October 1886

13 October 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct 13/86 Listened to correspondence and dictated answers to yesterday’s letters as well as to-day’s. I wrote a letter to my son David, in answer to one received from him some time ago. I also wrote to Abraham and Bro. F. S. Richards. **1

Copy (**See page 109)

Oct. 1886.

F. S. Richards, Esq.,

Dear Brother Franklin:

I have received two letters from you which I have not answered. I am much obliged to you for them and for the interest you have taken in the case. My information concerning the proceedings was derived from your letters and a very few words from our mail messenger. I have shunned the newspapers; for I felt so humiliated by the whole affair that I had no taste for details; I merely wished to know the results. If I have dwelt upon one subject more than another in my public teachings, it has been the terrible consequences which follow the violation of personal purity. With my children it has also been a subject constantly dwelt upon; and yet by the conduct of my two oldest sons I am struck in this most sensitive spot. It is most painful to contemplate.

There is one evil which I hope will be avoided by all concerned in this defence, and that is, falsehood. It is not necessary, and frequently it is unwise and even wrong, to tell all the truth to those who would only use it to betray and destroy. But it is worse than folly to have recourse to a tangled web of deceit or falsehood. A reputation that has to be built upon and be screened or shielded by falsehood is of no value. Its owner is like the ostrich, who, because his head is under cover, imagines himself concealed, when in reality his entire body is exposed to the full gaze of all who choose to look. I sincerely hope you will use the privilege of a counselor, and speak plainly upon this whenever your experience may suggest that it is necessary.

With the kindest regards and praying the Lord to bless you, I am

Your Brother,

(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon.

14 October 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct 14/86. My labors are the same to day as they were yesterday. Dictated Topics and Editorial Thoughts to Bro. Wilcken. Bros H. B. Clawson and James Jack spent the day with us having been sent for to explain business matters to them.

15 October 1886 • Friday

Friday, Oct 15/86 Attended to our usual correspondence to day and corrected the articles which I wrote yesterday. My health is not so good to day.

16 October 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct 16/86 Listened to and dictated answers to correspondence and dictated my journal to Bro. Wilcken. He carried in our mail and Bro. D. R. Bateman came out with the mail from town for to stay to morrow in Bro. Wilcken’s place

17 October 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct 17/86 We held our usual meeting to day, Bro. Jos E. Taylor came from the city last night and he was given charge of the meeting. I enjoyed the meeting very much.

18 October 1886 • Monday

Monday, Oct 18/86 Listened to the reading of our usual correspondence and dictated answers to Bro. Nuttall.

19 October 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Oct 19/86 It stormed last night, and the ground is white with snow; but it is not cold. Among other letters received this morning was one from Bro. Jos. F. Smith, in which he alluded, in the most feeling manner, to the case of my son John Q, and expressed very warm sympathy for me, for which I felt exceedingly grateful. Attended to correspondence as usual. President Taylor received sad news this morning of the sickness of his wife Jane, who was attacked with something like pneumonia, and also of the sickness of his wife Sophia, who had had a stroke of paralysis, which deprives her of the use of her right side, but does not seriously effect her speech. I felt to sympathize with him very much in his affliction.

20 October 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct 20/86 Attended to hearing and answering correspondence as usual.

21 October 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct 21/86 Listened to and dictated answers to correspondence as usual. A letter was received from Bro. John W. Young, concerning political affairs. Bro John T. Caine also returned from the east and was anxious for an interview. President Taylor wished me to go to the city and see him in regard to the business he had been on, and of which Bro. J. W Young had written. We received a very encouraging letter from Elder B Young, concerning the labors of the Indian-missionaries among the tribe of the Navahoes. I wrote for the Juvenile Instructor to day.

22 October 1886 • Friday

Friday, Oct 22/86 Listened to and answered correspondence as usual. I went to the city in company with Bro. Wilcken this evening. Had an interview with Bro. John T. Caine at the house of Bro. Jos. F. Smith. My son Abraham also called there and Bro. C. W. Penrose, but as I intended to stay in town to morrow I deferred conversing with the latter until to morrow. Bro. Wilcken took me to the Gardo House.

