May 1886

1 May 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, May 1/86 Attended to correspondence as usual. Wrote a letter to Bro. F. D. Ri correspondence hards informing him that we had received no reply to our letter written to Bro. Angell, the architect, respecting changes he has made and requesting Bro. Richards to see him, and if the explanation is not satisfactory to him to have stone laying on the western tower stopped until we could <can> be better informed respecting the work.

2 May 1886 • Sunday

Sunday May 2/86 Held our regular meeting in the afternoon. Bro. Nuttall having charge and Bros. Wilcken and Bateman administered the sacrament. Bros. Nuttall, Bateman, White and his son David, myself and President Taylor spoke in the meeting. We spent the evening with the family down stairs and enjoyed the visit.

3 May 1886 • Monday

Monday, May 3/86 We received a letter to day from the Architect of the Temple Br. T. O. Angell, accompanied by some plans of the temple. We found that two elliptical windows had been omitted in the north-western and south-western towers which appeared in the original design of the building. Complaints had been made that the string course in the Towers had been placed lower than in the eastern Towers, but we find that this was according to the original plan. Upon examining the plan for the interior of the building we decided to send for Bro. Folsom one of the assistant–Architects and for Prest. McAllister of the St George Temple and for Prest M. W. Merril of the Logan Temple to get their views as to the best plan of arranging the interior room to be the most convenient for the giving of endowment and other ordinances – these latter brethren having had considerable experience in this labor. They were requested to be in the City by Saturday next. Attended to correspondence as usual. I went out riding with Br. Bateman in the evening. Br. Wilcken visited a portion of his family and expects to remain away to morrow. Wrote a letter to my wife Caroline and sent it by Br. Wilcken[.]

4 May 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 4/86 Listened to and dictated answers to correspondence. A company of Saints arrived from Great Britain, numbering one hundred and eighty souls.

5 May 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 5/86 Attended to the usual business to day. In the evening Br. Bateman took me out in the buggy and arranged for my wife Emily to join me. We drove through Liberty Park and enjoyed about an hour and a halfs [half] to gether. The new Governor Caleb. W. West arrived this evening. He was met by a number of the Federal Officials and others and the Mayor and City Council of Salt Lake City. They got up a party of ladies and gentlemen to meet him. He expressed great pleasure at seeing them and made a speech at Ogden and one at Salt Lake. He spoke very fairly and if he will only carry out the statements sentiments there expressed he will give satisfaction as a Governor; but doubtless it will be found in his case, as it is in so many others, that it is much easier to talk than it is to perform.

Letters were dictated to various Presidents of Stakes calling attention to discrepancies in the statements received from the Wards concerning the worthy Poor and the contributions which were received from fast-offerings and Relief-Societies, and setting forth the amount that was needed in addition from the Trustee in Trust to sustain them.

6 May 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, May 6/86 Being fast day we had meeting. Bro. Wilcken in charge. He, President Taylor, Bros. Nuttall, White, Barrell and Bateman spoke. I prayed and spoke. Listened to and answered correspondence. In the evening I kept an appointment with my Brother Angus and my son John Q. They brought a carriage and we rode through Liberty Park. I reached my quarters about half past ten o,Clock. I represented to them the situation I am in respecting my bonds. We talked the matter over very fully and I suggested to John Q. that he should see what volumes of <the> Juvenile Instructor I had in the Office, and perhaps by taking the proper means something could be realized from them.

7 May 1886 • Friday

Friday, May 7/86 Listened to and answered letters. Dictated Topics of the Time to Bro. Wilcken. A Reception and Ball was given this evening in the Salt Lake Theatre by the City Authorities <to> the new Governor. The affair was very elegant. Bro. Wilcken went down to my home this evening, visited my families and brought me news of their good health.

8 May 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, May 8/86 Examined the plan of the Temple to-day with a view of meeting with the Architects this evening. A meeting having been arranged at Bro. F. Armstrong’s. Listened to and attended to Correspondence. After nightfall Bro. Wilcken drove President Taylor, Bro. Nuttall and myself to Bro. Armstrong’s. There were present, besides us, Bros F. O. Angel, sen, his son Truman, J. D. T. McAllister, W. H. Folsom and F. Y. Taylor. We had sent word to Bro. Merrill to be present to get the benefit of his experience with that of Bro. McAllister, in regard to the most convenient way of arranging the rooms for the giving of the endowment in the Temple; but our message must have miscarried. We remained there until after twelve o clock.

