The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

January 1880


Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1880

6 January

Attached newspaper clippings, such as about the Ladies’ Anti-Polygamy Society of Utah, that showed “falsehoods now being put in circulation against us”

24 March

Cannon’s low opinion of members of Congress, whose “proceedings of yesterday and to-day are altogether unworthy of a deliberative body of barbarians”

10 May

Sat between two former Confederate colonels who told of low Northern morals

5 June

A report of the Chicago convention “reads like a description of a scene from the reign of terror during the French Revolution.”

16 June

The Lord “has been my comfort and support here, . . . my rock of refuge.”

29 September

“Our enemies have been . . . threatening considerably what they would do to secure the delegateship of the Territory.”

2 December

View of Reverend Mr. Newman, whose portrait would be “a picture of lechery and hypocrisy”

6 December

“One of my teeth in front was a little loose and the gum at the root was inflamed and sore. I went to a dentist . . . who bored a hole in it . . . to let out the gas at the root.”

16 December

Inserted newspaper article: “Delegate Cannon’s Seat in Danger”

1 January 1880 • Thursday

The day was spent on the cars nothing of importance occurring to make it eventful. As I had a lunch basket with me, a precaution I thought necessary at this season of the year, I did not even eat the New Year’s dinner at a way station.

2 January 1880 • Friday

Reached Omaha on time. I took passage for Chicago on the C. & R. I. R.R. who had put on Pullman’s sleepers for the first time yesterday in place of their own. Enjoyed my evening meal on the Dining car, having had only a light breakfast and no dinner.

3 January 1880 • Saturday

Rained heavily through the night and to-day. Reached Chicago on time. Sent my baggage to the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. Depot and went to the Grand Pacific Hotel where I had a bath and took dinner. Started for Washington at 9.40 p.m.

4 January 1880 • Sunday

Had for fellow-passengers, Col. G. L. Fort and wife, of Ill., Mr. Davis of Chicago, Mr. Washburn of Minn. – all Members of the House – also Gen. Belknap, Grant’s Sec. of War, and late at Newark Col. Rodgers, Private Sec. of Pres. Hayes, with whom I had an interesting conversation concerning our affairs.

5 January 1880 • Monday

Reached Washington at 7.50 this morning. As I had telegraphed my wife when I would be due, she sent the colored boy to meet me and carry my valise. I was very glad to see my wife and two daughters, Mary Alice and Emily, and they were rejoiced to see me. My wife’s health has improved a little, though I did not think her so well as I hoped to find her. I felt very fatigued with my journey. I had traveled 2,400 miles to reach home and the same distance to return, with a six days stop at-home, during which time I was so busy that I did not have any rest. This caused me to feel more tired to-day than I ever remembered being from the same journey before.

6 January 1880 • Tuesday

The House met at 12 M. to-day. The morning hour was occupied by reports of Committees. Nothing else of any moment was done.

I wrote to Bro. B. F. Cummings, Jr., at Boston, respecting coming here to stay with me to assist me, President Taylor having spoken to me upon the subject.

I also wrote to Bro. W. W. Riter.

To show the character of the falsehoods now being put in circulation against us I clip the following Salt Lake dispatch to the N. Y. Herald from its columns: I scarcely need add that all said about division has not even a shadow of truth.

DEFIANT MORMONS.

(by telegraph to the herald.)

Salt Lake City, Utah, Jan. 5, 1880.

The new Mormon Tabernacle, which has been three years in course of erection, was opened on Saturday by the Saints in a Conference which continued till yesterday afternoon, during which the supporting priesthood renewed their covenants to preserve the faith, instructions and fame of the Church. Before the close of the services Apostle President Taylor attacked the enemies of polygamy, severely censuring the nation for opposition to the choice institution of Mormonism, which, he maintained, was a divine institution, saying the Lord had told him so and made him become a polygamist. Now he wanted to see whether Heaven or Uncle Sam was going to prevail; for his part he was going to stick to the Lord. He insisted that polygamy was the true exercise of the Latter Day faith, and defied the United States to abolish it. He averred that no nation on earth could prevent it, nor all the nations combined. The tabernacle was crowded. He called for an expression from the audience, which embraced five thousand people at least, asking them to raise their right hands before God if they sympathized with him in his defiance of governmental interference. The enthusiasm was intense. All hands but one went up. Mothers even lifted aloft the hands of their children. Apostle Joseph T. Smith followed, speaking in the same strain and exhibiting the same defiant attitude. The whole affair now simmers down to the question, Shall President Hayes and Congress submit to this impudent bluff, or shall they advance with civilization and sweep off this foul blot of barbarism from the domain of the United States?

quarrels among the apostles.