23 October 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct 23/86 Had a long conversation with Bro. Penrose, concerning Idaho political affairs. Himself and several leading brethren, among whom were Bros. F. M. Lyman and John W. Taylor, of the twelve, and Bro. W. Budge, President of the Bear Lake Stake, had held a council, and had canvassed the situation thoroughly. It seems that Judge Hays, in deciding the case that had been brought before him under the test oath act of Idaho, had only decided in regard to Officers, and had not given any decision upon the rights of citizens to vote. Upon being interrogated upon this point he had replied, that he did not decide a case till it was brought before him. But he gave a hint to Bro. R. S. Spence, who conversed with him, that the proper course for our people to take was to withdraw from the church. A man who would notify his bishop to take his name from the church books, could vote and he could have his name put back again on the day after the election, if he wished to do so. It seems that the only way to save the county of Bear Lake from going into the hands of our enemies is, for a sufficient number of our brethren to do this and thus acquire the right to vote at the coming election. A number of the brethren were willing to do it, if they would not be censured by the First Presidency for so doing. It will not require many votes to save the county in this way, as there are not many people in the county who would vote the opposition ticket. The brethren in the council at Logan had carefully considered the whole situation, and this seemed the only way of deliverance. If this was not adopted, it seems as though the whole county, and its revenues and all its varied interests, will be transferred bodily into the hands of a few unscrupulous adventurers, and our people be brought into bondage to them. It was important, that whatever policy was adopted, should be decided upon immediately; and Bro. Penrose had to come down to get counsel from us upon this point, as the brethren of the twelve would not assume the responsibility. I listened carefully to the whole of the statements and arguments, and told Bro. Penrose that, to me, the idea of men withdrawing from the church for such a purpose, was very repulsive. Our enemies accused us of resorting to any means to gain our ends. We know these charges are false; but if our people were to do this, they would have good grounds for the accusation. To me such a plan seemed dark, and I felt clear in my mind that it ought not to be adopted. I said to him, let us cling to our principles, put our trust in God, do nothing dishonorable or that we cannot explain and defend, and then we can go to Him with clean consciences and ask Him for His blessing and aid, without which all the tricks and strategems of the world, would not avail us anything. After reasoning for some time upon this point, and showing up the advantages of acting honorably and uprightly in all these matters, I appealed to Bro. Penrose to know if he did not agree with me. He said that he did, and felt that it would be the better course. Before the day ended a dispatch was received from the north to the effect that Judge Hays had given judgment in the case of the commissioners, ousting our commissioners, which of course would make the appointees of Ex-Governor Bunn take office, and deciding that our people should pay the cost. This news confirmed me more than ever in the correctness of the counsel I had given. I had interviews with Bros Jack and Reynolds about various matters of business and especially about the B. B. & C. M. C, affairs. My sons John Q. and David drove me down to my home on the river in the evening and I had a very interesting meeting with my family. I remained there till three oClock in the morning, when John Q and David took me to Bro. Alf Solomon’s. He had arranged to carry me to our quarters. During the day I dictated letters to Bro’s Jos. F. Smith, D. H. Wells and Brigham Young, the two former to Bro. Arthur Winter and the last to Bro. Geo. F. Gibbs.

24 October 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct 24/86 We reached our quarters about half past five. Held meeting as usual. Bro. Solomon took charge and administered the sacrament.

25 October 1886 • Monday

Monday, Oct 25/86 Attended to our usual correspondence. We were advised to day that Judge Zane had refused the heabus[habeus]-corpus in the Lorenzo Snow case.

26 October 1886 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Oct 26/86 Listened to and dictated answers to our usual correspondence. Bro. F. S. Richards notified us that they had taken an appeal to the U S. Supreme Court in Bro. Snow’s case. Dictated articles for the Juvenile Instructor to Bro. Wilcken.

