September 1885

1 September 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 1st, 1885. Busy with public affairs in forenoon. In afternoon writing journal and conversing upon Bullion, Beck & Champion property. If not contrary to the mind of the Lord I should like to get out of this and get what we have invested and a reserve fund back. In the evening President Taylor, Bro’s. Nuttall, Wilcken and myself met Bro. John Beck at Bro. Winder’s. The propriety of trying to effect a compromise was talked over and it was decided to try and accomplish it. We afterwards had an interview with Mayor Jas. Sharp respecting the sale of land in City Creek — the price $50,000 — which the City Council agreed to give for it on condition that the land owned by my brother Angus in the cañon can be secured also.

2 September 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 2nd/85. Attended to usual business of First Presidency in company with President Taylor. Did some writing and reading also. In evening drove to town in company with Bro. Wilcken and had interview with Bro. F. S. Richards respecting appealing the case of my brother Angus to the U. S. Supreme Court; also about sounding Judge Harkness, (of the firm of Bennett, Harkness and Kirkpatrick, attorneys for the Eureka Mining Co. which is party to a lawsuit against the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co.) respecting a compromise of the suit. Returned to our quarters at 12.15 M.

3 September 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 3, 1885. Fast day and we held meeting and enjoyed ourselves very much. The Speakers were: Bro’s. L. John Nuttall, Jones, C. H. Wilcken, Geo. Q. Cannon, James Godfrey & Pres. Taylor. In the evening drove with President Taylor and Brothers Wilcken and Nuttall to Bro. Peter Hansen’s and met Bro. Moses Thatcher with whom we had an interview respecting the purchase of land in Mexico. Wrote a letter to-day to Wahine hou <Caroline>.

4 September 1885 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 4/85 I suffered all day yesterday from bowel complaint and am still affected this morning. Attended to usual business with President Taylor. <We> Decided to send the following dispatch to Elders E. Snow and F. M. Lyman respecting the purchase of land in Mexico: “Close contract for land. When must money be paid? Which is best method of transmitting? What time allowed for settlement of families? Who does surveying and who pays for it? Wait for letter. Answer.”

In the evening drove to Bro. John R. Winder’s and met with Bro. John A. Groesbeck respecting Bullion, Beck and Champion Mine. He had examined the property; he could not give over $150,000 for it. After partaking of water melon, &c, returned to our quarters.

5 September 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 5/85. Attended to usual business. Dictated letter in behalf of San Juan Stake to the Presidents of Weber, Boxelder, Cache and Davis Stakes, it being the desire of Elder F. A. Hammond that such a letter should be written; also a letter to Elders Snow and Lyman respecting the land in Mexico; <and a letter to Elder L. Snow; all> both of which President Taylor and I signed. In the evening went with Bro. Wilcken to Bro. Winder’s and from there was taken to my home by Bro. Saml Sudbury.

6 September 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 6/85. Had a most interesting day with my family. Held two meetings in the daytime and one in the evening. Sent for and engaged Sister [blank] Bott, who walks on crutches, as teacher for my children. I am to pay her $20 a month and her board, lodging, &c. Bro. C. Crow and Alf. Solomon spent the day with me as guard. In the evening my sons Hugh and William took me in a carriage to a point not far from our retreat. I did not allow them to go all the way with me, not that I could not trust them, but because it is understood that no one is to know. They thought it strange to set me down in the road in dense darkness and not a house in sight, and asked me if I thought I would be safe.

7 September 1885 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 7/85. Attended to usual business and correspondence.

