November 1884

1 November 1884 • Saturday

Saturday November 1 1884. I was awakened very early this morning by my boys making a noise getting ready to go on a hunting expedition for which they had been eager for some days back. I had promised them that if they did a certain amount of work they could go. They had borrowed five guns and with some companions set off this morning some time before daylight. Some of them have not slept for a night or two through the excitement. I have loaned them my team and therefore walked to town. After I reached here I was reminded that it was Prest. Taylor’s birthday and he invited me and one of my wives to dine with him. I found my wife Martha in town, who had also walked up, and took her back in a borrowed buggy and returned with her in time to dine with Prest. Taylor and family. We had an excellent dinner and a very pleasant time. He is 76 years old today.

Wm H Shearman has been desirous to have some conversation with me, and sent me word that it would be convenient for him to go home with me tonight. I had to wait till quite late for my team which my son William drove up on returning from their hunt, and Mr Shearman, myself and wife Martha drove home. We spent the evening in conversation. He apostatized with W. H. Godbe, but has been sorry apparently for his conduct and calls himself a fool and his act one of folly in their leaving the Church. I gather from what he says and what I hear that he defends us on every possible occasion. But he admitted to me that he was almost too cowardly to come back at present. I told him that if he cultivated the spirit and sought for it (I believe that he had a good spirit from what he said) the Lord I felt would aid him at the proper time to come back and do his first works over again.

2 November 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Nov 2, 1884. Had Sunday School at which Mr Shearman was present. He was at one time one of my most intimate friends having labored under me in California as a missionary and afterwards in England. I had much pleasure with my children and he expressed his gratification at the understanding exhibited of our principles. Drove him to town. Attended meeting in the Assembly Hall, and afterwards at the 5th Ward Meeting House with my brother Angus and his first counselor Jos E. Taylor. Bro. Taylor and myself addressed the meeting, which was crowded. Afterwards Angus selected a Bishop and two counselors, the Bishop, John Cowan; the two counselors Bros __ Seddon and Henry Harrow. The two counselors accepted the position, but Bro. Cowan requested time to consider. This he had done on two different occasions. I told Angus to postpone the matter and leave it for further action.

3 November 1884 • Monday

Monday Nov 3, 1884. Busy today working at the Beck matters straightening out our accounts and making a statement of the condition of the purchase. Had a call from the Rev. Mr Worinser, a Hollander by birth and a minister of the Dutch Reform Church, who is traveling with the intention of delivering a series of lectures upon the places that he has visited. He felt that he could not leave out Utah and the Mormons, and he had called for the purpose of getting information. Mr Flynn of the Denver & Rio Grande R. R. introduced him. He said that Mr Worinser had spoken of going to some of the ministers of other denominations, but he advised him to go directly here. I had about an hour’s conversation which was very satisfactory to me and apparently so to him.

Rudger Clawson has been sentenced today to 3½ years imprisonment in the Penitentiary and $500 fine for <his> polygamous marriage, and 6 months imprisonment and $300 fine for unlawful cohabitation. The latter is the full extent of the punishment. He delivered a very proper and brave speech which provoked the Judge, he said, to increase his punishment. He has also refused bail pending appeal to the Supreme Court of the Territory notwithstanding able arguments of counsel.

In the evening the Sunday School Union met in the Assembly Hall. As there was a thin attendance at the political gathering at the Theatre[,] my brother Angus sent word to have the brethren dismiss the meeting. I also went to the Theatre and listened to the speeches which were very good. Brethren and sisters insisted upon my making some remarks, and I made the closing speech.

Monday, Nov. 3/84, [is the day that was chosen. There was to be a meeting of the Sunday School Union that evening and a mass meeting also at the Social Hall, and I thought this would be an appropriate time to do this thing. We decided upon seven o’clock.]1, 2

Monday, Nov. 3/84. [W.W. prepared the endowment house, and both myself and my bride met there, and the president married us for time and all eternity.]3, 4

4 November 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Nov 4, 1884. Busy getting out statement for the Beck property purchased by Prest. Taylor, Beck and myself. My son Frank came down from Ogden, and I had some conversation on business with him and John Q. and Abraham.

