The Church Historian's Press

June 1887

1 June 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 1/87. It was nearly two o’clock before I got to bed. Our meeting commenced at 10 o’clock. Before that, however, I had interview with several brethren, among them Bro. F. D. Richards, respecting a trip to the Oneida Stake to ordain some Bishops and High Councilors. I also had an interview with Bros. L. W. Shurtliff and Joseph A. West, of Ogden, concerning the latter’s aspirations to the office of Recorder of the County, in connection with the proposal which had been made to have him elected to the Legislative Assembly. Our meeting proved to be most interesting and I was much blessed in explaining to the brethren the objects to be accomplished; the Spirit rested down powerfully upon me. Bro. Franklin D. Richards also spoke with a good deal of force and energy. We then took the districts, district by district, and generally came to very satisfactory conclusions respecting the plan that we should adopt. There were present: President Geo. Q. Cannon, Apostle F. D. Richards, Elders J. R. Murdock, O. G. Snow, G. O. Pitkin, John W. Woolley, Orange Seeley, Morgan Richards, Jr., Chas. Sparry, E. D. Woolley, J. V. Robinson, Wm Budge, Angus M. Cannon, John Sharp, J. T. Caine, J. R. Winder, E. A. Smith, J. F. Wells, H. B. Clawson, F. S. Richards, A. K. Thurber, C. Petersen, H. G. Gowans, A. O. Smoot, H. H. Cluff, Henry E. Giles, J. Crook, D. H. Cannon, L. W. Shurtliff, Geo. Reynolds, and J. Irvine (Reporter). This business occupied us till about half past two, when some lunch was brought in, as it was not deemed prudent for the brethren to scatter from the office, as this would be likely to attract attention, until we got through all our business. After lunch, instructions were given concerning the Church Associations handling the property that had been transferred to them by the Trustee-in-Trust. Many points were explained to the brethren who were present, so that they would understand the business and be able to arrange it properly and keep a proper record of all that they did, so that their books would stand investigation by the courts. I signed my will to-day, and Bros. George Reynolds, Wm C. Spence and Arthur Winter witnessed it. I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter. I returned to our quarters this evening; reached there about half past Twelve.

2 June 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, June 2/87. I found President Taylor improved in health this morning, which gave me great pleasure. We listened to the correspondence and I dictated answers thereto. Bro. L. John Nuttall has suffered considerably from pain today, and I suggested that he had better go to town, where he could be taken care of at his daughter’s. He thought that by sending for his wife from Provo, she could nurse him, as she understood his needs. He went in in the evening with the brother who carried the mail.

3 June 1887 • Friday

Friday, June 3/87. President Taylor appears better this morning than he did yesterday, though he is somewhat weak. He signed a number of recommends and letters which I wrote in answer to correspondence.

4 June 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, June 4/87. President Taylor’s health is not so good this morning. There is one feature, with others, which I do not like, that is, lack of appetite. He was able to sign a number of recommendations to the Temple and to listen to the correspondence, but was greatly relieved when we got through. He seems quite feeble. I wrote the answers to correspondence, which he signed.

5 June 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, June 5/87. During the night Bros. C. H. Wilcken and Alfred Solomon came to our quarters. They spent the day with us. I walked down with them to the Lake, they taking me a route which they could travel without being observed. I enjoyed the walk very much. A strong wind was blowing, which made the Lake very rough, but the breeze from the Lake was very exhilarating. President Taylor appeared much better to-day than he did yesterday. He did not, however, attend our meeting, and as he was sleeping, I merely called the folks together and had the Sacrament administered, and omitted singing and speaking. The day has been very cool, so much so that it almost felt as though we might have snow.

6 June 1887 • Monday

Monday, June 6/87. There was a marked improvement in President Taylor’s health this morning and he expressed himself as feeling much better. He signed a number of recommendations and listened to the correspondence, which I read to him. I answered the letters; among them was a long letter to Bro. Wilford Woodruff. Bro. Wilcken and Solomon returned to the city this evening.

7 June 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 7/87. I note with pleasure continued improvement in President Taylor’s health. His appetite is much better, and he appears more natural than he has done for some time. He listened to the correspondence, which I answered. I had a very interesting letter from Bro. Brigham Young, who is now laboring in Arizona. I have been in the habit of walking about two hours each day. I attempted on two different occasions to-day to walk, but found myself unable to do so through pain in my left leg, which affected the sciatic nerve.

8 June 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 8/87. I suffered very much this morning from sciatica, and on attempting to exert myself after I got up I came very nearly fainting through pain, and have suffered excruciating pain through the day, so much so that I could not sit up, and the only ease I could get was in laying down, and the most of the time I suffered great pain even in that position. I went through the correspondence, but did not attempt to answer any. I had word sent to the city for Bro. Wilcken to send out my electric battery that he had, and if he could come himself I should feel greatly obliged.

9 June 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, June 9/87. Bro. Wilcken came in the night last night and brought the battery, and he has nursed me to-day with great tenderness, and I feel much benefited under his administrations. I have had the ordinance administered to me also, but I am in such pain that I cannot exercise much faith for myself. I attended to the correspondence as well as I could.