8 September 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 8/85 < Dictated editorial to Bro. C. H. Wilcken for Juvenile Instructor.> A letter from Bro. F. S. Richards to me on the subject of compromising the lawsuit on the Bullion, B. & C. Mine with the Eureka people, who are our opponents, and selling out to them, was read and it was decided that Bro. Nuttall and I should go in town and see Bro. R. upon the subject. Bro. Wilcken took us in and I spent a very busy afternoon. Told Bro. Richards that the price at which we should dispose of all our interests was $250,000. He learned from Judge Harkness that the price they proposed to give is $150, 000. Saw Bishop Preston and had lengthy conversation with him respecting his treatment of Bro. <Hy.> Grow and the statements the latter had made respabout his method of doing business. I talked very plainly to Bishop Preston, my son John Q., his second Counsellor, was with him. I am satisfied that the greater part of the feeling which has arisen is due to misunderstandings. Bro. Preston disarmed me by his meekness and the disposition he evinced to do that which he is required by those who preside over him. Bro. H. B. Clawson reported his trip to Arizona and the success he had had in his intercourse with Judge Sumner Howard and others in behalf of the brethren in prison at Detroit and Bishop D. K. Udall, who had been sentenced to prison and had gone there. Had interviews with Bro’s. Budge and Nibley respecting affairs in Idaho, with Bro. F. D. Richards also upon general matters. Dictated Editorial Thoughts and Topics, &c, to Bro. Arthur Winter. My son Abraham is very sick with a burning fever. I called upon him, and with Bro’s. Nuttall and Wilcken administered to him, as we were en route for our stopping place. I stopped at home.

9 September 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 9/85. Bro. Wilcken called for me early this morning. Busy with usual matters. I was much disappointed yesterday (and omitted to mention in yesterday’s journal) in reading telegram <dated 7th,> from Elders Snow and Lyman to the effect that “Contract failed. Proposition withdrawn. Leave for home this evening”[.] Made an appointment, which we sent to town, to meet Bro’s. H. B. Clawson and F. S. Richards at Bro. Peter Hansen’s this evening. President Taylor and myself met them; we were accompanied by Bro’s. Nuttall and Wilcken. Bro. Clawson reported his trip to Arizona and its results, which President T. and myself thought quite satisfactory. We conversed with Bro. Richards about the compromise of the lawsuit against the Mine. They would not listen he said to the price he had mentioned for the property — $250,000. President Taylor told him we would take $200.000, and we advised him to see Judges Bennett and Harkness about it. I made several calculations this afternoon as to the sum we could take and save ourselves. If the expenses of the lawyers and experts now unpaid should not be very high (and Bro. Beck says he keeps them paid up, this being one of the conditions of his lease) we could afford to sell at $175.000. Out of this we could let Bro. Beck have $70.000 for his interest (28⅓ shares out of 100) this being the least, he says, he will take; we could deliver $40.000 to President Taylor as the fund we agreed to give to him for such public uses as he may decide best; we could pay Bro’s. Moses Thatcher, W. B. Preston, M. W. Merrill and C. O. Card $8,43750/100 for the $7.500 advanced by them; we could pay our (President Taylor’s and my) debts about $32.000 and have $24,562,50/100 to divide between us for the money we have put in. Such an arrangement would satisfy me. Another calculation I made was this: We could sell our stock (including the shares donated by us all to President Taylor for public use) — 71⅔ out of 100 — to Bro. Beck @ $1.50 per share, which would amount in round numbers to about $107,500, he to pay the Company’s debts and settle up with lawyers, experts, &c. Out of this we could let President Taylor have for the Fund which we have contemplated creating $45.000; Bro’s. Thatcher, Preston, Merrill and Card $8.055,55/100 for their interest; and after paying our debts ($32.000) have $22.444,45/100 to divide between us. This would be placing the property at $150.000, (not mentioning the indebtedness <however,> probably between $12.000 and $15.000) a sum which Bro. Beck thinks altogether too low.

Before leaving Bro. Hansen’s we administered to his son Nephi who has a fever.

10 September 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 10th, 1885. I was not well yesterday and I am worse to-day. Partook of no dinner or supper. Attended to business with Pres. T. in the morning. In the afternoon stayed in my room.

11 September 1885 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 11/85. The birthday of my wife Sarah Jane, (born 1839) and my sister Leonora (born 1840). Am some better to day. Attended with President Taylor to business and correspondence. Bro. F. S. Richards informs us that he has failed to effect a compromise with the Eureka people, and the suit, I suppose, will have to proceed. It stormed heavily to-day.

