The Church Historian's Press

December 1881

1 December 1881 • Thursday

Thursday Dec 1/81. I was very busy having interviews and conversation with various parties. I find Campbell is here and is boarding at the Riggs House. McBride also is in the City, and they both have been here sometime working up their side of the case to the best possible advantage, creating all the prejudice in their power and preparing as best they can for the meeting of Congress

2 December 1881 • Friday

Friday Dec 2/81. I made an appointment yesterday to meet ex-Speaker Randall at his residence at 9 oclock a.m. I had some conversation with him there and gave him a copy of my pamphlet and also the News article, and at 1 oclock p.m. met with him and a number of other members at the Committee Room of public lands. There were present Randall (Pa) Converse (Ohio) Welborn (Texas) Evins & Dibble (of South Carolina) Herbert & Wheeler (of Ala.) Hammond (Ga.) and Adams, the Clerk of the House. The latter described to the Members present his action on my case and gave them his reasons for putting my name on the roll. The question was discussed. It was very clear to all that he did right in not enrolling Campbell; but there were some nice questions about my enrollment. Mr Dibble’s case was also discussed, as it was expected he would have trouble about being sworn in.

I was out after dinner during the evening talking with members. Had a long conversation with Mr Stone, Editor of the Chicago News.

3 December 1881 • Saturday

Saturday Dec 3/81. I called upon Mr McLane (Md) Mr S. S. Cox (N. Y) and Mr House (Tenn.) and explained my case to them. Gave each of them pamphlets. I also had a conversation with Mr Bowman (Mass.) and Mr Sp[r]inger (Ill). My object in having interviews with all these members has been to give as thorough an understanding as I could of my case so that when the question should come up in the House they would be advised respecting it. I also examined the brief which General Paine wrote last winter respecting my enrollment, and made such extracts from it as I thought would be suitable and added to it some selections from decisions and had it printed for circulation among my friends. I did this that they might have the points ready if they should be needed for argument. I called upon General Paine twice today and spent a very busy day.

4 December 1881 • Sunday

Sunday Dec 4/81. Called upon S. S. Cox and had further conversation with him, and again in the evening, but did not find him in. I also had an interview with Mr Carlisle (Ky.) and talked with a number of individuals about the case.

5 December 1881 • Monday

Monday Dec 5/81. I had interviews today with Mr. Averill, Clerk of the District Court of Salt Lake City; also Judge Bennett and Munroe Salsbury. All these professed to be very friendly, and the latter had a good many acquaintances among members whom he promised to see. I had these interviews before the House met. Went to the House. Was there at the opening (For proceedings see accompanying minutes). I thought it was very plain to be seen that Speaker Keifer was in Sympathy with those who are determined to keep me from being sworn in, and therefore it was arranged so that a Clerk for the House should be secured before my case should be reached, and this prompted, in my opinion, his ruling about the swearing in of the Delegates. Campbell & McBride were very busy and have evidently captured Cassidy (Nev.). Campbell had ensconced himself in the seat I had occupied the last Congress. Campbell did not appear to be at home on the floor and appeared quite uneasy when McBride was away from him. Plain to be seen he is but a puppet and that McBride has him under his control. I pray for calmness and serenity. My reliance is in the Lord. The prospects look very dark in some respects. As far as my feelings are concerned this is a life that I never would choose, and in fact I should have declined ever coming to Congress had I not been convinced that it was the Lord’s will that I should come. This is a matter of which I never had any doubt, and <at> this last election I was particularly impressed it was my duty to come, though I did not mention that to any one until after everybody had expressed themselves upon the subject. When it was first mentioned in the Council I heard all the brethren’s impressions before I stated my own. The feeling was unanimous that I should again be nominated, and when the delegates came from the various parts of the territory there was but one feeling upon the subject, and it was that I should be the nominee. At a larger Council <Kanalima> [of Fifty] which was held afterwards it was also unanimously sustained. I am troubled therefore with no doubts as to the propriety of my last nomination and election. I feel that it was all right, and whatever the results may be the Lord will over-rule them for good, and it is just as He wanted it.

In conversation this evening with Judge Bennett and Mr Salsbury they said in speaking about the delegateship, that Campbell was not the representative of the Gentile element in Utah. Salsbury remarked “When we want a man to go to Washington to represent us we will give him more than 1357 votes.”

I had an interview with Geo. D. Robinson (Mass) explaining my case to him.

