February 1886

8 February 1886 • Monday

[Newspaper article]



About 8 o’clock a.m. yesterday the serenity of the Sabbath morning at the Cannon Farm, a short distance south-west of this city, was somewhat disturbed by the sudden appearance of U. S. Marshal Ireland, deputies Franks, Vandercook and Collin and two others, at the place, two of them on horseback, and the other four riding in a buggy. The horsemen immediately stationed themselves at the front and rear of the houses, evidently for the purpose of discovering whether anyone attempted to escape, while the four who occupied the buggy proceeded to one house after another, until they had gone through all four of them. They began at the extreme north and ended at the extreme south, without gaining any trace of the object of their search, but finding a few persons, upon whom they served subpœnas — Miss S. A. Butterworth, Miss Mary Alice Cannon, Mrs. Martha Cannon, Miss Hester Cannon and Mrs. S. J. Cannon. Not being satisfied with the result of the first search they went through one of the houses a second time and loitered around the premises until about 11 a.m., when Bishop John Q. Cannon, who lives some distance north of there, and who had been sent for by the family, arrived. He then gave Marshal Ireland his word of honor for the appearance of the persons subpœnaed when they might be wanted. The Marshal stated that he had received positive information that President Cannon was to be home on Saturday night and remain at home until Sunday evening, and seemed greatly disappointed at not finding him. Mr. Vandercook also stated that he had learned that Mr. George Q. Cannon was sick, which he evidently thought would render his return all the more likely. The Marshal remarked, jocularly, on hearing this, that “Van” seemed to know a good deal more about his health than his whereabouts.

The Marshal and his posse then left and returned to the city. Shortly after 3 p.m., however, Deputy Franks and another whose name was not learned reappeared at the farm and inquired for John Q. Cannon. Not finding him there they proceeded to his house and waited there until he returned from the city, when they presented to him a letter from Marshal Ireland, stating that he found on returning to the city, that it would be necessary to station guards at the farm to watch the persons subpœnaed unless he could come to town and give security for their appearance. He probably never thought of such a thing until it was impressed upon him by the prosecuting attorney, and considering the unheard of nature of the demand, no wonder he had not thought of it.

Brother John Q. accordingly returned to the city and gave the required security, after which he sent a note from Marshal Ireland to the deputies calling on them to return to the city, they in the meantime having proceeded to the Cannon Farm and taken up their position as guards over the persons subpœnaed. The bonds required for Mrs. Sarah J. and Mrs. Martha Cannon were $2,000 each, while the others were bound over in the sum of $500 each, all of them to appear when wanted.



Shortly after 11 o’clock this morning U. S. Marshal Ireland strode into the Third District Court room, and after a few whispered words with Deputy Smith, they both took their departure. The appearance of the Marshal’s face, however, indicated that something was afoot, and what that something was, was developed in less than an hour afterward. Just before 12 o’clock the Marshal, with about twenty deputies, guards from the penitentiary, etc., made their way up the street, and separating into two squads, proceeded by different routes to the Gardo House. Among those in company with Marshal Ireland were Deputies Greenman, Smith, Mix, Vandercook, Franks, Sprague, Doyle, Hamilton, Parker, McQueen, Cuddihe and the notorious Sam Gilson; also Alfales Young and others. The Gardo House, Historian’s Office and neighboring buildings were surrounded, deputies bobbing up in front and rear, in the walks, and among trees, gardens and orchards. THE GARDO HOUSE was the first object of solicitation. Here Marshal Ireland and Deputies Vandercook and Cuddihe entered the building, and from basement to garret examined every nook and corner in the house, including cellars, cupboards, closets, wardrobes, etc. After going carefully over the whole place, they finally issued from the front door, having spent half an hour in the search. They seemed somewhat disappointed at not finding any one they wanted. When they applied for admission warrants for the arrest of Presidents John Taylor and George Q. Cannon were exhibited, and the statement was made that the Marshal had received direct information that those for whom they inquired were on the premises. They, however, soon found that their informant was either mistaken or had willfully told an untruth to lead the Marshal and his forces on a wild goose chase, in order to see an exhibition of their strength and alacrity. The PRESIDENT’S OFFICE was next visited, the clerk’s offices and the Bee Hive and Lion houses, with all the outhouses and grounds, were subjected to a rigid scrutiny. The marshals were conducted through the buildings by Alfales Young, Cuddihe keeping guard in the office, Sam Gilson and McQueen at the door, and the others stationed at various points. Another half hour was spent here, when the marshals withdrew and turned their attention to the BARNS AND TITHING OFFICE, which were examined thoroughly. The tithing store, barber shop, meat market, ice house, cellars, emigrant house, barn, stackyards, haylofts, outhouses, and in fact every part of the premises was viewed by anxious “officers of the court.” The same result greeted their endeavors as at the other places named. The HISTORIAN’S OFFICE was now the only place left, and here the whole force wended their way. Five deputies, Sprague, Parker, Doyle, and two others, had kept a vigilant watch that no one should leave the premises, and Captain Greenman, Vandercook, Smith, Cuddihe and Gilson performed the labor of searching. This occupied but a short time, as the building is used only for public offices. There were a number of persons in at the time on business, one of these being Apostle Erastus Snow, whom Deputy Smith informed that he believed Captain Greenman had a warrant for. This, however, proved to be incorrect. Smith also stated that in addition to the warrants for Presidents Taylor and Cannon, the deputies had further warrants. NO ARRESTS were made, and the Marshal and his deputies retired after having completed a fruitless search. The presence of of the officers attracted quite a large crowd, who waited around or followed the searchers from place to place, but all was perfectly quiet. While this was going on the offer of $500 reward for President Cannon, as published in another column, was posted up. When the deputies retired, the crowd quietly dispersed.

[Newspaper article]

Mrs. Little and Daughters Subpœnaed.—While the raid on the Cannon farm was in progress, in fact, about the same time the deputies appeared there—8 a. m.—Deputies Sprague, Smith and Mix presented themselves at the residence of Mrs. Emily Little, a sister-in-law of President Cannon’s, and as soon as she and her three daughters were dressed, for they were not out of bed when the deputies arrived, subpœnaed all of them and required them to proceed immediately to the marshal’s office. Two neighbors—Messrs. J. W. Fox, Jr., and W. C. Morris—accompanied the ladies and offered to go security for their appearance, but the whole party were kept in waiting at the marshal’s office until almost 12 m., there being only Prosecuting Attorney Dickson and the clerk present on their arrival there, and they requiring them to await the arrival of Judge Zane. When the latter appeared he took bonds for the appearance of the ladies when required, Mrs. Little’s bonds being placed at $2,000 while those of her three daughters were $500 each. Mr. Dickson remarked while they were waiting that he expected to prove a case of polygamy against Mr. Cannon.

[In pencil:] Febr. 8/86

[End of newspaper article]

11 February 1886 • Thursday

[Newspaper article]

Thursday – February 11, 1886


The Tribune puts in a specious plea in support of the Marshal, in offering a large reward for the arrest of a gentleman charged with a simple misdemeanor. The substance of it is, that President George Q. Cannon’s offense, in the eyes of his enemies, is the influence he carries with the “Mormon” people. But this is not an indictable offense. It is not one that can be reached by the law, because it is no infraction of law. It merely makes him an object of hatred to those who want to force the “Mormon” people to forsake their religion.

Those bigots and tyrants for whom the Tribune speaks, want to make the preaching of a doctrine which they do not endorse a penal offense. In other words, they would stifle free speech, if that free speech is opposed to their notions. The reward offered, we are told, is because of the influence which the public teachings of Prest. Cannon has upon the minds of his hearers. The offense for which he is indicted is no different to that charged against many others, but he is singled out for special detective endeavor and as a special object of malevolence, because of his public enunciation of principles which he holds to be divine.

But the malicious promoters of this personal attack upon the gentleman, presume a little too much. Their organ says: “It would have been in George Q. Cannon’s power last spring, by a word, to have stopped all the distress which has come to this people since.” This is a grand mistake. The meaning of it is, that Prest. Cannon could, by a word, change the doc-
trine of the Church and the faith of its members, in regard to celestial marriage which includes the plurality of wives.

Let it be understood that no such power is held by any man on earth. The word of no mortal being could accomplish any such revolution. The faith of the “Mormon” people is not founded upon any man, living or dead. If the gentleman now hounded by his foes were to come out to-day with an enunciation such as the Tribune says he ought to make or leave the country, to-morrow he would be repudiated by the people over whom he is thought to exercise such unbounded influence.

The world ought to know by this time that the “Mormon” faith in plural marriage is rooted and grounded in the revelations of God and the manifestations of His spirit to them, individually. Principles not men are their stronghold. The principles that guide them are not the creations of men. The leaders of the Church are but the expressers, expounders and exemplars of truths that are independent of all men and all things. Those truths are beyond the powers of congresses, courts, officers and even of malignant and falsifying scribes and Pecksnifflan Pharisees. They are unreachable by pains and penalties, by the rifle or by the sword. Prison walls cannot confine them, chains cannot bind them, death itself cannot destroy them. They live and burn in the hearts and bones and finest fibres of the Latter-day Saints, and no edict of man, civil or eccleastical, will change them or drive out faith in them from the souls of the people who know of their truth for themselves.

Rewards may be offered, the bloodhounds of the law may be let loose, cruel and unusual punishments may be inflicted, confiscation, pillage, fire, rapine and bloody murder may be employed as weapons against those who believe and teach what heaven has revealed, and it will not tend to crush out faith in the remotest degree, to stop the spread of “Mormonism,” as the world call it, a single hair’s-breadth, nor to force its adherents to recant and deny that which they know to be true

On the contrary, all these measures which Latter-day bigots and howling sectaries, backed by political schemers have resurrected from the dark ages, wherewith to coerce the “Mormons,” will but serve to spread their doctrines, intensify their zeal, unite them closer together and, under divine Providence, hasten the triumph of those principles for which the servants of God are living and laboring and for which if needful they are willing to suffer and die.

[End of newspaper article]

15 February 1886 • Monday

[Newspaper article]


[In pencil:] Febr 15/86

Arrest of President Geo. Q. Cannon in Nevada.

Being Brought Back by Marshal Ireland.

The sensation which commenced a week since with the “arrest” of several members of President George Q. Cannon’s family as witnesses to appear when required in his trial on a charge of unlawful cohabitation with his wives, the raid of deputy marshals the following day, and the reward upon his head of $500 which succeeded, seemed to reach its culmination yesterday morning when it was announced by the two morning papers published in this city that he had been arrested at Winnemucca, Nevada, while en route for the west.