Also helped to prepare a dispatch for the associated press in the Clawson case.

Tuesday, Nov. 4/84 [I just entered the residence of my new wife this evening, and we slept together until 5:30 in the morning of Wednesday.

On Thursday and Saturday and Sunday I went again to my wife’s residence, but my wife was very sick and therefore I didn’t sleep there. The two of us are very happy getting together and having conversations with each other, but I went secretly to prevent any enemies from seeing me.]5, 6

5 November 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Nov 5, 1884. Had an interview with Prest. Taylor, Bros L. J. Nuttall and George Reynolds this morning on the Beck business.

In the afternoon attended meeting in the Endowment House. Afterwards rode out with Prest. Taylor & Bros F. M. Lyman and L. John Nuttall.

Judge Bennett, of the firm of Bennett, Harkness & Kirkpatrick made a speech on Monday night at the Opera House of a very bitter character against us. He and his partner, Judge Harkness, are our attorneys hired for a year. I have ascertained also that he is the author of the plank against us in the Republican platform. I brought the matter before Prest. Taylor and the brethren, and it was thought that something should be done if possible to break the contract if we could do so without having to pay the whole amount for the year, six months having yet to run. Bro. Paul A Schettler was buried today. I regret I am unable to attend his funeral, as I had the pleasure of baptizing him about 23 years ago in New York City, where he then resided

Met at the Endowment House.

Considerable excitement in town over the abortion case of Jno. W. Irons & Lizzie Evans. A full statement of the case was published in the Deseret News. After the meeting we drove in company with Prest. Taylor and Elders Lyman & Nuttall to Liberty Park.

6 November 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Nov 6, 1884. At the office. Had meeting of the Deseret Telegraph Co., at 11 oclock.

7 November 1884 • Friday

Friday Nov 7, 1884. At the office.

8 November 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Nov 8, 1884. At the office attending to various business. There was a meeting of the Iron Co. held at 11 oclock. Various brethren called in upon business. A company of emigrants — 57 — came from the northwestern states under the guidance of Elder Wm G. Blummer.

My son John Q. Cannon had an encounter <to-day> with a Tribune reporter today <by the name of Lipman,> and whipped him. by the name of Lipman. He published a scandalous article about sister Louis Wells, his <John Q’s> wife’s sister, and himself, accusing him of having married her, &c. John had sent word to him before the publication that it was false. This article appeared in last Sunday’s Tribune, and since then John has been trying to find him. The general feeling is that it served the fellow right.

Dictated “Topics of the Times” for the Juvenile Instructor.

9 November 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Nov 9, 1884. My son Abraham came down this morning to my house and helped me in the Sunday School. We had a very interesting time with the children. After which I drove to town, attended meeting in the Tabernacle, and at the request of Prest. Taylor spoke. He followed with a few remarks. I enjoyed myself very much in speaking. There was an excellent spirit in the meeting.

10 November 1884 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 10 - 1884. At the office.

Monday, Nov. 10/84. [I went to the house of my new wife and visited with her for two hours. She was sick.]7, 8 I drove down home in the evening, taking with me my wife Martha and daughter Mary Alice9

11 November 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 11/84. My son John Q. came down early this morning and breakfasted with me. We talked over business matters and he drove me to the train, which stopped for me where it crossed the street leading East from my place. Found Pres. Taylor & daughter Leonora and Bro’s. Nuttall and Irvine, my brother Angus and a number of other brethren on the train who were going down, either as members of the Council or as representatives of various interests, to Provo. The Council convened in the Meeting House. President Taylor and myself presided and the Council consisted of Abraham O Smoot, Angus M. Cannon, Warren N. Dusenberry, Elias A. Smith, Ezekiel Holman, Jonathan S. Page, Jesse W. Fox, Jr., W B Preston, John T. Caine, A. D Holdaway, Thomas R. Cutler and J. E. Booth. After singing I offered prayer and President explained the nature of the Council, reading from Sec. 107, par. [blank] of the Book of Doctrine & Covenants. On the part of the Utah people who had suffered from the high water there was some objection to Bro. Elias A Smith but after some conversation they were waived. The Council was accepted by all present Mormon, non-Mormon and apostate and it was understood that the decision should be accepted. John Leetham who once belonged to the Church was the principal spokesman for the sufferers in Utah Co.; in fact, the leading spokesmen were not in the church. We had two sessions to-day, and in the beginning it was understood that the basis of agreement should be first discussed. President Taylor, myself and one or two others stopped at President Smoot’s.