6 December 1881 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec 6/81. I feel very weak and good for nothing this morning. Called upon the Lord as I have done every morning since I have been here and received comfort. “O Lord help and deliver,” is my cry, “give me grace and strength to endure every ordeal.” I called upon Mr Converse and talked with him about the presentation of my case when the matter should come up before the House. I had depended somewhat on Mr Carlisle, but he was called by telegram to Kentuckey this morning. Mr Converse expressed very kind and warm feelings towards me, and said he always liked me and wished to cultivate my acquaintance more and more, and that I must call frequently upon him. His expressions touched me, and I reciprocated, and felt in my heart to bless him. Called at Willard’s and had another interview with Munroe Salsbury. The accompanying minutes will show what was done at the House. I cannot be blind to the evidence of a combination in which the Speaker is evidently a part, and this is the more evident to me from his ruling about the swearing in of the Delegates. He and Robeson, of New Jersey, Haskell, of Kansas, and Burrows, of Michigan, and some others were seen in caucus in the Committee Room. McBride and Campbell are very busy, deeply interested and very jubilant. – The President’s message was read, and I waited until the part of the message respecting Utah was reached and read. Mr McPherson, the clerk, read the whole message with a good deal of emphasis; but that part pertaining to Utah was given with greater force than any portion of the message, and it was applauded by clapping of hands by many of the republicans. I can now see the reason why Mr Dibble, of South Carolina, was seated yesterday with so little opposition. This was a case upon which it would have been very easy for the republicans to have made a fight and had the whole matter referred to the Committee on Elections; for there was a parallel case that gave a precedent of this kind; but it is evident that those who are in the combination to keep me out of my seat were willing to let Dibble’s case go, because he had the Governor’s certificate, thinking that by so doing they were smoothing the way for Campbell by swearing him in on his certificate. There is no doubt in my mind that if it had not been for the Utah case, Dibble and his Contestant would have been referred to the Committee on Elections, as Golladay from Kentuckey was in either the 41st or 42nd Congress.

I met Judge Bennett & Salsbury in the latter’s room this evening, and in conversation the former stated suggested that I should get Averill to help in this case. He thought he could do me a great deal of good and thought he would be willing to work for a trifle, as he was anxious to beat Murray and was desirous on this account to see Campbell defeated. I afterwards saw Averill and we had some conversation upon the subject, and in regard to the amount he would charge he would leave the matter he said to Bennett. Bennett afterwards seen me and told me that Averill would want $1500 – or $2000 for his services. He thought he could do a great deal with members and could get some influential men to make speeches. Such a proposition as that I could not listen to for a moment. I had supposed from what Bennett said that Averill wanted some means with which to pay his board, and I had thought that if it was a small amount and he was willing to turn in and work that I would not mind helping him to the extent of $100, but nothing beyond that. There is one thing that I have told all these people, that I have no money to spend in the contest. It was hinted in this matter that a little money might influence some members. I said plainly that if that was the idea I wanted nothing to do with it.

In the evening I went to the Government printing Office to see the proof of my certificate and Campbell’s and to see that they were properly inserted in the record.

7 December 1881 • Wednesday

Wednesday Dec 7/81. Called upon General Paine. Wrote long letter to General Kane giving him the situation and the danger, also sent him some documents. I had very serious thoughts during the night and the morning in contemplating our position. I never saw affairs look so threatening here so far as I personally had been concerned.

I mailed a number of pamphlets to members. I called upon Mr Converse and told him that I thought seriously of going to New York in the morning and arranged with him to watch matters while I was gone if anything should arise. But we both felt there was not the slightest danger in my being absent. My object <is> to have interviews with some of the railroad people, our friends, and see if something could <can> not be done in the way of bringing things to bear upon members in our favor. While talking with Mr Converse[,] Judge Belford of Colorado came into the Arlington parlors. He said if he got the Speaker’s eye he intended to talk some fifteen or twenty minutes, and would denounce Governor’s Murray’s conduct with great plainness. I had an interview with General Bragg, of Wis. and a number of others, and then packed up and vacated my room.

Averill called upon me and had an interview and borrowed $100.

8 December 1881 • Thursday

Thursday Dec 8/81. I had an interview with Mr Ainslie before my departure. He was profuse in his expressions of kindness. I also saw a photo-lithographer, who does the work for the Government, about making a fac-simile of my certificate of naturalization. From him I learned there was a much better process than his. He gave me the name of the gentleman who owned the patent in New York, Edward Bierstadt, who is a brother of the artist, Albert Bierstadt. His process is called Artotype. On the limited express on which I travelled to New York I met ex-Senator Peterson <Patterson> of South Carolina. We had a long talk over our affairs. He urged that we should send some gentile to Congress whom we could trust, and through him, by the use of proper means we could get admitted into the union. He expressed the utmost confidence in his own ability to effect that if he were in the position. He has always been friendly to me. The first time we were brought together particularly was on the occasion when R. N. Baskin made an argument before the Committee on Territories in the Senate in which he described in the most blood-curdling style the many horrible murders that had been committed in Utah. I had already made my argument at a previous meeting, and as he put forward new matter I requested Hitchcock, of Nebraska, who was the Chairman, to give me the privilege of replying. Christiancy, of Michigan, and Cragin of New Hampshire, were on the Committee, both of whom – particularly the former – had been particularly <very> active in trying to get legislation against us. Christiancy was delighted with Baskin’s argument and was determined I should say nothing in reply to spoil the effect of it. He therefore opposed my request, stating that I had already had the privilege of making an argument. Peterson <Patterson> was also a member of the Committee, and he stood up for me manfully, and we have always been very friendly since then. When he came out to Utah with his wife and some friends I showed them some attention, and he has always been ready to reciprocate since his return and has pressed me a number of times to visit him and I have dined with himself and family on several occasions. I reached New York at 4 p.m. and called at the office of Sidney Dillon, President of the Union Pacific R. R. He was not in. I stopped at the St. Nicholas Hotel, and in the evening went and seen Emmet in his great play of “Fritz in Ireland.”

