Tuesday, January 1st 1884. I drove to town this morning. Took my son David with me to take care of my team and called and paid my respects and the compliments of the season to Pres. Taylor, Pres. Jos. F. Smith, Pres. Woodruff, and Mayor Jennings. Last night was a very cold night, the coldest I have felt for years; but today was rather pleasant though cold. I spent the afternoon visiting with my family, and at 5 oclock dined with my first wife’s family and household at my wife Eliza’s. We had a very delightful time.
Wednesday Jan 2 1884. Snowing today. Weather somewhat milder. Spent the forenoon at the Office. Had some conversation with Elders Lyman & Grant respecting their labors and other matters of public interest. At 2 p.m. met at the Endowment House. Bros Woodruff, Lyman, Teasdale, and Grant who had all been absent for some weeks were present, as well as Bro. Richards from Ogden and the brethren who reside here. Pres. Taylor was not present, his health and the stormy weather preventing his attending. I remained in town last night.
Thursday, Jan 3 1884. At the court house for an hour conversing with Bro. Isaac Waddell respecting the Hoagland estate and my wife Elizabeth’s property. Afterwards at the Presidents Office and had some conversation with James S. Brown respecting a social re-union of the Mormon Battalion. Bro. John W. Young had some conversation with Pres. Taylor and myself respecting the Caanan Co. Operative stock herd and made explanations concerning his action in purchasing stock.
Friday, Jan 4, 1884. At the Office. Elder H. J. Grant and myself ordained W. C. Murphy, who is a Seventy, an High Priest and first counselor to Bishop [blank] ward in the Severe Stake. I gave Bro. Grant some instructions as to the best method for the Saints at St. Davids and other places on the San Pedro River, Arizona, to proceed to secure their title. A man by the name of Hayward has set up a claim on an old Mexican grant for the land. Afterwards he and President Jos F. Smith and myself went and administered to Sister Mary Van Cott Young, who is very low. Had a long conversation this afternoon with Pres. Taylor respecting affairs at Austin, Nev. and the proposition he has made. As the First Presidency, He and Prest Jos. F. Smith and myself listened to appealed cases — that of A. H. Raleigh V. Bishop Bills, South Jordan. Several letters from parties asking counsel were read and disposed of. I drove after dark to Bro. Moroni M. Pratts, in the Big Field, where my wife Martha and two children were visiting, I having taken them there early in the morning. I took supper with them. We then drove home, reaching there about 1/4 past 10 oclock. I received this evening the following, communication: “Phil. Dec 30, 1883. My Dear Mr Cannon: Your friend suffered intensely until within a few hours of his release, and his mind was wandering from the outset of the attack. Yet in the intervals of consciousness he was fully persuaded of the approach of death and made efforts to give us counsel and to bid us farewell. In one of his lucid moments he said: ‘My mind is too heavy; but do you send the sweetest messages you can make up to my Mormon friends — to all my dear Mormon friends.’ Nothing I could make up, I am persuaded, could be [blank] to you than this evidence that you were in his latest thoughts. Since Pres. Young’s death you were his truest Mormon friend; but he always fondly cherished John W. in his heart even when he was not wholly approving him. Brigham Jr, too, he loved, and Wilford Woodruff.”
“There are others I could name; but how many have already crossed the river.”
“I hope that you will not greatly miss his counsels, and that the dark clouds that threaten Utah will pass away. His anxiety for you was very great. Your people will always have the <sympathy and> respect that he taught us to feel for you. Your Friend (Signed) E. D. Kane”. “Please to make especial mention to Pres. Taylor of my thanks for his sympathy. He was one of the Generals oldest friends.”
Saturday Jan 5 1884. On reaching the Office this morning I was pained to hear of the death of Sister Mary VanCott Young. I called and condoled with the family — Bro. John W. Young and wife. His wife is Sister VanCott Young’s daughter. Afterwards had some conversation with Pres. Taylor concerning subject of which we conversed yesterday afternoon. At 12 o’c attended a meeting of the Board of Regents. In the afternoon dictated my journal.
