The Church Historian's Press

February 1881

1 February 1881 • Tuesday

Stormed all night; snowing all day; very disagreeable. The House continued the Bill of yesterday. Telegraphed to John Q. asking about his Mother’s health and suggesting she and Sylvester and a nurse move up to the City if she will be more cheerful there. He replied that she was some better, that she had been up and had returned.

I wrote to her, enclosing $3750/100 for men’s board for five weeks, that is, till Mar. 14.

I had a remarkable conversation to-day with Hon. J. Floyd King of Louisiana, whose father [blank] of Georgia, was a man of talent and note, being very wealthy withal. He asked me our belief respecting intermarriage with inferior races, particularly the negro. I told him our views, with which he was delighted. He said such views would cause thousands to rally around us. He himself would fight for us, rather than we should be injured. He predicted great things for us in the future; that we believed in procreation and in preserving the purity of the dominant or pure Aryan race. He said that was the law of Moses. We would have a line of States yet in the Mountains that would be very strong. He related a conversation he had had with an intimate friend of his, Preston Johnson, a son of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnson, who in writing his Father’s life had written a chapter in which we were greatly misrepresented, in which he astonished Johnson by telling his views concerning us; he based his views respecting our future upon the idea that he had got from some quarter that we were opposed to miscegenation, and he told him he was going to ask me about it. He had been at a dinner with nearly a dozen Episcopal Bishops and he had greatly puzzled them by his questions respecting the condition of the races in heaven. Among other things he asked them if there were negro angels. He had been a strong advocate of religious instruction, had spent some $4,000 in Sunday Schools, but had become disgusted with the attitude of the churches upon this important question. He said all the churches taught or consented to miscegenation, and he felt it would be the destruction of every people who practiced it; they ought to be killed according to the law of Moses as he viewed it.

2 February 1881 • Wednesday

Wrote to my wives Sarah Jane, Eliza and Martha, to <my sons> John Q., to my son Angus J. and Hugh; also letters of introduction for Hon. E. Kirke Hart, Member of Congress from the Rochester Dist. N. Y., to Bro’s. Hooper, Jennings and Little. The House finished Dist. of Columbia Deficiency Bill and took up the Apportionment Bill, upon which Mr. S. S. Cox of N. Y. made a masterly speech. He was congratulated by very many of both sides. He is a man who never speaks without interesting his hearers, his learning is very extensive.

3 February 1881 • Thursday


Gov. Murray is announced as being in town. The House discussed the apportionment bill. Worked a little on Life of Nephi.

4 February 1881 • Friday


I was startled out of a sound sleep last night by the servant coming to my door and knocking sharply. A dispatch had arrived in cipher, which informed me that my notice of Contest had been received; McBride the lawyer was away from home having started East last Sunday; Jas. Sharp had gone to Frisco, Campbell’s last place of residence to serve notice and Sam. Hill had gone to Green River to try & find Campbell. Gov. Axtell called. Private Bill day.

5 February 1881 • Saturday

Mr. Adams, Clerk of the House, told me last evening that he would like to get my points of law on which I based my protest against Campbell’s certificate. Gen. Paine and I talked them over. Mr. Adams not having the Certificate I did not tell him all my points, as we feared if Murray & Co. should learn what they were they would get up another Certificate to cover them. Murray was on floor of the House. I had prepared a paper which I desired he should sign and Mr. Blackburn took it to him; but he declined. He gave Clerk Adams a copy of the Tribune containing his essay or proclamation upon the issuance of the Certificate & acknowledged it to be his and said it was spread of <on the> Records of the Ter. and an authenticated copy could be got. This evening I saw [him] in the company of three men at the Ebbitt House & spoke to him about Campbell’s whereabouts, if he knew where he was, told him how difficult it was to find him & that my time for service expired to-day and that I must get personal service, &c. I confess I was mischievous in doing this, for I had just before recd the word that he had been found at Green River & served. Among other remarks I said to the crowd I ought to be much obliged to Murray for adverstising me as he had done; if I had hired him it could not have been better. Somebody suggested something about the pay <my having paid him> and I replied Oh, no, I hadn’t paid him, but it was said Campbell had for the Certificate. He looked a little wild at this remark & merely said there had been no pay about it. I remarked: “Why, Governor, I am told Campbell’s an Irishman.” “Oh,” said he, “I reckon not.” Well, said I did you ask about his nationality, while you were so particular about mine? No one questioned <it,> he said. If you refused me the Certificate and did the same to him, I suppose you would have given it to McKim? (who got three votes) He suggested Bob. Williams in a partly joking <tone.> “Well,” said <to the others,> “Bob Williams is a crazy man and got one foot <vote> and it would have been in entire keeping with the whole performance to have given it to him.” I struck him hard; but did it in such a way that he couldn’t quarrel with me. Went to a Reception of Mrs. Morrell’s. She is an artist. Had a pleasant time.

