The Church Historian's Press

August 1887

1 August 1887 • Monday

Monday, August 1/87. Brother Smith left this morning at four o’clock. Bro. Wilcken called for him and took him to his home to see his children, whom he had not seen. It being election day, it was thought that it might be safe for him to visit his home, as the deputy marshals would be so engaged with election matters that they would not have leisure to spy around. I spent the day attending to work that I had on hand. In the evening Bro. Smith returned.

2 August 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Aug. 2/87. After breakfast this morning we were taken in a lumber wagon with a cover on to the Tithing Office yard, from which we made our way into the Office, under the guidance of Bros. Wilcken and Rossiter. Received letters from Bro. John W. Young, at Washington, which were brought by Bro. C. W. Nibley, and had considerable conversation with the latter concerning affairs in the East.

As the Twelve will doubtless meet to-morrow, and there will be a quorum present, I am desirous to have every thing connected with President Taylor’s administration that is not finished attended to to-day, so that we may be able to turn over the business to Brother Wilford Woodruff and the Twelve in a settled condition. I have been employed on this to-day and have written several letters which Bro. Winter has taken down in shorthand.

3 August 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Aug. 3/87. President Woodruff arrived at the office last evening and slept with me in the bedroom attached to the office. Brother Jos. F. Smith stayed at the Gardo House. These of the brethren who are on the “underground” came in during the evening or early this morning. At 10:30 the Council of the Apostles met. There were present President Wilford Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, myself, Joseph F. Smith, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, and D. H. Wells. Brother Jos. F. Smith suffered to-day from cramp colic, which gave him considerable pain and prevented him from taking as active a part in the proceedings as he otherwise would have done.

4 August 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Aug. 4/87. We again met at 10 o’clock this morning and continued attending to various matters of business until about six p.m., with a short recess in the middle of the day. The minutes of the Council will show what was done; there was nothing of any particular moment. I may say, however, that Brother Jos. F. Smith was so unwell to-day that he was not present at our Council, being confined to his bed at the Gardo House. We adjourned to meet on Friday, the 12th inst., at 10 o’clock in the morning.

5 August 1887 • Friday

Friday, August 5/87. I remained in the office all night and spent the day with Brother Woodruff, attending to business affairs. I have been doing what I could to help him in answering correspondence and attending to other matters. As I did not feel free in regard to being around the office to a great extent, I thought it better to have a conversation with him respecting his wishes concerning myself. I have felt delicate about obtruding myself in any form upon him, or about being around the Office more than any of the other brethren of the Twelve unless it was his or their wish that I should be. I thought it better, therefore, to learn from him his feelings, and I spoke to him as to his wishes in relation to my labors. He said that he desired me to stay around and help all I could; that he felt quite unable to attend to the business, as it was all new to him. I was familiar with it, and he would be very much pleased to have me assist him. This relieved me from any delicacy that I might have had upon the subject. I told him that I was at his command and whatever he wanted of me I should do with pleasure. He left this evening to spend to-morrow with Judge Smith, and I stayed again all night at the Office. I may say, however, that there was an article read by Bro. F. D. Richards to Brother Woodruff and myself concerning our doctrine, &c., to be published in a work issued by Messrs. Gay Bros., New York, entitled “What the world believes”. We approved of the form in which it had been arranged and made a few corrections. We also listened to a letter of George Ticknor Curtis to President Cleveland, also an article of his on our question which he prepared for publication in the “Forum”, a magazine now being published in New York.

6 August 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Aug. 6/87. I kept myself busy to-day with various matters; among other things, attending to a meeting of the Deseret Telegraph Company, which occupied some time. We elected President W. Woodruff as a Director, to fill the vacancy created by the demise of President Taylor. I also dictated several letters for Brother Woodruff to sign – one to Bro. John W. Young, and another to Bro. Andrew Jensen. In the evening Bro. Samuel Bateman took me down to my home on the river and stayed with me.

7 August 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 7/87, I had a very severe attack of Cholera Morbus last night and I have suffered from it the most of the day to-day, though I attended to our Sacrament meeting in the afternoon. Bro. Bateman administered the Sacrament, and spoke, and I followed and enjoyed a good deal of the Spirit. In the evening Bro. Bateman carried me back to the office.

8 August 1887 • Monday

Monday, Aug. 8/87. President Woodruff came this morning to the office and spent the day there. I dictated “Editorial Thoughts” to Bro. Winter. President Woodruff and myself remained in the office and slept together.

