The Church Historian's Press

January 1888

Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1888

7 January

Question as to whether or not jurors should take the prescribed oath

12 January

Views regarding “an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting bigamy and polygamy”

26 January

Proposed the organization of “a standing Board of Education for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

27 January

“The best hotels are in the hands of our bitter enemies, and they use the advantages which they have in poisoning the public mind against us.”

1 February ff.

“There is not that spirit of kindness and forbearance that formerly prevailed in our Council.”

2 February

Advice to Franklin S. Richards and John T. Caine in Washington DC regarding questions that a Senate committee will ask regarding abolishing and suppressing polygamy

13 February

Questions regarding John W. Young’s spending church funds in Washington

16 February

Questions regarding stores selling liquor

18 March

“Brother Lorenzo Snow . . . urged me to be comforted and to stand up.”

26 March ff.

“It has seemed to me that the grave charges made against me have all been disproved.”

7 April

Choosing members of the church’s board of education

17 May

Dedication of the Manti, Utah, temple

23 May

Heavenly manifestations in the Manti temple

27 May

Tribute to Erastus Snow

29 May

“The success of our enemies in perpetrating one outrage only had the effect to embolden them to take another.”

26 June

“It is most painful that there should be division in our Council.”

2 August

“My case is to receive some special attention. As I understand, they are to nolle all the indictments against me, excepting one.”

12 September

“I do not wish to be discriminated against because of my prominence; neither do I wish to be treated more rigorously, if sentenced to prison, than other prisoners.”

17 September ff.

Penitentiary journal

1 January 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, January 1st, 1888. I baptized my daughter Grace to-day in my bath room. She is eight years old to-day. I afterwards confirmed her a member of the Church. I administered the sacrament to my family and we had an interesting meeting. In the evening Bro. Wilcken called for me and took me to my wife Carlie’s.

2 January 1888 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 2/88. Vera has been very low, but she is now improving, though far from well. We had a very good New Year’s dinner and I passed a quiet and pleasant day. In the evening Bro. Wilcken called with the sleigh and took myself and wife, and my son Abraham and one of his wives, out sleighriding, which we enjoyed very much. He afterwards called and took me to the office, where I spent the night.

3 January 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 3/88. This has been a very busy day. There was considerable public correspondence, to which we listened. Brother F. D. Richards called in and made a report of his visit, from which he has just returned, to Washington. He described his journey down and expressed the feeling that the brethren had at Washington, viz., that there should be someone there to control matters; that there was not that harmony existing between Bros. John W. Young and John T. Caine which should be; and the feeling was that if I could go down I would be able to manage affairs. President Woodruff repeated what he had said before, that he did not think it was safe for me to go down, and even if it was I could not be spared.

We had visits from Brothers H. S. Eldredge, Seymour B. Young, and John Morgan. Brother Eldredge called to ask counsel concerning his family affairs and the proper method of deeding property – whether he should have his wife Cloe sign deeds as he had, or not. He seemed to be desirous to know whether it would be proper to acknowledge her as his only wife or not. We counseled him to let matters stand as they were. We had considerable conversation with Brother John Morgan concerning affairs in the South and the appointment of a successor to him as President of the Southern States Mission. Brother William Spry, he thought, would be very suitable for this position.

At one o’clock we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings’ Bank & Trust Co. and listened to reports and attended to the monthly business. The affairs of the bank, I think, are getting into a good shape and are being looked after more closely than they have been.

We received the following dispatch from Bro. John W. Young:

“Have paid near four thousand more than received. Please telegraph J. T. Caine to pay me ten thousand. Am indebted to James Jack thirty five hundred, but would like that to remain for the present. Think matters here left too indefinite and not receiving proper support from you. Please answer quickly.”

To which we replied as follows:

“You know restrictions imposed upon us as a committee. Expected you consult us as to probable amount money you needed from time to time and how to be expended, so that we could be fully advised. We send you ten thousand, but do so reluctantly in absence fuller information.”

In the evening Bro. Sam. Bateman called for us and carried us to Bro. B. Y. Hampton’s. Brother Jos. F. Smith went over the river to his brother-in-law’s, who had a sick wife, with the expectation of returning early in the morning. I was thankful, on retiring to bed to-night, to have a comfortable bed and room in which to spend the night. It was a very stormy night.

4 January 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 4/88. Bro. A. Winter came up and I dictated to him answers to public correspondence.

5 January 1888 • Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 5/88. Attended to usual duties. I felt that it was important that something should be said to our legislators who are now assembling respecting the organization of the Houses and the line of policy to be pursued. I, therefore, suggested to President Woodruff that if he intended to have anything to say upon these subjects he had better call a meeting of some of the leading brethren as early as he could. He and Brother Smith thought it would be proper to attend to this. Notices were sent to those whom we thought could be reached in the city, for a meeting this evening. Brothers E. A. Smith, L. W. Shurtliff, E. G. Woolley, J. H. Moyle and John Clark came to our rooms and we had a very full and free talk with them concerning officers and also the policy to be pursued. It was decided that we should have a meeting with the brethren of the Legislature at two o’clock on Saturday, at the President’s Office.

6 January 1888 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 6/88. Attended to public correspondence to-day and dictated answers to the letters to Bro. A. Winter, and also “Topic of Times” and “Editorial Thoughts” for the Juvenile Instructor. At half past six Bro. Sam. Bateman carried us to the Court House, where we had been invited by Judge Elias A. Smith to partake of dinner. There were 26 in the company who sat down to a very fine repast prepared by Brother Ball. We had a very delightful time. After <dinner,> President Woodruff withdrew, having to go home a little distance out of the city. Judge E. A. Smith came to me and said there were a number of the brethren who would like to hear me speak; they had not heard me for a long time. I felt somewhat embarrassed, but spoke for about half an hour and enjoyed considerable freedom. I then suggested that we hear from Brother Jos. F. Smith. He spoke, and was followed by Bishop W. B. Preston and Brother D. H. Wells. After Bro. Wells got through I spoke a few minutes explanatory of the principle of revelation and how it operated upon men, he having made some remarks which I thought needed a little fuller explanation. There were present, President W. Woodruff, Joseph F. Smith, and myself, of the Twelve; also Brother D. H. Wells, Presiding Bishop Preston and his Counselors, R. T. Burton & John R. Winder, and ex-Judge Elias Smith, whom I was very much pleased to see. Though about 84 years of age, he retains his mental vigor and powers to a remarkable extent, though somewhat feeble in body. There were present of the County Court: Judge Elias A. Smith, E. M. Weiler, F. Armstrong, and J. W. Fox; J. C. Cutler, County Clerk, was also present and L. G. Hardy, Assessor. Besides those there were Sheriff Andrew Burt, Deputy Alexander Burt, Bro. C. H. Wilcken, Sam. Bateman, B. Y. Hampton, and County Attorney J. H. Moyle. We separated about 12 o’clock. Bro. Wilcken carried me to my wife Carlie’s.

7 January 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, Jan. 7/88. This last night was the coldest of the season. To-day has been a very cold day. I wrote some letters this morning.

At two o’clock several members of the Legislature met. There were present of the Twelve: President Woodruff, F. D. Richards, Jos. F. Smith, H. J. Grant, John W. Taylor, and myself. We had a very full and free talk concerning legislative matters occupying a little over two hours. We adjourned to meet on Monday evening at 6:30 at the office.

