Sunday, Nov. 1, 1885.
As this is President Taylor’s birthday (he being 77 years old) I decided to remain with him through the day. We had extra <good> meals prepared, which we all enjoyed; and we all congratulated him on the anniversary of his birth-day, and expressed our wishes for his future happiness, and the prolongation of his life. We held meeting in the evening and enjoyed it very much.
Monday, Nov. 2, 1885.
Attended to business as usual. L. John Nuttall accompanied Bro. Wilcken to town to-night.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1885.
This is somewhat memorable day for me, it being the birth-day of my wife Elizabeth. Had she lived she would have been 50 years of age to-day. It being the aniversary of her birth brings back many tender recollections to my mind; and altho’ I have become reconciled to her departure, I cannot help a host of emotions being aroused. As my baby was Eight days old at 3 O’clock to-day, in the evening I was taken by Bro. Wilcken, and blessed it and gave it the name of Hiram Clawson Cannon. I felt much of the Spirit in blessing him, and trust that the blessing pronounced upon him will be fulfilled and that the Lord will condescend to honor my words. I also attended this evening to sealing Charles H. Wilcken and Haidee Carlisle for time and eternity. I spent the night at my neice Olive’s. <One year ago to-day
Ua silaia [ was sealed] my wife Caroline Young for time and eternity was sealed to me by President Wilford Woodruff.>
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 1885.
Bro. Brigham joined me this morning at the house of Sister Burt, next to the City Hall, and spent the day with me. I dictated my Journal from Oct. 23. to date to Bro Geo. F. Gibbs. Had visit from my son, John Q., Bros. James Jack and John T. Caine. Dictated a letter to Bro. J. F. Smith, to Bro Gibbs, and Editorial Topics to Bro. Winter. It rained, and was very dark returning to our quarters. I called and saw
Wahine hou <Caroline> and baby, and found all well. We reached our quarters at ½ past 12 O’clock; it was one of the darkest nights I was ever out in.
Thursday, Nov. 5, 1885.
A light snow on the ground this morning. To-day was fast day, and we held meeting at 10 O’clock in which all present participated, Bro. Wilcken being in charge. I did not speak, but during the meeting offered prayer. Attended to correspondence to-day, and dictated a number of answers to letters. I accompanied Bro. Wilcken again to see my wife and baby
Friday, Nov. 6, 1885. Sister Maggie Y. Taylor who has been visiting President Taylor since last Tuesday week, was taken to town this morning. Attended to Corresponddence as usual. Bro. John R. Winder arrived from the City with the intelligence that Doctor G. L. Miller, editor of the Omaha Herald, who had telegraphed to know if he could see me, if he came out, was expected in this evening. I had made arrangements in case he did come, to have an interview with him at the house of Bro. Frank Armstrong, and also to have a guard there to prevent surprise. Bro. Winder stopped for supper, and then accompanied Bro. Wilchen and myself in his Vehicle towards the City, stopping at his own place. I was joined at Bro. Armstrong’s about a quarter <of an hour> after my arrival by Bro. John T. Caine and Doctor Miller, Bro. Caine had gone to Evanstonr to meet him. The Doctor expressed the pleasure he had in meeting me; and after the exchange of a few compliments, Bro. Caine withdrew and left us. We then entered upon a conversation which lasted till a quarter to one oclock. He said his object in coming out was to see if something could not be done to arrange our affairs. He felt very much concerned about us and our prospects; and he hoped to be able to convince me of the necessity of our doing something. What he really wants is for us to make overtures to the government. He says, he wants Cleveland to settle this matter. He thinks that he is the best man we possibly can get to deal with this question. He would like to deal with it, and he (the Doctor) would like him to do it, because he thinks he can do better by us, and the Democratic party can, than any body else. He says, he wants us to be a state. Of course, this will not be accomplished immediately, but it can be brought about. He said, he wished us to have this country, that it was ours; that we had earned it, and that we should not only have this Territory (of Utah) but the adjoining Territories. He did not want us disturbed; he had never seen a community so well governed as this. He had always spoken in terms of admiration of us and our labors. He had offended many of his friends by his expressions in our favor, but he thought it due to us; and when he compared our condition now with what it was on his first visit here, he could note the wonderful change for the worse in the introduction of all the vices of Civilization; and he implored me to think about it, and to realize that these evils would
evidently <undoubtedly> increase and destroy our young people, if we allowed the opportunity to pass which we now had. And the control of this Country, he thought, would inevitably pass out of our hands, if we maintained our present attitude. The gist of his argument was that polygamy and monogamy could not exist together in the same nation; that polygamy would inevitably be crushed out, that the two never had co-existed and never could. He said, if half of this nation were polygamic and half monogamic, there would be a war, and one or the other system would go down. Abra<ha>m Lincoln had said that this nation could not exist part free and part slave. We had seen how slavery was wiped out, and the same remark would apply to our institution. He went on to reason in regard to this, stating that it had taken many centuries to build up the monogamic civilization, and it would take an equally long time to build up any other system antagonistic to it. He implored me to look at it as a statesman. Said he, “You are a statesman, and no one doubts it that knows you, and if you had a large field you would exhibit the qualities of one; and I want you to see it, and through you, to have President Taylor see the peril you are in. If you do not do something in regard to settling this question confiscation and a train of evils will follow of the most dreadful character. You cannot maintain your present attitude, and none of your friends can help you in the position you now occupy.” He said, Cleveland must see the law executed; and everybody is afraid of touching this question because of the odium that attaches to polygamy.