10 June 1887 • Friday

Friday, June 10/87. I am easier to-day, though still unable to sit up for any length of time or to walk; but I can see an improvement through the means that have been used. Besides taking electricity, which Bro. Wilcken applies to me about three or four items in the course of the day, I have my limb rubbed with linament, and to-day I had it swathed in cotton batting. I cannot account for this attack. Rheumatism is something that I never suffered from to any extent. This pain is exceedingly acute – more like I imagine neuralgia to be. I have had some slight attacks of it, but not of any severity, some time past.

11 June 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, June 11/87. My presence in the city is greatly needed in consequence of Bro. C. W. Penrose’s expected return from Washington. He will be at Spanish Fork Station to-day at 2 P.M., where he will be met by a team which has been sent for him. He brings with him the amendments which are proposed to our Constitution as framed at Washington, and it may be necessary for the Territorial Central Committee to take some steps with a view to bring this question before the people. I do not know how this may be; but some one of the First Presidency should go in and see him. It is out of the question for President Taylor to do this; and I asked the Lord that if it was His will that I should go in, that he would enable me to do so and relieve me from some of the pain which I suffered. It has been impossible for me to sit upon a chair and endure the pain which I felt while in that attitude. If I did not get relief I would have to be carried in on a bed. I was administered to by the brethren twice this morning, and I attempted to sit at the table and eat dinner, but I might as well have tried to sit on a hot stove. During the afternoon our host returned and I got him, with Bro. Wilcken, S. Bateman, James Malin and H. C. Barrell, to administer to me again. I felt that I had received benefit therefrom while their hands were on my head. When supper was announced I sat up to the table in my accustomed place without feeling the least pain, and sat up until the buggy was ready to take me to the city, and I sat in the buggy for nearly four hours till I was carried home, without receiving any pain. I felt exceedingly thankful to the Lord for His goodness to me in hearing my prayer and the prayers of the brethren in my behalf, and I felt to chide myself for my want of faith. When the Lord is so good and gracious and so willing to bless us through the ordinances that He has appointed, we manifest so little faith in Him and in His promises. Before I left I had an interview with President Taylor. He is not feeling well to-day, and he told me that he felt respecting several questions which I submitted to him connected with our business that he was not in a condition to think or act upon these matters. He is very feeble and has slept considerably of late during the day. Two days, however, this week he has played quoits – ten games each day, and I felt very much encouraged; but he seems to be much affected to-day by his disease. His limbs and his body seem swollen through this dropsical affliction. Bro. Wilcken drove me to my house; but before doing so we heard that men had been lying in wait on the roads leading to my place for several nights back, and that a few nights ago two men had stopped a man in a buggy to ascertain who he was and let him pass on when they found that he was not the man whom they said they wanted. The brethren warned me of it, so that I might not run into danger without being informed. I felt very grateful for the interest that is manifested in this matter, especially so when I found that Bro. Andrew Burt, the Sheriff of the County, and Bro. Lehi Pratt, another policeman, had been down in their buggy, examining all the roads, and when we reached the Tithing Office Yard, they and Bro. Alfred Solomon, the City Marshal, came and reported all that was known, and that the roads were clear. Bro. Wilcken and I took Bro. Solomon’s buggy, and Bros. Burt and Pratt accompanied us in their own buggy to my place.

12 June 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, June 12/87 Brother Wilcken brought Dr. Orlando D. Hovey down to my place this morning for the purpose of giving me a lobelia emetic. Thirty eight years ago last month Dr. Hovey and myself were in the mines in California, working with our company, I having been sent there on a mission. He is now past 80 years of age and is wonderfully active for a man of his years, especially for one who has worked as he has done; for most of his life he has done every day the work that two men should do. He administered a very good emetic to me, which I thought would do me good. After I got through, I enjoyed visiting with my family. Bro. Wilcken staid with me all day and took me to the office in the evening.

13 June 1887 • Monday

Monday, June 13/87. Bro. C. W. Penrose and myself had a long conversation this morning upon Washington affairs. He submitted to me the amendments to our Constitution which were proposed. After he had got through with his explanations, I spoke to Bro. F. D. Richards and asked him to get Bro. John W. Taylor and any other leading men whom he chose and listen to Bro. Penrose’s explanation of affairs, so that they might be able to judge of the propriety of accepting these amendments or not. A number of names were written of men who were suitable to get together, and I was particularly desirous to get men who were of an uncompromising character, and who felt determined to not yield upon any point, so that an expression of their views might be obtained. I felt to suggest this for my own sake, in view of the responsibility which rested upon us as the First Presidency of the Church and especially so as Bro. Joseph F. Smith is absent and President Taylor’s health is in the condition that it is. I feel the responsibility of my office very much at the present time, because of my peculiar situation. President Taylor is not in a condition to take much weight upon himself. His mind is affected to some extent by his sickness, not upon principle or anything of this kind, but he cannot listen to details nor grasp them, his body is so feeble. I dictated a number of letters to Bro. John Irvine and Arthur Winter, which had accumulated during my trouble in my leg. After which I entered the President’s Office and listened to the discussion which had been elicited by the reading of the papers and the presentation of the business which had been entrusted to Bro. Penrose. There were present the following named brethren: Apostles F. D. Richards and John W. Taylor; Elders John T. Caine, A. O. Smoot, A. M. Cannon, L. W. Shurtliff, J. R. Winder, C. W. Penrose, A. H. Cannon, C. F. Middleton, H. B. Clawson, O. F. Whitney, F. S. Richards, L. G. Young, A. Miner, J. Nicholson, F. Armstrong, J. F. Wells, E. A. Smith, C. C. Richards, F. J. Cannon, Geo. Reynolds, and James Jack.

