The Church Historian's Press

November 1887

1 November 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 1/87. I dictated some letters to Brother Arthur Winter, also my journal, and attended to various items of business.

2 November 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 2/87. I dictated a number of public letters to-day. Some of our friends who are operating in the State movement called. We had a private interview with them and talked over the situation. Had conversation with the Presiding Bishopric concerning the affairs of the Tithing Office and the steps necessary to be taken so as to be prepared in the event of a Receiver being appointed by the Court on Saturday. We also had conversation with Bro. Richards and Bro. Grant upon various matters, the latter respecting the tone of the Herald, he being Vice-President of the Co. There seems to be a lack of management and everything is published regardless of its effect. The paper has no policy, and it is doing us injury, so our friends assert, by the loose manner in which it is edited, dwelling upon subjects that ought not to be touched, under the circumstances. Bro. Grant is the Vice President of the Co. and we talked with him on the subject, so that he might use his influence in correcting these faults. I had a long conversation with Bishop Preston in regard to the B. B. & C. Mg. Co., in which he has an interest. I explained fully to him everything connected with it, and he read the document which President Taylor signed, transferring the custody of the consecrated stock to me. I was desirous to know his feelings respecting this act of President Taylor’s. He said that when he entered into this and consecrated it, he placed it at President Taylor’s disposal, and he was not disposed now to change, and, of course, respected what he had done in the matter. He also acquiesced in the propriety of indemnifying me for any moneys that I might pay out in the shape of dividends on this consecrated stock, until it was clear that Bro. John Beck would not attempt to disturb the agreement – an event which, I think, might happen if he was to fall into bad influences and pressed as he is by his numerous debts.

In the evening Bro. Wilcken accompanied me to my wife Carlie’s. It was a great pleasure to me to walk. The night was dark, and instead of riding, I walked.

3 November 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 3/87. This being the anniversary of our wedding day, my wife Carlie was desirous that I should bring President Woodruff down with me and take dinner this evening. My brother Angus was also invited, and Bro. Wilcken; also her mother and some of her folks will be there. I dictated public correspondence, and also “Editorial Thoughts” for the Juvenile Instructor. Had conversation with my son Abraham about the printing of a work that he has in hand; and attended to other matters of business in the office. Bro. John W. Young called and had a lengthy conversation with President Woodruff and myself respecting the difficulty he had in obtaining a right of way for his railroad to Big Cottonwood. He represented to us the importance of the time that was now being spent here, that he should be in the East, and said that he could not leave without doing injustice to his own business, but would leave if we said so. We did not wish to take the responsibility of counseling him to go and leave his business, and President Woodruff so informed him. It struck me that the difficulty he had to meet in this matter was the fear on the part of the brethren that, if they gave him any special privileges, in a little while the railroad will pass into the hands of outsiders and be a disadvantage to us. I mentioned this to him. He said that he had taken precautions to prevent such a result, at least to prevent it being injurious to us. He said he could not guarantee that the railroad would always remain in his hands; but he thought the parties from whom he was getting the funds would not be so unwise as to do anything to injure our people.

4 November 1887 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 4/87. President Woodruff had a very bad night last night being troubled with a cough which kept him awake. I dictated public correspondence. At noon, President Woodruff, Bro. F. D. Richards, the Presiding Bishop and Counselors, myself, and Attorney F. S. Richards, met and took into consideration the situation of the properties of the Church. The Bishops were counseled to take every precaution possible to secure the property, so that we may be prepared in the event of a Receiver being appointed.

It had been the intention of President Woodruff for us to go north on a visit to Bro. Joseph F. Smith, who had moved to the residence of Bro. John W. Woolley, at Centerville; but when the time came to start he felt so badly that we all thought it would be imprudent for him to go on such a journey. His wife had joined him here, but she returned with him to his home, where he was taken by Bro. Bateman. Bro. Wilcken drove myself and wife Carlie, and Sister Julina Smith, the wife of Bro. Jos. F. Smith, to Bro. Woolley’s. We had an interesting visit with Bro. Smith and his wife Sarah, who is there, and the family. Bro. Smith’s ankle is still in a very painful condition. He is not able to put his foot to the ground and the sprain is a very severe one; in fact, it is said that one of the bones and one of the ligaments are broken; but he hopes, by keeping it quiet, to soon get the use of it. He thought of returning to the city to-night, but he deemed it unwise to do so in view of the word that we had received of the intention at the Marshal’s office to be more industrious in trying to find us. This word had been given to me concerning myself, that a man by the name of Pat Laman had given information on Thursday that I was at the office and urged the District Attorney to have a posse sent to arrest me. President Woodruff desired me to stay at the office to-morrow, so I returned there this evening and stayed all night.