9 December 1881 • Friday

Friday, Dec 9/81. I called at Mr Bierstadt’s and left my certificate of naturalization with an order for 500 Copies. I was told that it would require ten days to get them ready, but when I explained the necessity of having them sooner he promised to have them finished by tomorrow evening and I concluded to stop for them. I called at Mr Nells, but he was on a trip to Salt Lake. I wrote to each of my wives, also a long letter to President Taylor which see. While I was engaged writing in the hotel I happened to lift my eyes and caught sight of Bro. Nephi W. Clayton as he was passing the window. I dropped everything and rushed out and succeeded in overtaking him. He agreed to come <go> to Washington with the fac-similes of my naturalization paper when they should be finished. I felt that this was a Providential occurrence, for I was desirous to return immediately and had been casting about in my mind how I could arrange to get these without my being under the necessity of waiting for them myself. I have been much struck since I have been down this time with the manner in which things have worked round to suit my purposes. Frequently when I have wanted to see a man it would seem <that> I had scarcely more than indulged in the wish than I would be gratified by meeting him and getting the information I wanted. And I was greatly impressed with this on the present occasion – to be able to distinguish the face of the man I wanted amid the hurry of hundreds and thousands passing the window of the hotel in Broadway. I had an interview with Mr Dillon this morning and talked the situation over with him. He dictated a letter to his amanuensis, in which he called me his friend. The letter was addressed to Messrs Shellabarger & Wilson, who are the lawyers of the Union Pacific Company at Washington and requested them to help me all they could. I had bought a ticket for the Opera before I saw Bro. Clayton, to see the play of “Mefistofile”, Campanini being <billed for> the principal character. I gave this to Bro. Clayton after I had arranged with him to do the business I wanted. I took the sleeping car, and went to bed before the train started. We had an accident in the night. Our train ran into an Emigrant car at the Philadelphia depot bursting the Engine. No one hurt.

10 December 1881 • Saturday

Saturday Dec. 10/81. Through the accident we were detained, and I did not reach Washington until about noon instead of 7.30, when we were due. Bro. Stayner is pulling up at the Metropolitan Hotel, and I called twice there without finding him. He afterwards called upon me. I saw Judge Wilson, of Shellabarger & Wilson, and presented Mr Dillon’s letter to him. He told me that he had taken an interest in my case and had been doing something, but would do all in his power to assist me. I also saw Mr Converse of Ohio and had a long talk with him upon my case and upon our principles in which I gave him many explanations with which he appeared much gratified. In the evening Bro. Stayner pressed me to go to the Theatre with him. This is the anniversary of my wedding with my wife Elizabeth Hoagland – Dec 10 – 1854, when we were married.

11 December 1881 • Sunday

Sunday Dec 11 -/81. I went early to the station and met Bro. Nephi W. Clayton. He breakfasted and lunched with me. We went to the Navy Yard in the afternoon after dinner. We had quite a visit at the Metropolitan Hotel. I have been greatly pestered since my arrival here with propositions from lobyists <lobbyists> to help me in my case to secure my seat and to defeat legislation. A man by the name of Giddings, who professes to have great influence with the democrats, and especially with the Texas delegation, expresses great anxiety to see me get my rights and his willingness to do all that he can for me. I told him I had no money to spend for any such purpose. Well, he said, he would not want a great deal – something to treat the boys. Averill I have already mentioned. Worthington, an ex-member, has also put his services at my disposal, and upon my declining has teased me to loan him money. A newspaper man by the name of Hanagan who was out in Utah with the Labor Committee in 1879, has assured me that his services were at my disposal, and that he meant to do all he could for me. I have told him very plainly that I have no money, and he has not asked me for any

12 December 1881 • Monday

Monday Dec 12/81. I called upon Mr Converse at his hotel. Found him quite low spirited in consequence of having received news of the dangerous sickness of his son-in-law. Also called upon Munroe Salsbury and General Paine. I spent most of the afternoon at the House talking with members. At the invitation of General Manning I call at his lodgings in the evening and found Mrs Fuleler <Fuller> his sister <there,> and other ladies among whom <was> the mother of Mrs Ream, the mother of Vinnie Ream Hoxie, the sculptor. Mrs Fowler <Fuller> visited Utah with General Manning, and she is very enthusiastic in her praise of what she saw there and of the people. I also called today upon Mr Kasson and Mr Belford, but failed to see them. While I was out Mr Converse called and left a note, expressing regret at his having to go home; his son-in-law had died. If I did not know that the Lord was managing my case, I would have been annoyed at his departure. He intended to make a strong legal argument on my case. He is a fearless man. My trust, however, is in the Lord and not in man

13 December 1881 • Tuesday

Tuesday Dec 13/81. I was up very early this morning. Had comfort in pule malu [secret prayer]. Called upon General Herbert, of Alabama, who has been very outspoken in regard to my case. I found him, however, some what dampened in his enthusiasm. Culberson of Texas explained to me the cause of this. The papers in his district have been assailing him, and this has quenched his ardor somewhat about speaking in my case. Culberson now urges its reference to a Committee, instead of attempting to have me seated as he did not think I had a primâ facie case. This is only an excuse to avoid voting directly on the case; and perhaps they really are afraid of stultifying themselves by voting to seat me upon papers which do not give a primâ facie right to the seat. I called upon Mr Belford, of Colorado, and Mr Cox, of New York, before going to the House to talk about my case. Campbell and McBride have got out a very elegant card which is beautifully embossed. One [On] the one side is printed an extract from Arthur’s Message on Utah, and on the opposite page the admission which I had made as to the number of my wives and my relations with them. It purports to be issued by the Ladies Anti-Polygamy Society of Utah.

