Friday, May 1/85. With President Taylor dictated letters of instruction to Elders B. Young and M. Thatcher. My letter, written yesterday to the Deseret News, over the signature of “No Retreat”, appeared in the issue of this evening.
Saturday, May 2/85 Wrote another letter to the News over the same signature as that of yesterday. Dictated correspondence. President Taylor thought I had better go in town and see about Bro’s. Caine, John W. Taylor and my son John Q. Cannon going immediately to Washington with the Declaration and Protest. We had heard that the <mass> meeting to-day had gone off splendidly. Bro. C. H. Wilcken took me into the city this evening. Had interviews with Bro’s. Reynolds, Gibbs & others and my son John Q. respecting the delegation going to Washington on Monday morning. Stopped at house of Wahine hou [my new wife]. Olioli au i ka ike ana ia ia [I was elated to see her].
Sunday, May 3/85. Arose at 4 o’clock and repaired to the Office. Remained there till 5 p.m. Met with Bro’s. E. Snow, H. J. Grant, <my brother Angus> John Sharp, John T. Caine, F. S. Richards, G. Reynolds, G. F. Gibbs, A. M. Musser, J. Q, <and A. H.> Cannon, Jas. Jack and others, and gave counsel and attended to other business. My sons Angus and David took me home in a carriage. Very glad to see my family. Remained till nearly 10 o’clock, when Bro. Charles Carlisle called for me.
Monday, May 4/85. I wrote another article, or correspondence, under signature of No Retreat for Deseret News.
Tuesday, May 5/85. This is the anniversary of my wife Elizabeth’s getting her endowment and of our being sealed for eternity. It was the first day on which endowments were given in the Endowment House. This was 30 years ago. Attended to correspondence.
Wednesday, May 6/85. Wrote to my Wahine hope loa [my last wife]. A letter from Mr. A. M. Gibson at Washington urged the policy of taking every measure possible to show up who transgressed the Edmunds law among our enemies. He thought the securing of that evidence, even if they were not punished, would have a good effect. President Taylor wished me to go into town and urge this policy — a policy that we decided upon months ago — upon the Mayor and City officials. Wrote to Bro. T. W. Brookbank, Sunset, Apache Co., Arizona, respecting an article on the Resurrection of the body which he had written and sent to me for examination. I had read it to President Taylor and we were both greatly delighted with it. It is the most eloquent and original explanation, from a scientific standpoint, of the resurrection of the body I ever read, and the article evinces deep thought. Was driven to my home on the river by Bro. Charles Carlisle. Found all well. Had a very interesting time with my family. I had prayer with them before we separated. I afterwards had conversation with my children — the boys and the girls apart — in which I asked them questions about their habits and implored them to avoid all sins, secret and open, and to be chaste and pure in their thoughts, words and actions, [8 Hawaiian words redacted because they address deeply personal matters between Cannon and his family.]
Thursday, May 7/85. Was driven to the President’s Office by my sons Angus and Hugh at 3.30 a.m. Had a meeting with Mayor James Sharp, and Bro’s. H. J. Grant, T. G. Webber and John Clark, (and Isaac Waddell a part of the time) Members of the City Council and F. S. Richards, City Attorney, upon the subject referred to in yesterday’s journal. I talked to them with great plainness upon their duties. Among other remarks I said that I did not believe there was an instance in history where a people had the power God had given to us in this Territory
and <without> making better use of it. We had the Mayor, City Council, the Police, every officer in the Municipality and its treasury; we had every officer in the County, its entire organization and its treasury; but what had been done to defend or preserve the liberties of the people? A few Federal Officials had been permitted to terrorize the entire community. Our leading men had been hunted by them as men hunt wild beasts, and not a move had been made to check them. Yet it is asserted they are corrupt in their lives. They had employed spotters and spies to dog us; but who had used the same tactics towards them? They had frequented houses of ill-fame, they had visited their mistresses, and done so with entire freedom. If a man, <however,> visited his wife he was spotted and arrested. Suppose they had the government of this City and county in their hands, as we have it in ours, what would be our fate? They