9 August 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Aug. 9/87. I dictated “Topics of the Times” to Bro. A. Winter. Had considerable conversation with the brethren who came in, especially with Bro. H. B. Clawson whom we sent to California to see parties there. The news that he brings is quite favorable. Brother Joseph F. Smith and myself listened to it and had a full conversation with him. Afterwards we invited President Woodruff in and gave him some outlines on the matter, without communicating to him the names of the parties; told him that we were under obligation not to reveal them, and that, as they expressed a disinclination for twelve men to be made acquainted with it, it might be necessary for the Twelve to select a committee of three to act in this matter. I had a full conversation with the brethren upon this point. I told them that, so far as I was concerned, I did not wish to have anything to do with this matter, if the brethren would excuse me. They both thought that I ought to continue my labors in that direction. Bro. Clawson also told us that the parties with whom he had been doing business depended a great deal upon me, because they were acquainted with me. However, I felt that what I knew could easily be communicated to someone else and I could give them advice, if it were right to do so. I felt to lay this matter before the Lord. There is a great deal of responsibility connected with this business and I know very well that the greater portion of it will rest upon me. I, therefore, would, if it was the Lord’s will, prefer being relieved from it and let someone else take hold.

10 August 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Aug. 10/87. I was engaged this morning in correcting “Editorial Thoughts” and “Topics of the Times”, after which I sent them to the Juvenile Instructor Office. Lieutenant Richard W. Young came in today, and we had considerable conversation with him concerning his position in the Army. I learned from his expressions that he would prefer being released. I was rather favorably impressed with the idea that he had better, perhaps, be released; not because I had changed my views in regard to the policy of keeping him and his uncle Willard in the Army, but because of his personal feelings. It seemed as though he thought it irksome, and, of course, it is not pleasant to hold a man in a position which is disagreeable to him. President W. Woodruff was away all day to-day.

11 August 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Aug. 11/87. The time of the meeting of the Council had been changed by President Woodruff from Friday to Thursday in consequence of the conversation which Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself had with him concerning the propositions to help us in a State movement. It was desirable that some conclusion should be arrived at speedily in regard to this matter, and, therefore, the change was made to one day earlier. Telegrams were sent to Bros. L. Snow and M. Thatcher, with the hope that they could reach in time. Bro. L. Snow met with us this morning; but Bro. M. Thatcher did not. There were present: President Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, myself, Jos. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, and D. H. Wells.

We met from morning till evening, taking a recess for a short time. We attended to quite a variety of business. The question of the publishing of the life of President Taylor came up through a letter which had been written by Daniel Harrington, his son-in-law, on behalf of the family, proposing to publish his biography and extracts from his writings. While we felt that we had no objection to the family doing as they felt in this matter, we thought the time inopportune, because of the nearness of President Taylor’s demise. He had been in exile about two years and a half, and if his life were now published, nothing could be said that would be satisfactory concerning this period. But in addition to this, we felt that Brother Harrington, who seemed to be the person likely to be entrusted with this work, was not sufficiently competent to write such a life. And even if it were well written, the question as to whether it would pay presented itself to us. We are of the opinion that it would not. I was requested to write a letter to him, for Brother Woodruff to sign, expressive of the feelings of the Council on this subject.

The case of Lieutenant Richard W. Young was brought up by Bro. H. J. Grant, who made a very strong plea in his behalf. Others of the brethren also expressed their feelings. The inclination seemed to be to let him have the permission of our Council to resign. Brother Woodruff was desirous to hear my views, and I expressed them, premising what I had to say by stating that in my conversation with him I had learned his feelings and in consequence of his feelings I felt that if the vote were put I would be in favor of his leaving the army. I stated that my reasons for taking this view were purely personal with him. I should regret exceedingly his taking this step, and in viewing this case and all cases of this kind, I thought, we should not take personal circumstances and feelings into consideration. I then went on and described to the brethren of the Council the view that I had taken in regard to these young men in the army. I wished, I said, that instead of having two we had half a dozen, and that we had an equal number in the Navy. When I visited the U. S. man-of-war “Brooklyn” and saw Robe Evans as her Captain, and saw the position that he occupied, and remembered that he had been brought from the East by Captain Hooper in order to get a residence in Utah, that he might be nominated to the Academy at Annapolis, I said to myself, Why should not one of our boys occupy this position? And what an influence it would give us, if we had several officers in the Navy! It might have been done just as well as not. My idea was, I said, that this Kingdom of ours would grow and increase; that we should get our young men into every department of public service that is possible – into the Army, into the Navy, and, after awhile, if we become a State, into the Consular Service and perhaps into the Diplomatic Service, and make ourselves felt and have influence in foreign nations as well as at home. I spoke on this in this strain, and the brethren seemed to take a new view of this case and, to my surprise, a vote was taken in favor of his staying in the Army, Bro. Jos. F. Smith making the motion. I said that it would be better for us to assist him financially than to have him leave, if that were the only reason. On the strength of this the Council voted $5000/ a month to sustain his mother and to relieve him from that burden. Brother Grant, who had advocated Brother Young’s leaving the Army, told me that he felt very well satisfied with the action.

I remained at the office. Brother Woodruff and I slept together.

12 August 1887 • Friday

Friday, Aug. 12/87. The Council met at 10 o’clock this morning. All who were present yesterday were to-day, as well as Bro. Thatcher. Bro. Jos. F. Smith opened the business by stating that there had been some arrangements in progress by the First Presidency before President Taylor’s death looking to aid which had been proffered us on certain conditions in our effort to obtain a State government. He said that upon his return he had learned concerning this and had taken part with me after his return. He said the parties with whom we had been doing this business were averse to it being known by twelve men. They were willing that it should be known by two or three; but while they would, doubtless, have equal confidence in any over the three who had been laboring with them and, in fact, in the whole Twelve, if they knew them, still they thought this number too large to be entrusted with the secret; they did not wish to put themselves in anybody’s power to that extent.