Following are the telegrams which have been received announcing the capture, in publishing which the organ of the lechers evinced the most fiendish glee:

Winnemucca, Nev., Feb. 13.

To E. A. Ireland, U. S. Marshal:

Have got Cannon in custody. When will you come after him?

F. M. Fellows, Sheriff.

Reno, Nev., Feb. 13.

W. H. Dickson, Salt Lake City:

Cannon arrested at Humboldt House. Train just in. R. H. Lindsay.

As the news spread, a feeling of intense anxiety was produced among the Latter-day Saints, who, while keenly solicitous for the safety of their beloved leader, were ignorant of his whereabouts and were fearful that the report might be true, but suppressed their feelings and strove to indulge in the hope that it was not correct. However great their anxiety was, it was noticeable that the Saints manifested that coolness which has always been a characteristic of them in such times, and no excitement was manifested on their part. During today, however, rumors were circulated that the wrong man had been captured and the rejoicing which had been indulged in was changed to chagrin. Bets of 20 to 1 were freely offered that it was a case of mistaken identity, but about half past three U. S. District Attorney Dickson, while in the court room, received the following dispatch:

W. H. Dickson:

Cannon consents to come without papers. Will start in a few minutes.

E. A. Ireland.

The utmost enthusiasm and hilarity prevailed among the court officials on the receipt of this news, which spread like wildfire and was soon the common talk on the street. The marshal and his prisoner may be expected to arrive here to-morrow at 11 a.m.

The following dispatch was received by Mr. Groo, editor of the Herald, this afternoon, confirming the above:

George Q. Cannon is arrested. No bail granted. Ireland will start for Salt Lake this afternoon.

O. P. Arnold.

[End of newspaper article]

[Newspaper article]

[Handwritten:] Febr 15/86

Refuses to Answer.—This afternoon the grand jury came into court, bringing with them Mrs. Martha T. Cannon, and submitted a report to the effect that the lady had been before them as a witness in an investigation against Prest. George Q. Cannon; that she had replied to a number of questions, but when the following were propounded, she refused to answer:

“Are you not now a pregnant woman?”

“Are you not now with child by your husband Geo. Q. Cannon?”

Mr. Richards objected to the questions as tending only to prove sexual intercourse, which the Supreme Court had ruled was immaterial.

The Court instructed the witness to answer the questions, but she promptly replied “No.”

The Court then said: It is your duty to obey the laws of your country and to speak the truth. A person ought to be ready always to tell the truth. You ought to answer because of your oath, and the laws of your country require it. You will be adjudged guilty of contempt. At the suggestion of the District Attorney sentence will be suspended for the present.

The District Attorney asked that the witness be placed under an additional bond of $2,500 to appear to-morrow at 2 p.m. The court so ordered.

[End of newspaper article]

16 February 1886 • Tuesday

[Newspaper article]

Tuesday • February 16, 1886


A great deal of nonsense is being uttered and published in regard to the case of President George Q. Cannon. If it were possible to enlarge the penalty which the law provides, so as to cover his particular case as it is viewed by his enemies, there is no doubt that he would be put to death or imprisoned for the term of his natural life. The gentleman is indicted for a simple misdemeanor. The supposition that he was so indicated has been general for nearly a year. It has also been understood that he was wanted by the Marshal. He has not appeared much in public during that period, but has attended to his business and been quite free to go and come when he considered it was necessary, and until recently no special efforts of any importance have been made for his arrest.

But quite a bitter feeling has been worked up against President Cannon, and he has been singled out as a particular object of attack because of his known abilities and great influence among the Latter-day Saints. Hence the reward which was offered for his apprehension, and which, we are pleased to say, it does not appear that any pretended friend or disciple has blasted his soul to gain. The news of his arrest while traveling westward on the Central Pacific Railroad, has given a fiendish joy to the conspirators against the peace of Utah. They are feverish in their excitement and their exultation. Even the Prosecuting Attorney and Chief Justice are spoken of in the public prints as openly exhibiting their great delight. And it is urged that “he more than any other should suffer the penalty.”

But this is all wrong. President Cannon is entitle[d] to a fair trial—we do not say he has any reason to expect it, when brought within the reach of the courts, and to the same consideration, no less and no more, as any other defendant charged with the offense for which he has been indicted. An effort is being made to work up other charges against him, as might have been expected. But he should not be singled out as a special mark for the law’s vengeance. The law should know no dengeance [vengeance]. It should protect the innocent and punish the guilty, without passion and without partiality. Judge Zane has enunciated the doctrine that “Justice is equalness.” We do not view that as an axiom nor regard it as a principle; but it should hold good in this respect: that all defendants accused of precisely similar offenses should be viewed alike by the law, and no one should be pursued and punished for his position, influence or the enmity against him, but should be judged according to the nature of the offense.

The special proceedings against his family are not warranted by the circumstances. The manner in which they are hunted and harassed with unusually heavy bonds for their appearance, the harsh not to say indecent questioning to which one lady in particular has been subjected, and the whole course pursued in his case show that he has been make [made] a marked and selected object for attack under the name of law.

Some of this is caused by a very mistaken idea on the part of those who are urging extra rigor and severity in his case. They imagine, because he is a valued and respected leader among the “Mormons,” that his capture and imprisonment would make a great change of belief and sentiment among the of masses the people. That it would either force them into that “submission” which some people talk so glibly about but do not define, or make them think that there is some mistake about their faith, or elicit some “revelation” or “compromise” which will affect the situation.

All this shows that the enemies of the “Mormon” people do not understand them or their religion. The killing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith was expected to produce just such results as those now anticipated. The imprisonment or martyrdom of every President and Apostle would not change the faith of the Saints in the divinity of the Church to which they belong, or make them cringe to their foes or deny their principles. They do not put their trust in man or pin their faith to any mortal being.

The idea that “revelation” can be manufactured to suit the demands of men or nations, is one of the gross absurdities of anti-“Mormonism.” The notion that the Saints are led by the word and caprice and personal notions of a man, is an utter fallacy that any one who chooses to investigate may see through at a glance if he will. George Q. Cannon, upon whom the responsibility is sought to be placed for the position of the “Mormons,” is no more responsible for their belief and attitude than for the firmness of the grand old mountains that surround us, or the saltiness of the briny lake that reflect their snow-capped summits. The revelations and doctrines and ordinances of the Church did not come from him. He is but one of their able expounders and exemplars. If he was imprisoned for life or burnt at the stake, neither those principles nor the faith of the people would be changed one iota.

We tell those people who think that the capture of our leaders, or any amount of pressure upon the Saints, will cause a recantation or departure from the things which we hold to be of God, that they have reckoned without their host. These difficulties and afflictions only make the roots of our faith strike deeper, and the tendrils of our affection for the cause cling closer, and cause the deep determination we have to live and die by the truth to become more intense, while our abiding confidence in God assures us that “all things shall work together for good” and for the ultimate success of the work to which we have devoted our souls forever.

And the more injustice and excess of rigor in the enforcement of oppressive laws the people witness, the more compact becomes their unity and the greater their detestation of the means devised for their overthrow. The course pursued towards the “Mormons” is the surest way to defeat the object which its projectors have in view. This will be seen and recognized in time, as sure as the sun shines on the glistening granite walls of our rising temple, and as God rules in the eternal heavens.

11–16 February 1886 • Thursday to Tuesday

[Newspaper article]


Why Marshal Ireland and his Distinguished Prisoner did not arrive this Morning.

President Cannon falls from the train and is bruised but not seriously hurt.

[Handwritten:] Feb 11/86


To-day has been full of suspense for “Mormons” and anti-“Mormons” in this city.

According to the latest information obtainable last evening, President Cannon was in the custody of Marshal Ireland and on his way to this city, with the expectation of arriving per the D. & R. G. W. train at 10:45 a.m.

Between 8 and 9 o’clock this morning a dispatch was received by Mr Dickson from Marshal Ireland, at Blue Creek, to the effect that the prisoner had either fallen or jumped from the train at the Promontory, the first station west of there. The news soon spread upon the street, but it was very generally believed to be a canard, and did not prevent a very large crowd of people from going to the D. & R. G. station to meet the incoming train. It was a peaceable crowd, however, there being no excitement or tumult, and as they wended their way back into town after finding that the party were not on the train, there was nothing more than surprise and suspense depicted on their faces and their emotions in no case found expression in loud or angry words.

About the time the train arrived some of the friends of President Cannon in this city received a copy of the following dispatch which had been sent by A. E. Hyde from Blue Creek to R. J. Taylor, at Ogden:

President Cannon accidentally fell from the train at the Promontory. Not seriously hurt. I go back with Ireland on an engine, and will probably remain at the Promontory with Ireland, Greenman and Cannon until tomorrow’s passenger train comes east.

Since then the following was received:

Promontory, 2:26 p.m.,

Feb. 16, 1886.

Hon. John Q. Cannon:

Father slipped accidentally from the train at the Promontory and is badly bruised. Inform the folks, but don’t alarm them. F. J. Cannon.

Shortly afterwards the following copy of a dispatch received at Ogden, was also received:


R. J. Taylor:

Marshal Ireland is apprised that there is danger of a tumult in Ogden. This would be bad. Will arrive tomorrow morning.

Geo. Q. Cannon.

Who apprised him that there was any danger is not stated, but it was evidently a false alarm, for it would appear from the following dispatch, which was immediately returned in response to his, that the people of Ogden are as calm and peaceful as they are here:

Ogden, Feb. 16, 1886.

President George Q. Cannon:

Everything is quiet in Ogden. Tell Marshal Ireland there is no danger of any tumult here.

L. W. Shurtliff,

R. J. Taylor.

From the rumors afloat on the streets in this city, emanating from the Federal headquarters, there is an evident desire to work up a scare and by making it appear that there is danger of a general “Mormon” uprising, to secure the establishment of martial law or some other radical measure for the further oppression of the people. The truth of the matter is, that the Latter-day Saints are most wonderfully calm and self-possessed even for them, and they are noted for their coolness. A stranger who is here from Colorado to-day expressed surprise that the people could keep themselves so completely under control while in suspense, as they must be, owing to the danger which for several days past has surrounded one of their leaders to whom they are devotedly attached and for whom thousands of the people would at any moment lay down their lives if necessary.

The latest dispatch received by Mr. Dickson up to the time of our going to press was as follows:

Promontory, 11:46 a. m.