After a vote had been taken, which was unanimous in favor of the proposition brought by Bro. Penrose, with the exception of two – Bros. John Nicholson and Geo. Reynolds – I spoke at some length to the brethren who were assembled. The meeting on the whole, I think, was quite satisfactory. After finishing this meeting, I had conversation with Brother Franklin D. Richards and Prests. Shurtliff and Middleton, of Weber Stake, Bros. F. S. & C. C. Richards, my son Franklin J. Cannon, C. W. Penrose and J. Nicholson, concerning the condition of affairs at Ogden and the importance of maintaining our supremacy there if it was possible. There had been some comments respecting their method of conducting the Ogden Herald. I told them that there should be no division of sentiment among the Saints upon a subject of this character; that there should be a policy adopted by the leading men of the Stake, and the Board of Directors should be instructed upon that policy and the tone that the paper should maintain, and they should see that their editor conducted the paper in accordance with that. Considerable conversation ensued and all felt that it was important that the policy which I outlined should be carried out. A number of the brethren were in during the evening, and at 10 o’clock I retired to bed, feeling very much fatigued, as I had been in some pain and the day’s labors had been quite exhausting. Bro. C. H. Wilcken came and he rubbed my leg with linament for me.

14 June 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 14/87. I felt very much refreshed by my rest and had interviews with a number of brethren on various matters of business. It is gratifying to find that Bro. Clawson has been able to sell ore and to hand Bro. Geo. Reynolds to-day a check for $700000/, with which he declared a dividend. I feel that the Lord is blessing us in this business and I desire to give Him the glory, for thus far he has answered our prayers concerning this property. In company with Bro. S. Bateman, I returned to our quarters. I thought it better to take Bro. Penrose along also, who rode in another buggy. I desired that he should be able to submit his papers and make his own statement. We reached our quarters about half past eleven.

15 June 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 15/87. I found President Taylor in tolerable health this morning, and after attending to the correspondence he laid down until about 11 o’clock. Then Bro. Penrose made explanations to him of the situation of affairs in the East, and particularly concerning the steps which have been taken to get these proposed conditions for our State Constitution into shape. Hon. George A. Jenks, Solicitor-General of the Department of Justice, had been agreed upon by all the parties who are taking interest in this measure as the proper person to get up the conditions for the admission of the state – conditions that would meet the public mind and that could be sustained by the administration as a basis for admission. The great point in preparing these, that has been watched carefully by Bro. John W. Young, has been not to have anything that our people could not accept. The greatest care has been taken, I understand, to impress President Cleveland and other leading men that in consenting to a basis of settlement of this kind, it should be looked upon as a political settlement, and not as a surrender of any principle of our religion. This has been strenuously urged upon them, and it has taken a shape that has pleased me better than any I have yet heard. My fear has been that if we were to make any attempt to meet the wishes of the country, our proposals would be spurned. We cannot – it is utterly out of the question for us to concede any principle of our religion; but it has appeared to me that there might be force in the point that I have before mentioned in my journal, that we could punish ourselves instead of our enemies punishing us. The changes and additions which were made to our Constitution adopted by our people in 1882 are as follows:

Article Two.

Section 1. Every male citizen of the United States not laboring under the disabilities named in the Constitution, of the age of twenty one years and over, who shall have resided in the State six months, and in the county and voting precinct thirty days next preceding any election, shall be entitled to vote for all officers that now are or hereafter may be elected by the people, and upon all questions submitted to the electors at such election. Provided: That no person who has been or may be convicted of treason or felony in any State or Territory of the United States unless restored to civil rights, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.

Article Fifteen.

Section 13. Bigamy and polygamy being considered incompatible with “a republican form of government”, each of them is hereby forbidden and declared a misdemeanor.

Any person who shall violate this section shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars and by imprisonment for a term not less than six months nor more than three years, in the discretion of the court. This section shall be construed as operative without the aid of legislation, and the offences prohibited by this section shall not be barred by any statute of limitation within three years after the commission of the offense; nor shall the power of pardon extend thereto until such pardon shall be approved by the President of the United States.

Proviso to Section 1 of Article Sixteen.

Provided: That Section 13 of Article Fifteen shall not be amended, revised or in any way changed until any amendment, revision or change as proposed therein shall, in addition to the requirements of the provisions of this article, be reported to the Congress of the United States and shall be by Congress approved and ratified, and such approval and ratification be proclaimed by the President of the United States, and if not so ratified and proclaimed said section shall remain perpetual.