Delegate Cannon seems to have accomplished little with his associate apostles, for they are as defiant as ever. Before he left for Washington he said to a gentleman here that he was satisfied that either polygamy must go or that the Mormons had to go. The Delegate is in an awkward position and he realizes it. He has to speak sense among sensible men in Washington, while his apostle chief indulges here in rebellious rubbish. There has been current here for two weeks a report that the apostles were seriously divided on general church policy, and that Delegate Cannon was called from Washington to take part in an important deliberation. The chief apostle wants to step into Brigham Young’s shoes, and be President, Prophet, Seer and Revelator of the whole Church. Apostle Smith claims that as the nephew of the founder of Mormonism he is entitled to the highest position. Apostle Orson Pratt claims that he is the oldest apostle, and that Taylor is only at the head because Brigham had a grudge against him, Pratt. They are in a nice muddle.

utah politics.

The political caldron is also agitated over the meeting of Congress. It is understood here that Secretary Sherman advances Ewing for Governor, in place of Emery, with the view of working up delegates to the National Republican Convention. The soldier element favors a third term for the ex-President; but the active republicans under Tribune tuition are for Blaine.

[End of clipping]

[A second clipping in a different font]

Delegate Cannon, of Utah, is more to be pitied than any other man in Congress. He goes to Utah, hears a lot of insane twaddle from a crowd of polygamous howlers who have not talked with reasonable men for a quarter of a century, then he returns to Washington, takes his seat in the House among other intelligent beings, and is as utterly unable to represent his Territory to her material or moral benefit as if he were at the South Pole.

7 January 1880 • Wednesday

Reports of Committees occupied the attention of the House to-day. Had an interesting talk with Judge Jacob Ambler of Ohio, who I with whom I became acquainted when he was a Member of the 42nd Congress. He was opposed to and voted against the Cullom bill and was always in favor of our receiving fair treatment. He declined to come to Congress. The life did not suit him. He felt that it was to some extent a sacrifice of his independence.

I clip the following from the Washington correspondence of the New York Herald:

Washington, Jan. 6, 1880.

anti-polygamy ladies of utah moving

against delegate cannon.

The Ladies’ Anti-Polygamy society of Utah, an organized association of ladies designed to aid in the suppression of polygamy, have sent here for presentation to the House of Representatives a memorial asking the expulsion of George Q. Cannon, the Territorial Delegate from Utah. It gives the number of his wives at four, their names, and the number of children each has, the aggregate being about twenty. A Mrs. Cook, formerly a Mormon, leads as president of the society, and Mrs. Chislett, a former member of the Church, is secretary. The remainder of the officers are mostly Gentile ladies, among them Mrs. Hallister, sister of Schuyler Colfax. The society is

[End of clipping]

8 January 1880 • Thursday

The House after the morning hour discussed the new rules. The following Memorial from the anti-polygamy society at Salt Lake City was sent to each of the Members of Congress. McBride and Merritt, lawyers from Salt Lake City, one an ex-Member from Oregon, the other an ex-Delegate from Idaho, were on the floor of the House to-day. Gov. Emery was also there. I received the pleasing news this evening of the birth of a daughter on New Year’s day, my wife Martha having been safely delivered on that day. My wife Sarah Jane and my daughter Hester both wrote me, letters which I was very glad to receive.

[Attached clipping]

MEMORIAL.

To the Honorable the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States:

Your petitioners, the Woman’s Anti-Polygamy Society of Utah, respectfully ask that George Q. Cannon, delegate from this Territory, be expelled from your Honorable body, for the following reasons:

He is one of the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church, an organization which politically dominates the Territory of Utah, and which claims to be above the laws of the country.

He and his fellow apostles have long taught and practiced polygamy in contravention of an act of Congress which makes it a felony.

Until within a year he has pretended to believe the anti-polygamy law unconstitutional, and has given that as one reason for disregarding it. Now that the Supreme Court has decided it to be constitutional, he still disobeys it, continuing to defy the national authority.

Although he promised in his published utterance in Washington to use his influence with his followers to discontinue the shameful practice, if past offenses were condoned, he afterwards came to Salt Lake and not only urged polygamy upon his hearers in the Mormon Tabernacle, but recommended that they marry wives in pairs.

He has repeatedly promulgated it in his sermons or addresses to the Mormons, and as editor of the Deseret News, (which position he lately resigned) he published it continually.

George Q. Cannon was elected to Congress because he is one of the ablest and most strenuous upholders of this disgraceful institution. He is now serving his fourth term. His presence in Washington among the national law-makers is a great encouragement to his fellow polygamists, and his repeated re-election to such a high and honorable position is in pursuance of a threat made by the late Brigham Young, that he would “thrust polygamy down the throats of the American people.”

