Thursday, March 1/88.
This is President Woodruff’s birthday, and I went to his house this morning, with Bro. Wilcken, with some reluctance, as I expected he would have a large company. I intended to have gone last night; but it stormed so heavily that I had to postpone it till this morning. We went through the mail together, while Bro. Wilcken was gone to the city to get the morning mail and to bring me a small present which I wished to make to President Woodruff – a sort of writing case. Brother Clawson also called upon President Woodruff while I was there and brought to his attention an insurance bill that was before the Legislative Assembly, to which, he thought, amendments should be made in the interest of our friend “Maude”, who is President of an Insurance company, and who had prepared an amendment to this bill, which there was some opposition to. The amendment was very simple and tended to perfect the legislation rather than to injure it. Brother Clawson afterwards brought down Brother Thurman, who is a member of the Legislature, and President Woodruff stated to him his feelings upon the subject. The question also of the proper place to hold the district court in the proposed 4th District in the event of a fourth judge being selected for the Territory, came up, and the feeling was that Provo was a more suitable place than Nephi, for various reasons.
By the time these interviews were ended it was after 2 o’clock. I was anxious to return, because I felt almost intruding upon President Woodruff; but his wife and himself insisted upon Bro. Wilcken and myself stopping for dinner. I would have declined, but they were very pressing. It being fast day, I enjoyed the dinner very much. There were present: his wife and four of her children, and their son-in-law and daughter-in-law, and Brother Woodruff’s daughter Bulah and her son. Bro. Wilcken carried me from there back to my house.
Friday, March 2/88.
Busy looking through my papers the most of the day. Went out for an hour or two at work in the barn, piling up manure. Brother Wilcken called for me, took supper with me, and then I accompanied him to my wife Carlie’s.
Saturday, March 3/88.
Brother A. Winter came and I dictated a few letters, and some articles for the Juvenile Instructor.
Sunday, March 4/88.
Bro. Wilcken called for me with his buggy at 6 o’clock this morning and carried me to my residence on the river.
I spent the day as usual, holding Sunday School in the morning, and a meeting in the afternoon, in my schoolhouse, where I administered the sacrament and gave instructions.
In the evening I went to President Woodruff’s, Bro. Wilcken taking me there, where we met with Brothers Thurman, Seegmiller and Lund, of the Legislative Assembly. They had been brought there by Bro. H. B. Clawson. We had quite a lengthy conversation with them concerning various matters of legislation, the principal point being the creation of a 4th District, making three associate judges. The point at issue was whether there should be two courts held in the District, one at Provo and one at Nephi. I expressed myself quite plainly on it. I thought it would be an unfortunate thing for the people of the District to have two sessions of the court. The proximity of the court would make it dangerous for our people, and more victims would undoubtedly be secured. Besides, I thought that if that were done in the 4th District, instead of convening the court at Ogden in the First District, they would want to follow the example and have court also held at Logan; and probably this would be followed by the same course in the 2nd. District, and the courts be held at Beaver and St. George. I was altogether in favor of confining the holding of the court to Provo. I return[ed] to my home with Bro. Wilcken, who stayed with me all night.
Monday, March 5/88
We left my home at half past five this morning and drove to Bro. Heber M. Wells’, who resides close to City Creek, inside the Eagle Gate. President Woodruff came shortly afterwards. We were made very welcome by Bro. Wells and wife. Bro. Winter came and we went through the public correspondence, and I dictated answers to the letters.
The desire had been expressed by Elias A. Smith, President of the Legislative Council, and W. W. Riter, Speaker of the House, to have an interview with President Woodruff and myself, also Bro. Shurtliff, in regard to legislative matters. We made an appointment to meet them at the Office in the evening, and went there. We found the following members of the Council of the Apostles present: Erastus Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and H. J. Grant. We had considerable conversation about legislative affairs and the course to be pursued. A feeling was expressed against bonding the Territory to a very large amount and to restrict the borrowing power to as small a limit as possible. Considerable discussion took place on the school bill also, and all were opposed to the school bill introduced by Allen, which had passed the House by a majority of one vote. The case of the Auditor and Treasurer was also taken up and considerable conversation took place concerning the subject. Bros. Smith and Riter thought that the Governor would yield us the right to nominate the Auditor if his nomination of the Treasurer be accepted. Some of the brethren were very much opposed to yielding this point. They were in favor of standing on the law which had been enacted, which gave the people the right to elect these officers. But it was stated that if the counsel did not act in this matter and refused to consider the Governor’s nominees, the nominees would commence a new suit immediately upon the adjournment of the Legislature, for the offices, and in order to carry it up to the Supreme Court the Auditor and Treasurer would have to secure new bonds, the difficulty of which all felt to be very great. In view of these probabilities, we felt to say that it was our feeling that the Council should endeavor to effect a compromise on this matter, and if we could have the nomination of the Auditor we would concede the Treasurer to him. It was said in this connection by Bro. Riter that he believed Bolivar Roberts could be induced to not press his claim for the emoluments of the office of Treasurer and his attorneys expenses, in the event of the Supreme Court deciding in his favor. This would save at least half the damages that would have to be paid should the case go against us.
Our council held till about 12 o’clock.
President Woodruff and myself returned to our quarters, he being accompanied by Bro. Bateman, myself by Sheriff Burt.
Tuesday, March 6/88.
Bro. Arthur Winter came, and we attended to public correspondence. I dictated answers to letters. I also prepared “Editorial Thoughts” and “Topics of the Times” for the Juvenile Instructor. We agreed last night to meet with a caucus of the Legislative Assembly at 8 o’clock at the Social Hall. Bro. Wilcken called for me and I went down there. President Woodruff felt too fatigued to go. There were present at the caucus, of the Twelve: Erastus Snow, myself, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and H. J. Grant, and a pretty full attendance of members of the Legislature. I explained the object of the caucus and why we were present; that we had been invited in order to give them any aid we could by our experience. Brother Erastus Snow explained at some length our views upon appropriations, the lavish expenditure of means, and also in regard to the school bill. It was stated by Bro. Clark, Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations in the House, that the appropriations up to the present time covered the income of the Territory, at the present rate of taxation, for the ensuing two years. It was decided to limit the bonding debt to not more than one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The caucus adopted this. The directors of the Insane Asylum had requested an appropriation of $162,000. and desired an addition of $40,000. more to build the central building. Bro. Riter made a very telling speech against this appropriation and clearly showed that $30,000. was sufficient to erect a building that would answer all the purposes required but it would not be built for show. There was discussion upon this point; but finally a motion to appropriate $30,000 for the asylum prevailed. There was considerable talk of trying to get the Reform School bill from the Governor, or to induce him to permit a change to be made in that bill, $75,000. having been appropriated and the general feeling was that $50,000. was enough. But it was finally decided to do nothing about that bill, as it would stultify the Legislature, it having passed both Houses. $20,000. was decided to appropriate for the Agricultural College.