6 February 1881 • Sunday


Ua hoole au i Ke ai.[I fasted today.] Reading and writing. Wrote, to [blank]

7 February 1881 • Monday


Called at the Dep’ts and at Gen. Paine’s. Conversed with latter respecting my case. Paid him $200, balance of $500.

Submitted Utah laws on subject of Certificates to Mr. Adams, Clerk of House. He emphatically condemned Murray’s action. Rules were suspended to pass some bills; others failed. Called upon Gov. Axtell in the evening. Received letters from my wife, Elizabeth and John Q. and Mary Alice. Her (E’s) health is very poor. I telegraphed home to know how she is.

8 February 1881 • Tuesday

Called at Gen. Paine’s. Appropriation bill and eulogies on Mr. Farr at the House. Wrote a number of letters. Anxious to get reply from dispatch sent home. My Father whispered peace to me in answer to my petitions respecting my wife’s health, which from all I hear is very poor. Had a tooth filled that I had injured the root of early in the session.

Bro. Dusenberry came back this evening. I was glad to see him.

9 February 1881 • Wednesday

The count of the electoral vote took place in the House to-day. The galleries were crowded. Ladies were admitted to the floor of the House. Received a dispatch informing me my wife’s health was better. Great relief, though I had not been so anxious on this point since early yesterday.

Sent for by Miss Snow, a sister of Mrs. Spofford of Riggs House. Bro. Dusenberry and I went. She said Mrs. Godbe had been telling falsehoods to the servants about what she had been charged, &c, and she feared she might have told us. We found she had left a very bad impression here and had left part of her bill unpaid. She <(Miss Snow)> thought she took morphine. I was annoyed to find how she had acted.

Mr. Sanders of Conn. is here[.] He is very desirous I should make them a visit after we adjourn.

10 February 1881 • Thursday

Rained all last night. House passed bills under a new rule which operates for an hour when the morning hour is set aside; then discussed River and Harbor Bill. Busy trying to arrange opposition to confirmation of Moses M. Bane as Receiver of Land Office at Salt Lake City. Received invitation from ex-Senator Patterson of S. C. to dine with him and some friends on Sunday next

In evening Judge Dusenberry and I went to see the Rivals; Joseph Jefferson took the part of Bob Acres. The House was jammed and the performance was capital.

Ex-Gov. Wood of Utah was on floor of Senate to-day.

11 February 1881 • Friday

I omitted to mention that on Wednesday morning last I called at the Dep’t of Justice and had an interview with Major Chase upon the subject of the claim of Sister Ira Eldredge to a portion of the Penitentiary lot. He could do nothing about it he said; but if he remained in the Dep’t. he would be out to Utah next Summer. He promised me to put on file statements respecting Gov. Murray’s conduct while U. S. Marshal in Kentucky that would “burst him.” He could not do this till the 4th of March. I called this morning to introduce Judge Dusenberry to him. Private Bill day at the House. I paid $14 to Mr. Spofford of the Riggs House to settle amount left unpaid by Mrs. Godbe. I did this because he and his wife had been very kind to our people and Mrs. G. had been sailing under our colors and I did not want them to feel they had been wronged by any one from Utah.

12 February 1881 • Saturday

The water from the Potomac is flooding the lower part of the city. It has made Penn. avenue impassable, being very high in places. At the House after the hour set apart for passing bills the River and Harbor Bill was taken up.

Wrote a letter to my son Abraham, from whom I received one to-day. Yesterday I sent letters to my wife Elizabeth and to John Q. and Mary Alice, also to Pres. Taylor.

13 February 1881 • Sunday

Reading. Dined at 5 p.m. with ex-Senator Patterson of S. C. and family at his house. He gave me the invitation a few days ago. I enjoyed the visit very much. Mrs. P. is an invalid. He was on the Com. on Ter. in the Senate when Baskin <and I> argued Utah affairs before that Com. He behaved very handsomely to me on that occasion. When he and friends came to Salt Lake I showed them attentions and they all became warm friends and defenders of ours through what they saw.

14 February 1881 • Monday

The House after the call of the States and Ter. and the Morning hour took up the Dist. of Columbia business. The death of Fernando Wood was announced as <having> occurred at Hot Springs, Ark., where he had gone for his health and the House adjourned. Mr. Wood has been very friendly to me and to our people.

As he was going out of the House for the last time, he stopped at my desk and I congratulated him on the passage of the Funding Bill which he had managed. We then spoke of his visiting Utah in the Summer, and he said “I am going to <make a strong> fight for you, and see that you get your rights, for you have been shamefully treated.” This was said in reference to the withholding of the Certificate from me.