While talking with the Doctor he became very earnest and walked up and down the floor gesticulating and intreating me in the most earnest manner to believe what he said.
I listened patiently until I had heard all his arguments, and until he had given me his views, and then I asked him this question: “Doctor, do you think that if polygamy were waived that there would be no question arise in connection with our system that would be equally obnoxious as polygamy?” I said, I refer now to the question of Priestly authority, the hierarchy as it is called, and the union of the people flowing therefrom. In reply he stated that when here before the Editor of the Tribune and others told him that behind polygamy there was this to which I referred, which was more hateful than polygamy itself; but that he had conversed since that time with leading men, and they had agreed with him that if polygamy were removed no issue could be made respecting priestly domination. They had tried it on the Catholics and upon others, but the American people would not allow themselves to be aroused by any such appeals. I told him I differed with him in regard to this, for I believe that over-shadowing and underlying and enveloping what is called polygamy was this greater question of the Priesthood and its influence. I then told him, it was utterly out of the question for us to make overtures for the surrender of this principle, even if it were possible that we could do such <a> thing. The people, the Latter-day Saints, would not accept it, and if they did, and we were to repudiate this principle our Church would cease to be the Church of God, and the ligaments that now bind it together would be severed. He expressed great regret at hearing me talk so. He hoped, he said, to hear a different conclusion. I said to him further: We are prepared to make every sacrifice that is necessary in defence of this principle. We may go down (however, I don’t believe we will) but if we do, we shall go down contending as now for liberty not for ourselves alone, but for every other human being dwelling under the flag of the Republic to have the right which we claim, namely to worship God according to <the dictates of> our own conscience. We mean to stand in that gap and fight that battle. This Constitution and form of government has cost precious blood; and we are determined that that blood shall not have been shed in vain.: we will at all hazards maintain the liberty which was fought for and established under this form of government, and by the framing of the Constitution. I told him I had personally contemplated its costing the blood of some of us before we get through; but I trust that God would give us strength to face whatever consequence might follow, however serious that might be to us individually. At this point he said, he trusted there would be no bloodshed. I told him there certainly would be none if we could prevent it; but the blood of our brethren had been shed in the past, and it might require a sacrifice again to avert the storm that seems to be everywhere gathering and increasing in volume around us. And as for confiscation of property, we were prepared, I hoped, for that; at any rate, we had thought of it, and would not be surprised at any measure that might be proposed. I referred to the recommendations of the Utah Commissioners. I said to him, “Doctor, When we read these recommendations, so infamous, so cruel, so opposed to all the principles of liberty, <and> think that these are made by reputable men to the Secretary of the Interior, and thro’ him to the President of the United States; And these recommendations are received by the press and the public as proper, — they show to what a low depth the liberties of our Country have fallen, and how necessary it is that somebody should step forward and challenge and resist these recommendations. There are thousands of men, I said, in the nation who are opposed to all infractions of the Constitution <and> who are willing that their fellow-citizens of every creed and party should have their rights, every right in fact which the Constitution guarantees. I believe, Doctor, that you are as willing that we should have liberty as any Latter-day Saint is <and> that these liberties should prevail. I give you credit for that. But you and thousands like you Can do scarcely anything. You are not organized; your voices and influence are powerless to check those mad actions, and you can only stand by and protest in a feeble sort of way; You dare not do this very much, as you would be in danger of becoming a victim of popular passion,
if you were to. But we occupy a different position. We are organized; and though we are few in number, still our organization gives us strength. We believe we are destined to uphold the Constitution and the liberty which it guarantees. I then related to him what the Prophet Joseph had said when I was a boy, respecting the events that would yet happen in this Nation; and that the time would come when the Latter-day Saints would have to uphold Constitutional liberty in this land. I said, we believe that this is our destiny; and we mean to lift the liberty of this country from the low depths to which it has fallen, on to a higher plane; and we hope to be the means in the hands of God, of abolishing the evils and corruptions under which the country groans.