Concerning the School bill it was suggested that we increase the present taxes from three mills on the dollar to one per cent, and that this money be divided among the school population, giving to denominational schools their share. Considerable was said on this subject, and it struck everybody favorably. It was finally decided to make the tax 8 mills, that is, add 5 more to the present tax; and this view was adopted. I suggested that a committee of the best minds of both Houses get together early to-morrow morning and examine the law and prepare amendments to carry out this plan. Bro. Riter seemed to think that there was not time enough to make it work, and he rather favored the levy of the tax without any provisions for its distribution. This most of us were opposed to. I told him that it would surprise me if the Governor signed the bill; but I thought we would make capital by it, because it would show that we were in favor of education, and though our method might not be approved by Gov. West, it was a fair proposition, and one which we could defend. Our position in this Territory was peculiar. Differences existed such as were not known in many communities, and we had our own views concerning the education of our children. If we gave to other societies their share, and levied a sufficient tax to make our schools practically free, no one could object and say that we were opposed to education, and those who clamored could be silenced by a statement of the facts. My views were adopted in regard to this matter, and
the brethren were selected as a committee to prepare amendments of this character, which I suggested should be reported by the Council Committee on Education, in whose hands Allen’s school bill now was, as a substitute for that bill.
I threw out the idea that it would be worthy of consideration to examine whether it would not be possible to make education compulsory. If, I said, the State is going to take upon itself the education of the children by furnishing means for this purpose, I think the State should go far enough to compel parents to send their children to school, to get the advantage of free education. If education is of so much importance that we must all pay taxes to give it free to the children, then it should be of sufficient importance to require every child to receive it, that none may be allowed to neglect the opportunities which are offered to them. I said, however, that perhaps time would not permit any action of this kind, but I threw it out as worthy of consideration.
We kept in session until about half past twelve. I walked to my quarters with Brother Wilcken.
Wednesday, March 7/88.
Brother Winter came with our mail, which we examined, and I dictated answers to the letters, also my journal, to Bro. Winter.
Thursday, March 8/88.
Attended to public correspondence; dictated answers to letters
Friday, March 9/88.
Attended to public correspondence; dictated answers to letters. Wrote long letters to Bros. Jos. F. Smith, John T. Caine, C. W. Penrose and F. S. Richards, at Washington. We had quite a severe snow storm last night.
In the evening had an interview with my son Abraham, and we held a meeting of the B. B. & C. M’g. Co. There were present, beside myself, Geo. J. Taylor, Moses Thatcher, W. B. Preston, H. B. Clawson, James Jack and Geo. Reynolds.
Reports of the condition of the property up to the end of the year were read by Bro. Reynolds, the Secretary. They showed an indebtedness of about $23,000. or $24,000. at the last of the year. From verbal inquiries from Bro. Clawson, I learned that this had been reduced since that time about $4,000. We were probably in debt to-day about $19,000. It was decided to elect the following officers: myself as President and Director; W. B. Preston, vice President and Director; Geo. J. Taylor, H. B. Clawson, Directors; and Geo. Reynolds, Sec. & Treas. and Director. We balloted according to the requirements of the by-laws, and the election was unanimous. Brother Nuttall has been President of the Company, but in consequence of his absence it was thought better to substitute one of the other Directors for him. Bro. Beck has been Vice President; he has also been absent. Brother Clawson was elected as agent, in his stead. I stated to the Company that Bro. Beck had written, requesting $2500. to be sent him. This led to quite a conversation concerning his affairs. Bros. Thatcher and Preston were rather disposed to let him do all he could against us; but upon hearing what was said, they acceded to my suggestion that $500.00/ be sent to him, and a letter be written to him stating the condition of the company. I feel as President Taylor felt on this subject, that we had better placate him as much as possible rather than to provoke a law suit, or by driving him away from us, have his creditors take advantage of that to use him for their own ends, which they would not scruple to do if they thought they could annoy us. I have felt that this was the cheaper way to deal with him, under the circumstances. Bro. Reynolds’ accounts were referred to a committee appointed by myself, consisting of Bros. Thatcher, J. Jack and G. J. Taylor. A proposition was made by Bro. Thatcher to have another person on the Board, in place of Bro. Reynolds. This was in consequence of Bro. Nuttall being put out as one of the Directors, and nothing being said about myself. I told them that I either wished to be on the Board myself or to have some representative on the Board. It was then suggested that Bro. Reynolds might be appointed Treasurer afterwards. But he said he would resign his office as Secretary if he could not be on the Board; but when Bro. Nuttall returned he would be quite willing to turn the whole business over to him. I went from there to my wife Carlie’s.
Saturday, March 10/88.
Bro. Lehi Pratt called for me about 6 o’clock and took me down to my home on the river. I take what exercise I can in cleaning out my barn when I am here and was busy at this to-day. Afterwards devoted attention to the revision of manuscript for my History of the Prophet Joseph. I had a visit from my sons Frank and Abraham.
Sunday, March 11/88.
Held Sunday School and Sacrament meeting with my family to-day and instructed them as usual. In the evening Bro. Wilcken called for me and took me to my wife Carlie’s.
Monday, March 12/88.
Bro. Wilcken called for me at 5:30 this morning and we walked from there to Bro. Heber M. Wells’, where I met President Woodruff. Bro. Winter came with the mail, which we examined and I dictated answers to public correspondence.
In the evening I walked down to Z.C.M.I. and met with the Directors at the regular monthly meeting. Attended to considerable business. Had an interview with my son Abraham, in which he mentioned business that would take Frank East, and wanted to know my counsel about it.
Tuesday, March 13/88.
Bro. Winter brought our mail, and among others, a very long and interesting letter from Brother Jos. F. Smith, describing the situation of affairs at Washington. To this I dictated an answer, as well as to several other letters. I also got Bro. A. Winter to take in shorthand a statement concerning my arrest and the circumstances connected therewith. I intend this for use in Washington, to see if any influence can be brought to bear on my case towards changing my status. I afterwards handed this to my son Frank for him to amend, as he was familiar with all the circumstances. He gave me the annexed copy of what he had written.**
[Typewritten letter enclosed between the pages of the journal]
THAT YOU MAY KNOW THE FACTS PERTAINING TO MR. GEORGE Q. CANNON’S CASE AND SITUATION, I SUBMIT TO YOU THE FOLLOWING UNPREDJUDICED STATEMENT:
IN 1885, MR. CANNON WAS UNDER INDICTMENT CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL COHABITATION. JUDGED BY HIS EXPRESSIONS TO HIS FRIENDS AT THIS TIME, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HIS PURPOSE AS IT WAS HIS DESIRE TO MEET THE ISSUE FRANKLY. BUT GREAT EXCITEMENT PREVAILED IN SALT LAKE, AND IN THE STATE OF FEELING THEN EXISTING, AND UNDER THE METHODS OF PROSECUTION THEN IN VOGUE, HIS FRIENDS ADVISED HIM AND HE BELIEVED THAT HE COULD NOT HAVE A FAIR TRIAL. THE POLITICAL PROVISIONS OF THE EDMUNDS ACT HAD BEEN RIGOROUSLY ENFORCED, BUT WITHOUT ANY MATERIAL ACCESSION OF EMOLUMENTS BY THE MINORITY PARTY; AND, RANKLING UNDER A SENSE OF DEFEATED YEARNING FOR OFFICE AND MONEY, THE PROSECUTIONS UNDER THE PENAL PROVISIONS OF THE ACT WERE MADE INTENSELY SEVERE. MR. CANNON’S PROMINENCE IN THE CHURCH AND THE FACTS OF HIS SERVICE IN CONGRESS AND ELSEWHERE FOR THE PEOPLE OF UTAH, MADE HIM PARTICULARLY THE MARK AT WHICH THE SHAFT OF DISLIKE OR EVEN VINDICTIVENESS WAS DIRECTED. HE WAS SPOKEN OF AS A DANGEROUS MAN TO SECURE WHOM AN EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT WOULD BE MADE; AND IT WAS A CURRENT AND GENERALLY ACCEPTED REPORT THAT, IF ARRESTED, HE WOULD BE CONVICTED, NO MATTER WHAT THE EVIDENCE MIGHT SHOW. FOR THESE REASONS, MR. CANNON AVOIDED THE SERVICE OF PROCESS AND WENT INTO RETIREMENT.
