Sunday, May lst, 1881 Weather very lovely. Myself and wife called this morning before meeting on Sister Tarbett, and Bro and Sis Waterson and family. There sisters were well acquainted with all my father’s and mother’s people, and knew my grandparents as well as my parents. We also paid our respects to Mother Thatcher, who is living with her sister in a house adjoining Brother Preston’s. Her sister is an old maid, and recently came from the states. We also called on Brother and Sister Preston, they having been old acquaintances of ours in California,[.] While I was there laboring in the ministry and presiding over the mission those of Brother Thatcher’s family who were not in the Church were baptized, also Brother Preston
People from the surrounding settlements came to meeting, and thronged the tabernacle to overflowing[.] The forenoon was occupied by Bro. Joseph F. Smith and myself. I had great liberty in addressing the congregation, as did Brother Smith. By invitation myself and wife and Bro. Woodruff ate dinner at Brother Preston’s, Prest Taylor having been invited elsewhere[.] This dinner recalls the memory of the last meal that myself and wife ate at Bro. Preston’s[.] It was in September, 185
68. They were residing then in Payson, Utah County, having come on from California the previous winter. Bro. John B. Thatcher was residing with them[.] I had been appointed by Prest Young, when the Saints abandoned Salt Lake City before Johnson’s army came in, to take the press and type of the Deseret News to Fillmore, and issue the paper there[.] I remained there from April to September, and being recalled, I started north to the city, having at the time two wives, Elizabeth and Sarah Jane and one child,—John Q. Sarah Jane had been sealed to me a few days before we left Salt Lake City. My brother David was with us, he being but a boy at that time, and lived with me.
When we reached the little creek now called Spring Lake, three miles from Payson, one of my teams stuck in the mud. After wading up to our waists in water and breaking the fifth chain and the double trees, we succeeded in getting out, and reached Payson about noon. It was Monday. While we were unhitching at Brother Preston’s door John Bullwinkle drove up in a carriage, and handed me a note from Prest Young, which informed me that I had been appointed on a mission to the states, and that the company was waiting for me to go with it, and would start the next morning from Salt Lake City, that being the day on which I received the note. He told me he was going to feed his team and get some dinner, after which he would return. I asked him how long it would take. He thought half an hour. I told him if he would come back in that time I would be ready to accompany him. I got my blankets and pistols out of my wagon, at the same time my wife Elizabeth got out some clothing and packed it in a carpet bag. I was then ready for my mission. Sister Preston had prepared dinner, and we all sat down to table, but it was very little that any of us could eat, my wives being greatly affected at the idea of my sudden departure and leaving them in such poor circumstances, for then I did not own a house anywhere to furnish them shelter. I took my wife and baby John Q. in the carriage with me, and started to the city, 68 miles distant. I explained to her on the journey how to manage; this was no great task, for we had very little to manage with. We travelled all night, and reached Salt Lake City about daybreak on Tuesday. After breakfast, I went to the President’s Office, and President Young expressed great pleasure upon meeting me, and at the readiness with which I complied with the call. Brother Heber C. Kimball came in shortly afterwards, and the President turned to Brother Heber and said, “Did I not tell you Brother George would come?” This expression from the lips of President Young more than repaid me for the trouble I had been to in making the journey so quickly after receiving the word. Having no preparations to make other than those I had made, I was ready to start immediately. Provisions for the journey were in the wagon it being a Church team driven by Bro. Horton C. Haight. The company consisted of Brother H S. Eldridge, wife and daughter Zina, Jos. W. Young, Frederick Kesler, Horton C. Haight and myself. The first sleep I got after this was in Emigration Canon. I was absent on this mission two years lacking a few days. I labored part of the time under the direction of Col. Thos. L. Kane, my duties being to allay the excitement existing in the east concerning us, and to disabuse the public mind of the falsehoods which had been circulated, and which had prompted the Administration, with President Buchanan at its head, to send an army to Utah. It was very remarkable about this matter, that some months previous to my being called, I dreamed every particular connected with it, and my mind at the time was vividly impressed that I would be called upon to perform this mission. But hearing nothing of it for sometime, it had gradually faded from my memory, and it was not until I got into President Young’s office and received my letter of appointment telling me what he wanted me to do, that the dream came back to me[.] The very words that the President said to me had been told to me in my dream, and I dreamed exactly as it afterwards occurred. My wife Elizabeth was so impressed with this dream that she could not shake it off. I found her crying many times alone, believing that I would have to go on this mission. While I was absent, she had a son, Abraham H. Cannon, and my wife Sarah Jane had a son, Franklin J. Cannon. Although I had but little means to leave with them for their support, they succeeded in struggling through without suffering beyond what they could comfortably bear during my absence.
The afternoon meeting was occupied by presenting and voting for the authorities, the calling of missionaries, and hearing remarks from Elder Young and President Taylor Brothers Jos. A. West and Joseph Stanford came from Ogden for the purpose of having a conversation with the First Presidency respecting the waterworks at Ogden. They and other brethren with them hold the control of the stock in that Company. They were in a position which compelled them to sell a portion of this stock if not all of it. They had made a proposition to the City Council of Ogden to buy, but that body declined to do so, and they wanted permission to sell to outsiders. This was counsel which we could not give them, because we felt that it would lead to difficulty. After listening to them, Prest Taylor told them that he would think the matter over and see what could be done[.]
A little after five o’clock we started for Hyde Park, Bishop Marion Lewis driving the carriage in which Brother Smith and myself and wife rode. Brother Preston, in view of my wife’s condition, obtained the loan of Brother Moses Thatcher’s covered carriage in which we rode very comfortably. We were invited by Brother Simpson Molen to stop at his house. Brother Molen’s wife Jane, who is a daughter of Brother Wm. Hyde, had been a pupil of my wife, and was therefore well acquainted with her. We had a most delightful time. Sister Molen had been to the Sandwich Islands, Bro. Molen having been a missionary there twice. They had a native boy living with them, and two white persons, one a little girl, and other a young man, all of whom could speak the Sandwich Island language[.] We had a fine time talking over Sandwich Island matters, relating reminiscences, and talking the language. Attended meeting. The house was crowded. The speakers were Elders George Reynolds, Prest W. Woodruff, myself and Prests Smith and Taylor. The instructions were very pointed, and there was a good flow of the Spirit. Considerable was said respecting the nature of the testimony which the Latter-day Saints receive through obedience to the Gospel; and the young people were cautioned against indulging in arguments or pursueing works or papers which contain slanderous falsehoods concerning the truth, and against arguing in favor of ideas which they did not believe, as some are inclined to do, believing that by doing so they can bring out the truth in stronger colors.
