The Church Historian's Press

April 1885

1 April 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 1/85. We breakfasted at Green River. A low miserable creature by the name of Goodwin, (not the Editor) but a reporter on the Salt Lake Tribune was on the train and while here was busy talking with the passengers about me. I took my things one by one, so as not to attract attention into the berth which John Q. had in the O. S. L. sleeper. I rode, however, in my own berth till I reached Granger. Here the Oregon Short Line cars were switched off. Before this was done I stepped from my car into John Q’s without attracting attention and he went out to get a ticket for himself to Pocatello and to watch Goodwin’s performances. The latter was looking at the baggage which was being transferred, evidently with the object of seeing if any thing belonging to me was transferred. He took considerable notice also of John Q’s movements. The latter, instead of stepping on to the car where he had his berth and where I was sitting, got on the sleeper for Ogden where I had been and remained there until the train started when he quietly stepped off. This threw Mr. Goodwin and the rest off their guard. They supposed I was still on the Ogden train and they must have gone some distance before they found their mistake. The snow on Bear River and Bear Lake Valley is quite deep. We reached Pocatello a little after dark. Here we took supper and thought of remaining all night. The Hotel at the station was very full and there were a number of people around. I was known to a number and was pointed out to others. There was doubt about getting lodgings, and I felt that, if possible, we should get away from here; for it was easy to inform our enemies from here by telegraph that I was here. Met Bro. Charles W. Nibley here on his way to Boise. John Q. found there was a freight train going out at 9.30 p.m. and by getting a permit and signing a paper we could get out on that. This I thought preferable to remaining here for the passenger train to-morrow morning. Of all the rough traveling on the rail this Caboose was the worst I ever had. There were five air-brake cars in the train and the checking of these would jerk the Caboose very violently, and a few times it seemed as though we had collided with another train, the shock was so violent. Three apostates got on the train at McCammon. They knew me. At Battle Creek we changed Caboose and had to wait an hour and a half for another.

2 April 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, April 2/85. When we reached Franklin it was grey daylight. I told John Q. I felt we would be safe to continue with the train to Smithfield. He, therefore, got another ticket to that point. At Smithfield we got off, and I felt exceedingly thankful to my Heavenly Father, when I stepped on the soil of Utah, for the preserving care He had shown to me. I felt comparatively safe now, and I rejoiced and was light and happy, tho’ in fact I had felt well all the way and had not been troubled with nervousness or fear. Bro. Hansen, the Station Keeper and Telegraph Operator here, was very kind to us. Bishop G. L. Farrell was at Logan; but he saw Bro. Morehead, Bro. Farrell’s counselor, and he came down and brought Bro. Thos Mather with a covered wagon to carry us to Logan. We breakfasted in the wagon at Bro. Mather’s and he then drove <carried> us to Logan. We drove near the Temple and he fetched Bro. Merrill, who suggested that the wagon be driven so that we could step out into the kitchen. Here we found Bro. F. M. Lyman. Bishop W. B. Preston came upon the train. He had been requested by President Taylor to arrange for relays of horses so that I could be carried through to where he was quickly[.] Though I had been up all night I told Bishop Preston I was ready to start immediately. Before 6 o’clock p.m. we started, Bro. G. L. Farrell driving the team. Bishop P. gave John Q. his ticket to come down by rail to-morrow and he accompanied me in the carriage. It was very dark until the moon arose, which it did before midnight. We called at Bishop Dewey’s and got his team, which we drove to Brigham City. Stopped at Bishop Nichol’s and was visited by Bro. Lorenzo Snow, who had requested to be informed when I reached. We had a very interesting conversation. Bro. Jensen’s team and carriage, Bishop Nichols accompanying us, carried us rapidly to Ogden. A carriage passed through Brigham just after we reached there. At Ogden we learned it contained Commissioner McKay and his myrmidons on their way to Logan. As Marshal Ireland had gone to Logan on the train upon which Bishop Preston had come upon, with a number of spotters and spies, by McKay traveling by land they hoped to intercept myself or any other person they might be after. Ireland came to Logan, there is no doubt, for the purpose of finding and arresting me.

3 April 1885 • Friday

Friday, April 3/85 We put up at Bro. Lorin Farr’s, and after breakfast Bro. Richard B. Taylor drove carried us in a carriage to Kaysville, where at Bro. Barnes’ we found a team and carriage, and Bishop Peter Barton carried us to Salt Lake City, where we arrived at 2.15 p.m. having made the journey (upwards of 100 miles by the road we traveled) including stoppages in about 26 hours. My reason for traveling in the daylight was that in a covered carriage and somewhat disguised, we were less likely to be suspected than in a carriage traveling in the night. Bro. Preston took me to his house, where I had refreshment, and in the evening my brother Angus took me to meet Bro. David James who carried me in his buggy to his farm house across <the> Jordan river, where President Taylor was stopping. I never saw President Taylor exhibit more pleasure at meeting any person than he did <in meeting> me this evening. And the feeling was reciprocated by me. I was delighted to be here and I felt profoundly grateful to the Almighty (as did President Taylor and the other brethren) for his care over me. They had prayed for me with faith and fervor and their prayers had been heard. With the President there were Bro’s. L. John Nuttall, C. H. Wilcken and Charles Barrell. The word has reached here that to-day the Marshals searched the trains at Smithfield for me, and when Dickson, the Prosecuting Attorney, learned that they had not arrested me he swore and tore around violently. <One of> The train <trains> that was searched was the one that I should have traveled on had we not taken the freight train as we did at Pocatello. I can plainly see the hand of the Lord in my escape. His providence has been over me. We had a delightful evening. I was fatigued, having been two nights without sleep and having traveled so roughly and constantly.