9 May 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, May 9/86 We met to day at half past two. Bro. S. Bateman in charge. He, Bro. White, President Taylor, Bro. Barrell, Bro. Wilcken and myself spoke. Bros. White and Wilcken administered the sacrament. In the evening I went down stairs and spent the time with the family. President Taylor’s health is not very good to day.

10 May 1886 • Monday

Monday, May 10/86. Attended to Correspondence as usual. The labor of the stonelayers on the Temple had been stopped until we could have an interview with the Architects. Instructions were given this morning to have the work resumed. We wrote instructions to Elders Moses Thatcher and John W. Taylor of the twelve Apostles, who are about to visit Bannock Stake, respecting the proper method of selecting Bishops and ordaining them. I wrote Topics of the Times for the Juvenile. My son Frank J. Cannon to day went <had gone> into Court and plead guilty to the assault <upon> of Mr. Dickson, the Prosecuting Attorney in which my son Hugh J. Cannon and my nephew A. M. Cannon were also engaged. By doing this he succeeded in having the charge against his brother and cousin dismissed. To day was appointed for him to be sentenced. The Prosecuting Attorney and his assistant wanted the sentence suspended; but Frank said he preferred it now. The Judge who appeared somewhat angry sentenced him to be imprisoned three months in the County jail and to pay a fine of one hundred and fifty dollars and costs of Court.

11 May 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 11/86 We learned to day that the case of Bro. Lorenzo Snow was dismissed by the Supreme Court of the United States for want of Jurisdiction, and the <Court> also with drew the decision which they it had rendered in the case of my Brother Angus. It appears evident that the <Judge> wish[ed] to shrink <shirk> the responsibility of facing and deciding upon question[s] involved in the cases of Latter-day Saints which are brought before them. This case of Bro. Snow’s has been decided in a manner to <that> flagrantly violates both law and justice. The U. S. Supreme Court must be aware of this; but after listening to the arguments the <Judges> concluded that they had no jurisdiction. So we are now left, in cases of this character, to the tender mercies of our local Judges. My nephew, G. C. Lambert, and Bro. H. W. Naisbitt received the usual sentence of six month’s imprisonment in the penitentiary and three hundred dollars fine and costs of Court for Unlawful Cohabitation with their wives. I append the enclosed clipping from the Salt Lake Tribune concerning myself. Bro. Nuttall read it to me, as I have never read a number of it and never look at the Tribune. I asked for the clipping that I might keep it. I do so to show the hatred which these people entertain against me. They seem to view me as a sort of a monster who thwarts their plans and stands in the way of accomplishing their aims. It is surprising how men can misjudge others and falsify their characters as they do mine. It is a consolation to know that the same class treated Prophets and Apostles in olden times in the same way. It is the spirit that prompts men to murder others and think they are doing God service while shedding their blood. Attended to correspondence.

Salt Lake Tribune May 11/861


The Herald, naturally, advocates Statehood for Utah. What would that mean? It would simply mean that every man in the new State who dared to have an opinion of his own, and to express it, would have to emigrate or fight. Our judgment is that were Statehood given to Utah to-morrow, a civil war would be raging here within the next six months. Our belief is founded on the knowledge that a good many men will resent robbery and every form of injustice, and a good many more will never remain quiet and see the institutions of this free Republic entirely set at naught. Were Statehood given to Utah George Q. Cannon would be the law which would govern it. There is no doubt of this, not the slightest. He would nominate every officer of the State; he would dictate what laws should be passed and what repealed; he would say who should have offices and who not; he would dictate what property should be taxed; he would direct the passage of laws which would kill free speech and a free press—he would, in short, be the absolute dictator of Utah. What he would do, if given uncontrolled power, we may estimate by what he has done in the past. It was he who framed the indictment against Harry Lawrence and caused his excommunication from the Mormon Church, and the chief ground was that, against the counsel of Brigham Young, he had dared to advocate the right of Mormons to carry on mining in this Territory. He is the man who a few years ago endorsed the insolent invective of Jos. F. Smith, when in the Tabernacle he declared that any Mormon who should, in this city, sell a lot to a Gentile would be followed by trouble and loss in this world and sorrows unspeakable in the world to come. He is the man who blatantly preached defiance of the laws of the United States here for years, until the shadow of the penitentiary looming up before him caused him to seek the security of the Underground. He is the man who, a few months ago, called the presidents of the Southern stakes together and said to them: “Certain men who were sent from your stakes to the last Legislature showed a disposition while the Legislature was in session not to obey counsel. See that they do not come any more.” He is the man who wrote the editorial in the News the night after Bishop Sharp in open court decided to live within the law, denouncing his course, and by it frightened Dinwoodey and others who are now in the penitentiary from doing their duty towards the Government which protects them. He is the man who deprived Bishop Sharp of his church office and heaped repeated indignities upon him, and when, after that, the Bishop went on his bonds, he forfeited them and left the Bishop and Ex-Mayor Little to foot the bill. He is the man who established that none but polygamists should receive promotion; he is really the originator of the boycott of Gentiles, and he gave his dsreet [discreet] sanction to the Hampton plan of killing immorality here through a horrible example. He is the man who, from the Underground, wrote his endorsement of the act of dishonoring the flag of the United States here last July, and he is the man who lately bewailed the fact that the Mormons did not drive the Gentiles from this Territory before they became so numerous and strong. What the Herald advocates is, in fact, to make this man Cannon the absolute ruler of Utah—the ruler in all things. The plan will not work. Mormons ought to pray that it will fail, for its success would be followed by scenes which even a Salt Lake policeman would shudder to see.2