Cannon again in custody; somewhat bruised; nothing serious. Will advise you when we leave here.

E. A. Ireland.

[End of newspaper article]

17 February 1886 • Wednesday

[Newspaper article]

Wednesday • February 17, 1886


Another attempt at an anti-“Mormon” sensation was made on Tuesday evening, in sending a number of soldiers by train to the Promontory to aid in conveying President Geo Q. Cannon to this city. That there was not the slightest necessity for such a movement is well known to all men. That it was done for effect at a distance is thoroughly understood. It was a cheap and nasty bit of clap-trap, worthy only of the gang of conspirators that are engaged in brewing trouble for Utah to effect their own selfish ends.

Marshal Ireland disclaims having anything to do with the call for troops. If he saw no need for such help, why was the demand made except for the purpose of creating a sensation? Is it to be supposed that the miscreants who are continually trying to work up a conflict here intended this movement for the purpose of peace? Not at all. It was a menace, and the object was to irritate and anger the people so as to precipitate a row. If the people here had intended to rescue Geo. Q. Cannon from the officers, that band of soldiers would not have been a mouthful for them. But they had no such intention. None was expressed or hinted at. No prisoner has been rescued by the “Mormons” through all the persecutions and convictions that have taken place, nor was there the slightest excuse for supposing that any such thing would be attempted in this case.

The rumors of trouble in Ogden were also without foundation. It is said that they were worked up or reported by one Orlando W. Powers. The object of all this is easily perceived. It is disgraceful to its projectors. It may be said that it is harmless to the people who are thus maligned by implication. But this is not correct. The harm is done to their reputation abroad. The idea that troops were necessary to protect the civil officers from “Mormon” mobocracy is injurious to the people. It helps to swell the tide of popular animosity. It has its effect at Washington for the time being. The public are willing to believe anything against the “Mormons,” and the national authorities seem to possess as little cool and impartial judgment as the mob, when the “Mormons” are in question.

In view of all this, the sending of those soldiers was a paltry and devilish trick for a mean and sinister purpose. But the people here know better than to allow themselves to be provoked into a collision. They do not resist legal process. Everybody that knows their history understands this. They will meet legal wrongs with legal rights. They do not oppose lawful execution of the process of courts with violence. They have submitted to too many indignities when sanctioned by the forms of law to begin now to fight law by physical force. It requires no bravery to serve papers or make arrests in “Mormondom,” for there is no resistance. If officers only keep within legal limits they are as safe in taking prisoners as in badgering some defenseless woman and torturing her with shameful questions before a court or a grand jury.

The highhanded proceedings at the Promontory, when, according to the information furnished us, soldiers assumed command, surrounded the prison, ejected his friends and forced his removal against the pledged word of the Marshal, prompt the question, has the civil power in this Territory become subject to the military. Marshal Ireland appears to have given up his authority to the officer in command of the soldiers.

By what right was this outrage committed? If those troops were there by any legal authority it was as a posse to assist the United States Marshal. There was no need whatever for their employment. But even if it was considered prudent to have them with the Marshal for fear of a rescue — which was the only pretext for their presence—they were under direction of the Marshal not his dictators. And they had no legal right whatever to assume the position which they are said to have usurped. The officer in charge of the soldiers seems to have stepped a long way outside of the bounds of his authority and the Marshal to have played the poltroon in submitting to the indignity put upon him and upon his prisoner. He also broke faith with President Cannon on permitting his removal in his weak and wounded condition before the time he had agreed to allow him to remain at rest had expired.

We think this matter worthy of further inquiry. If the military are to supercede the civil authorities in executing civil process, it ought to be known and understood. If the course of the officer in charge of the soldiers was authorized by his superiors, the public ought to know it. If that officer exceeded his instructions, he should be properly reprimanded for his presumption. Marshal Ireland is in duty bound to show why he knuckled down to military dictation and rendered up his prisoner to soldiers for whom he had not sent and whose presence he acknowledged to be needless.

If the military are in future to run proceedings against individuals accused of offenses against the criminal law it is only fair to the public that it should be so proclaimed, lest resistance may [b]e offered against such aggression under the established understanding that the civil power is paramount and the military have no authority except in martial affairs.

The entire proceedings in this case are extraordinary. The reward, the heavy bonds put upon the family, the employment of the soldiery, and the unprecedented amount required for bail, all for a simple case of misdemeanor, are such as, in our opinion, were never known before in the history of criminal law, either in this country or in Europe.

President Cannon has the deep sympathy as well as the profound esteem and affection of many thousands of true hearts in Utah. But they know that he would not desire any lawless exhibition of that regard and that he would be the first to rebuke it if it was manifested. But there are wretches here who would like to see a tumult, because it would work in with their designs to obtain martial law or a Legislative Commission. We do not think the “Mormons” are going to gratify them. But if such an event should take place, we are of the opinion that they would not draw much lasting comfort from the effects of their provocation.

President Cannon is now under legal restraint. He must have a fair and legal trial, if such a thing is possible in Utah with prejudiced courts, packed juries and a malignant special, personal feeling against him, prompting all who take part in his prosecution. All other considerations than those tending to prove or indicate that he has committed an offense against the law should be banished from his case. He is not to be tried as one of the First Presidency, as an Apostle, as a prominent “Mormon” leader, as an able defender of doctrines held by the Latter-day Saints, nor in any other capacity than as a citizen charged with infraction of the Edmunds law. The inflammatory remarks of unprincipled journalists and the special measures against him, official or otherwise, are in the nature of persecution and spite, and are in conflict with the spirit of law and the requirements of justice.

The Latter-day Saints are required to still cultivate that forbearance and calmness which have governed them all through the present crusade. They have borne a great deal, they may have to bear a great deal more. But let the wrong come from their enemies. They should be careful to be in the right. It is only in the right that they can conquer. Their victory, which is as certain as the revolutions of the earth, will come on that ground. Truth only can vanquish error, righteousness only can subdue iniquity, and evil will have to be overcome with good. It is by righteousness that they will ultimately prevail.

While Satanic schemes and fiendish plots are being concocted by the wretched creatures who thirst for the blood and lust for the property of the Saints, and while cruel and unusual measures are adopted and encouraged, for the injury of men and women whose chief motive is to obey the will of God, it is gratifying to see the order, peace and patience of the people; and we hope that they will prove to God and angels and the world, that for the truth’s sake they are able to endure all things that they may be worthy to inherit all things.

[Newspaper article]

The Great Prisoner.

Brought to the City Under Military Guard.

[Handwritten:] Febr 17/86

Bailed Out in the Sum of $45,000.

his injuries.

At the time the News went to press last evening it was expected that President George Q. Cannon would be brought to the city on the regular morning train of the D. & R. G., but later in the evening it was learned that troops had been dispatched on a special train which left here over the U. C. Railway at 6:20 for the Promontory, when the suspicion became prevalent that the intention was to bring the prisoner to the city during the night. The arrangements for sending the troops were made so quietly that but few persons knew of the intention until they had started. Apostle John Henry Smith and a couple of newspaper reporters were the only civilians on the train with the exception of the train hands. After this special reached the Promontory[,] word was sent back here, however, that it would not start on the return journey until 4 o’clock this morning, and as it was expected that the journey would occupy nearly five hours, but few of those who knew of this arrangement were at the depot at 7:45, when THE TRAIN ARRIVED.

On reaching the depot the soldiers first alighted from the cars and fled along the platform as if there was apprehension of resistance, which, however, was an unnecessary precaution, for no such thing was contemplated by the prisoner’s friends.

Brother Cannon was placed in a hack, accompanied by Marshal Ireland and Deputy Greenman also ex-Mayor Sharp and F. J. Cannon, which was preceded by a carriage in which Mayor Armstrong and Marshal Phillips rode. They proceeded immediately to the Wasatch Building, where the prisoner ascended the stairs to the Marshal’s office with considerable difficulty, owing to his severe injuries, and was there allowed to recline upon a mattress upon the floor.

Judge Zane was immediately sent for and after awhile arrived, as did also Mr. Dickson, when NEGOTIATIONS AS TO BAIL were entered upon. Mr. Dickson asked that bail be fixed at $25,000, stating as his reasons for this extraordinary demand that the prisoner had attempted to bribe an officer at Winnemucca, and subsequently to escape from the custody of Marshal Ireland; also that he was a high Church dignitary and had an immense influence among the people.

F. S. Richard, Esq., attorney for the prisoner, argued against the demand for such excessive bail, saying that it was in violation of the Constitution, and amounted to an outrage.

Judge Zane, however, acted upon the suggestion of the District Attorney and named $25,000 as the amount, whereupon Mr. Richards raised his ire by remarking ironically that he might just as well say $100,000 or even $500,000 while he was about it, and explained that his reason for objecting to excessive bail was not from any inability to procure the security, but from principle.

Hons. John Sharp and Feramorz Little were accepted as the sureties after a rigid examination as to their financial fitness.

As soon as these bonds were filed TWO MORE WARRANTS issued by Commissioner E. B. Critchelow, on complaints made by Mr. Dickson, charging the prisoner with unlawfully cohabiting with his wives, were read to the prisoner by Deputy Smith, who got down upon his knees and whispered in his ear to do so.

The first of these covered a period from March 24, 1885, (the termination of the time covered by the indictment) to July, 1885, and the second from July 1, 1855, to Dec. 31, 1885.

Commissioner Critchelow names $10,000 as the bail required on each of these warrants, and Mayor Armstrong and Gen. H. S. Eldredge were accepted as sureties.

A request was then made by Marshal Phillips for President Cannon’s removal to some place where he could be cared for, but even this was not allowed until the bonds were filed three-quarters of an hour later. The prisoner was then conveyed in a hack to his home, where he will receive careful treatment and probably soon recover from his injuries.

We have taken care to obtain full particulars of the journey from Winnemucca to this city, and for this purpose interviewed Messrs. A. E. Hyde and F. J. Cannon.

Brother Hyde left this city on Sunday evening, on the same train which conveyed Marshal Ireland and Deputy Greenman northward, and from Ogden to Winnemucca they occupied the same sleeper.

They arrived at Winnemucca about 2 p. m. Monday and there met the eastward bound passenger train, on which they were to return ten minutes later. O. P. Arnold was met at the train ready to proceed on westward and on going into the hotel President Cannon was found in the custody of Sheriff Fellows with overcoat and hat on, all ready to start on THE RETURN JOURNEY. He was feeling and looking quite poorly, having been suffering from an attack of diabetes for some weeks. Marshal Ireland engaged a stateroom on the east-bound train for himself and his prisoner, and where Greenman and Fellows sat during the afternoon and until 11 p.m., engaged in conversation, after which the beds were made and the Marshal and President Cannon retired to rest. The latter, however, owing to his illness, was under the necessity of getting up every hour.