4–5 April 1885 • Saturday to Sunday

Saturday, April 3[4]/85 I had a good night’s rest and felt refreshed this morning, though a little sore. After breakfast <my letter to President Cleveland was read and President Taylor was much pleased therewith.> I was drowsy and lazy. President Taylor wished me to do something towards an Epistle which we thought ought to be sent by us to the Conference. After dinner (2 o’clock) I commenced and dictated to Bro. L. John Nuttall, who writes long hand only, the Epistle and by the time President Taylor arose from the nap he usually takes after dinner, we had the greater part of it written. My brother Angus came out to carry me in to have the Epistle copied and sent in the morning to Logan. Bro. James also was out. We read the Epistle to them and the family and they (Sister James, and Bro. Samuel Obray and wife, who is Bro. D. James’ daughter) enjoyed it much. As Angus and myself went up he called and got Bro’s. Milando Pratt and Bro. Bassett, the Presiding Bishop’s clerk, to go to the Office to help copy the Epistle. Bro. James went also for Bro. Geo. Reynolds. Bro. Wm C Spence and Daniel Daniels were there also. By four o’clock on the morning of

Sunday, April 5/85 it was copied and I gave instructions to Bro. Spence about taking it and a resolution which I had drawn up, to Logan, where he was going this morning. A bed was made for me in the office where I obtained a few about three hours’ sleep. I called a number of brethren together at the office at 12 noon to-day, being impressed to lay before them my views as to the steps that should be taken to put a stop to the present “raid”. They were John and Jas. Sharp, H. S. Eldredge, A. M. Cannon, Feramorz Little, H. B. Clawson, W. W. Riter, S. P. Teasdel, T. G. Webber, Bishop Preston, John Q. and Abraham H. Cannon, Frank Armstrong, W. H. Rowe, Wm Jennings, Elias Morris, Brigham Young, T. B. Lewis and Geo. Reynolds.

I related to them my visit to Washington, my interviews with President Cleveland and the Members of his Cabinet; read to them my communication to President Cleveland, and <said> that every influence that we could bring to bear to have a halt called and an investigation had should be brought to bear by us. The Epistle to the Conference was also read. An excellent spirit prevailed and several brethren spoke. I felt relieved by my explanations to them, for I have felt that now was a time when every man should use all his efforts and all the influence he has in our behalf. These are our business men and <they> have influential relations with men of prominence in the East. I feel that this meeting will do good. Had a visit from wahine hope loa [my last wife]. At 5.30 p.m. went out in disguise to a wagon prepared by my son John Q. to take me down to my home. Had a happy time till 8 p.m. with my family, my wife Martha was the only one of my wives at home. I had all my children present, excepting Read, who is absent with his mother and my son Franklin. I questioned and instructed them and prayed with them. We met Bro. James at a place appointed and he carried me to his house.

6 April 1885 • Monday

Monday, April 6/85. Revised a discourse delivered by me at Ogden in January last. Wrote e <a> letter to <each of> my wives Sarah Jane and Emily. I have felt for some time that we are bending our necks too much to our enemies. My feeling has been that we should not tamely submit to the tyranny practiced upon us. Our people are apparently terrorized by a few men, not exceeding a dozen, who are running this raid to suit themselves. We are like a lot of sheep in a corral, and our enemies like butchers. They make the selection of their victim and rush in and drag him out, while the rest of the flock huddle up in a corner. I have felt that if a few of them were well trounced it would have a salutary effect. To go beyond this, that is, to go so far as to take life I would be utterly opposed. President Taylor learned my feelings and was considerably exercised about them. He thought it would not do to permit any violence of this kind. Of course, I said to him, it is for you to say about this; you are responsible; but I have felt that these scoundrels would be checked by the administration of such medicine.

7 April 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 7/85. Busy writing my journal. Wrote to my son John Q. and to Bro. Caine about meeting the latter at my house this evening. After dark it rained heavily. I went up in an open buggy with Bro. C. H. Wilcken. Met my son Abraham in a buggy on North Jordan Street, who carried me down to my house. There I met Bro. John T. Caine and my son John Q. I gave Bro. C. some notes Pres. Taylor had prepared as suggestions for the Committee appointed to draft resolutions and a protest to present to a mass meeting, and explained to him the course that I thought ought to be taken. Abraham carried him home. John Q. remained.

8 April 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 8/85 At 4.45 am. my son <David> awakened me and John Q. carried me nearly to the house where I stopped and I walked there. It was still raining. Wrote to my wife Eliza, also to Wahine hou [my new wife] and a note to Emily, also a letter to John Q. and other correspondence.

9 April 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, April 9/85 Conversing with Pres. Taylor and Bro. L. John Nuttall concerning the Beck and Champion Mining property. Pres. Taylor and myself are so heavily indebted on account of this property that I feel very deeply concerned and am anxious to have this liquidated. Wrote a number of letters in answer to correspondents; also Editorial Thoughts for the Juvenile Instructor. In the evening Bro. C. H. Wilcken took me to the City in a carriage to keep an appointment which had been made with Mayor Sharp and Councilor Heber J. Grant to meet me. The subject of our conversation was the taking of proper steps by the City Council to have the houses of ill fame in the City watched so that those who frequent them might be known and steps be taken to punish them. A number of those who are pushing this persecution against us are patrons of these places and keep mistresses and we feel that if our City officials do their duty they can be exposed and their hypocrisy be brought to light. They also had a number of questions to ask me concerning the proper course for the Committee to take who are appointed to draft resolutions and frame a protest to lay before a Mass Meeting with the view of presenting them to President Cleveland. Our place of meeting was the old office of the Utah Central R.R. Co.; but as we had no key to the building our conversation was held in a carriage in the street (it being quite dark) – the carriage having been sent for my use by my son, John Q. I afterwards had a conversation with my wife Emily, my brothers Angus and David having brought her to a retired spot from her house where we could meet and converse unobserved. They afterwards carried me to my house on the river Jordan and returned to the City.