15 February 1881 • Tuesday

Sent a dispatch home to learn about the health of my wife Elizabeth and the rest of my family. My son John Q. telegraphed that his Mother’s health was much better and the rest were well. At the House after the morning hour the River and Harbor Bill occupied attention until a few minutes before 9 o’clock p.m.

16 February 1881 • Wednesday

We took a recess last evening until 10 o’clock this morning; the River and Harbor bill occupied the day and at ½ past 5 the House took a recess until ½ past 7 in the evening.

Received a letter from my daughter-in-law, Mattie, Franklin’s wife, which I answered.

17 February 1881 • Thursday

We remained in session till 15 minutes past 2 this morning.

Met at 11 o’clock; took up the Apportionment bill.

In the library.

18 February 1881 • Friday

Rained heavily last night. The House took up the Agricultural Appropriation Bill.

In the library

In evening went with Brother Dusenberry and seen the Opera of Olivette. It was amusing.

19 February 1881 • Saturday

The House took up the Agricultural Bill, and adjourned at 2 p.m. to attend the funeral of Fernando Wood at his <late> residence. I had business with Gen. Paine, my lawyer, and did not go to the funeral, thinking also it would be very crowded.

I have had correspondence with a lawyer of the name of John H. Ward over Murray, he having commenced it. He wrote me a letter to-day which see and insert. Gen. Paine informs me Harlan was put on the bench by Hayes as a reward for his services at Cinncinnati where Hayes was nominated. He had gone to that convention loaded against Conkling and was to open on him in a speech if necessary, for this and his advocacy of his nomination H. elevated him to the Supreme Bench. In conversation with Chase this evening at <the> Riggs House, I pressed him for the papers against Murray, which I mentioned under date of 11th inst., and he said he would keep his promise to me that they would be where they could be reached by the 4th of March; but he was under promise that they should be kept back. When Hayes nominated Murray he requested Chase, so he told me, to keep those papers back; Mrs. Hayes wanted Murray nominated; but, said Chase, I am d__d sorry I did so. This brings to light a mess of corruption

20 February 1881 • Sunday


Writing <upon> an article for North American Review.

21 February 1881 • Monday

The House suspended rules to pass bills reported by Committees. In the Library[.]

Received letters from my wife Elizabeth and from my children, Mary Alice and David. I am happy to hear that E’s health is better. They all look forward joyfully to the time of my return.

Received a letter from my attorney at Salt Lake City, Arthur Brown.

Wrote to Elizabeth, Mary Alice & David.

22 February 1881 • Tuesday

Arose before light to work on my article for the North American Review.

Received a letter from my wife Eliza. Wrote to my wife, Sarah Jane and <daughter> Rose Annie.

Telegraphed to John Q, who answered that all were well.

The House discussed the Sunday Civil App. Bill. Took a recess <till 10 o’clock tomorrow.> In the library.

23 February 1881 • Wednesday

Received a dispatch informing me that the mandamus case was argued before Judge Twiss on Monday and he was to give his decision to-day. Met at 10 o’clock and continued work on Sundry Civil App. Bill.

In the library.

Miss Mann called upon me in relation to my article for the North American Review. It was she who prompted the editor to send the proposition to me to have an article written for it.

Arose this morning at a little before 5 o’clock to write. I must take this time as there are but few days remaining.

24 February 1881 • Thursday

Arose this morning about 5 o’clock to write upon my article.

Bro. Nuttall telegraphed that Judge Twiss had postponed the announcement of the decision till 2 p.m. to-day.

House started on Apportionment Bill. Republicans fillibustered and House remained in session all night.

25 February 1881 • Friday

Rose early this morning and wrote some, but had no spirit of it. House remained in session till 7 o’clock this morning. Had an invitation from President Hayes to grand reception to meet Diplomatic corps at White House <last evening;> but I have so little respect for him that I could not bring myself to go there.

House worked on Sunday Civil App. Bill.

Bro. Nuttall telegraphed that Twiss had sustained demurrer.

26 February 1881 • Saturday

Rose early and did some good work on my article for magazine.

House remained in session till ½ past 9 p.m. and got Sundry Civil Bill ready for a vote.

27 February 1881 • Sunday

Did no work to-day, a rule I have always observed when I had control of myself through my life, excepting such as writing an article for instruction of juveniles. I know that, however busy a man may be, he ought to observe the Sabbath as a day of worship and rest.

28 February 1881 • Monday

Rose early, but did not do much work.

At the House. In the evening eulogies were delivered on Hon. Fernando Wood.

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February 1881, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 14, 2024