultation with other Judges at the Capitol. Returned there and wrote him a letter upon the subject. He replied that he had heard nothing about it, but thought it would not be granted till the end of the term.

23 March 1879 • Sunday

Have been working on my review as I could get time. Got it tolerably well arranged to-day. As President Taylor had suggested that I should see General Kane about the application from the City of Mexico for missionaries to be sent there, I concluded to start for Kane this evening at 7.40.

24 March 1879 • Monday

Reached Kane at 3.30 p.m. Found Gen. Kane at the Hotel near the Depot. Mrs. K. and daughter had gone to New Jersey. The General’s two sons, Elisha and Willie are here with him. Took a sleigh ride with him and them; caught in a violent snow storm. We sat up till past midnight looking through my review. He was much pleased with it.

25 March 1879 • Tuesday

Examining Review. At 3.45 p.m. I took return train to Washington. Changed at Williamsport and waited 1½ hours for train. The General pressed me to stay another day; but I felt to return.

26 March 1879 • Wednesday

Reached here at 9 a.m. Attended to Dep’t work. House adjourned early. Sat up till five o’clock writing letters and working on Review.

27 March 1879 • Thursday

Sleepy this morning. But I kept very busy. I had made up my mind to visit home if my way opened up to do so. I asked the Lord if it were all right for me to return to make it plain to me and easy to do. He helped me, and I feel clear in my mind about returning. John Q. has written me of his mother’s attack of diptheria. Elizabeth herself wrote. She has been quite sick. Her letter touched me. Mary Alice also wrote a sweet letter.

Had business at New York so took train for there this evening.

28 March 1879 • Friday

I had written to Bro. Staines respecting my visit to New York, but he had not received it, so my appearance was unexpected to him. Found him at the Astor House. Bought electros for the Juvenile Instructor and a sample of Bibles and Testaments for Geo. C. Lambert.

Took train in the evening for home.

29 March 1879 • Saturday

Rained all day.

30 March 1879 • Sunday

Took <Chicago &> Rock Island train for the Missouri River.

31 March 1879 • Monday

Called at the Union Pacific R.R. Office and got Pass to Ogden and Return. Met E. W. Tullidge here.

Cash Account – March.


Estate account Cr.



cash received from

Bro. W. [T.] G. Webber on

account of Estate



Cash Account – March.


Estate Account Dr.




Dec 18

To half cost of trip to Phil.

to see Mr. Biddle about

Reynolds and Estate cases




Mar. 3

To Seth Ford & his wife,

Seraph Young, which they

are to repay as soon as possible




To wine, dinners, &c, to

Mr. Biddle and friends



Apl. 17

To dispatch to Bro. Jennings & my co-executors

informing them of result <decision> of

U. S. Supreme Court in Cain Case



To Clerk for copy of decree



July 1

″ Dictionaries




″ Cash returned to

Bro. T. G. Webber



Cite this page

March 1879, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 16, 2024