10 April 1885 • Friday

Friday, April 10/85. Spent the day quietly at my residence. John Q. made me a visit in the middle of the day. In the evening my sons Hugh and David took me in my covered carriage to town, where I met Bro. David James, who carried me to his house. Found President Taylor and the brethren well.

11 April 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, April 11/85. Wrote a number of letters, among others one in answer to my wife Sarah Jane; another to Wahine hou [my new wife]. President Taylor and myself had considerable conversation respecting points which the Committee who are preparing the Resolutions and Protest for the Mass Meeting should notice. He desired me to go in town and see some of them on the subject. We also decided to give the correspondents, Crossley and Clements, who are correspondents of, or write Washington letters to about 350 country papers, $1,000 for four months service – the proposal being on their part to present our case to the country in the letters which they write; $500 we are willing to pay at the beginning of the 4 months and $500 at the close; and this to be continued every 4 months if agreeable to us. Of course it will be to their interest and ours to have this secret. This Bro. Caine is to see to – in furnishing them material from which to make extracts – under my direction. I accompanied Bro. James to town and it being late I found it difficult to see persons whom I wanted. Bro. James aroused my brother Angus out of bed, and he went to the house of Wahine hou [my new wife] and awakened her. I stayed there. [I was extremely happy about this. She informed me that she is pregnant. She has many illnesses; she is nauseated and has every type of illness you can think of during my time I visited her. I knew that in our last encounter together of this past Sabbath day, her countenance had changed drastically. I pray unto God that he will bless her and her unborn child, and that he would bless this child during her time of giving birth and that this child may enter into this world with a perfect and good body and a perfect heart and spirit, and it is God who will fill the child with the Holy Spirit when he/she is born.]1

12 April 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, April 12/85. [I have just remained in the house of my new wife throughout the day. In going there before I had to go at night and leave in the morning while it was still dark.]2 Enjoyed a delightful day. At 4 p.m. I went in disguise to the house of Bro. Brigham Young and there met Bro. Caine and my son John Q. to whom I explained about the character of the resolutions, &c or rather the points President Taylor and myself thought to have inserted; also to Bro. Caine about the arrangement to be made, if agreeable to them, with the Correspondents at Washington. Bro. Geo. Reynolds also called and remained some time. I returned with Bro. D. James, Bro. Brigham taking me in his buggy down to the rendezvous. I had an interview with Marshal Phillips, and gave him some suggestions as to the course to be pursued in exposing the adulterers and fornicators in our midst, and about securing some person or persons in our interest in the Grand Jury which it is proposed to select to-morrow.

13 April 1885 • Monday

Monday, April 13/85. A rainy morning. Received a letter from Bro. Joseph F Smith on the Sandwhich Islands, which I answered. Was much pained to learn that Orson P. Arnold, a man in whom we generally have had confidence, had gone into Court to-day and plead guilty to the charge of unlawful cohabitation, and that Commissioner McKay and assistant prosecuting attorney, Varian, had both spoken in his favor and to the effect that he had promised them to put away his second wife and no longer live with her but merely sustain her. Upon being interrogated by Judge Zane[,] Arnold had made the same statement and was <then> let off by the payment of $300 fine. This action is eating dirt and breaking covenants with a vengeance. How a man, after doing this, can look any honorable man or woman in the face I cannot understand.

14 April 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 14/85. Answered an inquiry of Wahine hou [my new wife] respecting an offer her Mother had to sell her homestead. She wanted my counsel as to the best way to have the payment arranged. Wrote Topics of the Times for the Juvenile Instructor. In the evening Bro. David James brought out among <other> things a note to the effect that Bro. Moses Thatcher had returned from Mexico and was in town and wished to see me to make a full report respecting his mission. It was decided for me to go in this evening. About 10 p.m. I left with Bro. James for town. It was raining. Failed to find my brother Angus and son Abraham; but succeeded in arousing my wife Emily.

15 April 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 15/85. About 4.30 in the morning arose, raining heavily, and went to the President’s office. Was seen by no one in the streets, they being deserted. Heard Bro. Thatcher’s report, to listen to which I invited all of the Twelve in town: Brigham Young, Albert Carrington, F. M. Lyman, J. H’y. Smith, and H. J. Grant. Bro. F. D. Richards came in afterwards. Myself and the above-named seven of the Twelve listened to portions of the Committee’s report which they were getting ready for the mass meeting. There were present John T. Caine, B. H. Roberts, O. F. Whitney and John Q. Cannon. F. S. Richards arrived to-day from Washington, and I had conversation with him about affairs at Washington.

16 April 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, April 16/85. I returned last evening from the City with Bro. James, having called after dark for a few minutes upon Wahine hou [my new wife] before I started. Wrote a letter to my sons John Q. and Abraham H. respecting our business at Ogden and urging upon them the importance of attending to it. Wrote a list of 27 Prizes which I intend to offer to my children for proficiency in certain studies.

17 April 1885 • Friday

Friday, April 17/85. Finished list of Prizes (Insert printed Circular) and sent it with letter to John Q. Wrote several letters.

[Printed circular:]


HAVING a great desire for your future welfare, and that you may be as fully equipped as possible for lives of usefulness in connection with the Work of God, and as citizens of this great Republic, I propose, in order to stimulate you in your studies, the following prizes:


To whomsoever will acquire such skill in writing short-hand as to be able to report a speaker (say at the rate of 100 words a minute) and transcribe the notes thus taken, I will present a fine double-barreled, breech-loading shot-gun, or any other article of equal value, or, if preferred, the value in money, at the option of the one entitled to this prize, and the sum of twenty-five dollars cash in addition.