Monday, May 2nd, 1881 We enjoyed our night’s rest. Started about nine o’clock to Smithfield. On arriving there, we stopped at Bishop Farrell’s. The meeting-house was filled, and a large number of people were on the outside. The speakers position was arranged so that all could hear. Bro. Woodruff made a few remarks, after which I spoke, followed by Prests Taylor and Smith. The remarks were very spirited, and enjoyable. After dinner, we went to view the foundation of the new meeting-house, part of the material for which is already on the ground. We then drove down to Bro. Woodruff’s house, a little frame which he has put up for his wife Sarah and family who are residing here. He has about forty acres of land here, which they cultivate. We then drove to Richmond, and put up in company with Prests. Taylor and Smith at Bro. Merrill’s, who is First Counsellor to Prest Preston. He is very comfortably situated, and is a good specimen of an enterprising polygamist as can be found—a sturdy, industrious, reliable man, who manages his affairs wisely, and sets a
n good example to all the Saints. At least, that is my observation of him. He has a large family; his sons are all very industrious. He has comfortable outbuildings, which show that he takes care of his stock, his vehicles and machinery. Upon stepping to his door on my last visit to his house, I was struck with its elegance for a country place. His parlor was furnished with great taste, the walls are beautifully papered, the carpet rich and the furniture very fine. I stood a while at the door and lifting up my hands I said, “All this, and heaven too!” I was reminded of the remark as soon as I stepped into the room this time; and said to Bro Merrill and his wife that it was this room that called forth that remark upon my last visit. They remembered it, and both of them said that they scarcely ever entered that room without thinking of that remark. I turned to Sister Merrill and said to her, “Sister Merrill, you shall have all this, and I can promise you that you shall have heaven besides.”
The meeting this evening was largely attended, and was addressed by Elders George Reynolds, Richard Taylor, Geo. F. Gibbs, John Smith, Jos. F. Smith and Prest Taylor. Prest Taylor, before arising, asked me to speak; but I told him that as the time was so far gone I preferred letting him occupy it all, feeling that the people would rather hear him than me. It was after ten o’clock when he finished, but before sitting down he made a motion that I arise and make a speech, and called upon the people to vote for it, which they did. I then spoke for fifteen minutes.
Tuesday, May 3rd, 1881 Brother Brower, with two of his wives, his first wife, and his wife whose name was Humphreys, with whom I had been acquainted from boyhood, he having been foreman in the printing office at Nauvoo when I was an apprentice there, who also crossed the plains in the same company in which myself and wife travelled. We were joined last night by Bro. Joseph F. Smith’s wife, Sarah, who staid at Logan. Bro. Lewis who had driven our carriage up to this point, rode with his uncle, and Bro. Jos. F. Smith drove the team. This gave a seat for his wife. We were met on entering Franklin by the Sunday School children, drawn up in two lines with their banners, who greeted us warmly, and who, when we reached the meetinghouse, sung us a song of welcome outside the house. We stopped at the house of Sister Hatch, the mother of the present bishop, and left our things there while we attended meeting. There was a mixed congregation today—Latter-day Saints, apostates and Gentiles; all three classes were represented on the stand, the usher having sent them as there was room there, and none in the body of the hall. I spoke first, but it was hard work, compared with some other places; still I succeeded before sitting down in freeing my mind and securing the attention of the congregation which seemed quite difficult in the beginning I was followed by Prests Smith, Woodruff and Taylor. Myself and wife and Geo. Reynolds and his wife dined at Bro. Webster’s, who represented this country in the Legislature of Idaho. I knew Bro. Webster in Boston, while presiding in the east in 1859–60, and was glad to see him take such a course that he had taken to gain the confidence of the Saints. They treated us with exceeding kindness, and he drove us down to the track to get on the special train which awaited us. The case of Brother John Cronish who had been cut off seven years ago for disobedience to counsel came up. His parents were from the Isle of Man, and he was born there. He had acted very stubbornly, but had never joined our enemies. He desired to be baptized, and received good counsel from Prest Taylor, and the rest of us as to the course he should take to make the proper amends. We left Franklin at three o’clock[.] Sister Woodruff, who had joined us at Smithfield, parted from us here, she returning to her home at Smithfield by carriage. On arriving at Logan, we were joined by Sister Pratt, who remained here visiting her daughter, who is teaching school. At Mendon, Bishop Hughes met us with carriages, and we were assigned to our quarters. My wife and myself put up with Bro. Sohner’s. Bro and Sis Sohner had for neighbors Bro and Sis Hardman, who took dinner with us at Bro Sohner’s. We were treated with exceeding kindness, the family feeling much honored at our stopping with them. They are very comfortably situated. The meeting this evening was a very lively one. All the company, excepting Prest Woodruff, whose lungs were affected by cold, and R. J. Taylor spoke, and all excepting Prest Taylor, occupied not more than 16 or 17 minutes. I felt exceedingly well in speaking
At eight o’clock a m we left Mendon by special car for Ogden, and reached that place at 10: 30. At this place a dispatch was sent to Bro. Calder who started east this morning, informing him that Bro. Staines at New York was sick, and desired some one to be sent on to take charge of the emigration business; he was requested to do so until further instructions. A dispatch had been received yesterday from Bro. Staines to the effect that he was sick and he wished somebody to be sent immediately to take charge of the business. He was informed that Bro. Cal[d]er had gone east, and had been instructed to take charge for the present. Bro. Staines, requested him to advise us as to his health.
Prest Taylor desired President Jos. F Smith and myself to meet with Bros. Peery, Farr, Mayor Herrick, and some members of the City Council and talk with them concerning the water works, and use our good offices to have the City Council purchase Jos. A. West’s and Lorenzo and Chas. C. Richards’ shares in that company, theirs being the majority of the stock, as we felt that the City Council should have the control of the water works. He himself had had some conversation with Bros. Peery and Farr upon the subject. He then went to his mill, accompanied by Bro. George Reynolds. We had a meeting with President D. H. Peery, Lorin Farr and Chas. F. Middleton—the latter a member of the City Council,—at F D. Richard’s office[.] Bro Heerick was absent. Bro. Woodruff and Bro. Richards were present with Bro. Smith and myself. We canvassed the subject, and suggested that the City Council meet the brethren of the Water Company informally and see if they could not reach some basis by which they (the Water Co) could sell and the City Council could buy the control of the works. We took dinner and supper at Bro. Richards’. Myself and wife called upon the widow of Bro. Chauncey W. West (Sister Mary Ann Covington that was.) We also called upon Bro. Peery and family. Sister Jane Richards and her daughter Josephine were absent at North Ogden, but her daughters-in-law in company with Bro. Richards, did everything they could to make the party comfortable. We reached the city at twenty minutes past eight o’clock. My son John Q. met us at the station with my buggy. We drove to his house, thinking to stop all night, but we learned that he had sent word home that we were coming tonight, and we drove down home. I found my wife Sarah Jane’s little boy quite bad with whooping-cough. She was very glad indeed to see me.