After this meeting was through, I asked the Twelve who were present, and the members from Salt Lake Co., and L. W. Shurtliff, of Ogden, and E. G. Woolley, of St. George to remain, as I wished to lay a matter before them. The Probate Judge has just completed the selection of jurors for our City. He and the Clerk of the District Court each select half the names. This is in accordance with the Poland law. The question has arisen, what shall these jurors do – take the oath that has been prescribed and go on to the juries, or decline to take it? Already appeals are being made to know what should be said in regard to this matter. I stated to President Woodruff that I felt it was of importance that we should come to some decision for the sake of the people, and not leave this matter undecided. The brethren should be counseled to take the oath or not to take it. They look to us for some decision in this matter, and we should take the responsibility of saying that they may take it or that they should not. The oath was read, and after some little conversation President Woodruff decided that it would be right for our people to take the oath; that the Lord would not condemn the people for taking it, and, under the circumstances, it was justifiable. He turned to me and asked me what my view was. I told him that after hearing what he said, I could express my feelings freely. I had not a doubt myself as to the propriety of taking the oath. I thought it ought to be taken, under the circumstances; that we owed it to every interest that we had that we should not walk into the trip [trap] which our enemies had prepared for us. While it was exceedingly repugnant to me, still I thought that there <it> was the proper thing to do. Brother Jos. F. Smith made some explanation of his feelings in regard to it, and it was then moved and seconded that the people be advised to take this oath, and it was carried unanimously.

Bro. C. H. Wilcken called and took me to my residence on the river.

8 January 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan. 8/88. Last night was the coldest of the season. The thermometer, I understand, was seven degrees below zero. My wife Martha’s health has improved since I last saw her. I held Sunday School this morning with the children. Afterwards administered the Sacrament and had meeting in the afternoon. Brother Alfred Solomon and son called for me with a sleigh early in the evening, and after prayers with my family I accompanied them to my son Abraham’s, where I met my wife Emily.

9 January 1888 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 9/88. Abraham accompanied me this morning at half past six to Brother Wm B. Dougall’s, where President Woodruff, Brother Jos. F. Smith and myself intend staying a few days. He and his wife made us feel that we were acceptable. The house is elegantly furnished.

Engaged in writing for the Juvenile and listening to public correspondence and dictating answers to Bro. A. Winter. It is intensely cold; but we are very comfortable.

A little after six o’clock Bros. Bateman & Wilcken called for us and we were carried to the President’s Office, where we had an interview of an hour and a half’s duration with the principal members of the Legislature and talked freely with them upon the situation. Both Houses had organized and elected all their officers, and everything had gone along harmoniously. There was a good spirit in the meeting, and the brethren manifested a willingness to do anything in their power to forward the interests of the Territory. Concerning the introduction of bills that would be in harmony with the clauses in the Constitution respecting bigamy and polygamy, there was quite a free expression of opinion, and it was decided that it would be unnecessary and unwise for anything to be done in this direction. In response to an invitation of President Woodruff’s, I stated my opinion concerning the line to be pursued; that they should carefully survey the whole field before them and not to permit themselves to be pushed into any contest with the Governor, unless they knew beforehand that the ground they were taking was such that they would not need to retreat therefrom. This I view as very important. I pressed upon their attention the importance of learning whether it would be necessary to compromise with the Governor in regard to the nomination of the Board of Regents. This has been contested for a number of years and is likely soon to be brought before the Courts. It might be well to examine this question carefully, so that if any advantage could be gained at the present time by compromise, we should have it. The cases of the appointment of the Auditor and Treasurer for the Territory are in appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States; therefore anything that might be done in regard to the Regents would not involve the questions connected with their nomination.

We had an interview with Le Grand Young in relation to legal questions connected with the Church suit. He has been in favor of appealing from the appointment of a Receiver and has had correspondence with Col. Broadhead on the subject. He has also favored the idea of having somebody refuse to comply with the wishes of the Receiver in the delivery of property claimed by him, so that the party thus refusing might be arrested for contempt and then a writ of habeas corpus be sued out and the case carried up to the Supreme Court of the United States on that. Sheeks & Rawlins agree with him that this would be a good way to reach the constitutionality of the proceedings. There seems to be a difference between F. S. Richards and other attorneys here on this subject. After listening to Brother Young, President Woodruff and myself concluded, as he said, that there was no harm in this proceeding, and as it could not, as he alleged, possibly affect the main suit. This seemed to be Col. Broadhead’s opinion also. I regret exceedingly, however, that these difference of opinions should arise between our attorneys.

After this we went to the theatre; and in President Woodruff’s box, in company with my wife Carlie, Sister Smith, Asael Woodruff & wife, and President Woodruff, C. H. Wilcken and S. Bateman, I enjoyed one of the best treats I have had for a long time. The singing was very superior. Madam Scalchi, I thought, possessed one of the finest voices I ever listened to. Campanini, also, though his voice is said to have failed somewhat, did some excellent singing. I attach a programme of the performance.

[Attached program]







Grand Operatic Concert Company.


1. Duett, Puritani,



2. Seventh Concert



3. Romanza, Spirto Gentil



4. Polacca, (Mignon,)

A. Thomas


5. Cavatina, Largo al Factotum, (Bavbiere,)



6. A Quel Giorno, (Semiramide,)



7. Cavatina, Salve Dimora, (Faust,)



8. Terezetto, Lombardi,





1. Aria. Buffa Cenerentola,



2. Duet, Semiramide,



3. Serenta



4. a. Mazurka


b. Variations, on one cord,



5. Aria, Simon Boccanegra



6. Quartetto, Rigoletto,




A Grand Leap Year Ball will be given in the Theatre on Wednesday Evening, January 18th, 1888. Invitations are now out and the Committee are determined on having a large and select attendance.


Owing to the copy for Campanini and Company’s Programme not being in hand on time, it was impossible to issue our usual house sheet.

[End of attached program]

10 January 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 10/88 Last night was excessively cold, and I did not sleep as comfortably as usual, being in a room that was unwarmed, and I opened a window for air, which made it very cold. Prepared some matter for the Juvenile Instructor and attended to public correspondence. At 6:45 in the evening we were carried to a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z. C. M. I. and listened to the monthly reports, which was read by the Sec. & Treas. Brother Arthur Stayner was present, it being his request that he might have an opportunity of laying before us some important propositions. They proved to be a proposition to invest $150,000.00 in the manufacture of sugar by a new process which had been recently discovered, and of which he seemed to have the patents for this Territory. In listening to his description of the system and its advantages, it would seem that money might be made with great rapidity; but he does not bear the reputation of being very practical. His proposition was to buy four sections of land in Utah Co. as a farm and stock it and manufacture sugar from the sugar cane grown on the land. It would require $50,000.00 for machinery. At a very low estimate, he said, it would pay 33% the first year, and he mentioned 80% as being the probable returns after one or two years. A committee was appointed, consisting of J. R. Winder, Geo. Romney, and H. J. Grant, to examine the subject with Brother Stayner. Brother Eldredge protested against Z. C. M. I. having anything to do with the enterprise. Our charter does not admit of our engaging in agriculture, but it does in manufacture. In view, however, of the importance of the subject, it was thought well to appoint the committee. After the meeting adjourned we learned, in conversation with Bro. Romney, that Bro. Stayner had proposed to have $150,000.00 paid up capital and then to stock the concern at $225,000.00/ he to have the difference between the two amounts; or, if not that, to have a salary of $25,000000/ a year. This was because of his experience in the business. When we heard this we felt that it was useless to talk about such a thing, as we did not consider him worth anything like this amount.

