The Church Historian's Press

December 1885

1 December 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 1885. A lovely day for the first day of Winter. Busy with correspondence, writing journal, reading, &c.

2 December 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec 2nd, 1885. When opportunity offers, as it did yesterday and to-day, I take a walk in the creek bottom among the trees before breakfast. I walked a little over 4 miles yesterday morning and also this morning. When I arise <out of bed in the morning> I strip and, with the help of Bro. Wilcken when he can get time, I take a bath in cold spring water and follow it up frequently by washing myself in alcohol with a flannel cloth. This practice of cold bathing, which I have followed for some time, I find very healthful. I have been fond of bathing all through my life, and it agrees with me.

Busy as usual with correspondence, &c.

I omitted to mention that last evening Bro. F. S. Richards, who was brought out by Bro. Samuel Bateman, had an interview with President Taylor and myself at the house of Bro. Jones, who is our neighbor. He reported his trip to Washington and his labors connected with the presentation of the appeal case of my brother Angus to the U. S. Supreme Court. He feels confident of <a> favorable decision by that Court. He asked counsel about other legal matters in which the City, for which he is attorney, is involved — the prosecution of parties guilty of lewd and lascivious conduct, &c.

3 December 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 3/85. Started for the City this morning a little after 5 o’clock. It was excessively dark. We barely missed running into a vehicle which we met and which we did not see till we were abreast of it. Bro. Dan. R. Bateman drove the buggy and took me to the Tithing Office where I remained till time to return.

Saw Bro. Jas. Jack respecting the purchase of the house and lot of Mrs. Silas T. Smith, also had interviews with Bro. John Hy. Smith upon the subject.

Met a number of my children and made arrangements with Bro. Arthur Winter to give them lessons in short hand in continuation of the teaching of Bro. John Irvine who had gone on a mission to the States — Mary Alice has concluded to learn, in addition to <Angus,> Hugh, Hester, David and Lewis who have taken lessons. Gave Angus, Hugh and David <each> a silver watch and gave one to Hester to give to her Mother to present to Lewis at Christmas. These boys have been industrious and attentive, and I desired to give them a watch each as a present. Dictated articles for the Juvenile Instructor. On driving to our place of residence in the deep darkness we met a team coming from the opposite direction and the horses struck each other. There was a sound of cracking timber as though a buggy tongue had broken. I thought it was ours; but it proved to be uninjured. As we had a dashboard lamp which threw a light ahead the other team had been run into ours by those on board being asleep or through drunken recklessness. The horrid imprecations they uttered caused us to believe they were drunk.

4 December 1885 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 4/85. Took my walk before breakfast.

Attending to business as usual.

I received a reply from Bro. Albert Jones of Provo, now in London, to a letter which I wrote to him asking him to examine for me a book entitled “Lands and their Owners in Galloway” by P. H. McKerlie, iii, 98, there being an allusion therein to the family of Cannan. The old fashion of spelling our family name was Cannan. My father told me that the family came to the Isle of Man from the borders of Scotland, being compelled to take refuge because of oppressions they had fought against, whether religious or political I do not think he told me. Bro. Jones, who found this book in the British Museum, says: “Of course there may be in the quotation given by me more than you would have taken yourself as having no direct bearing upon the point of relationship; but I give it in full that you may know by the length of time your people held possession of Barlay (which means a hilly meadow) and the connection with its history and theirs; from this you see that your remembrance of the story of your ancestors is correct in regard to their troubles for conscience sake, their adherence to their religious faith on the side of the Covenanters.”