After he had concluded his remarks, I followed, giving an outline of the propositions which had been made to us, the character of the aid, the amount of money that would be required to carry out the plan; informing the brethren that these parties did not ask any money for their aid; but that which they did ask was the privilege of having certain offices in the State. After explaining it all, the brethren asked me a number of questions, which I answered. I then said that in order that the brethren might feel perfectly free and unbiased in regard to this matter in their selection of the men whom they wish to conduct this business – that is, if they concluded to conduct it – I wish to say that, so far as I am personally concerned, it will give me great pleasure if I can be relieved from any connection with this business. I can impart to Bro. Jos. F. Smith, or any other one who may be selected, all the information I have. I can put them in a position to know what I know, and will assist them to any extent that is desired, and this will give me great pleasure. I wish you to plainly understand, brethren, that I do not make this statement from any other motive than to leave you perfectly free, and to be relieved myself. I talked upon this very plainly. I did this as soon [as] Bro. J. H. Smith had made a motion that I should be one of that committee, which was seconded; and Bro. L. Snow had made a motion for Bro. Jos. F. Smith to be one of the committee; and Bro. H. J. Grant made a motion that Moses Thatcher be one of the committee. It was at this point that I made my remarks. I said I would much prefer to have Brother Woodruff on the Committee, and they need <not> think for a moment that I would have the least feeling, except one of pleasure, in giving way; and I did not want them to think because I had been acting, that I thought I could still continue to act. After I had made these remarks, the brethren spoke in the warmest and strongest terms. Bro. Woodruff, Bro. Jos. F. Smith, Bro. Wells, Bro. L. Snow, and, in fact, all the brethren who gave expression at all, spoke in the kindest and strongest manner that I must continue to act in this business. These expressions were very grateful to my feelings, under the circumstances. It was finally decided that Brother Woodruff, myself, and Jos. F. Smith should act as a committee. I brought forward the idea that Brother Woodruff should be chairman of the Committee, for which we all voted. I think this the proper position for him to occupy, and it will relieve me from much responsibility. After this business was closed, a letter was read from Bro. William Paxman, New Zealand, and from Bro. William King, of the Sandwich Islands, both describing the condition of affairs in their fields.

In the afternoon the question of Albert Carrington’s baptism came up and called forth strong expressions of feeling. I have been aware that there have been strong feelings on this subject and I have been exceedingly desirous that an opportunity might be afforded that we could have an interchange of views upon this question. I have earnestly desired to know the mind and will of God concerning these matters, to know exactly how far justice has claims upon the creature and when mercy can interpose. Bros. M. Thatcher, Jos. F. Smith, and F. M. Lyman expressed themselves very strongly against the baptism of Albert Carrington. Brother Woodruff, in his opening remarks, expressed himself in favor of it. Bro. L. Snow also expressed himself favorably. Bros. F. D. Richards and J. H. Smith were also in favor of his baptism. I expressed my views with considerable force. I felt the Spirit of the Lord rest upon me. I said that I did not wish to combat any views; I did not wish to argue; I did not wish to say anything that would provoke controversy; but I wished to express the views that I had. I had not been able to see how I could refuse a humble, penitent sinner, who had not committed murder, baptism, if he came forward and asked it humbly and penitently. I could find nothing in the Scriptures, nothing in the history of Joseph or Brigham, that would warrant me in doing so. I dwelt upon the cases of W. W. Phelps and Orson Hyde – how Joseph permitted them to be re-baptized into the Church. And while I abhorred from the bottom of my soul all the wickedness that Carrington had been guilty of, I still felt that he was a miserable, abject sinner, pleading for mercy and asking for the privilege of being baptized and I could not find any justification for refusing him. I said I desired to know the mind and will of God and to hear reasons for refusing. I had listened patiently to the brethren; but I had not heard any reasons assigned that, I felt, would satisfy my conscience before the Lord in refusing him this boon. Bro. L. Snow had cited the cases of Reuben and Judah. I said, in continuation of the same idea, that it seemed to me that our God was a God of infinite mercy; for notwithstanding the sins of these men, we are told that their names will be written on the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem, and it would be inconsistent to suppose that though their names were written on the gates, they were not permitted to enter. I then alluded to the exalted majesty of our God, surrounded by concourses of angels, dwelling in the midst of eternal burnings, full of holiness, and everything that is so great and glorious, and yet condescending to look upon a poor sinner like myself and forgive my sins! God had preserved me from deadly sins; but, nevertheless, I had been a sinner and had cause every day to plead for His forgiveness. And shall I say that His mercy shall be limited to the class of offences of which I am guilty, and not extend it to others of a graver character? Shall I put a limit to the mercy of my God, and say, thus far shall He go and no farther? I cannot do it; and I, therefore, feel that I can say, in view of what Albert Carrington has written and his wishes, that I am ready to permit him to be baptized. The question, however, was not decided.