To whomsoever will acquire such a knowledge of Spanish, German, Danish or French as to be able to read and freely translate the Book of Mormon in any one of those languages, or to read and give a free translation of any standard work in Latin, I will present a double-barreled gun, like that mentioned in Prize 1, or other article of the same value, or money to the amount of the cost of such gun, as the winner of the prize may choose.


Whoever shall acquire such facility in reading music, and skill in performing, as to be able to play tunes at sight upon a musical instrument, whether the piano, the organ, or any other instrument, shall receive the same as Prize 2.


Whoever shall master any one of the following branches of science: Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology or Botany, shall be entitled to an article, or money, of the value of twenty dollars.


He or she who learns to play three tunes on the piano, the organ, or other instrument of music, each in a different key, shall receive ten dollars.


For nine additional tunes, each in a different key, fifteen dollars.


Whoever shall describe the color, habits, facts concerning the hatching and the rearing of their young, and general peculiarities, of three of our native birds shall be entitled to five dollars.


For the same descriptions of nine additional birds, eight dollars.


If the scientific names of the first three birds be given, one dollar will be added to the five dollars.


If the scientific names of the additional nine be given, two dollars will be added to the eight dollars.


Whoever shall describe the color, habits, methods of propagation and general peculiarities of three of our native insects, shall receive five dollars.


For descriptions of nine additional insects, eight dollars.

PRIZES 13 & 14.

The same prizes will be given for the scientific names of these insects as are offered for the scientific names of the birds.

PRIZES 15, 16, 17 & 18.

Such descriptions of fish as I ask of birds and insects, and their scientific names, will be entitled to the same prizes that I offer for them.


If, besides giving the written descriptions referred to, a competitor should paint in colors the three birds, insects or fishes described, he or she shall be entitled to twenty-five dollars.


A free-hand pencil drawing of objects in nature shall be entitled to a prize varying from two dollars and a half to ten dollars, according to the size and quality of the drawing.


Five duets, played by two performers on the piano, or by one performer each on the piano and the organ, shall be entitled to five dollars.


Whoever acquires such skill and facility in signing and accompanying himself or herself on the piano, organ or other instrument of music as to master a dozen songs, shall be entitled to ten dollars.


A dozen duets, trios or quartettes, when sung and accompanied by music, shall be entitled to six dollars.


Whoever will read carefully through the Bible or the Book of Mormon, and be able to answer questions concerning its contents reasonably well, shall be entitled to six dollars.


Whoever will do the same with the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, shall be entitled to five dollars.


Whoever will recite three pieces, whether prose or poetry, of reasonable length, with good elocutionary effect, from memory, shall be entitled to five dollars.


Nine additional pieces, subject to the same conditions, shall be entitled to seven dollars.

If any or all of you desire to have the aid of teachers to enable you to qualify yourselves to obtain any of these prizes, I will gladly do that which may be in my power towards securing and paying them, upon assurances that you will seek earnestly to profit by their instructions.

The above-named prizes will be paid by me to whomsoever presents me a certificate signed by the teacher (if there should be a teacher) and the committee, who shall be appointed to judge of, and pronounce upon, the merits of the production or the performance. In my absence John Q. Cannon will act for me in selecting the committee and in paying the prizes; and in the event of the absence of both of us, Abraham H. Cannon will thus act.

To give you time to qualify yourselves to strive for these prizes, I suggest that we have an examination on the next anniversary of my birthday (January 11th, 1886), and at that time the committees can make their decisions, and award the certificates to those whom they decide are entitled to them. But should any not be fully qualified at that time to obtain a prize, their want of preparation will not debar them from continuing their studies and obtaining, at any time when ready, the prizes for which they are striving.

Hoping the desire that I have that you should become useful and accomplished will be met upon your part by industrious and persevering interest,

I am Your Loving Father,

George Q. Cannon.

Cannon’s Home.

Salt Lake County,

Utah Territory,

April 16th, 1885.

[End of printed circular]

18 April 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, April 18/85 Wrote a letter to my son John Q. and sent with <it> a Power of Attorney which I had drawn for him, under date of yesterday, as my Attorney-in-fact to act for me in settling up the business of the Iron Manufacturing Co. I impressed upon him to be exceedingly careful of the rights of other holders of Stock, many of whom have invested in the Company because of my being its President. An unscrupulous man, if he were to get possession of the majority of the Stock, could, if he were so disposed, render the rest of the Stock worthless. I would rather lose my own than that any who had bought because of confidence in me as President, should lose theirs. Bishop Tho’s. Taylor who is negotiating to get this Stock of President Taylor’s and my own has acted in such a manner as to destroy all my confidence in him. He tells the most unblushing falsehoods about the action of President Taylor and myself, and has calumniated me <us> in the most dreadful manner. The facts are <is> he misrepresented the value and character of this property to me. He led me to believe that the coal and the ore would make iron, and had, in fact, made it; that it was very desireable and valuable and that he had been offered $50,000 for half of it before he had secured his patents (a statement which I now question the truth of) and that it would be the means of great wealth in the Southern part of the Territory and of employment to the residents there. I had been greatly impressed with the need of something of this kind to revive the South, from which many of the young and enterprising were moving all the time. Non-Mormons, if they got possession of Iron Works, would employ their <own> kind, and we would be in danger of losing the political control of that part of the Territory. These considerations had been in my mind for some time. I was, therefore, in a condition to look favorably upon his propositions, believing, of course, they were thoroughly reliable. So anxious was I upon this subject that, after conversing with President Taylor, who however seems not to have got a clear idea in his mind, I agreed to buy half of his interest for $50,000. I paid him $10,000 in cash, and notes for the remainder in four payments of different dates. These last, greatly to my satisfaction relief and President Taylor’s satisfaction, he surrendered to me at the organization of the Company and the assignment of the Stock. By his misrepresentations (for it is not clear that the coal will make iron, in fact the various analysis analyses cast <grave> doubts upon it being of such a quality as to answer at all for this purpose) he induced me to pay him this money, and now he upbraids and calumniates me as though I had injured him. I have been at an infinite amount of trouble over this business, and besides losing this amount, so serious to a man with my family and in my circumstances, and have not had a cent’s benefit in any form. I have had no quarrel or angry words with him over this business; but I could easily have had trouble if I had yielded to my feelings when he insisted upon one occasion that he had never said to me that the coal would make iron but that charcoal would have to be used. As if I would have agreed, knowing the <comparative> scarcity of timber in that region and the stringent rules of the Government against timber cutting on the public domain, to ruin myself by giving $50,000 for <half of> a property of that kind. No one with ordinary sense could ever expect to build up <in this country> Iron Works of any size or of any permanent value if charcoal were to be depended upon as fuel. My feelings, as expressed to President Taylor, have been that if we did any thing towards separating ourselves from him by any sale or otherwise, we should not do it personally but through an Attorney-at-Law. I feel as though I did <can> not, if I can avoid it, do any more business with him. I do not wish him any harm, and would not, if I could, lay a straw in his way; but I wish to keep clear of him. Bro. Franklin S. Richards is the Attorney who is acting for us.

