Friday, July 1/87. I have been daily in receipt of word from President Taylor, through Bro. Nuttall. I feel very anxious to get back, as there are papers to sign which Bro. Nuttall appears anxious to have me go back and attend to. He has done all he can about them, but President Taylor has deferred them till he could see me. I feel very desirous to-day to get through the work, so that I may go. I have been absent now nearly a week. In a conversation a day or two ago with the attorneys, Bros. F. S. Richards, Le G. Young, and A. Miner, I showed them a document which President Taylor, Bro. Beck and myself had signed concerning the dedication of three-fifths of our shares of the B. B. & C. Co.’s stock for the purpose which I have mentioned previously in my journal, and told them the situation of affairs, and after conversation they promised to draw a paper which they thought would be much more satisfactory than any other form. I had, in dictating to Bro. Nuttall, suggested that President Taylor’s successor as President of the Church should have charge of this fund. They say that there is danger in such a provision, because the successor not being mentioned by name, disputes might arise and the courts be called upon to interfere; but, as I am the chief contributor, with President Taylor, to this fund, that it would be eminently proper that he should place it in my hands and give me the authority which we had given to him. They drew a document to this effect and it was sent out to Bro. Nuttall. This morning Bro. Caine submitted to me the names of the committees as they had arranged them. I thought the arrangement a very good one. I was kept exceedingly busy to-day in my endeavor to get away. I had an interview with Prest. Joseph F. Smith’s wife, Julina, and Bros. Albert W. Davis and James Jack, and dictated to Bro. A. Winter a letter to be sent to Prest. Joseph F. Smith and Wm W. Cluff, at San Francisco, when they should land, explaining the change that we had made, at Bro. Davis’ suggestion, in their place of meeting him. It had been agreed upon that they were to meet at Shoshone Falls. Bro. Davis now felt that American Falls would be the proper place, as it was this side of the river and would save ferrying. I wrote to them to this effect and told them that on the 15th of July he would meet them at American Falls. A copy of this letter was given to Bro. Davis, as well as a copy of the former writing that I had given to Bro. Cluff. I desired nothing to be left to chance in this matter, but that everything should be down in black and white, that we might know exactly, without trusting to memory alone. This letter will be mailed on the 4th of July, so as to be in ample time to meet them. I am just now reminded that I have written nothing previously upon this subject in my journal. My reason for not doing so is that I have felt that nothing respecting this should leak out, for fear of endangering the safety of President Joseph F. Smith. I here insert copies of correspondence that I have had upon this subject.**
** May 26th 7.1
President Joseph F. Smith,
My dear Brother Joseph F.:–
As I wrote you by the last steamer concerning President Taylor’s health and intimated to you that I might send a messenger, I felt so impressed upon this subject that I have come to the conclusion to do so, and have selected Bro. Wm W. Cluff to go to you at the Islands and to accompany you back. He carries with him a programme which we have arranged, and a copy of which we have retained. I need not explain to you further concerning this, as it is self-explanatory. But I wish to say that if anything should arise between the time that he leaves here and is likely to reach San Francisco that will call for a change of programme, I shall see that measures are taken to have that communicated to you at San Francisco upon your landing. I have taken this step without communicating it to anyone, for fear that it might create alarm, or it might endanger your safety. I think the fewer who know about this, the safer it is, and the knowledge of this is confined to six persons. Of course, it required the greatest secrecy to make your journey a safe one, and I fully believe that you will be able to make the trip without incurring any risk that you cannot overcome. My mind has rested somewhat upon your coming by the Southern route, but the journey would be long and tedious and expensive, and involve many risks that you will not be likely to meet in taking the route that is suggested.
As to how you will return and the measures you will take, of course, you understand the situation there fully as well as anyone, and I have nothing to say except that you cannot be too cautious, so as not to expose yourself in your association with your companion.
With love, and beseeching the Lord to have you in His holy keeping, and to preserve you from danger and bring you home in entire safety,
I remain, as ever,
Geo. Q. Cannon2
I selected Bro. Cluff for this mission because of his familiarity with the native language, and he is an experienced traveler. He has been to the Islands twice before. My counsel was sought by committees of the Convention, consisting of Bros. Winder, Richards, Riter, L. G. Young, and Caine. I afterwards met with Bros. L. W. Shurtliff and C. C. Richards concerning the affairs of the Ogden Herald. Bro. O. P. Arnold asked my counsel concerning another amputation being performed on the young son of the late Bro. R. V. Morris, whose leg was injured by a street car.
Bro. Penrose was in the office all day. I dictated correspondence to Bros. John Irvine and A. Winter, and I received telegrams from and sent telegrams to Bro. John W. Young and wrote to him concerning financial matters. I was able to get away from the office, disguised, at a little after six o’clock and made my way into the Tithing Office yard, where Bro. Wilcken had provided a vehicle. I sat on the bottom of the carriage with him, and Bros. Joseph Barton and T. F. Roueche rode on the first seat, and the former drove the team. We passed two deputy marshals on the road, but they did not know that I was so near. We reached our quarters a little after nine, and I was pleased to find President Taylor looking better than I expected. He has not, however, put on his clothes since Tuesday, nor been out of his room. His time is spent between the bed and the rocking chair, in which he sits occasionally to relieve himself. He does not eat anything, I am told, but drinks a little wine and beer, and this is all the nourishment – if it may be called such – that he takes. He appeared, however, glad to see me and expressed his satisfaction and pleasure at what I had done.
Brothers William W. Cluff and Albert W. Davis and Sister Julina Smith met with President George Q. Cannon on Thursday, 26 May, 1887, to talk over the sending of a messenger to meet President Joseph F. Smith on the Sandwich Islands and to accompany him on his return home. Bro. W. W. Cluff was quite agreeable to be the messenger to go down to the Islands and meet Bro. Smith and accompany him on his return. He was instructed to return home and make his preparations for the journey; and if it should be decided that he should go, it was understood that President Cannon should get word to Bro. James Jack and he telegraph to Bro. Cluff, at Coalville, and they meet together at Ogden, so as to obviate the necessity of Bro. Cluff coming again to the city. Bro. Jack would carry to him at Ogden the means necessary to defray his expenses. It will not be necessary for him to have all the funds to take with him that is necessary to pay the cost of the return trip, as President Joseph F. Smith has had authority given him by Presidents Taylor & Cannon to draw from the Tithing that is now in the hands of the President of the Sandwich Islands Mission. If Bro. Cluff should go, he will leave on the Central Pacific train which goes out on Tuesday, May 31st, to meet the steamer which sails for Honolulu on Friday, June 3rd. It is understood that he will, after reaching San Francisco, learn two reliable places where letters can be addressed to him, or where messengers can find him upon his return from the Islands in company with Prest. Smith <and write these back to Bro. Jack.> It is suggested that probably the two best places will be <the> hotel where he stops as he goes out and the Office of the Steamship Co.