Bro. Wm H. Folsom, Supt. of the Manti Temple, had some conversation with us concerning the completion of the Temple. We advised him to go slow, and not to expend much means at the present time.

11 January 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 11/88.

This is my birthday. I had a delightful night’s rest. I hear my brother Angus has returned from his trip to the East. Attended to public correspondence; dictated answers to Bro. A. Winter. My wife Carlie is very desirous that I should spend the evening at her house. Bro. Wilcken proposed to call for me at 6 o’clock. My son Abraham and Brother Wilcken took supper with us. We had a very pleasant time and I enjoyed myself very much. I received several presents, one of them from Ada and Carrol – a very elegant handkerchief case. Bro. Wilcken presented me with a portable shaving outfit. The evening was passed in a very pleasant and interesting manner.

12 January 1888 • Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 12/88.

Bro. Wilcken called for me this morning about 6 o’clock and took me to our stopping place. Attended to public correspondence, and for exercise to-day I chopped some wood as well as did considerable walking. President Woodruff concluded that he would go home this evening and stay till Monday. Bro. S. Bateman called for me him.

We had an appointment this evening with some of the members of the Legislature and therefore went to the President’s Office. I had a meeting with the Deseret News Co. and attended to various matters of business, after which we had our meeting with the members of the Legislature. There were present, Elias A. Smith, W. W. Riter, S. Thurman, J. H. Moyle, Wm H. King, C. C. Richards, L. W. Shurtliff, and E. G. Woolley. Some of them had had an interview with General McClernand, of the Utah Commission, and he had urged a certain line of action to be pursued. He seemed to be very friendly and appeared to speak for men high in the Government, though he did not mention their names. The brethren were impressed with the idea that he spoke for President Cleveland and the Cabinet. He had pressed the introduction of some bill for the passage of resolutions endorsing in some form the features of the Constitution. He advocated either that or the expression of a desire by the Legislature that there should be an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States prohibiting bigamy and polygamy. I had been furnished during the day with a copy of a bill which the brethren had prepared. We read it carefully. The design was to introduce this bill, have it referred to the Judiciary committee, and then have the Judiciary committee report it back, with the statement that it being unconstitutional they did not have the power to pass it, but that they approved of its provisions, and do this by resolution. We discussed the form of the resolution, but did not decide fully upon all its language, but upon its general tenor. There is time enough after the bill is referred to consider this and to prepare resolutions carefully. They asked our opinion about the Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Some of them seemed to be quite in favor of it. I was asked for my views. I said that I was not in favor of it, though, no doubt, it might pave the way at the present time for our admission as a State. I explained to the brethren the attitude which we now occupied. It was not that which had been proposed for us to occupy in former times. We had been asked, as a Church, or as leading men in the Church to renounce the doctrine of plural marriage, or disavow it or its continuance. The position we now occupied was entirely different. The Church did not propose, neither was it asked, to come forward and disavow any of its belief. In this movement we were not required as leaders of the Church to consent to the abolishment by us of plural marriage as one of our doctrines and practices. The monogamous members of our community were asked to take steps looking to the punishment of plural marriage. Of course, this places us in an entirely different position. As had been often said, we had only consented to punish ourselves instead of having our enemies punish us. While I thought it probable that an Amendment to the Constitution might have a good effect at the present time, I could not help but look forward to the future. The warfare against us is bound to continue. We need not hope for anything more than a temporary lull, if we should be admitted as a State. Satan is not going to allow the Kingdom of God to be established without opposition. Therefore we may calculate on having it in some other form, even if we should be relieved from our present difficulties. If there was an Amendment of this character made to the Constitution, we should be deprived of what had been a very strong argument with us, viz:, that we were protected by the Constitution; and again, after awhile it might furnish a pretext for Federal interference. If we did not enforce laws against this practice with rigor to suit them, there might be a great outcry raised against us, and the Amendment to the Constitution would furnish a basis for <the> federal legislature to interfere with our affairs as a State and to make war upon us and even to suspend our rights as a State. I was, therefore, opposed to giving them any pretext of this character, if it could be helped. We had an example before us of what they had done in the South, and they would, no doubt, use every means in their power against us. And besides, if there were an Amendment to the Constitution of this character, Congress might feel itself called upon to enact federal laws, and to have it become a crime against federal laws and the Constitution.

The brethren seemed impressed with my views, and it was felt that it would not be a good plan to recommend such an Amendment.

When we got through the meeting President Woodruff was carried to his home, and Brother Smith and myself returned to our quarters.

13 January 1888 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 13/88.

I did some chopping to-day and examined the correspondence. I signed the recommendtions to the Temple, it being President Woodruff’s request when we parted that I should do so. We had a call in the evening from Sister Zina D. Young. Brother Smith was carried to his home by Sheriff Burt. Brother Wilcken took me to my place. The weather is excessively cold. I found my family in good health.

14 January 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, Jan. 14/88.

Had a visit to-day from Brothers Wilcken and Armstrong. The former brought the mail, which I examined, signed the recommendations to the Temple, and sent the mail with him to town. I wrote a note to President Woodruff, telling him that there was nothing important in any of the letters that required his attention.

15 January 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan. 15/88.

Last night, I think, was the coldest night I ever felt in Utah. I have been absent most of the winters since we settled here; but this seems to me to be colder than any time I ever saw. Held Sunday School in the morning. In the afternoon administered the sacrament and held meeting. Before the meeting was ended Bp. H. B. Clawson and his daughter Lulu called upon me. They came in and sat till the meeting was through. Afterwards he talked about business affairs and read to me letters that he had received from our friends “Maude” and “Dellie.” I had a very interesting evening with my family. Bro. Wilcken called for me and took me to the office, where I spent the night. Brother Lyman was there, and I had quite a visit with him.

16 January 1888 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 16/88

My son Abraham called upon me and talked over business matters and the publication of the life of Joseph the Prophet. I afterwards saw him and Frank on that subject. Brother Andrew Jenson mentioned to President Woodruff his wish to publish a life of Joseph and we had considerable conversation on the subject. He was told that he could write anything he pleased, so long as he did not claim that it was endorsed by the Church.

At 10 o’clock I met in company with President Woodruff and Brother Joseph F. Smith, with Elder F. M. Lyman; Bp. John R. Winder, Chairman of the Terr. Central Com; E. A. Smith, Probate Judge; Mayor Armstrong; Alderman W. W. Riter, Prest. Angus M. Cannon, John Nicholson, Geo. Romney, Andrew Jenson, and James H. Anderson, Sec. of the Com. We canvassed very thoroughly the names of the brethren who are eligible for office, with a view to selecting those who are most suitable to fill the City Council. A ticket was selected with which all seemed satisfied. My son John Q. was urged by Mayor Armstrong and Brother Riter for nomination, as, they said, he was one of the most able and useful men in the Council. I have had some doubts whether it would be prudent for him to run.

There was a good deal of correspondence read to-day, which kept us very closely occupied. It seems whenever we go to the office that there is so much to do that we are very much crowded.