George Q. Cannon is married to four wives, although he cowardly denied it before a committee of a former House, lives with them openly and introduces them as such. Their names and the number of their children are as follows:

First wife, Elizabeth Hoagland Cannon has six children, four sons and two daughters.

Second wife, Sarah Jane Jenny, has four sons and one daughter.

Third wife, Eliza Tinney, has two children, boys.

Fourth wife, Martha Tilley, has five children, twin girls and three boys.

Your petitioners would further represent that the flood of petitions presented to the last Congress from all parts of our beloved country, asking for legislation for the suppression of polygamy, the attention paid to the subject by Secretary Evarts in his circular to our Ministers at foreign courts, the recommendation of the President in his late message, and the general tone of the press in discussing the question, all indicate that the time is ripe for the final solution of this Mormon problem. We do not assume too much in saying that the people of the United States look to you for that solution; and that you can commence your work in no more effective manner than by expelling George Q. Cannon from your honorable body.

We would further represent that the law of 1862 needs amending so as to make the continuous living together of men and women in polygamous relations the offense, and not the ceremony of marriage. Our reasons are in part as follows:

The Mormon people enter into these polygamous relations in secret, and the prosecuting officers of the Government find it impossible to procure evidence, because all the participants in, and witnesses of, the ceremony, are sworn to secrecy, and, upon examination, either refuse to testify, or testify falsely. Mormon men are now marrying polygamous wives, frequently girls in their minority, leaving them at home with their parents, and keeping it secret until three years shall have expired, when they will openly acknowledge them, which, in the present state of the law, they can do with impunity. Another way is to marry two women at once, giving precedence to neither.

It should be provided that such proof as would be necessary to establish a civil marriage should be sufficient to establish a polygamous or felonious marriage.

With these amendments to the law the evasions indicated would be impossible, and we believe it would be in the power of the National Government to arrest the further growth of this vile system. We respectfully urge upon your honorable body their early consideration, and as in duty bound your petitioners will ever pray.

The foregoing petition was adopted by the Woman’s Anti-Polygamy Society, at a special meeting called for the purpose, December 12th, 1879.

S. A. Cooke, President

M. Chislett, Secretary

Fannie A. S. Allen, First Vice President.

Jennie A. Froiseth, Second Vice President.

Hattie K. Bane, Corresponding Secretary.

M. E. B. Green, Treasurer.

E. M. Fisher,

C. S. Hollister,

L. C. Douglas, Executive Committee.

C. A. Smith,

S. Boukofsky,

M. A. Lloyd.

[End of clipping]

9 January 1880 • Friday

Private Bill day. House kept in session till 4 p.m. Finished letters to my wives, Sarah Jane and Martha.

10 January 1880 • Saturday

At the Treasury Dep’t. Had a call from Miss McDavitt, sister of Mrs. Ketcham, the sculptress. They are going to Iowa, their home. Sent for my bust, which the folks thought an excellent likeness.

11 January 1880 • Sunday

Busy writing on an article for home to-day. In evening called with Elizabeth and children upon Mrs. Ketcham and her sister. Found the former suffering from neuralgia in her body, particularly in her back and bowels.

12 January 1880 • Monday

Met at the Delegates’ Com. Room; no quorum present and no business was transacted. Call of the States and Territories for Bills &c. Had a conversation with J. Proctor Knott, Chairman of Com. on Judiciary about Bills against Utah which had been referred to that Com. He said Willets of Mich. would have to be on the sub-Com. to consider these Bills, as he was the introducer of them; but he wanted two Democrats associated with him who would oppose the proposed legislation. We mentioned Culberson and Hurd. He said he would talk with them. He would like to make a speech in <on> my case if <my> expulsion were proposed[.]

Mahope ua nonoi mai ia’u e loan ia ia eha haneri dala no <nalahe> Kanaono. Ua haawi mai oia ia’u i Kana note noua mau haneri dala la, [Afterwards he asked me to loan him four hundred dollars for sixty days. He gave me his note for this amount.]

(This he afterwards paid)

13 January 1880 • Tuesday

Attended meeting of Com. on Ter., no quorum present.

14 January 1880 • Wednesday

Met with two confreres – Dick and of Penn. and Cravens of Ark. – to examine bill referred to us which was introduced by Bennett of Dakota to increase the salary of the Judge of the 1st Dis. in that Ter. $2,500 to be paid by the counties comprising that district. Bennett met with us. I do not like the proposition. Why should Congress be asked to do this, when they have a <local> Legislature which understands the entire case far better than Congress can? I believe in home rule.