The design in making this arrangement is, that if anything should occur while he has gone to the Islands that will make it necessary to make a change of plan, the intelligence can be conveyed to him and to Bro. Smith, at San Francisco, upon their landing, so that they can conform to whatever change may be suggested. It is probable that the steamer will reach Honolulu in 7 days after she leaves San Francisco. This will leave Bro. Cluff 3 weeks to remain at the Islands, according to the best knowledge that we have now. We see by the tables that the steamer leaves Honolulu for San Francisco on July 2nd. As to the plan that shall be decided upon respecting the return, Prest. Smith can best decide
; whether his companion will return with him, or in what manner, he will know best. Too much care, however, cannot be taken by them to not expose themselves to prying eyes, as there may be persons on board, unknown to Prest. Smith, who may know him. Upon landing in San Francisco on their return, they will immediately telegraph to Bro. James Jack over the signature of William Wallace. The dispatch might read, if all is well: “The goods have arrived in good order; they should reach place of destination about ______ (naming the date)”; and this can be varied to suit the circumstances, or any additional <information> could be sent that will not convey too much to persons who have access to the telegraph lines.
Bro. Albert W. Davis is willing to take his team and meet Prests. Smith and Cluff at Shoshone on the Oregon Short Line [blank] days after the receipt of the telegram by Bro. Jack from Bro. Cluff. It is suggested that it would be better for him to have to wait for them than that they should reach this point ahead of him, as his being there with a team would not be likely to attract attention or create suspicion so much as their arrival without any team and waiting without any apparent object at the station. He will, perhaps, in order to save his team, send it out in charge of some trusty person as far as Corinne, if not farther, before any word is expected from Bro. Cluff of the landing of Prest. Smith and himself at San Francisco. This will be to have the team driven <with> easy
steps <stages>, so as to be in good condition to return. If it should be taken in this way, he will go by rail to Corinne or elsewhere, and the party who takes the team will return. We think it best, with the light we now have before us, to suggest that Prests. Smith & Cluff should return by way of Portland, taking steamer or other conveyance from San Francisco for Portland, and from Portland come down the Oregon Short Line to the point above mentioned, which is where they are to meet Bro. Davis and his team. If the journey from San Francisco to the point where they are to meet Bro. Davis should occupy a less time than necessary for them to travel, they had better delay at Portland, or some other point on the road where they are not known, so as to not arrive at the place of meeting ahead of Bro. Davis.
Should anything arise after Bro. Cluff has sailed that will cause a change of plan, we shall take every means possible to have that conveyed to San Francisco by the time they will be expected to reach there from the Islands.
[End of document]
Saturday, July 2/87. I was kept busy most of the day attending to public affairs. In the afternoon I went down with several of the brethren to the Lake in an open carriage and had a very enjoyable bath in its waters. I felt greatly refreshed by it. President Taylor’s condition has been such for some days that I had [have] had to sign all the recommends to the Temples and also the letters, signing his name per George Q. Cannon. To-day he signed the document which the attorneys had drawn up, authorizing me to take charge of the fund created by the shares of stock we had placed in his hands in the B. B. & C. Co. I suggested to him that he should select executors and mentioned George, his oldest son, John W., one of the Twelve, and L. John Nuttall, his son-in-law, as the three executors. He seemed to acquiesce in this arrangement and afterwards requested Bro. Wilcken to bring them out at night. I also spoke to him about inserting the name of Josephine Elizabeth [blank] I suggested having her name placed among his wives. To this he assented and told me to instruct Bro. Nuttall to have it done.
Sunday, July 3/87. George J. and John W. Taylor came out this morning and we had quite a conversation with President Taylor concerning the division of his lots and houses among his family. I was quite pleased with the results, though we did not get through with all that I would like to have talked about. He was uncommonly bright for some time, but became wearied and said he must have more time to think about it, and it was suggested that he might talk about it in the evening. I went and had a bath this evening in the Lake, which I again enjoyed. Letters came from the city asking questions which could not be answered very well without more information, and I thought it proper to go to the city, in which President Taylor acquiesced. His mind was not clear this afternoon and the conversation of his sons with him was not very satisfactory, because of his inability to remember. They appeared pleased with his position and surroundings and seemed quite hopeful, from what they saw and heard, concerning his recovery. Bro. Wilcken took them and myself to the city. I slept at the office.
Monday, July 4/87. A grand celebration of the day was had by our people and everything passed off harmoniously. I have been reminded, in this celebration, of Aaron’s rod swallowing the rods of the magicians. We have joined in as a minority in celebrating this day for prudential and political reasons and we have actually swallowed up the other party, so that there is nothing left of them, and it really becomes a “Mormon” celebration. I had considerable conversation with Bros. Caine, Winder, and F. S. Richards, to-day, concerning the Convention affairs; and I instructed Bro. Jack to send $500000/ to Bro. J. W. Young, in answer to his dispatch. In order that my position in this matter may be known, I insert here a copy of a dispatch received from him on July 1st; my answer thereto on the same day by telegraph, and also my answer by letter, and his dispatch in answer thereto received this morning.**
New York, 30 June, 1887
Please remit by telegraph five thousand dollars; remit by mail five thousand more. Answer. Everything seems to be moving satisfactory with the newspapers. (Signed) John W. Young.
(Answer to above)
July 1st, 1887.
John W. Young, Washington, D. C.,
Your dispatch received dated thirtieth for more means. Has number five received amount agreed upon? Can you not say what this sum is to be used for? (Signed) James Jack.
New York, July 2, 1887.
James Jack – No telegraphed answer could be explanatory of your enquiry, or satisfy the feeling that prompted dispatch of yesterday afternoon. In all kindness I say send some one immediately in whom you have more confidence; to whom I can report. This is imperative if we fight successful in our affairs; have good start. I have done best could do. An immediate answer necessary.
(Signed) John W. Young.
Copy. Salt Lake City,
July 1st, 1887.
Elder John W. Young,
Dear Brother John W.:
A dispatch has just been received from you, asking for $10,00000/ to be sent you, half of it to be remitted by telegraph. I happen to be in town and therefore take the liberty of sending you a few lines on this subject.
President Taylor has been quite anxious about the last amount sent to you to know concerning its disposition. Bro. C. Williams understood that No. 5 had not been paid, when he left, the amount agreed upon. On this account a dispatch is now being sent to you making enquiries concerning that, as President Taylor will naturally be desirous to know how the amount previously sent has been disposed of. As you know, he is exceedingly particular in regard to money matters, and I would suggest to you that you keep him advised respecting your expenditures, and not make any draft without previously preparing him for it by letter. There is good reason for being thus careful. You can scarcely imagine the many demands which are made upon him as Trustee in Trust, and, of course, as you know, the sources of supply are not inexhaustible. He is compelled to refuse a great many calls which are made upon him.
The Convention is in session and things are shaping very well. The 4th of July is likely to pass off in a manner that will be satisfactory to our people, at least. At any rate, we hope this.
You must not take any exception to what I now say to you. I do it because I think it is a precaution that you should observe. I have been exceedingly gratified to hear concerning your labors and the success that has attended your efforts.