12 November 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 12/84 We were in session a little over 10 hours to-day. The afternoon session was devoted by the Council to the consideration of the terms of the agreement. The terms were read this evening to all concerned. They were generally acceptable to the Utah Co. people; but not so much so to the Salt Lake Co. people, particularly the Utah & Salt Lake Canal Co. representatives.

13 November 1884 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 13/84 Spent the day forenoon in council this morning talking further upon terms of agreement and in arranging the document. Abraham Doremus explained from his surveys the different levels of the dam, the river and different points upon it. The afternoon session held till 4 p.m. when an adjournment was taken till Monday, Nov. 27th at 10 A.m. at Provo. I returned to Salt Lake City. I took supper with my Brother Angus at my son Abraham’s. [16 Hawaiian words redacted because they address deeply personal matters between Cannon and his family.]

14 November 1884 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 14/84. Arose early and went to my son John Q’s whose wife Annie I heard was sick with typhoid fever. I administered to her, returned to Abraham’s to breakfast and took train for Nephi at 7.40 a.m. At Provo Presidents Taylor & Woodruff & Elders Lyman, Nuttall & Irvine came on the cars; Bro. Moses Thatcher came from Salt Lake City with me. At Nephi we were met by Bro. Paxman who divided us out for dinner. Myself & several dined at his house. We took the cars for Moroni, where we were met with carriages and carried to Ephraim. Bro. Woodruff & myself were entertained by Bishop Anderson.

15 November 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Nov. 15, 1884. A beautiful morning. Met with the Saints in Conference at 10 oclock. Besides the reading of reports, President Taylor spoke upon the ordaining of young, active men to the High Priesthood. He was followed by Bishops who reported the condition of their various Wards. In the afternoon met at 2. The time was occupied by Elders F M. Lyman and Moses Thatcher. At 7 p.m. the young people of the Sunday Schools and Improvement Associations met. Brothers M. Thatcher, David Gill, myself and Brother Woodruff addressed the people.

16 November 1884 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 16/84 We gave some counsel to some brethren yesterday afternoon respecting the best course to take if they were in danger of indictment for marrying. or for They had better go on missions or go to Arizona near the Mexican border, so that in case of pursuit they could slip over the border; but not suffer themselves to be arrested here and put under bonds. A sister, the wife of Bro. [first and last names redacted], came to me for counsel this morning. She is a young woman of probably 23 or 24 years old. Her husband is about 30 years of age. They have been married four years, and he is in every respect a good husband; but he is barren. She has a great desire to have children, and somebody has told him that to it would not be a sin to get some brother to help by sleeping with his wife. I told her there was no law of that kind — that it might lead to bad consequences[,] also, even if it were permissible, for her husband might get jealous of her and the man who was the father of her children and serious consequences might follow. Prest. Taylor, with whom I afterwards conversed upon the subject, took the same view.

Met with the Saints at 10. President Woodruff and myself occupied the forenoon. I read a part of the 7th chap. of Deuteronomy & dwelt upon the subject of interm evils of intermarrying with those not of our faith. The afternoon was occupied in presenting a financial report of the Temple and the general and local authorities and by PresidentTaylor who spoke at some length to the Saints.

Directly after the meeting we stepped into carriages and drove to Manti. I was entertained, as also President Taylor and folks, at Bro. John B. Maiben’s, though I slept at the next house, Bro. Kjar’s, where I had a good bed and nice room.