These have been approved, as we understand, by President Cleveland; his secretary, Col. Dan. Lamont; Hon. W. L. Scott, of Pennsylvania; Hon. W. H. Barnum, ex-Senator from Connecticut, and President of the National Democratic Committee; Senator Gorman, of Maryland; Hon. George A. Jenks, of the Department of Justice; Hon. L. Q. C. Lamar, Secretary of the Interior; and Hon. A. H. Garland, Attorney General. They were read to President Taylor and myself by Bro. Penrose, and after hearing full explanations concerning them, President Taylor expressed himself in these words: “I am in favor of this arrangement. There is no need to make any long talk about it; I think I understand it, and I am in favor of it.” Subsequently, in speaking of Section 13, Article 15, he said: “I think it is in as good a shape as it can be + + + it is the only thing that can be done”. I watched the impression that the reading of these articles <made> upon him, for I felt anxious that he should grasp clearly the ideas embodied therein. I had prayed earnestly that the Lord would give him His Holy Spirit to guide him. In making these comments he spoke out clearly and emphatically, and without hesitation, and I felt satisfied. Thinking that he might not take in the whole consequences which were involved in these amendments, I said to him that many of <the> brethren who had tender consciences upon these points queried in regard to them in this manner: “Will we offend God, who has given us a commandment to obey this law, by declaring that to be a misdemeanor which he esteems as a virtue? And will we be justified by Him in sitting on juries and bringing in indictments and verdicts of guilty upon proper evidence against our brethren for obeying a law of our God?” These are questions, I said, which the brethren feel that they cannot answer themselves. They would not do this nor accept of these terms if left to themselves, for fear they would be guilty of an offense against their Maker. They want the word of the Lord upon this subject. In reply to this, he said, “People must not be too scrupulous[.]” I felt it to be my duty to bring this clearly before him lest through his feeble health he did not grasp the whole consequences which would follow the adoption of such a Constitution by us. And while it may be that his mind does not act with the vigor it did when he was in health, I have no doubt that this whole matter is clear to him, and that we may depend, in taking his words that he has given, that we are doing right. Bro. John W. Young has written us a long letter, which was read, explaining the various steps which have been taken in all this business. Among other things that he brought to our attention was the resignation of Bro. John Sharp as Chairman of the Territorial Central Committee. He deemed it very important that some other man should stand at the head of that Committee; and to relieve us from the responsibility of suggesting such a change, he had written a letter to Bro. John Sharp upon the subject. If we approved of his suggestion, then he had instructed the letter to be delivered; if not, to be withheld. President Taylor and myself feel in regard to Bro. Sharp that we do not wish to do anything that would hurt his feelings. The mis-step which he took we do not wish to hold against him, nor to add to the feeling already existing upon this subject. He has been a very worthy man and has done great good, and we would like to see him honor his position as far as he can. President Taylor desires me to make proper explanations, and suggested that I go to the City for this and other purposes. The following extract from a letter of President Joseph F. Smith’s to Bro. George Reynolds is so apropos that I insert it to show how he felt upon the subject of appealing for a State government at the time the letter was written:

“Since all ‘polygamists’ have been disfranchised and the woman suffrage abolished, why is it not a good time for the Monogamists to strike for State government? Perhaps Congress would listen to an appeal from them. I cannot see that ‘polygamists’ can be held responsible for the acts of monogamists; they are entirely removed from the questions. I do not suggest any slight of hand or trick; certainly as a polygamist I can better afford to trust my monogamic brother with the reins of government than the enemy, and ought to prefer it so. I ought even to help him get it if I could. I cannot and would not offer any compromise of principle, and neither can I ask my monogamic brother to do so. But certainly those who can take the ‘Edmunds-Tucker’ oath can ask for a State government on the same principle. If the oath suits the general government, those who can accede to it can form a constitution for a State that should meet the scruples of the powers that be. And if they chose to make the attempt I certainly should not be sorry. Their rights and liberty are invaded, and many of them taken away from them. We have all been anxious to maintain these rights we have lost, and have all done our best, no doubt, in that direction, but we have so far failed. Monogamists have yet a few rights left now. I say, exercise them to emancipate themselves if they can, and we will share with them the benefits.”

I left our quarters in company with Bro. James Malin and reached the city a little before midnight. Bros. Penrose and Sudbury followed us some distance and they were almost stopped by two men on horseback, who scrutinized them very closely. One of these men had met us, but had not attempted to stop us, though he peered into the buggy very closely. I felt it was a providence that there was but one man we met, as if the two had been together, they might have attempted to have seen who we were. Where one of them was at the time we passed I cannot say, though from the description I am sure that the one whom we met was one of the two seen by the brethren.

16 June 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, June 16/87. I wrote a letter this morning to Bro. A. K. Thurber, of Sevier Stake, informing him that my sons John Q. & David H. Cannon were visiting that region for the purpose of finding a place suitable for stock, and asking him to make such suggestions from his knowledge of the country as he could do to aid them in accomplish[ing] the object of their visit. Some dispatches were received from Bro. John W. Young concerning the instructions that should be given to the Commissioners and other points, which I had answered. I called a number of the brethren together to talk over the steps necessary to make our action effective towards getting up a Constitutional convention. It will be proper to hold mass meetings in the various counties, and I think it will be well to call the leading brethren from these various counties together to instruct them as to the proper way of managing this, and to give them some suggestions concerning the character of the speeches and proceedings. I wrote a letter to Elder Erastus Snow, and dictated to Bro. Arthur Winter my journal and the correspondence of the First Presidency, the letters of which I brought in with me.