On reaching Lusine, which is located about on the State line[,] a westward bound train was met, and here Sheriff Fellows left the party and returned to his home.

Here also they were met by Mr. F. J. Cannon, who had run out from Ogden to meet his father, but did not see him owing to his having retired for the night. The Promontory was reached between 6 and 7 o’clock yesterday morning, and shortly after passing that station President Cannon had occasion to go [to] the closet, which was in the front end of the car of which he occupied the rear stateroom. On returning to the stateroom the air felt so oppressive that he opened the door and stepped out on the platform. Scarcely had he done so when a sudden lurch, probably caused by passing a curve on the track, threw him off his balance and, failing to catch the handrail, he FELL OFF THE TRAIN, alighting at full length on the frozen ground. The train was going at the rate of about 12 miles per hour and the fall was a severe one. His nose was broken, and a jagged gash about an inch and a half in length cut to the skull just above his left eye and extending through his eyebrow. The whole of the left side of his head was badly bruised and his face skinned. His left arm was hurt so badly as to disable it and his left thigh also severely bruised.

The prisoner was missed by Marshal Ireland almost as soon as he fell and a search was immediately instituted through all the train for him, which was kept up until a distance of about four miles had been traversed, when the train was stopped and Deputy Greenman got off and started back.

Mr. Hyde, who had up to this moment been kept in the dark as to what had occurred, asked a brakeman why Mr. Greenman was leaving the train. The reply was “You ought to know,” but on Mr. Hyde assuring him that he did not, he was informed that the prisoner was missing. The brakeman also stated that he saw him standing upon the platform of the car, and his opinion was that he had jumped off.

The run from that point to Blue Creek, the next station—10 miles east of the Promontory—was made in the midst of the deepest anxiety on the part of Marshal Ireland and the friends of the prisoner, the first evidently believing his prisoner had purposely attempted to escape, while the others were sure that he must have accidentally fallen off the train, and feared the worst results. That they were right in their conjecture was soon confirmed when a telegraphic dispatch from the Promontory was received, stating the Mr. Greenman had arrived there with the prisoner, who had accidentally fallen from the train.

Mr. Hyde remained at Blue Creek with the Marshal, but F. J. Cannon, in despair of not being able to obtain a conveyance at that station to return, continued on to Corinne, where he hired a horse and rode back.

Mr. Ireland found on telegraphing to the Promontory that an engine could be obtained there, and it was sent for. After waiting an hour and a half it arrived, and Messrs. Ireland, Hyde and two deputy marshals who had been sworn in at Blue Creek returned by it. On their ARRIVAL AT THE PROMONTORY they found the prisoner on a lounge in the hotel with his head bandaged, and Mr. Greenman waiting upon him.

Captain Greenman had found the prisoner wandering listlessly around, near where he had fallen, apparently in a dazed condition from the effects of his injuries, his overcoat and pants badly torn and almost covered with blood.

Mr. John W. Taylor, a correspondent of the San Francisco Chronicle, who resides in that vicinity and is largely interested in stock-raising, met them before they arrived at the Promontory station, accompanied them thither and afterwards did all he could both to relieve the suffering of President Cannon and to send a correct statement of the accident to this city and elsewhere.

No one there believed there had been any attempt at escape on the part of the prisoner, the manner of his alighting on the ground being conclusive proof that it was an accidental fall and not a leap for liberty as stated. It was evident too that if he had wanted to escape he had many better chances of doing so before, especially while coming slowly into the Promontory station and while darkness prevailed, instead of waiting for open daylight and then jumping off in a desert country, where there was no possibility of help.

It has been mentioned as a reason for the belief entertained by some that he did attempt to escape, that he had a quantity of bread and a half-pint flask of water in the pockets of his overcoat when found, but the presence of these is easily explained.

Fearing there might be an effort made on the journey to this city to exhibit him to the gaze of the curious at eating houses where stoppages were made for meals, he requested Mr. Arnold to purchase some bread for him before leaving Winnemucca, which he could eat in his stateroom, and save the necessity of leaving the train. This he had in his coat pocket, as anyone might have seen when he started. The small bottle of water was used in taking medicine, and he filled it on the train two or three times in the presence of Marshal Ireland.

Other proofs might also be cited of the absurdity of the plea that he attempted to escape.

From Mr. F. J. Cannon other particulars were obtained. Early in the evening they heard that SOLDIERS WERE COMING. This was discredited because Marshal Ireland had pledged his word that President Cannon would not be brought down earlier than this morning, as he was in a very critical condition. It had been rumored that he was to be taken down on the engine, and that Judge Powers had several times demanded that such an inhuman course should be followed. Marshal Ireland admitted that this would be infamous, and informed President Cannon’s attendants that if they would guarantee his safety to Salt Lake, he would not be moved. At 10:30 p.m., the troops arrived, and a demand was made that the return be made at once. The clamor for this became so loud, that Marshal Ireland was reminded of his promise. A surgeon—Dr, Carnahan—was telegraphed for from Ogden, and came up on the regular train. Dr. Potter came up with the troops, and the Marshal replied that it would depend on what the physicians said of Prest. Cannon’s condition as to what would be done. Finally it was arranged to wait until 4 a. m. before starting. President Cannon was carried to the special car sent—Hon. John Sharp’s car—and the whole party got aboard. Shortly after starting, Captain Penny and eight or ten soldiers entered the car in which the distinguished prisoner had been placed on a couch. These were stationed around him, and in various places in the car. The Marshal then ORDERED OUT all persons except the soldiers, deputies, and F. J. Cannon. A physician was to be allowed to enter when called for. As Ireland had agreed that President Cannon should not be annoyed by the presence of soldiers, and should be permitted to have his attendants with him, he was appealed to, and replied that Capt. Penny had charge of the train; that it was his work, and it was with difficulty F. J. Cannon had been allowed to stay. Captain Penny was applied to, and said another attendant could enter if Marshal Ireland would give his consent. When Ireland was again spoken to he reiterated that he had nothing to do with the train. With the military display everything was conducted as though it was a time of war and the troops were in an enemy’s country, nobody being allowed to go in or out of the car, except officers. The U.S. Marshal had YIELDED HIS AUTHORITY to a military company whose presence he said he had not requested, and for whom he claimed to have seen no necessity. Deputy Vandercook said Marshal Ireland had requested the troops, but this the latter denied. We have good reason to believe that Judge Powers was responsible for their presence there, and also that he used his utmost endeavor to have President Cannon brought to Ogden on the engine. After leaving Promontory, the car WINDOW BLINDS WERE TIGHTLY CLOSED, no one being permitted to look out, and the car from the outside presenting a dead appearance until it reached this city. President Cannon asked the Marshal if the MILITARY POWER HAD TAKEN PRECEDENCE over the civil, but received no satisfactory answer. When nearing Ogden F. J. Cannon attempted to go into the other car to send a message to his family in Ogden, that he was going on to Salt Lake. He was stopped by the soldiers, who finally allowed Mr. Whitney, of the Herald, to come and receive the message. Just before getting to Ogden the troops, about thirty in number, were ordered to LOAD THEIR GUNS, and did so. The ostentations demeanor of the troops gave the impression that they desired to convey an idea of their great power and importance. When leaving Promontory, it was with great difficulty that a few minutes’ delay was secured to obtain President Cannon something to eat, but at Ogden there was a delay of about half an hour, while the captain went to get a cup of coffee. Here everybody except the soldiers, officers, physicians and F. J. Cannon, were required to leave the train, which came on to this city.

[Newspaper article]

18 February 1886 • Thursday

[Handwritten:] Feb 18/86


The disreputable organ of Marshal Ireland makes a weak effort to poor pussy his surrender of authority to the military power, in the conveyance of President George Q. Cannon to this city. But the fact remains that an outrage was committed, which, if perpetrated upon anybody but a “Mormon,” would have aroused general indignation and called for a full investigation.

It is not denied that a number of soldiers, in charge of a captain and lieutenant, took the control of a prisoner who made no resistance, out of the hands of the United States Marshal, who quietly submitted and also broke faith with the prisoner, after promising that he should not be removed until a given time. If we are under martial law the fact ought to be proclaimed that the people may know it. If not, the action of Captain Penny was usurpation and a contempt of civil law, or the submission of Marshal Ireland to improper authority was both unlawful and contemptible.

If the officials here want the “Mormons” to respect the law, they must respect it themselves. Marshal Ireland not only declared that he did not call for the aid of troops, but that he considered their presence unnecessary. Who then is responsible for their employment? Report, pretty well authenticated, charges Orlando W. Powers with sending the word which occasioned the senseless military display. The only individual that appears in sight as calling for their help is the smirched deputy, whose single chance of escape from punishment for a filthy crime of the most bestial character, which witnesses claim he was seen to commit, was a legal quirk of which he was given the advantage. He is a sweet-scented dignitary to strut around and obtain the services of the soldiery, in a case where they were not needed, and were only a menace in one sense and a burlesque in the other!

The theatrical display of the military is discreditable to its projectors whoever they may be. One thing seems clear. It is not likely that troops would have been furnished without a requisition from the Governor. It would be strange if he interfered without a request from the Marshal. If the Marshal made the demand, then he lied when he denied it. If he made none, then the requirement was without reason and the responsibility falls on the Executive. From what has happened before, the public can reasonably conclude as to the present sensation. It is a disgrace to everybody engaged in it except the soldiers who had to act under orders.

[Newspaper article]

Thursday • February 18, 1886


The object of bail is to secure, without injustice, the attendance of a person accused of crime, and whose guilt has not been finally determined judicially. The Constitution of the United States provides that “excessive bail shall not be required.” The equity of this provision is self-evident. The very purpose of granting bail may be frustrated if excessive bail is demanded. And so long as the attendance of the defendant is assured beyond all reasonable doubt, no good purpose can be served by harassing and perplexing him to furnish bail beyond the amount necessary for that purpose. Anything more than that is oppressive, vindictive and unconstitutional.

The bail required of President George Q. Cannon to secure his attendance for trial, in a case of misdemeanor the full penalty for which is a fine of $300 and six months imprisonment, was $25,000. And by trebling the charge—one indictment being found and two cases pending for the same charge, under the anti-“Mormon” scheme called segregation, by which an offender can be punished any number of times for the same offense according to the whim or the spite of the Prosecuting officer—the bail required aggregated the enormous sum of $45,000!