17 November 1884 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 17/84 The ground was slightly covered with snow this morning. John Q. telegraphed me that Annie had had two sleepless nights, but was improved this morning. After breakfast we went to the Temple and examined the various parts. President Taylor wished me to examine with him the place for the sealing room for the dead. We spent the forenoon looking over the building, then returned to Bro. Maiben’s. We conversed upon the subject of the sealing room, and while there is nothing written neither is there any law that we know of which requires the sealing room to be placed above the baptismal font, as in the Logan Temple, still I suggested to President Taylor that unless his mind was clear to have it in some other position and he had any doubts about it to have it placed over the baptismal font. He decided to have it there and felt clear a that the celestial room would not be made too small by having enough taken off for that purpose. We dined at Frank Y. Taylor’s, a son of President Taylor’s. There were present beside Pres Taylor & myself, Bro’s. Woodruff, Thatcher, Lyman, Nuttall, Irvine, Joseph & Fred. Taylor and <J. B.> Maiben, and wife & Sister Nuttall. President Taylor and myself afterwards visited the Temple and directions were given concerning the arrangement of the rooms. At 4 p.m. we left Manti for Ephraim, and I put up <again> at Bishop L. S. Anderson’s. Bro. Franklin Spencer, President of Sevier Stake, thinks it necessary for him to keep out of the way for awhile, I dictated a letter to Bro. Christopher Layton of St. Joseph Stake, informing him of Bro. Spencers visit and that we would like him to explore Sonora with a view of finding a place or places for settlement. President Taylor and myself signed the letter

18 November 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 18/84. Arose early this morning and Bro John Irvine and myself were driven to Moroni (to which point the R. Road runs) by Bro. Peter Peterson, son of Bro. Peterson, President of the Stake. We left by rail at about 8.30 a.m. and reached Nephi about 10.15 A.M. Put up at Sister Pitchforth’s. Reached the city at 6.40 p.m.

19 November 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Nov 19, 1884. At the office. A company of emigrants from Europe arrived today in charge of Alma Smith. Had conversation with Elder Franklin S. Richards one of the attorneys of the Church respecting hebeas corpus case of Rudger Clawson. Prest. Taylor was also present. We were both in favor of pushing it as fast as it can be conveniently and testing the justice of the United States Supreme Court. Conversation was also had respecting the other cases now pending before that court, and it was decided that Bro. F. S. Richards had better go down to Washington. Bro. John T. Caine was present during this conversation and expressed a willingness to do what he could. He leaves in the morning for Washington accompanied by Elder Robert W. Sloan who goes with him to remain through the session, and then continue his labors in the missionary field in England. In the afternoon met in the Endowment House and had prayer. We set Bro. John T. Caine apart for his mission.

20 November 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Nov 20, 1884. At the office. Had an interview with Mr Leadbetter, agent for Bancrofts works. This afternoon I went to Ogden and spent the night examining the business that my sons are engaged in. They had not paid their expenses thus far, but feel encouraged with the prospects. I was very much pleased with this visit, and the spirit manifested by my son Franklin J. Cannon. I am very gratified at the course he appears to be taking.

21 November 1884 • Friday

Friday Nov 21, 1884. Returned from Ogden this morning, and was at the Office most of the day.

22 November 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Nov 22, 1884. At the office. Had conversation with Bishop Thomas Taylor.

An injunction has been served by the Eureka Mining Co., on the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co., and I accompanied Bro. L. John Nuttall who is the President of the Company to the Office of Mr. Arthur Brown, and he engaged him as counsel in the case.