Give my love to the brethren with you, and with love to yourself, in which all here join,
(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon
[End of document]
Tuesday, July 5/87. A number of questions have been submitted to me to-day by the members of the Convention for my counsel. The question of minority representation has created considerable discussion and a variety of views are entertained concerning it. Clauses were prepared over which there was discussion, and finally it was suggested that they be omitted and that nothing be said in the Constitution upon the subject. Hon. George A. Jenks, Solicitor General of the Department of Justice, is here and expresses great gratification at the manner in which the 4th of July has been celebrated and also the success of the Convention in dealing with the question before it. He is very desirous that we should be admitted as a State, and from reports that I hear from him, he appears to understand the situation here very well; considering that he is an entire stranger. His object in coming here is to commence suits under the Edmunds-Tucker law. President Cleveland seems to feel that it is necessary he should take some steps to carry out the law; but he has expressed himself several times to the effect that it shall not be harshly executed, in regard to property of the Church. To-day has been very hot. I took a ride this evening with my wife Carlie through the Park, on what is called the Boulevard, for six miles. Bro. Wilcken procured me a horse and buggy, and he and Bro. Arnold accompanied us. I felt a little impressed this morning with the propriety of having a meeting of the Twelve who are within reach to consider the best method of consummating the work of the Convention by getting the full vote of our people on the Constitution. There are questions connected with this which are exceedingly delicate, and which will have to be managed with care. The difficulty is that we cannot explain as fully as we should do, without saying too much and giving our enemies an advantage. Still some explanation must be made to our people who feel so tender in their consciences concerning the command of God respecting plural marriage. I telegraphed to Bros. Lorenzo Snow & Moses Thatcher to know if they would come down, to be here to-morrow. Both replied affirmatively. I also think that it will be a good plan to have the members of the Convention meet together in the Office and have explanations made to them, so they may go away prepared to give information to the people, who will naturally appeal to them for information concerning the Constitution and how it came that the conditions respecting plural marriage have been inserted in it. They come from all parts of the Territory and will naturally be appealed to by the people to learn from them all they can; and I desire, therefore, to meet with them before they leave. I think it better to do this after the Convention adjourns, so that no charge can truthfully be made that any influence had been brought upon them by myself and others to induce them to frame the Constitution in any certain way.
Wednesday, July 6/87. I was much gratified this morning to get word from Bro. Nuttall concerning President Taylor’s health. He has commenced eating and yesterday put on his clothes and sat out on the perch. His improvement was very marked and he appeared bright in his mind. I cannot express my gratification at this intelligence and I trust the improvement is permanent, and that he will steadily recover his whole power in mind and body. He writes me that he appears very hopeful himself. I was engaged to-day as yesterday; had many calls, and questions were submitted to me for counsel connected with the labors of the Convention and the best plan to be adopted to get the vote of the people in a form that cannot be questioned. As I had written to Prest. Woodruff, to Bro. Erastus Snow, and to Bros. B. Young, F. M. Lyman and J. H. Smith, concerning President Taylor’s condition, I thought it wise to inform them of the news which I receiving respecting his improvement, that they might be relieved from the anxiety which they would naturally feel regarding him. Bro. Lorenzo Snow came down, but as Bro. Thatcher was not here, I postponed the meeting until his arrival.
Thursday, July 7/87. The news from President Taylor through Bro. Nuttall was of the same character as that of yesterday; it was very gratifying. About 10 o’clock Bros. L. Snow, F. R. Richards, M. Thatcher, H. J. Grant, and John W. Taylor met and I spoke to them about various items of business. They agreed that if necessary $200000/ should be advanced to aid the Ogden Herald, if proper steps were taken by all parties interested to clear off the debts and to get the concern into a proper shape – that is, have all its debts paid and it put on its feet. It was agreed to send $50000/ to Mexico to Bro. Erastus Snow, to assist the poor there and to be returned by them as soon as possible. In case Bro. Snow should have left, it was decided to send the draft to the order of Elder Helaman Pratt. I wrote a letter to each of them, explaining this matter. We considered the situation of affairs and the best plan to be adopted to get the results of the Constitutional Convention before the people. It was felt that it was a delicate matter, but it was decided that the proper method to adopt would be for the Presidents of Stakes, or acting-Presidents, and their Counselors to be seen, also the leading Bishops, and the word be communicated to them. It was decided that care should be taken not to say much in public concerning this matter, but to say it to the officers privately. If they were informed that it was not contrary to the will of the Lord for them to vote for this, but that it was in accordance with His will that they should cast their vote for this Constitution, it was felt that the people would vote for it. The brethren agreed to visit the various Stakes. Bro. L. Snow agreed to visit Box Elder, Morgan, Summit, and Tooele Stakes. Bro. F. D. Richards agreed to see Weber, Utah, Juab, and Wasatch. Bro. H. J. Grant agreed to visit Millard, Beaver, Parowan, and St. George. Bro. J. W. Taylor agreed to see Sanpete, Sevier, Panguitch, and Kanab. It was thought that Bro. A. H. Cannon, as one of the Presidents of Seventies, might visit Emery and Uintah. The brethren informed me that they thought the Convention would be through with its business by 5 o’clock. In view of that I appointed a meeting for the members to come up after the Convention adjourned. At half past five I held meeting, at which the following brethren were present: Apostles L. Snow, F. D. Richards, M. Thatcher, H. J. Grant, and J. W. Taylor; Bishop W. B. Preston; Elders A. M. Cannon, C. W. Penrose, Geo. Reynolds, P. T. Farnsworth, F. R. Clayton, O. G. Snow, R. H. Batty, Wm Lowe, J. T. Hammond, A. D. Thatcher, J. E. Carlisle, J. T. Caine, Jr., I. C. Thoresen, W. J. Kerr, T. F. Roueche, David Stoker, Jos. Burton, J. Robertson, W. A. C. Bryan, F. W. Chappell, J. L. Bunting, Geo. Crane, Joshua Greenwood, Samuel Francis, M. W. Mansfield, James Sharp, John Clark, W. W. Riter, Samuel Bennion, John T. Caine, A. Jensen, S. P. Teasdel, F. Little. F. S. Richards, J. F. Wells, E. A. Smith, J. R. Winder, L. T. Tuttle, L. Anderson, J. Bartholomew, W. H. Seegmiller, W. A. Warnock, J. S. Jensen, A. Eldredge, W. E. Pack, John Boyden, D. D. Houtz, S. R. Thurman, W. N. Dusenberry, Abram Noe, Geo. Webb, J. E. Booth, Wm Creer, J. S. Pago, J. O. Bullock, A. Hatch, E. G. Woolley, R. C. Lund, L. W. Shurtliff, D. H. Peery, G. W. Bramwell, Jr., N. Montgomery, C. C. Richards, H. H. Rolapp, and A. Winter (reporter).
I explained to them the object of the meeting. I wished to speak to them as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not as citizens of the United States. The action which had been taken by the Convention was a very important one. The Constitution which they had framed met with3 the approval of President Taylor. The thing to be considered was, how to get the question properly before the people, so that when they are called upon to vote for this Constitution, they may poll their full strength. It will have to be explained to them and they will have to be assured and satisfied that in voting for this they do not offend their Maker. It
was <is> not necessary to enter into details concerning this question. It should be sufficient for every Latter-day Saint to know that this action is approved by the First Presidency and is not contrary to God’s commands; and, no doubt, if our people are informed that the First Presidency and Apostles approve of this Constitution, they will vote for it. It would devolve upon the brethren present to explain their action when they go to their respective homes, and they should be careful and discreet in their utterances. The questions should not be agitated in public. All the talking should be done privately – to the Presidents of Stakes, the Bishops, and other leading men. I also impressed upon the brethren the importance of having good men appointed for judges of election. Our people are only allowed one judge in each precinct, and, therefore, he should be a suitable man, and if the other judges will not count the vote on the Constitution, he should see that it is counted, and make affidavit, if necessary, of the number of votes cast. It should also be seen that the various County Committees are up to the mark, as a great deal will depend upon their vigilance and energy in this matter. I told the brethren that if they would do their best in this matter, the Lord would bless them, and He would bring relief to His people. Men might plot and scheme against us; but their efforts and schemes would fail. God will give us light every step we take, and He will bring us salvation and deliverance.