Word reached us this evening that Gen. McCook had been authorized by President Cleveland to investigate the alleged troubles here. McCook had said it was reported by our enemies that arms were stored in the loft of the Tithing Office or upon the premises for the people to use in case of an outbreak. I dictated and we signed letters to Mayor Sharp, Bro. Wm Jennings and my son John Q. In the first we suggested that the City Council and Mayor make an official investigation of the alleged troubles and obtain from those who had put the lies in circulation their authority for the statements and publish to the country, in an official capacity the results of their investigations and not sit idly by while a Military Officer did what it was their right and duty to do. We had suggested this course through Bro. F. S. Richards when he was with us on Tuesday evening; but had received word in reply that the Mayor and Council did not think it advisable, as the charges had died out. McCook’s appointment to investigate shows that if our City Council had done their duty as we suggested, they could have exposed the falsity of the lies which our enemies had circulated and anticipated the action of President Cleveland. The fact is there is too much timidity shown by many of our officers. They are afraid of our enemies’ action, and they <do not> appear willing to do anything that will stir them up, being content to be snowed under by lies if they can have quiet on the surface. I felt considerably stirred up at this news. Our letter to Bro. Jennings was for the purpose of having him introduce John Q. Cannon (the only one of the presiding bishopric in the city) to Gen. McCook for the purpose of having him go through the Tithing Office premises to satisfy himself that the report he had heard concerning the concealment of arms there was a base lie. We desired Bro. Jennings to go through with him. We wrote to John Q. on this same business.

5 December 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 5/85. Bro. D. R. Bateman carried the letters written last night to John Q’s house. He left our place at 5 o’clock in the morning. Walkan hour and twenty minutes before breakfast. Attended to usual business. In the evening Sister Maggie Y. Taylor desired to go in town; I accompanied Bro. Wilcken and her as <far as> the road which led to my place. I walked from there to my home and they proceeded to the City. The night was very dark. Called my family together and read from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants and explained doctrine and principle to them, then had prayers with them.

6 December 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 6/85. Bro. Wilcken came back to my house about 10 o’clock last night. We remained till about 5 o’clock this morning and then he took me to town. I stopped at my wife Emily’s and had a very pleasant visit, it being the first of the kind for upwards of a year. About 6.30 in the evening Bro. Saml Bateman called upon me. The brethren who had been using means to bring to light the licentious practices of the Gentiles in our midst were in trouble and desired to obtain counsel. Bro. D. R. Bateman, who had come in for me, took me in the buggy to Sister Burt’s at the City Hall. I had conversations with Bro’s. O. P. Arnold, Wm Salmon and B. Y. Hampton. The former informed me that Gen. McCook had received authority to put the City under Martial law; but he was desirous to have an interview with me and talk over affairs. He had met with the Mayor, but there was a power behind him, and he would pledge his word that if I would meet no advantage would be taken of it. I told O. P. A. that, before arranging for an interview, I would want to know the subjects of the conversation and the points to be reached. The conversation with the other brethren was on the situation of affairs connected with the exposures of lewdness. The Grand Jury had found five indictments against one of the women with whom the Police had been working; they had also found three against Bro. Hampton. The exposures likely to be made have maddened every corrupt man, and they have the Courts and the Federal authorities on their side, and they desire to crush every one who is in any way likely to be instrumental in bringing their wickedness to light. I gave them counsel how to manage. They must use the influential ones among them to do all in their power to have the proceedings against this woman and our people quashed, under promise that, if they did so, they should not be troubled. The treatment of the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette in London because he uncovered the dreadful wickedness practiced in that City ought to be remembered. The world can see, from all that has come to light, the immorality of those who are persecuting us; now, I said, you must not let these latter have the credit, if it be possible to avoid it, of punishing as criminals those who have exposed them; for they will point to that as an evidence of their own innocence. I talked fully with them upon the general situation and urged them to ask help from the Lord and to have no fear.

In the dark to-night Bro. Bateman and myself came very near being tipped over in the buggy in the yard of the City Hall. I was on the under side and we both felt the buggy go over so far that an upset was inevitable and just then it was as though some person took hold of it and pulled it back. I thank the Lord for the deliverance, for I should, very likely, have been much hurt. We reached our quarters at 10.35 p.m.

7 December 1885 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 7/85. I walked an hour before breakfast this morning, and then a storm of snow commenced which lasted all day. President Taylor was attacked with sickness yesterday; his wife Mary Ann was with him and she remained till evening to-day, when Bro. Wilcken took her to her place of residence. I dictated a number of letters as usual to Bro. Nuttall to-day.