This demand was resisted by Messrs. Richards and Rawlins of the attorneys for the defence, who showed that it was excessive and unprecedented. But District Attorney Dickson insisted upon the amount, and Judge Zane, of course, granted what that attorney demanded. Did Zane ever fail to dance to Dickson’s piping? Is it not popularly understood that Zane’s rulings are Dickson’s dictates.

But the question is, was the bail required excessive? Outside of the court officials and the clique who hound them on to extremities, we do not think there is a man who will not answer that question in the affirmative. To decide it, if any one is in doubt, let the amount be compared with the full penalty of the law. Let usage and precedent be called into the controversy. If there was ever an instance in the jurisprudence of this country that can be cited as a parallel, let it be produced. It cannot be done. If the demand was not vindictive in its spirit, oppressive in the nature and harassing in its purpose, then those adjectives have lost their settled meaning.

It may be argued that the amount of the bail does not signify, because the friends of the respected defendant would have furnished bonds in any sum that might have been named. The fact is true, but the reasoning is wrong. It does signify a great deal. It is the principle of the thing that we are after, and it is against that that we object. It is wrong and is another proof that in proceeding against the “Mormons,” neither constitutional restrictions nor common justice is permitted to stand in the way of harsh and unprecedented measures to annoy and perplex and punish without reason.

We have not the slightest doubt that if the law had not given President Cannon the absolute right to bail, it would have been refused altogether. We are satisfied from what we know of the proceedings, that, if the defendant had not stood upon his rights, the trial would have been hurried on in the most indecent manner considering his injuries and general condition of bodily health. Against such animosity and spite, which should never enter into a prosecution for any purpose, and particularly in such a paltry offense as charged against this defendant, we feel it our duty to protest.

The paltry attempt of the District Attorney to prejudice the court and the public against the defendant, by repeating a rumor as though it was a fact known to the Attorney, that the defendant had attempted to bribe an officer to release him, was all of a piece with the rest of the proceedings. It was highly improper and unprofessional, and no one knows that better than the official who let himself down to it, in his excessive zeal to please the enemies of the defendant. If the statement was true it had no place in the argument about bail, and being something the Attorney could not vouch for, was a piece of pettifogging unworthy of a government officer.

The “Mormons” are continually taunted about their want of respect for the law and the courts. The slur is undeserved, for, as a rule there are no people who are more submissive to the law than the Latter-day Saints. But in the administration of the law which some of them are accused of violating, has there been anything to win that respect which is so loudly called for? Spite, vindictiveness, shallow sophistry, rulings diametrically opposed to each other, shiftings of argument to suit different cases under the same law, an evident and unconcealed animus against the victims of the law, because of their faith in a creed obnoxious to the Court and its officers, treble indictments, extreme penalties, excessive bail, pure man imprisoned and filthy lechers set free, and other proofs of special action against one class of the community, render it impossible for the “Mormons” to feel that respect for this law and the officers who administer it, which some people rave about so loudly.

Show us something to command respect. Exhibit some dignity, consistency and fairness. Let us know what the law means, definitely, that we are required to obey. Give some evidences that virtue and decency are valued and that vice is not encouraged. Act so that we can see that desire for the public good and not religious bigotry and hatred of a powerful faith and a devoted people, animates the persons whom we are requested to honor, and perhaps there may be some change of sentiment among the masses of the “Mormons.” But while they see such exhibitions of spleen, such excess of authority, such personal animosity, such disregard of legal meaning and established precedents, such shifting, unstable, illogical and unparalleled proceedings as this whose crusade has developed, disgust will be mingled with just resentment, and scorn and indignation will drive out the last vestige of respect.

19 February 1886 • Friday

[Newspaper article]

Friday • February 19, 1886


The Marshal’s organ exerts itself vehemently to shelter him from the censure that falls upon him for the cowardly course he pursued in relation to the military usurpation in the Cannon case. It says that the statements about the soldiers in charge of a captain and lieutenant taking control of a prisoner out of the hands of a United States Marshal, etc., are “emphatically denied.” Well, who “emphatically denies” them? Does the Marshal utter the denial? If it is only the Tribune denial, it counts for exactly nothing.

The evidence is complete that the soldiers took charge of the prisoner, surrounded his couch, drove his friends out of the car, removed him before the time the Marshal had agreed upon, refused passage to the press reporters from Ogden to this city, and assumed entire control. Also that the Marshal, when appealed to, said he had nothing to do with it. He denied having sent for the troops, yet he yielded up his prisoner to their custody and had, or pretended to have, no more authority in the matter than a stranger. When asked by President Cannon if the military power had taken precedence of the civil, he would give no satisfactory answer.

Against the Tribune’s reckless denial we give the Tribune’s own account of the usurpation:

“A comfortable couch was arranged for the prisoner in the salon of Superintendent Sharp’s car, to which he was transferred just before the train started. The train was then TURNED OVER TO CAPTAIN PINNEY, who had absolute control and assumed the responsibility of landing the prisoner safely in Salt Lake, and for the remainder of the journey those on board were brought to a rather painful realization of the rigors of military regulations. All persons except the officers and Frank J. Cannon were excluded from the car in which the prisoner was confined and marched into the other coach, at each end of which a sergeant was stationed with orders to permit no one to enter or leave. Six soldiers then filed into the apartment in which Cannon was lying, and were stationed around him.”

The account goes on to describe the position of the gentleman in custody, bruised and disfigured, “whose terrified gaze met nothing but grim soldiers and loaded muskets.” Then follows an account of the refusal of the Captain to allow the reporters to proceed on the train, although they had passes from the railroad manager. It says: “Marshal Ireland declared his inability to help them,” and when on the request of the Marshal to the Captain to allow them to ride he at length consented.

“They were then marched into the car containing soldiers, and for the remainder of the journey were not allowed to leave the car or to speak to anyone outside.” What is all this but complete controll? The civil power was made subordinate to the military. Not only the prisoner was in custody of the soldiers, but the press reporters were made prisoners, and the Marshal, whom the Tribune claims did “at no time surrender possession of the prisoner, “repeatedly declared his inability to help them” and was as completely shorn of his authority as though his successor had been appointed and qualified.

If he had not yielded up his authority to the military why did he forfeit his pledged word to the prisoner that he should not be annoyed by the presence of soldiers and that he should not be removed till the morning express came in? Why did he declare repeatedly he had no power in the matter? Why did he allow soldiers to surround his prisoner and drive out those gentlemen who were allowed to be with him while the Marshal was in charge? It was a piece of poltroonery and unlawful surrender of the civil authority to the military, was an outrage on the prisoner and on the community, and is a disgrace to the officer that permitted it and knuckled down to it.

The soldiers acted under orders. We are not finding fault with them. The blame rests upon the Marshal to the extent that he squatted down and wilted in the presence of martial power, and chiefly upon the official who, for theatrical effect and with a desire to menace and malign the “Mormons” by implication, made that demand for the troops without which they would not have been provided, and which in any other community would have been the occasion for the prompt removal of the official that made it. All the wiggling in the world will not change the facts, and they ought to be presented in their true light at the seat of Government.

[Newspaper article]

[Handwritten:] Febr 19/86

“In the prosecution of George Q. Cannon, the head of the Mormons, the United States officials are making a ‘ten strike.” Hit him fair “on the quarter” and that will be the last of impudent Mormondom. There may be a few of the faith who will uphold its doctrines on the quiet, but with Cannon in jail there will be little open disregard of the law.”—Butte Miner.

Those who look for the prosecution of President George Q. Cannon to result in the downfall of “Mormonism” are doomed to disappointment. Its existence is not dependent upon any one man or quorum of men in the Church. It has survived a good many imaginary “deathblows” in the past, and will live in the future, to prove all those who predict its collapse false prophets.

George Q. Cannon is beyond doubt to-day the most potent power in the Mormon Church, and his arrest and punishment will do more to inspire the rank and file with a belief that the government is in earnest than any other event that could happen.—Butte Miner.

The action stated will not “inspire the rank and file” with any greater belief in the earnestness of the government than they at present possess. They believe the “government” is just as much in earnest as is the cowardly bully who abuses an inoffensive and weaker man to obtain the plaudits of the howling mob. But the “Mormons” also have a knowledge that the God of heaven has set His hand for the final establishment of His kingdom on the earth, and the subduing of all evil, and that He is in earnest, as His enemies will learn to their cost.

23 February 1886 • Tuesday

[Newspaper article]


District Attorney Dickson Assaulted by a 16-year-old Boy in the Continental Hotel—A Reprehensible Action.

[Handwritten:] Febr 23/86

The Boy and Some of his Companions Arrested for Conspiracy and Assault with Deadly Weapons.

Their Attorney also Charged with Conspiracy to Kill.


The Continental Hotel was the scene, just after 7 o’clock last evening, of a very unfortunate occurrence, and one which is deserving of and receives the unqualified censure of all classes of the people, being condemned by none more severely than by the “Mormons,” who, although the object of bitter hatred on the part of the assaulted official, yet have no word or feeling of excuse for this violation of law.

As far as the circumstances can be learned prior to a judicial investigation, they are, briefly, as follows: Mr. Dickson, accompanied by his wife and child, were walking along the corridor of the hotel, having just come from supper. When passing the news-stand Mr. Dickson observed two or three young men standing near, one of whom called to him. He turned, and having received an affirmative reply to his question as to whether they wished to see him, walked between two of them to the door. Just as they were going out, Mr. Dickson received one or two blows under the left eye, from one of the young men, when he sprang forward to seize his assailant, and caught Frank J. Cannon by the throat. Discovering that he had got the wrong person, Mr. Dickson asked, “Who was it that hit me?” Frank Cannon refused to tell who the assailant was, and the struggle was continued, considerable bad language being indulged in. At the same time, a few feet distant, Angus M. Cannon, Jr., and several others were engaged in a scuffle, and a large crowd quickly gathered. Mrs. Dickson, who remained in the passage way, was greatly excited, and screamed that her husband was being killed. On learning of his wife’s condition, Mr. Dickson went into the hotel, and Judge Powers arrested F. J. and A. M. Cannon, Jr., Policeman Smith afterward taking Frank into custody, and Young Angus being sent to the penitentiary. No weapons were found on any of the participants, except a pistol on Angus, who is in the habit of carrying the firearm.