Bros. L. Snow, F. D. Richards, M. Thatcher, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, and W. B. Preston also spoke, endorsing my remarks and approving of the labors of the Convention. The following dispatch was drafted to be sent to the Presidents of Stakes:
To the Presidents of Stakes –
It is very desirable that at your Sabbath day meetings the greatest care should be taken in the selection of speakers, and that they be instructed to not allude to the labors of the Constitutional Convention which has just closed, but to avoid every topic of this character until the entire subject can be understood by you and all the officers of the Stake. Please instruct all the Bishops of your Wards to this effect.
I then dictated a letter, which I and the brethren of the Twelve signed, for Abraham H. Cannon to take with him to Emery and Uintah Stakes.
At 20 minutes past 7 we started for our retreat. We reached there at 20 mins. to 10. I found President Taylor much worse than when I left on Sunday evening. He had changed for the worse last night. I was much disappointed at seeing him so low. My hopes had been raised considerably by the news sent me to the City. Bro. Nuttall also looked badly. His skin was quite jaundiced.
Friday, July 8/87. I signed the recommends to the Temple and attended to the correspondence to-day. President Taylor seemed no better.
Saturday, July 9/87. I listened to and answered correspondence and signed recommends to the Temple. President Taylor’s health still declining. To-day I received a letter from Prest. W. Woodruff, in which he described dreams that he had had concerning President Taylor. From these dreams he had drawn the conclusion that he would outlive President Taylor—a new feeling for him; for he had always supposed that President Taylor, being 18 months younger than he, would outlive him. The dreams, as he described them, were true and President Taylor’s condition was seen by Brother Woodruff in them. He said that he knew President Taylor would not live and remarked, his death “is sure to come.” He speaks of coming north.
Sunday, July 10/87. The appearance of President Taylor was such this morning that I felt greatly impressed to send word to his family to come and see him. I requested Bro. S. Bateman to take the large carriage and get off as early as he could in the evening. He started at half past six. Bro. Bateman administered the sacrament in the afternoon. I thought it better, however, not to have any speaking. President Taylor seems to me to be sinking to-day, and I remarked to Bro. Bateman that if the family wished to see him they had better not delay coming.
Monday, July 11/87. I rose this morning a little before four to receive Sisters Mary and Maggie Taylor, wives of President Taylor, also his sons George and T. Edward Taylor. They had just reached. I took them into President Taylor’s room and informed him who they were. He barely recognized them, but could not talk to them. He evidently could not retain in his mind who they were. They were with him all day. In the evening they all returned. While I was down at the Lake taking a bath, H. C. Barrell, who waits upon the President, came running down in great excitement saying that he thought he was dying. We drove back very rapidly, but found that he had rallied and he appeared brighter and more conscious than before. This attack of fainting spells was about seven o’clock. I wrote a letter to Bro. Daniel H. Wells, at Denver, and Bro. Teasdale, in England, informing them of President Taylor’s condition. I had an interview this evening, at the house of Bro. Joseph Barton, with the Presidency of the Davis Stake in relation to the course to be taken in informing the Saints concerning the action on the State Constitution.
Tuesday, July 12/87. I signed a number of recommends to the Temple and listened to and answered correspondence. I wrote letters to Prest. Woodruff and to Elders B. Young, F. M. Lyman, and J. H. Smith, and to Erastus Snow, concerning President Taylor’s health. He seems to be weaker to-day. His son John W. Taylor came out last night, but did not stay long this morning. He returned with the design to fill his mission to the Southern Stakes of the Territory, to which he had been appointed, and from which he hoped to be able to return by the 20th.
Wednesday, July 13/87. The two wives of President Taylor who returned on Monday evening came back again during the night with Bro. Malin from the city. A letter was brought also to me from Bro. Richard J. Taylor, asking for himself and sister the privilege of coming out. I felt quite willing that all the family should come, and so expressed myself, though I considered that their coming would endanger the safety of the rest of us. But our host, in hearing my expressions, spoke up with a good deal of emphasis and said that he could not consent to have everybody come in that manner to see President Taylor. He said his sons had seen him and his wives were here and President Taylor himself had repeatedly said he did not want his family to come. Those who had visited him could see how he was treated and the care that was taken of him, and he thought they ought to be satisfied therewith; but if they were determined to come, he would prefer that they would take him away entirely. He evidently feels that himself and family may be endangered by that knowledge of his having entertained us coming to the ears of the officials. They are capable of committing any atrocity, and I can see that he does not wish to expose himself – a feeling in which I fully share. I, therefore, wrote a letter explaining the situation to my cousin Geo. J. Taylor and requested him to inform his brother Richard and Sister Annie of the position of affairs and show them my letter that they might understand that, so far as I was concerned, I was quite willing that they and all the rest of the family should come, if they wished to do so. President Taylor is no better, though he was barely able to recognize his wives. In the afternoon Dr. Anderson came, having been requested to do so by the family. He examined President Taylor very carefully. The latter was dull and did not seem conscious. I described fully his condition and symptoms to Bro. Anderson, who felt that he was in a dangerous condition; but it was not clear to him whether he would die suddenly or whether he would live for a week or ten days, or perhaps two weeks. I lean to the latter view – that President Taylor will not die suddenly, but that he will gradually grow weaker and thus pass away. This seems to be the manner in which the sickness has affected him thus far. I attended to the correspondence and signed the recommends.
Thursday, July 14/87. Bp. H. B. Clawson arrived in the night from the city in answer to the word which I had sent to him. He submitted propositions from parties in California to help us in our State movement on certain conditions, the most of which appeared reasonable to me, and I thought we might accede to them without embarrassing ourselves. He and Dr. Anderson were carried to Farmington and there took the train. I attended to the correspondence and signed the recommends.
Friday, July 15/87. President Taylor is brighter this morning and more natural, though quite weak. I signed the recommends to the Temple and dictated to Bro. Nuttall answers to letters. I feel that our position here, in consequence of the excitement over President Taylor’s illness and the talk there is about us, is insecure, and I felt prompted to request our host to secure suitable guards, for which we would pay. This is a very busy time and men cannot leave their harvesting and other labors without loss. My object is to have the approaches to this place watched, so that we may have timely notice in case an attempt is made to descend upon us by the deputies. We secured Bros. James L. Taylor, Edward Ogden, and James Rushforth for this place; and he also saw Thomas Abbot, of Farmington, who agrees to watch there and to have us notified in case of the approach of any enemy. I received a letter from my cousin Geo. J. Taylor, stating that the family were desirous that Dr. Seymour B. Young should come out and wait on President Taylor. I replied that I did not wish to be put in the position of consenting to or refusing anything of this character. I did not wish to be held responsible in any way for what the family choose to do or not to do. If they wished Dr. Young to come out, it would be all right with me. However, I think it entirely unnecessary, for everything is being done for President Taylor that can be done by anybody. The family have shown some feeling upon this subject and I am afraid that there is a disposition to blame somebody, because they cannot have free access to him as they wish to. Some of them don’t seem to take into consideration the peculiar circumstances which surround us, and if all that is reported to me be true concerning their remarks, some of them speak very foolishly. However, there is much allowance to be made, for their natural anxiety concerning their father’s condition and their wish to be with him.