5 November 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 5/87. I was busy during the day attending to various matters, which kept me fully occupied. I dictated “Topics of the Times”. We are working hard to-day to try and defeat the appointment of a Receiver, but it is a difficult matter. In the evening Brother Wilcken took me down to my home on the river. I visited all of my folks and administered to Grace and Hugh. Grace is improving slowly; but Hugh does not seem to improve so much. I could not stop very long, as I had an appointment between 9 and 10. It was thought not safe for me to stay here to-night and to-morrow, so I went to my wife Carlie’s, where I was called upon by Bro. H. B. Clawson, who advised me of the decision that a Receiver would be appointed.

6 November 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 6/87 I received a letter from Bro. F. S. Richards, enclosing one for President Woodruff, asking our views respecting the appointment of a Receiver and whom we would prefer. Bro. Clawson took the letter to President Woodruff and had an interview with him. He expressed himself as being in favor of Marshal Dyer. I spent the day visiting with my family, reading, and attending to this business. I had two or three visits upon this subject. In the evening Bro. Clawson took me to the office. Before leaving, however, Bro. John W. Young called, also Don Carlos Young, and we had quite a visit with them.

7 November 1887 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 7/87. Corrected “Topics of the Times”. Attended to public correspondence and the signing of recommends, having been requested to do so by President Woodruff. I received a letter from him, in which he informed me that his cold was somewhat better and asking me to write to him. It is his intention, he tells me, to go off for a day or two on a trip – I suppose, duck hunting. He will go down to Utah Lake. I think it very remarkable that a man at his time of life should be so active and so fond of this sport as he is. Fishing and hunting are the only recreations in which he has ever been known to indulge, and his fondness for them seems unabated.

We learn that it is the design of the “ring” to try and force the appointment as Receiver of Dickson, or Rosborough, or Baskin, or some person equally objectionable to us, and who would do all in his power to destroy us and rob us of our property. We thought it better to use every means within our reach to defeat this, and we have some hope of success. I was gratified to learn this evening that Marshal Dyer had received the appointment, Judges Boreman and Henderson being in favor of his appointment and Zane manifesting considerable anger, because the other two judges did not agree with him. He was so displeased that he could not conceal his feelings and said emphatically, at two different times, that he dissented from the other judges in regard to this. Out of spite, he fixed the bond at $250,000.00 in the Church suit and $50,000.00 in the P. E. Fund suit – a most enormous bond, under the circumstance, and one which, I Imagine, he thought the Marshal could not possibly raise. I have heard it said that Zane was honest, but was prejudiced. I have seen, however, a number of things which lead me to believe that he is dishonest. This bond matter at this time is one of these instances. And he exhibited the same feeling when he fixed the bond of the B. B. & C. Co. at $150,000.00 in the Eureka suit – a bond that was beyond all precedent for such a case. This act, I think, was undoubtedly done with a view to prevent us getting the injunction. If a man were honest, he would, at least, be consistent, and this he is not when anything comes up which involves the Latter-day Saints or their interests.

8 November 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 8/87. Bro. John Sharp called to-day to say that he had been approached to know whether he would go on the bond of Marshal Dyer. He was very much surprised at the question, but had come up to see some of us, to learn what our feelings were. I told him I would consult with the brethren and would send him word. I afterwards saw Bros. F. D. Richards and Winder and talked the matter over with them, and all agreed that it was the best thing that could be done. Bro. Winder went down and informed him to this effect.