15 January 1880 • Thursday

After morning hour discussed the <new> rules. In evening <I> was interviewed by Mr. Morgan of the Baltimore Bulletin. He had been in Utah for some months and was greatly pleased with the people. John Q. has advised us of his engagement to marry Annie Wells[.] He had also secured the consent of her parents. I wrote him at length upon the subject.

16 January 1880 • Friday

Private Bill day. Had interesting letters from my son Abraham. He is at Ludvigshaven in Germany. He is detained by a sore heel. I wrote him at length.

In evening met at Mr. Frost of Missouri’s room at Willards in company with him, Muldrow of Miss., chairman of Com on Ter. and Humphrey of Wis. as a sub-Com. to consider the Bill to organize the Indian Ter into the Ter of Oklahoma. We three found reasons to oppose the Bill and Frost to favor it.

17 January 1880 • Saturday

Revised an interview <with me> which Mr. Wight of the Chicago Tribune had written out. House not in Session. Attended session of Indian Committee by permission in order to get the all that would be said respecting the “Mormons” having participated in the Ute outbreak by stirring them up to hostility against the Gov.

18 January 1880 • Sunday

Spent a quiet day, reading, &c.

19 January 1880 • Monday

Bro. B. F. Cummings, Jr., arrived here this morning. He had written to Pres. Taylor about passing through Washington on his way home and if he could be of any service to me he would be glad to render it. Pres. T. spoke to me about it, and I told him perhaps he could be of use. There are several things he can do just now, and I had been in correspondence with him about coming here. Call of the States and Territories. At 2 p.m. the District of Columbia Com. had the floor.

Had a call from ex-Gov. Emery of Utah. He is terribly disgusted with Hayes. He promised to send in his name for re-appointment; but instead he has sent in that of Eli H. Murray of K’y. Emery says Hayes’ policy in regard to Utah is all wrong. He has told him and the Members of his Cabinet and other leading men. He would like a county in the Ter. named after him.

20 January 1880 • Tuesday

Met with Com. on Ter. this morning. Discussed various bills. As the call of the States and Territories was not completed yesterday it was resumed to-day. Willets of Mich. introduced a bill to regulate suffrage in the Territories and to provide a registration law for Utah. This man, had he power, shows the disposition to destroy us. We shall see how much success he will have at this business.

21 January 1880 • Wednesday

Wrote several letters. At the House. After the morning hour, which was consumed in the discussion of the financial question, the discussion upon the rules was resumed. Had a call from Mr. Lamson of Philadelphia, a relative of Sister Jos. L. Heywood’s and whose daughter Keatie had come down to the Sates on a visit and was with them here now. I called upon them at the Ebbitt House after dinner in company with my wife and daughters and Bro. Cummings. Had a very pleasant visit.

22 January 1880 • Thursday

A gloomy morning. At the House. A bill introduced by Com. on Banking and Currency which had occupied the morning hour for several days was defeated this morning. After which the House resumed the discussion of the Rules.

The Hotel has many additional guests, women who have come to attend the Suffrage Convention which commenced its session yesterday.

23 January 1880 • Friday

Galleries crowded this morning with the expectation of hearing Mr. Horr of Mich. speak in reply to S. S. Cox of N. Y. who in a witty speech yesterday held him up to ridicule. It was generally felt that Mr. Cox had overstepped the bounds of good taste and courtesy in his speech yesterday in alluding to Messrs. Reagan (of Texas) and Kenna (of West Va.), but especially in his allusions to Mr. Horr, and as this latter has the reputation of being a “funny man”, considerable interest was felt in his reply. The House expected fun and they were quite willing it should be at Cox’s expense. Horr created a great laughter; but I think witty speeches seldom satisfactory, especially when people have an expectation, and are prepared, to hear them. Private bill day.

24 January 1880 • Saturday

Wrote to my sons John Q. & Abraham. Took <my daughters> Mary Alice and Emily to the Capitol.

25 January 1880 • Sunday

Wrote to my wives, and spent the day reading and conversing.

26 January 1880 • Monday

Met with Ter. Delegates.

Call of States and Ter. Short session. Received letters from Pres. Taylor, and F. S. Richards and Judge Williams, informing me that Van Zile, the U. S. District Attorney, was getting copies of indictments and proceedings against me at the request of Willets of Mich. to send to him, the object evidently being to see what materials can be procured to use towards expelling me from the House.

27 January 1880 • Tuesday

Met with Com. on Ter., a quorum present. Discussed a bill to prohibit the Sec. of the Int. and the Com. of Indian Affairs from removing Indians from other parts of the country to the Indian Territory without the consent of Congress.