In reply to these remarks, he shook his head almost despairingly and said, we might be sacrificed, but we could not accomplish such results. He described the government as a mob, and said, they were swayed by influences that could not be controled. And further remarked, that if he had known that we understood the situation so well, he would scarcely have come out on this errand. He said, he
did <had> not thinkthought that we were acquainted with the temper of the public mind, and the consequences that our conduct was likely to provoke. He seemed saddened at the result of our interview. He evidently hoped to impress us with the danger of the situation to so great an extent as to cause us to change our position. He asked me how we could reconcile it with religion, to resist the state? In reply to this I gave him a sketch of my own experience in regard to this principle of celestial marriage. In our previous conversation <up to that point> I had abstained from urging my views from a religious standpoint because of a remark which he made in the beginning of our conversation, — that he did not wish to have it argued from the standpoint of conscience, for he did not wish to say anything that would interfere with a man’s conscientious convictions. I therefore, in urging our views upon him did so from a Constitutional standpoint, and upon Constitutional grounds. Now since he wished to know how we reconciled our attitude with religion in opposing the State, I said that with his permission, I would now talk upon the principle from a religious standpoint. He expressed the pleasure it would give him to hear my views. I commenced to reason upon it by pointing out to him the many illustrious examples in the Bible of men who had found themselves unable to comply with the decrees of the State; and they could not reconcile their doing so with their duty to their God. And then, outside of the Bible I pointed out to him from history how many instances there were of pure people finding themselves compelled to resist the enactments of the State, because if they complied with them they would violate their conscience, and forfeit what they considered their salvation. I said that no great reform had even been effected without antagonism to popular views, and very frequently to popular laws. The Huguenots were an illustrious example of this. All the liberties which Gr Britain, and every nation of Europe enjoyed were directly traceable to the resistance of free men of liberal views to the laws enacted in curtailment of religious liberty.
Our conversation, was to me a very interesting one; but I was somewhat disappointed in the propositions which the Doctor had to make. He had been out here only a short time before and, as I thought, had become acquainted with our views from several of the brethren, and I supposed had probably read our epistle. In view of these expressions I consequently thought that he would not come here upon such an errand. I supposed there was something more than this that had prompted the visit. I think that without doubt he has made this journey after consultation with Mr Endicott, Secretary of War, and perhaps other members of the Government, and of President Cleveland himself. He remarked that he could communicate to Cleveland with the greatest of freedom anything that he wished to upon our subject, and would be listened to because of his acquaintance with us.
In the course of our conversation I said to him, that I didn’t know another person who would be listened to with greater patience in making any propositions or suggestions, than himself. Genl Kane, who had always been a very warm
friend and a devoted friend of ours, and for whom our people entertained the very highest regard, had passed away; and that now I did not know another person who stood higher in our estimation, as a devoted friend and a brave man, than himself. He begged me to try and keep out of the clutches of the Officers, and not go to the Penitentiary. We separated with mutual expressions of good will; and he told me that he should start home that morning by the first train.
After separating from Dr Miller I proceeded to Sister Burt’s at the City Hall, and met Prest. Woodruff, Erastus Snow, F. M. Lyman, John Hy. Smith and H. J. Grant of the Twelve. I was exceedingly glad to see Bro. Woodruff who appears in excellent health and spirits. But he feels badly to night
as he has just anointed <because of the dying condition of> his first wife, Phoebe, with whom he had lived 50 years, for her burial. The brethren related the result of their investigation of the charges against Albert Carrington. After the written statements had been read in his hearing, he acknowledged them with light modifications, to be true. And went on and related, as the brethren say, in the most disgraceful manner, his conduct with these women. The brethren say, they never listened to such <a disgusting> recital. [75 words redacted describing sexual misconduct.] But even if guilty only to the extent that he admitted, they considered him utterly unworthy of membership in the Church; and by a unanimous vote he was excommunicated him from the Church. He begged to be allowed to remain a member. When he found that this was of no avail, he pleaded to be recommended to the First Presidency to be rebaptized. This they felt they could not do. I rode home with a feeling of sadness and considerably exhausted with the excitement of the day and night.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 1885.
It was half past four oclock this morning when I reached our quarters. I failed to mention that I conversed with the Twelve concerning Mexican affairs, and especially upon the subject of a letter which had been received from Bro. George Teasdale, asking for Bro. Moses Thatcher to be sent down to Chihuahua, to close a contract with Señor Campo for land which he is willing to sell to the Saints. The feeling was not to have Bro. Thatcher go, as
a <he and the> Committee <which> had been appointed with him, had been superseded by the Appointment of Bros. E. Snow, B. Young, and F. M. Lyman. I attended to correspondence, as usual. I accompanied Bro. Wilcken to see my wife and baby; and then went to Bro. Winder’s where we found Bro. Sudbury, who took me in his vehicle to my residence.
Sunday, Nov. 8, 1885.
I had Sunday School and a separate conversation with my girls and my boys; attended Sacrament meeting and enjoyed a goodly portion of the Spirit of God in speaking to my family. Bros. Bateman and Burt were down as guards. It is seldom that I have felt more moved upon than to-day to talk in plainness to my wives and children. They were deeply impressed, and some of them shed tears. After the meeting my daughter, Mary Alice, and son, David, accompanied me in my carriage to see the baby. They returned, and I stayed there until Bro. Wilcken called for me in the evening. I then rode with him to our quarters.
Monday. Nov. 9, 1885.
A letter from Prest. Woodruff, on behalf of the Twelve, was received, in which he described the action of the Twelve in the case of Albert Carrington, and the decision that had been rendered. He asked Counsel respecting the form of publication of the notice of their action. A letter was written in reply which Prest. Taylor and I signed.