ON THE 8TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 1886, A HANDBILL, IN THE FOLLOWING WORDS, WAS POSTED IN SALT LAKE AND OTHER TOWNS OF UTAH:
“I WILL PAY THE ABOVE AMOUNT TO ANY PERSON FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST OF GEORGE Q. CANNON, AGAINST WHOM AN INDICTMENT IS PENDING IN THE THIRD DISTRICT COURT OF UTAH. ALL INFORMATION, AND THE NAMES OF THOSE FURNISHING THE SAME WILL BE HELD IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE.
AT THIS TIME CERTAIN BUSINESS IN MEXICO REQUIRED THE ATTENTION OF SOME LEADING MAN IN THE CHURCH, AND PRESIDENT TAYLOR WAS ANXIOUS FOR MR. CANNON TO GO TO THAT COUNTRY. MR. CANNON HIMSELF WAS OF THE OPINION THAT HIS ABSENCE FROM UTAH, WHEN ONCE KNOWN, WOULD TEND TO QUIETUDE. HIS FRIENDS WOULD NOT BE KEPT IN A STATE OF WORRY CONCERNING HIS WELFARE; AND THE MARSHAL AND DEPUTIES WOULD NOT CONTINUE TO HARASS HIS FAMILY DAY AND NIGHT BY SEARCHES. IN TAKING AND ATTEMPTING TO EXECUTE THIS VIEW MR. CANNON DID NOT INTEND TO MAKE A PERPETUAL EXILE OF HIMSELF; HIS PURPOSE, IN THE INTEREST OF GENERAL PEACE, WAS TO REMOVE FROM THE SCENE ONE OF THE OBJECTS OF PROSECUTING FURY AND TO RETURN SO SOON AS THERE WAS GOOD REASON TO BELIEVE THAT SUCH FURY WAS SPENT AND JUSTICE WAS HOLDING SWAY.
ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 1886, HE STARTED FROM THE TERRITORY VIA THE CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD. SOME PERSON, SAID TO HAVE BEEN THE BRAKEMAN, RECOGNIZED HIM AND TELEGRAPHED TO THE UNITED STATES OFFICERS AT SALT LAKE, THE INCENTIVE BEING THE OFFERED REWARD OF FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. AT WINNEMUCCA, NEVADA, THE SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY CAME ON BOARD, AND BEFORE THE TRAIN HAD PROCEEDED FAR, HE ARRESTED MR. CANNON UNDER INSTRUCTIONS WIRED TO HIM FROM SALT LAKE, CARRIED THE PRISONER BACK TO WINNEMUCCA, AND HELD HIM THERE AWAITING THE APPEARANCE OF THE UTAH OFFICERS.
THE QUESTION OF BAIL WAS RAISED AND A NEVADA MAGISTRATE CONSENTED TO FIX THE FIGURE OF THE BOND AT TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. THIS AMOUNT COULD HAVE BEEN READILY GIVEN; BUT AS ONLY A FEW HOURS MUST ELAPSE AND AS MR. CANNON HAD NOT AT THAT TIME EVEN THE REMOTEST INTENTION OF ESCAPING FROM THE PROCESS ONCE SERVED, THE IDEA OF BAIL WAS ABANDONED. ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15TH, 1886, MARSHAL IRELAND, OF UTAH, AND DEPUTY GREENMAN, IRELAND’S CHIEF AID, ARRIVED AT WINNEMUCCA AND TOOK THE PRISONER IN CHARGE, STARTING BY THE RETURN TRAIN FOR SALT LAKE.
AT THIS TIME, MR. CANNON’S HEALTH WAS VERY POOR. HE HAD SUFFERED DURING SOME WEEKS FROM A SEVERE ATTACK OF INFLAMATION OF THE KIDNEYS, SUPERINDUCED BY THE EXPOSURE INCIDENT TO HIS SITUATION. ON TUESDAY MORNING, WHILE RETURNING, MR. CANNON HAD OCCASION TO GO TO THE CLOSET OF THE CAR AND WHILE THERE WAS ATTACKED BY FAINTNESS. HE STEPPED TO THE PLATFORM FOR AIR, WHEN A SUDDEN LURCH OF THE SWIFTLY-MOVING TRAIN, ROUNDING A DOUBLE CURVE, THREW HIM HEADLONG FROM THE CAR. HE FELL UPON THE FROZEN GROUND, AND WAS RENDERED UNCONSCIOUS. HIS ABSENCE WAS DISCOVERED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY BY MARSHAL IRELAND, THE TRAIN WAS STOPPED, MR. CANNON WAS FOUND BRUISED AND BLEEDING AND WANDERING IN THE SNOW IN A DAZED CONDITION, AND WAS TAKEN BACK TO THE NEXT STATION, PROMONTORY. HE WAS IN A PITIABLE STATE. HIS LIMBS WERE BATTERED, HIS FACE WAS GASHED, HIS NOSE WAS BROKEN, AND INTERNAL INJURIES WERE DEEMED CERTAIN. THERE WAS NO SURGEON AT PROMONTORY, AND ALL THAT DAY THE PRISONER, STILL IN CUSTODY OF MARSHAL IRELAND AND DEPUTY, LAY WITHOUT MEDICAL ATTENDANCE. THAT NIGHT A SPECIAL TRAIN REACHED PROMONTORY FROM SALT LAKE, BRINGING A REINFORCEMENT OF DEPUTIES MARSHAL AND ALSO A COMPANY OF SOLDIERS, UNDER COMMAND OF CAPTAIN PENNY. DURING THE DAY THE MARSHAL HAD THREATENED TO CARRY HIS PRISONER TO SALT LAKE ON A SPECIAL ENGINE, BUT HAD BEEN PERSUADED TO DESIST ONLY ON THE REPRESENTATION THAT IF MR. CANNON SHOULD DIE UNDER SUCH ROUGH TREATMENT, THE MARSHAL WOULD HAVE A GRAVE RESPONSIBILITY TO MEET. IRELAND THEN GAVE HIS PROMISE THAT THE PRISONER SHOULD NOT BE MOVED UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING AT DAYLIGHT. BUT SO SOON AS THE TROOPS ARRIVED, HE WITHDREW HIS PROMISE; AND AT FOUR O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING (WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17,) MR. CANNON WAS CARRIED FROM THE STATION TO THE CARS IN A FAINTING CONDITION. THE CONTROL OF THE TRAIN WAS IMMEDIATELY AND ABSOLUTELY TRANSFERRED TO THE MILITARY BY MARSHAL IRELAND. ALL BUT ONE OF MR. CANNON’S FRIENDS WERE REMOVED FROM THE CAR IN WHICH HE HAD BEEN PLACED; AND A SQUAD OF SOLDIERS, WITH LOADED MUSKETS STOOD GUARD AROUND THE COUCH WHEREON HE LAY IN A STATE OF SEMI-UNCONSCIOUSNESS.