Sunday Jan. 6, 1884. Drove up this morning (accompanied by my son Hugh) in a storm to attend the dedicatory services at the 20th Ward Meeting House, a new brick building of elegant proportions, airy, cheerful, and well lighted. Prest. Taylor, my brother Angus (the President of the Stake) and his counselor Bro. Jos. E. Taylor, and several Bishops, as well as the Bishop of the ward, Bro. John Sharp, and his counselors, were present. I was called upon by Prest. Taylor to offer the dedicatory prayer. Bishop Sharp, Prest. Taylor, my brother Angus, and myself addressed the meeting and much good instruction was given. A sweet, heavenly influence, pervaded this house, and I think every one present felt its presence. I drove to my brother Angus’ to dinner. In the afternoon attended meeting at the Assembly Hall. Bro. Woodruff spoke and I followed. Had considerable liberty. By invitation of Prest. Taylor I spent the time between meeting at his residence and ate supper with him. We then drove to the 10th Ward Meeting House, where I remained for a short time, long enough to hear Prest. Woodruff offer the dedicatory prayer, when I withdrew to fill another appointment at the 21st Ward, it being a meeting convened in the interests of the Sunday School. Bro. Goddard was speaking when I arrived. He was followed by Bro. Alford, and Bro. Levi Richards; afterwards I spoke, and then drove home. This day has been one of considerable labor. The weather has been very unpleasant.
Monday Jan. 7 1884. At the Office. Bro. John W. Young called to ask counsel respecting the arrangement of his fathers graveyard with a view to burying his fathers wife, Mary Vancott Young, and his mother-in-law. It was decided that each wife should be buried according to her age as wife — that is the wife the longest married to be nearest Prest. Young. At 2 p.m. I attended meeting of the Sunday School Union, and at 3 oclock a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Deseret News Co. This evening at 7 oclock attended a crowded meeting of the Sunday School Union at the Assembly Hall. It was very interesting. Among others I made some remarks. I afterwards spoke to Bro. Goddard respecting the future management of these meetings, suggesting to him that we permit the County Superintendent and his Counsellors to preside and that we suggest to them any feature that we thought advisable. I thought it would be more in order, and honoring those brethren in their place.
Tuesday Jan 8, 1884. At the office. Afterwards attended the funeral of Sister Mary Vancott Young at the old residence of Prest. Brigham Young, the White House, now owned by his son Brigham and his wife Katie. Many relatives and friends of the family were present. I spoke first and was followed by Prest. Jos. F. Smith.
Elder Smith Tanner of Payson, and Elder Joseph Hyrum Armstrong of Cedar called in today, having just returned from missions to England. The latter had been released on account of his health and had been sent home in [the] charge of Bro. Tanner, and Willard F. Smith of Coalville, who had remained at Echo as they came on. Bro. Armstrong is in a very low condition. Considers himself a great sinner, and I think his mind is unhinged. I talked with him very plainly trying to arouse him, with what effect I scarcely know.
Mr A. F. Lazier, (a graduate of the University of Virginia, and a newspaper writer, who has just come down from Montana, where he has been living for two years) and myself had quite a conversation today. We have had an interview before. He is inquiring after the truth and appears much impressed by what he sees here.
Wednesday Jan 9, 1884. At the Office and attended to business connected with the Manti Temple, Bro. Folsom and Bro. Woodruff being present, with Presidents <Taylor,> Smith & myself. At 2 p.m. met with the First Presidency and Apostles at the Endowment House.
Thursday, Jan 10, 1884. Was at the Office early this morning to keep an appointment with Pres. Taylor for the purpose of talking over with John Beck the affairs of the property we had got from him. Brothers George Reynolds and L. John Nuttall were present. Had an interview with Mr Wm Armitage and Bro. Lorenzo Snow respecting his labors in painting at the Logan Temple, but did not come to any conclusion, as we had an appointment at 11 oclock to meet with the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. At 2 p.m. met again with John Beck on the business we had in the morning. In the evening attended a party at Bro. Jennings’, accompanied by my wife Martha. Had a very pleasant visit.
Friday Jan 11, 1884. Met again with John Beck this morning at the Office.
Bro. Wm Armitage’s wages were fixed at $6 per day, and his son $3.