Thursday, May 5th, 1881 I was at the office today. Dispatches were received from Bro. Calder and Bro. Staines, that of Bro. Calder’s intimating his willingness to do what was required, and that of Bro. Staines informing us that he was no worse, and requesting that his family should not come on to him. In company with Prest Taylor, I called upon Sister Staines, and informed her respecting the news. She had not heard anything about it. We also called at Sister Barrett’s. I dined with Prest Taylor[.] Attended to correspondence[.] Several of my children are afflicted with whooping-caugh.
Friday, May 6th, 1881 I was at the office all day, and, in company with Presidents Taylor and Smith and Bishops Hunter and Hardy, set apart Bro. Richard J. Taylor to act for the present as Bishops Agent at Ogden in the Weber Stake, I being mouth. His father desired that he should not be ordained at present, but merely set apart to see how he should discharge the duties of that position. If he proved himself capable, then he should be ordained, if not, he was told that he must not have feelings if he were removed. Sister Staines called with Sister Barrett. She had received a telegram from her husband informing her that he was better than he had been.
Elders David C. Dunbar Oscar Hunter, W. W. Jackson and John L. Jones, returning Elders, called at the office. My son, Abraham, had labored with Bro. Dunbar while in England and before he was called to go to Germany. He spoke very highly of him. Elder James H. Hart of Bear Lake Stake, was called and set apart today to go and take the place of emigration agent, in consequence of Bro. Staines’ sickness.
Saturday, May 7th, 1881 At the office all day. Elders Thos. Jack and W. W. Willey, who had just returned from their missions, called today. We examined the proportion of cash and store pay paid to the public hands, and it was proposed to pay them one-fourth of their wages in cash and store pay and cloth on Provo Factory at cash prices but not fully decided upon. We examined also the reports of the committee appointed to select a suitable site for a paper mill. From these reports it seemed that Big Cottonwood was in all respects the most eligible place.
I arranged this morning for my boys to take a grist to the mill, and I had just sat down to supper this evening after I returned, when word was sent to me that my son Angus had fallen out of the wagon and had been run over, and was very badly hurt. I went to his mother’s as fast as I could, and found that the wagon had run across the small of his back. He was driving down hill at the time, just after leaving the mill, and the spring seat slipped out of place and pitched him out. He struck on the fore wheel and fell under the hind wheel. His leg was also injured. I administered to him and felt that he would recover, and said many encouraging things to him. I have felt all day a presentiment of evil, and found myself praying two or three times during the day to the Lord to remove the evil and to avert the trouble. I dreamed last night, also, that one of my wife Sarah Jane’s boys was hurt, and that I had been sent for. My dreams were all of a character to make me uneasy this morning. This seems to be the fulfillment of my presentiment. It is remarkable that troubles never come alone. Poor Sarah Jane has her hands full — Her Baby and next boy, Joseph, sick with the whooping-cough, and now Angus injured with his accident. I had a call today from Mr. Rudolph, a paper manufacturer of Manyank, near Philadelphia. He was accompanied by Mr. Barry of Philadelphia. Mr Rudolph had known me some years ago. I had examined his paper mill, and he told me that though he was not in the business at the present time (having transferred the business to his sons) yet he would be very glad to do all he could for anyone I might send to learn paper making, or to get any information on the subject.
Sunday, May 8th, 1881 Attended meeting at the Tabernacle. There was an excursion party from Boston and other places, present, but they could not stay through the service, as the train left at 3:40. Prest Taylor requested me to speak. I read the 12th Chapter of lst Corinthians, and though at first I had to feel my way, before I got through I had a good flow of the spirit, and enjoyed myself very much. The Endowment House was so cold that we did not pray in the circle, but had prayer. My daughters Mary Alice and Hester accompanied me to meeting, and went home with me in my buggy.
Yesterday I got a letter from the Hon George M. Landers, of Conn., who served with me four years in Congress, and who has been very friendly, informing me that he intended to leave California on Tuesday morning and hoped to be here on Thursday.
Monday, May 9th, 1881 It rained last night. I am trying to teach my boys whitewashing and painting, and have them keep our place in good order. I was at the office. Bro Joshua Terry and his son George, a half-breed Indian, called at the office today, and we conversed with them about their proposed mission to the Shoshone Indians. They were both ordained High Priests, and set apart for the mission, Prest Taylor being the mouth for the first and I for the second; and I also accompanied Bishop Hunter and set apart Bishop Charles Turner, of Morgan Stake, as Bishop’s agents for that Stake. I had a meeting with the Sunday School Union, at which considerable business was attended to concerning publishing, etc.
I bought a carpet at the Z.C.M.I. today for my wife Elizabeth’s front room, in anticipation of a visit from Mr. Landers and friends, whom I expect to invite to my house.
Tuesday, May 10th, 1881 I learned from my brother Angus, last evening, that Sutherland and McBride, lawyers, and Campbell, who claims to be elected, had summoned him as a witness in the contest case. I called upon my lawyer, Arthur Brown, this morning, who told me that McBride was very bitter. They doubtless will do all they can to create feeling against the Saints and myself in particular. It stormed last night and very rainy this morning. Weather chilly. At eleven o’clock met with the Directors of Z.C.M.I[.] Attended to business. I dictated an Editorial to the Juvenile Instructor. At the office all day, except while absent at the meeting. We had some conversation respecting the Tithing Office lot at Provo. Prest Taylor expressed himself emphatically averse to paying any rental for that lot to the Trustees of B. Y. Academy, as the title was originally in the Trustee-in-Trust, and a letter was written to this effect to President Smoot, and signed by himself and myself and Bro. Jos. F. Smith.
Wednesday, May 11th, 1881 Very stormy last night. Roads in a very bad condition. It cleared up in the forenoon. Rain has been very timely, and will do an immense amount of good. Presidents Taylor, Smith and Woodruff, and Elders John Henry Smith, John VanCott, George Reynolds and George F. Gibbs, —some of them accompanied by members of their families—started for San Pete this morning, to attend conference at Manti on Sunday, with the expectation of returning home on Monday evening. I could not accompany them, as my contest case is on hand, and I am expecting, also, Mr. Landers and wife and friends from San Francisco, he having written me that he would leave on Tuesday and reach here on Thursday. I spent the day in the office. I set Bro. George W. Bradley apart for his mission to the States.