I forgot to mention in my journal that it was deemed wise, under the circumstances, to make overtures to some of the leading non-Mormons of the City and propose to them that three or four of their number be selected to become members of the City Council. Mr McCornick, banker, had been approached on this subject in the first place, as he is the President of the Chamber of Commerce. The proposition seemed to strike him very favorably; but subsequently he stated to Brother Riter that he had had interviews with several of the leading non-“Mormons” and they said they were all so busily occupied in their own business that they did not care about taking places in the City Council. There was no profit in it; the pay was comparatively nothing; and they could not afford the time. They said that the men of their class who would take office they did not want, as they would prefer our people to be in the City Council to any of those people who would accept office. They expressed themselves as being well satisfied with the way the funds have been managed the last two years and with the management of the affairs of the City in general and therefore did not wish to see any changes made such as they thought might be made if the proffer were accepted—that is, to have those put in who would be no credit to them. This is the ostensible reason they have for declining the overtures which have been made; but I am satisfied that they had other reasons behind these which have weighed with them. They hope, doubtless, that before long they will have of their own right under some law, that which we now propose to offer them as a favor, and they prefer to await that time, when they can elect independent of us, rather than accept our proposition.

President Woodruff invited Brother Jos. F. Smith and myself to go to the theatre and have a wife with us. We could occupy his box, he thought, with safety. Brother Wilcken brought my wife Carlie, as she was the only one convenient. I enjoyed the play very much; it was “Diplomacy”, and was played by the Home Dramatic Club. But in the 4th act the brethren who were on guard, – Brothers Wilcken, Bateman, Burt, and others – came to us and told us that it was getting unsafe, as Marshal Dyer and several of his deputies were there and were scrutinizing our box very closely, and they thought we had better get out and off as soon as we could. We therefore left soon after the 4th act opened. So far as we saw the play, it was excellently rendered. I was greatly pleased with the performance. The play itself is very interesting, and our folks deported themselves excellently. We returned to our quarters. I walked from the Theatre, in company with Brother Wilcken.

17 January 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 17/88.

I was very busy during a part of the day dictating answers to public correspondence, there being 32 public letters to answer and several private ones. The weather still continues very severe. Sister Dougall has mentioned once or twice that she would like to have their house dedicated while we are here, and she came in to-day and proposed that it be done this evening, if it was agreeable to us. She said that she would have a few relatives in, among others my wife Carlie, if we thought best. Brother Jos. F. Smith had engaged to go to attend to the blessing of a baby. He thought he could do this early in the evening and get back in time for the dedication. In the evening Sister Prescinda Kimball and her sister, Sister Zina D. H. Young, Sister Phoebe Beatie, a daughter of President Young, my wife Carlie and Bro. C. H. Wilcken assembled in the parlor of Bro. Dougall’s residence; and all the family were present, except the two little girls – Brother & Sister Dougall, and their sons Will. B. and Hugh, and Sister Horrocks, the mother of Bro. Dougall. After considerable conversation Bro. Dougall requested President Woodruff to attend to the dedication of the house. He excused himself by saying that he put a good deal of labor upon Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself, and he would like me to be mouth. I offered the dedicatory prayer and was greatly blessed in doing so. Those present were moved to tears. Our hearts were all softened, and I felt that the Lord was near. After this, cake and some homemade rhubarb wine were passed around. I took milk instead of wine. My wife Carlie remained with us all night.

18 January 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 18/88.

Attended to correspondence. Had a visit from my sons Abraham and Frank and talked over publication matters.

19 January 1888 • Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 19/88.

Attended to public correspondence. In the evening we had a sleigh ride for an hour and half. Bros. Wilcken, Bateman, Hampton, O. P. Arnold, and Sheriff Burt, came with two sleighs and we had a very pleasant ride, which we enjoyed. It is a great relief to get out in the open air after being so closely confined. After we returned Bro. F. M. Lyman called upon us, and the case of Bro. P. T. Farnsworth was talked over. He has been found in very bad company here during his visits to the City and is said by the police to have kept very improper hours and to have associated with very disreputable persons – drunkards, gamblers, and others. Brother John R. Murdock, President of the Beaver Stake, in a recent letter had proposed him as his Second Counselor; but Brother Jos. F. Smith had heard of this conduct of Bro. Farnsworth’s and he wrote to the police and got from them a statement, the substance of which, was written to Brother Murdock. Bro. Farnsworth is at present a member of the Legislature. Brother Lyman was anxious to see him and labor with him, with a view to his repentance, and we conversed upon the subject and thought it would be an excellent idea for him to do so. In the first place, it was suggested that he should see all the witnesses and find out the nature of the testimony, so that he could put the case plainly to Bro. Farnsworth. Sister Zina D. Young came in also in the evening. She had received a letter from Brother Card, her son-in-law, in Alberta Territory, which we read with some interest. The winter there has been very mild up <to> the date of writing, which is the 20th ult. A later letter, she says, has been received, under date of the 26th ult., and they still had mild weather.

20 January 1888 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 20/88.

Attended to public correspondence. Dictated letters to Bro. A. Winter. The weather has moderated considerably this morning.

In the evening, as soon as we could go unobserved, President Woodruff, Brother Jos. F. Smith and myself, accompanied by Bro. & Sis. Dougall, went into the house of Bro. Walter Beatie, (which is next door to where we are stopping), being requested to do so for the purpose of dedicating their house to the Lord by prayer. Brother Jos. F. Smith was asked to be mouth by President Woodruff. There were present besides us three, Bro. & Sis. Dougall and Bro. & Sis. Beatie. Brother Joseph F. Smith returned to his home. At President Woodruff’s request, I accompanied him to attend to some business of a private nature for him, which I did and was afterwards carried by Brother Wilcken to my home on the river.

21 January 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, Jan. 21/88.

I had a visit from Brothers Wilcken and Chas. Livingstone this morning. They brought the mail, which I opened and examined. After they left, my son Frank came down to see me by appointment, to go through some manuscript which he had prepared; but he excused himself, as he had so much business, and desired to know if I could be spare the time to-morrow, as it would be more convenient for him than to-day, to which I consented. I received to-day <from the Cannon House> the furniture that I had transferred with the house, which President Woodruff said, in the presence of Brother Jos. F. Smith, he thought I ought to have again. It consisted of a bedstead, washstand, bureau, towel-rack, writing desk, lounge, wardrobe, bookcase, and 6 common chairs.

22 January 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan 22/88

My son Frank came down this morning and we went through his manuscript until about two o’clock, when he returned to town, having to go to Ogden this afternoon. I held meeting with my family, administered the sacrament, and had a pleasant time. Afterwards my son Abraham came down to see me, also Bro. Geo. C. Lambert, with whom I conversed on Deseret News Co. business. After the family had all united in prayer, Brother Wilcken took me to my wife Carlie’s, where I spent the night.

23 January 1888 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 23/88.

Early this morning I walked with Brother Wilcken from my wife’s to Brother John McDonald’s, in the 8th Ward, who, with his wife, has been desirous to entertain us. They have a very large house and all the conveniences to make us comfortable, and gave us a hearty welcome. Attended to public correspondence. In the evening went to the office and had an interview with a number of the members of the Legislature who wished to get counsel concerning important measures that were pending. There were present: Elias A. Smith, W. W. Riter, L. W. Shurtliff, A. O. Smoot, Jr., E. G. Woolley, J. H. Moyle, W. H. King, A. Lund, W. H. Seegmiller, S. Thurman, John Clark, Wm Creer, J. E. Carlisle, C. C. Richards; and of the Twelve there were present, President Woodruff, F. D. Richards, myself, Jos. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor.