I am 57 years old today, and I went home early for the purpose of meeting with my family. My brother Angus and his folks, my sister Mary Alice and her husband, my brother in law John Hoagland, and my brother-in-law, Moroni L. Pratt and his wife (sister of wife Martha). We had an excellent dinner and spent the evening in a very enjoyable manner. I also had my grandson George Q Cannon, son of John Q, with his aunt Lu. Wells. While eating dinner I received a letter from Prest. Taylor requesting me to be at the Office at 9 oclock in the morning, and informing me that his wife Jane had had an attack of something like paralysis.
Saturday Jan 12, 1884. At the Office early and attended with Prest. Taylor to business connected with the Beck Property, and I signed a note in his behalf and my own to the Trustee-in-Trust for $2000, $1000 for myself and $1000 for him to pay for a debt of trust that was on the property of the company. (For further particulars see minutes of this meeting in the company’s books). At 10 A.M and 2 P.M. we met with the Council at Social Hall, and attended to business connected therewith
Sunday Jan 13, 1884. Attended meeting at the Assembly Hall, At 2 p.m. Bros W. B Preston and George Teasdale addressed the assemblage. I afterwards met with the Presidency & Twelve at the Endowment House and attended to prayer.
Monday Jan 14, 1884. At the Office and busy again with Bro. Beck about the Beck matter. At 12 oclock met with the Board of Regents of the University of Deseret, and attended to business. The 26th Session of the Legislative Assembly of Utah was organized today.
Tuesday Jan 15, 1884. At the Office.
Bishop Thomas Taylor called and reported his labors in connection with the Iron Manufacturing Co. He had commenced moving the railroad which he had recently purchased.
Governor Murray delivered his Message to the Legislative Assembly today. It was scarcely as bitter in some respects as was expected, although it contained many things that were untrue.
At 3 oclock this afternoon in company with Prest. Taylor & Smith and my brother Angus, I attended a party at the residence of Bro. Geo. Stringfellow. My wife Eliza accompanied me. Afterwards I returned to the President’s Office and assisted Bro. James Sharp, who is Speaker of the House, and Bro. W.W. Cluff, who is President of the Council, in making up their lists of Committees, which detained me till about 9 oclock.
Wednesday, Jan 16, 1884. At the Office and had an interesting conversation with Prof. J. M. Hoppin of Yale College, Newhaven, Conn. The First Presidency in company with Bro. Erastus Snow, F. M. Lyman, George Teasdale, and H. J. Grant, attended to a number of items of business, and among others a letter from Bro. F. D. Richards concerning the Book of the Law of the Lord was read and elicited some remarks, among others, that the feeling was expressed by Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself that he ought to be put in as Assistant historian. A motion to this effect was afterwards made at our 2 oclock meeting at the Endowment House and carried unanimously.
Thursday Jan 17, 1884. Had an appointment this morning at the Office with Elders E. Snow & H. J. Grant to meet with Bro. W. W. Cluff and James Sharp to arrange for the apportionment of the Governor’s message to the Appropriate Committees in the Legislative Assembly. I attended this evening a party at Sister Barrett’s being the anniversary of her birthday. My wife Sarah Jane accompanied me. There were present Pres. Taylor, Jos. F. Smith, W. Woodruff, Erastus Snow and wives, and Bro. Jennings & wife, and Bro. Joseph Watson and wife. Had a very interesting visit.
Friday Jan 18 1884. Miss Emily Faithful called at the Office this morning, and I had some conversation with her. She was accompanied by her private Secretary, Miss Robinson.
I then examined names (in company with Bro. Clawson and his wife Margett and daughter Phoebe) of ladies whose names were put down for the leap year party at the Theatre under the management of the Unity Club. In the evening attended a ball at the Social Hall and took with me my wife Martha and Sister in law Emily Hoagland. I enjoyed it immensely it being the first party of the kind I had attended for some 12 or 13 years. Prest. Taylor, myself and Bro. Jos. F. Smith made some remarks during the evening.
Saturday Jan 19, 1884. I was busy today at the Office writing my report as Chancellor of the University of Deseret to the Legislative Assembly.
