Thursday November 1, 1883. I put up last night at Grand Central Hotel. Called upon Gov. McCormick. Glad to see me &c. Told him the object of my visit &c. He and Mrs McC. would do what they could to aid me. No prejudice on part of Mr Thurman. To things to be met: his health, which he thought worse than it was, and other engagements. Expected him here on Monday. Would be at leisure here. Advised me to await his arrival. He is pressed with other business at Washington. Good place here to have full, free talk. Decided to remain. Wrote Bro. Caine and Bro. Richards each a letter. Ordered cloaks for girls, also dresses Mary Alice & Emily. Dined with Mr & Mrs Neels and young couple just married, Dr Packard and wife, nee Miss Mary Hooper, of Boston.
Friday, Nov 2, 1883. Called upon Gov. McCormick. No word about Mr Thurman. Went with Bros Hart and Watson and saw splendid spectacular piece Excelsior
Saturday Nov 3, 1884. Gov. McCormick has not been in town today. Wrote Editorial Thoughts for Juvenile. Sent dispatch home. Reply from Abraham, all well; work progressing nicely. Ordered three dash board lamps from Ortman & Co. No [blank] Cliff Street. Mr. & Mrs Neels took me out to famous restaurant and we ate broiled oysters. Then called at Everett House and saw Bro. John W. Young, wife and little son.
Sunday, Nov 4, 1883. Joined Bro. John W. Young, and we went to Flushing L. I. to see Alderney calves which he is purchasing through a Mr Bridges with which to fill a car to ship home. He hired a carriage and Mr Bridges drove us out to a Mr Wickhams to see his stock. Fancy prices; just sold a young heifer calf for $100; asked $400 for bull calf dropped last February. Being pedigreed gives value. Drove to Spring Hill farm, Mr Durkee’s. Very kind. Showed us all his horse stock. First class animals and first class prices. Had just sold Dictator, 20 years old, for $20,000. Took rail and car to meeting at Williamsburg. Bro. John W. spoke a few minutes. I followed for about one hour. Good feeling and spirit in meeting. Sister Wrathall arrived last night from Grantsville. Come to meet her husband who is coming with emigrants Tuesday or Wednesday next. Bro. John W. Young took myself and a Bro. Jack, who is from Manti, and is here studying art, to dinner at Everitt House. After which hurried off to catch Governors boat for Governors Island, where Sister Young had gone to visit Lieut. R. W. Young & wife. Returned at 10.30 p.m.
Monday Nov 5, 1883. Gov. McCormick telegraphed to see when Mr Thurman would be here. Bros Caine & Richards anxious and want to know how to move. No dispatch reached me upon the subject.
Tuesday Nov 6, 1883. Arose early this morning. Found letter from Gov. McC. containing dispatch from Mr. Thurman saying he expected to leave Washington by limited express tomorrow. Telegraphed to each of brethren – Caine & Richards – at Washington. Bro. Caine arrived at 6.30 p.m. Bro. Richards at 10.50 p.m. He had sent his wife and sons to Saratoga to see her relatives. Took Mr & Mrs Neels & Bro. Caine to see Cordelia’s Asperations. Very humorous.
Wednesday Nov 7, 1883. Called at Gov. McCormicks and with Bro. Caine upon Mr Dillon respecting Judge Hunters re-appointment. Called upon Mr Chas. Kraft, husband of Emma Fenton. Went by invitation of Mr Closs and saw Standard
and Electric light at Co’s office Centre Street, 311. Did not meet him, but saw lights and admired them. He called in evening and I requested Bro. Watson to listen with me to his explanations for I was pleased with light and thought it might answer our purpose at home.
Thursday Nov 8, 1883. Called at Metropolitan Hotel and saw Senator Thurman & wife. Had an hour’s conversation, but as other company was there he made appointment to meet me at 1 p.m. We met; had lengthy conversation (see Annexed notes). Went with Bro. Watson to see shawls. Bought one for wife Eliza at Jaffay’s. Then went & seen Standard Light. Bro. Caine left this evening for home and I accompanied him to Jersey City to his sleeping car. Met Bro. Hart and went with him to see returning Elders in their car on Emigrant train, which was about to start for Salt Lake City. I forgot to mention that yesterday steamer Wisconsin arrived with [blank] emigrants of our people. I went down to the wharf to see them. Bro & Sister John Groesbeck who are here on a visit went down with me. They are a clean, healthy looking lot of people. Telegraphed General Kane to learn where I could see him most conveniently tomorrow morning for few moments. He replied at his home Philadelphia and for me to fix the hour. I telegraphed 10.15.