Saturday, July 16th/87. Letters which came from the City this morning made me feel that I ought to go in. Bro. Joseph Barton and our host volunteered to take me. They rode on the front seat and I sat in the bottom of the carriage behind them, it being so arranged that I could be hid from view. When I reached the Tithing Office Yard, I sent for Brother Rossiter, who came and guided me through the Lion House into the Office. I had interviews with Bros. John R. Winder and F. S. Richards on the condition of affairs in Summit County. They advised the nomination of Adam Spiers in place of Le Grande Young, who was disqualified under the law because of his not having lived sufficiently long in the district. Bro. Fred Mitchell is desired and would make, in some respects, a more acceptable representative than Spiers; but there is some question about his residence and it is not deemed safe to nominate him. Bro. Franklin D. Richards also saw me on business. I sent for my daughter Mary Alice, to hear from my family; was pleased to know that all were well. I dictated answers to a number of letters to Bro. A. Winter. There is a mortgage on the Hot Spring property amounting, principal and interest, to about $35,000.00/. Bro. Clawson, as the Agent of Bro. Beck, has been offered $60,000.00/ for the property, and one man desired him to cable Bro. Beck to know if he would not take $100,000.00/ for it. Bro. Beck’s price, I understand, is $250,000.00/. I consulted with the brethren upon this subject and they felt that it should not be allowed to go out of our hands, if possible, especially on a mortgage of that amount. I sent for Bro. Webber and consulted with him and Bros. Jack and Clawson, the latter of whom has a power of attorney from Bro. Beck to do his business, and they felt that the mortgage should be lifted, if possible, and thought that the little bank would furnish the money if we would guarantee to raise it for any sudden call that might be made upon it. With this understanding the business was arranged. I received from Bp. Clawson written proposals of the California parties for help in the State movement. The brethren who brought me down ate dinner with me at the office at five o’clock, and we started back at 5:30. On my way back I called at the house of Bro. John W. Woolley and explained to him that I anticipated Bro. Jos. F. Smith would be at Bro. Barnard White’s and wished him to go there, as it had been arranged between his cousin, Bro. A. W. Davis, and himself to meet them and direct them to our place of abode. We reached our quarters at half past eight and found President Taylor in about the same condition as he was when I left.
Sunday, July 17/87. I went down with our host this morning before breakfast to the Lake and had a bath, which we enjoyed very much. My hopes for President Taylor were greatly revived to-day; he is so much clearer in his mind and appears better. We all feel the effects of the change; it makes us feel very cheerful. Numbers of times has this occurred since the commencement of his sickness. He has brightened up, appeared clear, seemed to have undergone such a change for the better, and at different times has expressed himself so hopefully about his recovery that one could not help but feel the influence of it, especially with desires so strong in that direction as mine have been. I do hope to-day that this change is for the better and permanent in its character.
Monday, July 18/87. This morning I attended to the signing of recommends and to the dictating of answers to correspondence to Bro. L. J. Nuttall. President Taylor’s condition to-day is not so favorable as it was yesterday. He does not seem so bright and is more feeble.
About the middle of the afternoon Bros. A. W. Davis and John W. Woolley drove up in a covered wagon, bringing President Joseph F. Smith with them. I was exceedingly pleased to meet him and we embraced. I have for weeks and months desired his presence; for I felt that in the condition that President Taylor was he should be with us. I have had to bear the whole burden and, it may be said, responsibility of the affairs resting upon the First Presidency for months. President Taylor’s health has not been good since last January, and much of the time it has been apparent to me that if decisions were reached and action taken in certain directions, I must assume the responsibility, and have done so, though there are many things that I have not been able to do – which I would liked to have done. President Taylor has been unwilling to have them done, and, of course, I have felt restrained by his wishes or feelings. Yet if there had been two counselors with him it might have been different. Bro. Smith’s health appears good and he looks better than I expected from the reports that I had heard concerning him. I feel very pleased to think that the Lord was so kind as to manifest to me the propriety of sending for him. Everything has worked exactly as was desired. And now he is here and has met President Taylor still living in the flesh, this is a very great gratification to me and I feel it to be in answer to my prayers. I had President Taylor’s attendants withdraw from the room and took Bro. Joseph F. Smith in, and we were alone. I tried to convey to President Taylor who it was. He was barely conscious and, I think, recognized Bro. Smith. I said to him, among other things, “This is the first time the First Presidency have been together for two years and eight months; how do you feel?” The response came back, in a scarcely distinguishable whisper: “I feel to thank the Lord.” To me this meeting was a very affecting one, as it was to Brother Smith also, for he could not but help feel with greater force, because of his absence, the great change that had taken place in President Taylor since he saw him last. Bros. Davis and Woolley returned to their homes, and Bro. Smith remained. I took a bath in the Lake this afternoon and enjoyed it as usual.
Tuesday, July 19/87. Signing recommends to the Temple and listening to and dictating answers to correspondence to Bro. Nuttall occupied a good portion of my time to-day. President Taylor appears much weaker to me to-day.
Wednesday, July 20/87. President Taylor is no better; in fact, I think he is more feeble and less conscious to reply to questions than he was yesterday. I signed a number of recommends and dictated answers to a number of letters.
Thursday, July 21/87. There were matters pending which I felt demanded our attention and that I ought to go to the city. I proposed to Bro. Smith that we go. We arranged with Bros. Barton and Roueche to go as formerly, they sitting on the front seat driving, we in the bottom of the carriage. We started at five minutes to five in the morning and reached there at 15 minutes past seven, in time to intercept the mail which was to be sent out to us, by which means I kept the recommends and signed them and also the correspondence. The brethren who came into the office were exceedingly glad to see Bro. Smith. He sent for members of his family and had interviews with them. I dictated “Editorial Thoughts” to Bro. Winter for the Juvenile Instructor, also a letter to Bro. John W. Young, and signed a number of letters which had been sent in to be copied. I met my sons Abraham and David and my daughter Mary Alice. David has been absent with John Q. for upwards of four weeks. They returned last Sunday morning. I had interviews with Bros. L. Snow and F. D. Richards, and also with John R. Winder and F. S. Richards on political matters.