12 September 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 12/85. Busy attending to correspondence and other matters. The condition of my son Abraham is such as to give me serious concern. He has the typhoid fever. I accompanied Bro’s. Wilcken and Nuttall to Bro. Winder’s. The latter met Bro. John Beck there. Bro. Sudbury, who had brought out Bro. Beck, took me home in his carriage on his way to the City.

13 September 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 13, 1885. Had another delightful day with my family. In morning had Sunday School. In afternoon administered the Sacrament and spoke at some length and felt very free. Bro’s. S. Bateman and Alex. Burt, who had come down as guards, also made some remarks. I then had private conversation first with my girls, then with my little boys, then with the larger boys, and spoke feelingly and plainly to them about their habits, warning them against secret vice and the dreadful consequences which followed its practice. In evening had all family together and we had an exceedingly sweet time in conversation, singing and in family prayer. Bro. Jas. Godfrey called for me with a buggy and I returned with him to his house. This afternoon my son John Q. and wife and wife’s sister (Louie) called. He informed me that he had sat up last night with Abraham, who is very low, but thinks has slightly improved.

14 September 1885 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 14, 1885. Busy as usual early in day with public business. Bro. Godfrey brings me word from town that Abraham’s fever is broke.

15 September 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 15, 1885. Among letters received this morning was one from Bro. H. B. Clawson asking for an interview as soon as convenient. Pres. Taylor thought that if I could go in and escape detection and be safe, I had better go. I disguised myself in a blue drilling jumper and pants, and with a blackened beard and a large, flapping Panama hat, and thought I might not be recognized; but four of the Twelve whom I saw in town (E. Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman and H. J. Grant) said it was no disguise; they would know my face anywhere — thanks to my prominent nose and eyes. Bro. Wilcken took me into the city. Bro. Clawson has had a plan suggested to him from California (Alex. Badlam being the agent) by which we can get into the Union as a State — the conditions being the suspension of the practice of plural marriage for the present and when the State is admitted the casting of the electoral vote at the next presidential election in favor of Leland Stanford, present U. S. Senator, for President of the U. S. The latter desires this Office. Senator Miller of that State is also in favor of the scheme. I listened to the plan and said nothing respecting it, saying to Bro. Clawson, who does not express himself as being in favor of it, that I would mention it to President Taylor.

Probably I have had this method of becoming a State suggested to me scores and scores of times by leading politicians; but I never could see it. I have been told that, once a State, we could do as we please, and repeal any compact entered into respecting the prohibition of plural marriage. I always have recoiled from the thought of obtaining such an end by deception and fraud. Such a course would be an exhibition of panic faith on our part that would expose us to very grave consequences. After Congress met in December, 1871, the papers all over the country were filled with th articles upon this method of settling polygamy and admitting Utah. Presidents Brigham Young and Geo. A. Smith were at St. George. Before going there we had talked this subject over, and we were of one mind respecting it. They telegraphed me to go to Washington. I did so, and found that Capt. Hooper, our Delegate to Congress, was in favor of and fully committed to this policy or this plan for the admission of Utah. My visit put an end to all talk of this kind on his part. I did not see then, I have not seen since, how we as honorable men and women, Latter-day Saints, can entertain for one second any thought respecting the suspension of any commandment which God has given, or any practice flowing therefrom, or can think of temporizing with such a principle. There is only [one] way that I can see and that is for us to stand up to it, let the consequences be what they may, and leave <to> the Lord the business of sustaining and defending us and the principles he has commanded us to adopt and practice.

Had conversation with Elders E. Snow and Lyman respecting their mission to Mexico and the failure to secure land. They describe the venality of officials there, as described to them, as very great. They think Campo & Co. were disappointed at the prospect of not being able to make more money out of the transaction. Had interviews on business with Bro’s. F. D. and F. S. Richards (the latter I set apart to go to the East to get, if possible, an appeal to the U. S. Supreme Court in my brother Angus’ case)[,] Bishop Preston, my son John Q., Bro. Seymour B. Young, Bishop John Sharp, Bro’s. John Nicholson and John R. Winder, Geo. Reynolds, <Judge W. N. Dusenberry and John Turner,> &c &c. Before leaving town on our return Bro. Wilcken and myself called at Abraham’s and administered to him. He is very sick. We reached our place at 9.15 p.m.