Friday Nov 9, 1883. Reached Phila. at 10.5 and met the General as per appointment. Stayed with him till 1.30 p.m. then repaired to hotel. Wrote notes of interview with Mr Thurman and the letter he requested and had lunch. At 5 p.m. met the General again he was much pleased with letter and thought it would answer admirably. He offered to loan me $5000 if I needed it to pay Mr Thurman. Returned to New York at 11.30 p.m.
Saturday Nov. 10, 1883. Copied letter to Mr Thurman. The annexed is a copy. Called at his hotel. Saw Mrs Thurman. He had gone to funeral of Ex Sen. Randolph of New Jersey. He had left word that he would meet me in the evening, so I fixed upon 7 p.m. Very disagreeable, rainy day. Saw Bro. W. C .A. Smoot and Bro. Boshard who are going on missions to Switzerland, and also Bro. M. H. Hardy who is studying medicine & surgery here. Saw Bro. James Dwyer also and Bro J. A. Groesbeck. At 7 p.m. called upon Mr Thurman at the Metropolitan Hotel and found him so fatigued that he begged as a favor that I would give him till noon on Monday to examine the papers which he had not had time to look at yet. I told him I preferred that he should examine them when he was rested and refreshed. Went with Bros Hart, Watson & Dwyer and Mr Neels to Tony Pastors Theatre. Bro. Richards came down from Saratoga.
Sunday Nov 11, 1883. Spent the forenoon reading. In company with Bros Hart, Richard’s & Dwyer attending meeting of the Saints at Williamsburg. Bro. Hart spoke and Bro. Schwartz followed in German. I occupied remainder of the time. I enjoyed the meeting. After dinner spent evening with Bros Hart and Dwyer in Mr Neel’s rooms.
Monday Nov 12, 1883. At noon called upon Mr Thurman. He was suffering from rheumatism. In view of his inability to spend the winter at Washington and condition of his health and other labors he felt that he ought not to accept the position of counsel. We needed, he said, a man on the spot at Washington, where a word might arrest legislation. While we did not need a lobbyist we ought to have a man who could talk to members as one lawyer talking to another. He then criticized Judge Blacks argument, thought him a consummate master of English, but no deplomat; he rubbed the hair up the wrong way; his arguments were so sarcastic that they were more calculated to irritate than convince. The power of Congress to legislate for the Territories he considered practically settled. The U.S. Supreme Court had decided this time and again even so recently as in the civil rights case the court had decided against the power of Congress to enact it for the states; but that it could do so for the District of Columbia and the Territories. While this power under the Constitution might be by implication, still implication had been piled upon implication till it was no longer in the domain of discussion. The right to acquire Territory under the Constitution was so doubtful a one in Mr Jefferson’s opinion that when Louisiana was purchased he recommended the adoption of an amendment to the Constitution embodying the power (which however never passed) and from that day territory had been acquired until the Gadsden purchase and when acquired it had to be cared for – the one power implied the other, and laws had been enacted for the territory acquired, and it was useless to question this now. My impression was, from the manner in which he dwelt upon this, that his real reason for declining, besides perhaps his health, was that he could not endorse Judge Black’s views or follow his line of argument. He said he would be willing to argue cases for us before the U.S. Supreme Court, but there was no necessity to retain him for these; he could be paid for them as they arose. I told him I regretted his decision, and I knew my people would regret it. Though I had this feeling I did not feel particularly disappointed. I had prayed the Lord to move upon him to decide the way most pleasing to him. I telegraphed the result (partly in cipher) to Pres. Taylor. I thought best for Bro. Richards to go to Washington. I started for Philadelphia. Spent two hours at General Kanes. Took dinner with him. We thought best to see Mr Carlisle, then perhaps Senator Vest and Ex. Senator Eaton, now a member elect of the House of Representatives. He would make enquiries of legal and influential friends and advise me by telegraph. I wrote long letter to Prest. Taylor (which see <annexed**>). Put up at Continental Hotel
The Continental Hotel
Nov 12th 1883.