There being a number of things to see about it was decided better for me to go to the City and attend to them. Bro. C. H. Wilcken took me in a carriage a part of the way to my house on the river. Met my wives Sarah Jane and Martha and some of my children.

19 April 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, April 19/85. My son John Q. is 28 years old to-day. [11 Hawaiian words redacted because they address deeply personal matters between Cannon and his family.] I arose at 3 o’clock and my sons Angus and Hugh took me in a carriage to town. Remained in the President’s office till evening. Met with Territorial Committee and others. Urged them to commence prosecutions of registers who had refused the people entitled to vote and against whom cases could be made. Attended to other business also. A spirit to compromise principle exists in the breast of some. They want peace with the world even if they have to agree to no longer obey a command of the Almighty. I spoke with feeling and great plainness to the brethren upon the wickedness of such a proceeding and that there were no two roads for us to pursue; we must either obey and serve the Lord, or apostatize and deny him. There was a solemn feeling in the meeting and the Spirit of God was there. On this occasion there were present: John Sharp, Theo. McKean, John R. Winder, Brigham Young, Angus M. Cannon, Wm Jennings, Feramorz Little, A. M. Musser, John T. Caine, and a part of the time, F. S. Richards <John Q. Cannon> and C. W. Nibley. Bro. Geo. Reynolds was present through the meeting. Before we got through Bro. Brigham Young and my brother Angus had to withdraw to attend the funeral of Sister Clara J. Young. Bishop Sharp expressed the wish that I could meet with them every Sunday.

Had conversation with Orson P. Arnold concerning his strange conduct in the court where he promised to give up his second wife and never live with her any more as a wife. He gave me a detailed statement of the steps by which he was led to do as he did. He was deceived by the officers and his Gentile friends and when he got into Court he lost his head and said he concluded to “lie it through.” He is and has been in great misery over the act. He asked me what he should do. I replied the best I knew was to repent of his sins, and quit his drinking, his playing billiards and associating with Gentiles and humble himself and live a godly life, bearing patiently the manifestations of distrust he is sure now to meet. He promised to do this. This interview was a direct fulfilment of a dream I had a few nights ago. I dreamed that O. P. Arnold desired to converse with me. I refused to see him; but afterwards I consented and he then explained to me how he had been led to do as he had done. This was literally fulfilled. When the messenger from the clerks’ office asked me if Orson Arnold could see me, I said No; I did not wish to see him. Afterwards he saw John Q. and he came and spoke to me and I then consented to see him.

In the dusk of the evening, disguised as an old, lame man I went, leaning on the arm of George Shumway, to the house of Wahine hou [my new wife]. Remained an hour there and took a light supper. Then went and administered with my brother Angus and son John Q. to Bro. Brigham’s wife, Lizzie, who is and has been very sick. David, my son, drove me down to my home on the river. Met with my family; conversed with my children upon their lives and conduct. Spoke very strictly and severely to William about his language and conduct. He has been smoking. My brother Angus called for me. Before leaving I divided some dress goods among my family.

20 April 1885 • Monday

Monday, April 20/85 We reached my place of refuge at 2.45 this morning. Wrote a letter to John Q. and Abraham H., my sons, about business, also one to my brother Angus respecting the Bishops not keeping any kind of a record of the Recommendations they give. A very rainy day. Not so well as usual in my health, owing probably to insufficient sleep during the past two nights.

21 April 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 21/85 The decision of the U. S. Supreme Court yesterday on the Rudger Clawson case appealed from the Supreme Court of the Territory is that the decisio <action> of that Court was correct; or in other words it is affirmed, with costs to be paid by the appelant. This cuts off all hope of relief from that quarter. It was confidently thought by many non-Mormon attorneys that the case would be returned here for a new trial because of jurors being summoned on the case by the use of the open venire. Many perhaps will see in this an additional reason for compromising, or for giving up the principle of plural marriage. Lord, deliver us from such people who have no more faith than this. They had better leave us, and, if they desire a people who are willing to affiliate with the world and are not willing to receive or adopt any revelation which will come in conflict with popular views, they can find such in the apostate organization which has the unworthy son of the Prophet Joseph Smith as its leader. Notwithstanding this decision (upon which I have never built the least hope) I still feel <so> unconcerned as to our future that I do not have any trepidation or fear. Since this “raid” commenced I have felt as happy and undisturbed as at any period of my life. My mind has been serene, the Spirit of the Lord has filled me with peace, comfort and confidence, and I have felt a nearness of the Lord that has given me strength and joy. While the details of our deliverance have not been given to me, I <still> have an assurance from the Lord that He will work out a great deliverance for Zion. I rejoice exceedingly in being a Latter-day Saint and bearer of the everlasting priesthood and that He has revealed the principle of celestial marriage and permitted me to obey it. Wrote to Col. John R. Winder about the disincorporating of the Iron Manufacturing Co.; also to Senator Vest, enclosing a draft for $4,000, being the balance of the $10,000 fee which is due to him as Counsel in the Utah Election cases appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court.