Mr. Dickson, in company with Major Erb, who was a witness of the affair, and others, went to Dr. Hamilton’s and had his wounds dressed. The injury [i]s not by any means serious, there being but a slight discoloration under the left eye, apparently made by the blow of a fist.

A short time afterward Hugh Cannon, a slightly built youth of sixteen years of age, went to the City Hall and gave himself up as the party who did the striking, and he was kept in custody[.] The reasons given for the assault are facts that are well known to the public. Hugh Cannon is a son of President George Q. Cannon, whose wife, Martha T., was plied with insulting and indecent questions by Mr. Dickson, when she was before the grand jury as a witness, last week, and the occurrence seems to be a result of Mr. Dickson’s conduct on that occasion which was considered as a gross insult to the lady.

It is said, and probably true, that Angus and Frank J. Cannon were somewhat under the influence of liquor, but that Hugh was perfectly sober, not being addicted to any bad habits.

This morning the case was called up in Justice Pyper’s court, and the trial of the defendants, on a charge of assault and battery, set for 10 a. m. tomorrow, bail being fixed at $200. We will here remark that in cases of assault and battery it has been customary to admit the accused to bail in from $10 to $75, but on this occasion, from the nature of the occurrence, the amount was increased.

Whiles this proceeding was going on in court, Marshal Ireland and Deputies Franks, Smith and Mix, were hovering around the hallway of the City Hall, and as soon as Frank J. Cannon was released on bail, arrested him on charges of assault with intent to do bodily injury and conspiracy with intent to kill Wm. H. Dickson. Bondsmen were not found for Hugh Cannon, who remained in the City Marshal’s custody. Mr. Kenner moved to discharge the accused, as they were wanted on a higher charge by the U. S. Marshal, but Judge Pyper very properly refused the application, and stated that the City Marshal had no right to release a prisoner when remanded to custody in default o[n] bail.

The next move on the part of Marshal Ireland was to call Mr. Kenner, who had been retained as attorney by the defendants, aside, and serve upon him a warrant of arrest for conspiracy. This new dodge on the part of the District Attorney looks as though a determination had been arrived at to punish attorneys who venture to act as counsel for one whom Mr. Dickson deems it proper to prosecute.

Messrs. F. J. Cannon and S. A. Kenner were then taken to the Marshal’s office, where was also Angus M. Cannon Jr., who had been brought in from the penitentiary. Commissioner E. B. Critchelow was sent for, and the first complaint, dated Feb. 22, was read, charging Frank Cannon, Angus Cannon, Jr., and John Doe Cannon, with having feloniously assaulted Wm. H. Dickson with a deadly weapon, with intent to do bodily harm. The second complaint, dated February 23d, and signed by Marshal Ireland, alleges that “Frank Cannon, Angus Cannon, Jr., Hugh Cannon and S. A. Kenner, of Salt Lake City, in the county of Salt Lake, on the 22d of February, 1886, at Salt Lake City, in the county of Utah Territory aforesaid, wickedly and maliciously did conspire and confederate together, feloniously, wilfully, and of their malice aforethought, to kill and murder one Wm. H. Dickson.”

Mr. Dickson stated that he desired to get back into the court room, and suggested that bail be fixed at $1,500 on each charge. He then left the marshal’s office. Mr. F. J. Cannon protested against the amount and insisted that $1,000 on each count, or 2,000 in all was ample. Mr. Denny, in behalf of Mr. Kenner, also asked that bail be reduced to $1,000. It was evident, however, that the Commissioner did not dare to change the figure named by the District Attorney, and so fixed the bail at the amount suggested. Mr. Kenner also requested an immediate examination, but this the Commissioner refused, saying he didn’t have time, and no date was set for the hearing.

The proceedings connected with this lamentable occurrence are most remarkable. There is no doubt an intention to work it for all it is worth against the “Mormon” people, who are not in any way responsible for it, and strongly deprecate such methods for wreaking vengeance. The teachings of all their leading men, especially prominent among whom in this respect is President George Q. Cannon, is to rather suffer the gross indignities heaped upon them by their relentless persecutors, than to in any instance seek to obtain revenge by illegal methods. And while the feelings of many of the younger people have been worked up to a high pitch by anti-“Mormon” outrages and the false and villainous utterance of libidinous newspapers whose vile presence would not be tolerated in any other community, there is no desire among any considerable portion of the “Mormons” to resist their oppressors by any other than legal means. This feeling is general among the Latter-day Saints to suffer wrong rather than do wrong. But an example of the intense hatred and bitterness in the hearts of the anti-“Mormon” element is presented in the fact of the charges preferred against those accused of being concerned in the assault on the District Attorney, when, in reality, the offense is at the most an assault and battery, which is punishable under the Territorial law by a severe penalty. The claims of “assault with a deadly weapon,” and conspiracy “with intent to kill,” are so transparent that we wonder that even Mr. Dickson could stoop to pursue the course that is being followed.

[End of newspaper article]

27 February 1886 • Saturday

[Newspaper article]


[In pencil:] Febr 27/86

Prest. Cannon Waives Examination.—This afternoon Commissioner Critchelow paid a visit to President George Q. Cannon, at his residence. The preliminary examination of the charges against President Cannon was waived, and the bonds of $10,000 on each charge renewed with the same sureties, conditioned that he would meet whatever bill should be presented in connection with the complaints of unlawful cohabitation, in the Third District Court.

[End of newspaper article]

This is a most extraordinary proceeding and shows how eager they are to get possession of myself, whom they clothe with a great many imaginary qualities, and whose capture, they think, would be sure to effect a change in the attitude of the Church in regard to plural marriage. These hopes are most fallacious; still they entertain them, apparently, and act upon them. It is a most unprecedented <proceeding> to offer a reward of $50000/ to any one who will give information which will lead to the arrest of a man whose only charge is a misdemeanor. Unlawful cohabitation is a misdemeanor, and the utmost penalty upon conviction is six months confinement in the penitentiary and a $30000/ fine. I do not believe that another case can be found like it in the history of jurisprudence either in this country or in England — that such a sum should be offered for the discovery of an offender whose offense is of so trifling a character.

My health had improved somewhat.

On Tuesday night I revolved in my mind the danger to which President Taylor was exposed by my being with him now that a reward was offered for my discovery. It would set a good many human bloodhounds upon my track, and give them an incentive for hunting me out that they did not have previously. I rose with the feeling that it perhaps would be better for me to separate myself — at least in part — from President Taylor, so that I should not, by my presence, endanger him. After breakfast Prest. Taylor expressed a wish to converse with me in private and he seemed to have had the same thoughts and expressed the wish that if my health would permit of it he thought the best move now to be made would be for me to go to Mexico and attend to the closing of the contract there (which Bro. Macdonald had intimated was ready to be closed) for the land that had been selected by our people as suitable and had been offered to them by Messrs. Campo & Co. It was desirable that this contract should be closed immediately and somebody go with the money, and there had been talk for some little time of Bro. Erastus Snow, and perhaps Bro. Moses Thatcher, going to the City of Mexico for that purpose. President Taylor thought that myself and Bro. Snow should go. I then told him what my feeling had been upon the subject. Of course, his anxiety for me to go was not on his own account, but was on account of myself. He was desirous that I should not be exposed to capture by our enemies. He had some question in his mind as to my health, whether it would permit of me going. I told him I thought I was sufficiently strong to endure such a journey. He was very desirous that whatever was done should be done promptly, as Brother Macdonald was waiting at the City of Mexico for the money. Bro. Snow was sent for, and the matter was fully explained to him. We determined to get away immediately and to go by way of the Central Pacific Railroad. Bro. Snow suggested that we go down by rail to Milford, and then through the settlements to St. George, from which point we might proceed to the nearest station on the Atlantic and Pacific Railway, which he thought we might do with perfect safety, the only objection being the time that would be consumed in traveling overland with team. This proposition did not strike President Taylor favorably, as he feared my health would not permit of such a journey, and the suggestion was therefore dismissed. I made my preparations and in the evening I bade President Taylor and the other brethren farewell. I went to my house and spent some time with my family in arranging my affairs and getting my clothes, &c, ready, and then went to my son John Q’s to spend the remainder of the night, accompanied by my wife Emily. Bro. Arthur Winter came down the next morning <(Friday, Febro. 11th)> and I dictated to him a number of letters in answer to correspondence that had accumulated on my hands during my illness. John Q. came down with a close[d] carriage between 11 and 12 a.m. and he took me to a box car that was run down on the track in an unfrequented part of the City and with his assistance I climbed in. To my surprise I found Bro. Orson P. Arnold inside in charge of the car. The doors were closed and we remained there for some time until the engine backed down from the depot and took us up. We were connected with the freight train going North, and after we had proceeded some distance on our journey a note was handed me through a crevice in the car, stating that I would be more comfortable in the caboose and they would stop the train at a point when a change could be made without being noticed. I assented to this arrangement and got into the caboose, where I found Bro. Erastus Snow. We proceeded to within a mile or two of Ogden and were met there by Bro. Stevens, Sheriff of the County, and Bro. [blank] Shurtliff, a brother of Prest. Shurtliff. In his carriage we were taken to Harrisville, where we got dinner at the residence of Bp. Peregrine Taylor, who, with his family, was exceedingly glad to see us and made us very welcome.

Bro. Orson Arnold expressed a desire to accompany me to California, to which I assented. He did not ride with us in the team, but went into Ogden on the train, where he and Bro. Samuel Hill arranged for tickets, sleeping berth, &c. We were to get on the train at Willard Station and Bro. Shurtliff drove us there, but upon reaching there Bros. Hill and Arnold got off the train and told us that they had failed in securing a parlor car and had thought it better to wait till the next train the next evening. We then drove back to Willard and found Bro. Chas. W. Hubbard, who entertained Bros. <Erastus Snow,> Arnold and myself, the rest of the party returning to Harrisville. We had been accompanied from Harrisville by a son of Bp. Taylors, who was of considerable assistance to us. We remained at Bro. Hubbard’s through the night and the next day sent a message to Bro. Lorenzo Snow, who came down and spent some time with us very agreeably. We were delighted to see him, and especially to see him in such good spirits. He was accompanied by his wife Minnie. In the evening we again repaired to the train and got on board and into the parlor car. It seems that we were known to be on the train from the time we left the Utah Central depot. Unwise brethren had talked about my departure and it had spread from one to another, until by some means it had reached the ears of Marshal Ireland. Parties on the train, suspecting from the mysterious character of the movements that there was something going on, had taken pains to watch, and, as I have since learned, one or two found out that I was aboard. A brakeman on the train is said to have made the discovery and to have spoken about the reward, as though he would like to get it. At present writing I do not know whether he was the one who communicated with Ireland or not; but someone sent him a dispatch that I was in the State room on such a car and on such a train.