IN THIS WAY THE JOURNEY WAS MADE TO SALT LAKE, A DISTANCE OF ABOUT ONE HUNDRED MILES. AT EIGHT O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING, MR. CANNON WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE. HE WAS PLACED UPON THE FLOOR OF THE MARSHAL’S OFFICE, AND WHILE A PHYSICIAN WAS EXAMINING HIS INJURIES, THE DISTRICT COURT WAS OPENED IN THE ROOM AND THE WOUNDED AND HELPLESS PRISONER WAS ARRAIGNED. BAIL WAS DEMANDED, AND THE COURT FIXED THE AMOUNT OF THE BOND AT TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. IT WAS SHOWN THAT THIS WAS EXCESSIVE; THAT THE OFFENSE CHARGED WAS ONLY A MISDEMEANOR, THE MAXIMUM PENALTY FOR WHICH WAS IMPRISONMENT FOR SIX MONTHS AND A FINE OF THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS; AND THAT THE USUAL BAIL IN SUCH CASES—OF WHICH THERE HAD BEEN SEVERAL BEFORE THIS SAME COURT—WAS FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. BUT MR. CANNON’S ATTORNEYS AND FRIENDS, BECOMING ALARMED FOR HIS SAFETY UNDER THE PROTRACTED STRAIN, AND ACTING UNDER THE DURESS OCCASIONED BY A FEAR FOR HIS LIFE, CONSENTED UNDER PROTEST TO THE ORDER AND GAVE THE BOND FOR TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. BEFORE HE COULD BE REMOVED FROM THE ROOM, HE WAS RE-ARRESTED TWICE ON SIMILAR CHARGES OF UNLAWFUL COHABITATION UPON WARRANTS ISSUED OUT OF THE U. S. COMMISSIONER’S COURT WHILE THE ARGUMENTS IN THE BAIL QUESTION HAD BEEN IN PROGRESS. IN EACH OF THE TWO LATTER CASES THE COMMISSIONER FIXED THE BAIL AT TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, MAKING A TOTAL OF FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS OF BONDS. MR. CANNON’S FRIENDS, AGAIN ACTING UNDER THE MENTAL DURESS OF FEAR FOR HIS LIFE, GAVE THE NEW BONDS AND HIS ATTENDANTS WERE PERMITTED TO CARRY HIM AWAY.
THE VINDICTIVENESS OF THESE PROCEEDINGS—IN THE UTTERLY UNNECESSARY AND ALMOST BRUTAL USE OF THE MILITARY TO HARASS A HELPLESS AND SHATTERED PRISONER; AND IN THE REPEATED ARRESTS AND THE FIXING OF EXCESSIVE BAIL—WAS SO APPARENT THAT MR. CANNON’S FRIENDS NATURALLY FELT ALARMED, AND ESP[E]CIALLY AS THREATS WHICH HAD FORMERLY BEEN RUMORED AGAINST HIM WERE NOW RENEWED. IT WAS KNOWN THAT THE PROSECUTING OFFICERS WANTED TO GET HIM OUT OF THE WAY, BECAUSE OF HIS ABILITY, PROMINENCE AND INFLUENCE. AND THE STATEMENT LEAKED OUT THAT, ONCE IMMURED IN THE PENITENTIARY, HE WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED RELEASE WHILE LIFE AND VIGOR REMAINED TO HIM. IT WAS NOT AN UNCOMMON EXPRESSION AT THAT TIME: “CANNON WILL NOT COME OUT OF THE PEN. UNTIL HE COMES OUT IN HIS COFFIN.” WHAT LENT FORCE TO THESE THREATS WAS THE FACT THAT THE COURTS OF UTAH SEGREGATED ONE CONTINUOUS ACT OF REAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE UNLAWFUL COHABITATION INTO NUMBERLESS CHARGES OF THAT OFFENSE; AND UNDER THIS MODE OF PROCEDURE A MAN MIGHT BE IMPRISONED FOR HIS NATURAL LIFE, BESIDES BEING MULCTED IN FINES AND COSTS BEYOND ALL POWER TO PAY.
MR. CANNON’S PHYSICAL CONDITION REMAINED PRECARIOUS. FURTHER DISTRESS OF BODY OR MIND WAS TO BE AVOIDED, IF HIS LIFE WAS TO BE SAVED.
UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES HIS FRIENDS BEGGED HIM TO FORFEIT HIS BONDS. ACTING UPON THE REPRESENTATIONS THAT TO GO TO TRIAL WAS TO GO TO PERPETUAL INCARCERATION AND PERHAPS TO DEATH, MR. CANNON YIELDED TO THE JUDGMENT OF HIS ADVISERS AND FAILED TO APPEAR. THE ACTION AND REMARKS WHICH FOLLOWED THIS FAILURE, SATISFIED HIS FRIENDS AT THE TIME THAT THE COURSE TAKEN HAD BEEN WISE AND NECESSARY.
THE BOND FOR TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS WAS DECLARED FORFEITED AND WAS PAID. THE AMOUNT HAS SINCE BEEN CONVEYED INTO THE NATIONAL TREASURY. THE MATTERS OF THE TWO BONDS FOR TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH ARE NOW PENDING IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.
MR. CANNON HAS SINCE THAT TIME BEEN PRACTICALLY AN EXILE.
THROUGHOUT THIS CASE HE HAS SUFFERED IN PERSON AND FORTUNE TO A CRUEL DEGREE; HE HAS BEEN MADE TO SUFFER INFINITELY MORE BY MEANS OF THE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST HIM THAN WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE IF HE HAD STOOD TRIAL AND ENDURED THE LEGAL PENALTY FOR HIS ACTS UNDER ANY JUST OR REASONABLE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LAWS IN UTAH; AND THE HARDSHIPS WROUGHT IN THIS MATTER CERTAINLY JUSTIFY A CONSIDERATE INVESTIGATION.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE “DICKSON RAID,” SO-CALLED, MR. CANNON HAS NOT EVADED PROCESS EXCEPT WHERE CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE JUSTIFIED AND EVEN ENFORCED THAT ACTION, NOR HAS HE DEFIED GOVERNMENT. HE HAS NOT FEARED THE LAW ITSELF, BUT HAS OBJECTED TO THE TYRANNY PRACTICED UNDER THE LAW. THAT THIS TYRANNY WOULD HAVE BEEN INTENSIFIED AGAINST HIM BY THE FORMER REGIME IN UTAH, IS SHOWN BY THE EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES WHICH WERE TAKEN TO DISTRESS HIM WHEN HE LAY ALMOST AT THE POINT OF DEATH FROM INJURIES RECEIVED WHILE TRAVELING IN READY OBEDIENCE TO THE PROCESS OF COURT WHICH HAD BEEN INFORMALLY SERVED UPON HIM WITHOUT REQUISITION IN AN ADJOINING STATE.
ONE POINT MORE DESERVES ATTENTION, AND THAT IS MR. CANNON’S CONTINUOUS EFFORT TO PREVENT ANY RESISTANCE TO NATIONAL LAW AND ITS ADMINISTRATION IN UTAH, EXCEPT THE PASSIVE RESISTANCE WHICH ALL GOOD CITIZENS HAVE A RIGHT TO EXERCISE THROUGH THE COURTS. AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST AND THE OUTRAGEOUS PROCEEDINGS IMMEDIATELY SUBSEQUENT THERETO, MUCH EXCITEMENT PREVAILED AND CONSIDERABLE INDIGNATION WAS FELT. HIS INVARIABLE WORD WAS, “BE PATIENT: A BETTER UNDERSTANDING MUST SOON BE HAD BY GOVERNMENT.” I DO NOT MYSELF BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS OR HAS EVER BEEN SINCE THE “RAID” BEGAN, ANY DANGER OF ILLEGAL RESISTANCE; DOUBTLESS MR. CANNON FROM INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PEOPLE ENTERTAINED THE SAME VIEW. BUT AS CERTAIN PARTIES, INTERESTED IN SECURING ADDITIONAL PROSCRIPTIVE LEGISLATION, AFFECTED AT THAT TIME, AS BEFORE AND SINCE, TO BELIEVE THAT “AN OUTBREAK” WAS IMMINENT, MR. CANNON’S WORDS UTTERED AT A TIME WHEN HE WOULD NATURALLY EXHIBIT HIS DEEPEST FEELING, ARE VALUABLE AS SHOWING HIS DISPOSITION TOWARD THE GOVERNMENT.