8 December 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 8/85. President Taylor and myself spent last evening together in conversation. This morning I took my bath by candlelight and I had a walk for an hour and a half, (floundering through the snow until I had broken a path,) before breakfast. Dictated a number of letters to Bro. Nuttall. The morning was pleasant, but in the afternoon it snowed.

9 December 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 9/85. Took about four miles of a walk this morning before breakfast. Bro. Samuel Bateman came from town with a note from Bro. John R. Winder to the effect that the Chief Clerk of the Continental Hotel (Van Horn) had made a bet, and put up the money, that President Taylor would be arrested within 24 hours. While we did not attach full credence to this we thought it better to make a short visit. We drove to Bro. Wm Taylor’s, (brother of President Taylor’s) and we spent the day there. I dictated letters, and at dusk Bro. C. H. Wilcken took our mail, and I accompanied him. He carried me to my son John Q’s residence. To-morrow is the anniversary of my marriage with my first wife (Elizabeth Hoagland) which took place in 1854. I desired to commemorate <it,> and as I thought it would be safer at John Q’s than at my house, he very kindly, with Annie his wife, proposed to have it there. I am suffering from a heavy cold this evening.

10 December 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 10/85. I spent the forepart of the day reading. The company commenced to arrive between two and three o’clock. There were at table my wife Emily, (Elizabeth’s sister), John Hoagland and Adelia, his wife, my sister Mary Alice, my daughter-in-law Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and my children John Q. and wife, Mary Alice, David, Emily and Sylvester. In the evening Geo. C. Lambert, my nephew, joined us, also Bro. C. H . Wilcken. Taking it altogether this has been a most happy day for me. I have enjoyed the occasion exceedingly. I thank the Lord for my wife Elizabeth. He gave me a precious gift when he bestowed her upon me. I feel that he has greatly blessed me in giving me all my wives and my children. I have had great joy with them. At 10 p.m. we separated. Bro Wilcken took me to Bro. Godfrey’s, to which place all had returned. The roads were rough and bad.

11 December 1885 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 11/85. I suffer to-day from the cold I have contracted. Wrote to Wahine hou <Caroline>. Dictated correspondence. Took footbath and remedies[.]

12 December 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 12/85. Am quite sick to-day. Received dispatch from Bro. E. Snow. He and Bro. Lyman are at St. David, Arizona, Bro. B. Young has gone to Hermosillo, Mexico. Dictated correspondence. Sat in President Taylor’s room this evening and had interesting conversation together.

13 December 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 13/85. The day was spent quietly. Sister Mary Ann O. Taylor came on a visit to her husband. Bro. Nuttall went to town last evening and returned <late> this evening. Had sacrament and testimony meeting in the afternoon. There were present President Taylor and wife, Elders D. A. Bateman, C. H. Wilcken, C. H. Barrell, James Godfrey and myself. President Taylor and myself spent the evening in conversation.

14 December 1885 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 14/85. Though I am much better in health I am not well. Attended to correspondence. Prepared matter furnished by Bro. Henry W. Bigler for Juvenile Instructor. This evening I was made exceedingly happy by meeting my brother Angus, who had been released from Penitentiary about an hour and a half before (5 o’clock) and was brought here by Bro. C. H. Wilcken. His release from the Penitentiary had to be arranged very carefully to prevent the possibility of re-arrest. A warrant had been issued by Commissioner McKay ready to be served upon him as soon as possible after he emerged from prison; but by an arrangement which I had succeeded in getting made through Col. M. Shaughnessy the warrant was to be kept back for awhile, so as to furnish the opportunity to our friends to carry Angus off out of reach of the officers. In this they had succeeded. He looks very well and feels excellently, and is full of praise and thanksgiving. He has passed through the ordeal of imprisonment in good shape, and I feel very thankful to the Lord for having sustained him so nobly.