would make this country too hot to hold us. But we have rested quiet and supine; we have allowed our rights and liberties to be trampled upon and have given no sign of our willingness to protect or defend ourselves. I knew, I said, that God was not pleased with a people who acted so indifferent about protecting themselves. He had given us the power and we should use it. I said the people looked to their leaders to defend and protect them; but we as the First Presidency could not do this, because we had no authority in civil matters. If the power had been in our hands, this would have been done long ago. You, I said, brethren, have been entrusted by the votes of the people, under the Charter of the City with this power. The people look ed to you to use it in their behalf. If you do not, the day will come when you will look back with regret to this neglect. The people will hold you and your administration in dishonor, because of your failure to use the powers with which they have entrusted you. If this Edmunds law were enforced as it should be in all places where it is binding twelve months would not pass, in my opinion, till it would be modified or repealed. They promised to push matters against the wrong-doers. Had interviews with a number of brethren and gave counsel upon various subjects. I moved at about 3 p.m. to the house of Bro. H. B. Clawson’s — <where his wife> Emily lived. I dictated Editorial Thoughts and Topics for the Juvenile Instructor. Spent My Wahine hou [new wife] remained with me from about 6 till 8.30 p.m. My brother Angus called at 10 p.m. and took me to my place of retreat. It rained and the night was very dark. We had two narrow escapes from being turned over. Pres. Taylor, myself and Bro. Nuttall laid hands upon him, at his request, and he was blessed, President Taylor being mouth. It was a powerful blessing. Angus returned.
Friday, May 8/85. Wrote a letter to my son Abraham, in which I pointed out duties that should be attended to. Also wrote to Bro. Lyman which President Taylor and I signed. A violent storm raged this evening.
Saturday, May 9/85 Wrote Editorial Thoughts for the Juvenile Instructor. Wrote a letter to my son Abraham in reply to one from him in which among other matters he alluded to Frank. (See letter in letter book.) President Taylor had a violent attack of diarrhea last night. I had an acute attack of rheumatism in my left shoulder to-day, which increased towards night and gave me unusual pain.
Sunday, May 10/85. Thirty years ago to-day I started with my wife Elizabeth on a mission to California by what was known as the Southern Route — via Cedar City, to Cajone Pass and San Bernardino.
The pain in my shoulder to-day has been very severe. Held meeting and attended to sacrament at 2.30 p.m. There were present, Bro. and Sis. Carlisle and two sons — Charles and Joseph Alfred — and Pres. Taylor, Bro’s Nuttall, Wilcken, Barrell and myself. We all spoke, except Jos. Alfred who dismissed the meeting.
Monday, May 11/85. Suffered all day from pain. Tried St. Jacob’s oil outwardly and Silcylica [Salicylic?] powders inwardly.
Tuesday, May 12/85. Suffered as yesterday.
Wednesday, May 13/85. A little better this morning. It was decided that I meet with Bro. Heber J. Grant to give him instructions respecting Idaho affairs. We preferred sending him as a messenger than to write. Word came from town that Bro’s. Erastus Snow and Wm Budge desired to meet me also and that they would be at my house on the river this evening. President Taylor decided to meet the brethren there also. It was <a> rainy evening. The three brethren in a carriage with my son Abraham drove up to the door of my house at the same time we did. My folks gathered in. The children sung for us and President Taylor prayed and the family retired and we attended to business. We gave Bro. Budge counsel which obviated the necessity of Bro. Grant going north. President Taylor spoke with plainness and power to Bro. Grant about the responsibility that rested upon the Mayor and City Council and City officials at the present time. They all returned about midnight and I remained, had a bath, changed my underclothing and then drove to town, Bro. Saunders driving the carriage. Stopped at the Tithing Office.
Thursday, May 14/85. Busy dictating “No Retreat” correspondence for the Deseret News. Acknowledged receipt of $200 from W H. Shearman, Esq., a contribution towards helping the families of those imprisoned for conscience’ sake. He is a very generous, sympathetic man and in these acts exhibits true religion. He writes that he borrowed this amount.