IT IS DOUBTLESS UNNECESSARY FOR ME TO ADD THAT, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE CHARGES MADE AGAINST HIM UNDER THE EDMUNDS ACT, MR. CANNON STANDS BEFORE THE LAW, AS HE STANDS BEFORE ALL WHO KNOW HIS TRUE CHARACTER, A MAN OF INTEGRITY WITHOUT REPROACH.
[End of typewritten letter]
President Woodruff and myself went down to the Office, as he wanted to see Geo. C. Lambert on some business, and I had an appointment to meet with the Deseret News Co. I met with the Co. and attended to some business, and afterwards met with the Twelve.
Wednesday, March 14/88.
I had made my arrangements to go to Logan and had corresponded with Brother Merrill respecting the performance of ordinances which I wished attended to on Saturday. I desired to know whether this would be possible or convenient, as it would suit me and my wife Carlie and the children to be there on that day better than any other time. I received a favorable reply from him, and arranged for Carlie and her children to go on Friday next, accompanied by my son David, and for myself to go by train with Bro. C. H. Wilcken this afternoon. Bro. Wilcken had kindly consented to take me. We started at 5 o’clock, he furnishing the team and vehicle. We drove to Bro. Roueche’s at Kaysville, where we reached about 7:30. The drive was very pleasant, excepting the latter part, which was in darkness. The family received us with much warmth and hospitality.
Thursday, March 15/88.
We started this morning a little before noon and drove to my son Frank’s in Ogden, where we had dinner. I was greatly pleased to see the beautiful library which Frank has accumulated. He intends to leave for the East to-morrow on some business for myself and for himself and Abraham. We drove to Bro. Jos. Jensen’s at Brigham City. They were very much surprised to see me, as they got no word about my coming. My son Abraham had corresponded with Bro. Rudger Clawson, President of the Stake, and I supposed that every arrangement had been made; but to my surprise found that they knew nothing of it. Bro. Clawson came directly afterwards, however, to inform them that I would be there to-morrow. This was a blunder in telegraphing. They were very much agitated and nervous, as there were two deputy marshals at a house across the street, a few yards distant. Our composure, however, quieted them and they felt calm. We had a very pleasant evening. I had a visit from Bp. Nichols and Prest. Rudger Clawson.
Friday, March 16/88.
Started a little before 9. Bro. Jensen insisted on accompanying us, as he feared we might not find the road to Beaver Dams, where we intended to stop for noon. I felt extremely obliged to him for his kindness, and especially so when we found how difficult it was for us to reach that place because of the deep snow and our want of knowledge of the track. I do not know what we should have done had he not been with us, for we should very likely have been bewildered. Bro. Crandall Dunn, with whom we intended to stop for noon, was met by us before we reached the hill. We drove to his house. Sister Dunn received us very kindly and made preparations for dinner. Before we had finished it, Bro. Dunn returned and had driven very rapidly in order to see me. He gave us a very warm welcome. They are old acquaintances of mine; and Sister Dunn said she knew my father, and both of them were very well acquainted with my first wife’s folks. They gave us a very pressing invitation to stop there as we returned, which we thought we would do to-morrow evening. Bro. Jensen accompanied us to the top of the divide looking into Cache Valley, and then returned home. The drive from Beaver Dams to Logan was very tedious, on account of the deep snow, and where there was no snow the mud was very deep, especially at Logan. We drove to Bro. J. Z. Stewart’s. He accompanied me to the Temple to see Bro. Merrill. Bro. Merrill pressed me to stay all night, which I accepted. Arrangements were made for our business to be done the next morning. Bro. Wilcken went to the stopping place where my wife was to be and notified her to be at the Temple at 7:30 in the morning.
Saturday, March 17/88.
I had a very delightful night’s rest in the Temple, which I enjoyed exceedingly. My wife Carlie and 5 children – Emily Ada, Caroline, Mark, Tracy and Vera – were there by 7:30, and also my son David. After breakfast, we dressed, and Bro. Merrill officiated in adopting them to me and my wife. We thought the adoption ordinance would be better suited to them than the sealing ordinance, as they had been born under the covenant. Bro. C. H. Wilcken was also adopted into my family. Bro. Merrill kindly consented to let the children be taken through the Temple, which they appreciated very much. They also ascended the roof, but the fog was so heavy that they did not see the valley to advantage. The whole valley is covered with snow.
I had quite a long conversation with Bro. Merrill on business affairs connected with the B. B. & C. M’g. Co. and also other matters. He related to me some incidents in regard to feelings that had been manifested concerning myself by certain party or parties there.
At one o’clock Bro. Wilcken drove up to the Temple and I got aboard and accompanied by Judge J. Z. Stewart to the edge of the town, we started for Beaver Dam, which we reached after 4½ hours tedious traveling, the roads being so bad. Brother Dunn and wife received us very kindly and made us as comfortable as they could.
Sunday, March 18/88.
We started this morning at 7 o’clock. It took us one hour to get through the snow a distance of about 3 miles. We reached Brigham City at 10:50; found the family somewhat excited, as the news had got out that I had been there. Brother Lorenzo Snow came and saw me and talked over business matters that had been before the Council, he having returned from Salt Lake on Friday afternoon. He spoke very encouragingly and kindly to me in regard to matters which had taken place, and said he could not account for the spirit that was manifested, unless it was a spirit of envy; but he urged me to be comforted and to stand up. He said I ought not to shrink in the discharge of my duties. He had been perfectly satisfied with my course in all things and thought I had done as well as any man could do; but thought perhaps feelings had been aroused because of my endeavor to magnify my office as one of the First Presidency.
We left Bro. Jensen’s at one o’clock. He was very kind in offering his own services or his teams for our use; but we concluded to push on with our own teams. While we were at his house it snowed heavily. We found the roads full of water. We passed through Ogden without attracting attention, I being concealed at the back of the wagon, and drove on to Kaysville, which place we reached about 6:30. We stopped there a little over two hours, at Bro. Roueche’s. From there we drove to the city and reached a little after 11 – a distance altogether for the day of 83 miles. The horses came in very lively, not needing to be touched with the whip. The wagon that we road [rode] on was very rough riding, jolting us a great deal, but I did not feel unusually fatigued. I feel exceedingly gratified at the result of this trip. Everything has seemed to come around right, and I have made it with expedition.
Monday, March 19/88.