I dictated my journal to Bro. A. Winter. I forgot to mention that in our Council to-day Bro. Moses Thatcher made a motion that Brother Woodruff be permitted to draw to the extent of $5000.00/ per annum; Bro. L. Snow, E. Snow, F. D. Richards, myself, Jos. F. Smith, and Brigham Young, $300000/ each, in Cash. This caused considerable discussion. Bro. Jos. F. Smith informed the brethren that he and I had been drawing at the rate of $360000/ per year, at the instance of President Taylor, and thought that as our whole time was occupied as it was, and with our large families, it was as little as we should have. The brethren talked very freely, some of them insisting on making it $360000/ per year for all whose names are above mentioned, and this vote would have carried if I had not protested against it. I told them that I thought $300000/ was enough, under the circumstances, and it would have a good effect to be known that we were not drawing large sums from the Church. For myself, if I had the means, it would be a source of great gratification to me to be able to sustain myself without drawing a cent, and to bestow my services gratuitiously upon the Church; but as I was not in this position, I was compelled, very reluctantly, to draw something for the support of my family. The feeling manifested by the brethren was very good, and it was gratifying to hear the kind expressions concerning the older members of the Twelve.

13 August 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Aug. 13/87. We met together at 10 o’clock and attended to various items of business. I had made an appointment this morning with Bro. Jos. F. Smith to meet with President Woodruff and to explain to him the condition of affairs in the Presiding Bishop’s Office. I have seen for some time difficulty looming up in the distance in consequence of the Presiding Bishop selling grain and stock and taking in Cash tithing, and using this without consulting with the President of the Church or the Trustee-in-Trust. But as I was alone, through President Taylor’s sickness, and Bro. Jos. F. Smith not being here, I did not think it prudent for me to undertake to correct this. But now there is a new administration, I felt it to be my duty to make this explanation to Brother Woodruff, and in the Council I also explained it to [the] brethren. Considerable conversation ensued upon it, and it was determined to notify invite Bishop Preston and his Counselors to meet with us and talk over the matter, as all felt that the entire funds of the Church should be under the control of one head, and not two persons spend the funds at the same time. At four o’clock Brother Woodruff, Brother Smith, and myself met together with Bp. H. B. Clawson, and he explained all the business upon which he had been sent to California. We have kept this from everyone of the Twelve, but now that Brother Woodruff is appointed one of the Committee, it is proper that he should understand all the business. He listened with much interest to the explanations and expressed his pleasure at what had been done. It is apparent to me, however, that much of the responsibility is going to rest upon me; for Brother Woodruff is not familiar with political matters, neither is Bro. Jos. F. very much, and I feel a great deal of responsibility and think I shall need great aid from the Lord; for I do not wish to do anything that will be condemned, and it seems, from the way the brethren talk respecting me, that they rely greatly upon me and look to me in the matter to take the lead and be the responsible party. I pray God to help me and keep me out of every snare, so that all that we do shall be done to his acceptance and to the satisfaction of our brethren.

14 August 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 14/87.1

15 August 1887 • Monday

Monday, Aug. 15/87. The Council of the Apostles met this morning at 10 o’clock and attended to various items of business. There were present: President W. Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, myself, J. F. Smith, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, and D. H. Wells. Bro. John W. Taylor was excused, because of the sickness of his wife.

A pamphlet was read which contains some correspondence, and comments thereon, to the New York Evening Post, written by Geo. Ticknor Curtis. The pamphlet is submitted to us for our approval, and if it did not suit us it would be suppressed. Some of the brethren appeared to be in favor of its circulation, Mr. Curtis had said that he intended to send it to every member of Congress. But I had objections to it, for the reason that he speaks in the pamphlet as though we were surrendering plural marriage; and while this statement is his alone and does not go out with our authority, yet if we were to consent to its circulation and say nothing about it to him, he might claim at some time in the future that he had submitted it to us and that we had permitted him to make statements which were not true. If he had chosen to circulate this pamphlet without asking us anything about it, then he would be entirely responsible for it and we could not have been bound by anything that he said. But now that he has submitted it to us, I said that I did not feel that we could be justified in allowing it to go out, and I made a motion to that effect, which was adopted. Bishop Preston and his Counselors had been invited to the meeting, but his Counselors being sick, he came himself. I stated briefly to him the report which I had made to the Twelve concerning the financial affairs of the Church and told him that I thought it proper to bring this question before the Council and to his attention, lest there should be feeling arise and perhaps a conflict of jurisdiction hereafter, unless matters were now understood. I remarked that President Taylor had expressed some dissatisfaction at the expenditures of money in some directions, concerning which he had not been consulted. His sickness, however, prevented him from taking any further action in the matter; and as I was alone – Bro. Jos. F. Smith being absent – I did not deem it proper to do anything in the matter. Now, however, there was a new administration it would be well to have these matters clearly defined. I said the feeling of the Council was that the expenditures should not be made now by the Presiding Bishopric without the consent of the Presiding Quorum. Brother Preston expressed himself as quite satisfied; that whatever decision the Council might come to, he was in their hands and would do whatever was required.