Attended hearing and answering letters, as usual. In the evening Prest. Taylor and I, accompanied by Bro. Nuttall, was driven, in the carriage by Bro. Wilcken, to John R. Winder’s where we met a number of the Twelve, — Bros. Woodruff, Erastus Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, John Hy. Smith and H. J. Grant. The case of Albert Carrington was talked over and the request which had been made by him, that in the public notice, that the cause for action should be called “immoral conduct and not adultery,” was discussed. But it was decided that it should be published, “for lewd and lascivious conduct and adultery,” and that the Twelve who acted upon his case sign the notice.
The case of John W. Young was also talked over, and it was decided that he should be left to settle up his financial business in his own way. Mexican affairs were fully talked over, and Prest. Taylor freely expressed his views concerning the same. Bros. Snow, Young and Lyman expect to start on their mission there in the morning. We separated feeling thankful that we had the opportunity (an opportunity which we have so rarely now-a-days) of meeting together. <Bro. Woodruff informed us that, before coming to meet us, he had anointed his wife Phebe for her burial.>
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 1885.
I was busy to-day dictating answers to correspondence. I also wrote to Mr. Gibson, at Washington, concerning the Extradition treaty.
We heard that Sister Woodruff died this morning at 2 O’clock. Prest. Taylor and I spent the evening in conversation.
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 1885.
It snowed at intervals this morning. Attended to the usual business. Wrote letters to Bro. Hy. W. Bigler, to my Bro. David and my Sister Annie.
Thursday, Nov. 12, 1885.
An important letter was sent to-day signed by President Taylor and myself, to Prest. Woodruff and the Council of the Twelve respecting the selection of Missionaries, etc. I also revised with Prest. Taylor remarks made by him before the High Council in the trial case in which Mrs Doctor E. B. Ferguson was involved.
Friday, Nov. 13, 1885.
Dictated a number of letters. A letter of appointment was sent to Bro. John Irvine to-day. assigning him to a mission to the Eastern States to labor in the interest of truth, and the contradicttion of slanders; also to assist Bro. Caine whenever it would be convenient for him to do so. Bishop W. B. Preston was brought out this evening, and Prest. Taylor and myself had a long conversation with him respecting various items of business; after which he returned to the City.
Saturday, Nov. 14, 1885.
A number of letters were dictated in answer to letters received, and the business connected with them attended to. Prest. Taylor’s health was <not> very good this evening, and I concluded that I would not go home to spend Sunday with my family.
Sunday, Nov. 15, 1885.
Prest. Taylor’s wives, Mary and Sophia, were with him to-day. The latter came down about the middle of the afternoon from the City, and she remained while Mary returned to her place of abode. While Prest. Taylor has visits from his wives, he arranges for them to sleep at an adjacent house so as to avoid putting himself in the power of his enemies. We had a very good meeting in the evening and partook of the sacrament. Bros Nuttall, Wilcken[,] Barrell and myself, and Prest. Taylor, all spoke. In the evening Bro Godfry took me in a buggy to my residence, and I had family prayer with my family. Gave them some instructions; attended to some business and remained over night.
Monday, Nov. 16, 1885.
We arrived a little before 5 O’clock, my sons Angus and Hugh having harnessed up the horses and got everything ready for us, and Bro. Godfrey and I started at 5 o’clock. It was very dark. Had a busy day with correspondence. In the evening Prest. Taylor told me that he had some very pleasant manifestations this morning regarding himself and myself, and the work in general. The Lord had signified to him that his sins were forgiven him, and that his labors were accepted of him, and that he would have a place prepared for him as he had for Joseph, and that he should dwell with him. Also that my labors were acceptable to the Lord, and he was pleased with me as my course was satisfactory to Him. And he had heard our prayers, and He would answer them; and that He had given His angels charge concerning us, and they were watching over us, and no hand should prevail against His work, for it should roll forth. I was greatly pleased at this communication, for my chief desire is to magnify my office and calling and to please my God.
A letter from John Beck to L. J. Nuttall was read. Prest. Taylor thought I ought to go in town to night for the purpose of seeing him tomorrow, and attending to other business. In the evening I accompanied Bro. Wilcken to town and stayed at my place in the 14th Wd.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 1885.
The storm of the past evening had ended, and the day was clear. About half past 5 o’clock this morning Bro. S. Bateman came for me with a buggy, and took me to Sister Burt’s at the City Hall. I dictated my journal to Bro. Gibbs from Nov. 4th to date; and had interviews with Bp. Preston on business, and with my son John Q. and with several other brethren. In the evening took supper with
Wahine hou <Caroline,> and at 10 O’clock returned to Sister Burt’s and met Bro. John Beck, and Bishops Preston and Burton. Bro. Burton is in danger of arrest, and they wished to know my views about his going to St Louis with the cattle men. A number of the brethren who were going were anxious to have him accompany them, as there are two factions, and they thought if he were to join the party their differences could be reconciled and he could represent the whole of them. Bp. Preston also thought that if the danger still continued, that when he returned to Denver he could strike off to Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico, and visit the settlements and give instructions concerning the management of the Tithing and the care of the offices — instructions which are much needed, he said, in that region. I thought it would be a good plan for him to go to those places.