16 September 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1885. Busy as usual with correspondence. Dictated to Bro. L. John Nuttall a number of replies to letters received by the President Taylor on various subjects of a public character; also an article for the Deseret News respecting a subject mentioned in a letter from Bro. Jas. H. Hart, Emigration Agent at New York. Two persons, one living at St. George and the other at Logan, had been duped into sending money to impostors at New York, who according to Bro. Hart, were occupants of a house of ill fame. Bro. Nuttall has been quite unwell to-day. President Taylor and myself, accompanied by Bro. Wilcken, drove to Bro. Winder’s, where we had a long and interesting interview with Bro’s. E. Snow and F. M. Lyman and also Bro. Nicholson.

17 September 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 17, 1885. Bro. Nuttall’s health is improved. Attended to correspondence. Dictated to Bro. Nuttall replies to letters. Wrote in my journal. In the evening went into the City with Bro. Wilcken to keep appointment with Bro. Moses Thatcher, whom President Taylor desired to manage the lawsuit in which the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co. is required to defend itself against the Eureka. It is felt that Bro. John Beck should not be left to himself to manage this suit. He consented to do this in an interview which I had with him at Bro. H. B. Clawson’s this evening. I also had a meeting with Bro. Brigham Young at the same place. He is in good health. Wahine hou <Caroline> and myself had a few minutes conversation. She returned in company with Bro. Brigham Young on Tuesday evening from a trip in the Mountains. Accompanied by Bishop H. B. Clawson and five guards — C. H. Wilcken, Wm Salmon, Sam’l. Bateman and Jos. McMurrin — I went to my son Abraham’s and administered to him. He is very low, so low that he cannot speak; he was able, however, to whisper Amen. I was mouth, Bro. Clawson anointing, and I felt well, as did all the brethren. The Lord grant, if not inconsistent with his will, that he may recover. It was quarter of two in the morning when Bro. Wilcken and I reached our quarters.

18 September 1885 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 18, 1885. Dictated several letters to Bro. Nuttall to-day and wrote a reply to Dr. Yarrow and enclosed him letters of introduction to Bro’s. A. O Smoot, Joel Grover and Ira N. Hinckley. As he desired to see me to talk over affairs in Arizona (St. Johns) and I could not see him I introduced Bishop A. B. Clawson to him by letter that he might talk with him.

19 September 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 19, 1885. Bishop John Sharp yesterday went into Court and withdrew his plea of “not guilty” and plead “guilty.” His attorney <(P. L. Williams)> read a statement which the Bishop had written. The Court accepted it as an expression of his determination to obey the Edmunds Law as interpreted by the Court and interrogated him as to whether he would counsel others to break the law, which he answered in the negative. The Court congratulated him on the position he had taken, being prominent in his Church, &c. I feel that after such expressions he should no longer act as Bishop. President Taylor decided that I should go into the City and see the acting-President of the Stake, Bro. Jos. E. Taylor, and instruct him to ask Bro. Sharp, personally, to resign his bishopric. This I did in the evening; also saw Bro’s. F. D. Richards, Erastus Snow and F. J. Lyman.

Dictated answers to correspondence to Bro. Nuttall. He went into town with Bro. Wilcken and myself and intended to stay until Monday evening. Bro. W. carried me from town to my home on the river.