Thursday, May 12th, 1881 Most beautiful morning. My son Angus has improved very much. He is feeling cheerful. I have had faith from the beginning that he would get well, and I still hope that his accident will leave no bad effects. Baby is very bad with the whooping-cough. I spent part of the day in the Endowment House. Arranged with Bro. S. Jensen about going to work and building my wife Martha’s house. Accompanied Judge Dusenberry to Mr. Arthur Brown’s office. He is my lawyer in the contest case
Friday, May 13th, 1881 Arranged a meeting this morning with two counsellors of the Presiding Bishop and Bro. Isaac Brockbank, to talk over a method of doing business in the Tithing Office in disbursing, and to endeavor to reach some conclusion as to the simplest and most effective method of keeping small accounts, and while thus engaged the card of Mr. Landers was handed to me. I found that he reached here yesterday at noon. I sent word to my wife Elizabeth that they had arrived, so that she might be prepared to entertain them, and I went myself and had an interview with him and his wife, and the father and mother of his son’s wife, Mr. and Mrs. Judd. After I had taken lunch, I got a carriage and drove with them on to the bench in the 18th Ward, overlooking City Creek, and the entire city, and from there to Camp Douglas, thence through the city, stopping at the store of Z.C.M.I, through which we walked. I introduced them to the brethren there. Brother Jennings, who is superintendent, was absent. I arranged for them also to occupy a box in the theater in the evening, my son John Q. accompanying them. My wife Elizabeth came up from the farm in the carriage which I had sent down, and visited the museum with them.
Saturday, May 14th, 1881 I took the party through the tabernacle and Assembly Hall, and showed them the Temple, and from there went to the Warm Springs. Bro. Townsend kindly showed them through the building, and from there we drove to the Hot Springs.
I invited Bro. and Sister Jennings, Bro and Sis D. H. Wells, my brother Angus and his wife, John Q. and his wife, and Abraham’s wife, Sarah (I invited Bro. Brigham Young and wife, but they were not able to be present) to meet Mr. and Mrs. Landers and Mr and Mrs. Judd at dinner at my house. They enjoyed themselves exceedingly, and especially to see us together in a family capacity. My wife Eliza and Martha and several of the children were there. Sarah Jane was not present, owing to illness of herself and family We intended that the strangers should stay with us all night, but they thought it would be too burdensome, besides their clothing was in their trunks, and I yielded to their wish not to stay. They said they had not eaten such a meal since they left home, and appeared to enjoy themselves very much. We were gratified, because my family rather dreaded the visit of strangers, such as they are. My relations with Mr. and Mrs. Landers, had been so pleasant for several years that I was satisfied they would be pleased to come to our house and partake of our hospitality, however poor it might be; but the Judds were strangers to us.
Sunday, May 15th, 1881 Just before I started down to my place yesterday afternoon, Hon Frank Hiscock and wife, and Hon Nelson W. Aldrich and wife drove up in a barouche to where I was standing, and said they had come to pay their respects to me. I had some conversation with them, and told them I would call upon them tomorrow at the hotel, as I was engaged then, and suggested to them points of interest which they could visit. I also sent a note to them after I got home, inviting them to occupy the box at the theater, which John Q. Carried to them. Upon their inquiry what kind of a play it was, he said he could not recommend it, and they therefore thought they would rest, instead of going to the theater, though thanking me for the invitation. I took my wife Elizabeth with me this morning, and called at the Continental hotel, where Mr and Mrs. Landers and Mr and Mrs. Judd were staying, and then drove down to the Walker House, where Messrs Hiscock and Aldrich and their wives were, and carried them in my carriage in two trips to Bro. Jennings’ who had invited me to bring them to his residence. We spent about two hours there, partaking of some refreshments, and from there myself and wife, after partaking of lunch, drove to the meeting. In the meantime, I had sent my carriage with the strangers to their hotels. They all attended afternoon meeting, excepting Mr. Hiscock. It rained very heavily during the afternoon, and continued for sometime after the meeting had dismissed. Bro. Henry W. Naisbitt gave us a most excellent discourse on the Gospel. I followed, and occupied about forty minutes. I had Mr. Aldrich and his wife and Mrs. Hiscock carried to the hotel in my carriage, also Mrs. Landers. Mr. Landers brought a carriage for Mr and Mrs. Judd. At their pressing invitation we dined with them. By the time dinner was ended, it cleared off, and we drove home. My wife Martha accompanied us, she having come up with the children in my open carriage. My sister-in-law Emily H. Little has been with us for two days, helping to prepare for and entertain the company, and her son Thomas has driven the carriage.
Monday, May 16th, 1881 Showery this morning, but it cleared off. Angus has improved very much, though his back is weak and gives him pain if he moves. Baby is still bad with the whooping-cough, and Sarah Jane has been very sick with cold, and almost lost her voice entirely. She is some better this morning.