22 April 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 22/85 Snowing to-day. Decided to have Bro. Macdonald go to the City of Mexico, accompanied by a citizen of Chihuahua, who is friendly to our people and acquainted with them, by the name of Dr. Lamaniego, and plead the cause of the Saints who have been ordered to leave that State. We also decided to have Bro’s. Brigham Young and Moses Thatcher, as two of our representative men, follow them with suitable letters of introduction, to explain to the Government of that Republic the objects our people have in view in settling in Mexico and the motives which prompt them. We (Pres. T. and myself) signed a letter, which I wrote, to Bro. John W. Young, now in New York, giving him an account of the situation of affairs in Mexico and the design to have Bro’s. Brigham Young and M Thatcher go there, and requesting him to try and obtain letters of introduction for them from influential men in the East to the President of Mexico and to prominent Members of the Government. It was suggested he apply to Hon. S. A. Elkin for one and perhaps Jay Gould and other prominent Railroad men. Wrote a letter to Mr. A. M. Gibson, Washington, and enclosed a copy of our letter to Bro. John W. Young and made the same request for letters of him. Dictated a letter to Bro. M. Thatcher upon the subject of mission to Mexico which we signed. President Taylor thought I had better go to town to-night and see about the Resolutions and Protest the Committee are preparing. They appear to be very slow in their movements. Bro. Samuel Obray drove the carriage in which I rode, to my house. The evening was very disagreeable, snowing and cold and the roads very bad.

23 April 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, April 23/85. Arose at 2.45 this morning. My sons Angus and Hugh took me in covered carriage to the President’s Office. Been very busy to-day with Committee who read me Declaration of Grievances and Protest which they had prepared, and to which I wrote an addition respecting our views on plural marriage. At the time I heard on a former visit what they had written I criticized it and gave my views in some fullness as to the form this document should be in. In consequence of this they threw all that aside and have prepared this, which I think a very good and strong paper. <Of> The Committee <there were> present: John T. Caine, F S Richards, Jas. Sharp, Orson F. Whitney and John Q. Cannon. Had conversation with my son Abraham about our business. I urged him to get every thing into as good shape as possible, for I feel that our enemies will get him into the Penitentiary if possible; so also my brother Angus. Had interviews with Bro’s. F. D. Richards, <Brigham Young,> John Sharp, <F M Lyman, J. Henry Smith, H. J Grant & J. W. Taylor,> H. B. Clawson, my brother Angus and others upon various matters and gave counsel. In the evening, disguised as an old lame man, leaning on Bro. Geo. Shumway’s son, I went to Bro. B. Young’s and administered with him to his wife Lizzie. Then went to Wahine hou’s [my new wife’s]. I have <been> quite sick to-day, and before leaving the Office had a light chill. After reaching Wahine hou’s [my new wife’s] I was attached with a violent chill which lasted for some time. She made me composition tea and gave me that and other remedies. I had appointed three o’clock as the time of meeting for myself and Bro. Angus, who was intending to take me out to my retreat; but I felt so badly that I thought it imprudent to venture out at that hour and sent him word accordingly.

24 April 1885 • Friday

Friday, April 24/85. Remained in bed till about five p.m. and was kindly waited on by Wahine hou, Aole na keiki and e ike mai ia’u [my new wife; her children did not see me]. Visited by Bro. Brigham Young. At 9 p.m. was taken in my wife Elizabeth’s little covered carriage by my brother Angus to my retreat. Found Pres. Taylor and the others all well and glad to see me.

25 April 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, April 25/85. Feeling very well this morning. Dictated letters for Pres. Taylor and myself to sign, which Bro. Nuttall took down, to Bro’s. M. Thatcher, Helaman Pratt at City of Mexico, Brigham Young and letter which I wrote myself to my brother Angus. I read the Declaration of Grievances and Protest to Pres. Taylor and brethren in the house, at which he, as well as the others, was much pleased. Wrote letter to Bro. J. T. Caine upon the best way to deal with it, so as to give it the most wide-spread notice. These were sent in early in the day. Wrote to Wahine hou [my new wife], also to John Q. to have his Mother’s parlors prepared for company at 10 o’clock to-night. President Taylor expected to go there and meet his sons. When we reached my house found Pres. Taylor’s son Frank and son-in-law, Rodney Badger, there and my son John Q. President Taylor spoke to me about <my> remaining at my house all night and to-morrow meeting with my children.

26 April 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, April 26/85 Met with my family this morning, my wives Sarah Jane, Eliza and Martha being present, also the Aunt (Caroline Daniels) of my wife Martha and Miss Ida Dehlin and Sister Davey being present. I read portions of scripture to them concerning the persecutions the Saints should have to endure, and then spoke in simple language, so the children could comprehend, upon the present position of the Saints. We had a delightful time. The singing of the children was delightful, and I was so touched with it that I could not refrain a part of the time from silently shedding tears. A trio, consisting of my daughter Mary Alice, Sisters Davey and Dehlin, sung excellently twice; Hester, Amelia and Emily also sung and Mary Alice and Emily sung a duet. Altogether it was a time of great enjoyment to me. Had a visit in the afternoon from Brother Brigham and Sister Kate Young, who did not know I was there till they called. My brother Angus called for me 10.45 p.m. and carried me to my retreat.