Remarks were made by President Woodruff concerning the appointment of a Superintendent of Public Works. It seems clear to me that some such appointment as this should be made. I am of the opinion that it would be a great saving to the Church to have a man of capacity acting in this position.

The question of finishing the interior and roof of the Temple at Salt Lake City was considered. Most of the brethren were in favor of making the building fireproof, and using iron or steel for the roof and cement, tiles and iron for the joists, girders, floors, &c.

After recess I brought to the attention of the brethren the position of our School affairs. There was a free expression of opinion that it was an imperative necessity that we should do something towards establishing schools wherein our principles could be taught.

President Woodruff, Smith, and myself decided to send Bro. Penrose to Washington in the morning, and we gave him such particulars concerning enquiries that we had desired to have answered as were necessary, which he took down in writing. Bro. H. B. Clawson was present. We think it proper, before we make any further move, that we should learn exactly the condition of affairs with Bro. John W. Young in the East, so that we may be able to act advisedly in regard to the propositions that we have received from California.

After I got through with this business it was about half past nine, and Bros. Wilcken and Bateman took me and my wife Carlie out for a ride, which I enjoyed very much, I having been closely confined and exceedingly busy all day.

16 August 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Aug. 16/87. I dictated a number of letters in answer to correspondence to Bro. A. Winter to-day and attended to other business in the Office. The most important of these letters was the accompanying one to Bro. John W. Young concerning affairs in the East**. We are desirous of knowing from him exactly how matters stand, and thought it proper to write with some degree of plainness to him upon this subject.

[Attached letter]

** Copy

Salt Lake City, 16 Aug. 1887

Elder John W. Young,

New York,

Dear Brother John W.:

Your dispatch concerning the return of Bro. C. Williams to the East was received. We arranged for him to start and he left the city this morning by wagon, intending to go to some point on the railroad where he could get on the train without observation and with some degree of safety. Probably when you receive this he will be with you.

The election returns are not yet in. The vote for the Constitution, so far as counted, we understand, is nearly 13,000. The list, so far as received, will doubtless be printed this evening in the Deseret News. There are a number of precincts not yet heard from, the most important are Mount Pleasant, in Sanpete Co., Huntsville, in Weber Co., and Paradise, in Cache Co. In addition to these there are several smaller precinct[s], the votes of which, however, will not be very important. As soon as possible the vote will be authenticated and will be forwarded to you. We took every means within our reach to have our people vote for the Constitution; but as many of our leading men are compelled to keep secluded, our measures were not so thoroughly carried out as they would have been had there been more freedom. The non-Mormons generally refrained from voting either for or against the Constitution, and, so far as we know, they are in opposition to the State movement. Probably some view the attempt with some favor and would like Utah to become a State; but a very great majority are either opposed to it or are afraid of the lash of the Tribune and the public sentiment which it creates against the measure.

We hope that Bro. Williams will be able to render you valuable assistance in his line. It would be well, we think, to permit him to have as free access as you can give him to the newspapers and to the editors. He may be able to dissipate prejudice even if he does not succeed in getting any of his own writings into the columns of leading journals. Conversations with editors sometimes have a good effect, as much valuable information can be given at such times and much ignorance and prejudice be removed. He has done all in his power since he has been at home to carry out the arrangements which you have made, and has been a very great aid in communicating to all of us a knowledge of the plan. He has fully sustained the confidence which you have put in him, and we are pleased that we can say he has our full confidence and trust that you will continue to operate harmoniously together in the future as you have done in the past. We think that he is a judicious counselor.

There are some matters, however, about which he could not give us information, and concerning which we feel deeply interested. We are anxious to know the nature of your arrangements with Nos 1 to 8 and what they expect from us for the aid which they render. Upon this point we are in total ignorance. Naturally, however, you can understand how important it is in our minds; for we want to know what is expected of us and the intent of the obligations. We would be pleased to have you communicate as freely as you can upon these points and furnish us such information as will give us a good understanding of the situation.

We would also like to know what your arrangements are, or what you expect them to be, with the press. Fears have been expressed very freely that we are losing valuable ground, because of the attitude of the Press; that it is becoming too far committed against our movement, and that it will be very difficult, if not almost impossible for some of the papers to be changed. We are anxious upon this point and would like to get intelligence from you as to what you have done and what you expect to do.

The question of funds, also, is one of the utmost importance; and before we get fairly launched into this enterprise we should be able to form some idea of what its probable cost will be.

Upon all these points we would like to hear from you very fully, and upon any others connected with this business. It would enable us to act with more intelligence and cordiality. As it is, we are so ignorant concerning matters that we are inclined to be timid and to hesitate, lest we venture too far and take upon us more than we can carry. You can see, therefore, how necessary it is that we should have a full comprehension of the magnitude of this undertaking. Our people look to us to take safe steps in these affairs, and it is better not to venture at all than to venture and then fail through a want of foresight or a proper understanding of the seriousness of the movement.