Bro. Fred Turner had written to me upon the subject of having an interview concerning affairs in Logan, which, he thought, were of a nature that required attention. I invited Bro. Smith to meet with us, and Bro. Turner explained the situation of affairs in Logan and his reasons for desiring to see us. We gave him the needed counsel, which was that if he should be aggrieved by any action, as he had been threatened, to write fully the account to the First Presidency. We also had interview
s with Bro. Ben E. Rich, the present Recorder of Ogden. He feels that he should hold that office two years longer, for the reason that when he was nominated and elected to the office, the term was four years and he received a certificate from the Governor to that effect; but the last Legislature, for certain reasons, had decided to change the law upon this subject, and they had reduced the term of office from four to two years. Bro. Rich appeared to think that in justice he should have the office, and that legally he could hold it, and desired permission from us to have the matter decided in the courts. He did not seem to be afraid of the result if it were thus decided. Bro. Joseph A. West is nominated for the position and will doubtless be elected on Monday, the 1st of August. We deprecated the idea of two brethren going to law about a matter of this kind. It was a bad example, and it might lead to serious results in other directions. We, therefore, suggested to Bro. Ben E. Rich that he and Bro. West select arbitrators, whose decision would settle the question. I dictated a dispatch to-day to be sent to Bro. John W. Young upon the subject of the proposition which had come to us through Bp. Clawson.
When President Taylor received the manifestations that prompted him and myself to take the course we did in purchasing a two-thirds share of the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co., we were under the necessity of borrowing $25,000.00/ of the Trustee-in-Trust. This was done with the knowledge of the Twelve, it having been submitted to them by President Taylor. For this sum we gave our joint note, drawing eight per cent interest, and President Taylor drew a mortgage on his mill at Ogden to cover the note and also secured it by a portion of the Stock which we had consecrated. In view of the precarious condition of President Taylor’s health, I was exceedingly anxious to have this note taken up. I wanted it settled, if possible, in some way before his death, that it might not be mixed with his private affairs and put in the hands of his executors. Bro. Jack also was desirous to have this done on behalf of the Trustee-in-Trust. Bro. Reynolds, as Sec’y. and Treas. of the Company, declared a dividend of 251/6 cents on each share of
of stock. To do this he received $10,000.00/ from Bro. Clawson on the sales of ore, and gave his I.O.U. to Bro. Jack for $7000.00/. This $17,000.00/ thus paid covered the balance due on the note and the interest. Besides paying back to the Trustee-in-Trust the $25,00000/ we borrowed from him, we have paid $7373.29/100 on the interest, making a total of $32,373.29/100. The payment of this note gives me great relief. I shall be exceedingly glad when the balance that Bro. Reynolds has had to borrow will be realized from the sale of additional ore by Bro. Clawson.
We left the city at 15 minutes past five and reached our quarters at 25 mins. past eight. We found President Taylor much the same as he was when we left this morning, excepting that we thought him a little weaker.
Friday, July 22/87. I kept myself busy this morning looking through my papers, letters, &c., and in correcting “Editorial Thoughts” for the Juvenile Instructor. President Taylor is much the same. He is weaker, however, and unconscious. He appears to suffer somewhat from the retention of urine. Bro. Smith suggested that it would be well to procure a Catheter and endeavor to relieve him. I had Bro. Nuttall write to Dr. Anderson to send one out.
Saturday, July 23/87. President Taylor is no better. He is weaker, his tongue is much swollen, and his mouth appears sore from canker. The catheter arrived this morning and with its aid about two quarts of urine was drained from him. It must have been a great relief to him and he appeared easier for a while; but about noon his jaw dropped and he seemed as though he were dying. This, however, passed off after a little. His eyes are constantly closed now and they have been for several days. He makes no utterance nor gives any sign of sensibility. As I learned to-day that Provo and Nephi and other places intend to celebrate the 24th with much parade,
I we decided to send the following dispatch, to have it forwarded to our principal settlements by the telegraph line. Myself and Bro. Joseph F. Smith signed it:
“The precarious condition of President Taylor’s health suggests to us that elaborate festivities and rejoicings are not what the Saints should indulge in on the approaching Twenty-fourth, as they would be inappropriate under the circumstances.”
Bro. Reynolds was instructed to have this telegraphed and to have the notice, without our names, inserted in the Evening News. As I thought it important that this should reach the city in time for evening paper, I spoke to our host about taking it to town by buggy, which he did and returned late at night. I had a bath late this afternoon in the Lake.
Sunday, July 24/87. After family prayers and breakfast this morning, I called all the household together with the intention of uniting our faith in prayer and in the administration of the ordinance of anointing and laying on of hands for the sick in behalf of President Taylor. I offered prayer and then requested Bro. Smith to anoint him, which he did; then I was mouth in blessing him. We dedicated him to the Lord and expressed our desire before the Lord in his behalf. I was very much affected in administering to him, as all were, I think, who were present. To see this venerable servant of God in such a condition was very touching to all of us. I suggested to Brother Smith that we talk to President Taylor’s wives about their privilege to anoint his feet preparatory to his burial, according to the pattern set by Mary in anointing the feet of the Savior. We called his wives in and explained the ordinance to them. I read to them from the Scriptures upon the subject and told them that while we had no precious ointment, I had some perfume that they might use if they wished to do so.
We had sacrament meeting in the afternoon. Bro. Nuttall blessed the bread and water, but we had no speaking. It has been our custom to have singing and testimonies at these meetings, but since President Taylor has been so very sick, I have refrained from singing and speaking. I have not felt myself the spirit of singing.
President Taylor lies breathing heavily, though I think I see a change since he was dedicated to the Lord; he is more quiet and moves his hands less than he did; yet his strength is visibly failing.
Monday, July 25, 1887. My cousin Jos. J. Taylor wrote to me about his father’s condition and I answered him, giving him a description of his condition. President Taylor’s breathing is rather heavy, but it is short and quick. I felt that the end was near, and I attended to the business that was contained in letters which required the action of the First Presidency, as I felt that this should be done immediately, while he was yet living.
President Joseph F. Smith and myself were busy listening to an appeal case from the High Council at Parowan, which Bro. Nuttall was reading, when we were hastily summoned into President Taylor’s bedroom. We found him in a dying condition, almost breathing his last. While all stood around his bed – every member of the <Roueche> family being present, as well as his companions and his two wives – he lay without any movement and his breath was very short and faint. Once or twice it stopped, and it was thought that he had gone; but he breathed again and continued to breathe quite gently until five minutes to eight o’clock, when his breath ceased. This was so gentle and so like a babe falling asleep that for a brief period we stood around and watched, not certain whether his spirit had taken its flight or not. It was gratifying to see his death so peaceful and so easy.