I was busy writing to-day. I signed a number of recommends and was applied to for counsel in a number of matters, and dictated my journal to Bro. A. Winter. Last night I had a very lengthy conversation with Bro. D. H. Wells. I said that I had understood from one of the brethren of the Twelve that he was not satisfied in regard to some affairs that had been talked over between us, and I desired to find out his feeling towards me; for I had made it a rule, so far through my life, that if I had done anything wrong to the Lord, to ask His forgiveness speedily; or if I had, in any manner, hurt the feelings of or injured my brethren, to be willing to make the necessary amends and ask forgiveness. I told him I wanted, if he had any feelings against me, to inform me of it, and if it was in my power I would make amends. We had a very long conversation over John Q’s case, in which I explained to him many things that he seemed to have wrong information about, and our conversation, I think, resulted in the removal of much prejudice and mis-information from his mind, and he expressed himself as being perfectly satisfied with me and as having no feelings towards me. After this he gave me a statement of his connection with the B. B. & C. mine. It seems that he entertains the idea that he has a claim on that property, which ought to be satisfied. It appears that at one time, without solicitation or consideration on his part, Bro. Beck deeded the mine to him. Afterwards he requested Bro. Wells to deed it to President John Taylor, at a time when President Taylor was forming a combination for the sale of a number of mines. Afterwards President Taylor, John Beck, Paul A. Schettler and Bro. Wells met and talked over the affairs of the mine, and it was decided that there should be eighteen shares, of which President Taylor, John Beck and Paul A. Schettler should receive five apiece, and three should be given to Bro. Wells. But President Taylor objected to Bro. Wells holding it, because he was in debt, and he was afraid it might lead to some embarrassment with the mine. On that account Bro. Wells transferred his three shares to John Beck. Afterwards John Beck bought out President Taylor’s interest for $10,000.00, and Paul A. Schettler’s for a similar or maybe larger sum. He offered to buy Bro. Wells off, and offered, as Bro. Wells says, to pay him $10,000.00 for it; but he declined to accept that price. He paid him, however, on one occasion $650000/ and afterwards various sums, which, he says, amounted to about $740000/. Bro. Wells considered that that was due to him on dividends, and he still thinks that he is entitled to his original interest, which he now calls one-sixth of the entire property. He states that he mentioned this to President Taylor before he went on his mission, through his son Junius; but President Taylor, when he heard what he had received, thought he had had enough for his share. I told him that I had never heard of his claim till this evening. I had heard that he had some interest, but supposed that he had been bought out. After listening to his statement, I gave him a recital of my connection with the property, and how I had first been induced to have anything to do with it, and told him the present condition – that though now it had been over three years and a half since I invested my means in that, I had not received to the extent of $10000/ to spend on my family. I had been busy trying to raise money to pay my debts, which had been very burdensome to me. He seemed to think that if the consecrated stock were transferred to President Woodruff, he might receive something out of that, and said how much he had depended on this mine helping him out of his financial difficulties. He asked me my views in regarding this. Putting his hands on my shoulders and looking me in the face, and drawing me up to him, he said, what do you think of my case? I replied that I thought whatever unsettled claims he had should be settled. Of course, I cannot think that he, in justice, can claim anything from me or from President Taylor. Whatever rights he may have, John Beck has had the benefit of them, and he is responsible, or ought to be, to Bro. Wells for whatever interest Bro. Wells may have had. When we bought this property, I supposed that it was entirely free from all liens of every kind; for we had the stock handed to us and transferred to our names, and if there were any claim at that time against it, it should have been made known. I was much gratified to get so full and free conversation with Bro. Wells upon the John Q. case; for I hope it will lead to an amelioration of feeling on his part towards me. I did not attempt to extenuate, in any manner, his conduct, but to have Bro. Wells understand the facts as they were and the part that I had taken in the affair.

Bro. Lehi Pratt called and took me down to my house this evening.

9 November 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 9/87. I spent the day looking through my papers and letters.

10 November 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 10/87. I was engaged in business at home all day, and in the evening Bro. Lehi Pratt took me back to the office.

11 November 1887 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 11/87. I spent the day at the office and dictated “Editorial Thoughts” to Bro. A. Winter. Had several interviews, with brethren, particularly Bro. Winder, in relation to the situation of things in connection with the Receivership. Bro. John Sharp also called on me and informed me that he had gone on Marshal Dyer’s bond. In the evening Bro. John W. Young called in. My brother Angus took me down to my home this evening.

12 November 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 12/87. I spent the day at home, attending to business there. When I look around my house and see the condition of the surroundings, I feel how much my presence is needed. The premises look like those of widows. I am not at all satisfied with the way affairs are; but situated as I have been, I have not been able to attend to my own affairs but very little and things have gone at loose ends. My children are young and inexperienced, and they need a father’s guidance and direction.

In the evening Bro. Wilcken called and took me to President Woodruff’s, who had returned late last night from Provo, where he has been duck hunting. I found Bro. Jos. F. Smith there, and we remained together about two ours conversing about various matters of business.