On the morning of Saturday Bro. Hill came to us and told us that the Conductor knew I was aboard and had told him so, but that he was a true man and would not communicate it. I felt from that moment that my safety was very questionable; but there was no chance of getting off the train without discovery and pursuit, and I felt like going ahead. When we reached Winnemuca a man came to the State room and knocked for admission. It was opened. He said he had received a telegram from Marshal Ireland that George Q. Cannon was in that state room and that he was instructed to arrest him. He was not able to identify me, and as none of us would acknowledge that we were Geo. Q. Cannon, he was somewhat baffled. He came several times and said that he would have to arrest the whole party and take us all if he could not find Geo. Q. Cannon himself. He talked with persons on the train and found the ex-Senator Stewart, of Nevada, was aboard. He succeeding in inducing Mr. Stewart to come to the State room and to see if he could identify me, Stewart and myself having been very intimate while in Congress together. Mr Stewart came and looked over the party, I sitting in one of the corners, and he said to the Sheriff, “I don’t see Geo. Q. Cannon here; none of these gentlemen that I recognize as Geo. Q. Cannon”— and he went away. During this time the train had been speeding on its way. A Mr Armstrong, of Ogden, told the Sheriff that he knew me, and the Sheriff brought him to the State room. He looked at me and identified me as George Q. Cannon. He then went to Bro. D. H. Peery, who was on the train, and got him to come to the State room and see whether he could recognize me. Pointing directly at me, he asked Bro. Peery if I was not Geo. Q. Cannon. He replied that I looked a little like him; he would not be certain though that I was the person, for my appearance was changed; but he acknowledged that I did look like Geo. Q. Cannon, and said that before he could be certain about it he wanted to talk with me a little.

I may remark here that afterwards the Sheriff told several parties that he knew in a moment when Bro. Peery looked at me that I was the person, and that it was Bro. Peery who had given me away. I suppose it was the look that he gave me—and probably which I returned—that caused him to come to that conclusion. He attempted to put handcuffs on me. I told him he must not do that. Well, then, he said, I must go with him. He then went out and came in with another man and said he must take me away, by force if necessary. Finding it was useless any longer to evade arrest, I put on my overcoat, took my valise, bade the brethren good-by, and went out with him. There was a freight train going back to Winnemuca, and Bro. Arnold and myself (he having accompanied me, leaving Bro. Hill to continue the journey with Bro. Snow) got on the freight train with the Sheriff and were taken back to Winnemuca. We put up at the Lafayette House. I had a comfortable room assigned me and a deputy Sheriff by the name of Nofsinger, took charge of me and slept in an adjoining room. He had a hard looking face, and looked as though he might have lived the life of a cowboy. In fact, the Sheriff himself was anything but an inviting specimen of humanity.

I slept but little that night, there being so much to think about. The next day I received a dispatch from Bro. F. S. Richards, informing me of certain rights which I had and that I could give bail. This dispatch was received just before I had concluded to go on with the Sheriff as far as the Utah line, where we would meet the westward bound train with Marshal Ireland and some [1–2 words concealed by pasted newspaper] aboard, who could then take me on, and we had made every arrangement to go about one o’clock on Sunday. When I found that an effort was being made to get bail for me, which would relieve me from the necessity of going in the custody of officers, the afternoon and evening was spent in trying to arrange for this bail; but owing to one circumstance and another, the arrangement was not made, and finding that Ireland and his deputy, Greenman, had started, I concluded it was unnecessary to try to give bail, but to go back with them. When the train arrived at one o’clock, on Monday, 15th, it brought Marshal Ireland and Deputy Greenman and two brethren—Bros. Alonzo E. Hyde and Samuel Russell. Lest Orson P. Arnold should be interfered with I urged him to get on board the westward bound train as soon as it arrived, to push for the West and not stop to accompany me. I was fearful lest there might be some disposition to interfere with him because of the aid he had rendered me. He did so, and passed on westward.

We got on the train going East, the Sheriff accompanying us until we met, during the night, the westward bound train, when he changed and returned. I got a whisper from Bro. Hyde to the effect that there was a plan formed by the brethren at Salt Lake, upon their receiving information through a cipher telegram as to the number of the party that had me in custody, to stop the train and rescue me. I did not have an opportunity of learning the particulars of this business; but the more I thought about it, the more serious it grew in my mind, and I felt that this must not be. To stop a mail train on the road and go through it, as highwaymen do, making the passengers hold up their hands and taking me from out of the custody of the officers, was a very bold and dangerous undertaking, and it would seriously involve the men who would engage in it. As far as I myself was concerned, I did not care, because I was in as bad a position, almost, as I could be put in, unless I committed some graver crime; but for a number of brethren to put themselves in a position where they would have to become outlaws, if a discovery were made as to who they were, I felt was more than I ought to permit to be done in my behalf. If I could have taken all the risk and borne all the blame of any transaction of that kind, I would not have felt about it as I did. As the train sped along those thoughts became stronger and stronger in my mind and how this could be prevented was the question that puzzled me. I had no opportunity of communicating with the brethren who intended to make this attack, and I came to the conclusion that I would get off the train, and that, as soon as it became known, would prevent the contemplated attack. I could have got off the train at any station after leaving Winnemuca had there been help outside to have assisted me in escaping; for there was at not any time that I did not have full liberty to move about the car and to go to the water closet. During the night I passed out of the parlor car <state room> several times where Marshal Ireland and myself were, without interference, though he was awake each time but the last, and I had to open the door close to his head. He supposed, however, that my condition was such as to require me to use the water closet frequently and had no suspicion, I therefore could, had I chosen to do so, got off at any point along the route. I watched through the night to see if there were any friends outside who could assist me, but saw nothing to give me encouragement. I thought at first that I would get off at Kelton, thinking that perhaps if I were fortunate enough to get off unperceived, I might make my way to Grouse Creek; but in reflecting upon this, I was not in a condition to travel very far on foot; Grouse Creek was 30 miles distant; I did not know the road, and I knew that as soon as my escape was known, the whole country would be aroused in pursuit; so I dismissed that as impracticable. The next station was a telegraph station; so was the next, and so was the next. Promontory seemed to me the only place, and the last place, for me to get off, if I got off at all. It was hopeless to think that I could escape in such a country.

As we neared Promontory, I saw the light dawn in the East, and I knew that if I got off at all I must do so at that place, or give it up. I debated in my own mind whether I should or not, and the thought of having the train stopped seemed to me so overpowering that I could not resist the inclination to get away. When the train started out from Promontory it went very slowly. I went to the end of the car at which I expected to get off and found the door locked. I went to the other end and found the porter and the brakeman there. I waited till they got out of the way, the train by this time being under full headway, and was pitched off the platform while looking out, falling at the side of the track in a dazed and badly wounded condition. The left side of my face and head had struck the ground, and my left arm and left side and right knee had struck the frozen and gravelly ground and were much hurt. I was also very much shaken up. I found that my cheek, under my eye, was dreadfully swollen and bleeding, and that there was a great cut in my eyebrow immediately above the eye. I feared at first that the skull might have been injured. It bled so profusely, there being an artery cut. The side of my nose, also, was displaced and my cheek very much swollen. I opened my eye to see whether my sight was injured and found it was not. I proceeded on the track for some distance and was met by Marshal Greenman, who came back, and with him I returned to the house at Promontory, where I bathed my wounds, and the lady of the house, Mrs Sturtevant, applied fresh beef to my face during the day. Bro. Hyde came back, also the Marshal, with one or two men that he had picked up as deputies, and also my son Franklin, who had got on the train when we met the westward bound train. They pitied me very much, expressing a great deal of sympathy at my condition, and the Marshal appeared very much agitated; for he felt that if anything happened to me, the people of Utah would hold him responsible. I learned from Bro. Hyde that it was at the Promontory that he expected to have been joined by the party who intended to effect the rescue; but by some means he had heard nothing of them and did not know what had occurred. I learned, also, that my sons Abraham and Frank had arranged to have the train met at Corinne, and their plan had failed. What the causes of the failure of these plans were I was left to conjecture. My conclusion was that President Taylor had learned of them and that he had interposed objections. This caused me to feel more resigned to my fate, as I thought, perhaps, he (Prest. T.) might feel unwilling to have anything done that would look like evading the processes of the law. My son Frank found parties here who would have assisted in my rescue even then, and there would have been no trouble in escaping, for we were left with no one to watch [one word concealed by pasted newspaper] excepting Deputy Marshal Greenman, and he could have been evaded very easily; but upon the plan being mentioned to me I could not consent to it, for the reason that all who would engage in it would have to be outlaws, Bro. Hyde and my son Frank especially, and others who might be discovered. I think I could have escaped with but little or no trouble, excepting that which might have arisen from my wounds, but I preferred to not do so. Ireland was afraid, from dispatches he had received, that there might be some tumult at Ogden when we reached there, and begged me to send a dispatch to quiet anything of the kind. I did so. It was signed also by Bro. Alonzo E. Hyde. And Bro. Shurtliff telegraphed back that I could assure the Marshal that there would be no disturbance and everything would be quiet. Judge Powers, I learned, was eager to have troops sent out and also to have me brought in on a special train. Ireland received dispatches to the effect that the military had started with Vandercook <a deputy marshal;> but as he had given me assurances that there was no necessity for troops and he should not ask for them, what I had done being sufficient to quiet all apprehension, he felt reluctant to inform me of the fact that troops had started. I learned, however, from another source, that they had. Afterwards, Bro. Alonzo E. Hyde received a dispatch asking him when the troops were going to arrive, which he read in the presence of Ireland, who appeared greatly embarrassed. He said he had received a dispatch that they were on the way and he did not know how to break it to me, for it had the appearance of double dealing. I told him it certainly did have that appearance and I should not have signed [approx. 4 words concealed by pasted newspaper] as I did if I had thought that troops were going to be sent out. He assured me, on his word of honor as a man, that he had nothing to do with the sending of the troops; that it was some other person. I asked him who had taken that liberty. He said he did not know. I told him that he would confer a great favor on me if he would not allow deputy Marshal Vandercook to come near me; he was a man whom I did not know and whom I did not wish to know. He said that he would not permit him to come near me.

