The Church Historian's Press

February 1884

1 February 1884 • Friday

Friday Feb 1, 1884. At the Office. Busy preparing for my departure. Attended Conference in the Assembly Hall in the afternoon with Prest. Taylor. Bro. Teasdale and myself addressed the conference and I followed for about 20 minutes. I drove home and upon invitation of my wife Eliza attended with her the leap year ball in the Theatre. My daughter Mary Alice also came up with us, she having invited her cousin, Louis M. Cannon. We called for him at his house and we went together to the Theatre. I was requested by sister Margaret Clawson, the Manager, to open by prayer. We stayed till intermission, about 11 oclock. As I had to go away early in the morning I thought best to stay in town. My wife and daughter went down accompanied by my son David and my nephew Louis.

2 February 1884 • Saturday

Saturday, Feb 2, 1884. At 7 o’clock this morning we started for Logan. There were in the company Prest. Taylor and his daughter Ida and niece, Prest Jos. F. Smith and wife, Prest Woodruff, Elder Erastus Snow, and wife, Elder John Nuttall, Elder John Irvine and myself. We were joined at Ogden by Bro. F. D. Richards, and at Brigham City by Elder Lorenzo Snow. Myself and Bro. Richards were entertained by Bro. C. O. Card. Prest. Taylor was unable to get to the meeting this afternoon, and I presided. The conference was addressed by Elders Teasdale, and Erastus Snow, and the statistical report was read. After the meeting I went over to Prest. Taylor at Prest. Prestons where he was stopping, and a number of the other brethren came in. The names of suitable persons for city counselors for Salt Lake City were canvassed and decided upon. They also took into consideration the formation of a new stake out of Oneida County, Idaho. Bro. Richards, Bro. Card & myself attended a panorama exhibition of scenes from the Book of Mormon painted by Reuben Kirkham. The exhibition was interspersed with songs and instrumental music. Some of the paintings were quite creditable, the landscape being much better than the figures. Bro. Kirkham is a better landscape than a figure painter.

3 February 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Feb 3, 1884. Conference met at 10 oclock. The forenoon was occupied by Prests. Jos. F. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and Elder F. D. Richards. Upon invitation of Bro. Preston I went to his house to lunch. In the afternoon the time was occupied in the administration of the sacrament and in speaking by myself and Prest. Taylor. The house was filled to its utmost capacity, and many had to go away not being able to get in. A meeting was held in the evening at 6 oclock at Bro. Preston’s, and it was decided to divide Oneida County into two stakes — the lower part Oneida Stake, the upper part, containing the settlements on Snake River, to be called Bannock Stake. Elder W. D. Hendricks was selected to be President of the former, & Elder Thomas E. Ricks of the latter, with the privilege of consulting with the Presidency of Cache respecting suitable persons for their counsellors, and then they to submit them to Prest Taylor for approval.

We heard the case of [first and last names redacted] Jr. who had been disfellowshipped by the Bishop for adultery while on his mission. It a very sad case, and one that appealed very strongly to my sympathies. He is a young promising man, the husband of two wives, and the father of one of his wives, and the brother of the other came to see what decision could be reached respecting his family. His wives wished to leave him if they could not honorably stay with him as a member of the Church. He was considered a young man of great promise, but from his own statement got to romping with a young lady and made a proposal to her to go into the garden with him. He says that he did not fully consummate the act, for he was brought to a consciousness of the terrible character of the sin. Nothing could be done in his case until it had been submitted to the High Council. In the meantime his wives as they had been counseled were to remain in their home, he providing for them.

4 February 1884 • Monday

Monday Feb 4, 1884. We spent the forenoon in the temple looking at the work and giving counsel respecting various parts connected with the finishing. I dined at Bro. Prestons where we also set apart Bros. Ricks and Hendricks, Prest. Taylor being mouth with the former and I with the latter. We left Logan about one oclock. Were delayed somewhat by washouts on the track of U & N. also on the Utah Central. I was met at Ogden by my son Franklin who remained with me until the train started for Salt Lake City. I took supper at my son Abrahams and arranged for him to take me down home early in the morning.

5 February 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Feb 5, 1884. I was up at 6 oclock this morning and drove down home in the midst of a severe storm. Abraham also brought me back to town: storm still raging. Very busy all day making my preparations for departure east. I intend to leave (D.V.) in the morning. Dictated a number of letters and my journal to Bro. John Irvine.

Tuesday evening — Storming very hard, the snow making the roads very heavy. I expected my wife Martha from the farm in the carriage to go to the Bishop’s party, given by Pres. Taylor at the Social Hall. She came in time for us, Emily Hoagland accompanying her, to have one dance before supper was announced at 6.30 p.m. There were three tables, President Taylor, myself and Prest. Smith being each of us at the head of one. The meal was excellent. Bro. Ball was the caterer, and the Comtee was Angus M. Cannon, President of the Stake, Bishops Hardy & Burton, of the presiding bishopric and H. B. Clawson, bishop of the 12th Ward. Prest. Taylor spoke and sung two songs during the evening and there were a number of songs sung and a recitation by Bro. Jos. E. Taylor. We left the party between 11 & 12 p.m. I was set apart & blessed by Prests. Taylor & Smith, the former being mouth

6 February 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Feb 6, 1884. My wife Eliza helped me pack my things until 20 min. to 5 this morning, when we sought rest. I was up again at 6 oclock and bade the folks farewell about 8, my son Angus accompanying me to town. At the office, then took D & R. G. RR. at 10 oclock, Abraham & Bros Gibbs and Spence going with me to the train. Snowing heavily.