The brethren of the Council join in love to you, and our prayers are that you may be sustained in all your righteous undertakings and be preserved from the hands of your enemies, and that this movement for enlarged liberty may be crowned with great success.

We remain

Your Brethren,

Wilford Woodruff

Geo. Q. Cannon

Jos. F. Smith

Committee on behalf of the Council

[End of attached letter]

I learned this evening that my wife Carlie had arranged for a visit to the Cañon and proposed to take my daughters Mary Alice and Emily and my son Sylvester with her, which I was very pleased to hear, as I think Mary Alice’s health needs change. She has been ailing for some time now, and I have been desirous that she should have a chance to go into the mountains. In the evening Bros. Wilcken and S. Bateman took Brother Woodruff and myself out in a carriage. Brother Woodruff stopped at his house to visit his family on his farm, while I continued my ride with the brethren down as far as Bro. Winder’s. Bro. Winder was not at home. We returned, and reached the office about half past ten. It is very delightful riding out these evenings, especially after being closely confined all day in the office, for I feel the need of fresh air.

17 August 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Aug. 17/87. I felt impressed this morning to suggest to Brothers Woodruff and Smith the propriety of writing another letter to Bro. John W. Young in relation to the vote on the Constitution. Our vote will not exceed probably 14000; in fact, I do not think it will reach that number. Now, this, to my mind, is a small number of votes for so important a movement as the obtaining of a State government. We decided to write a letter to him and call his attention to this, that he might take pains to ascertain from our friends with whom he is operating in the East whether the smallness of this vote will be an unsurmountable obstacle to our securing a State government; for if this were the case, we ought to know it now, as it would save us the expenditure of means and time and considerable labor. In our letter we desired him to give us an early answer; if possible, by telegraph.

I arranged to raise $75000/ to advance to my wife Sarah Jane to lift a note that she is security for in the bank, she having given collateral to our son Frank to obtain a loan. She had paid $25000/ of it, and this remains. I had an interview with her and told her that if he would pay the interest, I would let her have enough to pay the principal for the present, and she could take up the note and her security; and if there was a necessity for me to get the money again from her, we could borrow it on the same security; but by taking this means we are saving interest for the present. I dictated two articles, “Topics of the Times”, to Bro. Arthur Winter.

18 August 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Aug. 18/87. We sent for Bro. Amos Howe and conversed with him respecting an iron roof for the Temple. He told us that he had been corresponding with manufacturers East upon the subject and had received some replies, but expected more. We spoke of making the interior fireproof, as had been suggested by some of the brethren of the Council, but he thought this would be very expensive, and that it was really not necessary. It was, however, understood that he should make an estimate of the cost of using iron for the beams, and joists, and girders, and pillars, instead of wood; and we asked him to continue his investigation upon these subjects, and after we had obtained all the information that could be by letter, it was intimated to him that we might find it necessary for him to go East himself. He said he contemplated making a trip East soon and while he was there he would examine the question. A letter was given to him, signed by Bro. Woodruff, addressed to the Architect of the Temple, asking him to let Bro. Howe have free access to the plans of the interior of the building.

Bro. Karl G. Maeser came from Provo and we had a lengthy conversation with him upon educational matters. It was suggested that we establish a high school here, in which the higher branches and scientific course could be taught. He arranged to see the committee that had the superintendence of the Salt Lake Academy and then report to us.

19 August 1887 • Friday

Friday, Aug. 19/87. Presidents Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith, and myself had a lengthy interview with the committee which has been appointed at one of our meetings before President Taylor’s death to raise funds towards forwarding the State movement. There were present: Mayor Armstrong (the Chairman), H. J. Grant, W. W. Riter, James Sharp, and Hiram B. Clawson. Bro. John T. Caine is also on the committee, but he was absent. We canvassed the ground very thoroughly with them and spoke as freely as we could do upon the subject, informing them that we thought the prospects better than we ever had seen them for obtaining State government, and that we had assurances which we thought very reliable that we could get help from outside and influential parties; but we were not at liberty to give them the particulars. The committee appeared to feel very well and, I think, are in full accord with the movement and will do what they can to raise funds.

Bro. Karl G. Maeser afterwards met with us and reported the result of the meeting that he had had with the committee. $75000/ were necessary to buy furniture, and probably $80000/, in addition to the tuition fees, to sustain the school. After considerable conversation it was decided to let the matter drop for the present, the principal reason being that there was <no> really suitable person for Principal that we could control at the present time. I had some conversation with Bro. D. H. Wells to-day concerning his private affairs, in which I alluded also to John Q.’s case and told him that there were a great many slanders afloat, but that John solemnly assured me that he had never gone astray or done wrong with any other woman women but those who were his wives.