Bro Wilcken called for me, and I put on my disguise and accompanied him to the office. Dictated some letters and my journal to Bro. A. Winter. I had a lengthy conversation with Bro. Brigham Young this evening concerning different affairs. There were some estate matters that we conversed about. Then we spoke upon an occurrence that happened a few days ago, concerning which he had manifested considerable feeling. He had been speaking about purchasing a part of the lot connected with the grave of his father and family and had said that he would have it in his own name and keep it. He was making these remarks to Bro. Rossiter, our agent in estate matters. I happened to come in and hear the remark, and, in a joking way (which we frequently do with each other, being on very familiar terms[)], I said to him, “how long!” – referring to how long he would keep it. It seems that he had been up several nights and was in a state of irritability, and was also irritated by the fact that his wife Katie had sold the White House, his father’s old residence, which he had charged to have kept in the family. I did not really understand at first how he could be angered at my remark, and just then President Woodruff came in and said, “what’s the matter”? I replied that Brigham is trying to pick a quarrel with me. I said this also in a jocose manner, not thinking for a moment that I would hurt his feelings. But he said that I had insulted him, and appeared very much hurt. I regretted this exceedingly, because in all our intercourse we have always been friends. But, as I told him, I would as soon think of hurting the feelings of my children as his feelings. I apologized to him and told him that I was very sorry. I had not the least intention of saying anything that would in any manner grieve him. He accepted my apology, and this evening, in talking about the matter, he explained how it came about; that he was irritable, and that, when I had apologized to him, the feeling passed away. He remarked to me that I would need all the patience and all the faith that I could muster for the next few days, as he saw there were things going to arise that would test me to the uttermost. I asked him questions concerning what he meant, and drew from him considerable information respecting the feelings of some of my brethren of the Twelve concerning myself. He said the feeling was that I had isolated President Taylor from the Twelve so much that none of them had been able to see him for upwards of 12 months; that all the information they got from him was through me, and that the same thing was being done at the present time with President Woodruff. He also told me that there was a good deal of feeling about my son John Q’s affair and my connection therewith; that some of the brethren said I was a very smart man, and a man of a great deal of ability; but I was not a wise man, I was a poor financeer, not good at managing property, though I believe I was and thought I was much more able in that direction than I really was. Much more of the same kind he communicated to me, which gave me considerable sorrow. I told him that I had been thinking about the offense I had given him the other day and it had come to my mind that unless there was some feeling in his mind concerning me, he would not have taken such ready exception to a little remark of the kind which I made to him. I said, you could not offend me by making any such remark. I do not know that you ever did say anything that would offend me, and I cannot think what there is in your mind that should have caused you to have this feeling. Do you have feelings against me for anything connected with my conduct?” It was this remark that called forth the above conversation. He spoke to me very kindly in regard to his feelings. He said I was the only one that was left, it seemed, of the old circle that had been around his father with whom he was intimate, and he thought that it would not do for us to become separated in our feelings – in all of which I agreed; for my friendship and love for him has been very strong from the days of our boyhood.
I laid my troubles before the Lord this evening, and He gave me great comfort and strength. I have felt very much depressed in my feelings for a considerable time; for I have been conscious of the existence of just such feelings as Brigham informs me prevail in some quarters, without knowing myself the exact nature of the feelings; and while I was in the Temple last Saturday I took the opportunity, while clothed in my Temple clothes, by myself, to offer up prayer to the Lord, entreating His help and deliverance from the troubles that I felt were impending. I went to bed this evening greatly comforted and strengthened.
Tuesday, March 20/88.
This morning Bro. Geo. Reynolds intimated to me, in somewhat similar language to that of Brother Brigham’s, the need I would have for the help of the Lord and all the grace and strength I could muster during the next two or three weeks. These remarks had quite an effect upon me; for I could see that others seemed to be conscious, as well as myself, of the existence of trouble which would involve me. President Woodruff communicated to me his design this morning to have a very plain talk with the Quorum of the Twelve in regard to a Trustee-in-Trust for the Church. He informed me that there was a disposition, he thought, on the part of some of the brethren to put the properties and funds of the Church in charge of the Presiding Bishop. He felt that this was not right, and that the control of the funds belonged to him as President of the Church. He did not feel like relinquishing any prerogative of his office, but to maintain every one in the same spirit that his three predecessors had done. He said that he intended also, in connection with this subject, to suggest the organization of a First Presidency of the Church. I told him that was a subject upon which I could not speak. (In my heart I knew that the opposition to such an organization would be found to exist in the feeling that some of the brethren had against myself.)
The Council met; there were present: President Woodruff, L. Snow, E. Snow, F. D. Richards, Geo. Q. Cannon, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, and Bishops Preston and Winder, and Geo. Reynolds, clerk.
A letter from Bro. Karl G. Maeser was read, expressing the kind feelings of the teachers of the B. Y. Academy at receiving the amount due them from the Academy, through an appropriation made by the Council for the institution.
Brother Thurber also wrote a letter, acknowledging the receipt of a letter from the Council. He is dying, but expressed himself as being prepared and resigned to go and thankful for the confidence expressed by his fellow servants. I forgot to say that yesterday, having learned that the Council had addressed a joint letter to Bro. Thurber, I felt that it was my duty also to write, as he was one of my early friends, with whom I had been associated quite intimately in my youth.
We who were present of the Council signed the indemnifying bond to Francis Armstrong, Geo. Romney, John R. Winder and John O. Cutler, for $75,000., to indemnify them for a bond which they had given on James Jack’s appeal as Treasurer to the U. S. Supreme Court. We could not do this in an official capacity, to bind our successors, but we signed it to bind our heirs and assigns, it being really done in our official capacity as Apostles.
A letter of Brother Jos. F. Smith’s was also read, which was very interesting, concerning affairs in the East. Also a letter from Bro. Jesse N. Smith concerning obtaining a contract for freighting in Arizona. This was referred to Bros. B. Young and H. J. Grant to arrange for.
Bishop Preston presented plans for the Temple roof of iron. Bro. Amos Howe had made an estimate of the cost of material, freight, &c., amounting to $19,631.00. This does not include his pay nor the cost of scaffolding, &c. It was decided that we should make the contract with Bro. Howe to put on the roof.
After recess, in the afternoon, The Council of the Apostles, including Bro. Wells, met alone, President Woodruff having stated to Bishops Preston and Winder that the Apostles wanted to be alone this afternoon.
The report of the Committee, consisting of Moses Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant and W. B. Preston, was read, concerning the proper method of keeping accounts, &c. It was in this report (which President Woodruff had postponed till all were present) that the suggestion which President Woodruff objected to was found. He brought Bro. Arthur Winter, our shorthand reporter, into the Council to take the notes of what he said. Bro. Geo. Reynolds was also present.
Somebody asked if we had not better send for Bp. Preston if the report was going to be read. President Woodruff replied that he had requested Bp. Preston to not come, because he wanted to make some remarks upon this to the Council of the Apostles themselves.
Bro. H. J. Grant then suggested that if Bp. Preston was not going to be present, he did not believe it proper to have the clerks present; and upon President Woodruff expressing a wish to have a reporter present, he said emphatically that he protested, for one, against any reporter being present. If President Woodruff wanted a reporter for himself, all right; but he protested against his staying for anyone else; the remarks that he had to make on this question he could write himself if it was needed. For a young man, he spoke with considerable warmth and feeling.
In these remarks he was joined by Bro. F. M. Lyman. Bro. Moses Thatcher also said that while he would be willing to have his remarks and everything connected with this business published to the Saints, and, in fact, would like to have it done, he did not want reporters or clerks present if the Presiding Bishop could not be present.
To me the whole scene was extraordinary. I had never seen such an exhibition of disrespect to the President of the Quorum of the Twelve in all my experience as on this occasion. In President Young’s day it would have been deemed the height of presumption for one of the Apostles to have objected to his bringing in a reporter, and no man would have dared to have done such a thing. I have known, also, President Taylor bring reporters in when he wished to, without a question on the part of the brethren of the Council; for we all felt that that was his right, and no one would have had the presumption to have expressed anything against his exercising such a right.