Had interviews with a number of brethren: Erastus Snow, John Hy. Smith, A. O Smoot, H B. Clawson, Geo. Reynolds, Jos. E. Taylor, W. B. Preston,
Bro [blank] Bassett, Rossiter, A. Winters and others, also my son Abraham.
About middle of afternoon went in disguise to Bro. Clawson’s. Wahine hope [my latest wife] was sent for below town and remained with me and took supper. At 8.30 p.m. returned to the Tithing Office, was called for by Bro. C. H. Wilcken and reached Bro. Carlisle’s at 11.15 p.m.
Friday, May 15/83. I suffer a little to-day from rheumatism. In the evening accompanied President Taylor to visit his wife Mary Ann and daughter Ida who are staying at his sister Elizabeth Boyes. Roads bad and we had a narrow escape from being tipped over.
Saturday, May 16/85. Weather beautiful; still suffering from my ailment, though better a little. President Taylor had arranged to go by special car to Nephi to meet with some of his family. Bishop John Sharp brought his car and Bro. G. G. Bywater as Conductor to the crossing of the lane nearest the place where we are stopping. I had made arrangement to go home on the river and had written to my son Abraham to that effect. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take baths with the view of removing the rheumatism from which I was suffering. President Taylor intimated that he would like me to accompany him, so I changed my plan. The car came up at 9.20 p.m. and we dropped Bro. Nuttall at Provo, where his wife and family are staying, and we (Pres. T., myself and Bro’s. Wilcken and Barrell) kept on to Nephi. We reached there about 1 o’clock. Bro. Hy. Goldsborough met us with a carriage. We were taken to Bro. John Andrews’. Sisters Sophia and Maggie Taylor were here and Frank Y. Taylor. They went to Sister Pitchforth’s to sleep. Bro. Wilcken and I slept together at Bro. Andrews’. Bro. Andrews was suffering from an attack of paralysis. We administered to him, I being mouth. He was promised restoration to health. Bishop Sharp took his engine and car down to Juab.
Sunday, May 17/85. My brother Angus’ birthday. I trust he is not suffering
as <while> a prisoner in the penitentiary. Bro. Andrews was up and quite active this morning, being to all appearance completely restored. He attended meetings, morning and afternoon, to-day. He and his wife are very kind and did every thing they could to make us welcome. He gave me a pressing invitation to come whenever I could and to use them and their house or any thing he had. At about 9 p.m. we were driven 2 miles out of the town and got on the car. Bro. Sharp had received a dispatch to the effect that Bro. F. S. Richards, who had started north to assist as attorney in the trials of the unlawful cohabitation cases in Idaho, had returned and desired to see me. Bro. Sharp had made an appointment to meet Bro. R. at 12.30 midnight. It was decided that I had better go to town with the car. President Taylor and the other brethren (Bro. Nuttall having joined us at Provo) got off at the lane where we got on.
Monday, May 18/85. We did not find Bro. Richards or any of those who had returned with him. I had a rough bed made for me in the Office and I stayed there. Bro. Geo. Reynolds notified Bro’s. Richards, Donaldson of Teton in the Bannock Stake and Spence, who is an attorney of Bear Lake Stake, and they came to the Office between 7 and 8 o’clock. They report matters in the North as being in a bad condition. Bro. W. D Hendricks, President of the Oneida Stake, has lost his head and appears to be the slave of fear. His counselor Bro. G. C. Parkinson, is also frightened. Bro. H. has plead guilty and is preparing himself to answer questions <to be> propounded by the Judge in a way that will relieve him from going to the Penitentiary. He has employed a bitter enemy as his attorney, because of his supposed influence with the Court. He has given him $250. Bro Parkinson has employed the same lawyer. Some of the other brethren have employed other enemies. Yet they have all (ten of them) plead guilty excepting Bro. Humphries, and really have no need of lawyers, for there is no defence to be made. The hope in employing these lawyers appears to be that through their influence with the [first line pasted over and illegible] modified. I was kept busy all day attending to this business and to Arizona business submitted by Bishop Udall of St. Johns who had come up. As it is necessary that some one should go up to Blackfoot where the Court is being held and give the people counsel[.] I endeavored to find a suitable man. All the Twelve, excepting Bro. Carrington, who is sick, are away. I tried Bro. John R. Winder, but much to his regret, he could not possibly go. I wrote a letter to Bro. M. W. Merrill who is in charge of the Temple at Logan (Insert letter from Office book) and described the situation to him and asked him to go. I also wrote to Bro. John Henry Smith who is in the Bannock Stake visiting and requested him to go to Blackfoot. I dictated letters to prominent elders in Arizona stakes requesting them to look after the families of the imprisoned and hunted elders and to report what they could do in this direction. President Taylor and myself had conversed upon this subject and he had expressed a willingness to devote church funds for this purpose. My sons, Hugh and David, took me down home in a covered carriage. Bro. Saunders gave me a vapor bath by means of alcohol. [7 Hawaiian words redacted because they address deeply personal matters between Cannon and his family.]