12 May 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 12/86 Listened to and answered Correspondence. I wrote letters to my wife Sarah Jane and on business to my son John Q. Br. Wilcken visited my family this evening. My wife Martha he found quite sick and he and Bro Hampton administered to her. She is very anxious to see me as it is nine weeks since we separated.

13 May 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, May 13/86 Attended to Correspondence as usual. President Taylor and myself examined plans of the Temple which had been sent out by the brethren whom we met on Saturday evening. We were pleased with the plans that they had arranged for the interior. Dictated my Journal to Br. Wilcken. Went down this evening in company with Br. Wilcken to my home on the river. Bro Wilcken had been there last evening and found my wife Martha in very poor health, suffering from trouble of the heart. She was a little better this evening. I administered to her and she derived great benefit from it. Afterwards Bro. Wilcken and my son John Q. came in and administered to her. Br. Wilcken anointed her with oil and John Q. pronounced the blessing. I afterwards met with the rest of my family, except some of the little children who had gone to bed. I had a very pleasant time. This is the first time I have seen them for nine weeks. They did not know where I was, and some of the family supposed I had gone to Mexico. They felt delighted of seeing me as I did at seeing them.

14 May 1886 • Friday

Friday, May 14/86 Attended to Correspondence as usual[.] We were much shocked <at> hearing the news of the death of Bro. Joel Grover of Nephi. He is only thirty eight years of age, and always appeared like a strong healthy man. The alleged cause of his death is indigestion.

15 May 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, May 15/86 Listened to and dictated correspondence. I spent some portion of the day in preparing my Will.

16 May 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, May 16/86 We had our meeting as usual to day. Bro. Nuttall in charge. Bros Bateman and Wilcken administered the sacrament. Bro. Nuttall and myself and Bros. Bateman, Wilcken and Barrell and President Taylor all spoke. In the evening I accompanied Bro. Wilcken to Bro. Carlisle’s and spent about two hours with my wife Caroline, who is there; she and baby are both well.

17 May 1886 • Monday

Monday, May 17/86 Listened to and dictated correspondence. Dictated also Topics of the Times to Bro. Wilcken.

18 May 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 18/86 Attended to correspondence as usual. I was attacked this morning with the bilious colic and was compelled to lay down most of the day.

19 May 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 19/86 Still suffering from colic. Listened to and dictated correspondence. We received a very delightful letter from Bro. Joseph F. Smith, in which he expressed himself concerning me and my escape from the hands of our enemies in a way that touches me deeply. In the evening President Taylor and myself, accompanied by Bros. Nuttall, Wilcken and Bateman, drove to the residence of Bro. F. Armstrong where we met with Bro. T. O. Angell sen and son and Bros. J. D. T. McAllister, M. W. Merrill and F. Y. Taylor, and decided upon the plans for the interior of the Temple.

20 May 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, May 20/86 Still suffering some what, but much better than what I have been. Attended to correspondence as usual. It was decided to day, that as the Deseret News Company would meet to morrow to enlarge its capital stock, that the one hundred and fifty thousand dollars should be divided between President Taylor, my brother Angus and myself. This President Taylor decided upon before saying anything to me about it. Bro. T. E. Taylor, superientendent of the Company was advised to this effect. I wrote to day articles for the Juvenile Instructor. In the evening Bro. Bateman took me to my home on the river and I enjoyed the visit with my family.

21 May 1886 • Friday

Friday, May 21/86 Attended as usual to correspondence. President Taylor and myself signed a letter, which I dictated, to Mr. H. H. Bancroft, Historian, expressive of our regret at the loss he and the firm had sustained by the recent fire. Bro. Bateman took me in the buggy to where I could met [meet] my wife Emily with whom I rode about an hour and a half and enjoyed the trip very much. I did some writing for the Juvenile Instructor today.