I felt that I had lost the best friend I had on earth, for he had been as a father to me in early life, and my relations with him had always been of the most pleasant character. To him I owe many things which impressed me in my boyhood and youth, and which have influenced my life to a very great extent. He was a man whom I admired very greatly. I thought him the most perfectly controlled man, in the days when I lived with him, that I had ever met. His independence of character and his methods as an Elder, as he described them, made a great impression upon my mind and, no doubt, influenced me greatly in my labors, and were guides to me in my movements as a missionary. I always endeavored to treat him with respect and reverence; and I have reason to believe that he appreciated my conduct in early life, for I have understood that he has remarked to his children that I was always obedient in every respect to him. Our associations since the First Presidency was organized, in October, 1886, have been always pleasant and agreeable. I may have differed from him upon some points; but I have always <submitted> to his judgment, as my head. I have thought that age had an effect upon his mind. I look back now and see some things which gave me very serious reflections that I now attribute to the effect of age upon his mind and memory. I have ever felt that I was greatly honored in being associated with him, in living in the same age with him, and being thrown in such close association with him. I have always viewed him as one of the most noble men that have lived in this generation – a man whose integrity and valor, steadfastness and devotion to the Gospel have not been surpassed in these days. It would have been an exceeding great pleasure to have seen him live and retain the full possession of his powers, both physical and mental; but it would not have been a pleasure to me to have seen him live with impaired mental faculties. I had known him in his vigorous manhood, when he stood among men as a great leader, to whom everyone looked and listened with attention and respect; and to
to see him fail in these powers and become an object of pity, I knew would not be desirable to him and I could not take any pleasure in seeing him live in such a condition. In praying, therefore, to the Lord, I have prayed that, if it was His will, he might be restored to the fullness of his strength, both physical and mental, that while he lived he might be all that could be expected; but if it were the Lord’s will otherwise, I felt to leave him in His hands, and have prayed that his dissolution might be peaceful, and that he might be delivered from all pain. I do not think that he has suffered pain, for it has been a subject of frequent remark by him that he did not. Among the last questions that he answered me were some to the same effect. I think that death was preceded for weeks by a deadening of the sensibilities, and that he was not conscious of any pain. I thought, in looking at him as he passed away, of the remark which I made to him last Monday when Brother Joseph F. Smith arrived, that the First Presidency were together again for the first time in about two years and nine months. Now, however, we were again separated and our President had gone, and we were left as his counselors without him to preside or <us> to counsel.
As soon as I became satisfied that all was over, I had a message sent by telephone in a blind way to Bro. C. H. Wilcken, that he might know what had occurred and bring out Bro. Joseph E. Taylor, the Sexton. In the meantime I told the brethren that we must break camp and get away from here as soon as possible. Brother Smith and myself had an interview, at my suggestion, with Brother and Sister Roueche and their daughter Josephine. Afterwards we had an interview with the brethren of our party on the same subject. The family appeared quite willing to have us move, for, as Sister Roueche said, she felt that we were in danger. They hoped, however, that we would avail ourselves, whenever we felt to do so, of the shelter of their roof, for we should always be welcome. After Bro. Taylor, the Sexton, and Bro. Wilcken arrived, Bro. Smith and myself arranged to be taken to the City. The two wives of President Taylor were expected to follow immediately. The Sexton said that it would not be possible to remove President Taylor’s body for twenty-four hours. It was decided to arrange for Bro. John Sharp to have a train brought up near the place at 12 o’clock the next night to carry the body to the City. It was thought that this might be done without attracting attention or leaving it to be known where the body had come from. Bro. Wilcken drove us in town and we reached there about half past five in the morning. It was broad daylight when we got in, but we succeeded in getting to the office.
Tuesday, July 26/87. After we arrived we laid down for an hour or two. I had, I think, about an hour’s sleep. I did not feel much like writing, but I thought it would be proper that we should make an announcement, in our capacity as Counselors to President Taylor, to the Church of his death. I dictated this to Bro. Winter and afterwards made some changes. Brother Smith appeared pleased with the article and his name was attached to it, and it was published in the News. The intelligence of President Taylor’s death was concealed from the public until the Deseret News was issued. There had been so many rumors about his condition and reports that he was dead that people were, to some extent, prepared for the sad event.
Since his death I have felt that a change has taken place in myself in regard to exercising authority. I spoke with Brother Joseph F. Smith in relation to this subject. I have done all in my power to get the Twelve informed; have written them several letters, advising them of President Taylor’s condition and to-day had dispatches sent – one to Bro. Teasdale, in England, one to Bro. Wells, in Denver, one to Bro. Thatcher, at Logan, one to Bro. L. Snow, in Box Elder, and one to Bro. E. Snow, in Mexico, and two or three to different points in Arizona, for the purpose of getting word to Bros. Young, Lyman, and J. H. Smith. My desire is to get the Twelve together as speedily as possible, so that someone may be prepared to take the responsibility of pending measures and the business of the Church. Brother Woodruff is at Fayette this evening, between Levan and Gunnison; he is traveling in this direction. The contents of the dispatch that we sent to Sevier Stake was forwarded to him from Gunnison. I instructed Bro. Reynolds to have all the Presidents of Stakes and leading men advised of the demise of President Taylor that could be reached by the Deseret Telegraph lines. Until the Twelve shall meet Bro. Smith and myself thought that it was our duty to attend to business as usual; but there are measures pending which are of so grave and weighty a character that I wish it were that there were more to be consulted or that Brother Woodruff were here to decide. It is important, I feel, that I should do nothing at the present time that would not be fully sustained by the brethren, and I feel my position, therefore, to be quite a delicate one. It was decided to-day to have the funeral take place on Friday next, and I, with a number of brethren, arranged for committees and for exercises. I sent for George J. and John W. Taylor to have them ascertain the wishes of the family concerning the funeral, and they reported that they left it to us and thought Friday would be a good day, because the features of President Taylor would appear to better advantage then than if he were kept longer.
It was decided to-day to send Bro. Hiram B. Clawson to California to obtain interviews, if possible, with the leading men who have made certain propositions of a political character to us.
I stayed in the office all night.
Wednesday, July 27, 1887. I was kept busy by brethren calling in and making arrangements for the funeral. Bro. Dinwoody is draping the Tabernacle, and has draped the Gardo House, and the front of the President’s Office and Historian’s Office. Bro. Winder is the head of the committee that has the procession and other business in charge. Bro. Solomon, the City Marshal, has undertaken to provide a force of police, called from the various Wards, in order to maintain order and prevent any confusion through the crowding of people
I wrote a letter of introduction for Brother Clawson to Hon. Leland Stanford, U. S. Senator from California, which Bro. Smith and myself signed. I also dictated instructions for him to Bro. A. Winter and they were copied and signed by Bro. Smith and myself. The following is a copy of them:
Salt Lake City, July 27th, 1887.
Bishop H. B. Clawson,
We desire you to go to California as early as convenient and endeavor to get from the principals whose names have been mentioned a full understanding of the propositions which they make. You will perceive the importance of getting your information at first hand, from the parties themselves, if it be at all possible, so that you will be face to face with them and know the character of the work which they propose to do and of the nature of our obligations that they expect us to assume.
Mention is made of “Judges favorable to them” The same with the Selectmen. We, of course, cannot do anything to impair the integrity of our judiciary, but see no objections to having men so favorable that our friends there will be treated in all litigation as friends should be.
D. N. Lockwood, of Buffalo, and Mr. Barber, of Utica, are mentioned as necessary to be secured. Ascertain how necessary these are without mentioning our backing to them, but so that you may know whether they are to be secured in order to influence our backing. Of this, of course, you can judge yourself by hearing their explanation.
Ascertain what is meant by the statement they “think we pay out too much money.”
It is stated that they will try and arrange the terms with certain papers whose names they have furnished, satisfactorily. How much will it require from us for our part of this?
Learn, if you can, what S. considers would be a proper recognition for what he and company have done and in what particular the U. P. Co. has been favored.
He wants to stand in with the people and wants us to stand in with him. Endeavor to learn the exact meaning attached to this expression, so that we may know what we may be expected to do.