27 April 1885 • Monday

Monday, April 27/85. Wrote a letter authorizing Bro. Enoch Farr to act as Attorney-in-fact for President Taylor on the Sandwich Islands, which he signed. Finished reading “Letters from High Latitudes” by Lord Dufferin. This is <a> very well written book. Word came from town this evening that our residence is known and that an attempt would be made to arrest him. Bro. Wilcken went in to-night to learn concerning this.

28 April 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 28/85. It was decided to move to-night to Bro. John Carlisle’s at Mill Creek Ward. This morning President Taylor said “As these United States have arrayed themselves against this people and have sought to measure out to us, so shall it be measured out to them and more abundantly, and as they are digging pits for us, they shall fall into them themselves and to their own destruction, and that very soon. I do not know the time but it is nearer at hand than we have thought of.” Wrote letter, which President Taylor and myself signed, to F. S. Richards, one of the Church attorneys, asking him to examine carefully the law and learn whether stocks owned by the Church in various companies were liable to confiscation by the Government under the $50,000 limit or clause in the law of 1862. This inquiry was made in consequence of threats coming to our hearing which are said to be made by our enemies respecting Church property. They would like to steal all we have if they could. My son John Q. came out with a Spring wagon to help us to move. We drove by roads but little traveled and met but one vehicle and no foot traveler during the entire distance to Bro. John Carlisle’s, 7 miles from the Temple Block, and on the bank of the Jordan River. It was nearly midnight when we reached and were kindly welcomed by the family.

29 April 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 29/85. The following letter (Here insert, date April 22nd) I received from Bro’s Hy. Dinwoodey and S. W. Sears written at Chicago.


Chicago April 22nd 1885

President George Q. Cannon

Salt Lake City

Dear Brother

During the last three months we have met with hundreds nay thousands of the leading business men of the Eastern States, and conversation has naturally drifted to Utah affairs, during these conversations we have endeavoured to learn their views and feelings regarding our position in Utah, our object being to find out as near as possible if the persecution the Latter day Saints are now being subjected to is the sole doings of a few politicians in Utah or whether these Utah officials are carrying out the sentiments of and being backed by the Country at large, we are sorry to admit that the latter conclusion is forced upon us. A great variety of ideas have been expressed and many theories advanced from time to time for the settlement of this question by those with whom we have conversed[,] but one prevailing sentiment seems through it all, the tenor of the whole conversations has been that the “Mormon” Community must stop contracting polygamic marriages in future or at least until such time as they can get the law which now stands upon the statute books repealed or pronounced by the Supreme Court to be unconstitutional—Even those whom we have known for many years who visit Utah occasionally and whom we have always had good reason to look upon as our friends, for in times past when trouble has arrisen they have done all in their power to serve us say now they are in favor of the Government enforcing the law so far as any further extension of the polygamic marriage system is concerned, at the same time they say they do not want to see any disturbance of the family relationship now existing as a result of marriages entered into before the passage of the Edmunds law and they say if any arrangements were made for suspending polygamic marriages until such time as we could get the Edmunds law repealed they would guarantee to get thousands of the leading business men of the country to sign a petition to the President & Cabinet to have stopped all prosecutions under the Cohabitation Clause of the Edmunds law, but without something of this kind they say we could not get any considerable support from Eastern business men who really would like to see us get some releif. We have yet to find a man (even the most rabid anti Mormon) who does wish to see the relationship of men who have entered into polygamy in the past disturbed if the law in regard to future Cases can be enforced without it, but they say prosecution under the Cohabitation Clause seems to be the only show they have of getting at it. The prevelant idea is that we who have been in this relationship so long are being handled roughly in order to bring about some Compromise looking to the future Abolishment of polygamy, and that we need look for no cessation of hostilities until some promise is given by the Church authorities that no more polygamic marriages will be countenanced for the present, or pending the test of the Edmunds law in the Courts. The parties who got up the Edmunds law it is claimed foresaw the difficulty confronting them of proving polygamic marriages that is the date of the ceremony &c[.] And had this second Clause of Cohabitation put in so that if they could not get proof of the marriages they could make the law apply to those living in polygamy as this proof would be easily obtainable[.] As you have spent considerable time East and conversed with many leading men we think your conclusions must be similiar to our own in reference to the sentiment of the country at large and that you must be fully convinced the feeling is dead against us—

Now we do not want to be misunderstood or to have you think for one moment that we want to help you and your fellow members of the first presidency and twelve run the Church for such is not our motive in writing to you but we are deeply interested and the dearest and tenderest ties of our family relationship are affected and we cannot help viewing the sentiment of this Country and the affairs now transpiring with grave apprehension—we have accepted and obeyed the law of polygamy through the teachings of the preisthood and assumed all its responsibilities and during all our lives have been true to our brethren[,] have upheld them with our faith[,] prayers and means, and kept the Covenants we made and now are willing to pass through whatever we may be called upon to pass through to build up and sustain the truth and right, and in doing this put our trust in Almighty God at the same time we wish to explain plainly to you our sentiments because we beleive we have a right to do so, in fact under the existing circumstances we beleive it our duty to do so and further because we beleive we can do so without being misunderstood or looked upon as weak in the faith which we have spent the best part of our lives to maintain – The question arises in our minds if we are to be hid up or imprisoned indefinately (and from present Appearances we see no alternative) what is to become of the families we have received as a charge from the Almighty[?] Without our care they are liable to grow up in a manner that will not inspire us with pride or be creditable to the cause we have espoused. If our going to prison was all there was of it we could stand it, but under these conditions our families would be the greatest sufferers for they would be deprived of our aid in every way and it looks to us that there ought to be some way out of this dilemma and we really beleive that the power lies with the first presidency and twelve to find a means of releif and that it can be done without a surrender of any of our beleif or principles. If the formal announcement that the Church would suspend polygamy for a time or until such time as we could test the unconstitutionality of the law would ensure the Community an immunity from the persecution they are now passing through is there not authority enough for doing so in the doctrine and covenants where we are commanded to keep the laws of the land. In taking this position we do not surrender our beleif in the principle and only suspend operations for a time until we can test the illegality of the law which now stands in our way – If this was done we would then stand in the sight of law abiding Citizens before the world and would have more influence in obtaining our rights and could no doubt soon gain statehood and be freed from the Carpet baggers who now infest fair Utah and the power be in our own hands to govern ourselves