Sunday, Jan. 20, 1884. Prest. Jos. F. Smith and myself took train this morning for Ogden to attend the Conference there. I was accompanied by my wife Sarah Jane. Was met at the Station by my son Frank with a carriage, and also Bro. L. W. Shurtliffe, President of the Stake. We proceeded in the carriage to my sons, where we partook of breakfast. It was a very cold morning, and I suffered from chilliness all day. The forenoon meeting was occupied by Bro. Jos. F. Smith and by the reports from Bishops, and statistical reports, and the presentation of the authorities. In the afternoon Brother Erastus Snow occupied one hour of the time, and I occupied about half an hour. Much plain talk accompanied by the spirit was given to the people.
Monday Jan 21, 1884. A meeting of the Board of Directors of the Utah Iron Manufacturing Co. was held at 11 oclock at the Gardo House. At 12 o’c. I had to leave to attend a meeting of the Board of Regents. Another meeting of the Iron Co. was held in the afternoon.
A birthday party in honor of Sister Eliza R. Snow was held at the Social Hall this evening. There were about 200 persons assembled and partook of supper. The evening was spent in making addresses, giving recitations, singing &c[.] It held till about 11 oclock and was a very enjoyable time. Sister Snow is 80 years of age today.
Tuesday Jan 22, 1884. Engaged in making my Chancellors report to the Legislative Assembly.
Wednesday, Jan 23, 1884. Finished my report of the University today. Bro. N. Farr Jr and R. J. Taylor from Ogden, called and had some conversation with regard to the Ogden City Water Works. This matter had been explained to Prest. Smith and myself while we were at Ogden. It seems that the City Council had authorized certain persons to cast votes in the election of Directors to the City Water Works who were members of the City Council; but the parties who had been entrusted with this duty had not received official notice from the City Council to this effect and had taken advantage of it and voted for other men. Bro. Taylor & Tanner members of the City Council came to see if something could not be done towards carrying out the wishes of the City Council and have these men resign. This question had been submitted to myself, Bros Jos. F. Smith, Erastus Snow, & F. D. Richards, by Prest Shurtliffe on Sunday. After hearing the names of the men who had been voted in, we concluded that it would be better for no change to be made, as they were reputable men, men who could be governed; it would create less agitation to let the matter stand; and we advised Bro. Shurtliffe to so tell the City Council. But it seems they were not satisfied with this and wished to have their side presented, which they did today; but after hearing all, it was again decided to let the matter stand.
At 11.30 attended
the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Iron Manufacturing Company, and at 2 oclock met with the Presidency and Twelve at the Endowment House.
In the evening listened to a lecture by Miss Emily Faithful in company with my wife Martha and sister-in-law, Emily, at the Theatre, entitled “Modern Shams”, which was pregnant with beautiful truths
Thursday Jan 24,1884. Had my report as Chancellor, and the accompanying documents presented to the Legislature this afternoon. In the evening attended a dancing party in the Social Hall accompanied by my wife Eliza and daughter Mary Alice. We had a very delightful time.
Friday Jan 25, 1884. My heart has been filled with solemn reflections these past few days in thinking about the scenes through which I was passing two years ago at this time. I was in deep waters. I was in Washington and my case was being argued before the Committee. I was alone with no one to whom I could imbosom myself and exposed to all the malevolence of my enemies. It was a time of great excitement upon our question. Added to this came the news of my wife Elizabeth’s dangerous illness. She was dying at home and I was fast bound and could not leave to be with her in her dying moments. My heart was wrung with grief and it seemed at times as though I could scarcely bear up. It would not have been so bad had I been able to imbosom myself to some sympathic friend, but I was alone with no one but my heavenly Father. Two years have past; for this is the anniversary of her death, and I am filled with than[k]fulness to the Lord for the comfort and consolation which have been imparted to me in her family. I dared not anticipate such peace and comfort as I now enjoy. One thing which has contributed chiefly to produce this feeling has been the loving kindness which has existed among my children. The chief element in my grief was on their account, for I knew what it was myself to be left without a mother. But though my daughter Mary Alice had just turned 14 years of age, she has had a wonderful gift of governing. David, Emily & Sylvester pay as much respect to her as if she were their mother, and do not think of doing anything without consulting her any more and probably not so much as some of my children do with their mothers, and they have lived very affectionately and lovingly together. This has been a great comfort to me, and I thank the Lord for it. I have been thinking of taking them to their mothers grave for some time, but no opportunity has presented itself. Today I concluded, cold as it was, that we would all go; for I wish to keep the memory of their mother alive in their bosoms and her virtues present before them. So Mary Alice, David, Emily and I rode to town in the victoreen. Then I called at their aunt Emily’s and took her in, and I rode with my son Abraham in his buggy to the graveyard. At the grave I offered prayer and we all gave way to our emotions a little while and then returned.
