The Church Historian's Press

September 1886

1 September 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, September 1/86 President Taylor’s health is not good this morning, he is suffering from bowel complaint. Attended to our every day business. Bro. Wilcken returned about noon to day. He had traveled a long distance, and made examinations in various places, and had found a suitable place in Davis County. Bro. John <W.> Woolley, the eldest son of the late Bishop E. D. Woolley, whose residence is about twelve miles north of the city, would be glad to accommodate us and his house and location are were suitable. We had a violent thunderstorm this afternoon, accompanied by rain.

2 September 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, Septbr 2/86. President Taylor is still feeling badly. We learned to-day, by dispatch from New. York, that fifty one of our emigrants had been stopped by the commissioner of emigration at Castle-Garden. The only cause is, they are Mormons. Bro. Hart asked if he should procure legal counsel. Bro. Jack had advised <him> to do so if necessary. We attended to fast-meeting to day and had a very good time. President Taylor felt better this evening.

3 September 1886 • Friday

Friday, Septbr. 3/86 President Taylor’s health is much improved. Listened to and dictated answers to correspondence. President Taylor and myself decided to write letters, and I dictated strong ones to the Presidents of the Weber and Salt Lake Stakes of Zion, concerning the craze which has seized the people to go to Lake Park. We suggested that a special corps of missionaries be appointed to labor among the people to check this increasing tendency to go upon excursions, and especially against their remaining late in the evening. No doubt such practices lead to the ruin of many young people.

4 September 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, Septbr 4/86 President Taylor’s health is still poor. Attended to our usual correspondence. President Taylor and myself had some conversation on personal matters. This evening Bro. L. Pratt took me to my son John Q’s, whom I wished to see to know if it would be safe for me to go home. He thought it would, and Bro. Pratt drove me there. I found Bros Andrew Burt and W. Salmon, who had come down to guard me. Bro. Pratt drove to the city. The brethren went to bed and I had my boys stand guard[.]

5 September 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, Septbr 5/86 A day which will long be remembered for the terrible grief which is brought to the hearts of myself and all of my family by the occurance which took place. In the evening my son Abraham took me in a buggy to Bro. W. White’s in the 17th ward, where we had formerly lived some time. The family gave me a warm reception and said I was welcome home. I remained in conversation with them till about twelve oClock, when President Taylor and the other brethren arrived. To explain it comes through a channel, however, which has proved to be reliable in furnishing information as to the inside workings of the Marshal’s office. The Lord said to his disciples: “Rejoice and be exceeding glad”, when men do such things as these men are doing to me. I try to have that feeling, though I sometimes think it strange that I should be selected as the butt of so much hatred above my fellows. I received a letter from Bro. Alf Solomon, City Marshal, in which he informs me that Judge Dusenberry had expressed a strong wish to Mayor Armstrong to have an interview with me. Already Bro. F. S. Richards has written me for an interview and Bro. John T. Caine had expressed a wish to see President Taylor and myself, which President Taylor declined to grant, but desired me to see him. I therefore arranged to meet these brethren at different hours to morrow evening at Mayor Armstrong’s. The marshal, at the close of his letter, stated that U. S. Marshal Dyer was offering a $100000/ reward for “any one who will secure George Q for me”. Bro. Nuttall left this evening to be absent to morrow. A part of his family having come up from Provo to see him.1