Bro. Spencer Clawson and Sisters Clarissa and Charlotte Talula Young called upon me at the House. They came here last evening. I spent all the time I could with them showing them around. I introduced them to the Vice Pres. Took them, Bro. Cummings and my wife and Mary Alice to the Theatre. Fanny Davenport played Rosalind in “As you like it.” The whole performance was very good.

28 January 1880 • Wednesday

Took the visitors and Bro. Cummings through the Treasury and the White House. I left them to introduce themselves to Mr. Hayes; his conduct in our affairs has been so inimical and inexcusable, proposing our disfranchisement in his message and urging it upon Members as the proper thing to do, that I feel as though I never want to touch his hand or see him again if I can help it. They found they would have to wait sometime to see him, and withdrew without.

After the morning hour the House discussed the rules till 3 o’clock, then indulged in eulogies of Zachariah Chandler, late U. S. Senator from Mich.

The visitors called upon us this evening. They left for N. Y. at 9.40 p.m.

29 January 1880 • Thursday

Met with the Com. on Indian Affairs this morning. Gov. Pitkin of Col. was giving testimony. As our people had been accused of inciting these Indians to <commit> these outrages I was desirous of hearing the testimony, and Gen. Scales of North Carolina, the chairman, had kindly invited me to meet with them. In private conversation after the session Gov. Pitkin opened the subject himself and said he was satisfied the stories circulated about the Mormons having anything to do with these troubles were calumnies.

After the morning hour the House discussed the new rules. I wrote a reply to Geo. B. Cannon’s letter of inquiry as to my lineage, which with his letter to me insert here. He is an attorney at London, Ohio.

30 January 1880 • Friday

Met with the Com. on Indian Affairs again this morning. Gov. Pitkin continued his testimony. There was nothing new. Private Bill day. I sent a dispatch to my son John Q. and received a reply very quickly, inform ing me they all were well.

31 January 1880 • Saturday

At the Dept. of Justice about Bro. Groesbeck’s rent for the Court Room, &c. At the Land Dep’t. and Patent Office. House met; attended to some desultory business, dispensed with the morning hour and devoted the remainder of the session to eulogizing Rush Clarke, M. C. from Iowa.

Cash Account – January.

Date.

T. in T.

I

Received.

I

Paid.

Nov. 24

1879

By cash pr. Jas. Jack

500

00

Dec. 8

To cash for sub. to K’y. paper

2

00

19

″ ″ ″ Capital, &c

50

00

1880 Jan.1

By Tithing on coupons

159

00

″ ″ ″ dividend

120

00

″ ″ ″ U. S. Bond

30

50

4

″ ″ ″ Salary

41

70

14

To Balt. Bulletin

12

00

21

″ Women’s convention

10

00

23

″ Miss Anthony

10

00

″ 2 Nautical Almanack

2

00

Feb. 6

″ Trip to Phil. to see T. L. K.

15

86

4

By Tithing on salary

41

70

Mar. ″

″ ″ ″ ″

41

60

Feb. 28

To Hugh Weightman

50

00

Mar. 13

″ Cash B. F. C. Jr.

40

00

17

″ speeches

2

50

″ Arctic explorations

1

75

18

″ N. Y. papers

10

20

Apl. 4

By tithing on salary

41

70

1

″ ″ on <U.C.R.R.> dividend

120

00

5

To expenses of B. F. C. Jr.

000

00

000

00

1096

20

206

31

Cash Account – January.

Date.

I

Received.

I

Paid.

1096

20

206

31

To L. Snow’s dispatch

1

00

″ Rev. Stat. & Stat. at

Large

10

35

Apl 5

″ expenses of B. F. C. Jr.

149

50

6

″ papers

1

50

May 4

By Tithing on

41

70

Ap. 26

To cash (speeches)

10

00

″ 27

″ present Hon. B. W. Wilson

5

50

May 4

″ expenses of B. F. C. Jr.

45

45

Ap. 17

″ Loan to Barton (Post)

30

00

May 4

″ Papers

2

84

″ Postage estate warrants

52

21

″ Speeches

10

50

28

″ Mrs. Ward

40

00

″ Morgan

10

00

June 4

By Tithing

41

60

To expenses of B. F. C. Jr.

39

00

9

″ postage (estate)

58

14

″ Frank Morgan

15

00

16

By Tithing on Stationery

12

50

To Books (Anglion & Co.)

246

50

18

″ paper (Geo. Reynolds)

2

00

10

″ expenses of B. F. C. Jr.

12

00

1192

00

838

55