7 February 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Feb 7, 1884. The scenery today has been indescribably grand, especially the Black Canõn, Marshalls Pass and the Royal Gorge in the cañon of the Arkansas. It exceeded in sublimity and grandeur anything I had ever seen. Had some conversation on the cars with a reporter of the Denver Tribune by the name of Mac Carthy. Reached Denver at 11.30 p.m, two hours and a half late. I put up at the Windsor Hotel.

8 February 1884 • Friday

Friday Feb 8, 1884. Called upon Mr Nims, Passenger Agent of D&R.G.RR. Not having received any pass over the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe he offered to give me pass over the Quincy & Burlington. He proferred me every courtesy in his power. Called upon Mr J H. Jones, Manager of the Pacific Express Co. and delivered him letter sent to his wife by my wife Sarah Jane. Called upon Mr Patterson, who was Delegate to Congress from Colorado when I was in Congress. He is absent at Leadville. Wrote to my son Abraham. Mr Babcock of the Gt N.W.RR. called upon me and invited me to call at his office which is in the Windsor Hotel building. When I called he sent for a buggy and took me out riding showing me all over the suburbs. It was somewhat cold but very bracing and I got a good idea of the place. I am impressed with the evidences of wealth in the many costly blocks of buildings and the private residences, many of which are as fine as can be seen anywhere. It is a better built and larger place than I expected to see. After the discovery of the mines at Leadville, the city, which was at a standstill, took a “boom”. Wealth poured in and building was greatly stimulated. The interiors, I am told, are also elegantly <finished &> furnished. I do not like the location near so well as I do Salt Lake City. It has mountains in the distance and it is well situated, but the mountains around our valley make a beautiful setting for our gem of a city. Of course while the mines hold out Denver will doubtless be supported; but it appears to me that it is far ahead of the State and that it has not the Country behind it to sustain it. Rich mines however are sources of great wealth and they stimulate business of every kind. I cannot find out the exact debt on the City, but it is considerable. The tax is 3% on a 2/3rd valuation of property. The public buildings are very superior — the County Court House and the City Hall being structures that would do credit to any old settled country. The school houses also are admirable buildings, being built out of school funds which the State got possession of when admitted into the Union. Mr Babcock was very kind and did all he could to make my ride interesting. Upon my return I found a note from Mr Jones inviting me to supper with them at 6 p.m. I spent 2½ hours with them very agreeably[.] I found Mrs Jones very little changed. Sally their daughter — Mrs Lyster — is a very sprightly woman. Her husband had a bilious attack, and she could only come in for a few minutes. Her house joins her parents’[.] Mrs Jones parlors are elegantly furnished articles of virtu being selected with great taste and care. Mrs Jones pressed me to return this way and to stay with them instead of going to the hotel, and extended the invitation to my daughters and especially to Sarah Jane, my wife. As I returned I went into Tabors Opera House, a most elegant place of amusement, probably not excelled by any building of the kind anywhere. They [The] play was Bartley Campbells Siberia. It was well played

9 February 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Feb 9, 1884. I took train for Kansas City on pass furnished me by Mr. Nims, at 7.30 a.m. Country covered with snow. Settlements few.

10 February 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Feb 10, 1884. Reached Kansas City a little after 5 A.M. Found passes by Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific RR from this point to Detroit, via, St Louis and return. No train of this line goes out for St. Louis on Sunday; but the Missouri & Pacific line does and my pass is good over that, so I start for St. Louis. We pass through Independence, but it is too dark to distinguish objects. Pass through Jefferson City. Reach St. Louis at 6 P.M. Put up at the Planters House. Went in evening to Popes Theatre and saw Jalma — a spectacular piece. The plot was shallow; but the ballet and the silver amazons were fine. I left before the piece was concluded.

11 February 1884 • Monday

Monday Feb 11, 1884. A very unpleasant day. Drizzling rain, streets slippery in morning early, afterwards very muddy, as bad as any of our streets. Called upon Hon W. H. Stone ex M.C. Appeared glad to see me. After a long walk found Mr Samuel Wells, a brother of Pharez Wells of Salt Lake City, who desired me to find his brother. He was pleased to hear from his brother; his wife and daughter also. He is in comfortable circumstances and has retired from business. Col Hathaway, Member of the Missouri Senate, called upon me. Had interesting conversation. He takes great interest in us and delivered a manly, courageous speech in the Legislature in our favor. He introduced Mr. Tayle of the Missouri Republican to me who took down my remarks upon situation in Utah. Took train at 6.40 P.M.

12 February 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Feb 12, 1884. Had to get up at 4 oclock to change cars at Peru, as <my pass> did not permit me to go by way of Toledo. Reached Detroit, and though I hired carriage to run me down to Mich. Central Depôt was too late for train. Found my pass here. Shocking weather. Raining heavily and freezing as it falls. Left Detroit at 12.45 on Wednesday morning and reached Buffalo too late to get to N.Y Erie & Western RR. but got on the Lehigh Valley R.R. to Elmira. Waited at Elmira from 1.40 p.m. till about 4 p.m. Telegraphed Gov. Black and asked him where I could meet him most conveniently to him — at Harrisburg or York, and to send me reply at Lochiel House, Harrisburg. I reached Harrisburg at 11 p.m. very tired. I do not remember ever having such a sense of fatigue from railroad traveling as I had this evening. I had no opportunity of breaking my fast till afternoon today. Bed was very welcome to me.