13 November 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 13/87. Had Sunday School and meeting with my family to-day, and had quite a conversation with my wife Eliza and my son William concerning their affairs. I am anxious that they should be united with my other folks and not seek to draw off in any manner – a disposition which I think I see manifested in their anxiety to obtain animals of their own, and to have their own affairs separate from the rest. I tell my family that all I have is theirs; but I do not want division among us. I have no horse nor cow but what they can have the use of, and if we have not got enough, I will try and get that which is necessary to make them comfortable. But I have found it impolitic to allow my boys or wives to have breeding animals, as it creates separate interests and produces division.

My son Preston was attacked this morning with sore throat, and for fear it might prove something serious I had the rest of the family separated from him. I had an interesting conversation with my son John Q. yesterday about business affairs; and had a very delightful visit with my family this evening, at which I related some chapters from my experience.

14 November 1887 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 14/87. Bro. Wilcken called for me at 7:30. I visited my son Preston before leaving. He seemed better. I disguised myself and was driven by Bro. Wilcken to Bro. Armstrong’s in time for breakfast. Presidents Woodruff and Jos. F. Smith were there. We had a very busy day; took some time to listen to the reading of the correspondence, which had accumulated. There were about 20 public letters, to which I dictated replies to Bro. A. Winter. I also replied to some private letters and dictated my journal to him. We had interviews to-day with Bishops Preston & Winder about the course to take in relation to Church property and in regard to the Receiver. It was decided best to rent the Tithing Office and premises, even if $20000/ per month had to be paid for them. In the evening we had an interview with Bro. F. S. Richards about the position of the legal business and his proposed journey to Washington. After hearing his description of the situation I expressed myself to the effect that I did not see how he could leave here with any degree of safety; that his services here were more needed apparently than they were there and that unless Bro. Le Grand Young had aid to assist him, it seemed to me that our affairs would suffer here during his absence. The propriety of employing gentile counsel was talked over. Arthur Brown’s name was mentioned as being a very suitable man; but we are averse to calling in new counsel and increasing our already very onerous legal expenses. It was thought that perhaps Sheeks & Rawlins, who were already assisting in the defense of unlawful cohabitation cases, might be induced to attend to other matters as well, for the same fee that they are receiving. This I thought very doubtful. But Bro. Richards was instructed to have Bro. Le Grand Young and himself have an interview with Sheeks & Rawlins upon the subject. We had arranged this afternoon for Bro. Wilcken to go to Bro. Riter’s and arrange for us to stop there for a few days. I was desirous to visit there, because I had received several pressing invitations from him and his wife to stop there, but had postponed from time to time doing so. Bro. Bateman took President Woodruff and myself there. Bro. Jos. F. Smith went home for the night. We learned that they have been preparing for us for three weeks. Sister Riter is preparing to leave to-morrow for the States. Their house is elegantly fitted up and everything is very comfortable.

15 November 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 15/87. I enjoyed my rest last night. Attended to public correspondence this morning. Had a visit from Sister Jennings and her daughters Emma and May. Emma’s health is very delicate, and at her request we administered to her. Bro. Jos. F. Smith anointed and I was mouth. Sister Riter desired to have some of private conversation with me. She is greatly concerned about her health and fears that she may not return alive. She blames her hasty temper also for certain things that have occurred, but expresses a desire to do right and hoped that in administering to her we would remember these things. I told her she need have no concern about her return, for I felt to say to her that she would return in safety. We afterwards administered to her. Bro. Smith anointed her and I was mouth.

We had a call this afternoon from Bro. John W. Young and had considerable conversation with him about the plan of operations to be pursued in the East. He desired to be set apart and blessed for this mission. Presidents Woodruff, Smith, and myself laid our hands upon him and I was mouth. He intends to start this evening. Mrs. Riter will go with him as far as Omaha. Bro. Young seemed to be very anxious that some answer should be prepared that would satisfy public opinion respecting our future conduct under the law. We related to him that such an answer had been prepared, but it had met with disfavor from the Twelve and had been laid aside. He thought that something might be prepared by the Government and presented to us which might be so framed as not to require too much from us. I feel that this is a very delicate subject and one that is exceedingly difficult to deal with. We cannot comply with the requirements of public opinion upon this point. They ask something that we cannot, consistently with our covenants, comply with. To do something that would satisfy them would not satisfy us. That which would satisfy us would not, in all probability, satisfy them.