Mr. George Plumer Smith, of Philadelphia, called at the office this morning, introducing himself to me at the instance of Mr. Landers, whom he termed, “Our mutual friend.” He had been travelling with Mr. Landers and the latter spoke very highly of Mr. Smith to me as a man who appeared to be very conversant with our history, and had taken great interest in it. I was surprised at the extent of his information concerning our history. He knew Sidney Rigdon very well, also the Prophet Joseph. He said that he had read my article in the North American Review with great interest, but was of the opinion that the Prophet Joseph had never met personally with Martin Van Buren, President of the United States. His reason for entertaining this view was that he had known James Buchanan, who was afterwards President of the United States very intimately. His (Smith’s) grandfather had been a member of Congress for some years and was a much older man that [than] Buchanan, and a personal friend of his, and in consequence of this, he himself had been brought into terms of great intimacy with Mr. Buchanan. He said that at a dinner party in Pittsburg in 1843 allusion was made to Martin Van Buren being a mere politician, and willing to do anything to secure votes. Mr. Buchanan dissented from this view of Mr. Van Buren, and related an incident that came within his own knowledge to the contrary. He said that Joseph Smith and delegation from the Mormon people came to Washington after the expulsion from Missouri to memoralize Congress to take some action regarding their wrongs. Col. Thos. H. Benton and Dr. Linn, who were senators from the State of Missouri used all their influence to prevent the Prophet Joseph Smith being recognized, or in any way admitted to the Senate or committees or listened to in any manner officially, and they had used their influence with Senators to prevent a hearing. Mr. Buchanan who was then Senator from the State of Pennsylvania, saw the Prophet Joseph seated with other friends in the gallery of the Senate. Benton and Lynn, so Mr. Smith said, endeavored to have him excluded even from the galleries. Buchanan remarked to a Senator from Illinois who pointed Joseph Smith and his friends out, that they did not look such bad men as they were represented to be, and he thought they ought to have a hearing, and that Senators Benton and Linn ought not to prevent their side being listened to. He made several kind remarks of this character, not supposing they would ever be repeated; but he was surprised at receiving at his rooms a card with the name of “Joseph Smith, Jr., of Illinois” upon it. When the servant brought it in, he told him to usher Mr. Smith in, and he came in accompanied by several others. The Prophet stated that he had heard of his expressions, and therefore called upon him, and would like to make some statements to him. Buchanan remarked that it was a matter he had nothing to do with; that it really ought to be brought forward by the Senators from Missouri, and Illinois. But the Prophet said he would like to have him hear their story. This Buchanan consented to do. After listening with attention to their statement, he asked what he could do for them. They said they wished to have a personal interview with Prest Van Buren at such an hour as he would name. Buchanan consented to see the president and ask him to make an appointment. He did so. Van Buren angrily refused to see them or to have anything to do with them, and expressed surprise that Buchanan should make such a request. Buchanan then afterwards said to him, “Mr President, your friends want to nominate you again for President of the United States, and these Mormon people can cast a good many votes, probably three thousand at least, and it might be well for you to consider this question.” Van Buren reiterated he would not on any consideration, even if he should lose all their votes, have the interview. Mr. Buchanan related this story to disprove the statement made at the dinner party that Van Buren was a mere politician. This conversation Mr. Smith says he heard. If this actually occurred, Van Buren doubtless thought in refusing to see the Prophet, and thereby risking the loss of the Mormon vote, that Benton and Linn had more political influence than the Prophet, and that he was pretty safe in rejecting him and keeping in favor with them. I do not myself think from all I have heard of him that he would have scrupled to have seen Joseph and been very bland to him if he had thought that his political influence was superior to that of his enemies. I give this as a little incident that may have elements of truth in it. Doubtless Buchanan exaggerated his own good offices in the matter.
We had considerable conversation concerning early times in the Church, and he said that now was a good time, he thought, under President Garfield’s administration, for us to secure our political rights, but it must be by conforming to civil law, plainly intimating that we should compromise by abandoning plural marriage[.] This was doubtless called forth by the remarks I made yesterday while speaking and to which he alluded. He said that it was a very wonderful thing to him that the very man who is now elected President of the United States was himself no better than Sidney Rigdon or Parley P. Pratt was—a man of the same origin and of the same Church. They were Campbellites, and he was a Campbellite preacher. He said the Mormon Church was an outgrowth of the Campbellite Church. He closed by making the remark that he hoped the same wisdom which had characterized our previous movements and had made so grand a commonwealth in the midst of the mountains would still prompt us to seize the opportunity. He expressed many good wishes for our future prosperity.
While the conversation was going on, Bro. Brigham Young and John W. Young came in, the latter having arrived last night from Arizona. I introduced them to Mr. Smith. In the afternoon I had a conversation with my brother Angus, Brothers John T. Caine, John R. Winder, and L. John Nuttall, respecting the best method of nominating candidates for office in our Territory.
When I got down to my place this evening, I found the Jordan River running to the top of its banks, and in consequence of a dam having been put in the river which backed the water up for the purpose of turning it into the canal for the benefit of the agricultural park and the west part of the city, and which runs through part of my land, the river had broken through the levee and quite a volume of water was running on to my land. I could not get to my houses in my buggy. The men had just discovered it, and I went to work with them, and stayed on the ground until midnight, working with all our might to make a levee to stop the water. I sent a note with my son William on horseback to Judge Smith, informing him what had occurred, and that the dam which crossed the canal was in danger of washing out, and should this occur, it would flood the lower part of the city. If I had had an axe when I first saw it, I whould have broken this dam out to relieve the pressure on my banks, but before the axe reached me, I had taken a closer examination and discovered that if I had done so there would be danger of the whole stream running through the canal and flooding the lower parts of the city. I left two men to watch the bank over night. Just as we were closing up our work, my brother in law Charles Lambert and his son Charles John, and my brother-in-law John Hoagland and my son John Q. came down. Charles Lambert had been sent by Judge Smith, and he promised to bring men and teams in the morning to strengthen the banks. I was very much fatigued having worked pretty hard in the wet. We did a great deal of work in a very short time.
Tuesday, May 17th, 1881 President Taylor and Smith and the brethren who accompanied them to San Pete, returned last evening, and were in the office this morning. At eleven o’clock the Central Board of Trade met at the Council House. The meeting was a very interesting one, both in the forenoon and afternoon, and if the business be pushed forward as decided upon at these meetings, a great impulse will be given to home manufacturers. I was very much gratified with the proceedings, and with the evidences of progress which were presented to the meeting from various parts of the Territory.
In the evening, just as I was leaving town, I received a note from my niece Wilhemina M. Cannon that my sister Mary Alice proposed to get up a surprise party for my brother Angus, it being the anniversary of his birthday, and asking me to join. I took my mother in law, Sister Sarah S. Richards, down with me in the buggy, she having come in from Wanship[.] Her presence will be a great relief to my wife Sarah Jane, as the baby has been so sick it has given her great concern. My wife Martha, my daughter Mary Alice and sons Angus and Lewis accompanied me to town to the surprise party. There was a goodly number present, and the evening was spent very pleasantly. All appeared to enjoy themselves very much, and Angus was much delighted. Myself, Charles Lambert, his son Charles John, and my brother Angus made remarks. We separated about one o’clock, but it was nearly three before I got to bed, as when I got home I found my cows had broken out and had got into my wheat, I had some trouble in getting them into the corral, and fastening them up Dictated my journal to Bro. John Irvine.
Wednesday, May 18th, 1881 Meeting had been appointed this morning of a certain council at 10 o’clock (kanalima [the Fifty)][.] The attendance was full, both morning and afternoon, and much interesting business was attended to. We adjourned to meet at 10 o’ clock on the fourth of October next.