14 February 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Feb 14, 1884. I went to the State House and learned that Gov. Black was in York. Went to telegraph Office and wrote another despatch to send to him. The operator said he had received a despatch last night from Gov. Black for me. At the Lochiel House I found it in O Box; the operator having changed the name to George O’Connor. Mr Black said he would be happy to see me at York. I took 2.30 p.m. train for that point. Put up at the National Hotel. Hired a vehicle and driver to take me out to Lieut. Gov. Black’s residence. I laid before him our side of the engagement with his father; that it was with the clear understanding that the $5,000 he received was to cover his entire defence of our cause, unless he should have to go to Utah, or go to Washington to argue a case. He (Gov. B) looked upon the arguing of the case before the Comtee as special and for which his father should be paid. I told him that while I did not think his father took that view of it and that I myself had supposed it to be covered by the money paid to him, still I was so pleased with his argument that I had thought of suggesting that he be paid $1000 this past fall had he lived. But I thought $10,000 mentioned in his letter as excessive and certainly beyond anything thought about by us or contemplated when the engagement with the late Judge had been made. “Then Mr Cannon,” said he, “as we differ so widely upon this we had better leave it to arbitrators as I suggested in my letter to you.” I said I hoped that would not be necessary. We should be able to settle this ourselves. I did not like, I said, to give other people such linen to wash. He finally said “Suppose we split the difference and say $5000.” I thought this too much. “How much”, he asked, “do you feel authorized to give?” I thought $2500 or $3000 would be very liberal. After some further talk he said “Suppose we divide the difference and say $4000.” “Will that be satisfactory,” I asked, “to your mother and the other heirs? And are you authorized to give a receipt in full?” He said he was. I then told him I would give him a check for $4000. At this he appeared gratified; I felt very much so. I told him that Prest. Taylor and all the leading men felt so kindly to his father and appreciated so highly what he had done that we all were desirous of having the good feelings of the family and to have them satisfied with the settlement. He said they would be. I drew the cheque on the Deseret National Bank for $4000 in favor of Chauncey F. Black, Executor of the Estate of the late Judge J. S. Black, or order, and he gave me a receipt of which the following is a copy: York, Feb 14, 1884 “Received from Hon. George Q. Cannon four thousand dollars in full for professional services of Jeremiah S. Black, dec’d to the people of Utah, in pursuance of retainer through Mr Cannon” (signed) Chauncey F. Black, Executor of J. S. Black, dec’d.” He told me that this money came in very timely as the Executors were short of funds without trenching on his mother’s portion. If all those indebted to the Estate would do as we had, there would be $30,000 or $40,000 on hand. He made many expressions of good will and of his desire and ability to serve us. He bought his own bread and tobacco and had done so for some years by writing for the New York Sun, and he pressed me to use him when he could be of service to us. I feel greatly relieved at this settlement. It has been a subject of anxiety and prayer and the Lord has blessed me in effecting it as well as I have.

15 February 1884 • Friday

Friday Feb 15, 1884. Was awakened this morning at 5.30. I took train at 6.45 for Philadelphia. Called upon Mrs Kane. The interview was almost painful and my feelings were deeply moved. She seemed ghostlike with her white face and hair in such contrast with her black dress. She manifested considerable self-control though at times during the conversation she exhibited some emotion. She insists on paying back the $2000 which the General had received for a special purpose, and which he had expended without receiving therefore a voucher. He had left a memo on the subject, and notwithstanding my protest against it being paid back, and all I could say, she said his wish was imperative on the subject. All have been very sick since the Generals death, except Elisha. Harriet had inflammation of the bowels and had a relapse. She was attacked just after her father’s death, and today was the first time, since being attacked, she had attempted to put on a dress. Evan broke down after waiting continuously on his father, and he had been very sick since. Willie also had poor health and the doctors say he should have change of air or he may go off with quick consumption. My sympathies were deeply moved for this lovely and estimable family. At 12.30 p.m. took Limited Express for Washington. I telegraphed Bro. Caine to meet me, but my despatch did not reach him till after I did. I repaired to his quarters and found him and family, including his son Joseph, there and well. Bro. Moses Thatcher came in during the evening. He is in good health, and has, I think, done considerable good with the press, though he has not had the opportunity of meeting Senators & Representatives as I had hoped he would have. Sent a telegram to President Taylor informing him of my having settled with Gov. Black and that I had drawn on Deseret National for the amount. Sent a despatch also to my son Abraham informing him of my arrival and asking after health of my family. He replied that all my folks were well, but that Elizabeth (his daughter) who was named after his mother, was very sick from pneumonia. I stopped at the Riggs House, where Bro. Thatcher was also stopping

16 February 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Feb 16, 1884. Met a number of acquaintances today. Congress is not in Session. Went up, in company with Bros. Caine & Thatcher, to the House. Wrote to Prest. Taylor. Had a good feast of raw oysters at Bro. Thatchers expense at noon. I am exceedingly fond of oysters, and in fact of all shell fish, and fish of every kind, a taste inherited I suppose from a long line of fish eating ancestors. After dinner spent the evening at Bro. Caines, where I met Mr Jas A. McKnight son of James McKnight and Cornelia Stillson, a neice of Prest. Young’s. Bro. M. Thatcher started home this evening, and we accompanied him to the train to New York. He was anxious about his wife, as her accouchement was near and she was nervous about it, having had a difficult time at the last occurrence of the kind, and he was desirous to be with her. He said he was doing no good here now and was spending money and thought he might as well go home even if he came back again. “But”, he told me, “I will not go unless you say so.” I said that as I knew so little of the situation here I could not say. It was for Bro. Caine and he to say. But this was not his mind. He desired me to express myself. My feeling was that if he had to go, he might as well go now while I was here as at any time. I had no other idea, however, when I left home, than that he would stay here for some time. When we escorted Bro. Thatcher to the train we waited at the Station till Joseph [blank] Young, a son of Bro LeGrand Young’s arrived.