Prest. John Taylor, (9 p.m.
My Dear President:
I telegraphed you on Saturday last (10th inst) as follows: “Been annoyingly delayed. Perhaps an advantage in view (of) election results. Thurman considering matter. Written him letter at his request giving nature of duties. He is away today. Will meet him this evening. Indications rather favorable.” That evening, as previously arranged, I called upon him, but he was so fatigued, having been over in New Jersey at the funeral of ex Sen. Randolph, that he begged to be excused until today at noon. He had not had time to examine the papers I had submitted to him with my letter. They were the printed argument of Judge Black which he made before the Judiciary Comtee, the letter of his to the Sec. of the Interior printed in the News, and the Mss copy of the petition he wished us to present to the Commissioners. At noon today I called upon him. He was suffering greatly from the rheumatism. He informed me that he had read all I had placed in his hands very carefully, most of it twice over, and after considering the subject carefully he had concluded that he had better not become our counsel, as his health was such that he would be compelled to spend the winter in a warmer climate than that of Washington. He said what we needed was counsel at Washington where sometimes a word properly spoken in the right quarter might have the effect of stopping legislation. He had no doubt, he said, that if he had been in the Senate he could have shown Sen. Edwards, rigid as he is, that his bill was wrong. But after it had become law it was more difficult to contend against. He dwelt for a few minutes upon the importance of having General Counsel right on the spot, and then spoke upon Judge Blacks argument respecting the power of Congress over the Territories. He evidently thought that this was a question that had gone out of the domain of theory and had been practically decided; for the action of the past 80 years had been in favor of the power of Congress. Congress had acquired territory, beginning with the acquisition of Louisiana, which Mr Jefferson himself was so doubtful about the constitution giving the right to congress to purchase that he suggested the making an amendment to the Constitution, which, however, was not done – down to the Gadsden purchase, and had of necessity to enact laws for its government, and though this power had come by implication, still implication had been piled upon implication, till the power could not now very well be questioned. The U.S. Supreme Court had decided repeatedly in this direction, even in its recent decision of the Civil Rights Law, stating that Congress had the right to enact such legislation for the District of Columbia and the Territories, while it denied its authority to do so for the States. He praised Judge Black’s wonderful command of language, but thought he was no diplomat; he made the Republicans too angry by his denunciation of their policy, rubbing the hair the wrong way, to have the best effect upon them. He had wonderful powers of sarcasm, he said, which he could not refrain from using when speaking of their conduct towards and treatment of the South; but in our case he thought soft words might be more effective.
I was impressed with the idea, while listening to him, that he perhaps felt that he could not go as far as Judge Black had gone – could not pursue the same line of argument – and this, added to his poor health, which he had first mentioned to me is likely to prevent his acceptance, and the pressure of other labors, caused him to decline. He said that he would be willing to argue any cases for us before the Supreme Court; but it would not be necessary to retain him as general counsel to do this, but only as the cases arose. Another remark he made in favor of the idea of having Counsel in Washington was that while we did not want any Counsel to be in the lobby it would be an advantage to have a man who could talk as one lawyer to another.
Bro. Richards came down from Saratoga, where his family is, on Saturday evening. We decided it would be better for him to go on to Washington to examine the record of Mr Shellabarger, of whom Mr Thurman spoke favorably, to see where he stood on the Cullom Bill when it was up in Congress. I think he was a member at that time. I came on here to consult with Gen. Kane. I have just had a two hours conversation with him. He does not favor Shellabarger at present any more than I do, if we can get more prominent men especially a Democrat (S. is a Republican). I shall proceed to Washington in the morning. I shall see Mr Carlisle who will most probably decline, but we think it best to show him a compliment in this way, for he really deserves well of us for past actions. Senator Vest’s standing at the bar, and Ex-Sen. Eaton’s (now in the House), the General will inquire about among well posted legal lights here. In the meantime I will do so at Washington. If nothing unfavorable comes to light I will have interviews with them and see if one of them will accept. For reasons which I can explain when I see you the General favors the employment of Mr Conkling if two counsel[s] can be employed; but he thinks as you do, that if we have but one he should be a Democrat if possible. With love to all as though mentioned by name and constant prayers in your behalf, I am, Your Brother
(signed) Geo Q. Cannon
[End of inserted letter]
Tuesday Nov 13, 1883. Reached Washington at 11 A.M. Had interview with Mr Carlisle. Would be pleased to accept, but pressure of other duties was such as preclude his doing so. Had no prejudices, on the contrary his sympathies were with us. He expressed himself strongly respecting action of our enemies. He recommended Jas O. Broadhead of St. Louis as a prominent man and a most excellent lawyer, and at my request gave me a letter of introduction to him in case I should wish to employ him. Bro Richards spent some time with me. We went and saw Haverleys Minstrels in the evening. I wrote a letter to Prest. Taylor and one to General Kane.