The question also arises in our minds does the Lord wish the many who have entered into polygamy and are raising up families to be imprisoned and their business ruined and their families scattered for the sake of the few others who having let their opportunities pass by unheeded may now wish to enter into this order. Another suggestion would in [it] not be good policy for the presidency to ask a free expression of the opinions and feelings of prominent men now living in polygamy upon this subject and have it understood that the presidency want their candid opinions and a free expression of them would not subject any one to critisism, by this means you would get their free expressions. Why we write this way to you we have good reason for beleiving that similiar feelings to our own are entertained by others who feel the burden now resting upon them, and certainly one member of the Quorum of the twelve has spoken quite as plainly as we now are writing you expressing similiar views with great empathis [emphasis?], but you know how it is very few have the courage to say or write just what they think when it is going to the heads of the Church but we feel that we ought to do so and trust that the spirit of God and the light of the preisthood which is in you will disern the true spirit and object of this communication for by that spirit we are willing to be judged knowing our motives to be pure and honest we wish you to know our feelings without any reserve and what we beleive are the feelings of many more and we honestly beleive that yourself the first presidency and the twelve have the power to fix this matter without relinquishing one iota of principle.

In conclusion we earnestly pray that God may give you wisdom now as he has under trying ordeals in the past that you may adopt such measurs that will bring peace to many aching hearts and that you may live long to guide us aright and give us cause to thank God for the wisdom he has blessed you and your Colaborers with

with feelings of sincere love – we are Your Brethren

H. Dinwoodey

S. W. Sears

[End of letter]

Appalled at the prospect of such unanimous opposition to the principle of Patriarchal Marriage they see no prospe way for us to escape destruction except by relinquishing our practice. Fallacious hope! It is impossible to satisfy the world by any such relinquishment. As for obtaining a repeal of the Edmunds Law or a ruling from the U. S. Supreme Court against its unconstitutionality by such methods that, in my view, never can be. It is only by our standing up for our rights under the Constitution that we can ever hope to obtain or maintain them. This, I feel, is our bounden duty. It may seem like a small matter whether a man have one, two or three wives; but if that man views the marrying of wives as a command from God and that he cannot obtain eternal exaltation unless he takes these wives, then to him it is a matter of supreme and infinite importance that he should have the privilege of taking them. It is for this that I contend. I have a right, under the Constitution, to do that which I may consider necessary to my salvation if in so doing I do not interfere with the rights of my neighbors. We must maintain this Constitutional right, and the Almighty has laid this upon us as I believe, and for one, I feel with God’s help, that to never turn aside from this, or to slacken my efforts in upholding it. In the evening Bro. C. H. Wilcken drove me in the buggy to the City. I stopped at my wife Emily’s.

30 April 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, April 30/85. Arose a little before 4 o’clock and, in the moonlight, repaired to the President’s Office. Was kept busy all day there. Dictated a letter to the News, signed “No Retreat.” Met Bro’s. E. Snow, F. D Richards, Brigham Young, J. H. Smith, Heber J. Grant, John T. Caine, my brother Angus, my sons John Q. and Abraham, Bro. Hiram B. Clawson, Sheriff John Turner, Bishop Sharp, Bro’s F. S. Richards, Wm Jennings, John Beck and others, and attended to various items of business, giving counsel, &c. In the evening met with and talked over Mexican matters with Bro’s B. Young & M. Thatcher, who had been selected to go to the city of Mexico to represent to the Federal government of that Republic the motives our people have in moving into Mexico and the objects they have in view. I saw Marshal Phillips and Officer Malin to learn from them respecting the conduct of my son Franklin J. Cannon. I had heard that he was guilty of drunkenness, mingling with bad associates, bad women among the number and perhaps whoredom. They confirm what I have heard. I had an interview with Bro. L. N. Shurtliff, President of the Weber Stake, in which Frank lives, and I told him, in the presence of Bro. F. D. Richards, to take F’s case in hand and deal with him, and unless there should be deep and heartfelt repentance on his part, cut him off from the Church; for such persons were utterly unworthy of a place among us. He promised to do so. I have done all in my power for this son. He for some time, since his return from California, has conducted himself in such a way as to lead me to think his reformation genuine. He did very well while with Bro. Caine in Washington. I begun to have confidence in him and trust him. I have spared no pains in teaching, warning and encouraging him. At no time have I been harsh or repellant. But it has all been of no use. He has squandered, as near as I can learn, nearly $2,000 of money which I put into the Company formed by myself and sons and that was entrusted to him. I have not seen him for some months, and I feel as though I never cared do not desire to see his face again. He might have been most useful. His address and manners have been gentlemanly and fascinating; he is an excellent writer and would make a gifted speaker; he has also fine business qualifications. Aside from any partiality I may have as a Father I do not know another young man of his age in the Church who is more talented. Had he done right he might have been most useful, and we need such men. But of what use to our Church are the most splendid gifts when not allied with purity of conduct and faithful, humble lives? They only serve, as in this instance, to exhibit the moral deformity in a stronger light. For myself I desire to dissolve all connection with him. He has chosen his course. If I can prevent it, it must not cross mine. So far in my life the Lord has given me such control of my affections that I can refrain from loving or having sympathy with a wicked person, even though related to me by blood. I pray that I may always have this self-control. In the evening Charlie Carlisle took me to his father’s in a buggy.

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April 1885, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 24, 2024