17 February 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Feb 17, 1884. A very rainy disagreeable day. Did not go to Bro. Caines till afternoon. Wrote a number of letters. Returned to the Hotel and wrote during the evening Editorial Thoughts for the Juvenile Instructor: “Does the world owe me a living &c &c

18 February 1884 • Monday

Monday Feb 18, 1884. Up early and started out to call upon Senators. Called first at Senator Hoar’s. He is away investigating Southern outrages. I then called upon Sen. Austin F. Pike of New Hampshire, a newly elected Senator who was in the House in the 43rd Congress, and on the Comtee on Elections. He gave me reasons, by his brave and manly conduct in my case, to always remember him with pleasure. Our interview was very interesting. I dwelt upon the outrageous character of the legislation in the Edmunds-Hoar Bill and requested him to examine it. I afterwards saw Senator Dawes of Mass. and talked over the proposed legislation with him. He promised me to examine it. I then tried to find the house of Senator Morgan of Ala. but failed and called at the residence of Senator Ingalls, but he had gone to the Senate Comtee meeting. I was very tired for me, not having been accustomed to so much walking lately, and the residences of these Senators being at some distance apart. At the House and talked freely to members upon the legislation proposed against us. Ex-Senator Eaton promised me to do his best against it when it came up. He is a brave man and a good constitutional lawyer. I saw Senators Kenna of West. Va, and Aldrich of R. I. and talked fully and freely with them, and each, in the interview I had with him, promised to examine the subject. After dinner Bro. Caine and I called at Senator Ingalls’, but did not find him at home. We found Senator Lamar in, and had a long and satisfactory conversation with him. Senator Vest was out and we failed to see him. This has been a very busy day for me, and I have done considerable missionary work. I go to bed tired and yet well-satisfied.

19 February 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Feb 19, 1884 Had Bro. Caine breakfast with me to get an early start in visiting. His little daughter Kinnie has been sick the past two nights. We called upon Senator Ingall’s and had long argumentative talk with him, free and candid, yet not unpleasant. He praised our policy, the sagacity with which we managed affairs in Utah, and he would do as we were doing if he were there; but the objection in substance was that we held the people together too well; we by our shrewd management defeated and rendered nugatory their legislation. He called Bro. Caine my lieutenant and said that all the people were still controlled by the polygamists, and it was a growing power. We were bringing converts from abroad and we were increasing and something must be done to check us. He said it was not our religion, it was the other features they were after. Of course we met all his arguments easily. There was an inconsistency in them easily exposed; but what difference did that make? The fact is apparent fear has taken possession of them, and they seek to crush out and utterly destroy our organization. I told him how vain it would be, and that the effect of such propositions as these contained in these Bills was to make our people feel complimented. There must be something in a system believed in by 150,000 or 200000 people which could inspire dread in 50 millions with such wealth and all the advanced agencies of the age and their many tens of thousands of preachers and teachers at their control. I told him that Sen. Cullom should be ashamed of his Bill. Thousands of our people <myself> and orphan brothers and sisters among the number, had been driven from our homes and despoiled of our property in the State of Illinois by mobs. The blood of our people stained the soil of that State. Our leading men had been treacherously murdered while under the pledged honor of the Governor of the State, and no one had been punished for these crimes. A relative of my own, my uncle by marriage, had been shot to pieces while with Joseph & Hyrum Smith as their friend under no accusation, and miraculously escaped death. I thought in view of all these events it came with exceeding bad grace from Sen. Cullom of Illinois to be proposing measures to strip us of liberties in the Rocky Mountains where we had been compelled to take refuge from the inhumanity of the people of his State. He was glad to see me and should be glad to see me at any time when I came to the City. We then called upon Senator Joseph E Brown of Georgia and had a long and very interesting conversation with him. We went over the case with him and he gave us an outline of the speech he intended to make if the Edmunds-Hoar Bill came up. In a feeling manner (for I deeply felt what I said) I thanked him for myself and for the people of Utah for the courage he had shown in our behalf and for the powerful and unanswerable argument he had made. It was universally read in Utah, and from thousands of hearts prayers ascended to the Lord in behalf of himself and his household. He appeared touched by these words. He said he had been roundly abused by the papers and especially in his own State; but he said he had nothing to take back. He had caused his speech to be widely circulated and had sent it to ministers everywhere in the State. He was pleased to say that from them first, and from lawyers second, he had received the most letters approving of his arguments and the stand he had taken. He is a grand old man and I prayed the Lord to bless him. I called upon Hon. W. E. Chandler, Secretary of the Navy, and told him I would like to have some conversation with President Arthur if it should be agreeable to him; not a mere formal call but a conversation, the length of which he could indicate. It was not to ask for office for myself or any one else, but to give him, if he would listen, some views of the situation in Utah from our standpoint. He promised me to ask the President & let me know. He said the President had his views of affairs there, as he himself did; but he was always willing to listen to both sides, and did not want anything foolish done. I afterwards received a note from Sec. Chandler stating that the President was too much occupied this week to give me an audience; but that next week he would be able to do so. I do not think it worth while to stay here so long for that purpose. President Taylor told me when I left home that he thought three or four days long enough to stay here, and I feel myself that it is long enough. Bro. Caine has expressed a wish to have me stay over tomorrow to help him prepare an argument against the Cassidy Bill so that he can fight it before the Comtee when it comes up. I acceded to his wish. I think a mistake was made in not meeting the Edmund Hoar bill in the Senate Comtee, and arguing against it. I have so told Bro. Caine. He says he was told by Senators it was of no use; but while that may be true, I have found it to be an advantage to meet such measures in the Committees, and do <what> I could against them there and to get every one I could to fight them with me. The repeal of woman suffrage proposed in this bill would arouse the women suffragists and they would have been glad to have raised a howl and made a clamor against it. What would be thought of a woman threatened with rape who did not scream and make all the clatter she could. It would be a poor excuse to say afterwards that she knew it would be useless to resist. Violence is being done to the constitution; human liberty is being raped by these men; the world should be told of it; an outcry should be made that all might know that the deflowering of the goddess of liberty was being attempted. It is not a gracious task to criticise the labors of one’s successor, as in the present case with Bro. Caine and myself. But more missionary labor is needed here. Senators and members should be visited and talked to more than they have been. I introduced Bro. Caine to almost every member of the last House. He does not remember names and has not kept up the acquaintance thus begun and knows but few of the new members. It was the practice of making the acquaintance of members and being on speaking terms with them that was one great cause of my influence. In a few days after a new Congress met I knew every members name and was able to speak to him as an acquaintance; and even when men were bitter on our question, I never allowed a wall of separation to grow up between us. It was not for me to indulge in personal feelings that would interfere with my influence as the Representative of the people. I made it a study to know men, to know their politics, their districts and their biographies as published in the Congressional Directory, and I found all this very useful and it contributed to my influence. I tried to impress the importance of this upon Bro. Caine; but he has allowed diffidence or something else to interfere with this. One of the consequences is that he does not know the position of the Bills, nor the feeling concerning them, nor who is for or who is against them. In this way the Edmunds-Hoar Bill came out of the Committee without his knowledge and without a word of protest from him. This morning I said to Senator Ingalls that the Committee in framing the bill had acted on exparte statements. “Well,” said he, “we could hear nothing from you. We should have been glad to give you a hearing. Mr Caine, as your Delegate, had a right to be heard and I should have listened to him with pleasure. Had he spoken to the chairman Mr Edmunds, or if not to him to me I would have seen that he should have had a hearing.” I introduced him last winter to General Evins of South Carolina who is now the Chairman of the Committee on Territories in the House; but yesterday I talked to Evins about the Cassidy Bill, now before that Committee, and introduced Bro. Caine to him again, as Bro. Caine had forgotten him. I write thus freely not to find fault with Bro. Caine, but for my own use in my journal. Bro. Caine is a man of excellent judgment, and is very gentlemanly. But he does not appear to have confidence enough in himself; he seems also to need more zeal to impel him to spread his cause before Senators & Members