The call of the states and Territories was made today, and when Mississippi <was reached> an adjournment was effected until the Friday, with the understanding that the Utah case was not to be taken up until the following Tuesday.

Mr Bryce, Member of the English Parliament, whom I had seen at Salt Lake, came up to me on the floor and introduced himself to me. We had a long conversation. He appeared very much interested and at his invitation I called upon him after dinner at Wormleys. The remainder of the evening I spent with Bros. Stayner and Clayton until they started for New York. [At bottom of page:] (See page 182 for end of Journal)

14 December 1881 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 14/81. Was sick in night from bowel complaint. Had considerable pain. Think must have caught cold last evening through being out. Rather depressed; but received comfort through prayer according to the holy order. Remained in doors all day, most of the time in my room.

15 December 1881 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 15/81. Better this morning. Wrote letter to President Taylor, also to my wife Elizabeth. Conversed with Members. Met Major Geo. K. Chase <of Department of Justice,> last night and again this morning, to see if he could use any influence to have Order of Court corrected respecting the dismissal of Campbell’s complaint to have my naturalization set aside as fraudulent and the sustaining of the demurrer put in by Mr. Brown, my attorney. I saw by the papers that he had applied to have this amended, and as Chase had found fault with me for not applying to him to assist me when before Hunter issued this infamous order, I thought I would do so now. He told me had telegraphed last evening. Spent most of the day at the House.

16 December 1881 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 16/81. Mr. Converse having returned I called and paid him my respects this morning. His health is so poor he cannot go to the House to-day. He had returned solely to vote on my case. At the meeting of the House the call of States was continued. Willits of Mich. introduced a number of bills to deprive us of our liberties (Refer to them). Shellabarger of Penn. also introduced one of the same kind (which see.) The call did not go beyond Pennsylvania. I wrote a number of letters to-day—Bro’s. Geo. Goddard, Thos Memmott, Geo. F. Gibbs, M. Richards, Jr., Parowan, Bishop W. A. Bringhurst <Tokerville>

The House adopted a resolution to adjourn next Wednesday, the 21st, until Thursday, Jan. 5th, 1882, and then adjourned until Monday. The disposition seems to be general among the Democrats to have the certificate of Campbell and my certificate referred to the Committee of Elections. They are timid about touching anything that will be likely to be construed into favoring us. How plain it is to be seen that God will get all the glory of the redemption of Zion, for certainly man outside of his Church will not do anything towards it knowingly. The Lord by his overruling providence, his almighty power and foreknowledge will overrule the acts of man to fulfil his purposes. But oh, how much I need his help. I see no way to escape the snares of the wicked without it. I call upon him to rescue me. Had invitation to attend a reception to be given to Speaker Keifer at the Masonic Hall this evening. Concluded just before the time I would go. Upon my arrival found the body of hall seated and filled with ladies and gentlemen, invited guests, many of them Senators and Members and other distinguished people. On the platform were Judge Wm Lawrence, President of the <Ohio> Republican Association which had got up the Reception, Speaker Keifer and prominent Senators and Members who were to speak. Before I had a chance to take in the situation Col. Ford, one of the Committee, took <me> by the arm and marched me on <to> the stand <and placed me> on one of the foremost seats, where I was the observed of all observers. I suppose I was pointed out to every person in the house, as many knew me and they would tell those who did not. There were a number of speeches. Judge Lawrence to Speaker Keifer. He in reply. Then <Gov. Foster of Ohio,> Senator Sherman, Geo. M. Robeson, Rep. from N. J., and ex-Sec. of Navy, Senators Logan and Pendleton, ex-Speaker Randall and a number of Representatives, principally candidates for speakership who had been beaten. I withdrew when dancing <began.> <Reed of Maine made humorous speech. I think best made>

17 December 1881 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 17/81. The papers this morning contain the <following> dispatch:

[Newspaper article]

Delegate Cannon’s Case. In Salt Lake City Chief Justice Hunter, yesterday refused to set aside or modify the order heretofore made by him in Campbell vs. Cannon, in which he held that the certificate of naturalization held by Cannon was obtained by fraud, and had been fraudulently used, and was void on its face. This reaffirms that Cannon is an alien.