I forgot to say that this morning President Woodruff was quite sick. He spent a very sleepless night, having coughed all night. I think he was overworked yesterday. We had a good deal to do and we crowded the work through. This evening we met Bro. John T. Caine at Mayor Armstrong’s, at 7 o’clock. He has just returned from Washington, whither he went with the Memorial and Constitution to present to President Cleveland. He described his interview with the President, which was very agreeable, and we gathered from it that President Cleveland[’]s feelings were kindly disposed, though, of course, he did not in any of his remarks commit himself on this question, but made expressions concerning the situation of affairs here which were of such a nature as to lead Bro. Caine to the conclusion that his sympathies were with us. Bro. Caine was anxious to know who would go with him as private secretary. President Woodruff mentioned the name of Bro. L. John Nuttall, which seemed to please Bro. Caine. Bro. Nuttall’s health is so impaired that he ought to have a change. Before he took leave, however, he expressed the great desire that he had for me to go down. He thought I would be of very great service to them there, and upon President Woodruff stating that I could not be spared, he said he hoped he would reconsider that decision and permit me to go, adding, in the same language that Bro. John W. Young had previously used, that I would be a tower of strength to them there. We afterwards met with Bros. F. S. Richards, Le Grand Young and John R. Winder and had a long talk with them over legal affairs – what course is to be pursued and what shall be our plan of defence, and who shall be the witnesses that we should permit to go on the stand. There seemed to be quite a difference between our attorneys in regard to the policy to be pursued. I expressed my own feelings upon this subject. I felt that it would not do for us to resort to concealment, or to put our brethren in a position where they would have to skulk and hide. We knew how painful it is for men to be compelled to keep in hiding, and I thought that before any policy was adopted which would force any of our brethren into this position through our wish to have them keep away from the court as witnesses, it should be maturely considered. While I am in favor of doing everything to defend our property, there are some things more valuable than property, and I think we had better act openly and above-board. We have taken all the precautions we could take to preserve our property and fortify ourselves against this attack, and we should be prepared to meet all the issues that may be raised. These remarks were made in reference to Bro. Jack, who is a very important witness. I feel that his testimony cannot injure us – at least, that we had better stand the injury, whatever it may be, than to consign him to perpetual exile, or to exile for any great length of time. They informed to us that the Temple Block was offered to us at $100/ per month. Brothers W. Woodruff and Jos. F. Smith expressed themselves emphatically at once that they would not pay it. I did not say anything upon the subject; for it was not clear to me whether a refusal of this kind would be prudent, under the circumstances. My natural feelings would prompt to say as they did, because it is an outrage that we should be required to pay rent for our property; but it is a very valuable property, and if, by paying $100/ per month and sacrificing our feelings somewhat, we could retain it in our own possession, it seems to me that it is worth considering. It would be a source of regret to us in after days if by refusing to accept this offer we had permitted our enemies to hold our sacred places in their hands and to do damage to them for any length of time. We should look back on this action and say that it would have been better for us to have swallowed our anger and paid the $1200/ per annum, than to have gratified our impetuous feelings at such a cost. After this conversation we had a talk with Bro. F. S. Richards about his mission to the States and set him apart, Bro. Jos. F. Smith being mouth. After this we drove back to Bro. Riter’s. President Woodruff was very much exhausted.

16 November 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 16/87. Sister Emma Jennings was in charge of Bro. Riter’s to-day. We attended to public correspondence. I wrote some letters. In the evening President Woodruff drove down to his farm; Bro. Jos. F. Smith was taken to his house; and Bro. Wilcken accompanied me on foot to my wife Carlie’s. Having the opportunity to walk in the open air and take exercise is a great pleasure when one has been confined as we have been for several days. To-day the refusal to rent the Temple Block was re-considered by President Woodruff. Conversation was had on the subject in the presence of Bro. Jos. F. Smith, C. H. Wilcken, W. W. Riter, and myself, during which I expressed the feelings which I mentioned in my yesterday’s journal, and Bro. Smith acceded to these views, though rather reluctantly. His feelings were quite strong on the subject, as were all of ours. Letters were written to the Trustees (the Presiding Bishops) and to Le Grand Young on this subject.

17 November 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 17/87. I rose this morning at half past five to meet Bro. Wilcken at six. I waited outside for half an hour before he came. It then became so light that I concluded to walk, and met him in the buggy. President Woodruff and myself examined the correspondence. I wrote several letters. My son Abraham called on me and had considerable conversation.

18 November 1887 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 18/87. Engaged to-day attending to correspondence, &c. Had an interview with Bros. Riter & E. G. Woolley concerning their trip to Washington as delegates for the convention. In the evening Bro. Bateman took President Woodruff and myself to Bro. Wm White’s, for the purpose of blessing one of his grandchildren, and son of Bro. David White. Bro Jos. F. Smith was taken to his home by Bro. Wilcken. We had a very pleasant visit at Bro. White’s. President Woodruff desired me to be mouth in blessing the child.