I had a lengthy conversation with Bro. Beck over the affairs of the mining property and the law suit now pending and urged upon him the necessity of seeing John A. Groesbeck and try to come to some arrangements with him with a view to have him purchase as he had proposed to do. About 12 O’clock Bro Wilcken and myself returned to our quarters. Attended to business to-day as usual, and dictated a number of letters. The day was quite stormy.
Thursday, Nov. 19, 1885.
Among other letters received to-day was one from Bro. [first and last names redacted], the husband of the woman with whom Bro. Carrington had criminal intercourse. He is desirous to know what she should do. Prest. Taylor and I exchanged views upon the subject, and decided that inasmuch as she was misled by the corrupt teachings of a man high in authority in the Church, and had been cruelly deceived by him, in having been made to believe that there was no sin in such intercourse as they had; that, therefore, she be rebaptized and reconfirmed a member of the Church without anything being said about it in public. And we suggested to him that he ask Bro. John W. Taylor, one of the Twelve Apostles, to attend to this ordinance. Bro. [last name redacted]’s letter to us was in some particulars quite pathetic. John T. Caine, our Delegate to Congress, also wrote requesting an interview before going to Washington, as he wished to obtain suggestions respecting the course he should pursue while there, and also desired to bring Bro. H. J. Grant with him so that he might explain the condition of the Herald business, in which paper the Trustee in Trust had proposed to purchase considerable stock.
Besides answering correspondents I was engaged part of the day in preparing matter for the Juvenile Instructor. I spent the evening with Prest. Taylor in conversing over the condition of affairs.
Friday, Nov. 20th, 1885.
Attended to correspondence to-day, as usual, and other business.
We have been anxious to hear about the appeal case of Angus M. Cannon which was to have been heard last Monday. A dispatch was received from Bro. F. S. Richards under yesterday’s date, stating that it was expected the case would come up to-morrow (to-day). In the evening Prest. Taylor accompanied by his wife Maggie, who is here on a visit, and myself drove to Bro. Peter Hansons, where we met Bros. John T. Caine and H. J. Grant. We had a full conversation with them concerning the policy to be pursued at Washington, and also respecting affairs of the Herald Co. Afterwards we returned to our quarters. Bros. Wilcken, Bateman, & Barrell accompanied us to this meeting as guards. We learnt with regret this evening that Bro. Lorenzo Snow had been arrested by seven deputy marshals, and brought from his home in Brigham City to Ogden. I felt worse about this arrest than I have about any that has taken place; and I felt that if I could go to prison for him, and relieve him, and if it should be wise to do so, I would be willing to go. He is an aged man and of rather a delicate constitution.
Saturday, Nov. 21, 1885.
Among other letters we received <one> from Elder Geo. Teasdale giving an acct. of his labors in Chihuahua. Wrote private letters to Doctor Miller and Mr Clements. This evening I accompanied Bro. Wilcken to Bro. Winder’s where I met Bro. Sudbury who took me to my residence. I found Bros. S. Bateman and Alfred Solomon there who had, come as guards. They informed me of the great excitement in the city over the arrest of Vandercook, one of the deputy marshals, and a man by the name of Pearson, who professes to be a Mormon, for the crime of lewd and lascivious conduct. The arrest created great excitement among the Gentiles. These are only two out of a number against whom some of the City officers have obtained evidence. They have been associated with loose women, and they have obtained indisputable evidence concerning it.
Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 1885.
I spent a most delightful day at home. My sons, Abraham and John Q, and my sister, Mary Alice, were there. John Q paid two visits but did not stay long at a time. Abraham and my sister staid there, where present at our meeting and took dinner with us. I had Sunday School and administered the sacrament, and held meeting and preached to the folks. I also held a private meeting with my daughters and sons. In the evening Bro. Danl R. Bateman, came for me. Attended to the usual business. We heard to-day that the case of my brother, Angus, was partly argued on Friday and continued till Monday.
Tuesday, Nov. 24, 1885.
Busy as usual to-day. I am trying to rise early enough of a morning to take my cold bath in spring water which I have done every morning since I have been here; and then take a three <or four> mile walk before breakfast. I find it is the best time for exercise without danger of discovery.
Attended to correspondence. Dictated a number of letters.
Prest. Taylor thought I had better come to town this evening for the purpose of seeing John A Groesbeck in relation to the mining property. I stopped at
Wahine hou’s Caroline’s.
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 1885. Had interviews this morning with F. D. Richards, James Jack and B Y, Hampton, and John A. Groesbeck. Dictated my journal to Bro. Gibbs.