[End of newspaper article]

This is adding wrong to wrong and shows how determined these people are to ruin me if they can. They would strip me of my citizenship if they had the power, and make me an outlaw, and they would do the same to every Latter-day Saint. They would make us odious, deprive us of all sympathy, create a public opinion against us by their malignant falsehoods and misrepresentations and then strip us of every right and of all our property. This has always been Satan’s plan of dealing with God’s people. He and those who are his agents hope this will succeed; but God has promised that we shall prevail, and on that I rely. What a fate would be ours if the wicked could have their way! Wrote to Bro. John Hoagland; and to my daughter Mary Alice wrote a litter, to <my sons,> Angus and Hugh a letter, to <my daughters> Hester and Amelia a letter, and to my son William a letter. I did this work at the House. Changed my room at the Riggs House to one on 6th floor convenient to elevator. Larger and more cheerful room, fine view from window, which fronts east. I am to pay $100 per month for this and my board, fire and lights. This is high; but I am led to stay here where I can see Members than to go out to a cheaper place.

18 December 1881 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 18/81. Read <in> Book of Doctrine & Covenants the most of the day. Sent some pamphlets to three young men in Tennessee. Two of them had been elected by the Chi-Delta Society of the University to debate in public the question, “Resolved, That Mormonism should be suppressed.” They were to defend the Negative of the question and wished to obtain arguments to help them. In this way our question is being agitated. Their names are Wm G. Mc Adoo, Jr., and Chas F. Humes, Knoxville, Tenn.

19 December 1881 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 19th, 1881. Had conversation for a short time with Mr. Reed of Maine concerning my case. Had interview with Judge Belford of Colorado respecting introducing a resolution, if it should prove to be the best plan, to refer all the papers to a Committee. Called at Land and P. O. Departments to attend to business which I had been requested to attend to. Call of the States and Territories at the House. House agreed to postpone the discussion of the Utah case till Tuesday, Jan. 10th., and also agreed to adjourn to-day till Wednesday. Mr. Hill of New Jersey presented a lot of resolutions he had received respecting “the Mormons,” which he wished to have published in the Congressional Record, to which Mr. Blount of Georgia objected. I thanked him for doing so and persisting in his objection, though Hill appealed strongly to him in private to withdraw it. Mr. Blount told me that half a dozen Republicans had urged him to not yield his objection. The postponement of my case does not annoy me; it <is> rather agreeable to me, and yet I have no <outward> reason for feeling so. I am convinced the Lord is managing the case and I accept every movement as being right. Certainly Campbell gains nothing, that I can see, by delay. If he has not got a prima facie right <to the seat> through the Governor’s Certificate which he holds, then he has got nothing and has no more chance to get the seat than any other man who is not elected. If Haskell of Kansas, who is the author of the pending resolution to give Campbell the seat, were sure he had the House with him, it seems to me he would press the resolution to a vote. I hope, and may say that I am sure, that in this instance he will find the old proverb true, which says: “delays are dangerous.” Wrote several business letters in reply to those I had received, also to Bro. Jas Jack.

In my recent trip South from Salt Lake City in company with President Taylor and other Elders I was led to speak very plainly of the efforts which were being made by emissaries of religious denominations to get a foothold in our midst in various settlements. I warned the people to beware of them, and at Parowan spoke very plainly upon this subject. A preacher by the name of Wm C. Cort, who styles himself a “reverend,” was present and some of his female assistants. I understood that he said, after the meeting, he had always supposed I was a gentleman, but after hearing me, he had come to a different conclusion. My remarks had stirred him up, for I endeavored to put the people upon their guard against the insidious advances of such as he. A proof of his character has just come to my knowledge. Bro. M. Richards, Jr., wrote to me and sent a petition from Parowan, numerously signed, asking for the retention of Bro. McGregor, the postmaster, stating that he was a good <and an attentive> official and they wished him retained. I found at the Post Office Dep’t. a letter from Cort, in which he made charges against Bro. McG. and asked for his removal, the first of which was he was <is> a Mormon and an unaccommodating person; next he was is disloyal, tramples upon the laws in defending polygamy and should not hold any office of trust and profit under the government. He urges his removal. His letter is endorsed by the postmaster at Salt Lake City, and upon this single and unsupported statement Bro. McGregor is deprived of his office, and the protest of the entire people goes for naught. It is charge sufficient to say an official is a Mormon to have him removed. Cort and all of his cloth know this, and they are secretly doing all in their power to take every thing out of our control and would lead our children astray if they could, and at the same time act so hypocritically that those who did not look beneath the surface would think them the nicest and most friendly persons in the world. The devil has tried a good many ways to destroy us, and this is one of his latest plans. We are surrounded by foes, who wage incessant warfare upon us by every means in their power – using books, newspapers, the lecture platform and the stage. The government does not conceal its design to do all it can against us, the President giving the Keynote and all the lesser officials yelling in concert. Senators and Members clapping their hands in applause at hearing the utterances of President Arthur, just as the crowd around Garfield did at his inauguration when he denounced <us> in his inaugural address. Senators and Members vieing with each other to see who can frame the most effective bills against “the Mormons.” These are a few of the outside influences. Then inside we have the Federal officials, ready to do anything, however wicked and contrary to the constitution and the laws, that will be likely to injure us; And the Tribune with its persistent, oft-repeated and atrocious lies and misrepresentations; and now we have pious hypocrites, with bland address and lying, deceptive tongues, of both sexes, seeking to beguile the unwary and inexperienced and to draw the young into their toils, seeking to get a foothold in every settlement they can, in many instances ostensibly for the purpose of giving the children better school facilities. All these influences are at work to destroy the work of God, and those who wield them hope to succeed. They do not take the Lord into account. They think Providence is on the side of the strongest battalions, and of course they think to themselves they must win; and if this were true they would win, for we are but a poor, feeble people. But God has spoken. His word has gone forth concerning his work and it must prevail.