20 September 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 20/85. Met with my children in Sunday School. Had Sacrament meeting in afternoon. Bro. Brigham Young and wife Lizzie and sister Caroline and little girl (Vera) joined us soon after meeting opened. They with the guards (Bro’s. S. Bateman and Alex. Burt) and my family made our meeting seem quite a gathering. I spoke for nearly an hour and Bro. Brigham also spoke. We had an excellent dinner, which our visitors enjoyed and an interesting gathering at family prayer in the evening. I was much pleased to-day at examining a place for hiding which my boys — Hugh and David — had constructed, by John Q’s direction, for me to secrete myself in if the Deputy Marshals should make a descent on my place while I am here. Last Sunday I had looked at it, but the entrance was not concealed. I suggested that they construct something that would cover the entrance and yet not have the appearance of being a hiding place. I asked who of them was the best carpenter and they said Lewis, who is 13 years old. I told them to get him and together see what they could do. I found it a most ingenious construction. I secreted myself and then told the boys to get Bro’s. Bateman and Burt to come and find me if they could. Though they told them where the place was so nearly that they had not over 30 or 40 feet to examine, they had to give it up. They thought it a most ingeniously arranged contrivance. Bro. Godfrey came for me.

21 September 1885 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 21/85. Busy answering correspondence and attending to other duties in absence of Bro. Nuttall.

22 September 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 22/85. Busy attending to correspondence. Dictated answers to Bro. Nuttall. In the evening I went to the City for the purpose of seeing Bishop H. B. Clawson respecting the appealed case of Bishop Udall and also to see Pres. J. D. T. McAllister of the St. George, <temple> who had expressed a desire to have an interview with us. Found spotters watching my wife Emily’s house. It was not safe for me to stay there. She joined me in the buggy, through Bro. Wilcken’s kindness and management, and I drove around for an hour and had conversation with her concerning her affairs. Slept at Bro. Rossiter’s.

23 September 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept 23/85. Had interviews with Bishop Clawson and Pres. McAllister. The former promised to write to the lawyers in Arizona who had charge of Bishop Udall’s case to impress upon them not to let the time for an appeal to lapse. Dictated a letter to Pres. Jos. F. Smith on the Sandwich Islands; also a reply to Hon. L. L. Dinsworth of Iowa, a Member of the 44th Congress, who asked me questions concerning the situation of affairs here; also a reply to Sister Ellen Kay, the widow of my old friend, John M. Kay, who had asked me several questions respecting Temple ordinances; also “Editorial Thoughts” and “Topics, &c.” I had also interviews with a number of the Elders. I was kept very busy until night. After dark I went to Bishop H. B. Clawson’s and had a half hour’s conversation with wahine hou <Caroline>.

Left the City with Bro. Sudbury and joined Pres. Taylor at Bro. John R. Winder’s and from there returned to Bro. Godfrey’s.

24 September 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 24/85. Attending to business and correspondence as usual; also dictated letters in answer to correspondence. President Taylor and I had conversation respecting the peril in which the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining property stood in consequence of the lawsuit, and as we had engaged in this property from a desire to create a fund to be used for the benefit of the work of God, we felt to ask him to preserve this property from the attacks of those who are trying to steal it. We therefore, accompanied by Bro. Nuttall, who is President of the Co., went into President Taylor’s room and engaged in prayer upon this subject. We each offered prayer; I first, Bro. Nuttall next and Pres. T. closed. Bro. C. H. Wilcken felt depressed in his spirit this evening, and I offered to accompany him for the mail; he said he would be very glad if I would do so. He returned feeling well.

25 September 1885 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 25/85. Attended to usual duties. The dictating of replies to the correspondence received has now become a regular daily duty. I received a letter from Bishop Clawson which informed me that a Mr. J. E. Clements who is said to be a brother-in-law of Diaz, the President of the Republic of Mexico, desired an interview with me and had a letter of introduction to me from Gen. Macdougal, who served in Congress with me. I sent word to him that if he would examine his credentials and see they were all right I would meet him at his (Bishop C’s) residence at 9 o’clock this evening. I kept this appointment and found that Mr. Clements is the Agent of the Mexican Colonization Co. of Auburn N. Y., and that they have a very liberal concession from the Mexican Government to survey and settle lands, to build railroads, and to build a pier at the port of San Bent Benito in the State of Chiapas. The government subsidies are very liberal. We had nearly an hour’s conversation and he left a number of documents with me to examine. I stayed at my neice’s (Olive H. Marks) where my <wife> Emily is visiting.