I had a conversation with Bro. T. E. Taylor of the News Office concerning the business of that establishment, after which I spoke to him respecting transferring $50000/ from my account on their books to the credit of Geo. C. Lambert, my nephew. There is an old credit on their books in my favor which has been standing their [there] for several years. He expressed his willingness to do so. I also asked him to refresh my memory concerning a conversation which my nephew, Richard, A. Lambert, had had with him, in which he stated with some bitterness that I had deprived his brother, George, who had worked for me, of the half of the Juvenile Instructor business to which, he said, George was fully entitled. And Bro. T. E. Taylor confirmed my recollection of what had been said that Richard should have said that the business was worth $50,00000/, and that George ought to have had half of it, that is $25,00000/. He also said that he had heard Bro. Heber J. Grant make remarks respecting George’s being crowded out of the Juvenile Instructor office. I sent for Bro. Grant and conversed with him about other matters that I wished to see him about, and then asked him concerning this reported conversation about the Juvenile Instructor Office. I suppressed all names as I did not wish any one to be drawn into this matter more than they already were. Bro Grant said that he could not tell who had told him any thing about it, but that he remembered speaking about it, to the effect that Geo. C. Lambert was entitled to half the business, and that he had been told that Geo. had been crowded out, and only received $300000/.
I said to him that it was an unpleasant thing for me to say anything in self-explanation or self-defense;
but that my life was before the public, and I always felt humiliated when I found it necessary to protect myself from unjust aspersions. I told of the facts connected with the business; that for a series of years I had carried the Juvenile Instructor Office by furnishing it cash from time to time to meet obligations; that I was away a great deal and had had no voice in the contracting of the debts; that I had become tired of it and had told my brother, Angus, that I wished he would take hold of the business and make it self-sustaining. He could not do it very well. George C. Lambert was working for me at the time and conducting the business. I told him, I thought he ought to and could take hold of it and make it self-sustaining. He was very reluctant about it. But I said I would have to stop it in some form unless this were done. Finally he consented. I think it was after this that I urged my son John Q. to take hold with him, and the business went by the name of Cannon and Lambert or Lambert and Cannon, I don’t know which now. But they were equal partners in the affair; and I was willing they should have the profits arising from the business. But I told George repeatedly afterwards that I could not consent to give him an interest in the business. I was willing to pay him for his services. I had been offered money by Bro. John W. Young for an interest in the Juvenile Instructor which I had declined to accept; not because the business was so valuable but because it being a pet affair of my own I wished to have full control of it. It was too insignificant to divide for pecuniary benefit; but if it were divided I would feel that I had not the control I desired. I told my nephew, Geo. C. Lambert, this on several occasions.
When he was called on his mission he pressed with a good deal of pertinacity for an interest which I told him I could not possibly consent to his having, that I was willing to give him any monetary consideration that he thought was right, for what he considered he had done; and we agreed upon $500000/. I had paid him $150000/ in money, and there was still $350000/ unpaid, on which interest had been allowed and paid from the time the note was given.
I thought I had done liberally by him, for he had drawn a regular salary during the time; and I find that his account amounted to $[blank]. This is from Dec. 11, 1875 to Oct. 16, 1882. That is at the rate of $12500/ per month for the whole period. Besides this there are other amounts, in all $[blank] which he has drawn also. Now, I consider that I treated him with liberality, especially as he had the whole business in his own hands and paid himself to suit himself. And to hear of such remarks as have been made about me in this transaction I think exceedingly cruel and unjust.
Bro Grant expressed the pleasure it gave him to hear this statement, because he said he was sorry to hear what he had heard about it. But as I stated it, (and I told him I knew that George would not deny anything I had said) he thought that George had no claim.
He then gave some illustrations of his own — the Insurance business, and said, if he employed a man he employed him to build up the business, and he did not think because he did increase it that he was entitled to any share of the profits.
I sent for my son Abraham to bring me the stock book and to make some explanations respecting the business, as I intended to have a free conversation with my nephew upon the subject.
After I had seen him I sent for Geo. C. Lambert and told him that his letter asking me for what I owed him was the first time in my life that I had ever been dunned by a creditor without being able to pay; but that owing to my having to hide up I could not attend to business and it had given me very peculiar feelings, to be in a position not to meet promptly his demands. I had succeeded in getting a loan of $300000/ in cash, and I now proposed to give him that amount in money, and $50000/ credit on the News office. He stood out for some time for the $50000/ to be in money, that he could not use the Printing office pay very well, and said he would wait for it until I could pay it. I told him that from present appearances I saw no prospect to be able to meet that for a long time, and I thought that he could manage the News pay so as to be of service to him. I had always found that pay very good when I received it; and if I were footloose I could make twins with it which I thought would be very good, if not quite so good as money. He finally consented to take it.
After having made this settlement with him I felt free to talk to him about what I had heard. I did not wish to do so before settling with him for fear my conversation might be misunderstood, and he might think I was doing it for the purpose of beating him down, and inducing him to take pay for his note that would not be as good as cash. I told him what I had heard as coming from his brother Richard, also from Bro. Grant without mentioning the latter’s name; also some remarks that had been made in my family as coming from his family; also statements that had been made and circulated, to the effect that I had him sent on a mission to give place to my son Abraham in the Juvenile Instructor Office.