About John Q.2

9 September 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, Septbr 9/86 Attended to our usual correspondence, and as Bro. Nuttall was absent I wrote the answers myself. In the evening Bro. Wilcken took me in Bro. White’s phaeton to Mayor Armstrong’s. On the way we drove to where my son Abraham was and when I found that my brother David had returned from the south, I requested Abraham to bring him to Bro. Armstrong’s. I meet met the brethren before named and attended to the business which they wished to submit and did not get through with them till about one oClock in the morning. Bro. Caine being the last one to see me. He informed me that a great many congressmen had desired him to remember them to me, and the universal expression among my acquaintances was that I would keep out of the way of arrest. He informed me that the $50000/, offered in the beginning of February by U. S. Marshal Ireland for me, had been subscribed by private parties here; but that they had been reimbursed by the government. I asked him, if he knew the reason for my being singled out as a special object of attack. He said the feeling was very general in Washington that if I could be captured there would be little trouble in dealing with our question. I told him this seemed mere folly, and it was strange how such ideas prevaled in Washington; but particularly in this city, among our enemies, who ought to know better. In my own thoughts I am gratified to have it so, if President Taylor can be shielded thereby. While they are so eager to get me it appears to divert their attention from him. After Bro Caine left I had considerable conversation with my brother David and my son Abraham. David told me that he was so affected by the news, concerning John Q., when he reached American Fork, where he was going to stop, he had to go to bed. We separated after two oClock.

10 September 1886 • Friday

Friday, Septbr 10/86 Completed Topics of the Times to day for the Juvenile Instructor which I had dictated to Bro. Wilcken. Listened to and answered correspondence. We were informed to day that the bond of $150,00000/ [2 leaves torn from the journal]

Bro. Bateman, who carried the mail. He took me to Sister Burt’s at the City Hall, and I sent for Bro. J. H. Smith, who was at the theatre. The business he had to communicate to me was that Joseph McMurrin, who had been shot twice by Collins the deputy marshal, wanted to go to England and take his wife with him to get her out of the way of her relatives, some of whom are low characters. It seems that when Bro. McMurrin was wounded the people generally believed he was wounded to death. Upon Bro. J. H. Smith calling upon him, he desired him to preach his funeral sermon, and confided to him the details of the occurrence; among other things, informing him that I was the author of the plan, and that what they had done had been in obediance to my counsel. His wife had crept around, unknown to either of them, and, as he informed Bro. Smith, had heard all the statements. His wages had been stopped for some little time, and during this period she had threatened, on two different occasions, to make known the whole story to the Federal Officials. It was this that had startled Bro. Smith, when he thought of being put upon the stand, and being compelled, under oath, to relate the confession which McMurrin had made to him. He thought of me and being implicated, and readily fell into Bro. McMurrin’s plan to get his wife out of the country. I felt greatly relieved when I found what the nature of his communication was. After listening to it, I smilingly told him that I knew no more about the planning of that affair until after it was over, than he did himself, and that Bro. McMurrin was awfully mistaken in thinking that I had counseled the attack upon Collins or in having anything to do with it. When I heard of it, I deplored it, and thought it an imprudent act. As to getting him out of the country that, I said, is a poor makeshift. She could not be kept away for ever, and if she was a woman of this kind, it would have to come out sooner or later; and if it were not for one of the City-officers, who is implicated, it might as well come out now as at any other time. I could furnish no means, I said, neither personal nor church, as I had no control of the latter, and I did not believe that President Taylor would. We talked over ways by which the means might be raised. We returned to our quarters and reached there twenty minutes past twelve. The drive from the City was a very beautiful one, the moonlight was nearly as bright as day.

17 September 1886 • Friday

Friday, Septbro 17/86 Attended to correspondence as usual. I wrote a letter to Bro. John H. Smith upon the subject of our last night’s conversation. I have been thinking about the affair since we separated, and I feel impressed to caution him to be very careful in what he does to help the couple of whom we spoke last night. If they were to try and prove that somebody else had connection with the affair, the fact that they received help to go out of the country and live would, if brought forward, be construed as an evidence of complicity. In this way an innocent party, prompted by a philant[h]ropic feeling might have their conduct attributed to the lowest and vilest motives, and, in fact, to actual guilt. I said this whole proposition burdened on blackmailing. I have viewed everything of this kind with utter detestation, and I have often thought, that if I were ever guilty of an act [1 page torn from the journal]

bright, and Eliza herself feels remarkably well. The children gave me some amusing illustrations of her gladness at having a baby. Myself and brothers Angus and David took the baby in our arms and I blessed it, giving him the name of Edwin Quayle Cannon. We had a very delightful time here, my daughters playing on the piano and singing. Before blessing the baby I called on my brother Angus to pray. I went on to Brother John Hoagland’s where I met my wife Emily.