20 August 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Aug. 20/87. President Woodruff and myself were in the office to-day and we had considerable conversation with Bro. H. B. Clawson respecting information that had been received. Our friends are very desirous that we should come to some decision respecting the propositions they have made, and as we have received a letter from Bro. John W. Young, in the East, we have decided to accept the propositions they have made to us, and arranged for Bro. Clawson to go to California by to-morrow’s train, to close the arrangements. The letter from Bro. John W. Young was quite full and what I consider a good letter.

Bros. F. D. Richards and F. S. Richards came in and submitted letters written by George Ticknor Curtis to the latter. I spoke my feelings very plainly respecting his writings. He has published a pamphlet, which he intends to send to Members of Congress, in which he conveys the idea that we have abandoned plural marriage. I am afraid of this kind of writing; for while it may answer a temporary purpose in aiding us, it is like a two-edged sword – it cuts both ways. We shall have to meet the impressions made by such writing hereafter, should we be admitted as a State. Besides, if he be a man of sensitive honor, he may feel that we have allowed him to say things in our behalf that we know were not correct, and he might accuse us of perfidy in permitting him to make statements over his signature that we would not make ourselves. I, therefore, am averse in my feelings to permitting such writings to go out. Of course, if he chose to write these matters himself, on his own authority, as his own views, there would be no objection to that; but for him, acting as our counsel and speaking, to a certain extent, in our behalf, and being supposed to have some knowledge from us of what our intentions are, to say that which he does, is something that I do not feel well about. At the same time I do not think it wise to communicate to him everything connected with it, because he is not a safe person, as I understand, to entrust with any secret policy. He is old and garrulous.

I dictated some letters to-day, as I have done each day for some days past. In the evening Brother Woodruff and myself went down to my home on the river. Bro. Bateman took us down.

21 August 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 21/87. I enjoyed to-day excellently with my family. I felt profoundly grateful to the Lord for His goodness unto me in furnishing me with so many comforts and being so kind as to preserve me from my enemies, and in giving me wives and children, with whom I can associate so happily as I have done to-day and as I always do when I have the privilege of being with them. I feel to praise the Lord for His goodness in bestowing upon us the spirit of union and love which prevails in my family. We held Sacrament meeting in the afternoon. The Sacrament was administered by Bro. Bateman and my son Angus. I then told President Woodruff that the meeting was in his hands; but he desired me to speak and he would follow. We had a very interesting meeting. In the evening we had music and singing. Sister Woodruff had been sent for this morning by my wife Sarah Jane, and she came down and spent the day with us. As the housekeeper that lives with my first wife’s family was absent, and Mary Alice, Emily, and Sylvester also, these three last having gone to the Cañon with my wife Carlie, my wife Sarah Jane prepared breakfast for the family and Martha prepared lunch and dinner.

22 August 1887 • Monday

Monday, Aug. 22/87. I was out a good deal to-day, looking around and directing the labors of my boys engaged in cutting weeds with a scythe and watering young trees, which were suffering for the want of water. There is so much to be done around my place that I could be kept busy every moment if I were free. I have scarcely given the matter any attention now for nearly three years. I was greatly gratified this evening at meeting Bro. Erastus Snow, who was brought to my place by Bishop Rawlins, of Cottonwood. I embraced and kissed him for I felt delighted to meet him. We had not met since our separation on the train when I was arrested by the Sheriff at Winnemuca.

Bros. F. S. Richards and John Burt were brought down by Bro. Wilcken. We had conversation with Bro. Burt, and after he withdrew into the other room, we talked over the business which had brought Bro. Richards down, among which were some letters of Mr. Curtis’ and a pamphlet that he had published. We felt that the latter should be suppressed, as it contained many things which we could not countenance.

It is important that we should have eminent counsel, if it can be procured, to defend the Church suit. This subject was canvassed upon fully, and he was instructed to make proper enquiries upon it. Bro. Snow concluded to go back to town with Bros. Richards and Wilcken.

23 August 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Aug. 23/87. President Woodruff and Brother Bateman left this morning about three o’clock. Brother Woodruff intended to take his wife and children on a visit to his newly-married daughter at Provo and proposed to return here on Thursday night. I felt it necessary to go to town to-day, expecting there would be dispatches from the East which should be sent to Bro. Clawson in the West. I came up disguised; was driven by my sons Angus and Lewis. My disguise was so perfect that my wives did not recognize me at first. I found a dispatch there from Bro. C. W. Penrose. I sent for Bro. Jos. F. Smith to submit it to him. It had already been sent by Bro. Jack in cipher to Bro. Clawson; but I thought it proper to send one to him, which Bro. Smith and myself agreed to do. It read as follows:

“We think after reading dispatch of Williams you should proceed as understood when you left and make best terms possible.”

I dictated a letter, also, to Bro. John T. Caine, the President of the Salt Lake Herald Co., calling his attention to articles which Bro. John W. Young had enclosed in a letter to Brother Woodruff, attacking the Central Pacific Co., especially Senator Stanford. We think that this kind of articles very improper at the present time.

I feel very uneasy about Bro. Brigham Young, from whom we have heard nothing now for upwards of four weeks. We have sent dispatches to those that we thought most likely to know something about him, but can learn nothing concerning him. I dictated a letter to Bro. F. A. Hammond, of San Juan, asking him if he could give us any information regarding him.