26 September 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 26/85. Stormed heavily all last evening and night. Bro. Wilcken called for me a little before 5 o’clock this morning and we drove to our quarters in a heavy rain. My son Abraham, about whose condition I have been very anxious, and whom I have called upon and administered to three times at considerable risk (it being known that I called there and the house being watched) is improving but very slowly. He has been and still is very low. He has not been able to speak to me. Attended to the usual business. Had a lengthy conversation with President Taylor respecting Mexican affairs and read Mr. Clements’ papers. In evening I went to my home on the river. [7 crossed out Hawaiian words redacted because they address deeply personal matters between Cannon and his family.]

27 September 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 27/85. Had Sunday School with my children and Sacrament meeting in the afternoon and an evening meeting for singing and prayer. Bro’s. C. Crowe and Alfred Solomon came down as guards for me. I enjoy these meetings with my family more than I can describe. They are most delightful and I feel they are productive of good. Never before in my life have I had such opportunities for teaching my family as I have had in thus meeting with them since I have been in concealment. I sincerely hope and pray they may be of lasting profit to us all. The harmony which prevails is a cause of heartfelt gratitude to me.

Bro. Nuttall called for me in the evening in a carriage which his son-in-law, Bro. Geo. Shumway drove.

28 September 1885 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 28/85. Usual business attended to and correspondence read and answered. Mr. Clements sent me additional documents. I arranged to meet him to-morrow evening, also to have Elders Erastus Snow, Brigham Young and Francis M. Lyman, (whom we have appointed to go to Sonora, Mexico, to obtain, if possible, knowledge of a place that will be suitable as a place of refuge,) present at the same time. Bro. Godfrey will have his grain threshed to-morrow and there will be a crowd of men to assist and to run the machine. We, therefore, think it safer to move for a few days, so to-night we moved to Bro. John Carlisle’s, one of our old places of residence. The family were all glad to have us with them. Bro. Nuttall and I went to Bro. Winder’s for the mail.

29 September 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 29/85. Attended to business as usual and afterwards conversed with President Taylor and had more documents read concerning Mr. Clement’s concessions in Chiapas. He gave in his long letter to me a most glowing and attractive picture of what we could accomplish there. If we would plant 6,000 families (500 the first year) there and judiciously expend $250,000 we could, with the government subsidies and donations, build an[d] own the pier at San Benito, a railroad of [blank] miles, five million acres of land and be able to control the State of Chiapas commercially and politically. We feel that, however correct all this may be, we are not in a position to avail ourselves of it. Chiapas is too far at present from home; there are too many complications involved in the enterprise; and to carry it out at present would divide our strength. In the evening drove to the City and had interview with Mr. Clements and Elders E. Snow, B. Young and F. M. Lyman, Bro. F. D. Richards being also present. I explained to him the reasons why we could not take hold of his concession. He proposed to obtain a concession for us in Sonora on terms that would suit us. He agreed to write to me informing me on what terms Mr. Rubio and himself would secure it for us. We appointed another meeting for Thursday evening. Had an interview with Ka’u wahine hou, <my wife Caroline,> after visiting Abraham, in company with Bro. F. M. Lyman, and administering to him, and then returned to our quarters in company with Bro. Wilcken. Bishop H. B. Clawson was sentenced to-day. He made a manly defence and this so provoked the Judge (Zane) that he indulged in foul abuse.

30 September 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 30/85. Busy as usual this morning hearing and dictating answers to correspondence. In the evening I drove out with President Taylor to Bro. John R. Winder’s. He had an appointment to meet his son Ebinezer and daughter Ida. While he was engaged with them I talked over the situation with Bro. Winder. We hope to secure some friends on the Grand Jury who will not agree to indict either Bro. Musser or my brother Angus while they are in prison, and even if they are out without the best of Testimony.

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September 1885, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 18, 2024