17 June 1887 • Friday

Friday, June 17/87. Had interviews with a number of Brethren upon various points connected with our present movement, and also had conversation with Attorney Richards and Bro. Winder concerning questions that had been propounded by the Vice President of the Cache Valley Church Association, Bro. Geo. O. Pitkin. I was warned this morning by two different persons that it would not be safe for me to go out this evening as I contemplated; that the passage of the buggy backward and forward each evening carrying the mail has been noticed and reported to the Marshal, and he had given instructions for the road to be watched. The last night that we came in we were met by a man on horseback, whose appearance led me to believe that he was not an ordinary traveler. I am told that it was Franks, one of the deputy marshals, and it is said they intend to watch the road. As I have a meeting appointed for Monday next, and if I go out tonight, I shall have to return within a day or two, the brethren have suggested that it would not be safe for me to do so if I could avoid it. I concluded myself that it would be better for me not to go. I wrote a letter to President Taylor, explaining in brief what had been done since I came in, and also what I proposed to do in holding a meeting on Monday next, at noon, with leading men from the various Stakes to arrange for these <mass> meetings which are proposed to be held on the 25th of this month. I felt that it was necessary that there should be uniformity of action, and to avoid all blundering and mismanagement it has been deemed better to bring these brethren here and let them receive their instructions as being the more expeditious plan, than to send messengers or to attempt to give them an idea through writing. I also informed him of the reasons of my not returning, and suggested that instead of the mail being sent in, as it had been, by buggy, it would be better to have it come in by train. I also wrote a letter to Bro. Nuttall upon the same subject. I attended to correspondence to-day; dictated a number of letters and returned them, with the other letters which had been written here, dictated by me, for President Taylor’s signature. It was thought wise to frame a dispatch to send East giving some of the details concerning the action of the Territorial Central Committee in the matter of the proposed Constitutional Convention. We have an arrangement with the National Republican of Washington by which we can get dispatches published in its columns. These dispatches can be signed by Bro. John T. Caine or Bro. Jack. I suggested that Bro. John T. Caine, as he was at home, had better sign this. The matter was also brought to the attention of Bro. John W. Young that the same information might be published in the New York papers. The subject of changing the Associated Press Agent here was discussed by myself and several of the other brethren. I feel that it is very important, if we are going to push this State business vigorously, that we should have a better man as the Agent of the Associated Press at this point, because with the disposition to falsify everything that we do and to vilify the Latter-day Saints that now exists in the Agent here, a great many of our efforts might be neutralized through the dispatches which he sends, and which are scattered all over the Union. If money is necessary to make the change, I think it would be a good investment for a reasonable sum. I had Bro. Richards see Byron Groo to learn from him whether he would accept the position if he could get it. He expressed a willingness to do so. A dispatch was therefore sent to Bro. Young upon that subject. Another question arose, which Bro. Penrose was requested to write to him about. Some of the brethren have mentioned the subject of a minority representation and asked me my views concerning the insertion of a clause of this character in the Constitution. Our Constitution of 1872 contained a clause of this kind; but, for some reasons, the Convention which framed the Constitution of 1882 did [not] preserve that feature, and it is not in the last Constitution. It is thought that it might strengthen us in some directions if we were to insert a clause giving the minority representation. It strikes me as a fair principle; but whether it will be wise to adopt it at the present time is a question. With the letters which I dictated to Bro. Arthur Winter I also dictated “Topics of the Times.”

18 June 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, June 18/87. I had an interview this morning with Sister Julina Smith, the wife of President Joseph F. Smith, to whom I related what I had done in regard to his return, at which she appeared very much gratified. I dictated “Editorial Thoughts” to Bro. Winter and attended to various items of business, and had a number of calls from different brethren. In the evening Bro. C. H. Wilcken took me to Cannon’s home. My family had been spending the day at Liberty Park and were all tired out by the amusements of the day.

19 June 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, June 19/87. My son Angus administered the sacrament, and I sat in my chair and spoke to the folks, as my leg pained me to stand upon it. In the evening Bro. Wilcken called and took me to the office.