15 December 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 15/85. I took a walk for about an hour and a quarter before breakfast this morning. Attended to usual duties. Bro. John R. Winder came out to see me about affairs in the City. He says terror reigns in the City among the Saints[,] our enemies are pushing matters in such a manner. Bro’s. F. S. Richards and Frank Armstrong are very anxious, he said, to see me to get counsel. After talking some time I took him into President Taylor. He had said he did not wish Pres. T. to know he was there or the object of his visit, as he did not wish to agitate him with the news; but I said I could not go to town very well without explaining to him my reasons for wishing to go. The Grand Jury have indicted Brig. Y. Hampton for conspiracy, because of the part he has taken in exposing the iniquities of the persecutors of the Saints and they mean to crush him if they can. They will probably indict Bro. Wm Salmon to-morrow on the same charge and for the same reason, and they will do all in their power to cover up their corruption with lies, and, having all the machinery of the law in their hands will make sacrifices of these brethren and others to screen their infamies. Judge Zane has already, on motion of Varian, assistant prosecuting attorney, discharged Lewis, another assistant prosecuting attorney, who had been arrested for lewd and lascivious conduct; and they will move earth and hell to stop the exposures which our people contemplate making. President Taylor spoke very encouragingly to Bro. Winder and said the brethren must not yield nor be afraid, and said <gave> many promises. Bro. Winder went away feeling better. I followed to town with Bro. D. A. Bateman to drive the team. At 7 p.m. I met Bro’s. Hampton, Salmon, F. S. Richards and Frank Armstrong at the latter’s house. We talked over the situation fully and I gave them such counsel as I was led to give and as I thought was necessary, and they felt much cheered and encouraged. I was pleased at the pluck which Bro’s Hampton and Salmon exhibited. They were prepared to be made victims of and did not shrink from the ordeal. Bro. Richards desired to have counsel about acting as attorney in their cases. He is attorney for the Church and he thought acting in these cases might injure his influence with the Court and the Bar and give color to the allegation of our enemies that the Church is a party to this so-called conspiracy. I said that respecting his course he must decide for himself; for so far as odium resting upon the Church because of his taking part in the defence of these cases was concerned we did not fear that; our enemies would assert that any way, and I thought the benefit he could be to the brethren in this strait would be greater than any injury that could be done to the Church. I reached our quarters at 11 p.m.

16 December 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 16/85. Took a walk of an hour before breakfast. The day was spent in the usual duties.

17 December 1885 • Thursday

Thursday. Dec. 17/85. The same as yesterday. A proposition was made to Pres. Taylor that he, President Woodruff and Bro. Lorenzo Snow might get released from their awkward positions by making a compromise so as to let all let all the Gentiles accused of lewd and lascivious conduct go free from further prosecutions. Bro. Winder and Mayor Sharp have conversed upon this, and the latter expresses the opinion that a compromise of this kind can be effected. President Taylor said he would never consent to such an arrangement; he could not consent to accept liberty at such a price, &c. < I dictated to Bro. Nuttall the details of this proposition for the office journal. It is much fuller than this.>

Spent the evening in conversation with Pres. Taylor. He had a visit late in the evening from his wife Sophia and son John W. My brother Angus went to town about 6 p.m.

18 December 1885 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 18/85. Walked for an hour and a half before breakfast. Attended to correspondence as usual. Bro. Geo. Reynolds informed me of the death of his wife Polly at 20 min. to 12 yesterday. She had just been confined and the babe died also. She was a most estimable woman and her departure will be severely felt by the family. Wrote him a letter of condolence. Busy reading during the evening manuscript of Bro. Thos W. Brookbank on the Resurrection with a view to its publication.

19 December 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 19/85. Bathed in cold water and afterwards washed with alcohol as I usually do in the morning, then walked for an hour and a half before breakfast. Attended to correspondence. Examined deeds &c of Iron Manufacturing Co. to President Taylor and myself and others and from us to Tho’s. Taylor. Bro. D. A. Bateman took me in a buggy to my home on the river. I met with my wives and children and read to them from the Pearl of Great Price concerning Enoch, his teachings and revelations and prophecies, explaining as I read and also asking questions. I was greatly pleased at the interest they manifested and the propriety of their questions. We were together upwards of two hours and to me it was a great feast, and all appeared to enjoy it exceedingly.