There are many other points that will suggest themselves to you in the course of conversation concerning which information will be of value. Of course, these you will endeavor to get light upon, and we suggest that you carefully write down the notes of your conversations.
The most important information in connection with this is for you to learn exactly what is expected from us if we accept the propositions, and what will be the cost. We do not desire to take any step in regard to so serious a business as this in the dark. We want to know exactly the character of the obligations which we are asked to assume, and then if we consent to assume them, carry them out strictly to the letter, so that we shall not be exposed hereafter to any charge of breaking faith or violating an understanding or an agreement.
We pray the Lord to bless you and give you great wisdom, and also to give you favor in the eyes of those whom you desire to meet and enable you to successfully accomplish that for which you go.
With kind regards,
(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon.
Jos. F. Smith.
It struck me that Brother Woodruff, who, I expect, would reach Nephi to-night, might, if proper precautions be taken, be saved a long and tedious journey from there by team if he could be carried safely on the train. I sent Bro. James Jack to see Bro. John Sharp upon the subject, and he brought me word back that Bro. Sharp would arrange so that it could be done. I then had Bro. Jack see Bro. Alonzo E. Hyde and learn from him if he would not go down and try and find Brother Woodruff, and be his companion on the train, and bring him up to-morrow. Bro. Hyde consented, and a letter was written to the Presidency and Bishops of the Juab Stake, informing them that he had been assigned a special mission and asking them if they would render him the necessary aid in carrying it out. Bro. Hyde came himself and I explained to him what we needed. He appeared pleased to accept the labor and started this afternoon. The brethren think that Brother Woodruff is really in no danger; but Brother Woodruff has an idea that he is, and, I understand, is quite nervous upon the subject. I had a telegram sent yesterday to Brother John W. Young, asking him if anything could be done towards securing Brother Woodruff’s exemption from arrest in time for the funeral. There has been a proposition made, I believe, to exempt men over a certain age from the operations of the Edmunds law. Brother Woodruff has been mentioned in connection with this, also President Taylor. Now that President Taylor has passed away, killed by the cruelty of these people, it has seemed to me that it might lead to a favorable consideration in the case of Brother Woodruff and other cases of men of advanced years.
I was greatly pleased to-day to read the Ogden Herald, which my son Frank. J. Cannon is editing, and find such an excellent article upon President Taylor’s death as its columns contained this morning. I think it the best written article that has appeared on the subject. Brother Smith and myself decided that we would not stay in the office this evening, and Bro. Wilcken arranged to take us down to my residence, which, he thought, would be as safe a place as we could go to at the present time. Brother Smith’s wife Sarah was carried down also. We reached there a little after 9 o’clock.
Thursday, July 28/87 The Sciatica from which I have been troubled I have felt more for two or three days than I have for some time previously, and I concluded to have my wife Martha apply hot cloths, wrung out of wild sage tea – a process which gave me considerable relief before. Brother A. Winter came down from from the city and brought me some letters, one of which I answered, and signed the recommends which he brought. A dispatch, also, was sent to me which had been received from Bro. Alonzo E. Hyde, saying that Brother Woodruff would come up on the train.
Friday, July 29/87 I was awakened this morning at a quarter to three by Bro. Wilcken, who had come down for us. He and Bro. Bateman drove the vehicle in which Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself rode to the city. As it was asserted that they were watching the Temple Block very closely, we got out at a new place, beside Bro. Thatcher’s house, and went back in the lot and got through a gate in the wall into the Tithing Office block, and by that means reached the office, where we found Brother Wilford Woodruff, who had arrived yesterday at 10 o’clock. He looks remarkably well and is much heavier than when I last saw him. We had conversation for an hour or two and then laid down and I got a little sleep before breakfast. The brethren of the Twelve who are in the city came to the office, namely, Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, and H. J. Grant, and the order in which the speakers should address the congregation at the funeral was arranged. Bro. Daniel H. Wells had arrived last night from Denver, and he came. It was a joyous meeting. He looks very well; wears a full beard, which is quite grey; and has changed but very little. The only difference I noticed was that his hearing had become very dull, and it was difficult for him to hear unless spoken to with great plainness. He had determined to attend the funeral ceremonies, unless we felt that he should not do so; but this was left to himself. The funeral procession was a very imposing one, there being upwards of 100 vehicles and 7 bands of music. The streets were lined with people. The Tabernacle was crowded to excess during the ceremonies, and the body was viewed by thousands, from 7 o’clock till 12 o’clock. It was gratifying to hear that President Taylor’s features were very natural, though his eyes were a little sunken. I requested the brethren of the Twelve and Bro. Wells to meet at 7 o’clock. Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself exchanged views in regard to the course we should take respecting ourselves, and it was for this purpose that this meeting was called. When the brethren got together, I told them, in behalf of myself and Bro. Smith, that our functions as Counselors to President Taylor had now ceased and we wished to know what should be done. It was now for the Twelve to take charge of affairs, and we had only done so up to the present time because we felt that it was our duty to do so until they were prepared to take the responsibility. Brother Smith stated his feelings to be the same as my own. The question arose as to whether they could take hold of the matter at the present time inasmuch as there was no quorum of the Twelve present. Brother Woodruff appeared desirous to have us taken into the Quorum of the Twelve again in our old places; but as there was no quorum present to take action, nothing was done about this. Considerable discussion arose as to the proper method of managing affairs. Bro. F. D. Richards made a motion that Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself be authorized to continue our labors until the Twelve are prepared to take charge. Bro. Thatcher rather objected to this motion. He thought that an expression of the feelings all around would be sufficient. But finally Bro. Richards worded his motion as follows:
“I move that it is the sense of those present that Brother George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith continue their labors in discharge of the responsibilities now upon them until a quorum of the Twelve Apostles are present.”
This was voted for by all present. Bro. Bateman took Bro. Smith and myself down to my place, as we thought it was not safe for any of us to stop at the office. The deputy marshals are very vigilant and, thinking that they would find some of us around, they might make a search. Our meeting with the Twelve this evening was not attended by any clerk – no one outside of our Council. As the carpet of the room in which President Taylor was sick and died was spoilt by the packing of the body in ice and the using of carbolic acid upon it, I met our host this evening, having sent for him to come and arrange for his wife to select a new carpet in place of the other one. This family have been so very kind to us that I feel very grateful to them for their attentions and the considerations they have paid us. President Taylor received every attention from them, and they were tireless in their exertions to make us all comfortable and did not seem to become wearied, for they were as kind and zealous the last day as they were in the beginning, which made our stay very agreeable. We found Bro. Smith’s wife Edna waiting for him at my house.
Saturday, July 30/87. Bro. A. Winter came down from the city this morning, and brought a few recommends and some letters for me to sign. I dictated my journal to him.
Sunday, July 31/87. I held Sunday School with my children this morning, which Bro. & Sister Smith attended. We had a very interesting time. In the afternoon we had Sacrament meeting and had a large attendance – the largest collection that I have met with at my place on Sunday since our exile. I made a few remarks concerning the nature of the Sacrament before it was administered. My son Angus administered it. And then we had a very interesting address from Bro. Jos. F. Smith. My sisters Mary Alice and Anne were present and enjoyed the meeting, and also my wife Martha’s aunt, Sister Caroline Daniels. We spent the evening very pleasantly together.