23 November 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Nov 23, 1884. While engaged in the Sunday School this morning, Sister Davey, who keeps house for the family of my wife Elizabeth, came in and said a gentleman wished to see me. I found that it was a second cousin of mine by the name of Robert Christian of the family of Christian of the League from the Isle of Man. He had left there about three weeks ago; was on his way to California accompanied by his wife & a little boy, their only child, a very bright little fellow. I was very glad to see them. They had walked down from town for the purpose of seeing me, and had only made up their minds to stop at Salt Lake just before they reached Ogden and they felt somewhat embarrassed, particularly Mrs Christian, because they had no clothes to change and had to make their visit in their traveling attire, their trunks have gone on through. I had a very interesting conversation with them, and took him and the little boy to the Tabernacle, Mrs Christian remaining at the house. Afterwards I had my brother Angus accompany us down, and we spent a very pleasant time with them. This family is somewhat noted in the Isle of Man. One of the ancestors was a man of some consideration in the days of the revolutionary troubles in the reign of Charles I of England, and because of his faithfulness in aiding and preserving the Countess of Derby, the wife of Earl of Derby, who was also King of Man her son, as I believe it was, after the restoration, made a present to him of a league of land, and the family have always been known by the name of Christian of the League to distinguish it from other families of Christians. When I visited the Isle of Man in 1862 they were in possession of the place, though considerable of the land had been sold by one and another of their ancestors; but a very handsome estate was still left to Mr. Evan Christian, who was the proprietor at that time, and the father of my visitor. The house was beautifully situated on an eminence surrounded by grand trees, and the land sloping beautifully to the sea. I admired it very much at the time. It seems, however, that Mr Evan Christian had gone security for parties and was compelled to dispose of the place before his death, and his son Robert afterwards rented the place for some 8 years. But the low price of grain and other things is such that he felt he must try and find a home elsewhere and had decided to go to California where his wife has two cousins residing. I was very much pleased with him, and thought if he had a good opportunity he would embrace the gospel. He remarked that he would like to stop but his wife preferred to go on.

24 November 1884 • Monday

Monday Nov 24. 1884. Our adjourned meeting for the settlement of the difficulty between Utah & Salt Lake Counties was held today at Provo. Prest. Taylor and myself and the other brethren of Salt Lake County who formed the council as well as others interested, proceeded there by rail and met at 10 oclock in the Meeting House.

25 November 1884 • Tuesday

Tuesday Nov 25 1884. Continued same labors. I was entertained by Bro. Smoot.

We gave the brethren on both sides all the latitude they desired in making their grievances and explanations known, and sat patiently. Held three meetings yesterday and two today, and succeeded by near train time in reaching a conclusion. Our decision was that the brethren of Salt Lake County interested in the dam should pay $8000 to the parties in Utah County claiming damages. In addition to this Prest. Taylor as Trustee-in-Trust agreed to give 3000 bushels of wheat, one half to be divided in Utah County, 1000 bshs to the West Jordan Canal Co, and the remaining 500 to be distributed among those who were indigent on the other canals, except Salt Lake City Canal. There were a number of non-Mormons — some who had been in the Church and others who had never been in — interested in this matter, and they came up in a body and thanked Prest. Taylor and myself for the pains we had been at, and expressed themselves, some of them, quite well satisfied and others as tolerably satisfied with the decision. They had claimed about $18,000 in the shape of damages. One hundred bushels of the grain that Prest. Taylor subscribed he gave to Bro. G. T. Peay, who was the heaviest sufferer. The train was held 25 minutes for us, and we succeeded in getting on and reached the city.

<Tuesday Wednesday, Nov. 25/84> [Two of my wife’s children came from Provo, and I couldn’t sleep at home. The two are children of Mary, the older sister of my wife; they are not her [my wife’s] biological children.]10 They came up to spend Thanksgiving11

26 November 1884 • Wednesday

Wednesday Nov 26 1884. At the office. In the afternoon attended meeting at the Endowment House.

27 November 1884 • Thursday

Thursday Nov 27, 1884. Thanksgiving day. My wife Sarah Jane prepared dinner for all my family who could be present, and I spent the day there. My son Franklin and his wife and children and mother-in-law were also there. John Q. had another engagement, so also had Abraham. We had a very enjoyable day together, and the weather was superb. In the evening attended an apron and necktie party at my son Abraham’s house. Many of my children were present. I desired to see how these parties were conducted, as they did not strike me favorably; but this company was a very select one, and caused a great deal of merriment and passed off to the satisfaction of all. They had an excellent supper prepared, and all seemed to enjoy themselves heartily.

28 November 1884 • Friday

Friday Nov 28, 1884. At 9 oclock this morning I drove up the cañyon with Prest. Taylor and my brother Angus to look at a piece of ground that Angus desired to obtain for building purposes, and which Prest. Taylor wished to give him for his services in the ministry.