When the troops arrived they were accompanied by a Dr Patter, who had rendered himself quite officious on other occasions against us, and whose presence, I thought, indicated an anxiety to learn as to my true condition, with the views of forcing me to a speedy trial if it could be done. My son Frank had telegraphed for Dr Carnahan, of Ogden, to come up, and he also came up on the train. After the arrival of the troops they were exceedingly anxious to go back immediately with a special train. Ireland had promised me before this that he would wait upon my pleasure, and it had been arranged that if my condition would permit I should return with the regular train in the morning. He came to me very much embarrassed and said the officers were exceedingly desirous to return immediately; the men had nothing to eat and had no place to sleep. I told him that I could not possibly consent to be moved; that I should be landed in Salt Lake City between 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning; no one would know of my arrival; I would have no conveyance, and I thought it exceedingly improper, especially after the promise which he had made to me. I told him, further, that it was not my fault that the troops were here; it was a difficulty of their own creation, and I should insist on remaining. Considerable discussion was had and Ireland, who is a weak man, was under considerable embarrassment. Potter, however, suggested a plan—that the train remain until about 5 o’clock in the morning and that we then proceed on our journey, which would bring us to Salt Lake City about eight. They came to me and asked me how this would suit me. I told them that I had no objection if I could get some sleep in the interim, because it would then be daylight and it would not be so inconvenient. So this was agreed upon. Carnahan and Potter sewed up my eye. They had only iron wire to do it with, having no silk and no silver that was small enough. They thought I bore it very well under the circumstances. They pressed me afterwards to take some <an> anodyne, but I demurred for some time. Finally, Carnahan had a long talk with me and I consented to take a light hypodermic injection of morphine and atropia. I had not slept for two or three nights and the sleep which this gave me was very welcome. When the time for starting arrived, I was assisted to dress and helped into the car, but I became very faint and with difficulty restrained an inclination to vomit. A couch was prepared in Bp. John Sharp’s private car, which had been sent up for my accommodation, and I was laid upon it. Marshal Ireland had promised that my son Franklin and Bro. Alonzo E. Hyde should accompany me down. After I had been in the car a little while, Bro. Hyde came to me and told me that he was ordered out and that no one was to be permitted to be in the car with me except my son Franklin. I asked him to send Mr Ireland to me. I asked the latter how this had occurred, and told him that he had promised me that Bro. Hyde should be with me. He made a number of excuses and said that the train was in charge of the military; that the Captain had given the order and he could not countermand it and begged me to excuse him for not keeping his promise. I asked him, “Was I in charge of the military and had I been transferred from his keeping, and was the civil power subordinated to the military.” He said, No, No; but the captain was responsible for the safety of the train. Everything was conducted in the strictest military style. Guards were placed around my couch, and at each door, with loaded guns, and the officer, in the most peremptory manner, gave orders that no one was to be admitted in or out of the car without his permission. And thus we proceeded on our journey. Had I been a conquered potentate or general, or the head of some great rebellion, I could not have been guarded with greater strictness. I suppose the intention was, in thus acting, to show the country what a terrible people the “Mormons” are, and to impress them with the importance of the capture that had been made in my person. Yet in doing this, and trying to belittle us, they were really adding dignity to me and to our people. This is the way I felt. There was an amusing side to this affair that, as I lay on the couch, I could not help contemplating. It seemed to me extremely ridiculous that I should be treated in the manner that I was by this military force—a wounded, helpless prisoner surrounded by guards, as though he were some terrible creature whose capture had been effected at great trouble and expense, and whose escape would be attended with most terrible consequences; and yet all with which I stood charged was a simple misdemeanor.

Upon reaching Salt Lake City, there were great crowds on the platform. I was assisted into a carriage and carried to the Marshal’s Office, where another crowd had assembled. I was assisted up the stairs, the effort to climb which caused me to feel very faint and I had to be laid down on a mattress in the Marshal’s Office to prevent me from fainting. For two hours I lay there surrounded by visitors who came in to see me and Federal officials, who stood or sat at a little distance from me. The scene was a dramatic one and worthy of representation on canvass. I lay there with my face bruised and partly covered, and I never felt better in my life than I did on that occasion, full of courage and hope, and spoke in that manner to all my brethren who came to see me. Bro. Franklin S. Richards met me and conversed with me respecting the bond. He said that the intention was to ask a bond of $70,00000/. We thought it better to give the bond and then afterwards for me to surrender myself and take an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States for a writ of Habeus Corpus. But instead of asking $70,00000/, they asked $25,00000/ for my appearance to answer to the indictments which had been found against me, and $10,00000/ to answer to two complaints before the Commissioners, which had been made against me, for unlawful cohabitation, in each case. This made a bond of $45,00000/ for three misdemeanors which, if a verdict of guilty were returned against me upon trial, would subject me, if the full penalty were enforced, to eighteen months imprisonment and $90000/ fine. I told Bro. Richards that they might argue against the amount of the bond, and he and Mr Rawlins did make an argument against it as being excessive and in violation of the Constitution of the United States. Dickson made his argument, and Zane decided that the bail was not excessive. All this was done in the room where I lay. When the amount of the bonds was decided upon I told Bro. Richards that he must insist on having one month and that if they would not grant that, I would not give any bonds—they could take charge of me. Dickson demurred and thought two weeks sufficient; but upon learning that I would not give any bond unless I could have one month, he submitted to it. Bros. John Sharp and Feramorz Little signed my bond for the $25,00000/, and Frank Armstrong and Horace Eldredge signed the other two bonds.

Some of my children visited me while I was lying there and I learned that my wives and children were then before the Grand Jury; that my wife Martha was held for contempt, and unless she answered certain questions that had been propounded to her before the Grand Jury, she would be sent this morning to the Penitentiary. I told Bro. Richards to say to her not to put herself in contempt, but to answer their questions. She had been on the rack for three days and had not slept, and her condition was pitiable and ought to have moved the hearts of savages. But those men are dead to every human sympathy; they are as pitiless as the most abandoned and wicked pirates, and seem to take delight in the torture which they inflict upon women and children.

After the bonds were arranged, I was assisted down to the door, where a carriage had been provided in which I could recline. A number of the brethren accompanied me to my home. Dr Anderson had examined me and had helped Bro. F. S. Richards to obtain the space of a month before I should be arraigned. He came down home with me and examined me to see how much I had been injured. He was very kind, as were all the brethren, everyone manifesting the utmost sympathy. I am told that the feeling throughout the entire Territory has been most intense, and I was deeply touched with the evidence of affection that I received and the great interest that was taken in my case. I was prompted to ask myself, “What am I, or what is my father’s house, that I should have the love and esteem manifested towards me as have been exhibited by the Latter-day Saints?” It seems that an impression had prevailed that someone also had been arrested in my stead and that I had escaped, and the community had hung in suspense between hope and fear from the first reception of the news of my arrest to almost up to my arrival in the city. My own family refused to believe that it was me until they were assured by my son Abraham that he had seen me. I am told that many people could not eat, nor sleep, nor work, they were so agitated, and tears were shed by great numbers for my fate.

From the time of my reaching home up to the present writing (Saturday, Feby 27th), I have remained in my house, most of the time unable to sit up. Streams of visitors have called upon me; and the expressions of sympathy and kindness and love have been so numerous that I have been deeply touched and cannot express the feelings that I entertain towards my brethren and sisters for these evidences of affection. It has been my great aim through my life to do the will of God; that has been my highest pleasure. I feel the same desire now that I ever felt in this direction. I pray earnestly that I may be willing to do God’s will and to submit to everything which He may consider necessary. If it be in His providence wise for me to go to prison and to remain there as long as our enemies would like to have me, I ask for strength and grace to bear up, knowing that He can make even a prison a place of happiness and peace for the prisoner. I am satisfied that everything will be overruled for good. I have no regrets to indulge in; for I have done the best I could; I have sought His guidance constantly in every move that I have taken, and I cannot repine. What has happened he understands, and I am sure it will be controlled for His glory and my salvation.

Saturday February 27th 1886

Commissioner Critchelow accompanied by Attorney Franklin S. Richards and my two sureties, Bros H. S. Eldredge and Francis Armstrong, came down to my house. I had to appear before the Commissioner to waive examination and renew my bonds to answer to charges against me on the seventeenth of March. Hearing I was not very well he came down, which was more agreeable to me than to go to town and have exitement over my appearance. They all took some refreshments, cake and cliny[?] <dixie> wine. My wife Emily also visited me this afternoon. I took the plasters of <from> my nose and got ready to go to the City to visit President Taylor. My son, John Q, sent the carriage for me in which I went to the Tithing Office yard where I found Br. Alf. Solomon with his vehicle, who took me to his residence. My meeting with President Taylor was very affecting to both of us, and we embraced and kissed each other. We spent the evening conversing over the events that had taken place and the present situation. I had earnestly prayed that he might be led by the Lord to give me counsel as to the proper course to pursue. My mind is made up to go to prison; there seems to be no other way and President Taylor in our conversation this evening seems to have the same view.

Bros. L. J. Nuttall and C. H. Wilcken are strong in their protestations against my going to prison; they seem to feel clear that this should not be. Arrangements were made for me to stay all night.

28 February 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, February 28/86

President Taylor had a revelation during the night as to the course to pursue. He said that in thinking over the situation it came to him like a flash of lightning and it was told him <how> to arrange my affairs. He was so pleased and thankful that he arose from his bed, knelt down and thanked the Lord for this communication. His plan would involve neither the Church nor individual members in any expence on my account. About two and one half years ago the Lord gave him certain manifestations respecting investments that should be made for the purpose of creating a fund which should be under his sole and entire control, apart from the tithing, and concerning the expenditure of it <which> he would not have to consult anyone. Upon the strength of these manifestations we had purchased an interest in the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Company, and he now felt that the shares which we had set apart at the time of the purchase, out of which to create the fund, could now be used with perfect propriety. He had been offered twice as much as he had paid for it, and therefore felt that there would be no difficulty in raising the sum necessary to meet any obligations that others might be under on my account. I was greatly pleased at receiving this communication from him, for I felt, that it was an answer to my prayer. We had meeting in the afternoon and partook of the sacrament. Besides President Taylor and myself there were present, Elders Nuttall, Wilcken, Bateman and son, Barrell and the Solomon family and his brother James and wife. We had a very agreeable and interesting meeting. In the evening Bro. Alf Solomon took me to Bro. Stephen Mark’s where I found my wife Emily.

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February 1886, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed March 3, 2024 https://production.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1880s/1886/02-1886