We had quite an important interview with Bro. Le Grand Young respecting legal matters, and made an appointment to meet him and Messrs. Sheeks & Rawlins on Monday evening at the Office.

Bro. Wilcken carried me to my quarters. Bro. Bateman carried President Woodruff to his home.

19 November 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 19/87. Spent the day at home with my family. Had a very enjoyable time looking after affairs. My daughter Grace came over from her mother’s to visit me – the first time she had been out.

20 November 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 20/87. Had Sunday School this morning, also arranged about my wives having cows to supply them with milk. The way matters have been managed in this respect has not satisfied me. They have been living in a sort of shiftless way. My absence has not permitted my attending to my own affairs at all. The result is, my family is suffering very much for the want of my counsel and direction. In the afternoon had sacrament meeting, and I spoke and enjoyed the meeting very much. In the evening my son David carried me to Bro. [blank] where I blessed an “underground” baby and called her name Mary. My wife Carlie was present. From there I went to the office, where I stayed all night.

21 November 1887 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 21/87. President Woodruff came early and went to bed. We were notified that there was danger of the Marshal coming up and taking possession of the books and papers this morning, and we endeavored to exercise vigilance by having the brethren acting as guards keep on the lookout. We had an interview with Byron Groo, Editor of the Herald. I read to him extracts from a letter which we had received from one of our correspondents concerning the proper policy to be pursued by our papers in regard to the State movement. We also read extracts from the same letter to Bros. W. W. Riter and E. G. Woolley, two of the delegates who are to carry the Constitution and Memorial to Congress. The counsel concerning the proper way of managing this affair, we thought, was very good. We also had interviews with Bros. Winder and Le Grande Young concerning property matters, and in the evening had an interview with Bro. Le Grande Young and Messrs. Sheeks & Rawlins. Bro. Young had suggested the propriety of giving up whatever property the Trustee-in-Trust had in hand on the 2nd. of March, that had not been disbursed – property that could be proved by witnesses to be on hand at that time, whether in the shape of notes, or money, or any other personal property. He felt that a great government like ours would not dare to misuse it, and that it would be safe in their hands; that they would only spend that portion which they would think necessary to cover expenses; and if they did not have this property, they would use up other property belonging to us, so that it would be broad as long. President Woodruff and Brother Jos. F. Smith expressed themselves very strongly on this point. I felt equally strong; but I had said that I thought it was a very serious matter to start in on any line that we could not follow out, and I should hestitate for awhile before deciding on any policy that would compel our brethren who are now free to go into hiding to escape being used as witnesses. This is a measure, however, which Bro. Le Grand Young recommended that I could not, for one, assent to, unless it was decided, after due deliberation, that it was the proper course, and I had therefore suggested that we have the opinion of other attorneys. Messrs. Sheeks & Rawlins differed from Bro. Young in regard to this matter. They thought that, instead of appeasing the appetite of these who were after the Church property, it would only whet it, and they would be just as eager to search for other property after receiving that as they would be if it were refused to them. A stipulation had been spoken of, that if we would surrender certain property they would stop the search for more. This stipulation could not be entered into by the Receiver; it would not bind the court nor the Government.

We intended to have left the office this evening; but there was so much work to be done that we concluded to stay another day, although at some risk. I had an interview with my son Abraham on business this afternoon. We had an interview with Bro. Budge to-day in relation to affairs in Idaho. He has been very successful in managing the trials up there, and by spending a little money has succeeded in keeping a number of our brethren out of the clutches of our enemies. I felt to congratulate him very much on his own escape, he having been discharged from arrest.

22 November 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 22/87. Had an interview with Bros. John T. Caine and L. John Nuttall and read to them portions of the same letter that we had read to the other brethren yesterday in regard to the policy to be pursued in Washington. Bro. Nuttall had been appointed to go there as Secretary to Brother Caine. <We laid hands on Bro. Caine. I was mouth in blessing him, and Bro. Smith was mouth in blessing Brother Nuttall.>

It was decided yesterday to request Bro. Lorenzo Snow to go to Idaho, accompanied by Bro. Budge, to visit the settlements of the Saints and to arouse them to greater exertions in defending themselves. I dictated a letter to him to-day upon this subject, and a large number of other letters. We had designed to have gone last night to Bro. Le Grand Young’s, in response to his invitation to go and stop with him; but this correspondence was so pressing that we felt we must stay another day at the office, though we were in great danger of a visit from the Receiver, who is also the U. S. Marshal. I omitted to state yesterday that we had a meeting of the Deseret News Co., at which Bro. Thos. E. Taylor reported his visit to Lafelle’s in Ohio, for the purpose of obtaining machinery. After hearing his description, we decided to purchase a double draft wheel – a new invention which was highly recommended.