At 10 oclock I went to the residence of <President> Joseph F. Smith and blessed his little son, 8 days old today, the son of his wife Sarah Richards Smith, and named him Willard Richards Smith. Bro. Joseph F. had written to the family to have me attend to this for him in his absence. From there I proceeded to the residence of the late Capt. W. H. Hooper and delivered a funeral discourse to a large number of people there assembled, the occasion being the death of a daughter of Capt. Willard Young of the U. S. Army, and his wife, Hattie Hooper Young. The child was a beautiful baby of 15 mouths old who died in <a> convulsion on the Columbia river, where Willard is stationed in charge of government works. I had excellent freedom and enjoyed my own remarks. I drove out this afternoon with Prest. Taylor and we had considerable conversation concerning the Iron Manufacturing Co. about which Bishop Thomas Taylor is making considerable trouble. I feel so annoyed by this matter that I would gladly give up all my interest, for which I paid $ 10,000 in money, to the Church if by doing so I could relieve Prest. Taylor and the Church from embarrassment arising from this affair. I never had any difficulty with anybody in my life over money matters, and to me it is most painful to listen to such remarks as Bishop Taylor has made of late concerning this business. I told him sometime ago that until something satisfactory was known about the fuel more than there was I could not possibly say one word to induce any person to take a dollars interest in the company. I remarked to him at one time that I would as soon think of committing forgery as write such a circular as I did write <at his instance> to the public concerning that property with the knowledge that I now have. What I did then I did ignorantly; but I could not now say one word to induce any person to put any money in it. It is this stoppage of business that displeases him. He feels that he is tied up and that all his interest is in such a position that he cannot handle it, and he says he is suffering, and his family is suffering, in consequence of it. In engaging in this business I was prompted I may say solely by a desire to keep a valuable property out of the hands of outsiders, and <with the thought that> it would furnish employment for our people in the south. I feared that if outsiders got possession of it, a gentile element would be introduced, and we should lose the political control of that part of our Territory. In my anxiety to prevent this I took this step and did so endeavoring to obtain the mind of the Lord concerning it and to be clear in my feelings that it was right. I hope it will be a lesson to me that I should profit by in my future life and be the means of keeping me out of difficulties that may be of a serious character. He (Bishop Taylor) has proposed in a letter that I have received today either to sell his interest to Prest. Taylor and myself as private individuals, or to the Trustee-in-Trust, or the Church, or he will buy our interests, and he proposes to submit the whole question to three business men, he to select one, we to select one each. Prest. Taylor feels that as Trustee-in-Trust he cannot allow the means that has been invested there to pass out of his hands into the control of Bishop Taylor. $35,000 in money has been advanced by the Church and this is too large a sum, he feels, to suffer to pass unto another’s hands without being thoroughly secured.

29 November 1884 • Saturday

Saturday Nov 29, 1884. At the Office. Bishop Taylor called and some unpleasant remarks were made by him. I was greatly pained at his interview with Prest. Taylor. He said he would submit his case to three Teachers. He spoke of George Romney; so we, after his departure, concluded to select Bishop Sharp and Bro. A. O. Smoot, who were both business men, as the other Teachers and appointed Thursday at ½ past 10 oclock as the time of meeting, when Bro. Taylor could state his case and his alleged grievances, and we could make such reply and explanations as might be necessary.

Accompanied Prest. Taylor to his new carriage house being built, and the arrangement of which did not suit him. Afterwards went to the Tithing Office and had conversation with Bishop John Sharp. F. D. Richards and James Anderson, the foreman of the job department of the News Office, <who> called in with the Specimen pages of the Spanish Book of Mormon. I had given instructions to Bro. Anderson how to arrange those pages so as to learn what space they would occupy as compared with English. Prest. Taylor is desirous to have it run page by page with the English, and we spent sometime in conversing upon this subject. It is decided we go to Provo tomorrow to attend conference.

30 November 1884 • Sunday

Sunday Nov 30 1884. Joined (accompanied by my wife Eliza) Prest. Taylor and several of the brethren and proceeded to Provo. We found Prest. A. O. Smoot suffering from pleurisy and unable to attend meeting. Prest. Taylor occupied the forenoon and preached an interesting discourse. I occupied the afternoon. We returned home in the afternoon. The train stopped at the end of the street leading to my house to accommodate me. I found my buggy waiting. I afterwards drove to the city and remained all night.

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November 1884, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 25, 2024