The questions submitted to us were, whether it would be prudent to change our City elections so as to admit of each municipal ward voting for the Aldermen and Councilors who would represent these wards. Mr. Marshall had introduced a bill to the effect that each city which contained over 1000 voters should be divided into five municipal districts and each district should elect an Alderman and two Councils, and they should be elected by the resident voters of the municipal ward. After considerable discussion, it was the unanimous feeling that such a bill should pass, and, with the exception of Bro. Riter, all who spoke were in favor of it being made operative in time for our City election. The propriety of electing our University Regents as usual was discussed. It was decided that the Legislature had better continue to maintain its right to elect the Board of Regents; but it was suggested that it would be good policy to put in two or three or four conservative Gentiles on the board. However, this was not fully decided upon. Respecting the Auditor and Treasurer, <which> the Governor had nominated, it was decided that it would be a good idea to have the Council adopt resolutions in which they should set forth their reasons for not confirming the appointment of Bolivar Roberts as Treasurer, and Arthur Pratt as Auditor. Brother Wilcken took President Woodruff away to attend to some business. Brother S. Bateman took Brother Smith and myself back to Brother McDonald’s. Brother Lyman rode with us for the sake of getting an airing. We sat up for President Woodruff until after 12 o’clock, but as he had not come then we went to bed.

24 January 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 24/88.

President Woodruff came this morning before daylight. Bro A. Winter came down and brought the mail. After examining the public letters, I dictated answers to them to Bro. Winter, also my journal.

25 January 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 25/88.

Attended to correspondence to-day. Wrote a long letter to Brother Geo. Teasdale, President of the British Mission.

26 January 1888 • Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 26/88.

We arose early this morning in order to get to the office while it was yet dark.

The meeting of the Council of the Apostles convened at 10 o’clock. There were present: President W. Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, myself, Jos. F. Smith, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, of the Twelve; Coun. D. H. Wells and Presiding Bishop and his two Counselors. Before the Council convened Prest. A. O. Smoot and his two Counselors – David John and H. H. Cluff – of the Provo Stake, laid before the brethren the changes which they desired to have made in some of the wards of the Stake. The business was afterwards brought before the Council. It was decided to create a new Ward adjoining Springville. The case of Bp. Madsen, who is on the Sandwich Islands, and who is nominally Bishop of the 5th Ward of Provo, was brought up and it was thought better, as he is infirm and considerably in years and likely to remain there for sometime, to communicate with him respecting the ordination of a Bishop to act in his Ward. The brethren spoke tenderly of these aged brethren who filled stations, and did not wish to remove them if it could be helped. The case of Bp. John Brown of Pleasant Grove, was brought up. He and both of his counselors are not in a position to act in their offices. The second counselor might do so, but he is a Swede and imperfect in the English language. It was decided better to select a suitable man for a counselor, to act in that Ward and attend to the business.

A large number of appropriations were made, as follow:



European Mission, for tracts;


J. D. T. McAllister, to cover his debt;


D. H. Cannon, do.;


Jas. G. Bleak, do.;


D. McArthur, for his relief;


Lamanites of St. George Stake;


Bp. B. M. Lewis, of Logan;


Rockville Meeting-house;


Family of B. H. Roberts;


Milo Andrus, to pay his fine for unlaw. cohab.;


Lamanite missionaries to accompany A. M. Tenney;


E. A. Tietjin and missionary companion;


Millard Stake Academy;


purchase H. Lunt’s interest in coal mine;


P. W. Connover, Provo

When the question of assisting the Academy in the Millard Stake was brought up, Brother John W. Taylor spoke upon the subject of the loss that we were sustaining as a Church through not giving our children proper education in our religion, and contrasted the feeling among the pupils of the Deseret University to that of the pupils of the B. Y. Academy at Provo and the B. Y. College at Logan. He said that as a financial measure it would pay abundantly for us to educate our children in our own religion; we would so [see?] much larger tithing from them. While the matter was under consideration I spoke my feelings upon this question. It is one which has been very much reflected upon by me and I have felt badly in thinking about our situation as a people in regard to our schools. I think we have been extremely neglectful; and I thus stated my feelings to the Council. I think there is a crying necessity for us to do something on the subject. After speaking some time, I said that I had felt that when there was a full quorum of the Apostles I would like to propose the organization of a Board of Education to take this whole subject into consideration and to devise a plan in which our schools could be conducted. I was in favor of the selection of such a Board and having it presented to the General Conference with the other authorities, to have it a standing Board of Education for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I spoke at some length on this, and the brethren seemed to be very much pleased with the idea and urged that we should take action on this immediately. I therefore made a motion that there be such a Board of Education, consisting of nine persons, selected, who should have all our educational matters placed under their control. This was unanimously carried.

There was considerable discussion about the sale of a quarter of a block now used for tithing purposes in Ogden City. The City Council of Ogden was willing to give $10,000.00/ for the property; but it is admitted that it is worth, at least, $20,000.00/, and perhaps $25,000.00/. There is said to be some cloud in the title; but an examination of it led to the belief that this was not so. There is danger, however, of the Receiver endeavoring to seize it. But it was felt that we should not sell it for $10,000.00/, even if this were the case, and it was decided to not sell for less than $20,000.00/. We remained in session until 5 o’clock without stopping for refreshments or rest. We then adjourned till to-morrow morning at 10 o’clock. This morning I sent for Brother H. B. Clawson and had some conversation with him and Brother Jack respecting the movements of the deputy marshals. It had come to our ears that Marshal Dyer intended to take a different course hereafter with his deputies to that which he had taken: instead of paying them regular salaries he intended to give them a commission on the fees which they made by securing persons under the Edmunds-Tucker law. I have felt that this was a very dangerous proceeding for us, as it would make every marshal very vigilant and active to secure prey, and we would be in much greater danger than we have been. Brother Clawson told me that he had conversed with the Marshal upon the subject and found that this was his intention. This evening I had him relate to Presidents Woodruff and Smith the information that he had gained, and they felt that he should continue his investigations and learn what steps had better be taken to guard against the effect of this new movement.

27 January 1888 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 27/88.

I slept with President Woodruff at the office last night. Having been kept there till quite late in the evening, I preferred doing this to going away and having to arise so early in the morning to get back unobserved.

The Council met at 10 o’clock. Present, - the same as yesterday. We took into consideration the question of the ocean and land lines on which we should bring our emigration this coming season. The Huntington line of ships and railroad offer very reasonable terms, and if everything else were equal, it would be a saving of several thousand dollars for us to accept their proposition. The question of having an Agent in New York was also discussed incidentally, though nothing definite was done in regard to this. Several of the brethren spoke in very high terms of the Guion line of steamships, and there was a general reluctance felt against breaking our connection with them, if it could possibly be avoided. As we had discussed this as much as we could do with the light before us, I proposed that the whole question be referred to a committee for examination, to consist of Elder F. D. Richards, who is the senior member of the Per. Emig. Fund Co., and such other members of that Company (now defunct) whom he could get easy access to, for them to examine the whole question and to gain, by correspondence and otherwise, such information as will enable them to make a full report to the Council upon the subject.