20 December 1881 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 19<20>th, 1881. Busy at Capitol the most of the day looking through the Congressional Record to learn what has <been> said and done about the seat of the Delegate and in the shape of bills and petitions against us, and to obtain clippings therof for my scrap book. First is the message of President Arthur. On the same day it was read David Davis, Senator from Illinois and President pro tempore of the Senate, presented resolutions of the 8th General Council of the Reformed Episcopal Church, held last May in New York, favoring legislation looking to the extirpation of polygamy in Utah. Mr. Hardenbergh <has> presented two petitions [blank line and a half] and one from the Synod of New Jersey for the suppression of polygamy. Mr. Hy. S. Harris of the same State also presented one from the same source of the same import. Mr. Jadwin of Penn. has presented a petition, signed by Hy. McKinney and others, for an appropriation of fifty millions of dollars for a permanent school fund in the late slave states; for the improvement of the Mississippi; for the army and navy; for the District of Columbia, and to crush Mormonism; and that no more principal be paid on the national debt till these objects be accomplished. Mr. Morrison of Illinois <has> presented the Memorial of the Southern Illinois Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, protesting against the admission to a seat in Congress of a practical and avowed polygamist. Besides these there are three Bills against us already introduced into the Senate – two by Vest of Mo., and one by Edmunds of Vermont; and nine into the House – six by Willits of Michigan; two by Shallenbarger of Penn. and one by Beltzhoover of Penn. Besides these Senator Morgan of Alabama threatens to introduce a Bill into the Senate to deprive our women of the suffrage. He made cruel and false remarks about us to-day in that body and denounced us and our religion, polygamy being the principal point of attack. It is such men whom I have found in my experience to be the opponents of <plural> marriage. Men of corrupt and profligate lives. Whether he is of this class himself I cannot say. But his son was accused here in the courts of a vile seduction – the victim was a young lady. The case created considerable scandal. Morgan was active in defending his son, and one of the methods adopted was to ruin the character of the girl by showing she had been guilty with other men. I do not know whether he suborned witnesses to prove this; but that was the impression made upon me by reading the report of the case in the papers. I see by the Baltimore American of to-day that at a meeting of the clergy of the Methodist Episcopal church in Baltimore yesterday Rev. W. T. D. Clemm moved that a committee of six was <be> appointed to prepare a paper for Congress <to> asking that vigorous measures be adopted to carry out Pres. Arthur’s plan suggested in his Message in regard to Mormonism and also to ask Congress to blot out Mormonism. They also were authorized to send a letter of thanks to Arthur for the vigorous paragraph in the Message against Mormonism, and hoping he will continue his wise course. If we judge by the zeal of the clergy and others in attacking us and urging our destruction his Satan, the lord of hell, is considerably mad against us just now. It is rather a favorable indication that the Saints are trying to live their religion. They are giving Congress, however, a big contract when they ask it to extirpate polygamy and blot out Mormonism. It would seem as though all hell was moving against the Saints. It is no wonder that people who <know> nothing about the Lord, his promises and his power, think we shall be broken up and our religion be obliterated. But I rejoice in the Knowledge that God reigns and he will defend and deliver us. These enemies will have enough to do, through their own divisions and strifes and other troubles, to keep them occupied without being able to devote the time and attention they propose to us.

21 December 1881 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 21st, 1881. After transacting some business and the Speaker (Keifer) announced the Committees the House adjourned till Thursday, the 5th prox. Haskell of Kansas who has charge of Campbell’s case came and spoke to me on the floor. He talked friendly and fair. In my letter to President Taylor I gave the principal points of his conversation (which see) excepting that he expressed the opinion that if we did not give up polygamy it would yet be wiped out in blood – there would be fighting over it. I told him that it would be difficult to get up a war if one side only did the fighting. We did not propose to fight, &c, and the system was greatly misunderstood. I invited him to come out and see us, and I would see that he had <should have> every facility afforded him of seeing the people at their homes. The fact that the men outnumber the women in Utah, that from the Church statistics there were more than 50 male births in excess of female births from last March till September, and an excess during the same period of 15 female deaths over those of males ought to convince any person that there were not the grounds which many supposed for entertaining dread concerning the spread of plural marriage. Under such a condition of affairs, however wide the latitude might be that would be given to plural marriages, it <they> could not be very numerous. Every woman having her free choice if she could make a suitable alliance with a man who had no wife would be not be very likely to become the wife of a man already married. Wrote to President Taylor this evening. Sent a telegraphic dispatch to him, informing him that I did not intend to return for the holidays and asking him to advise my family.