Weather quite cool, and yet the water has been rising all day. It is higher now than it was last night, but teams and men are securing the bank
Thursday, May 19th, 1881 We again met with the Board of Trade at 10 o’clock in the morning, and also in the afternoon, and had two very interesting sessions. These meetings cannot fail to be of great benefit if the subjects discussed and the appointments made are kept in mind and attended to as they should be from this time forward. It is interesting to learn how our home manufactures are gradually increasing. I was appointed on two committees chairman to examine into the question of manufacturing sugar and organizing companies if proper to do so; and as a member of a committee for the purpose of raising funds with which to erect buildings in which territorial fairs can be held. Instructions were given by the Board to this latter committee to prepare for an annual fair this fall. I took supper with my wife Elizabeth at her sister Emily’s, and took them to the Theater to see “Widow Bedotte,” and remained in the city all night. The play was a rediculous one, still there were some laughable points in it, and we have been attending meetings so closely that I enjoyed the relaxation.
Friday, May 20th, 1881 Was at the office all day. Dined with President Taylor. Dictated my journal to Bro. John Irvine. There was an interesting recital by Prest Taylor of incidents which occurred in Nauvoo connected with the accusations by Wm. Marks, Wm. Law and Wilson Law and others against the police. He related the part that he had taken in the matter, and that these men in attacking the police only meant to strike at the Prophet Joseph and he so stated to them in the meeting. His remarks were taken down in shorthand by Bro. G. F. Gibbs.
A meeting was held of the Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. Reports of the business of the institution were read, after which the First Presidency, Apostles Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow and F. M. Lyman listened to the reading of the will of Brother Charles C. Rich, which Brother Budge had brought down at his request to submit to us. Prest Budge was also present, and explained matters. The first Presidency signed the following letter, which I dic[t]ated to Bro. John Irvine, who took it down in short hand:
Salt Lake City, May 20th, 1881
Dear Brother Chas C. Rich:
Brother Wm. Budge has brought down your will and submitted it to us with a view to obtain our mind concerning its provisions. After perusing it, it strikes us that you should make some statement in the will, in justice to your own memory and fairness, and also to strengthen the will respecting advances that you have made in the past to your first family, as an explanation of the difference between the allotment to that family and those to your other families. Perhaps a statement respecting the value of the city property which you give to your wife Sarah D. may be sufficient to do this, and we all know that it is much more valuable than any house and lot which you will to any of the other members of your family. We also think that, as far as possible, you should give a larger share of your property to the wives who have the most children, so that when the property which you will to them is divided equally among their heirs, there will not be much, if any, disparity between the amount each inherits. Or, if you have a reason for not doing this, that reason should be stated in the will, because without such statement a person not acquainted with all the circumstances of your family could not see a reason for the discrimination which you make. For instance, if one wife has nine children and another six, and you give to each wife the same amount of property, the children of the mother who has but six children receive one third more than the children of the mother who has the nine. This may cause your children to think they have not been dealt fairly with by you in the distribution of your property.
If it should be your wish to give one-fourth as you have done to each of the four wives, we suggest that you lessen the proportion so as to leave a surplus of stock or something else with which you can, if so disposed, level up so to speak, the inequalities which are created by the excess of children in one family over another. Besides this, there should still be provision made as you have done in your present will, for the education of minors. We suggest that as far as possible you make quit-claim deeds of your property where you cannot give absolute title, so as to save your executors the trouble of dividing this property after your demise.
If you see fit to make these deeds and divide your property yourself in this way, it is not necessary that you deliver them; you can either keep them, on your hands or leave them in the hands of some trusted friend or friends to deliver after your departure.
If you make a change in your will, we suggest that you destroy this will after the other is made out and keep the provisions of the new will from being known. This may save you annoyance and prevent feeling on the part of the members of your family. What ever deeds of this kind you make should be mentioned in your will in order that there may be no question as to the validity of the transfer and no question as to the justice of the distribution of the property.
We make these suggestions, not as positive council, but in response to a verbal request of Bro. Budge from you that we should hear your will and consider the disposition you propose to make of your property. We are prompted in making them by our ideas of that which we would do ourselves in similar circumstances, but Bro. Budge is unable to explain many things with which you are doubtless familiar and which may have prompted you in drawing out the will as it is. Whatever these may be, however, if you still desire to have your will stand as it is, should be injustice to yourself, stated therein.
With love, and praying the Lord to bless you, we are
Signed John Taylor
Geo. Q. Cannon
Jos. F. Smith
I forget to mention yesterday that Sutherland and McBride, the lawyers of Campbell, who is trying to steal my seat, presented a paper to me which they wished me to sign to save the examination of witnesses. It was to the effect that I was living and cohabiting with four plural wives by whom I had raised children, that I had taken at least one of them since 1862, and that I had advocated the doctrine of plural marriage and had urged others to obey it and violate the law. I submitted the proposition to the brethren, Prests Taylor and Smith, and they felt as I did, that it was a very improper thing for me to sign, but to save calling my wives on the stand as witnesses I drew up the following paper which I sent to my attorney Arthur Brown as my ultimation [ultimatum] in the matter. — “I do admit that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons,; that in accordance with the tenets of said Church I have taken plural wives who now live with me, and who have so lived with me for a number of years and borne me children. I also admit that in my public addresses, as a teacher of my religion in Utah Territory, I have defended said tenet of said Church as being in my belief, a revelation from God.”
Saturday, May 21st, 1881 At the office with Prests Taylor and Smith. I wrote before leaving home this morning some little upon my “Life of Nephi.”
We had some conversation at the office with Mayor Little, who had been appointed to ask our views respecting the sale of the market lot which had been bought by the city from Bro. John Van Cott. They wished to know our views respecting selling it with which to pay for the purchase of a piece of land from some of the heirs of Prest Young’s estate called the mill property which the city had bought for pleasure grounds. My own feelings were averse to the sale of this lot, and I had so expressed myself when previously asked in company with Prest Taylor respecting it; but Prest Taylor felt that we did not wish to press our views on the City Council and left this matter to them to decide upon. We had some conversation also with the counsellors of Bishop Hunter respecting the proportion of cash and store pay to be paid to the hands who worked on the public works.
My wife’s sister Emily Hoagland spoke to me respecting her position. She had appealed a for a divorce from her husband Jesse C. Little. The case is an unpleasant one. She married him about the year 1855 or ‘56, while I and Elizabeth were on a mission to California. President Heber C. Kimball spoke to her father, and I expect counseled him on behalf of Bro. Little for her to be his wife. Her father counseled her upon the subject, and she thought it her duty to obey her father as he had told her she would be blessed if she would do so. Brother Little at that time was the counselor to the Presiding Bishop, and a man in good standing and of good habits, but for the past ten or twelve years he has been given to drinking and was dropped from his position as counselor to the Presiding Bishop, Bishop R. T. Burton being appointed in his stead. Up to this time he was a kind husband and a good provider, but for these late years he has neglected his family. His wife Emily has endured a great deal, until she feels that she can endure it no longer, and has so told him. She is much annoyed and disgraced by his drunkenness, and the children feel humiliated by his conduct. Whenever he has come to the city he has invariably been drunk, and she has said little about this to anyone, not even to her sister, my wife, and made up her mind without consultation with anyone to dissolve the connection. The case has been pending for about a year, she hoping that he would abide by the Bishop’s decision respecting the allowance he should make her, but she has given up all hope of help from him and is determined to press for the divorce.