20 December 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 20/85. Bro. Samuel Bateman came from town to be my guard and I found him at my house when I reached last evening. He arose at 4.30 a.m. and we reached the end of street opposite the house of wahine hou <Caroline> at 5.35. I stopped with wahine hou <her> till 7 p.m. and enjoyed the visit. I then went to my son Abraham’s, who accompanied me to my wife Emily’s, where I remained through the night.

21 December 1885 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 21/85. Arose at 5.20 and went to Sister Burt’s at City Hall. Dictated Editorial Thoughts and Topics of the Time to Bro. Arthur Winter. Had conversation with Bro. Jas. Jack upon various matters of business and with him and Bro. F. S. Richards upon settlement of Iron Manufacturing Co’s. business with Bishop Thos Taylor; also attended to Pres. Young’s estate business with Bro. Geo. F. Gibbs and to guarding and other business with Bro. J. R. Winder and my own business with my sons John Q. and Abraham. My wife Martha also called and informed me that her youngest child, Radcliffe, to whom I administered last evening and who had burned his forehead at a lamp and was greatly excited through waking up last evening and wandering around the rooms of the house and finding it empty, was better. My brother Angus and Bishop W. B. Preston accompanied me to Bro. Peter Hansen’s, where we met President Taylor who had come there to meet a man by the name of Bro. Wm Evans. They returned to the City and we came to our retreat. Bishop Preston has to avoid the officers who are after him. He proposes to go South and keep on to Mexico.

22 December 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 22/85. Engaged as usual in attending to correspondence and other business. My brother Angus came out to us in the evening. The death of Sister Geo. Reynolds, who passed away on Thursday last, and who was buried on Sunday, is a great loss to her husband and family. She was a most estimable woman.

23 December 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 23/85. Walked for two hours this morning after taking my bath and before breakfast. I had a most excellent time communing the Spirit. Busy with correspondence .&c. I went into the City this evening to look up books as presents to my children; but not finding Abraham failed in selecting what I wanted, except for the children of the household where we are stopping. I gave <got> a present for Sister Godfrey and <each of> the seven children. Abraham had gone to Ogden. It was half past one at night when we returned.

24 December 1885 • December

Thursday, Dec. 24/85. Engaged in answering correspondence, reading, &c. President Taylor is in feeble health to-day.

25 December 1885 • Friday

Friday, Dec. 25/85. The family were greatly pleased with the presents I gave them. We had a quiet day. Angus and myself spent considerable time conversing with Pres. T[aylor]. whose health was not good.

26 December 1885 • Saturday

Saturday, Dec. 26/85. Took bath and walk as usual this morning as I do every morning when I am here. Attended to correspondence and other business. A letter was sent in town this morning containing a request for Bro’s. F. S. Richards and I. M. Waddell to meet me this evening, as it was thought best for me to see them to urge up and arrange for the business of securing the Church property against the robbery which the new Edmunds law is designed to make legal. Angus and myself went in this evening. He returned. I met Bro’s. F. S. Richards, I. M. Waddell, Jos. E. Taylor, O. P. Arnold, Jas. Jack and my sons <Abraham and> Frank. whom <The latter> I have only seen once for upwards of a year. He appears well and I hear good reports of him. He expressed himself feelingly to me. I went to my wife Emily’s.

27 December 1885 • Sunday

Sunday, Dec. 27/85. Had a long conversation <with my son Abraham> upon the management and conducting of the Juvenile Instructor. Spent the day at Emily’s. Men were around in the evening who were thought to be spies watching the house. I got out quietly to the buggy which Bro. D. A. Bateman brought for me. The roads were frightfully muddy. <(Spies have been around her house so constantly that it has not been safe for me to call there up to present date — May 1/86)>