I told him that hearing these things from so many different sources led me to suspect that there had been much talk about this matter. I had asked myself, if these expressions from so many sources had come to my hearing, prevented as I am from mingling with the people, how widespread must these impressions have gone in the community. I told him I was conscious of a feeling of prejudice against Abraham which I considered very cruel and very unjust, as I felt satisfied that Abraham H. Cannon would rather work with a pick and shovel in the streets for his daily bread than to supplant anybody; and he hadn’t done so. As an instance of how this had been talked about I said I was dictating my journal to one of the brethren, and happened to mention about receiving his letter, when he spoke up and told me that he had heard also about the Juvenile Office business, and of my treatment of Geo. C. Lambert, but I did not ask what he had heard. All these things impressed me with the idea that I had been done great wrong in this matter. I said to him that no one had heard me speak disparagingly of him, nor had heard me express dissatisfaction with his labors; and I thought that I ought to be treated certainly with equal forbearance and kindness: for I have treated him as well as I have any of my sons. In fact Abraham had <not> received the same amount of compensation as he (George) had, and had done the same work and occupied the same position as he had done.
He disclaimed ever having said anything upon this subject. He said further that he was perfectly satisfied, tho’ at the time we had our conversation he thought he was entitled to $10,00000/; but after it was closed he had not said one word of the character that I had heard, and he was not responsible for these stories. I told him that I had acquitted him in my feelings of saying anything of this character; but that some persons who thought themselves his friends had said a great deal. I certainly was not responsible for these things, but somebody must be. As to the $10,00000/, I said, which you thought you were entitled to, I do not see how you could expect such an amount. The more I have seen of the business the more convinced I am that your ideas were greatly exaggerated, and that you expected more than you were entitled to, or that the business could afford. You put the inventory <of the business> down at $31,000 00/
for the place, and claimed accordingly. Now an investigation of the affairs of the office convinces me that you were quite wide of the mark; your inventory was too high, and subsequent investigation has proved that it was at least upwards of $700000/ higher than it should have been even after making liberal allowance for everything. And this would reduce the inventory to $24,00000/ in stock which could not be sold for cash at that. I would, if I wanted to sell at all, be glad to take half the amount for the whole of it — that would be $1200000/; and, yet, you say you claim $10,00000/. At this point he said he had no salary. I told him the books did not say so. I then showed him the account. At first he was inclined to question it, but afterwards admitted that it was so, but he did not think he had drawn that amount. I then went through the inventory with him. At first he was inclined to dispute the correctness of the statement. I showed him one item of 500 folded sheets which were charged $60150/. The real cost of them was $4500/ making a difference of upwards of $55000/. I pointed out another item where 600 unbound volumes of the Juvenile were put down at $140/ each. I told him I would gladly take one half of that for them. I also told him that the Faith Promoting Series had been put down in stock at 18 cents apiece; they were sold when we got sale for them by wholesale for 20 cents. This is not the way to make out an inventory to put a profit on the stock; it should be put down at the cost, whereas 5½ cents had been added to the cost of each copy. I showed him paper that was charged to the Bindery at 16 cents which at that time could have been bought at 12 cents and 13 cents at the very outside, and could be bought now at 11 cents. I turned to the inventory of the Type and other material, and showed him that he had put this down at the first cost when it was new, and had put in bills of David James and Wm J. Silver for work they had done, at the prices they had charged; whereas the type and other material, and the work done by these brethren, had been in use some time, and could not be charged at the original cost.
When I showed him these things he was more disposed to listen and not dispute what I said.
I told him also that a number of persons had been put down as debtors whose accounts were valueless, being really bad debts; yet they had been counted as assets. I showed him the list of these. I told him that while the reduction had been made of upwards of $700000/ I was convinced from the little examination I had made that the inventory should be reduced still more, that this was a very high credit leaving it in this form. He said, if I was dissatisfied with the matter he did not wish me to pay him what I had done, that he had acted in all honesty and had endeavored to do right. I replied that I did not question that, and had never questioned it; that I was satisfied with his labor, but I wished to bring these things to his attention to prove to him that my judgment, confirmed as it had been by the experience gained since he left, was correct in regard to the business. I wished to prove to him that the whole thing had been greatly exaggerated in his mind, and that others had gained impressions from him that were incorrect. I said, I have owned this property now 20 years, and I had never received anything like $500000/ in cash from it during the whole period; and yet I had sustained it by means time and time again derived from other sources. I wished him clearly to understand, I said, that it was for this purpose alone I brought these matters to his attention; that I had no feeling against him, but I thought it now to be his duty to correct these false impressions which evidently existed in the minds of many people concerning my treatment of him and my settlement with him. He expressed a wish that I <should> see his brother Richard and talk to him myself. I told him I could not condescend to do that; that I did not wish to put myself in a position to explain and defend my conduct to him; but that it was his duty to speak to him. And I felt, tho’ I did not say this to him, that it would be Richard’s duty to come to me and make amends for the wrong that he had done me.