20 September 1886 • Monday

Monday, Septbr 20/86. This is my wife Emily’s birthday. At two oclock this morning Bro. Wilcken called for me and we returned to our quarters. Listened to and dictated answers to correspondence.

21 September 1886 • Tuesday

Monday Tuesday, Septbr 21/86 Attended to our usual business. In consequence of a letter received from Hon. John T. Caine, concerning political matters and cipher telegram which he received from the east, President Taylor thought I had better go to the City this evening to have a meeting with Bro. Caine, talk over the situation and give him instruction as to how to proceed in the event of his going to the east, which we wished him to do, if he could conveniently. Word was sent in last evening for him and Bro. Jack to meet me at Mayor Armstrong’s at 9 oClock. A letter from my son Abraham this morning informs me that $75000/ has been offered as a reward, by either Scott & Co or Remington, Johnson & Co, for my capture; “because if you are caught,” he says, “they would expect an end to the present stagnation of business”. The above amount, he informs me, is outside of the Marshal’s reward. There is a man who made Abraham’s acquaintance in the Penetentiary, who feels very friendly to him, who is communicating to him such information as he can get from the Marshal’s office. He is a smart fellow, but I suppose of bad habits; he is a drinking man.

22 September 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Septbr 22/86 President Taylor and myself had some conversation last evening respecting my going to the city, but as he was not prepared in his feelings to decide upon letting the necessary funds go to accomplish the object we had in view, I thought it <un>necessary for me to go, as I could gain no information upon the points that required attention that I did not already have in my possession. It has been a subject of constant thanksgiving on my part, that from the time of my election to Congress, until by the passage of the Edmunds law, I was deprived of the seat to which I was overwhelmingly elected by the vote of the people, I had never spent one dollar in any improper shape to induce any public man to vote for or against measures affecting us and our territory. I have given news-paper men and others money for work which they did, but in a perfectly legitimate way. I have always felt very scrupulous about using money in the way in which it is commonly used in these days to affect legislation. My strength, while in Congress, I felt, was in the Lord, and not a day passed from the time of my entrance into congressional life until it ended, passed at Washington, without my having my robes on, excepting a very few days when the presence of somebody in my rooms prevented me from offering my prayers to the Lord in this manner; and these <interruptions> during the entire period of my congressional services, did not number a dozen. times When I had my wife and children with me, my wife knew my habit, and my room which I used was as safe as if I were alone. It is to this that I attribute the success with which the Lord crowned my labors in so many directions and gave me such favor while I was there. I explained to President Taylor this morning, that while I had scruples about using money, as he fully understood, to influence individual members in their action, I did not have any scruples about using money to aid either of the political parties whom one might wish to see gain power. I had done this myself as an individual while in Washington, and thought it perfectly justifiable, because I was recognized as a member of the democratic party and money was necessary to conduct political campaigns and is viewed by all as perfectly legitimate for everybody to do who wishes the success of the party. These views appeared to him as entitled to weight and seemed to remove any question which might have been in his mind as to the propriety of the action which we contemplated. About noon to day I felt quite oppressed by a cold, which I had taken in some manner, and had not the business, we had in contemplation, been urgent, I should not have gone into the city. Bro. Bateman took me to the house of Mayor Armstrong. I met Bro. James Jack, conversed with him about finances and dictated a dispatch for him to send to President W. W. Cluff, of the Summit county stake, to ask, if it would be at all convenient to him and the people to have the approaching semi-annual conference held there. Bro. Caine came to Bro. Armstrong’s and I had a long interview with him and he agreed to start for the east as soon as possible. My son Abraham was also there and I had conversation with him about our affairs. I found that it would not be convenient to Bro. Armstrong and his family to entertain me for the night and the next day, so I concluded not to return with Bro. Bateman. I thought it wisdom in my present condition of health to not expose myself that night.