27 October 1886 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct 27/86 Attended to our usual correspondence. Bros Card, Zundell and J. W. Hendricks write us under date of the 13th, from British Columbia, informing us of their travels in search of a suitable place for our people to locate up there. They had not found any place suitable, but had heard of a valley east of the Rocky Mountains, which from all accounts would be very eligable and more convenient of access from our country than where they had been searching. The synopsis of the discourse, said to have been delivered by Bro. Moses Thatcher, and referred to in my journal under date of July 19th, is obtaining great circulation among the people and is causing considerable agitation and discussion. Some zealous parties had it printed and others have copies multiplied by means of a type-writing mashine. It was decided that we should write to Bro. Moses Thatcher and call his attention to this, so that he might do something in regard to it. Two copies were sent him, one printed and the other from a type-writing mashine. <See copy of letter to Bro. M. Thatcher upon this subject under date of Dec.17/86 page 136 of this journal.>2 This evening Bro. Wilcken took me to Cannons Home and I gave my family considerable instruction. My little new born son, Edwin, was quite sick and I administered to him. We returned to our quarters about one oClock.

28 October 1886 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct 28/86 Bro. H. B. Clawson spent the day with us, he came out about the B. B & C. M. Comp. property. Listened to the reading of letters and dictated answers to them. Bro. Clawson was instructed to get up a statement of the means necessary to start and work the mine, if the Company should undertake to do it itself instead of leasing it.

29 October 1886 • Friday

Friday, Oct 29/86 Listened to and dictated answers to our correspondence. We got word to day that Bro. Woodruff started south to his place of retreat. Yesterday we also heard that Bro. John W. Taylor had been indicted and arraigned at Blackfoot, Idaho. Letters were received from the brethren of the quorum of the Twelve, concerning the application of Albert Carrington to be rebaptised before his death, which seemed not far off. Bro. Woodruff wrote a very kind, feeling letter upon the subject, giving his consent. Bro. Lorenzo Snow, being in prison and not able to write, had sent his verbal consent. Bros. F. D. Richards and Brigham Young have sent their consent; but Bros E. Snow, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale and J. W. Taylor had expressed their unwillingness, if the decision rested upon them, for him to be admitted into the church. Bros J. H. Smith and H. J. Grant had not given a decided answer. There was one feature about the letters of the younger members of the quorum of the Twelve which pained me; it did not appear that they had paid that attention or yielded that deference to the letter of Elder Woodruff, the President of their quorum, to which, it seemed to me, it was entitled in view of his age, experience and irreproachable life.

30 October 1886 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct 30/86 I found my brother Angus here this morning, he having come out by the invitation of President Taylor to visit us. He spent the day in conversation with President Taylor and myself and in pitching quoits with President Taylor and the other brethren. President Taylor and myself attended to the usual reading of the correspondence to which I dictated answers to Bro. Nuttall. Angus was invited to remain over the next day.

31 October 1886 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct 31/86 We have beautiful weather for the season of the year and my health is gradually improving, though I am still sensitive and easily take cold. I do not remember ever being so delicate in this respect as of late. My earnest desire is to live. It has been a very strong wish with me that I might live and be useful in helping to bring to pass the reign of truth and righteousness. I exercise all the faith I can in this direction, and it is my earnest prayer, that if it is not inconsistent with the Lord’s will, it may be granted to me. But I feel that if it is His will for me not to live, I want to be fully reconciled thereto. All my life I have gone on missions and returned from them just as directed by my brethren, and I can truthfully say I have always been willing. I feel the same about my mission on the earth. I wish to remain and do a good work; but whenever the Lord shall be satisfied, I hope to be willing and content to go hence. We held meeting as usual to day and my brother Angus took charge. The sacrament was administered, testimonies were borne and good instruction given. At dark Bro. Angus was taken to town by Bro. Bateman.

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October 1886, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed March 3, 2024 https://production.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1880s/1886/10-1886