20 June 1887 • Monday

Monday, June 20/87. At 12 o’clock I held a meeting with the following named brethren: Apostles Franklin D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, H. J. Grant, and J. W. Taylor; Elders A. M. Cannon, L. W. Shurtliff, Canute Petersen, Wm R. Smith, H. S. Gowans, Abram Hatch, O. G. Snow, G. O. Pitkin, Jos. E. Taylor, J. B. Maiben, Chas. Sperry, W. H. Seegmiller, Wm Budge, W. H. Lee, C. F. Middleton, Chas. Anderson, S. Francis, V. E. Bean, J. T. Caine, J. R. Winder, C. W. Penrose, A. H. Cannon, F. Armstrong, F. S. Richards, John Sharp, James Sharp, Le G. Young, Elias Morris, Fred Turner, W. Maughan, G. W. Thatcher, Edmund Eldredge, W. A. C. Bryan, A. H. Lund, W. N. Dusenberry, J. F. Wells, W. E. Pack, H. S. Eldredge, A. E. Hyde, T. F. Roueche, Willard G. Smith, John Nicholson, John Boyden, Jos. Burton, P. T. Farnsworth, S. R. Thurman, H. B. Clawson, T. D. Dee, E. A. Smith, Thos. Callister, E. G. Woolley, E. A. Box, W. W. Riter, A. Miner, George Reynolds, and J. Irvine (Reporter). I explained to these brethren the object of our meeting. I desired them to be thoroughly imbued with the views that the authorities entertained concerning this State movement, so that in their operations in the various Stakes, and in the holding of the mass meetings, there should be uniformity of feeling and of action throughout the Territory. It was important that there should be no blundering or mistakes made. Our enemies would doubtless misconstrue our actions and say that Cleveland and others were at the bottom of this, but we should hold our peace, and let them conjecture what they pleased. I told them that I had never seen so favorable an opportunity to obtain a State government as was presented now. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention who were to be chosen by the county mass meetings should be the very best men that could <be> found, and care should be taken in regard to the kind of speeches made at these meetings. The delegates elected to the Convention would have to frame a Constitution which would meet as far as possible, our wishes and the wishes of the nation. The First Presidency had come to the conclusion, after full consideration, that this could be done, to a certain extent. And in doing this no principle of our religion would be abandoned. The idea of abandoning any principle of our religion could not, for one moment, be entertained by a true Latter-day Saint. That was entirely out of the question. But this settlement that is now contemplated was to be a political one, made by our people as citizens of the United States, not as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether there can be a settlement reached upon a political basis, and a constitution adopted by the citizens which shall not infringe in the least degree upon our rights as Latter-day Saints, was a point that would have to be decided by the Convention. Many propositions had been made to me, <I said,> in the course of my experience, to frame a constitution, get into the Union, and then we could do as we pleased; but such propositions were always distasteful to me. That would be punic faith, which, from the days of Carthage and Rome, has been known as treacherous and easily broken. If we should make punic promises in order to get into the Union, and then repudiate the Constitution when we got in, it would in all probability entail upon us a train of evils worse than those from which we are now suffering. The proposition now before us really resolves itself into this: whether we cannot adopt a constitution which will place our offenses in our own hands, instead of allowing our enemies to continue their work of persecution and punishment. We are now exposed to the rigor of the Edmunds-Tucker law. The tide has set in strongly against us, and it was only by the interposition of God that any rights were saved to us. The successful commission of one wrong is cited as a justification for <the perpetration of> still greater wrong against us. Our enemies seek to enslave us, emasculate us, and make us political eunuchs, and when a people are once reduced to slavery, it takes a long period and herculean efforts to free them. It was therefore important that something should be done before our rights and liberties were completely taken away from us. I told the brethren that it was very desirable that they all should become thoroughly informed, as far as possible, with <respecting> the nature of this movement and with the prospect of success. I also said that there appeared to be a feeling among some <of> our people that God never intended Utah to be a State, and that if we became a State, we would become identified with the “great image.” I said I had talked with President Young, President Taylor, and many other leading brethren, and had failed to discover any good reason why such an idea should be entertained. To me, Statehood seemed the quickest outlet for us out of all this trouble. Brother C. W. Penrose, F. D. Richards, Moses Thatcher & H. J. Grant spoke in favor of this movement. I then desired all the brethren to express their views freely, especially those who had any objection. After Bros. F. S. Richards & John T. Caine had made some remarks upon the necessity of putting something in a proposed Constitution making the practice of bigamy and polygamy unlawful in order that the wishes of the nation might be met to a certain extent, Bro. S. R. Thurman said he could not see how we could make that unlawful which we contended was a divine principle of our religion. On reply to Bro. Thurman, I said the whole thing resolved itself into two propositions: Could a Latter-day Saint, without offending his God, declare that a certain practice shall be an offence under the laws of the land which He had declared to be a virtue, and which He had commanded His people to obey and carry out? And could a Latter-day Saint sit on a jury and find an indictment or bring in a verdict of guilty against his brother for practicing that which God had commanded him to practice? These propositions had been submitted to President Taylor, and the reply which he made to them was quite satisfactory to me. In order to show how the First Presidency felt on this matter before the close of the last Congress, I read to the brethren present several dispatches which were sent East concerning the Scott Amendment, showing clearly that we did not contemplate the surrender of any principle; but that if we were compelled to adopt a Constitution in which polygamy was made a crime, we would have the satisfaction of punishing ourselves instead of being punished by our enemies. The question of inserting a clause in the Constitution granting minority representation was briefly discussed, as also the question of female suffrage. Nothing definite was agreed upon in regard to either subject. The necessity of raising funds to defray the expenses of the Convention and of the effort to get Statehood was next considered. After some discussion, it was decided to call upon each county <to> contribute proportionately for this purpose, and to appoint agents to collect the comments. Mayor Armstrong, James Sharp, W. W. Riter, H. J. Grant, H. B. Clawson and John T. Caine were appointed for this purpose for Salt Lake Co. After the meeting I was kept very busy in conversation with the brethren till about 6 o’clock when I passed through the Lion House and Sister Susan Snively Young’s room into a covered wagon, which was drawn up close to the house, and lay down on some blankets on some hay. I was driven by two young men to my home. Miss Batt, who has been teaching my school, desired to give an exhibition and she had arranged a programme for the occasion. My own children were Rosanna, Brigham, Emily, Reed, Joseph, Sylvester, Willard, Grace, Preston, and Carl, and Ether Davy, a son of Sister Davy. I enjoyed the exhibition very much and was greatly pleased with the children’s efforts. After we got through, we had ice cream and cake. Bro. Wilcken drove me to our quarters, which we reached at two o’clock in the morning.