At the office busy with correspondence. In the evening visited my wife’s neice and her husband, sister Olive Marks & Bro. Steven Marks. There were present besides myself and Mary Alice my sister-in-law, Emily, and Bro. John Hoagland and wife, his son & wife, Thomas Little & wife and Mr Savery and wife. Mr Savery is a cousin of Olive’s mother, Rachel Hall.
Miss Emily Faithful and her secretary, Miss Robinson dined with Prest Taylor at the Gardo House. At his invitation I dined with them and sat between the two ladies during the dinner. Sister Eliza R. Snow and Sister Barrett, as well as Prest. Smith and wife, and some members of Prest. Taylors family were also present.
Saturday Jan. 26, 1884. Bro. Wm Riter called on me yesterday for counsel respecting his situation as bondsman for Bro. George Crismon, Collector of Taxes, for this county. I was shocked to hear from him of the condition of Bro. Crismon’s affairs. He had used large amounts (over $30,000) of the Territorial funds which he had collected as taxes, and Bro. Riter was in trouble, not only as one of the bondsmen, but from an anxiety to save Bro. Crismon’s reputation, as well as to prevent the distrust which would attach to us as a people because of this defalcation. He had succeeded in getting Malan Weiler to pay $22,000 of this amount, but there was still, according to Bro. Crismon’s own statement, $6000 deficient without mentioning the amount of uncollected taxes, for which he was also responsible. This morning he called again to see me and said that further inquiries had developed the fact that there was still $11,000 which had been collected
with that Bro. Crismon had used and $7,500 of uncollected taxes, making some $19,000 altogether. I had him relate the affair to Prest. Taylor. I accompanied him afterwards to Bro Nephi Clayton’s to see what could be done about getting time, as his brother-in-law, Bro. Weiler, thought if they could get time this deficiency could be made. Bro. Clayton said all he could do would be to not press for the taxes of 1882–3, but that all that was due and likely to be outlawed by not being assessed for by him, say $7000, must be paid. The County Court has been very negligent in this matter. The law requires that they should exact a settlement every three months. This has not been done, and the result is Bro. Crismon has used these funds without check — a shocking instance of the evils which attend the neglect of the law. Had he been settled with properly every quarter this could not have happened. Now it will ruin him to pay this deficiency, and it is doubtful if all he has is worth in the world were taken whether it would settle it.
Arranged with my brother Angus and Bishops L. W. Hardy & R. T. Burton and Bro. H. Clawson for a social party for the Bishops and High Council and Presidency of this stake with the First Presidency & Twelve and Presidents of Seventies as invited guests. This party to be given by the First Presidency to the Bishops &c with a supper. It will probably require two nights to furnish them all an opportunity of meeting in the Social Hall.
I received a letter, (of which annexed is a copy) from W. H. Shearman, who was once an intimate friend of mine in the Church, to which I sent him annexed reply. Dictated my journal to Bro. John Irvine.
