The Church Historian's Press

May 1879

1 May 1879 • Thursday

At the Dept’s. At the House. The Com. on Rules reported favorably the Resolution to add a Delegate to the Com. on Military Affairs. Mr. Randall appointed Major Maguinis to that Com. and me to the Com. on Territories.

2 May 1879 • Friday

Met with the Com. on Ter. this morning and was appointed one of a sub-committee to consider the Bill for the organization of the Indian Territory into the Territory of Oklahoma.

Democratic caucus met to consider form of the Bill to be introduced taking away all authority for the use of the army at the polls.

Spent the evening at Mr. Ketcham’s. He and she had called upon me and expressed a wish to see me. She has finished fine busts of her cousin, Col. Corkhill, and Justice Miller of U. S. Supreme Court.

Got letter from my son, John Q., which informed me of dangerous condition of my gardiner, Danl Jones, who had been attacked with pneumonia. Sent telegram to my wife Elizabeth asking how all were in health.

3 May 1879 • Saturday

House met to-day. Discussed Silver Bill. Gen. Warner of Ohio spoke and made a fine speech.

Democratic caucus. Decided on form of the Bill.

4 May 1879 • Sunday

Received dispatch from Pres. Taylor saying no prospect of getting my review into a magazine and asking what should be done with it. I replied send a copy to every Senator and Member and all public men and newspapers and offer for sale.

Stormy day. Felt home sick.

5 May 1879 • Monday

Got a letter from John Q. which informed <me> of Daniel Jones, my gardiner’s recovery, and that all were well.

6 May 1879 • Tuesday

At the House. The Bill to prevent the use of the troops at the polls was reported by the Judiciary Com. to the House, also a Minority Bill. The former, notwithstanding some fillibustering on the part of the Republicans, passed the House.

7 May 1879 • Wednesday

At the Dep’t. The House was regaled with a personal explanation from Gen. Chalmers respecting the Fort Pillow massacre. He defended himself against the charge that prisoners had been massacred there contrary to the rules of war. Hawley of Conn., Garfield of Ohio and Burrows of Mich. made remarks. The spirit which has been exhibited towards us in years past could not be cherished for us alone and then be dismissed. It holds possession. It can be seen now exhibited by one section towards another. The feeling is as bitter between the two political parties as it ever was towards us. They are suffering from the spirit of falsehood, slander and unreasoning prejudice to which they yielded and listened when we were the victims. The prejudice against the South is exceedingly strong and bitter among some Northern men. But if I am correct in my impressions, the day is not far distant when the North will also suffer from this spirit. It will yet be visited. Its pride and arrogance will yet bear fruit and be followed by a fall. It is very plain to be seen that there is serious trouble ahead for this nation. Satan has great power. The promises concerning this land must be fulfilled. When the cup of this nation’s iniquity is full, then there must come a speedy overthrow. This is the word of the Lord concerning this land; and to my sight it seems to be approaching rapidly.

Saw by the telegraphic dispatches that in the trial of one Miles for polygamy Bro. D. H. Wells being on the witness stand, and questioned respecting the kind of clothing worn in the Endowment House, refused to answer on the ground that it was not relevant and that he could not do so in honor. He was declared in contempt and as a punishment was fined one hundred dollars and subjected to two days’ imprisonment. By the dispatches I see that a procession of ten thousand people formed and marched through the streets in sympathy with him. This was on yesterday (Tuesday 6th). I am glad to hear this. These Federal officials have presumed too far upon our forbearance, and it is time the people began to show proper resentment.

8 May 1879 • Thursday

Thursday, 8th

At the Dep’t. At the House. Silver Bill was discussed. Miss Snead, a writer whose nom de plume is Miss Grundy requested an introduction through Hon. Hendrick B. Wright of Penn. to me. We had an hour’s conversation at her room in the Riggs House; her Mother, who is also a writer, joined us. Miss S. read a correspondence which she had received from Sis. E. B. Wells and showed us a piece of lace she had sent her. Mr. Acklen of La. had written her a ridiculous letter about some of her correspondence for the Phil. Times, which she read to us with her caustic reply thereto. It was amusing.

9 May 1879 • Friday

Friday, 9

At the House. Various business attended to. Joseph Sharp, a son of Bishop John Sharp, called upon me in the evening. He was on his way from Florida and South Carolina, where he had spent the Winter with his tutor preparing himself to enter Harvard College in June. He left for New York at 10.15 p.m. Elder David Dunbar passed through also from Kentucky to New York. He is called to go to England. I was sitting in the Library (Congressional) when he saw me.

10 May 1879 • Saturday

Saturday, 10th.

At the House. After the morning hour, the silver bill was discussed.

11 May 1879 • Sunday

Spent the day <in> reading

12 May 1879 • Monday

Received a letter from my cousin Alice Christian Kidd of Liverpool, forwarded by Bro. John Nicholson. Her father is dead, her oldest brother drowned, her mother is confined to bed and failing fast. Leonora is teaching school still.

The papers from home bring word of the splendid demonstration made by the people upon Bro. Wells’ release from the penitentiary. Upwards of 10,000 in procession with brass bands, banners, carriages – a general holiday, people coming from north and south to join in the demonstration.

At the House. Call of the States and Territories for Bills and Joint Resolutions. President Hayes sent in his veto to the Bill to prevent the use of the Army at the polls. The Democrats are angry and threatening.

13 May 1879 • Tuesday

At the House. After the morning hour, discussed the Silver Bill. Received a letter from my wife Elizabeth, which I answered.

14 May 1879 • Wednesday

Wrote an editorial for the Juvenile Instructor. Wrote letters to Uncle Taylor and my son John Q. in which I mentioned advertising and circulating my Review of the decision of the U. S. Supreme Court in the Reynolds case. At the House. After the morning hour discussed Warner’s silver Bill.