I took supper in company with my wife Martha at my sister Mary Alice’s place.
Sunday, May 22nd, 1881 Started in company with Prests Taylor and Smith, Elders F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith to attend conference at Davis County Stake at Kaysville. We were met at the station by the leading brethren, and I went with Bro. Jos. F. Smith, F. D. Richards[,] F. M. Lyman and John Henry Smith to Bishop Barton’s, where those who had not eaten breakfast had an opportunity of eating it. From there we went to Bro. Layton’s where Prest Taylor was stopping, and had some conversation about the affairs of the stake before the meeting. There is evidence of a little friction between the first counsellor and the Prest--Bro. Christ’r Layton and W. R. Smith, as we saw in a conversation concerning the trial of Bro. Tingey, which had taken place before the High Council. To us who witnessed it, it was painful. Though it was but a little exhibition, it was plain to be seen that there was not that harmony existing between them which should.
In the forenoon the house was crowded with Saints and the meeting was addressed by Prests Taylor, John Henry Smith, F. M. Lyman and F. D. Richards. Prest Taylor dwelt particularly on the subject of union and submission to authority, bringing forward the illustration of the submission of the Savior to the will of His Father—“Not my will, but thine be done, O Father.”
We went to Brother Barnes’ to dinner—that is, Prest
Taylor Joseph F. Smith and Apostles Lyman and Smith and myself.
In the afternoon the authorities were presented, and myself and Bro. Joseph F. occupied the time, both speaking with considerable freedom. After meeting we all went to the house of Bro. Layton and conversed about political matters. There are three counties in the district for the Legislative Council, Salt Lake, Davis and Tooele, and there are four counsellors for the district. It was supposed that Salt Lake County would want three counsellors, and leave only one for the other counties. The object was to ascertain which county should have a counsellor, but it was decided this could not be done until a convention of three counties had been called.
I had supper at Bro. Layton’s with President Taylor, and was taken down with him in the carriage to the train. On getting home, I found my wife very sick. She suffers from a dreadful cough, which has been aggravated by a cold caught recently. Found Sarah Jane’s baby worse. I administered to them both before retiring.
Monday, May 23rd, 1881 Professor J. R .Park and Jos. C. Kingsbury came down this morning to my place to obtain a bottle of water from my flowing well to make an analysis of it, as I was desirous to know whether it was a healthy potable water. They breakfasted with me.
At 11 o’clock, Presidents Taylor, Smith and Woodruff and Apostles Erastus Snow, Brigham Young[,] John W. Young, Bro. L. John Nuttall, and George F. Gibbs met at the President’s Office, and the proceedings before the Quorum of the Twelve in the case of John W. Young were read by Bro. George F. Gibbs from his notes. We adjourned for one hour at noon, and resumed the reading in the afternoon and continued until late in the evening. There was much conversation pro and con between the brethren as the testimony was read. As Bro. Gibbs read from his notes, it was necessarily slow reading.
I dined with Prest Taylor today, and afterwards went to the office of Mr. Brown, my attorney in my contest case, to see him in relation to the paper which I had written out admitting certain points. Sutherland and McBride were anxious to have me insert the number of wives I had. Mr. Brown saw no reason I should not do so, but I was determined I would not. They can either accept that paper, or take testimony to prove what they want; and I showed to him why I was opposed to making such an admission, and after my explanations he agreed with me that I had better not do so. I thought that I had admitted everything that could be asked and more than such men as they were entitled to. I treated them as though they were honorable. In reality they are men who will take every advantage of me in their power, as I had found in the case of some of the heirs of President Young when they brought suit against us. I think Judge Sutherland, according to my views, has acted very unprofessionally in this matter, for he was my lawyer in Baskin’s contest with me when the same points were involved as are in this case. He took a fee then to defend me; but now takes a fee to attack me.
Tuesday, May 24th, 1881 The day was spent as yesterday. We also had an evening session. I spent the night with my son John Q. I brought my wife Elizabeth up with me this morning[.] She has a dreadful cough and cannot sleep at night, but sits up in bed constantly coughing, and has done so several nights. I thought a ride would do her good.
We closed the case so far as the hearing of the testimony and the remarks of the brethren of the Twelve upon the testimony was concerned. Prest Taylor had written out a good many points connected with it, and he desired me to come round to his house at 8:30 in the morning and help him give them shape.
Wednesday, May 25th, 1881 I spent the time until 11 o’clock with Prest Taylor and George Reynolds at the former’s residence I spent the time until 11 o’clock with Prest Taylor and George Reynolds at the former’s residence helping to prepare a written decision in the case. At 11 o’clock we met at the office, Brother Erastus Snow, Brigham Young and F. D. Richards being present with us also, and we went through the decision and adjourned to meet at 2 o’clock as there were some things connected with it which had to be amended. At President Taylor’s request, I accompanied him to his house, and Bro George Reynolds, and took dinner and helped to prepare the paper for reading before the council, which met at 2 o’clock. There were present at the council, the First Presidency, Prest Woodruff, Apostles Erastus Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young[,] F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, John W. Young and D. H. Wells, and Bros. Nuttall and Reynolds. Prest Taylor sent his carriage for Bro Orson Pratt, who came and sat through the meeting. Presiding Bishop Edward Hunter was also present. We prayed in the circle, after which Bro. Reynolds read the decision of the First Presidency. Matters were talked over freely, and finally, before we adjourned, Bro. John W. Young accepted the decision and agreed to abide by it. We were all gratified by the result. He felt that the decision was somewhat hard upon him in some respects, but he was humble and willing to do whatever the brethren required, and submit his judgment to that of the Council
I took Bro. David M. Stuart down home with me, who spent the night at my house. I found my wife Elizabeth very bad. We administered to her. I also administered to my baby, Sarah Jane’s child.
Thursday, May 26th, 1881 Elizabeth spent a better night than she has done for four or five nights.
I drew a note for $4,500 at Zion’s Savings Bank, for which I pay 8%. This sum represented two amounts that I had to borrow last fall before going to Washington. As I drove up today, I met Mr. Brown, who informed me that Sutherland and McBride had accepted the paper I had written out, and that their time for taking testimony had closed.