20 February 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Feb 20, 1884. Had an interview with O. J. Averill, Clerk of the 3rd District Court of Utah. He is here working against Murray and in favor of the re-appointment of Hunter as Chief Justice. He takes all the credit of the action that has been taken against Murray. I suggested to Bro. Caine to get Mr Gibson, who is employed by Bro. M. Thatcher to do some work for us and who is a lawyer, to write him an argument against the Cassidy Bill. We saw Mr Gibson and he consented to do so.

I called upon Sec. Teller of the Interior Department. During our conversation I asked him about Murray’s re-appointment. He said he did not know how it would be, whether he would be re-appointed or not. Strong documents were filed in his favor and he was playing his cards to advantage by trying to make it appear that all these charges were being pushed by the Mormons to punish him for his attacks upon their system. I said I was on the point of starting home and would be asked when I reached there respecting the probability of Murray’s re-appointment as Governor. “Well, you can give them your opinion.” “Yes, but”, said I, “I have no opinion, perhaps you can give me an opinion.” “I don’t wish my name mentioned”, said he; “but if I were in your place I would say that he would not be re-appointed.” At the House. I had interviews with numbers of members, among them ex-speaker Randall, Frank Hurd and Mr Reed of Maine. The two former promised to aid Bro Caine all they could in fighting harsh legislation.

Accompanied Bros Spencer Clawson, Chas S. Burton and their wives and sister Shamira Rossiter around the Capitol, and to other points of interest. Brother Burton was quite sick with diarrhea. I procured him medicine and had him occupy my bed at the Hotel. His wife stayed there also. Bro Caine and Clawson came there in the evening. At 10.10 P.M. they all took the B&O. RR. to Chicago. We accompanied them there. Upon our return I called and bade Sister Caine good bye. Before closing todays proceedings I may say that my conversation with Mr Reed was, to me, very satisfactory. I was led to speak to him with freedom and upon topics rather unusual.

21 February 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Feb 21, 1884. Had Bro. Caine take breakfast. Once more, at 9.40 A.M., I took leave of Washington. I feel that my visit here has been one of profit. I have kept very busy and done all the talking I could. I leave here quite satisfied in my feelings. Met Bro. Watson at the Grand Central Hotel. After dinner, in company with Mr & Mrs Neels called at the Everett House on Bro John W. Young and wife & Bro. Le Grand Young and wife; Bro. Abraham Doremus was there also.

22 February 1884 • Friday

Friday Feb 22, 1884. A legal holiday here, being Geo. Washingtons birthday. Went with Bro. Watson and got some samples of plush from which to select for the upholstering of the Stands in the Logan Temple. Saw the procession escorting the remains of De Long and those who perished with him. The day was fine, and the procession was imposing. Crossed to Brooklyn (79 Reid Avenue) and called at the residence of my cousin Wm Qualey. He was absent, but I had a pleasant visit with his wife. He afterwards called upon me at the Hotel. He is the only son of my uncle Joseph Quayle, the brother of my mother. In the evening upon the invitation of Bro. John W. Young, accompanied himself and wife and Bro. A. Doremus to Niblo’s Garden to see “A Wife’s Peril,” Mrs. Langtry in the principal character. I enjoyed the entertainment. She is a beautiful woman.