We decided yesterday to employ Judge Sutherland, in order to get his assistance during the absence of Bro. Richards. He agreed to be retained for $20000/ and we could pay him afterwards according to the work which he should do. Our attorneys are divided in their views as to the proper course to take. This makes the responsibility for President Woodruff very great. It was, therefore, thought, in view of Sutherland’s capacity as a lawyer, that he might be of service. We had a long interview with him this evening, which lasted till quite late.

Brother Thos. F. Roueche came down from Kaysville, in response to a dispatch which I sent him this morning. I handed him the money and orders which are set apart for one of President Taylor’s family that lives up there.

Brother Winder was instructed to-day to rent the Gardo House from the Receiver, as we hear he is offering it for rent, and it was thought better for our Trustees to rent it than to allow it to go into the hands of outsiders. They would do it more damage in a little while than many times the rent would cost to repair it. Bro. Nicholson called in also, and we gave him caution about the tone of the News, & the course that ought to be pursued in managing it upon the State movement. There was a meeting of the B. B. & C. Co. this morning to adopt a resolution authorizing H. B. Clawson, their agent, to purchase 2100 shares of stock in the old Eureka[.] This step is recommended by our attorneys, as they think that by commencing suit on this stock a compromise may be forced.

In consequence of having to dictate letters, I did not get away from the office till some time after President Woodruff and Brother Jos. F. Smith had gone. Bro. Wilcken had got tired of waiting and I was afoot and alone; but Bro. Sudbury came in and he accompanied me to my wife Carlie’s. I had to arouse the family before I could get in.

This has been a very busy day and I have worked very hard. President Woodruff and Brother Smith were taken away by Brother Bateman.

23 November 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 23/87. I commenced “Editorial Thoughts” for the Juvenile Instructor. Bro Wilcken called for me in the evening and we went to President Woodruff’s place. I read the correspondence to him, after which I went to my home on the river.

24 November 1887 • Thursday

Thursday, Nov. 24/87. This is Thanksgiving day. John Q. and children (his wife being away at Logan), and my son Frank and his wife and children, from Ogden, and Mary Alice, David, Emily, and Sylvester, were invited by my wife Sarah Jane to eat dinner at her house. I finished Editorial Thoughts and then went in disguise to dinner. We had a very pleasant time. John Q. was not able to be there; but all the rest were. The evening was spent in listening to singing and music. I held a private conversation with my son Frank, in which he said he had felt for a year back a great desire to never be the cause of giving his mother or myself another unhappy thought concerning him or his conduct. I expressed great gratification at hearing this sentiment from him and hoped that he will be able to be a comfort to us hereafter.

23 November 1887 • Friday

Friday, Nov. 25/87. I was hard at work most of the day, cleaning up my stables, in which the manure had been allowed to accumulate. In the evening I went to President Woodruff’s and we looked through the mail. While there we made an appointment to meet Bros. Waddell and Le Grand Young at half past ten to-morrow morning.

26 November 1887 • Saturday

Saturday, Nov. 26/87. Bro. D. R. Bateman called for me in a buggy, and I disguised myself and went with him to President Woodruff’s, where we met with Bros. Waddell & Le Grand Young. Our conversation was on legal points connected with the securing of our Church property. Bro. Wilcken brought our mail from the city, which we examined, and then he took me back home. I lost a valuable four-year-old horse colt, to-day, named Rocket; it was found dead in the canal. I had hoped that when freedom came, I might use him for a buggy animal. In the evening I called upon my wives Martha and Eliza. The past few days that I have been at my home I have been arranging about the cows and teaching my boys how to manage them. I feel mortified to think that my family has had to buy butter, when, with a little care and management, they should have all the milk and butter they need, as I have no lack of cows. Being compelled to be away from home, as I am, is a great loss to my children. I notice that when I can spend a little time with them they work with diligence and take pleasure in doing so; but when left to themselves, having no experience and no one to guide them, they do not accomplish much.