23 September 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, Septbr 23/86 I found myself full of cold this morning and about the middle of the day I was taken with pain in my bowels. I can discover some uneasiness on the part of Brother and Sister Armstrong, because of my presence in their house. They would feel dreadfully if anything were to happen [to] me while under their roof, and though they do all they can for me and profess to think me perfectly safe, still they cannot help but have some anxiety. About three oclock this morning I was awakened by a ring of the door-bell. I had occasion to get up shortly afterwards and learned from Bro. Armstrong, who had answered the ring, that Bro. O. P. Arnold had been there under some ex[c]itement and anxious to know if President Taylor was at Mrs Barrett’s or at the Gardo house. It seems that Bro. Bateman had informed him, before leaving town, that I was at the Mayor’s house. A friendly deputy had in the middle of the night called at Bro. Arnold’s place, awakened him and informed him that news had come to our enemies that President Taylor and myself had come in town last night. The carriage in which we traveled had been followed some distance and had been lost to sight, but it was stated that we had gone to the Gardo or to Mrs Barrett’s. McKay and Dickson had urged Marshal Dyer to institute an immediate search of these residences. He had sworn that he would do no such thing in the middle of the night and the difficulty had been compromised by his placing guards around each place to watch until daylight. Early in the morning both houses were searched without finding anybody whom they wanted. I think that Bro. Bateman and myself had been noticed without perhaps knowing who we were. The team had been driven with such rapidity, that it was sure to attract attention. I think this style of driving is very imprudent and is well adapted to arouse scrutiny and to make our outfit noticeable. I am thankful that no attention had been drawn to Bro. Armstrong’s, notwithstanding the fact that the team had been driven out and in to his yard four times last evening, and the horses being spirited had traveled with a speed that is quite unusual at night. My sons John Q. and Abraham came to me about the middle of the day. The former having been brought by Mayor Armstrong, who went down to my place for him and took him off on a long ride in order to have conversation with him. We attended to a number of business affairs and I explained my wishes concerning them. I have been away so continously for some time past, that my business has been almost utterly neglected and I find it necessary to try and get it into a shape that it will receive attention from my children. A thorough understanding was reached by us in regard to the part which Abraham should take hold of and look after and John Q. is to take control of my land and all of my stock. If my wives are willing he will take care of my cows and furnish my wives such a supply of milk as is necessary. The boys to do the milking as at present. John Q. prefers to have the stock in his charge so that he can have the calves properly fed and cared for. I have reserved three horses for the use of my family, and they are to be fed by him and the cost charged to me. If this arrangement can be carried out in the spirit in which it is made, it will relieve me from much care and put the land in a shape to be productive and to give more satisfaction. I enjoined upon both of the boys, especially upon John Q., the necessity of keeping a strict account of all expenditures and all income, so that at the termination of the year it could plainly be seen how much had been gained or lost. He appeared quite gratified to have the privilege of working my land and designs to do all the work himself with the assistance of some well grown youth. I gave him direction as to having have all my dead fruit-trees dug up and the holes prepared for the planting of trees in the spring and besides I wish the place prepared for the planting of peach-trees, near the north wall of the garden. I desire a lot of shade-trees to be set out in the spring and have the holes dug this fall. In the evening I had interviews with Bro. C. W. Penrose, Bros W. W. Cluff and James Jack. With the first about political affairs in Idaho and with Bro. Cluff about holding conference at Coalville. He said the people would be very glad to have it held there, and would do their best to make the visitors confortable. As there was danger of spies being on the road, I thought best to send a messenger to meet Bro. Wilcken on the north side of the narrow pass at the hot springs. Bro. Alf Solomon took me out. no We passed Bro. Wilcken without knowing him and he followed us to our quarters. I felt quite exhausted and sick and I reached our place chilled and with my feet very cold. I got to bed about one oClock.