23 February 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Feb 23, 1884 A very unpleasant day, it rained and snowed. Had a very pleasant visit with my cousin, Wm Qualey, who called at the Hotel. Out with Bro. Watson making purchases. I omitted to mention yesterday that I called on Mr. J. N. Abbott, of the New York Lake Erie and Western R. R. He was not in; but I got a pass. Started at 8 p.m. on N.Y. Erie & W RR.

24 February 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Feb 24, 1884. Took breakfast at Hornellsville and dinner at Meadville. Snowing most of the day.

25 February 1884 • Monday

Monday Feb 25, 1884. Reached Chicago at 8.20 this morning. Snowing slightly. Put up at Grand Pacific Hotel. Called at C. B&Q and got pass to Kansas City. Afterwards got a note from Mr Borland, who at the request of U C. Spence of the President’s office, informed me there was a pass at the C.R.I & P.RR. Ticket Office for me for Kansas City. Wrote Editorial Thoughts and Topics for the Juvenile Instructor. At 10 P.M. took train for Kansas City.

26 February 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Feb 26, 1884. Breakfasted at Quincy, where we arrived at 8.20 a.m. Remained here until 10.50 a.m. Reached Kansas City at 8.30 p.m. Put up at the Union Depôt Hotel.

27 February 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Feb 27, 1884. Took train at 6.45 a.m. for Richmond. Changed at Lexington Junction where we remained until after 10. A.M. At Richmond I met David J. Whitmer, son of David Whitmer, one of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. He said his father was feeble, but he thought he could arrange for me to see him. I took dinner at the Wasson House, and at about half past one Mr Whitmer called at the Hotel for me. His father lived close by. He pointed out the track of a cyclone which had visited the town in 1878 and which had left their house, or rather the room in which the manuscript of the Book of Mormon was kept in such a condition as to astonish all the people — the roof was taken off, but nothing was disturbed and the glass was not broken even. The old gentleman (he was born Jan. 1805) soon entered. He is a man who probably stood in his early manhood 5.10 in or perhaps 5.11 inches in height, not fleshy, at present rather inclined to leanness. I noticed in shaking hands with him that the thumb of his right hand is missing and the hand has a long scar in the centre. His hair is thin, and he is rather bald. His nose is aquiline, and his eyes black or a dark brown. His likeness which was shown me, painted in oil when he was 32 years old, makes him appear as a handsome man of marked features, rather Jewish looking, with a head of thick hair inclined to curl. He had his son bring in the manuscript of the Book of Mormon, which he says is the only manuscript of which he knows anything. It is in the hand writing of several persons which he says were Oliver Cowdery, Emma Smith, Martin Harris, and perhaps some of it in that of his brother Christian who assisted the prophet Joseph somewhat. This is the manuscript from which the printers, he says, set the type of the Book, and he pointed out to me where it had been cut for convenience as copy. I noticed printers’ marks through the manuscript, still it was very clean for copy that printers had handled. This he explained as the consequence of the care taken by Oliver Cowdery in watching the manuscript while in the printers’ hands. It was fastened together, not as a whole, but a few folios, not more than a dozen, with woolen yarn, which he said was his mothers. This was exceedingly interesting to me and I examined it with care, and a feeling of reverence. But with this was another paper which I thought of surpassing interest. It was the Characters drawn by Joseph himself for Martin Harris to show to Professors Mitchell & Anthon. There were seven lines, the first four being about twice as large in size as the three last. Here was the very paper which Isaiah saw in vision [blank] years before and which he called the “words of a book.” Though evidently long written, the characters were as clear and distinct as though just written. This was also the case with the manuscript of the Book of Mormon — it was wonderfully well preserved and clear. This David Whitmer and the family think (in which belief I share) is due to the power of God. I cannot describe the characters particularly. They were glyphs and contained many forms. In speaking of the translating he said that Joseph had the stone in a hat from which all light was excluded. In the stone the character appeared and under that the translation in English and they remained until the scribe had copied it correctly. If he made a mistake the words still remained and were not replaced by any other. In describing the visit of the Angel he said that it was shortly before the completion of the translation when there were but a few pages left. He was plowing when Joseph and Oliver came to him and the former told him that he was chosen to be one of the three witnesses to whom the angel would show the plates. He also told him that the Lord had promised to make this manifest and now was the time. They went out and sat upon a log conversing upon the things to be revealed when they were surrounded by a glorious light which overshadowed them. A glorious personage appeared and he showed to them the plates, the sword of Laban, the Directors, the Urim & Thummim and other records. Human language could not, he said, describe heavenly things and that which they saw. The language of the Angel was: “Blessed is he that believeth and remaineth faithful to the end.” He had had his hours of darkness and trial and difficulty; but however dark upon other things that had ever been a bright scene in his mind and he had never wavered in regard to it; he had testified fearlessly always of it, even when his life was threatened. Martin Harris was not with them at the time Oliver and he saw the angel; but he and Joseph afterwards saw the same, and he thus became a witness also. I spent the afternoon with them till 5 p.m. when I took the hack to return to Lexington Junction. A nephew of his, a son of his brother Jacob, one of the eight witnesses, came in. His name is John C. Whitmer. The old gentleman, about 1/2 past 3 got so fatigued that he withdrew to rest. I thanked him for his kindness and I expressed the great pleasure the interview had given me. I had borne testimony of the truth of this work and of the Book of Mormon since my early life, and I was glad to hear from his own lips in the flesh his testimony. I thanked God, I said, that he had preserved him and enabled him to bear a faithful testimony till now and I prayed Him to still preserve and assist him. I find from conversation with the son and nephew that they do not sympathize with young Joseph as he is called; neither do they believe fully in plural marriage; but they stand clinging to the Book of Mormon and its contents, believing it and looking for the day when all who believe that will be united with the House of Israel as the Book promises. They all appear to be gentle, good spirited men. I said to them that I wished to speak upon my own experience and what God had revealed to me, but not in the spirit of argument. I then told them how the spirit first revealed the principle to me and how afterwards for a wise purpose in the Lord, he had impelled me to obey that principle, and in this way bore testimony of its truth to them. The Whitmer family is of German origin. I could detect a German twang in David Whitmer, Senrs talk. His mother was from the Rhine, and his grandfather or great grandfather from Germany. This visit is one that I hope I shall never forget; for whatever wrongs David Whitmer may have committed I do respect him for his integrity and firmness in continuing to bear testimony to the Book of Mormon. In fact though all three of the witnesses quarreled with the Prophet Joseph, and lef[t] the church or were cut off, and asserted he was a fallen prophet, they never ceased to bear unflinching testimony to that which they had seen and heard, and that an holy angel had shown them the plates and told them they had been translated by the gift and power of God. The sight of the manuscript of the Characters ought to be forever imprinted on my memory. I omitted to mention that Joseph had written <in> English above the characters, the word “Caractors.” The old jail in which the Prophet Joseph was imprisoned in Richmond was of hewed logs and perhaps lined with iron. That was replaced by a brick building and that was torn down and a stone building, now standing, took its place. The town contains, I was informed, about 3500, including coal miners, of whom there are a large number, there being good coal found here. I am not impressed with the appearance of the Country and improvements. It looks like a slow Country, not much interprise, and the buildings are not of a superior kind. At 5 p.m. I took the hack for Lexington Junction. The road was very rough. The train was late and it was midnight when I reached Kansas City, and I was fortunate enough to get a bed at the Hotel at the Depôt, though others were turned away. The night is very cold, a blizzard from the north blowing very strong.