A letter from Brother S. Thurman was read to the Council, asking for remuneration for services rendered by him as attorney in defending our people before the First Dictrict Court at Provo. His claim was $500.00/. This brought up quite a lengthy discussion respecting lawyers and their fees. The amount we are paying them is very large, and several whom we pay, and have been paying for some time, render us no service. There is a committee who had this subject under consideration, but action by the Council upon the committee’s recommendation had been deferred. The feeling was, to give notice to Judge Dusenberry, of Provo, Judge Williams of Ogden, and Aurelius Miner, of this City, that from and after the end of the next quarter their services as attorneys of the Church would be dispensed with. Bro. F. S. Richards being absent, it was thought proper to defer any action in regard to his and the other attorneys’ salaries until he should return.

Brother Heber J. Grant made a statement concerning the livery business in which he and a number of brethren are engaged, and stated that the course they were now taking might bring about quite a collision; but he did not seem to entertain any fears as to the result. I felt that it would be a disastrous thing to have such a war as he intimated might arise, because we were almost certain to go to the wall. We could not expect Gentiles to band together with us to do anything that would be injurious to their fellow Gentiles, and I strongly advocated, therefore, that some measure should be taken to avert such a conflict. He thought that Capt. Paul would be willing to take a half interest with them in the business, if they would buy out his partner Mulloy. It was thought that Mulloy might be bought out. There was considerable talk upon this subject, and those who spoke upon the danger of a conflict shared in my feelings that it ought to be averted if possible. As the subject was one upon which we needed more light, and Brother Grant said it would require $20,000.00/ in addition to the amount they had already and that they were willing to pay in, I moved that the whole question be referred to the Presiding Bishopric, for them to investigate and to inform us whether it would be a safe proceeding to do anything in the direction indicated by Brother Grant.

A long letter from Brother John T. Caine was read, in which he described the situation of affairs in Washington. He spoke in it of the kind feelings which had been expressed concerning myself by some Members of Congress with whom I formerly associated, particularly Geo. L. Converse, of Ohio, and Geo. M. Landers of Conn.

Brother L. Snow proposed the organization of a new Stake to consist of several Wards now included in Oneida Stake and several in Box Elder Stake. The headquarters and place of meeting would be at Portage.

Referring to this livery business, I feel deeply interested in something being done by our people to furnish tourists and others with facilities for getting about the city. I have felt for some years that we were very neglectful in this direction. There are three agencies which have been working an incalculable amount of mischief for us – more probably than any other agencies in operation against us –; the first is the Tribune, and the others are the hotels and the livery stables. Every tourist who has hired a carriage has been crammed by the drivers with the most abominable falsehoods while being taken about the city. Every building of note has furnished a text, and I am convinced that much of the prejudice which exists at the present time against us in the United States is largely due to this cause, as well as to the false information and the evil comments at the hotels. It has seemed to me that it was most unwise for us to suffer our own city to be thus possessed and its facilities used against us. I have felt for a long <period> that we should establish a first class hotel, which should be kept by our people, the accommodations of which should be of the very highest quality, and the charges for which would be so moderate that no other hotel could hope to compete with it. By taking proper measures we might secure the great bulk of the traveling public. This was the design of the Lord in revealing the plan for the establishment of the Nauvoo House. We have had an emperor and an empress visit this city. We have had princes, and noblemen, and distinguished men of many nationalities, literally fulfilling the predictions of the holy prophets concerning the visitors that should come to Zion, and we have not a place in our city where they could be entertained in firstclass style and hear the truth concerning us. The best hotels are in the hands of our bitter enemies, and they use the advantages which they have in poisoning the public mind against us. How can we expect that we shall be prospered against our enemies when we neglect using the facilities that the Lord has placed within our reach? For one, I feel almost condemned on account of these things. Yet I have endeavored to have action taken upon them; I have spoken repeatedly upon these questions, but have not been able in my situation to do anything towards carrying out the views I have entertained. Our yesterday’s action in coming to the conclusion that we should have a board of education is the realization thus far of a long-cherished wish on my part that something should be done towards the education of our children. These points – education; the entertaining of strangers who visit our city; the enlightenment of them by having them carried around in carriages driven by intelligent men who will tell the truth – have all been projects that have been very near to my heart. I think them worthy of our attention and of our determined action, and I do sincerely hope that the day will come when we shall have a system of schools here that will be the admiration of everyone who visits them; and hotels that will be worthy of the patronage of the noblest people in the land; carriages so elegant and well-driven that they will be a delight to those who ride in them.

I was surprised to hear to-day from Bro. Geo. Reynolds, who has been recently visiting Logan, that he has met with a number of leading men who have told him that there was a widespread feeling almost akin to satisfaction that these suits had been commenced against the Church. It seems that a good many have thought that there has not been that amount of public spirit shown in the expenditure of funds that should have been. I regret very much the existence of such a feeling, as it tends to weaken us.

As soon as the Council adjourned I had a meeting with the Deseret News Co., of which I am president, and we transacted considerable business. The report of the committee, consisting of Vice Prest. F. D. Richards, Directors A. M. Cannon and J. W. Summerhays, in relation to the paper mill, was listened to and adopted. They report that they think it better that Chas. John Lambert be placed in charge of the paper mill, as paper maker at a salary of $100.00/ per month until the end of the fiscal year – that is, till September; and that a good machinist and engineer should be employed to take care of the machinery and engine. T. E. Taylor and Geo. C. Lambert were requested to draw up a mem. of the terms upon which he was engaged and the nature of his duties. Thos. E. Taylor was elected as Supt. of the entire business, not, however, of the paper mill. Geo. C. Lambert was elected as outdoor agent for the furnishing of the paper mill with the necessary supplies, and to dispose also of the output of the mill, and to do the general outside business of the Deseret News. We adjourned, to meet on call. When we got through with that there were several members of the Legislature who wished to see Brothers F. D. Richards, Jos. F. Smith and myself. After which I had an interview with Bro. Jos. A. West. I also had quite a conversation with Brother Moses Thatcher in regard to the B. B. & C. M’g. Co’s. affairs. The feeling that has been manifested by him and, to some extent, by Bishop Preston in relation to the dividends of this pooled or reserved stock has not been pleasant to me. I told Brother Thatcher that I desired him and all the brethren who had any interest there to thoroughly examine everything connected with that business. There was nothing that I knew of to be concealed. I had not handled a book nor a paper connected with the company, and I felt that they were endeavoring to put me in a position that was not right; that I was not responsible any more than they were for the affairs of that company. I was willing to bear my share of the responsibility, but not to carry more than that. And I wished them to distinctly understand that I was anxious that they should know everything connected with the business and its books and accounts. Brother Thatcher intimated that unless I gave Brother Reynolds instructions he would not communicate to him the information that he desired. I told him in reply that I could not understand how that was; that I had never said anything to Bro. Reynolds to restrain him, and I thought it was his privilege as a stockholder to know whatever he wished to know about the company or its affairs. I said to him that if he was averse to giving any indemnifying bond for the money he received from me on the dividends of the reserved stock, or if any of the other brethren felt that way, I should put the money in the bank and let it remain there. As for myself, I was going to abide by the contract that had been made in the beginning and should use whatever dividends came to me on my share. At the conclusion of our interview Brother Thatcher said that he would examine the accounts, see how the affairs stood, and then he would give me his decision concerning the dividends coming to him on the pooled stock. I told him that if there was any way by which I could be relieved from the responsibility of paying, I would be pleased to find it out. I had no wish to exact an indemnifying bond; but I did it as a measure of safety for myself. The dividend was paid to me by the treasurer, because this reserved stock, under the instrument signed by President Taylor before his death, was placed in my custody. If Brother Beck, or anyone else, should endeavor to break that agreement, I was the only person known in it. The dividends were paid to me and I divided them among the others. But I would be legally responsible in case any dissatisfaction arose and any suit were commenced, and all I asked was that my brethren should secure me for the money which I paid to them. I thought it a very fair proposition. If I received money from them under the same circumstances, I would certainly be willing to indemnify them for that money.