Conversation with Frank.1

27 November 1887 • Sunday

Sunday, Nov. 27/87. A cold morning, but fine. Brother Joshu[a] Stewart held Sunday School with my children, at which I was present. There has been a slackness on the part of some of my folks in attending meeting. I spoke to one of my children, whom I had noticed careless in this respect and told her that I wished her to be at meeting this afternoon. She replied that she did not think she would be required to go to meeting unless she wanted to do so; in other words, she should not be forced. I said, of course not; she had her agency, and I did not desire to deprive her of it. But I had mine also, and she must not interfere with the exercise of my agency. I had a rule in my household concerning attending meeting and the worship of God, and while I stood at their head I desired that rule observed. When any felt that they could not observe it, they should go where such a rule had not to be observed. But they ought not to stand and violate the rule of my household and set an example of disobedience to my other children. I would not permit that if I could help it. This afternoon but few came to meeting in time; some were late and some did not come at all. I felt grieved and wrought upon by the Spirit. I administered the sacrament, and Hugh, David and Lewis made a few remarks. I then dismissed the meeting till six o’clock and sent word for all to be there. At that hour all were present who were on the place, including John Q. and his two children. I read extracts from the Bible concerning the word of the Lord about Abraham and his government of his household after him, and the blessings that He pronounced upon him. In contrast with that, I read the word of the Lord to Eli, and the curse which Eli brought upon his household through the course which he pursued with his sons. I spoke with much freedom and power on this point to my family. I told them that I felt the burden of the Lord upon me to declare the truth in great plainness to them. If I could prevent it, I was determined that no condemnation should fall upon me nor my household because of my neglect in telling them their duty. I hoped that I would be able to set them a proper example during the remainder of my life; and it must be clearly understood in my household that while I stood in the position which I now occupy I must be obeyed. It is not for you, I said, to dictate me nor to disobey me. While you remain with me it is your duty to do as I say. I hope it will be useless for you to attempt to have me submit to your desires unless they are from the Lord. If we walk together, you must walk in my path, you must honor my God, you must keep His commandments, or we separate. I spoke very plainly in this strain, and I hope the affect will be beneficial.

28 November 1887 • Monday

Monday, Nov. 28/87. I arose at five o’clock this morning and was called for by Bro. Wilcken. We drove to President Woodruff’s and then proceeded to Brother Le Grand Young’s, whose place we reached at about half past six. He and the family gave us a warm welcome. His family consists of one wife, two sons and four daughters. One of his sons is 23 years of age; his name is Joseph, and is connected with the Chicago & Northwestern RR. His other son is 10 years of age. His daughters’ names are Grace, Lucille, Afton, and Jasmine. The family are very bright and intelligent. He has a beautiful house, which he has built this summer, and it is elegantly furnished.

The first thing after breakfast I wrote a letter in reply to the one we had received from Maude [Alexander Badlam, Jr.]. Brother Wilcken brought Bro. Arthur Winter up and I dictated some letters to him. We spent the evening very pleasantly in conversation. The family are determined to make us all as comfortable as possible and had fires made in our bedrooms.

29 November 1887 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Nov. 29/87. Brother Wilcken’s daughter Emma brought us our mail to-day. She is a fine looking girl, large and well-developed, which I notice the more because she is one of three children born at one time. Herself and sister are living; but the boy died. John Q. has written me about Brother Bishop, who is a very successful artesian well-borer. He uses a divining rod to find the best places. I have heard of his success, and I wrote to John Q. to employ him. He proffers to do the boring for 35¢ a foot and go to a depth of 300 ft. if it is necessary, unless he meets with rock, through which he cannot drive. I have made a number of attempts to get good water on my place, have sunk a number of wells, and have had the first artesian well in the Valley; but I have not been able to get anyone to go as deep as I wanted.

Brother L. D. Young, the only surviving brother of President Brigham Young called upon us to-day and we had a very interesting interview with him. He is 80 years of age, but is very well preserved, and his mind is bright, the only difficulty being dullness of hearing. He is, however, full of good cheer and testimony concerning the work of God. He related to us the first “Mormon” meeting he attended, which was exceedingly interesting. I was very glad to see him looking so well and to hear his good testimony. I had an opportunity of walking outside for about an hour and a half this evening. I wrote “Topics” for the Juvenile Instructor to-day.

30 November 1887 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Nov. 30/87. Spent the forenoon looking at newspapers, the reading of which I had neglected for some time. Miss Wilcken brought our mail out. I attended to public correspondence, and in the evening had a walk of an hour and a half.

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