28 February 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Feb 28, 1884. The train left for Independence at 9.30 a.m. The line runs along the south side of the river, and for some distance close to it. Independence is a very beautiful country, tolerably well timbered and rolling. I am greatly pleased with it. From the city in every direction the view is very fine — to the north and east particularly so. I walked all over the place with most peculiar feelings. By inquiry I learned the location of the Temple lot. It is about half a mile from the Public Square to the west. It is on the outer edge of the town, the houses being somewhat scattering in the neighborhood. The lot is naked and has a wire fence around it. It has a road on each side of it. I found a place where one of the wires was broken, and I crawled through and walked all over the lot. Probably three acres are enclosed. It seems strange that it should never have been built upon. The sight from this point, notwithstanding it is midwinter and the trees are leafless, is exceedingly fine. Though not by any means a hill, yet the ground slopes off in every direction from this lot, particularly to the west and less to the east than to any other point. A temple on this spot will occupy a very commanding position, and the view from it, when the country will be improved as it will be when it is built, must be most magnificent; as it is, it called forth my admiration. The city contains, I am told, about 6000 or 7000 people. There are a large number of churches here for the size of the place — about 500 so-called Mormons being here, who get along very well, the people being pleased to have them <as> their movements advance the price of land, and promote the growth of the place. This is the difference between the apostates and the true disciples of Christ. The latter are not of the world, and, therefore, the world hate them. They could not be permitted to live here in peace. The devil would get mad. The streets are only moderately wide, nothing like as wide as ours. The side walks of the principal ones are either paved with lime stone, flat and undressed as taken from the quarry, which make a rough but solid footing, or with brick. Many of the sidewalks are of plank. The houses are mostly small and are frame. There are numbers of brick stores and houses, and I saw a few that were fine structures. The Catholics have large buildings here, one of them used as a place of learning, either an academy or college. The weather is very cold today, and the people complain of it being very unusual. At this time they are plowing in ordinary seasons. I ate dinner at the La clede House. The enterprise of newspaper men is surprising. Here are two notices, one of which appears in the Kansas City Times and the other in the Kansas City Journal, concerning myself. I have not met a newspaper man in Kansas City, and have not conversed with any one there upon subjects mentioned in these articles.

[Two inserted newspaper articles]



Hon. George Q. Cannon, ex-delegate in congress from Utah and the champion of the Mormon cause during the last session, arrived in the city from Washington on Wednesday night, and departed yesterday morning for Richmond, Mo., to pay a visit to Elder David Whitmer, the aged patriarch who enjoys the distinction of being the last of the eleven witnesses to the translation of the book of Mormon by the Prophet Joseph Smith, and founder of the creed in 1827. Elder Whitmer has in his possession the original manuscripts of the book of Mormon just as they were translated by Smith and written at his dictation by his wife Mrs. Emma Smith, and as it has long been the desire of the church at Salt Lake to become possessed of this manuscript it is supposed that Mr. Cannon’s visit to Richmond is for the dual purpose of paying his respects to the patriarch and making another effort to secure the coveted parchments.

Elder Whitmer is a member of the church as originally founded long prior to the date of the inauguration of polygamy by Brigham Young, and is therefore very much opposed to this portion of the creed, which he denominates as “an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.” The manuscripts have been in his pos[es]sion for nearly half a century, and although he has been offered fabulous prices for them he would never allow them to part from him, and maintains that it is the Lord’s decree that they never go out of his family, and he has arranged, therefore, that at his death they shall go into the hands of his son, Judge D. P. Whitmer, a prominent attorney of Ray county. Under these circumstances it is not at all probable that Mr. Cannon’s efforts to secure them will be crowned with success.