Wednesday Nov 14, 1883. Called upon Mr. Justice Miller to ask his views respecting Mr Broadhead as a lawyer & compared with Senator Vest. Said he would be pleased to give me any information in his power. Glad I asked him concerning Broadhead. He is the best lawyer in the West an orator, a brave man, liberal, trustworthy and honorable. If he should undertake our case would not flinch. He thought so highly of him that had additional Judges been appointed to assist U.S. Supreme Court he intended to recommend him though he (Broadhead) is a Democrat, & he (Miller) is a Republican. I telegraphed in brief result of interview to General Kane. Called upon Mr Teller, Secretary of Interior. Talked over Fort Cameron and the purchase of buildings &c, also about Murray as Governor. He said he is backed by Senator Beck & the Kentucky fellows. Saw Acting Comer of General Land Office and the Special Division which has charge of the reservation, concerning Fort Cameron. Wrote to Bro. Murdock particulars of my visit and the result. Wrote to Mr. C. E. Mitchener concerning book he had written me about which he wished to get. I think he will get it in response to my request at Dept. of Interior. Wrote to Prest. Taylor, also to General Kane.
Thursday Nov 15, 1883. General Kane telegraphed me as follows:
Learned Senator Vest’s address and called. He was out. Called after dinner and had conversation. I proposed to him to be our Counsel in place of Judge Black. He said he saw nothing in the way but his being in the Senate. We talked over situation some time and he promised to let me know his decision tomorrow or next day at farthest. He did not admire Judge Black’s argument, he said, which he had read. Wrote to Prest. Taylor.
Friday Nov 16, 1883. Wrote “Topics of the Times” for the Juvenile Instructor. Wrote to General Kane, also to Prest. Taylor. Have not had any word from Senator Vest. Received a telegram from Bro. John W. Young at New York. Sent him a reply to effect that I did not know when I should leave for home and wrote him quite fully. Bro. Richards and I saw the comic Opera “Merry Duchess”
Saturday Nov 17, 1883. Senator Vest called this morning and we had lengthy conversation. Bro. Richards happened to be in the hotel and I called him and introduced him to the Senator. The latter had no objections to acting as counsel in the cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, but did not think it would be consistent with his position to be our general counsel, for no doubt legislation would be up before Congress and he would be tied up so that he could not talk; but as counsel in these cases, there would be no embarrassment. After he had gone I spoke with Bro. Richards respecting the matter. It struck me as the best thing we could do to employ him for these cases, and being interested we could doubtless get the necessary aid without his being placed in the embarrassing position of general counsel. After my explanations he took the same view I did. To get the benefit of General Kane’s experience on the subject I telegraphed him that I would like to meet him at his residence at 8.30 p.m. I took train for Philadelphia. He fully agreed with my view and thought it just what we wanted and the best thing we could do. He insisted on my taking $5000 in drafts to use in case I needed them until I could get remittances from home, though he preferred not having his name mixed up with our money matters as they were liable to be misconstrued. Before I left Washington I wrote to Prest. Taylor, Mary Alice, David, Emily & Sylvester in one letter and a letter to each of my wives. Put up at the Continental
Sunday Nov 18, 1883. Left at 7.20 and reached Washington at 11 a.m. Waited on Senator Vest and told him I had concluded upon reflection to employ him in the pending cases. Had some conversation. Made an appointment for him to listen to Bro. Richard’s explanation of cases tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Monday Nov 19, 1883. Wrote Editorial Thoughts for two numbers of Juvenile Instructor. Spent two hours at room of Comtee on Commerce of U.S. Senate and with Senator Vest, and Brother Richards made full explanation of legal position of case Kimball v. Richards. Wrote letter to Prest. Taylor.