22 May 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, May 22/86 Listened to and answered correspondence. My health is very poor all day.

23 May 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, May 23/86 Held our usual meeting to day; Bro. W. White in charge. Bros. Bateman and Barrell administered the sacrament. Bro. White, President Taylor, Parley White and myself and Bros David White, Barrell, Bateman, and Wilcken spoke. Bro. Wilcken took me down to Bro. Don C. Young’s farm, where I met my wife Caroline, who accompanied us in the evening for a drive, which we all very much enjoyed.

24 May 1886 • Monday

Monday, May 24/86 Attended to correspondence as usual. My health is good. In the evening Bro. Bateman took me out and we called at Bro. F. S. Richards residence, and he and his father accompanied us to Bro. J. R. Winder. Bro. F. S. Richards wished to communicate to me a number of private matters connected with his recent visit to Washington. Bro. F. D. Richards also submitted some business matters. We had a very pleasant visit and Bro. Winder was very glad to see us and had his table <spread> with bread, butter, cakes and pitchers full of most delicious buttermilk.

25 May 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, May 25/86. Attended to the usual business of answering correspondence. Letters were received from Bros. Erastus Snow and Brigham Young; the former is on his way back to Mexico, where the latter expects to join him after he has regulated the Indian Mission in Arizona and New Mexico. A letter was written to day to my brother Angus, as President of Salt Lake Stake, calling his attention to the Sunday excursions, in which, it is said, many of the Latter-day Saints participate. It is felt that the sabbath breaking must be stopped, or if persisted in by members of the church, they must be cut off. I wrote Topics of the Times for the Juvenile to day. Brother Bateman took me down to my home on the river this evening where I spent two hours very agreeably.

26 May 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, May 26/86 Listened to and answered correspondence. An offer from Mr. G. T. <Geo. Ticknor> Curtis, through Bro. F. S. Richards, to act as general counsel for our people, was read, and his proposition was accepted in a letter signed by President Taylor and myself. He agrees to act in this capacity for three thousand dollars a year for one year. If required to act in cases before the courts he is to receive such pay as shall be agreed upon. Wrote for the Juvenile Instructor. In the evening Bro. Bateman took me to where I could meet my wife Emily, and we took a ride for one hour and a half. Bro. W. L. White, the son of our host, had a narrow escape from death to day. His horse became unmanageable and he jumped off in time to save himself from being precipitated into the City Creek aqueduct, which is raging like a torrent. The horse jumped in and was carried down the stream and when pulled out was terribly skinned. Br William’s knee and ancle are sprained. We administered to him; I anointed and President Taylor blessed him.

27 May 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, May 27/86 Attended to correspondence as usual. Wrote article for the Juvenile.

28 May 1886 • Friday

Friday, May 28/86 Dictated my Journal to Bro. Wilcken[.] Attended to correspondence as usual. We received a reply to day from Mr. Hubert H. Bancroft in response to our letter to him, expressive of our regret at the loss of his property by fire. This letter made a feeling allusion to our troubles. I called this evening and took my wife Emily out for a ride.

29 May 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, May 29/86 Listened to and answered correspondence. A quantity of pamphlets had accumulated at Washington which should be distributed. We instructed Mr. Gibson in a letter to day to employ the necessary help to distribute them and to call upon Bro. Caine for the pay. This evening Bro. Bateman took me to my home on the river. My family were glad to see me. I arranged with my boys to stand guard through the night, and if any thing suspicious occur[r]ed, to arouse me.

30 May 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, May 30/86. Spent a pleasant night. This morning Bros Andrew Burt and Lehi Pratt came down and stayed all day as guards. I held Sunday school in the forenoon and sacrament meeting in the afternoon. Bro. Andrew Smith, Jnr, came down on a visit to my daughter Mary Alice. My family, the brethren and myself had a very enjoyable evening. We had some very good singing and I attended to family prayer. We were startled somewhat by my son Lewis rushing into the room and saying that something or other had ran swiftly past Hugh and himself while they were out on the verandah on guard and would not stop when hailed. It was so dark that he could not tell whether it was a man or a woman. We all swarmed out of the house; but after some enquiry found it was a girl who lives with my wife Martha, who had returned from the City and had run very fast through the garden. Bro. Bateman and myself returned a little after nine oClock to our quarters.

31 May 1886 • Monday

Monday, May 31/86 This is Decoration day and a public holyday. Attended to correspondence, Bro. L. J. Nuttall being absent. Went out for a drive this evening and took my wife Emily.

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May 1886, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed March 3, 2024