28 December 1885 • Monday

Monday, Dec. 28/85. Spent considerable time with Pres. Taylor examining the revelations concerning the selection of bishops and their ordination. We decided that it is proper for the presidency of the Stakes and the High Councils to select the local Bishops, subject of course to the approval of the First Presidency, and that, where practicable, the Presiding Bishop and Counsellors assist th join with the Presidency of the Stake in ordaining them. In sec. 65, par. 19–24 of and sec. 107, par. 17 of Doctrine and Covenants there are directions concerning these officers, also Sec. 20, par. [blank]. At the time these revelations were given the prophet Joseph and counselors, the First Presidency of the Church, presided over the Stake at Kirtland, the only stake outside of Zion (Jackson Co., Mo.)[.] There was but one bishop (Edwd Partridge) in the Church at the time the revelation in sec. 65 was given. When a presiding bishop or a bishop’s agent, or one whose duties extend beyond a Stake is to be ordained then the First Presidency should officiate; so also in the trial of such an officer, it should be before them. Now there are many Stakes. The Presidency of each, presides over a High Council and stands in the same relationship to the Stake that the First Presidency did to the Stake at Kirtland, and we feel clear that the revelations referred to apply to them so far as selecting Bishops for their Stakes is concerned. I told President Taylor, however, that it would suit my feelings better if, before the Presidency of a Stake attempted to ordain Bishops, they themselves, in the setting apart of them to preside, should have that authority conferred upon them — they were not Apostles as the First Presidency are, and therefore not having been ordained Bishops or with the there was a question in my mind as to their authority to ordain Bishops unless it had been conferred upon them. I felt that, at least, this would place the matter beyond doubt. If it was merely to set <apart> High Priests as Bishops their authority, I thought, would be clear; but the revelations speak of “ordaining” High Priests to be Bishops. This would appears to my mind to convey the idea that there is an authority held by the First Presidency as Apostles that is necessary to ordain Bishops.

After this conversation my brother Angus was given instructions respecting the selection of Bishops for vacancies in this Stake.

Attended to correspondence as usual. President Taylor is restored to health. My brother Angus went to town. Pres. T. and myself listened to Bro. Nuttall read the correspondence between Bro’s. M. Thatcher, W. Woodruff and ourselves upon the subject of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association. We feel that we have been misunderstood and do not approve of the manner in which our letter has been received and commented upon.

29 December 1885 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Dec. 29/85. Sister Mary O. Taylor, wife of Pres. T. came here this morning; also his daughter Sophia, wife of Bro. Nuttall. I received two letters from Pres. Jos. F. Smith dated the 14th and 19th of Dec. at Honolulu, Sandwich Islands. They are very interesting. Bro. Ward E. Pack writes that he desires an interview respecting his contest for a seat in the Legislative Assembly soon to meet. It was decided that I should go in and see him this evening.

Met Bro. Pack and talked fully over the grounds of contest and examined the law upon the subject. There appears to me to be a vital defect in Bro. Pack’s case. If he can prove that voters who are registered at Park City, and in whose names votes were cast for McLaughlin, were absent from the City on the day of election, and the votes cast in their names were fraudulent, he cannot give the names of those who cast the votes. This the law on contested cases requires. Besides, there are other points which I think he will find it difficult to make, and without which he will not have a good case. I told him that while it was proper we should contend for our rights and not quietly yield to wrong and fraud, yet in the present excited condition of public feeling it would not be wise to get up an agitation upon this question unless it it could be made clear beyond dispute that McLaughlin had been elected by fraud. Spent about an hour with my wife Caroline. As I was coming in this evening I called at my house, Bro. Saml Bateman drove the buggy, and had a brief meeting with my family. While there I learned from a son of Bro. Brigham Young, Joseph, that his father and Bro. Lyman had returned from Mexico this evening. The roads were horrible; but Bro. Wilcken drove the vehicle to Bro. Brigham’s farm. It was about one o’clock when we reached there and all were abed. I conversed with him about two hours. They bring no word of a suitable place for a refuge, except a ranch for which $200,000 is asked — a price beyond our ability at present to pay for. I reached our quarters at 4.15 a.m. and quite fatigued.

30 December 1885 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Dec. 30/85. I was quite sick to-day and did but little.

31 December 1885 • Thursday

Thursday, Dec. 31/85. Still suffering from sickness; but I dictated to Bro. Nuttall the answers to correspondence and attended to other business.

Cite this page

December 1885, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 12, 2024