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
P.O. Box B. Salt Lake City, U. T. May 18th 1885.
Elder M. W. Merrill
A condition of affairs exists in Oneida Stake that requires the presence of some man whose head is level, and who is not easily frightened, to give counsel to the people, many of whom are suffering from panic. I regret to say that I fear from all the accounts that have reached me that Bro. Wm D. Hendricks is not in a good condition to give such counsel and set such an example to the people in the present exigency as are needed. It is said that he has pled guilty, and that he is prepared to go into court and answer a certain question which the Judge will propound to him, and by answering which he hopes to escape imprisonment. There can be no doubt, I think, that this will lead him into a snare, because no answer that he would give consistent with his honor as an Elder and Latter-day Saint would satisfy the Judge and the prosecution. I think this is too plain for argument, especially after the experience we have had here in the cases of Arnold and Spencer, the first of whom was encouraged to do as he did, as Brother Hendricks appears to be now encouraged by the prosecution in Idaho. His example will undoubtedly have great weight with others who are in a similar position, and what is needed there now is some man to give them counsel that will strengthen them as Latter-day Saints. If after they receive the counsel they prefer to go into court and answer questions to the satisfaction of the Court that will be their business, but we cannot allow them to do this ignorantly.
I would be greatly pleased if you could make it convenient to go right up to Blackfoot and attend to this matter, and give such counsel as the Spirit of God and your knowledge of principle will suggest to you. Of course I cannot give you all the particulars, but you must necessarily rely upon the aid of the Almighty to give you the counsel when the cases arise that require it. You may be joined before you get through by Bro. John Henry Smith, and after he gets the matter well in hand, if your business compels you to return you can leave him then to stay as long as may be needed.
Please destroy this letter after reading it or showing it to Brother Smith. Be very careful with it, however.
Geo. Q. Cannon.
On behalf of the First Presidency.
Tuesday, May 19/85 took another bath. Was visited by Bro. Budge, by my son John Q’s wife Annie, by my son Abraham, by Bro. Geo. Reynolds, and in the evening was called for by Bro’s. C. H. Wilcken and L. John Nuttall. Had an interesting family gathering in the evening before I left and prayed with my family. I went to town with the brethren. Met Pres. L. W. Shurtliff of Weber Stake and counseled him respecting policy to be pursued in Ogden in following up our official persecutors and exposing their corruptions. He informs me that he has investigated the charges about my
son’s son Frank’s improper intimacy with loose women, but can learn of nothing criminal. Bro. Nuttall remained in town.
Wednesday, May 20/85. Attended to the office work usually done by Bro. Nuttall. Received a letter from Bro. G. F Gibbs, secretary of Board of Regents of University of Deseret in which he asks me concerning the proper persons to speak at the closing exercises of the University. He says Dr. Park has mentioned the Governor as one of the speakers, thinking by so doing he would be induced to look favorably upon the claims of the University at the meeting of the next Legislature. I replied that I would feel that I had insulted the pupils, their parents, the Board of Regents and the community at large by making such a proposal. We would only expose ourselves to contempt by doing so, as our motive would be transparent to every one. I mentioned Byron Groo as an alumnus of the University who might deliver an address, also Bro. Caine, T. B. Lewis, Mayor Sharp or any of the Board of Regents. Bro. Nuttall returned this evening. Bro. Barrell went to town. Wrote to wahine hope loa [my last wife].