24 September 1886 • Friday

Friday, Septbr 24/86. I slept for about half an hour and awoke in the most excrutiating pain. I was suffering from a most severe attack of cramp-colic. The pain was the worst I ever felt in my life; it seemed that I could not endure it very long. I gave vent to groans, but I was in a room by myself and everybody seemed asleep. I never remember having such trouble to find and get my clothes on. I started for Bro. Wilcken’s room and called him and was trying to find the head of the stairs when Bro. Woolley lit a candle and helped me down. He and Bro. Barrell administered to me. By this time Bro. Wilcken and Bro. Bateman had arrived. I had them continue the administration, each one praying for me and rebuking the pain in turns, without taking their hands from my head. I had this continued for several times and laid on a cot in the front room when President Taylor came out and joined the brethren and administered to me. I had hot flat-irons put to my feet and hot salt to my bowels. President Taylor told me afterwards, that he felt my wrist, but I was pulseless. The administration brought relief and though I suffered considerably from pain, I was able to get some sleep about two hours after the attack. I felt very weak all day and called often on the brethren to administer to me.

25 September 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, Septbr 25/86. I was very weak and also suffered some pain to day, but we had two days mail on hand which had not been answered, so I contrived to dictate answers to all our letters to Bro. Nuttall. I also dictated my journal to Bro. Wilcken.

26 September 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, Septbr 26/86 I had greatly improved in health to day. We had sent for Bro. H. B. Clawson to come out on important business that required immediate attention. We spent the forenoon conversing with him upon it. Among other things was the political condition of affairs of our people in Arizona. At half past two oClock we held our meeting. Bro. Jos. E. Taylor and wife joined us, she being in the underground and he having come out on a visit to her to day. There were nine Elders present and three Sisters: President Taylor and myself, Elder Jos. E. Taylor, Bp. H. B. Clawson, Elders Nuttall, Wilcken, Bateman, John Woolley, Jnr, and Barrell, Sisters Woolley and daughter and Sister Taylor. Our meeting was a very interesting one.

27 September 1886 • Monday

Monday, Septbr 27/86 Attended to our usual business. I am not well, but improving.

28 September 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Septbr 28/86 Listened to and dictated answers to correspondence. I also dictated a long letter to John Q. which Bro. Wilcken copied and carried to him this evening. The subject was the arrangement I wish to make about my work at home. We appointed Bro. Penrose a mission to see Bro. Budge and placed some funds at his disposal which were needed to help carry on the warfare which is crowded upon us by the conduct of our enemies. Abraham informs me that the Deputy Marshals have searched my log house for me and from there had gone to my adopted daughter’s, Rose Lambert’s house, which is at present unoccupied and searched that also. John Hoagland’s house has also been watched. One man having laid down in the brush near his house and the other seemed to be on the watch on the other side of the road from the house. He saw them both in the early morning and having seen the man get out of the brush he went there and found the place where he had made his couch.

29 September 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Septbr 29/86 Attended to our usual correspondence. I had to get up very early this morning because of severe griping pains which I had and from which I suffered most of the night. Have some pain to day. The weather is very beautiful though we have some frost at nights. I dictated my journal to Bro. Wilcken, also letters to my wives Sarah Jane and Eliza and to my son Abraham. As the time is wearing away and the day of conference approaches without anything being done toward the general epistle I begin to feel anxious. I proposed to President Taylor to day that I go in town and get the aid of Bros C. W. Penrose and Geo. [3 leaves torn from the journal]

as much liberty as we enjoy. When I lay down at night in bed I contrast the feeling which I have with that which I had when I was in the hands of the Officers in Navada, locked up in a room and no liberty to make a movement without consent of the guard.

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September 1886, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 25, 2024