22 December 1881 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 22/81. Called upon Mr. Spofford, the proprietor of the hotel, at his rooms. He is sick. Rained hard all day. Did not go out. Was busy writing letters to Bro. C. W. Penrose, my attorney, Mr. Arthur Brown, Eddie Taylor, Geo. C. Lambert, my son David, my nephew, Geo. M. Cannon, Abraham H. Little.

23 December 1881 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 23/81. Rain had ceased. Wrote letters to each of my wives. Sent draft to Elizabeth with which to pay her brother John and Dan Jones, the gardener. Appealed to by H. G. Worthington, an ex-Member of Congress from Nevada, for the loan of $50 for 30 days. He is a lobbyist, and has been one of several who have tried to influce [influence] me to employ them to help me, with dwelling, in doing so, upon their great influence in representing facts to members and how much service they could be to me at the present time. I have seen so much of these people here that I want nothing to do with them; but this man has given me considerable information, probably with a view to securing my good graces, and he seemed so much in need that I loaned him $20. Went to the House and spent a little time in looking up copies of bills introduced against us.

24 December 1881 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 24/81. I omitted to mention that yesterday I received a reply to my telegram. All were well at the Office; my family also were well with the exception of some slight colds. Received a long letter from President Taylor, under date of the 16th inst. He had received mine addressed to him from New York. He informs me that they realize something of my position, and that I need help and I am continually remembered in their prayers. He finds that there is a good feeling generally manifested among the Saints, and they are more awake to our position than they have been for years, and their their prayers and faith are for me. A Mr. Geo. H. Giddings called upon me early this morning to speak with me about my case. He has been at me before to employ him to help me; but I told him I had no money to spend in that way. He said it would not require much; but I declined. He is a lobbyist. To-day his errand was to tell me how much ex-Senator Pomeroy of Kansas could help me, and that I could retain him either as an open or secret attorney; that I was going to have a hard fight, &c, &c. He hung on and canvassed the matter in its different bearings; but I thanked him for the interest he had taken in the case, and requested him to tender to Senator Pomeroy my sense of obligation to him for his kind offer to help me, but that I was not in a position to avail myself of it. These lobbyists remind me of a lot of sharks. I was told a day or two ago by one of them that Dr. Henkle, an ex-member from Maryland, was much interested in my case, thought I had been terribly outraged, &c, and that he could be of great service to me with Democratic Members and that I could employ him, which I respectfully declined to do. Went up to the House. Wrote several letters, among which was one each to my sons John Q. and Abraham.

25 December 1881 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 25/81. Christmas day. I spent it principally in my room reading the Books of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. After dinner I took a walk for an hour and a quarter. Received a very interesting letter from my son Abraham, dated the 8th inst. at Berlin, Germany. He has been traveling, for <in Germany, having left Bern> about a month and a half <ago> and has labored in <different parts of Germany, among other places,> Stuttgart, Nurnberg and Berlin. At Nurnberg 20 members were added to the Church while he was there, and <to> many outside he had borne his testimony and they had promised to investigate the doctrines further. The police had been after him <at Nurnberg,> and at Berlin the meetings are all under the supervision of the police, and if it was know[n] by the officers that he was there in the city, he would have to march very soon, or be imprisoned. The evening previous to his writing there was no officer present at the meeting, and he therefore addressed the assembly; but that morning early, a detective was around making inquiries in regard to him, he having learned by some means that a stranger addressed the meeting. He says he means to be as wise as possible, as he does not <has> no inclination to see the inside of a German prison; still he means to do his duty whatever the result may be. He expected to go to Hamburg in a few days, to assist Bro. Suhrke, who was in prison and would not be released till the 17th. He was alone so far as Elders were concerned; but he was enjoying his labors very much, and rejoiced that he had the privilege of laboring where he was, and of bearing his humble testimony to many persons. Being away from English-speaking <people> was an advantage.

26 December 1881 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 26/81. A holiday to-day. Received an interesting letter from Sister E. B. Wells, editor of Woman’s Exponent, and mother-in-law to my son John Q., which I answered at some length. Examining my mss. of the life of Nephi, which I have not had time to look at for months. After dinner walked for nearly two hours.

27 December 1881 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 1881. Did work preparatory to resuming my writing on life of Nephi in morning and evening. During afternoon I spent some time in law libraries looking up points for my case. Some years since – it was during the 43rd Congress, between seven and eight years ago – an affidavit of a man named Razin in manuscript was shown to Members in relation to myself. He swore that in March, I think, 1855, I had endeavored to induce him to kill Secretary of the Territory A. W. Babbitt, who was afterwards killed on the Plains by Indians in 1856. There were particulars given which I do not remember; but there never was a balder or more atrocious lie that this. I never knew such a man, and there never was the least circumstance to furnish even a suggestion of such a falsehood. My enemies tried very hard at that time to connect me, if they could, with some of the transactions in the Territory in which our folks were falsely accused of being criminal participants; but during those years I was absent from the Territory. For 15 years – from Oct. 1849 till Oct. 1864 – I had only spent nine months in Salt Lake City. But determined to do something to blacken me this affidavit was obtained. To show how desperately they were driven to find even this I may only mention that at the time I am accused of this act, I was working as a compositor in the Deseret News office for my daily bread, and had no influence as a leading man and was not recognized as such, and when Babbitt was killed I had been on a mission in California about 16 or 18 months. Mc Bride and Campbell have this affidavit incorporated in a pamphlet purporting to be the adventures of some Madame, and they are circulating it. This plainly exhibits the length to which these men are prepared to go. Upon hearing of this I thought of the words of the Savior to his disciples, about the feelings they should have when they were accused and spoken evil of falsely, and I rejoice and am exceeding glad that I am counted worthy to be in this way numbered with my Lord and his apostles, and Joseph and the holy prophets.