Sunday Jan 27 1884. I was somewhat surprised this morning to learn that W. H. Shearman was in my house. I felt somewhat fatigued and lay longer than usual and he reached there before I had arisen. He apologized for his letter, and said when he received mine late last night he felt that he had exposed himself to the construction that I put upon it, but that it was far from him to think of accusing me or any of the leaders of these things. What he had in his mind was the Mountain Meadow Massacre and other matters of a similar character. I explained to him that there was no cause to feel ashamed of that. Because some men had done wrong it was not for the whole people to mourn over that. The leaders were innocent and why should they bow their heads or act as though they were guilty if they were innocent of all complicity with that outrage. Besides, I said, it was a state of war when that was committed. A friend of mine, who was distinguished as a soldier, and who knew all the facts connected with the transaction, had thought that we were unduly sensitive respecting that Massacre; that when all the circumstances were taken into consideration it was only an act of war committed at a time of great excitement when every one thought that open war was declared, and this company had by their outrageous course provoked the fate which they met. I did not justify it and shrank with horror from the contemplation of it, but I felt no sense of responsibility connected with it, neither did I think any belonged to us as a people. He brought me down his letter book in which there was a long letter to W. S. Godbie who had gone east as he (Shearman) feared in the interests of Murray. His letter was all that I could ask; it was very plain spoken; and he urged Godbie to be careful not to do anything to injure the people. He showed me this letter to prove to me what his true sentiments were. We had a lengthy conversation, and while he was there I had my children and family together to talk to them having so few opportunities of doing so. He rode up to town with me. I attended meeting in the Tabernacle and spoke to the people at the request of Prest. Taylor. Afterwards accompanied him to his house and remained there till nearly supper time, when I went to my sister-in-laws and from there to the 14th Ward Meeting House, and after listening to Bro Matthews & Bro Freeze, two missionaries, I spoke for half an hour. I remained in town all night.
Monday Jan 28, 1884. At the Office. Sad news reached us of the destruction of the Brigham Young Academy (Provo) by fire. Loss estimated at $15,000.
I received a letter from from my son John Q. in which he informed me of his condition and other prospects of which he spoke very favorably. He had planned work for months ahead; but after closing his letter he received a letter from Bro. John Henry Smith releasing him from his mission and giving him leave to return. In a postscript he expresses his surprise at the news. He thought that Bro. Smith had been misinformed as to his true condition, and had written Bro. Smith that he hoped he would not publish him as released on account of ill health. Bro. Jos. F. Smith and Prest. Taylor both felt that it would be better for him to remain and Prest. Taylor sent the following dispatch to Bro. John Henry Smith: “Regret Cannons release. Prefer he remain longer.” He thought as he had his wife with him he could stay some time longer as well as not.
In the evening I attended a lecture at the 14th Ward Assembly Rooms (Prest. Smith, Prest H. Wells, & other leading elders were also present) by Elder B. H. Roberts, the subject being “the divine mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith.” It was a very able effort.
Tuesday Jan 29, 1884. At the Office. Speaker James Sharp of the Legislative Assembly, and Representatives Thurber, Houston, Farnsworth and Riter called upon me today and had a conversation respecting legislative matters.
Having received a letter from Governor Black asking for reply to his communication respecting the settlement with his father, I submitted to Prest. Taylor the proposition that Bro. F. S. Richards be telegraphed to, to make the settlement, but he did not appear clear, nor did Bro Jos F. Smith, to take this course. Bro. Smith thought that I should go down as it involved a large amount and considerable might be saved by my going and attending to it. Nothing definite, however, was done in the matter.
In the evening I attended a dancing party at the Social Hall, accompanied by my daughter Mary Alice and wife Eliza
Wednesday, Jan 30, 1884. At the Office. Wrote a petition for the Trustees of the Brigham Young Academy asking the public for subscriptions to erect building. I attended to my correspondence. At 2 p.m. held meeting as usual in the Endowment House with the First Presidency and Apostles, and it was there decided that I should go east and settle with Governor Black for his fathers (Judge J. S. Black) services, and Prest. Taylor suggested that I might spend a week in Washington if I could be of service to Bros Caine and Thatcher there. I had an interview with my son Frank last evening at my son Abraham’s house in relation to his labors. I have thought that probably he might like to work on the Juvenile, but he seemed to think that there was other employment that had been spoken of in Ogden that would suit him equally well if it would be agreeable to me, and I told him that I thought he had better remain there at present.
Thursday Jan 31, 1884. At the Office. Corrected discourse. My Brother Angus is out today again. He has been suffering from a serious illness since Sunday. My own health is not so good as usual. I am quite hoarse.
In the evening accompanied by my wife Martha and my sister-in-law, Emily, I attended a party at the house of Elder L. John Nuttall and had a very interesting time. Prests. Taylor & Smith were there and a number of the family of Prest. Taylor. Prest. Smith and myself attended a caucus of the members of the Legislative Assembly, and with Bro. Erastus Snow gave our views upon the subject of taxation for School purposes in this territory. We thought it very unadvisable under the circumstances to secularize our schools or to tax our people for school purposes, as there was danger of it leading to bondage.