21 June 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 21/87. I found President Taylor weak in body, but quite bright. I explained to him what I had done, at which he expressed his satisfaction. Afterwards I attended to the correspondence. Bro. Wilcken returned this afternoon to the city.

22 June 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 22/87. Brother Nuttall’s health is not good. He is suffering very much from what appears to be jaundice. His skin seems to be thoroughly saturated with bile and he is as yellow as a man could well be. President Taylor is not so well to-day. His mind is not as clear as usual. I answered the correspondence of the First Presidency.

23 June 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, June 23/87. President Taylor kept his room most of to-day. The weather is very hot. I attended to the correspondence. The pain from which I have been suffering is not so severe as it has been.

24 June 1887 • Friday

Friday, June 24/87. I attended to correspondence. I have felt very much impressed with the importance of talking with some degree of plainness to President Taylor concerning his condition and the necessity there is for something being done about his affairs as connected with the Church, and also his private matters. I have dictated to Bro. L. John Nuttall two or three forms of wills and have urged him to bring them to President Taylor’s attention when I was absent, so that he would have a full opportunity of conversing with him upon the subject. I also suggested to him that he should secure a plot of his city property and the exact location of his houses, with a view to dividing the property and giving to each wife and her children their portion. This I did hoping that by doing so he might be disposed to express himself; but up to the present time he has not been willing to do anything more than to listen to them and express his approval of some of the writing. I told him this afternoon that I thought it of great importance that he should appoint executors, and also give them authority to settle up all trusts in which he might be interested, and take steps to preserve his private estate from injury on account of any trustee business in which he might have been engaged. There is another point upon which I feel very strongly impressed to speak. We, in buying stock in the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co., agreed to dedicate three-fifths of it to the Lord and place it at the unreserved and absolute disposal of President Taylor. President Taylor, myself, and Bro. Beck entered into a written agreement to this effect. When Bros. Thatcher, <Preston,> Merrill and Card invested in it, they were willing that the same disposition should be made of three-fifths of their share of the stock. This places 60,000 shares of stock in the hands of President Taylor. 15,000 of them he afterwards paid to John Beck, in lieu of $25,00000/, which he was to have out of the output of the mine. This left 45,000 shares in the hands of President Taylor, to be used by him as he might see fit in carrying on the work of the Lord. I told him that there should be something done in regard to these shares, so that there could be no question arise hereafter. We talked fully upon the points and he agreed with the views I expressed. I told him that I could in a very little while draw up three or four paragraphs that would cover all these points, and before we separated I asked him if I should do so and leave them with Bro. Nuttall for him to sign. He expressed his willingness that I should do so. I asked if he would not like to see Dr. Anderson. He did not express any dislike to this at the time; but afterwards, when I asked him again, he said he did not wish him brought out. I also asked if he would like to see some of his family. He expressed no wish to this effect. I enquired of him what I should say to them concerning his condition. He replied, “As little as possible”. I afterwards drew out three paragraphs for Bro. Nuttall to prepare and to try and get him to sign. The first was the appointment of his executors; the second giving them authority to settle all trusts, etc.; the third was in regard to the shares of the B. B. & C. Co. I also suggested to Bro. Nuttall that if possible he should get the names of President Taylor’s wives and his children and have them attached, so that they could be declared his heirs by him. On my way to the City this evening I considered the situation of President Taylor. I am convinced that he is not fully conscious himself of his real condition, and the question arose in my mind how far it would do for me to further conceal from his family his real condition. If anything were to happen to him, they would never cease to blame me for concealing it from them. I made up my mind that I would send for his son John W. and communicate to him the facts.

25 June 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, June 25/87. I had an interview this morning with John W. Taylor, to whom I communicated the facts concerning his father’s condition and desired him to inform President Taylor’s wives. I told him that perhaps it might be satisfactory to them to have Dr. Anderson taken out to see President Taylor; that I would not presume, after what he had said to me, to send him out myself; but they, if they wished, could do so. He informed me afterwards that he had told his father’s wives and explained to them my action in the matter and my feelings and why I had not communicated it earlier. They wished Dr. Anderson to go and he arranged to have him taken. I attended to considerable business to-day, and wrote an explanatory letter to President Taylor, informing him why Dr. Anderson came and the anxiety which his family felt concerning him. In the evening I was taken down to my home on the river by Bro. Wilcken. This morning I requested the brethren to show me a list of names of the delegates they had selected to be appointed at the mass meeting to be held to-day, and I felt pleased that I had done so, because while no exception could be taken to the names they had down, they were not such men as I thought ought to be members of the Convention from this city. A number of them were young men. I suggested the substitution of the names of F. Little, L. S. Hills, S. P. Teasdel, John Clark and [blank.] These men represent capital and are business men and should have a voice in the Convention, because they would have influence with certain classes that other men whose names were down would not have. I told the brethren the [that] we would manage the good Church members without trouble; but we wanted men who could reach outsiders and talk freely with them and defend the movement, and also with a certain class of our own people. The mass meeting was held to-day. It was not near so numerously attended as it was expected it would be. The weather was hot, and I suppose that the impression had gone out that there would be crowded and a great many people stayed away on that account. Everything, however, passed off very harmoniously and the speeches were said to be good.