Tuesday Nov 20, 1883. Spent two hours today with Senator Vest. Bro. Richards explained status of election cases. Had general conversation also. Wrote to Prest. Taylor. Telegraphed him in cipher for funds to be sent me at New York.
Wednesday Nov 21, 1883. Met again with Senator Vest and we were with him nearly four hours. After we had finished the discussion of the election cases, we got his views about the kind of legislation we should have enacted. He said he would not enact the Edmunds law for he viewed it as unconstitutional. This was in response to a statement which I made to him respecting the various views there would be entertained at home respecting the policy which should be adopted respecting legislation. Brother Richards said as one of the Legislature he could not vote for that bill, he as a lawyer looking upon it as unconstitutional; but, he asked, how would it do for the Legislature to pass it with the provision that the penalties should only follow trial and conviction? The Senator perceived that this would be a blow at our religion and he replied that it would not do; at least if he were a Mormon he would never pass such a law, though if it did pass it would not be acceptable. After some reflection he said that if he were in our place he would enact the Edmunds law as it stood prefacing it with the statement that we were under duress, in the minority with overwhelming odds and a strong public feeling against us, & that we did this in the interest of peace, tho’ we did so under protest believing it to be unconstitutional &c. He thought this would be a good move and would checkmate our enemies, in the meantime do all in our power to get it before the U. S. Supreme Court, who would declare it unconstitutional. If he were a Mormon he would deem himself justified in using any means to preserve the liberties of himself and the lives of the women and children in view of the character of the opposition waged against us. After canvassing these matters pretty thoroughly I took the opportunity of expressing to him our views concerning plural marriage, that it was impossible for us to abandon it. I related my own case, that I had taken wives because I believed it to be a command of the Lord and that my salvation depended upon it. No element of crime entered into our obedience of this law of God. We did not obey it to defy the law of man; but prompted by the highest and deepest convictions and that we were willing to endure whatever consequences might follow; that notwithstanding the decision of the U. S. Supreme Court we still believed laws against this practice to be in violation of the first amendment to the constitution; but if we were to be punished we desired to have at least fair trials, and then if martyrdom followed we would try and endure it courageously. I spoke in this strain for some time and had the spirit. He listened attentively and seemed impressed. Bro. Richards, after we had finished our general talk, withdrew, and then we discussed the terms to which I agreed. In the evening I paid him $1000 and he wrote out for me the annexed memo. In my conversation I told him that while I did not call him general counsel, I wished him to give us the liberty of appealing to him for legal advice upon all our questions. To this he assented, and his conversation on these points left nothing to be desired by me. I feel exceedingly gratified at the arrangement made, and Bro. Richard’s says he feels so also. I wrote a number of letters and at 11.15 took train to Philadelphia. Bro. Richard[s] went to New York.
Thursday Nov 22, 1883. I telegraphed General Kane that I would like to meet him this morning. I found him at breakfast at 20 to 8. I returned him the $5000 in drafts he had loaned me and thanked him for his kindness. I related to him the particulars of the arrangement with Senator Vest at which he was greatly pleased. He urged that I should write the protest of the Legislature suggested by Senator Vest and submit it to him for amendment before I went home. I felt myself that this would be a good thing to do; but I shrunk from writing the document. At 11 a.m. I went to New York. Bro. Richards and I talked over the suggestion of Gen. Kane and I concluded to stop and try to write it. Wrote to Prest. Taylor. Wrote letter to Senator Vest, copy annexed.
Washington City, D.C.
November 21st, 1883.
Hon Geo G. Vest,
Herewith please find the copy of the Memorandum of the Agreement which you handed to me, and which we made respecting your services as Attorney and Counsel. The Mem. signed by you, of which the following is an exact copy is a correct statement, according to my understanding, of the agreement we made respecting these cases, and as such I accept it – though to make it more full upon one point. I understand that all the election cases against the commissioners which may come up before the U. S. Supreme Court to test the constitutionality of the Edmunds Law, are included in the words “Snow et al.”
(Copy) “Nov. 21st, 1883.