At the office all day, excepting time spent at a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I., at which the rates of freight charged by the U P R.R. were discussed. They have discriminated against us and do so fearfully.
Elders Erastus Snow, Brigham Young and John W. were in the office, and were talked to by President Taylor. He game [gave] them some excellent advice preparatory to their departure in the morning for their field of operations in Arizona and Colorado.
Dictated my journal to Bro. John Irvine. Drove down home, ate supper and brought my wife Martha back, and we went to the theater and saw Robinson
Cruso and Crane in the play of “Our Bachelors,” We stopped all night at my son John Q’s
Friday, May 27th, 1881 At the office with Presidents Taylor and Smith. I set James Mellor, Jun. apart for a mission to the United States. It was decided to assist the 18th Ward to the extent of $500 labor tithing in building a new meeting house.
Helped correct the minutes of the last meeting of the Sunday School Union, Helped correct the minutes of the last meeting of the Sunday School Union, and also made some changes for Bro. Reynolds, he having the labor of getting out the decision of the First Presidency respecting the case of Bro. John W. Young.
Saturday, May 28th, 1881 I was up very early this morning and was busy until 10 o’clock in taking such steps as were necessary to prepare for the taking of testimony
to prepare on my side of the case in the Campbell contest for the seat of delegate. I had arranged last night that Judge Elias Smith be present this morning as one of my witnesses. I drove down to the Court House this morning to see him again, and got Bro. Geo. C. Lambert my nephew, to drive him up to Adam Patterson’s office, the Notary Public, before whom the testimony has been taken. I also had an interview with James W. Cummings, who succeeded W. I. Appleby as clerk of the court in this district, and also Judge Z. Snow, who had been one of the associate Justices of this Territory, when the Territory was organized. At 10 o’clock we all met Mr. Arthur Brown, my attorney being present, and Judge McBride as Campbell’s lawyer. Judge Elias Smith gave his testimony which was very straight forward, and conclusive to every man disposed to believe the truth. He was one of my witnesses at my naturalization. His testimony was to the effect that I was well-known to the court, that I had been absent on the Sandwich Islands, and that he himself had stated all the facts and the court issued its judgment by naturalizing me. McBride cross-examined him, but without weakening in the least degree his testimony. James W. Cummings identified W. I. Appleby’s writing on the certificate which I held, also his signature and the seal of the court upon the certificate. Judge Snow did the same, and also testified that he had instructed W. I. Appleby, the clerk of the court, to get up a book of blank forms, similar to the system which prevailed in New Jersey, the State from which Bro. Appleby came, in which to record the naturalization of foreigners. Judge Elias Smith also identified the writing as that of Bro. Appleby. Mr. Sprague, the present clerk of the Supreme Court, was called as a witness, and he brought with him the book in which my naturalization was recorded. He compared my certificate with the copy in the book and with the exception of my certificate having a seal—while the copy in the book had only the letters L. S., and that my certificate said “Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland,” while the copy said “Queen Victoria”—they were identically alike. The endorsement of my certificate said that it was recorded in Book A record of Naturalization on a certain page. Mr. Sprague testified that the book in which it was recorded was marked with the large letter A, and also had record of naturalization printed upon it. The evidence of these witnesses was most conclusive, and the production of my certificate of naturalization made the case a very strong one. McBride had told Mr. Brown he did not believe I had any certificate, that I was reported to have said I had lost it. As the seal was somewhat faint through age, Mr. Brown obtained a magnifying glass, which brought it out very plainly, and McBride showed by his manner that he was thoroughly satisfied as to its genuineness, and he must have been satisfied respecting the correctness of my naturalization. The only thing that he tried to make a point of saying that I was absent from the territory on a mission on the Sandwich Islands for several years, and he doubtless will do all in his power to make it appear that I had lost my residence in the United States.
I took dinner with my brother Angus, then drove him out to Bro. Brigham Young’s farm to see a bull and a stove range, which I had purchased of him.
I brought my wife Martha up to the train going south at 7 o’clock this morning, as she desired to go to Provo to visit her kindred with the design of returning with me tomorrow evening when I return from the conference, which I expect to attend tomorrow at Provo. Bro. Jos. F. Smith and John Henry Smith went down this morning, but I, in consequence of this contest case, was prevented from going
Sunday, May 29th, 1881 Started at 7 O’clock this morning Was met at the station by Bro. Jos. F. and was driven up
to in Bro. Smoot’s carriage to meeting. Called at Judge Dusenberry’s for a few moments previous to the meeting. The house was very crowded. After the authorities were submitted by Albert Jones, I addressed the congregation, and had considerable liberty and felt very well, and the people appeared to feel equally well. Administered to two or three sick folks. Was driven down to my wife’s foster parents and aunt, Bro. George and Sister Hester Ann Beebe. A number of the family were present, and they were very glad to, see us.
In the afternoon Bro. John Henry Smith, Jos. F. Smith and myself occupied the time, and much profitable instruction was given. I dwelt upon the condition of affairs at Washington, and the attacks made upon us to deprive us of our liberty. We commenced the afternoon meeting at 1:30 and closed at 3:30, as the train left for Salt Lake City a little before 4 o’clock, We had a pleasant trip home. Bro. Twelves brought me a basket of strawberries, just as we were about to start, which I divided among the folks.
Monday, May 30th, 1881 My wife Elizabeth’s health has been very poor for several days. Her cough is very painful to listen to. Her sister Emily is stopping with her, and to add to her trouble her youngest child, Sylvester is attacked with the whopping-cough in a very violent form.
I wrote this morning on my “Life of Nephi”. I came up to the city and was surprised to find a sabbath-like stillness pervading the streets, the reason being that it was Decoration Day. The stores and principal places of business were closed. The President’s office was being renovated and everything was upside down. I did not stay long. A great many people have gone to Camp Douglas to witness the proceedings.
I spent the afternoon in writing my “Life of Nephi”
Tuesday, May 31, 1881 Yesterday was a holiday, and it opens warm this morning. The President’s Office was undergoing a process of cleaning today, and Presidents Taylor, and Smith and myself met together at the Council House. We looked over the reports of the committee appointed to examine sites for a paper mill, and after hearing all we decided to adopt Big Cottonwood and arranged with Bros. Henry Groo and Moyle, one
of a millwright and the other a stone mason—to go out tomorrow with us to select the site.
I devoted sometime this morning to writing on my “life of Nephi.” Dictated my journal to Bro. Irvine