28 December 1881 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 1881. Received a long letter from my son John Q. under date of the 10th inst. at London, England. He is feeling happy and is busy in the labors of the ministry; willing to stay ten years if necessary, though he feels that he is not making the progress which he should. I also got a letter from my son Franklin’s wife Mattie, dated San Francisco, the 18th inst., in which she informs me they are well; baby is improving finely; Frank is closely confined to work; but they are feeling well and pray for me. She says nothing is decided upon respecting Frank going to New York to be the correspondent of the Chronicle, as the present correspondent is still kept on. Went up to the House and examined cases analogous to mine. Wrote a letter to Mattie, my daughter-in-law.

29 December 1881 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 29, 1881. Raining heavily this morning. Did not go out till after dinner about 5.45. I walked for some distance; but a storm of wind and rain caused me to take a street car. Was delighted last evening at receiving a letter from my wife Elizabeth, enclosing one from Mary Alice. It is evident from the chirography that my wife is very nervous. Her letter says that not hearing from me she was getting so excited that she could not eat or sleep. My letter had laid in town several days. Her letter expressed deep sympathy for me, and was very consoling. I answered it at length <and enclosed one to my wahine hope [last wife],> and also wrote a letter to Bro. Geo. Reynolds, from whom I also received one. I wrote a letter to my son John Q. in reply to his. Did some work on my Life of Nephi.

30 December 1881 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 30th, 1881. Received a letter from my wife, Sarah Jane, enclosing one to her from our son Franklin. Hers was brief, as she was hurried; but she expressed deep sympathy for me. All were well. Called upon Mr. Belford, Mr. Updegraff and Gen. Paine. The two former were out of town; the latter was sick. Spent some time in the law library looking up decisions on Certificates. The doctrine laid down in the books <as governing primâ facie cases> appears to be, that when the Certificate of election is issued and delivered to a person declared to be elected, in accordance with the official canvass <and> regular upon its face, the certificate is conclusive evidence of the right of the person holding to the office to which it shows him to have been elected, except in a case proceeding where this right is directly in issue, such as a contest. If Campbell’s certificate were of this character he would have a primâ facies right to the seat; but it is not. The Certificate is not in accordance with the official canvass; it is not regular on its face; it is not in conformity with law or usage, in that it does not declare him to be duly elected. My papers clearly showing that he did not get the majority of the votes, but that I did, the House finds itself, at the threshold of the case, in a position which unquestionably demands that it shall examine his right to the seat and not accept the Certificate which he presents as giving him a primâ facie right. The Star of last evening contains the accompanying editorial comment which I think worth preserving.

[Newspaper article:]

The Mormons probably will not call it a divine interposition in their behalf because Rev. Dr. Bacon happened to be engaged on an article against their doctrines when stricken down by death last week. Yet such a claim would be no more preposterous than many others of the same kind that have been made by other religious sects in the past. [In ink:] Washington Evening Star Dec 29/81

[Second newspaper article:]

The Rev. Dr. Leonard Bacon left an article on the Mormons unfinished on the night before he died. intending to complete it next day. He took the ground that the extermination of polygamy had become imperative, and the last completed paragraph was a caustic arraignment of the late Jim Fisk as a social offender of the same sort, but in far less degree than a Mormon.

[End of newspaper article]

I wrote a letter to my wife, Sarah Jane in reply to hers received to-day. It snowed to-day.

31 December 1881 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 31st, 1881. Kept close at work nearly all day, on my Life of Nephi. It is a delightful labor. Walked for about two hours after dinner. Received a dispatch from President Taylor, asking me whether it would be desirable for Sisters Zina Young and Ferguson to attend the Women’s Convention in this City. My own impression is that it would not be desirable to them, and I so telegraphed him; but, before doing so, I had an interview with Mrs. Spofford, the wife of the proprietor of the hotel where I stop (the Riggs House) who is friendly to our ladies, and who keeps up correspondence with Sister E. B. Wells, and who is identified with the people who will hold the convention, and she expressed herself frankly to the effect that their visit would not be profitable at present. She said <that> in her last letter to Mrs. Wells, she would have said as much to her, but did not like to write it, as she might not be understood. If they came they would be muzzled and slighted. These people, in their anxiety to gain popularity, do not wish to show our folks any favor, for the fear that a suspicion of countenancing, what is called, polygamy may attach to them. Mrs. Spofford said that, if they were <sensitive> ladies, such as Mrs. Wells described them to be, they would be made to feel bad at the treatment they would be likely to receive.

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December 1881, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 22, 2024