Received of the Hon. G. Q. Cannon one thousand dollars as retainer in the cases of Kimball vs Richards and of Snow et al vs “The Commissioners” et al – the former case now pending in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the latter cases in the District Court of Utah. I agree to give my professional services in these suits for the sum of $10,000 – the balance of $9000. – to be paid when the cases are finally adjudicated in the Supreme Court of the United States, or if the cases do not reach the Supreme Court of the United States, then the said Cannon and myself are to agree upon the amount due for my services for the labor done up to the date of said suits being settled or ended, and if we cannot agree, the matter is to be left to some third party, to be selected by us for that purpose. And if from any cause I should not be able to perform the services herein stipulated, or only a part thereof the like course shall be pursued as to my fee. (Signed) G. G. Vest.”
I would not do justice to my own feelings if I did not express to you my apprecitation of the kind interest you have taken in these cases and the patient attention you have bestowed upon them. For myself and Mr Richards, and in the name of my co-religionists, I thank you; and be assured that the manly stand which you took in
the defence of the Constitution when the attempt was made to put an unpopular and almost friendless people beyond the pale of its guarantees, is not forgotten by the people of Utah. They cherish a grateful remembrance of your disinterested courage, and you will ever have their heartfelt desires for you ever to be strengthened and prospered in your contests for the right.
With sentiments of esteem,
I am, Very Respectfully,
(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon
Friday Nov 23, 1883. Busy at various little matters, among others had an interview with Mr. Anglim, book dealer of Washington who had bought a bill of books for Abrahams book store. I commenced work on the protest also. In the evening went with Bro. H. B. Clawson & son Willard & Mr & Mrs J. N. Neels to the Casino to see the Opera of the Beggar Student
Saturday, Nov 24, 1883. Met Mr Anglim and went with him to Leavitte & Co’s trade sales rooms and settled bill of books $54110/100 and made arrangements for their shipment. Mr. Anglim offered to endorse my note for the bill of books; but I declined as I thought that this would be taxing his kindness too much after what he had done. Wrote on Protest. In the evening went with Bro. Clawson & Son to Standard Theatre and saw “In the Ranks”. Quite sensational. Went to Washington on midnight train.
Sunday Nov 25, 1883. Prest. Taylor telegraphed to the proprietor of Grand Central Hotel at New York and the proprietor of the Riggs House at Washington to learn whether I had gone west yet. I sent him a dispatch as follows: “Returned here to finish up some business. Return to New York. Richards and myself expect to leave for west Monday or Tuesday at farthest.” Sent a note to Senator Vest asking for an interview at 1 p.m. I met him at his house. Had lengthy and satisfactory conversation. He thinks it better to keep the paper I had written, change it from the form of resolutions in which I had written it and make it an address and examine and prepare it very carefully, weighing every word and then mail it to me. This I thought was the better plan. I wrote General Kane what he had decided to do, and I did not think it necessary to call upon him as I had promised to do after Senator Vest had approved of the protest. I subscribed for ten copies of the Republic. Took 4 oclock train for New York and reached at 11 p.m.
Monday Nov 26, 1883. Rainy day. Evacuation Anniversary. Had good opportunity to see very grand parade from Hotel window with Bro. Clawson & Sister R. W. Young. At 7.45 p.m. started in company with Bro. F. S. Richards and family for west
Tuesday Nov 27, 1883. Concluded to go straight home instead of by way of St. Louis, Independence & Denver, as we intended to do. This it [It is] dangerous this time of year to travel on new road like D&R.G. for fear of washouts, snowslides or drifts. Telegraphed to Prest. Taylor from Buffalo informing him of our starting for home and asking for passes for Bro. F S. Richards and three over U.P. Changed at Buffalo to Canada Southern. I got our luggage which was checked to Denver changed to Omaha.
Wednesday Nov 28, 1883. Reached Chicago. Wrote Mr Neels informing him of change of plan concerning route as we intended to meet at Denver. Took C. M & S & P. R. R for Council Bluffs
Thursday Nov 29, 1883. Wrote “Topics” concerning Bro. Chas C. Rich. No passes for Bro. Richards. Saw Mr Kimball who gave him passes at my request. P. T. Vangile, District Attorney on board for Salt Lake.
Friday Nov 30/83. General McCook came on train at Cheyenne.1