In speaking of his Eastern trip Mr. Cannon stated that he was not interested in any bills before congress. He said “anti-Mormon legislation so far has been of no practical value except to disfranchise 12,000 voters and deprive them of their liberty. The efforts made by congress heretofore to stamp out Mormonism have been petty and contemptible, because it has been done for political purposes. I know, and every Mormon who knows anything at all is aware, that anti-Mormon legislation has been always at the instigation of Republicans. It is party legislation to achieve the glorification of party personality; hence it is not honest. What opposition other than political there is to Mormonism is fanatical. It is equally hypocritical. If you think that Mormonism should go you should think also that there is need for a change in your laws for divorce. In this city, for example, a man may not need to be a Mormon to be a polygamist. Our practice has upon it the stamp of faith. There is equally as much mysticism in the Jewish or Mennonite faith as in the Mormon, and it would fill the people of the United States with great indignation if a Jew, a Mennonite, or even a hard shell Baptist should be disfranchised and stripped of the civil and religious liberty which the constitution of the United States guarantees and the laws profess to give. We claim that the Edmunds law is unconstitutional. We fight it upon that ground, and it is not the intention of the Mormons in Utah to recede from or abate one jot of the opposition to Gentile legislation.”

Mr. Cannon does not think that the present house of congress will pass any anti-Mormon bill for the reason that it is Democratic. The Mormons are mostly Democrats and are supposed by Cannon to be favorable toward the faith. As he put it: “That is where the trouble lies. If we were all Republicans we might have some immunity from interference. But that we are Democrats and the Democrats are supposed to be our friends, is our greatest misfortune. I believe our only hope lays in the success of the Democratic ticket next fall. I think if the Democrats get in power there will be a cessation of this Mormon agitation. They can never appoint a commission and make it a success. We want no commission. We want our own government. We want to become a state. It is the solution of our problem. If we were admitted to the franchise of voting we would have no more to fear, for then both of the great parties would be so desirous of securing the state that they would discover some pretext for not carrying the anti-Mormon movement any further.”

He will return from Richmond by the way of Independence to-day, and leave via the Union Pacific for Salt Lake City to-night.


<Kansas City Times>



Hon. G. Q. Cannon, ex-delegate in congress from Utah, arrived in the city on Tuesday night from the east, and left yesterday for Richmond, Mo. Mr. Cannon stated that he believed the present outcry against Mormons was the result of ignorant bigotry, and was not warranted by any behavior of the Mormons, who were peaceable and law abiding. He believed that the present anti-Mormon agitation was being caused by the republicans solely to serve political ends, and he also believed that when the democrats came into power the persecution would cease. What the Mormons wanted and would constantly agitate for was to be admitted to the Union, and to regain the voting franchise. He did not think any very drastic measures would be passed by the house in regard to Mormons, as the majority of Mormons were democrats. <Journal>

[End of newspaper article]

It was nearly 9 p.m. on Tuesday when I reached there. I secured a berth on the U.P. sleeping car for Thursday night and went to bed. Yesterday morning I bought a round trip ticket for Richmond and made inquiries about the best way to get to Independence. Last night I reached Kansas City at midnight and went right to bed. These newspaper men had ferreted out part of my movements from such a chance source as this and guessed at the rest. I am told that fruit is very good here, and that everything belonging to this latitude can be raised here. Stock do very well, and their prices range, as near as I can learn, about as they do with us. I do not like Kansas City, so far as I saw it. It is very hilly and the cost of cutting streets through the hills and the leveling of the latter must be immense. I am told there are 65,000 or 70,000 people here. The buildings in many instances are very fine and there must be considerable wealth. Great hopes are indulged in concerning its future. It is at the mouth of Kau [Kaw] river, where it enters into the Missouri, and I conclude it is the place known in our history as Kau township where a branch of our people settled. I got on the sleeping car at 8 oclock p.m. forty five minutes behind time.

29 February 1884 • Friday

February, Feb 29, 1884. Passed through a fertile country today. Many fine farms and improvements in sight of the road. More timber than is found in Nebraska. I occupied time through the forenoon writing argument for Bro. Caine (which he had requested me to do while at Washington) to make against Cassidy’s Bill before the Comtee on Territories. A tall man dressed in grey clothes from Canada originally, but for three years engaged, as I gleaned from his conversation, in mines in Colorado, was on the cars. We had considerable conversation about our people and our religion. He knew the Nickersons — Moses & Freeman — and their parents in Canada and had known several of our people there. He told me of a recent lecture of which he had read delivered by Joseph Cook to an immense audience in Boston, in which according to his statement to me of its character, he told most abominable lies, well calculated to inflame the people. Notwithstanding this man’s apparent fairness in talking to me I had peculiar feelings in conversing with him — feelings which were not pleasant and which I had to pray to get free from. The spirit plainly intimated to me that he was no friend of ours or of the truth, notwithstanding his seeming fairness. I concluded that perhaps he had been warned by some of the Elders and had rejected their testimony and the truth. When we reached Denver it was about 1.30 in the night. He was to stop here and as he was dressing I awoke and spoke to him and asked his name (he already knew mine), and he said he was the Rev. J. Slat, Baptist preacher, of Pitkin (I think he said) Col. but formerly of Canada. Now said I to myself “how true are the indications of the spirit of God.” I had not suspected this man of being a preacher for all his talk was about mines, and I supposed he was a capitalist who was out here speculating in and working mines; but the Spirit made known to me his inmost feelings and spirit and let me know his heart. This man has fought the truth and is ready to fight it again, or I am greatly mistaken.

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February 1884, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 16, 2024