Bro. Erastus Snow came into the Office and had quite a visit with Bro. Jos. F. Smith, whom he had not met for nearly three years.

I had conversation with Prest. D. H. Wells, who desired my services. He had conversation with President Taylor, before he left for England, concerning certain ordinances and had desired my help to officiate. As I was disguised, I was able to comply with his request. It was his hasty departure that prevented this from being attended to before he left. Bro. Erastus Snow spent considerable time with us in the Office this afternoon. We conversed on Albert Carrington’s case part of the time. He seemed to have favored granting his request for rebaptism. I was pleased to hear this, as I had got the impression that he was opposed to it; but he explained by saying that he was opposed to him being made an exception of; that if he were granted this privilege, it should be granted to others who were not so culpable as he.

Bro. Jos. F. Smith and his wife Julina and baby accompanied me home this evening.

24 August 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Aug. 24/87. Busy working most of the day with my little boys. My son Lewis did considerable carpenter work and glazing. The other boys were kept busy sorting old lumber, watering trees, etc.

25 August 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Aug. 25/87. My labors to-day with my sons were about as yesterday. My son William cut his hand and chin to-day by being thrown from a bicycle through a collision. I had a very plain and severe talk with him this evening concerning his conduct. I am not at all satisfied with the course he has taken. He is negligent and does not attend to his business as he should do, and I do not hear favorable reports of him. After speaking severely to him, I then talked kindly, and he wept and promised me that he would try and do better. His mother was present during the interview. My daughters Mary Alice and Emily and my son Sylvester returned this evening from a visit to the Cañon, where they have been absent one week. Mary Alice’s health was much improved by the trip. I was very glad to see the children home again. Bro. Jos. F. Smith and wife left this evening.

26 August 1887 • Friday

Friday, Aug. 26/87. President Woodruff and Bro. Bateman returned from Provo towards midnight last evening, and Bro. Jos. F. Smith returned this morning early. I attended to correspondence and the rest of the day was busy out of doors with my boys. It is something new for them to be kept so busily employed as they have been since I have been down these few days and I think the effect upon them will be good. Several of them are small, but they can do considerable light work when they are directed. We prepared to go to Kaysville this evening and visit our old place of refuge, where President Taylor died. I was desirous that Brother Woodruff and Smith should go there, especially Brother Woodruff, as he had never been there and the family had given us a warm invitation to go. Just before I started I found a dispatch, which had been brought from town, from Bro. Clawson, asking for $12,000.00/ to be forwarded to him at San Francisco. Brother Woodruff had gone, and Bro. Smith and myself decided, as we were on our way through town, to stop at Bro. White’s and send an order to Bro. Jack to have this amount forwarded to him. We followed on and reached Kaysville about 11 o’clock and were kindly received by the family. President Woodruff approved of our action.

27 August 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Aug. 27/87. Attended to correspondence. A number of names of lawyers were submitted by Bro. F. S. Richards, from among which to select one to defend the Church suits. We selected Mr. Broadhead, of St. Louis, and telegraphed to John W. Young and C. W. Penrose to go to St. Louis and make the best arrangement they could with him. I wrote necessary letters and a dispatch – the letters to Bro. F. S. Richards and Bro. Jack, and the dispatch to be sent to John W. Young, New York. In order that these might be carried safely, we arranged with Bro. Roueche to take them to the City.

28 August 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 28/87. I spent the day in reading and in conversation. Bro. S. Bateman had planted some melons which were now ripe, and we had plenty of them to eat. At half past six we returned to my home on the river. On our way down we called at Bro. John W. Woolley’s and made a visit of half an hour. I found my family in good health.

29 August 1887 • Monday

Monday, Aug. 29/87. Kept busily employed out of doors which I enjoyed very much. Mixed a lot of whitewash for use on my outbuildings to-morrow.

30 August 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Aug. 30/87. Worked at whitewashing my ice house and teaching my boys how to whitewash. In the afternoon I looked through and arranged a lot of papers. Bros. Woodruff, Jos. F. Smith and myself left about eight o’clock for the City. Bro. S. Bateman drove the carriage. Bro. F. M. Lyman came to the Office after we reached there. He and Bro. John H. Smith had just returned from Manti.

31 August 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Aug. 31/87. A very cold day, so cold that we had to build a fire in the Office. Of the Twelve there present, President Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, Erastus, Snow, F. D. Richards, Jos. F. Smith, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, H. J. Grant, John W. Taylor, and myself. We attended to various items of business. Among other things a committee was appointed to have an interview with Horace S. Eldredge concerning the affairs and officers of Z. C. M. I. I was appointed on that committee with President Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith, M. Thatcher and H. J. Grant. We met with him in the evening and had a long conversation respecting the affairs of the Institution. Bro. H. B. Clawson returned from California and brought satisfactory information concerning our friends’ feelings. They were pleased at our decision to push the movement in favor of a State.

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August 1887, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 13, 2024