15 May 1879 • Thursday

Wrote on editorial for the Juvenile Instructor. At the House.

Called in the evening upon Mrs. Ketcham and her sister.

16 May 1879 • Friday

Finished editorial commenced yesterday. At the House. The Silver coinage bill is still under discussion

17 May 1879 • Saturday

At the House. Same Bill as yesterday was discussed.

18 May 1879 • Sunday

Reading all day. Raining heavily a part of the day.

19 May 1879 • Monday

Busy writing editorials for the Juvenile Instructor and preparing a sketch to put in the little work Geo. C. Lambert is publishing for Children – The 1st number of the Faith-promoting series.

20 May 1879 • Tuesday

Writing closing chapters for “My First Mission.[”] At Meeting of Territorial Delegates. At the House. Discus Votes on <Silver> Coinage Bill.

Worked in evening on “My First Mission”

21 May 1879 • Wednesday

Writing on “My First Mission” before going to the House and during the evening.

I introduced a Bill the subject of which was to take away from the Governor of Utah the absolute power to veto all legislation and to give him a qualified veto – that is, no power to veto if 2/3 of the both Houses voted it over his veto. There is no other Territory and no State where the Governor has such power in this respect as in Utah. The Bill would pass readily and without question if it were for any place but our Territory. I saw all the members of the Com. on Judiciary, to which it had been referred, who were here. Mr. Reed of Maine said it could not pass because those who favored it would be accused of letting up on the Mormons. If you want anything done for you, said he, you must quit taking wives, then we will do any thing you ask of us. It is not fair for you to have wives, said he, and the rest of us have to confine ourselves to only one. You must be like us, if you want more than one wife brush around and get it as we do. He said he would like very well to help us; but, said he, you know how it is. People watch us and it would not do for us to favor the Mormons. I said to him that he was mistaken in supposing that they would do any thing we wanted if we quit the practice of plural marriage, for we had suffered more persecution and driving before that was adopted as a part of our religion than we had since. Oh, he said, that was by mobs. As to taking wives, I said, which is the cheapest so far as expense and trouble are concerned? Taking wives and caring for them and their children and <or> doing as you say you do? After a pause he had to acknowledge that our method was the most expensive and troublesome. But we must be <in> uniformity with the rest of the nation, he said, and do as they do. I record this to show the feeling which exists in many men respecting us. He only spoke the feelings of thousands. “No rights for the Mormons. Treat them as aliens, as unworthy of liberty.” My blood sometimes almost boils at the treatment we receive. We are expected to love this Government. What has it done for us? Treated us more like a conquered people than as citizens, denied us our rights and sought to take the little liberty we have from us. Our form of government is the best under the sun; properly administered we and every one else would have all the freedom we could ask; but it is of those who administer it I complain.

22 May 1879 • Wednesday

Thursday, 23rd [22nd].

Accompanied Mr. Hendrick B. Wright of Penn. to the Dep’t. of Justice to see Judge Devens, the Attorney-General, about appointing a friend of his—Mr. Longstreet—who lives at Salt Lake City Chief Justice of Utah. He said it should be considered.

At the House.

Writing on “My first Mission.”

23 May 1879 • Thursday

Friday, 24th [23rd]

Writing on “My first Mission”

At the House. Private Bills from Committees. Afterwards the Silver Coinage Bill. Fillibustering to prevent its passage. A call of the House was ordered. A large number had to make excuses, very laughable.

24 May 1879 • Saturday

House in session all night and until 9 .a.m. fillibustering over the Silver Bill. Met again at noon. Passed the Bill and adjourned. Writing on “My First Mission.”

25 May 1879 • Sunday

Wrote to Geo. C. Lambert and enclosed copy of “My First Mission.” Reading. Showery day.

26 May 1879 • Monday

Met with the Senators and Members from Colorado, California, Oregon & Nevada and the Delegates from the Territories and the Com. of the Gen. Land Office, at the Office of the Sec’y. of the Interior, Carl Schurz, to discuss proper legislation for the Timber lands. The subject was referred to us to think over and to get up the best form of bill.

No session of the House to-day. In Cong. Library all afternoon.

In a letter from Elder Brigham Young, whose name is associated with mine as Editor and Publisher of the Deseret News, he says of my son John Q., who is working on the News as assistant editor, and who has acted in <other> different positions:

“John Q. is doing fine. I am pleased and satisfied with his deportment in every situation which he has occupied.”

These words are very gratifying to me.

27 May 1879 • Tuesday

At the Land Dept. Afterwards at the House. Passed the Bill for the prevention of yellow fever.

Looking up American Antiquities in the Library of Congress.

28 May 1879 • Wednesday

At the Dept’s.

Fillibustering during the morning hour and until 2 p.m. then took up District of Columbia business.

In the Congressional Library

30 May 1879 • Friday

Decoration Day. Very hot. Stayed at my rooms working at selections from Scriptures to print as tickets of reward for children.

Received letters from my wife Elizabeth and John Q. They were all well, though Elizabeth had been sick from a cold. She was improving again

31 May 1879 • Saturday

At the Dept’s. Spent the day in the congressional Library looking at Maps of Arabia and Central & South America in connection with my intended writing upon the Book of Mormon

Very hot.

Replied to letters received yesterday and wrote also to my son Abraham

Cash Account – May.


Parent Z.C.M.I.

Salt Lake City




Jan. 24

Notary for affidavits made by me on

Z.C.M.I & Brigham City



Feb. 7

Notary (Z.C.M.I.)




Printing Briefs

(Z. C. M. I.)







By cash paid to me by

Bro. Webber, sec’y. of Z.C.M.I. while at home at Conference



[In pencil] think this was am’t (see him)

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May 1879, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 16, 2024