Thursday, May 21/85. Rheumatism is better, but not so well as yesterday. I am having my shoulders rubbed with oil — one part wintergreen and one part olive. Wrote to Regent Wm Jennings respecting the closing exercises at the University and giving reasons why the Governor should not be invited to speak. Bro. Nuttall brought word from the City of the death of my father’s sister Eleanor, who has been ailing for some time. She has been at the Gardo House lately under the care of Sister Agnes Schwartz. If she had lived a few days longer she would have been 79 years of age, being
nearly 12 <eleven and a half> years younger than my father. Yesterday I commenced the perusal of the Testament in Spanish with the view to become familiar with that language.
Friday, May 22/85. Attended to business and read in the Spanish Testament. Had some conversation with President Taylor respecting feeling which he had shown about my reading at the time that Bro. Nuttall was reading to him. I satisfied him that I meant him no <dis>respect in so doing.
Saturday, May 23/85 Prepared a discourse, delivered by me last September, for the press. In the evening was taken to my house by one of Bro. Carlisle’s sons — Joseph Alfred. My wife Martha gave me a vapor bath.
Sunday, May 24/85. Met with my family and gave my wives and children considerable instruction. Hugh and William took me to the City, to the Tithing Office. Was there all afternoon. Met with Bro’s. J. Sharp, Preston, Carrington, F. S. Richards, and Jas. Jack, Geo. Reynolds and my son Abraham. Went to Bro. H. B. Clawson’s, took supper a hala wai pu me ka’u wahine hou [and met together with my new wife]. I remained there till 9 o’clock. Returned to the Tithing Office and Bro. C. H. Wilcken called for me. My object in seeing some of brethren named above is to take steps to secure our church property against confiscation.
Monday, May 25/85. Attended to business. Read in Spanish Testament. Bro. L. John Nuttall went into the City with Bro. Wilcken to attend to business with the lawyer (Arthur Brown) connected with the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mine and with Mr. Daggett, Mining Engineer and Expert.
Tuesday, May 26/85. Received letter from Bro. Jos. F. Smith dated Honolulu, May 14. He is well and feeling well. I hear that the Grand Jury has my brother Angus’ case up. They are trying to prove that he is married to Dr. Mattie Hughes. Went into town in evening
at s and stopped at my wife Emily’s.
Wednesday, May 27/85. Arose at 4.15 a.m. and went up to the Tithing Office. In council with six of the Twelve — E. Snow, F D Richards, A. Carrington, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and J. W. Taylor and Bishops W. B. Preston, John Q. Cannon and John Sharp; also attorneys F. S. Richards and A. Miner. The principal business was devising measures to secure Church real estate against the attacks and contemplated robbery of our enemies. The writing of a letter by the Twelve to Bro. John W. Young, which Pres. Taylor and myself felt they ought to do in reply to inquiries of his respecting staying in the East or returning home, called forth from the brethren of the Twelve (they and myself being alone present at this time) a number of severe comments respecting his course in not magnifying his priesthood. Went in disguise to Bro. <H B.> Clawson’s where I met Ka’u wahine hou [my last wife]. Remained until 9 o’clock. Then visited the Tithing Office and concluded to stay in town to-morrow to attend to some business. Returned to Bro. Clawson’s and slept there.
Thursday, May 28/85. Breakfasted at Bro. Clawson’s who, with his wife Emily, is very kind to me. Stopped at the Tithing Office until about 5 p.m. and attended to considerable business and had an interview with Bro. Henry Dinwoodey. He has desired that we (The first Presidency) should pledge the Church to stop all plural marriages from this time forward on condition that prosecutions should cease. The stoppage, as he suggests, should continue until there should be a change in public opinion. Spent several hours with ka’u wahine hou a ka hale o kona [my new wife at the house of her sister.] In the evening was taken back to Bro. Carlisle’s.
Friday, May 29/85. Variously engaged. Read in Spanish Testament.