This has been an exceedingly busy day with me. I have scarcely had a moment from the time I got up until 9 o’clock, when Bro. Lehi Pratt called for me to take me to my home on the river.

28 January 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, Jan. 28/88.

I was busy with my boys cleaning out my stable this morning, and Bro. Wilcken came down with the mail, accompanied by Bro. A. Winter, to whom I dictated answers to the public correspondence and also my journal. I spent the rest of the afternoon in collecting my books; they are scattered very much on shelves in my schoolroom. While I was engaged in this, word came to me that two brethren had just arrived at my house. I went over and found Bro. Andrew Smith, Jr., of the police force, who had brought down with him Bro. Wm Budge to see me. They stayed and took supper with me, and afterwards I had a lengthy conversation with Bro. Budge on Idaho affairs. He had just returned from a visit to Boise and communicated to me important intelligence concerning the position of the test oath case. It was to be heard before the Supreme Court of the Territory at the latter end of this coming week. It had been appealed to that Court from the District Court, Chief Justice Hays having made the decision sustaining the test oath law. It is a very important case, and it would be a wonderful triumph for us to secure a decision in our favor and against the law, as the effect upon neighboring communities who are inclined to adopt these provisions would be excellent. It was arranged between Bro. Budge and myself that a reporter should be sent to report Mr. R. Z. Johnson’s argument, and that he should join Bro. Budge at Logan and both proceed together.

29 January 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan. 29/88

I held Sunday School in the schoolhouse and also sacrament meeting, and had a most excellent meeting and enjoyed myself very much in teaching my family. About 6 o’clock Bro. Wilcken came down and took supper with me, and after prayers I accompanied him to the city. I stopped at my wife Carlie’s. She was considerably excited at seeing me, for the report was that her house was being watched in order to capture her daughter Mamie. I concluded, however, to stay.

30 January 1888 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 30/88.

Brother Wilcken called for me at six o’clock this morning. I walked up to the office and enjoyed it very much. It had been freezing through the night, but still it was comparatively mild.

The Council met at 10 o’clock. There were present the nine brethren mentioned on Friday and the Presiding Bishopric. We were also joined by Brother John H. Smith, who had just returned from Arizona. Brother Penrose had also arrived from Washington. Bros. Shurtliff and C. C. Richards, of Ogden, came in to the Council and submitted some questions connected with the districting of the Territory so as to create four judicial districts. The point involved in their questions was whether by separating Ogden and the country north from the rest of the First District it would not increase the opportunity of persecuting our people more than they were being persecuted now. It was decided by the Council that this would not be advisable, and that the districts had better remain as they are.

After this, the case of Patriarch John Smith came up. He had made application to President Woodruff for relief. He wished to have some means appropriated to assist him, as he was in pinched circumstances. President Woodruff had replied that with his small family, and being allowed $1000.00/ a year from the Church, he ought to be able to get along without running into debt, and that the Church could not very well respond to his application. In another letter he had asked for an interview. In accordance with this request, he was invited to the Council to-day. Before he came in, however, considerable discussion was had as to what should be said to him. At one of our late meetings his case had come up and several of the brethren had expressed themselves very strongly in regard to his nonobservance of the Word of Wisdom, and attributed to that the indifference of the people to having blessings bestowed upon them by him. It had been remarked that if he were magnifying his office as he should do, his time would be so fully occupied in blessing the people that he would not have any time to spare. Brother Smith was admitted into the Council and then stated his circumstances; after which, all that had been said about him was repeated to him by the different brethren. Brother John W. Taylor proposed that all Brother Smith’s indebtedness should be wiped out. As this would amount to a considerable sum, I stated that I could not conscientiously vote for such a proposition. I was in favor of granting him relief; but as from what the brethren had said, his present circumstances were largely due to the course which he had taken, and he had it in his own power to change his course and to regain the confidence of the people, I felt that it was an unwise thing for us to appropriate means to him in that way. It would be preferable for him to change his course and obtain the confidence of the people, and thus be able to pay his own debts. At the same time I was in favor of extending aid to him. It was finally decided that he should render an account of his indebtedness. The brethren felt as though an appropriation to liquidate the small amounts of his indebtedness might be made, if it did not exceed say $50000/.

In the afternoon Bro. Le Grand Young was there, and the status of the legal suits was discussed and the following resolution was adopted:

“That our attorneys be informed that we are willing to have the P. E. Fund case carried up in the manner indicated by them in the dispatch from F. S. Richards at Washington, under date of Jan. 27/88, with the clear understanding that before proceeding in this direction there shall be an agreement secured from the Government representatives that the property now in the Receiver’s hands and the Church suit shall remain in status quo and there shall be no further suits or proceedings by the Receiver until the P. E. Fund case shall be finally decided; and provided that the amount of the judgment in the P. E. Fund case shall not exceed more than $5000., or a little over, and shall be taken out of the present property of the P. E. Fund case <Co.> taken possession of by, and now in the hands of, the Receiver; and provided further that this case shall not be submitted, agreed to, or understood to be in any sense a test case, applying to or covering the Church suit.”

In accordance with the resolution, the following dispatch was sent East:

“We are willing P. E. Fund case be carried up according terms your dispatch twenty seventh. You must exercise greatest possible care in securing agreement of government that property and Church suit shall remain in status quo and there shall be no more Suits until Fund case be finally decided, also that amount of judgment in the Fund case shall not exceed Five thousand and be taken out of Fund property in Dyer’s hands. Guard against this being taken as a test case to prejudice Church suit.”

Brother Armstrong came in afterwards and stated that there had been some overtures made to him respecting two or three reputable Gentiles being admitted to the Council through our people’s votes. This matter was considered and it was finally decided to leave the question in the hands of Mayor Armstrong and Brother Winder and the three brethren who had acted as a committee before – Bros. W. W. Riter, John Clark, and S. P. Teasdale – and if a fusion ticket could be got up that would be acceptable, to take the necessary steps to arrange for it.

The Council adjourned until 10 o’clock to-morrow morning. After the Council we had an interview with Brother Hiram Clawson, who read us some letters from Maude; and I afterwards submitted to Brothers Woodruff and Smith the business that Brother Budge had explained to me on Saturday evening, and it was agreed that Bro. John Irvine should go and carry the message that we should send to Bro. Budge at Logan.