He felt very well, I think, when we separated, as I did myself. I felt relieved after having such a plain talk; and I merely record this so that I may refresh my memory, if necessary, in the future
of <as to> what had taken <took> place.
I had another interview with Bro. T. E. Taylor; and we went over together the cost of publishing the three editions of the News, with a view to decide as to whether [t]he Semi-weekly could be reduced in price. I also held conversation with Bro. John Beck, and with Bp. Preston, and John Q. Cannon.
Bro. Wilcken and myself reached our quarters about half past 11 Oclock. It rained on us all the way there.
Thursday, Nov. 26th, 1885.
This is Thanksgiving Day. We attended to business as usual; and had a nice dinner, Bro Godfrey having killed a turkey. Prest. Taylor felt that I ought to come in and see Bro. John Beck again. We had considerable conversation during the afternoon and evening on the business which is in a bad condition. Before I started he and I retired to his room, and at his request I prayed. When I finished he was about to arise when I expressed a desire to hear him pray also. Our hearts were much softened, and the Spirit of God was with us. We both felt greatly oppressed in our feelings concerning this business; for if this law-suit should be decided against us it will take everything we have got to meet our engagements. We don’t feel to crave money; that has not been the object we had in view in entering into this business; But because Prest. Taylor had impressions, through the manifestation of the Spirit, to take this course with the hope to raise a fund that could be used for the work of God. I went into it for this purpose, feeling in doing so like one who consecrates his property to the Lord. And we felt to say to our Father, that if it were His will to take that which we had, we would submit to it cheerfully; but if it was His will to help us through we should be greatly pleased to have him do so.
We drove to Sister Burt’s near the City Hall, where I stayed.
Friday, Nov. 27, 1885. Dictated a long letter to Bro. Jos. F. Smith which Bro. A. Winters took down in short hand. Dictated my journal to Bro. Gibbs. Had interviews with Bro. Jack and John Q., Bishop Preston and Bro. John Beck; also Bro. T. E. Taylor. Bro. Beck is quite anxious that Pres. Taylor and myself should go security for $7,000 at the Bank for him with which to pay experts, miners, &c. Pres. Taylor was resolute in his refusal to do this, and though I felt sympathy for Bro. Beck’s necessities and would have perhaps consented to go security for $3,000, I saw that a time must come when we should have to stop doing such things and we might as well stop now as at any other time. If we should be robbed of this property by this lawsuit it would bankrupt us, particularly myself, for I am very heavily in debt for money borrowed and advanced of my own means to pay for my share of it. I had a full and free conversation with Bro. Beck upon this subject and told him that if we went any farther we would be endangering our reputation. My nephew Richard G. Lambert wrote me a letter upon the subject of George’s affairs and denying having made such expressions as had been attributed to him. I sent for him and George to come and see me. He was anxious to be told who my informants were. Their names I declined to give him. I said two brethren (they are: T. E. Taylor and G. F. Gibbs) stated to me, each without the knowledge of the other that he has spoken of the Juvenile Instructor business in the manner I had reported to George. If he had not done so I was exceedingly glad of it; but they had evidently got the impression that he thought I had wronged George. I expressed regret that there should be any such talk, more especially that it should be among my kindred. To see feelings among relatives had always been a cause of pain to me, and I thought it would be very wrong for us to have feelings against each other. I had always lived at peace with my relatives and I did not wish that harmony disturbed. I said to Richard that reports never lost any thing by being repeated, and it is possible that his remarks had grown. He acknowledged that it had been a fault of his which he had been trying to correct — talking too much. We parted feeling better for our conversation. I returned to our quarters with Bro. Wilcken and reached at 10.30.
Saturday, Nov. 28, 1885. Attended to usual business and dictated correspondence. In evening went to the City with Bro. Wilcken. We had been informed by Bro. John Henry Smith that a harlot was on the point of buying a house and lot opposite the west gate of the Temple which is the property of Bro. Silas T. Smith’s divorced wife. President Taylor desired me to look at the property, to have the title examined and to have it secured for the price ($275000/100) offered by the harlot.
I stopped at Caroline’s. Many of family sick, administered to Mamie.
Sunday, Nov. 29/85. Remained the day and had a pleasant time. Last Saturday night or Sunday morning some traitor or spy had reported at the U. S. Marshal’s office that I was at-home, and if a posse should be sent down I could be caught. Cap’t. Greenman met him and paid no attention to it. I thought it unsafe to go
to there to-day. Bro. Wilcken called this evening and I drove to Abraham’s and he came out to the buggy and conversed about going East on business. Stopped at my wife Emily’s.
Monday, Nov. 30, 1885. Bro. Wilcken called for me at 5 o’clock. I felt the need of rest this morning and after reaching our retreat I laid down, going without my breakfast. I was much saddened last evening by learning from Bro. Wilcken that Bro. Jos. McMurrin was shot <twice> on Saturday evening by deputy-Marshal Collins. It is feared his wounds are fatal.