Saturday, May 30/85. I am almost well of my rheumatism. This is Decoration Day and a holiday in town, though not observed as such here. We have to keep close
here to-day as there are fishermen here from the City. In the evening we drove out and crossed the bridge a little north of where we live to the other side of Jordan. We drove down to the Sixth Ward Bridge and crossed. We passed close by the corner of my land and President Taylor proposed to me that if agreeable to me I might stop. It was just what I desired. I am anxious to improve every opportunity to be with my family to instruct my children. Found Bro. Saunders and Sister Davey were at work papering the Dining room.
Sunday, May 31/85. Held Sunday School and 2.30 p.m. had sacrament and I addressed my family. Had an instructive and interesting time. Bro. Saunders has had $60 taken from his trunk, he tells me, and he accused Bro. Dan Jones of taking a part of it, which the latter denied. His suspicions had therefore, taken another direction. He had communicated them to my son Abraham, and now did so to me. His manner was so solemn
Friday, May 30/85. I am almost well from my rheumatism. This is decoration day and a holiday. We have to keep close to-day as there are fishermen here from the City. and his anxiety to speak to me apart from every body was so great, that coupled as this was with a few words he dropped, I got quite alarmed. A great fear seized me and I trembled all over, for I thought he had a communication to make respecting some of <my> family’s fall from virtue. I never was more impatient for any one to get to the point than I was him; but he had such a long preface to make and was so prolix that I got dreadfully impatient. Bad as stealing is, and sickening as it is to me to think any of my family could be suspected of such an act, more [much?] more to be guilty of it, I felt positively relieved when I learned from him that it was this, and not any unvirtuous actions, he had to report. I went over the case with him, and had conversation with ka’u kaikamahine, a ua hole mai oia [my daughter, and she denied it to me]. I sent for my sons John Q. and Abraham and told them the circumstances and desired them to make a thorough investigation of the affair. In the meantime I insisted upon Bro. Saunders taking $60 from me to replace the amount taken. He was reluctant to take <receive> it; but I told him he must take it, for his money had been taken <disappeared> <while> in my house, and though every member of my family might be entirely innocent of wrong doing in this matter, still I could not afford to let him lose the amount under the circumstances. [I spoke with my daughter about this, and she wavered a lot and told me she wanted to repent and leave every single form of evil. She said to me that she was unworthy (no account or not worth anything, bad, &c), but I stated to her that this influence was a trick of the devil, because if she had repented and completely abandoned these wicked acts, as a child of God she could say to Satan “get thee behind me”; I am God’s child and I am going to obey him and you have no lot nor part in me. By repentance one leaves his ground, gets out of his power and stands then upon God’s ground. I was promised that she would proceed in that manner. I was deeply saddened regarding these things. I love her greatly, and my heart is filled with pity for her because she has no mother and she is simply a young little girl.]2
I had to chastise Brigham severely for vulgar language to Read, Joseph, Sylvester and Willard. In the evening had family prayers with all my wives and children who are here, John Q. and Abraham also being present, though both are not of health, John Q. particularly, who has been in bed the most of the day. My son David has been suffering for some time of late from pain in his side. After dark <my son> Hugh took John Q. and myself in a carriage to a rendezvous appointed between Bro. John R. Winder’s farm and Mill Creek for the purpose of meeting John Beck. The meeting was in relation to the Champion, Bullion, Beck Mining property. Bro. L. John Nuttall is President; Bro. John Beck, Vice-President; Bro. Geo. Reynolds Secretary & Treasurer, and John Q. Cannon and Moses W. Taylor, directors. All were present. From there I went on to Bro. Carlisle’s and John Q. and Hugh, of my party, returned home. My wife Sarah Jane returned to-day from a visit to Ogden. She informs me that there has been a Bishop’s trial over our son Frank’s case. It has been required of him, and he consents, to make a public confession of his wrong-doing to the Church and ask forgiveness. This he is to do this evening. She informs me that he denies having committed himself with women, while he acknowledges drunkenness, mingling with bad women, <and> squandering money. While my confidence in him is badly shaken, and it will take time and continued faithfulness to restore it, I am pleased to hear of his doing this much to retain his standing in the Church. I hope his repentance is genuine and thorough and that he is not concealing any of his sins.