26 June 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, June 26/87. Spent the day as usual with my family. Had Sacrament meeting and had a very interesting time. Bro. Lehi Pratt called for me in the evening, Bro. Wilcken’s eyes being so sore that he could not leave his house. He carried me to the President’s Office.

27 June 1887 • Monday

Monday, June 27/87. I was kept busy to-day arranging matters for the Constitutional Convention. I had interviews with Bros. John T. Caine, F. S. Richards, and others. In the evening Bro. Wilcken took me down to my home for the purpose of being nursed to-morrow for the sciatica, with which I am troubled.

28 June 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 28/87. My wife Martha took me in hand this morning about eight o’clock and kept applying hot cloths, wrung out of wild sage tea, to my hip and leg to-day until about seven in the evening, when I was sponged off with alcohol and retired to bed. Bro. Wilcken spent the night at my house and at a little after three in the morning took me in the buggy to the Office.

29 June 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 29/87. Bro. Lorenzo Snow arrived yesterday from the South and, at my request, had remained over that I might see him. I had considerable conversation with him and Bros. F. D. Richards, H. J. Grant, and J. W. Taylor upon various subjects of a public character. I explained to them the condition of President Taylor’s health. I also conversed with them as to what their feelings were concerning the President of the Convention. We came to no conclusion while we were together; but I had obtained their views. I read to them, also, correspondence from Bp. Farrell from Alberta Territory, British Territory, and from Bps. George Farnworth, W. S. Seeley, and John Spencer, from Indianola, describing the visit of a number of chiefs and Indians to that point and the purport of their councils. After meeting with the Twelve, I held a meeting with a number of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, in order to converse upon the selection of officers for that body. It was decided that Bro. W. N. Dusenberry be the temporary President, and Bro. John T. Caine permanent President; E. G. Woolley and J. T. Hammond, Vice Presidents; H. M. Wells, Secretary; R. W. Sloan, Assistant Secretary; Thomas Harris, Sergeant-at-Arms; H. C. Cutler, messenger. Bro. Penrose was present as well as the Twelve. During the day Bro. Caine brought in Byron Groo and I had a full conversation concerning the officers of Summit Co. We are greatly outnumbered there by non-“Mormon” voters, and we cannot elect a single officer unless we can form a coalition of some kind. Bro. Caine and Alma Eldredge came to my house last Sunday while I was there and I learned from Bro. Eldredge the condition of affairs. It was the second conversation I have had with him upon the subject. He is clearly of the opinion that the best we can do is to make terms with R. C. Chambers, of the Ontario Mine, and by dividing the offices and selecting men of our people, we might make a compromise with him. It is exceedingly important that we get the Selectman, if nothing more. Chambers is now in California, but we learned by telegraph that he will return in time. Bro. Eldredge had suggested that Byron Groo would be a good person to converse with Chambers and to make terms if it were at all possible, and it was for this purpose that I desired an interview with Byron Groo. I gave him some suggestions and told him that if we made an arrangement, everything must be done to secure as many offices as we can, and for the offices which we do not secure, we must insist on respectable and fair men being elected. He is an intimate friend of Mr. Chambers and will do all in his power to secure for us as good terms as possible.

I dictated considerable correspondence to Bro. Arthur Winder to-day. As the convention will meet to-morrow, and they can do nothing beyond organizing, I thought I would take advantage of the time and again go home and have my wife treat me as I was yesterday. Bro. Wilcken took me down.

30 June 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, June 30/87. My wife Martha was sick through her exertions on Tuesday nursing me and felt unable to wait upon me to-day. My wife Sarah Jane started early this morning with two children to visit her mother in the North – a trip she has long contemplated, and it is the first opportunity she has had for a long time to be with the family. They intend to be together. Last night when I reached home, word was sent me that my son Joseph was very sick and had fainted. He had been in the sun on Tuesday and it was feared he was sunstruck. Bro. Wilcken and I administered to him and he experienced immediate relief and fell asleep, and his mother took him with her this morning. I arranged for my son Hugh to do the most of the work connected with the heating of the cloths and the wringing of them out with the wringer, and my wife Martha changed them, and her health improved all day. I felt relieved by these applications, and if I had time I would continue them. Bro. Wilcken came and stayed all night at my house and at 3 o’clock in the morning we again moved in a buggy. He took me to the Office.

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June 1887, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed July 24, 2024