31 January 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 31/88.

I spoke to Bro. Irvine this morning about going as reporter to Boise City, and he signified his willingness to do so. I arranged with Bro. James Jack for his transportation and the payment of his expenses. He was entrusted with a letter to Bro. Budge, containing important matter.

At 10 o’clock the Council met. All present the same as yesterday. Messrs. Thurman, Richards, Creer, Elias A. Smith, Shurtliff, E. G. Woolley – members of the Legislature – met with us, and Bro. Thurman read a bill on the subject of marriage which had been introduced into the House by Judge E. D. Hoge, and which had been referred to the Committee on Judiciary, of which Bro. Thurman was a member. Considerable conversation ensued upon the bill and its features, some of which are very objectionable. In my remarks I said that this was one of the subjects that I had hoped some of our members would anticipate the action of the outsiders in presenting, as our position was now different to what it had been at any previous time. Marriage had been a subject upon which we could not legislate to suit the wishes of the Governor, who would be required to sign the bill, and there had been a great outcry raised against us because of their being no law on this subject on our statue books. Since the Legislature convened a change had taken place in our position, and at the present time a bill upon this subject could be introduced and passed without any impropriety on our part. I, therefore, favored the introduction of a bill by some of our own people. The suggestion seemed to strike favorably, and it was that either a substitute could be reported back or a new bill. After this discussion ended, the members of the Legislature withdrew.

Patriarch John Smith’s indebtedness was then taken up. He had given a summary of outside debts which amounted to $57500/. There was considerable discussion about this, and finally an appropriation of $600.00/ was made for his benefit, and his yearly stipend was increased to $1500.00/; $25000/ of this goes to his wife who does not live with him. It was also stipulated that he should keep paid the interest of his note that he had given to the Church for money which he had borrowed for the purchase of a farm.

J. S. Hawley, of Deseret had appealed from the decision of the Bishop of Deseret and the High Council of Millard Stake, and these minutes were read and the decision of the High Council was sustained. Pending the rendering of this decision, Bro. M. Thatcher brought up the question of the right of appeal from the decision of High Councils and he contended that there should be a High Council, over which the Presidency of the Church should preside, to whom appeals could be made from other High Councils. I think myself that the older members of the Council did not agree with Brother Thatcher’s views. An appropriation of $25000/ was made to assist Bro. John Morgan in the construction of a building for his family in the San Luis Valley, and $30000/ was appropriated to help the people of Coveville, Cache Valley, in the construction of their meeting house. It was decided also that it would be inadvisable for the people of Grantsville to ask for the repeal of their city charter. While Grantsville was under consideration Bro. John W. Taylor mentioned the division which existed between the Counselors and the Bishop of that Ward. Considerable was said also about the propriety of changing the Bishop, as Bro Edward Hunter, who is now acting, and who is a very worthy man, is not in a position to fill the office. It was therefore moved that such of the brethren of the Twelve who should visit the forthcoming Stake Conference on Sunday next should present the question of the re-organization of the Ward to the Presidency and High council of the Stake, and if an agreement was reached, proceed to effect it. Brothers John H. Smith and H. J. Grant were mentioned as proper persons to go there. The question of remunerating Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, which was raised by a letter from Prest. A. O. Smoot, asking for remuneration for his two Counselors, was considered and it was decided to lay it over for future consideration, as whenever anything of this kind were done it should be made more general.

The question of continuing work on the Salt Lake Temple was brought before the Council by Bishop Preston and Counselors. After one or two of the brethren had spoken, I remarked that there <were> some features about this suggestion of discontinuing work that struck me rather favorably. The objection, however, to it was that it would throw a great many of our people out of work, which, I thought, would be undesirable at present. But while I had this view, I was quite prepared to vote for work to be continued on the Temple. Bro. M. Thatcher spoke in the same strain, and Brother Preston seemed to favor the idea; but Brother Burton thought it would have a bad effect. Brothers Joseph F. and John H. Smith spoke upon it with a great deal of feeling, as though by so doing we were yielding to the Gentiles, &c. Their remarks were quite warm on the subject. Brother L. Snow also expressed himself in favor of the continuation of the work. President Woodruff, before either of the Brother Smiths or Bro. Snow spoke, had expressed himself favorable to the idea of stopping the work for the present. After these brethren had spoken, I arose and expressed my regret that anything I had said should have called forth such remarks as I had heard on this subject. I had not intended to start a discussion of this character. In making the remarks I did, I had not alluded to any political consideration as influencing me in taking that view of the subject; but it had presented itself to my mind in that way. I always endeavored, when I came into the Council, to get the Spirit of the Lord and know what its suggestions were; but after what had been said by the brethren, if I had been ever so much in favor of the cessation of the work, I could not now consent to it, because the brethren took such a view that it would be very improper, after what had been said, for such a plan to be pursued. I therefore was heartily in favor of resuming the work and continuing it. A motion to this effect was carried.

Patriarch John Smith was invited to take his place in the Council this afternoon.

The report of the Committee on methods of business, &c., which contained a reference to the employment of attorneys, was read, and Brother Jos. F. Smith moved that R. K. Williams, W. N. Dusenberry, and A. Miner be notified that at the end of this quarter the Church will dispense with their services as attorneys, and that in reference to the services of F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young the question concerning their salaries be left for future consideration.

Brother John W. Taylor introduced a motion that the system of checks and balances that were thought necessary by the committee, and upon which they had reported, should be carried into operation by that committee; or in other words, that they should prepare a system and submit to the Council.

Brother Budge had asked my counsel in relation to the indebtedness of brethren to the cooperative stores in his Stake. He said it had grown to be an intolerable evil; that they cold not collect amounts from through the Bishop’s Court and they did not like to sue the brethren, because it was contrary to counsel, and the result was that many persons failed to pay their debts, which led to great embarrassment. After considerable discussion, the sense of the Council was that this should not be, and that where men were delinquent in paying their debts, they should be sued, and not be left to baffle their creditors because of the slowness with which Bishops’ Courts enforced their decisions.

Upon the suggestion of Brother L. Snow, Bp. O. C. Haskins was selected as a suitable man to preside over the Malad Stake, this being the name given to the new Stake organized out of part of Oneida and Box Elder Stakes.

The case of P. T. Farnsworth was taken up, he having been accused of drinking and carousing and other improprieties. While the charges have not been fully sustained, still his conduct had been so improper that it was resolved by the Council that he would be unsuitable as a Counselor to Prest. John R. Murdock, of the Beaver Stake, the latter having suggested his name for that position.

The Camp Cameron property, which had been bought by the Church and by Bros. Murdock & Farnsworth, was taken into consideration, and it was decided that Bros. Murdock & Farnsworth should be assured that they would be protected, and that the Church would either buy their share or sell its share to them.

The question of revising the salaries of the employees was brought up, and I expressed the feelings that I had before given utterance to, viz., that I would much prefer another committee outside of the Twelve to take this question into consideration. It seemed to me that it would be more dignified and more proper to select a committee of practical men who are familiar with the various departments and afterwards their findings could be submitted to us. This was agreed to, and the Presiding Bishop and his Counselors were appointed, with power to call any others to their aid whom they might need.

Soon after the adjournment of this meeting I attended a meeting of the Deseret News Co. and attended to considerable business connected with that company, such as the regulation of wages and other matters.

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January 1888, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 25, 2024