Brother Thatcher threw out a remark to the effect that the Council should have been consulted about this.
President Woodruff, though excited, said: “I leave it with the Quorum to say. What I say I would like to have recorded, and I would like the same with the rest, if we can. But if the Quorum objects, that is for them to say.”
On them calling for a vote, he told the brethren to let it go, meekly submitting to the wish of the younger members who expressed themselves in this way.
President Woodruff then proceeded to state his views concerning the rights of the President of the Church, and illustrated his remarks by reference to the course taken by the Prophets Joseph, Brigham, and John Taylor; that they had control of the affairs of the Church, both temporal and spiritual. He said that the brethren of the Twelve were themselves interested in business matters that would occupy their attention at the present time more than retaining the control of Church affairs. He alluded to ancient men of God who stood at the head of affairs, and felt that it would be wrong in him, occupying the station which he did, to waive his prerogative. He then stated his feelings in regard to the organization of a First Presidency of the Church, and said that all the inspiration that was within him from the Lord told him that it ought to be done. He read from p. 373, vol. 18 of the “Millennial Star”, showing what Joseph had said concerning himself as Trustee-in-Trust, and that the funds should remain with the Presidency of the Church. He also alluded to the division there was among us, and that we should have more union, and spoke of their being two wagon companies organized here in this city, in one of which four of the Twelve were members, and in the other two of the Twelve and the Presiding Bishop were members, and each company was presided over by one of the Twelve. He regretted this. Before finishing, he said that he wished all the brethren to express themselves. There seemed to be, however, a difficulty arising about discussing the two subjects jointly – that is, the powers of the Trustee, and who should hold the position of the First Presidency. After some conversation, therefore, it was decided to lay the subject of the Trustee and the Report on the table, for the present, and to take up the subject of the organization of a First Presidency, as upon our decision concerning that would depend, to a great extent, our action in the other matter. Bro. Lor. Snow, therefore, motioned that it be laid on the table. Bro. Thatcher expressed some objections to this, but after other remarks he acquiesced in the arrangement.
Brother L. Snow then spoke at some length in relation to the organization of a First Presidency and read an extract from the Prophet Joseph’s remarks, contained in vol. 15, “Millennial Star”, p. 149, upon this subject. He seemed to be thoroughly of the opinion that the First Presidency should be organized, and that now was the time to do it.
Bro. E. Snow followed, and said that while he recognized the right of President Woodruff to say that this should be, still he seemed to be of the opinion that we were scarcely prepared at the present time for that; though his remarks were not of a nature to create the impression that he had any strong opposition or any particular objections to it. He thought that President Woodruff could as well receive revelations for the people while President of the Twelve as he could if he were President of the Church. He also explained how it came that he was president of one of the wagon companies.
Bro. F. D. Richards recognized the fact that the Church was not fully organized without the First Presidency, and that if we were thoroughly harmonious in our views he was as ready now to vote for that organization as at any other time. He expressed his confidence in President Woodruff and alluded to his success, and believed that the Church would unitedly sustain him. If the First Presidency were organized, the Twelve would be at liberty to do missionary labor.
I felt exceedingly delicate about speaking on this subject, because I had a feeling that one of the main objections that would be entertained by three or four of the Quorum against President Woodruff’s proposition would be found in the fear that I would be chosen as one of his counselors. I therefore spoke very briefly, saying that I felt the organization of the Church was incomplete without it, and that it should be organized at the proper time; but before any such organization is effected we should be thoroughly united. I said that in reflecting upon it there was one point that had suggested itself to me – that is, if we organize the First Presidency they might expect to become the subjects of attack from the wicked, because of their prominence.
Bro. B. Young followed next. He said this subject had not taken shape in his mind at [as] it would if he had longer time to reflect upon it. He alluded to President Taylor’s separation from the Quorum, in consequence of his being the First President, and he did not want to see those scenes re-enacted and to have President Woodruff excluded from his brethren as President Taylor had been. He thought that harmony was very essential. He then went on and spoke with much plainness about the feelings that existed. He said he had been told by one member of the Council that if Brother Preston were appointed Trustee he would be under the thumb of Moses Thatcher, and that while W. P. Preston would be Trustee in name, Moses Thatcher would dictate the policy and manage affairs. He then turned and said that if President Woodruff were to be President of the Church, and I were chosen to be a counselor, the feeling was that I would be de facto President or would wield the power that President Woodruff would nominally hold. He talked in this strain and spoke about the harmony that had existed in the two meetings while I was absent, and said that it was apparent to him that the Quorum was divided and that there were opposing forces here; that if I had been present at one of the meetings, I certainly would have been compelled – at least, he said, he would have been if he had been in my place – to have replied to remarks that had been made by Brother Thatcher, and there would have been feeling exhibited.
He said, in making these remarks he did not think I was the cause of the disunion, but that there would have been manifestations of feeling exhibited, for I could not, out of self-respect, have sat still.
These remarks produced, I thought, a little sensation, as he was touching on a subject that I have no doubt all felt must come up before we could get through with the question we had in hand.
Bro. Moses Thatcher followed, and alluded to the remarks that Bro. Brigham had made concerning a previous meeting, and then said he supposed probably it might refer to my advertized publication of the History of Joseph Smith. I gathered, however, myself, that it was some reference which he had made to the note for the gas stock that had been seized by the Receiver. He then spoke on the subject of the First Presidency and dwelt very feelingly on the happiness the Saints had enjoyed while under the Presidency of President Taylor and the Twelve; that President Taylor had received revelations and had done all that was necessary to govern the Church; and he also mentioned the success that had attended Brother Brigham Young while President of the Twelve; that under his leadership as President of the Twelve this valley had been settled and the people led out and delivered. He eulogized President Young, and made further remarks of a similar character. Before he finished it was decided to adjourn. An adjournment was taken till Wednesday morning, at 10 o’clock.
Wednesday, March 21/88:
I fasted yesterday, and I ate very little this morning; for I felt that this was a good time for me to fast and pray.
There were present the same brethren as yesterday.
Bro. L. Snow opened by prayer.
Bro. Thatcher then continued his remarks. He spoke earnestly concerning the subject under discussion, and said that President Woodruff was in as good a position to receive revelation now as he would be if he were First President of the Church and to give us the mind of the Lord for the government of the Church. He therefore did not feel that it was necessary to organize the First Presidency at the present time; in fact, his remarks would convey the idea that the First Presidency was not, in his mind, altogether essential. He dwelt considerably upon remarks made by President Young at the laying of the corner stone of the Salt Lake Temple, in April, 1853, at which time President Young had said that it was by virtue of the Apostleship that he and his counselors laid that stone, and that the office of the Presidency was a nomination by the people, &c.
During his remarks he referred to me and my policy respecting finances. One remark which I had made to him, he said, some years ago, had lodged in his mind and had been the cause of his differing with me respecting my methods. I had remarked to him that Brother Brigham had a right to spend all the finances of the Church upon himself and his family, if he chose to do so.
(It is proper that I should say in regard to this statement of his, that I afterwards explained to him and the other brethren my views concerning President Young and his rights – all of which was quite familiar to the older members of the Quorum, because I had expressed myself to them very plainly upon this subject. I said that if Bro. Thatcher had reported all my remarks he would have done me more justice than to make the bare statement which he did, as the older brethren well knew,
that I said, that I had taken the ground that the Quorum of the Twelve ought to have questioned President Young’s policy in managing the funds of the Church, and not after his death; that I had always felt and taught that it was no business of mine particularly to refuse to pay my tithing because I might think it was not properly managed; that the Lord had placed President Young as Trustee-in-Trust and it was his responsibility to take care of these matters, and if he wasted them, he was responsible. I had never, however, made so broad a statement as he now said I had made, without qualification. It was a thing I did not believe in.)
Brother Thatcher stated that he separated from me at that time in his feelings, because of my views. He dwelt very feelingly on the responsibility that he was under to the people and how he would like to be able to give them a full account, and he did not believe in the methods which had been adopted.
One would almost draw the inference from his remarks that I was the author of these methods, and that I was not in favor of the people knowing how funds were expended as much as he was.
(Subsequently I stated that I was as anxious to have all things known concerning the funds of the Church as he possibly could be; that I had been as particular in handling funds, in every position that I had occupied as Bro. Thatcher or any other man in this Church could be; that I had been entrusted while in my youth, by President Young, with the unusual power – a power that I never knew him to give to any other Elder – to draw funds without check, and that he had confidence in me and in my honesty and uprightness through all the latter part of his life, and he had known me better than Brother Thatcher did.)
Brother Thatcher spoke of the policy pursued while President Taylor was sick, during the latter months of his life, while I was acting alone as one of the First Presidency, and seemed to have the feeling that whatever troubles were coming upon us in regard to securing our property were, in great part, due to my management. He alluded to the note of James Jack for $45,000., in the bank, and asked the question, “would that have not been taken care of if we had been consulted?”, &c. He seemed to be dissatisfied with the organization of the ecclesiastical associations by alluding to the transfer of the Logan Temple to the Church Association, by which, he thought, the property was endangered, and also intimated that the transfer of other property to that Association was not likely to be attended with safe results.
The next speaker was Brother F. M. Lyman. He explained his connection with the wagon business, and said that if it was contrary to the feelings of the Saints and this Council, he would dissolve his connection with that Company. He then proceeded to dwell on the organization of the First Presidency. He thought we ought to be united, so that whoever might be chosen as President Woodruff’s Counselors we could uphold them by our faith and prayers and be men in whom we could have confidence. He then brought up my name and proceeded to dwell upon my characteristics, and stated that if I were to be selected as Counselor to President Woodruff, the brethren of this Council and many of the Saints would feel opposed in their hearts to the appointment, and then proceeded to give his reasons therefor. One of his first charges was, that word had been sent to the Legislative Assembly which had recently sat, from President Woodruff
[six pages torn from journal at an unknown time]
to me and telling me? Or why have you, before this Council, made this terrible, grave charge against me when you have had so many opportunities of coming to me personally?
When I asked these questions, his face was a sight. I did it in a very impressive manner, and, of course, the whole Council listened.
He acknowledged that he had made the promise. Then, said I, you have broken the promise, have you not? He said, yes; he had. He appeared to be dumbfounded for a moment. I do not know how he felt; but it seems to me that if I had been put in such a position before my brethren of the Apostles and found guilty of making false accusations against one of my fellow-servants, and of breaking a solemn promise of this character, which was so strictly in keeping with the requirements of the Gospel, wherein we are required, if one have fault to find with his brother, that he go to him alone and tell him the cause of his feelings, I should have been overwhelmed and should have felt as though I would want to hide my head.
Brother Lyman afterwards said that he was sorry he had not kept that promise, but he had forgotten it. He was sorry that he had not come to me and told me himself of these things.
After recess, considerable conversation took place respecting the action to be taken by Brother Grant, as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, concerning the plan which was proposed of purchasing a block in this city, on which to erect a Chamber of Commerce building.
I took no part in this; I felt too full to say anything. The Council decided, however, that Bro. Grant should attend the meeting this evening and do as he was led by the Spirit.
When the remarks of the brethren became of a personal character to me, it was plain to all that no further discussion on the question of a First Presidency could go on, and it was decided that that subject should be laid aside. President Woodruff said he did not wish the brethren to speak any more about it; but he wanted, now that these charges were made against me, that everything should be gone to the bottom.
I said to the brethren that I desired them to bring forward everything that they had in their hearts against me. If I had done wrong, I wanted to know it and to repent of it. I hoped there would be the most searching scrutiny instituted.
Brother John Henry Smith expressed himself to the effect and insisted that no successful statement of these things could be effected except by a thorough auditing of the books and accounts of the Church, which three of the brethren who were on the underground might do. He thought that as myself and Bro. Jos. F. Smith were members of the First Presidency whose administration would be examined, he would not suggest our names, but that others should do this.
President Woodruff said that the books were not in a condition to be obtained in a day; but as soon as they could be available he was willing.
Brother Thatcher supported the idea advanced by Brother Smith, that the books should be audited, and that these matters could not be settled until they were; that there were feelings against me, and they wanted these books to ascertain the true facts and, if possible, vindicate me.
He had already made serious charges against me, and I remarked that I did not want him to engage in my vindication. It would be a strange proceeding for a man who had made such charges against me, that he should take upon himself the duty of vindicating me. I was capable, I thought, with the help of the Lord, of doing that myself.
Well, he said, he wanted the books anyway, to look through.
I remarked, is <it> the idea, then, to have the books to go on a foraging expedition against me, to find out what there is to be brought against me? Why should this be done in my case and in no other of the brethren’s? What I desire, and what I want, is, that if my brethren have any charges against me, let them reduce these to writing and make them definite, that I can meet them. I am not disposed to having vague charges made against me, and then I not to be in a position to reply properly and definitely to them.
Brother L. Snow arose, and with much force and with the spirit and power of the Lord, spoke in regard to myself. He said that he knew I was a man of God, and that he would pledge himself that nothing would be found against me in any form. He had known me for years, and he knew that these charges were all unfounded, and that my character would be found above reproach. He spoke in this strain at considerable length.
Of course, situated as I am, these words were like balm to my wounded spirit, and I felt exceedingly grateful to him for them.
I said to Bro. Thatcher that if he had charges to make, I wanted him to make them for himself. I said, you have spoken as though you voiced the feelings of the Council on other occasions. I told him that I was his peer and a member of this Council and entitled to all the privileges and rights belonging to that position, and that if he had any charge against me he must speak for himself and not for the brethren; they could speak for themselves. I was ready to meet everything that he had to say. I did not concede that I was one whit behind him in any good desire that he expressed, concerning our methods of keeping accounts or managing the finances, or in regard to my personal conduct in any department in which I had labored.
To this he made some reply, denying that he had attempted to give the feelings of the Quorum or to represent them.
The facts are, however, that on several occasions he has spoken in that way and put me in the attitude of being opposed to the brethren of the Twelve, when he was only giving utterance to his own feelings and the feelings of two or three who felt like him.
He stated considerably concerning the Bullion-Beck mine and the distrust which had been shown towards him in this matter. He spoke almost pathetically about the great sacrifice which he had made in putting in $5000. in that property and about his other sacrifices. He alluded to the iron mines and what he had done in regard to them; how he had risked his life in going into coalpits where the timbers were rotten and almost ready to fall, in compliance with President Taylor’s request; that $60,000. had been put in there by the Church to save me from financial ruin; that I had opposed almost everything that he had proposed. He alluded to an article in the Juvenile Instructor, which had been written by me, and which, he said, had nearly destroyed his character, which he had been about 25 years in building up; also the course that had been taken by me in regard to J. T. Hammond, of Cache Valley, in preventing his nomination to the Legislature; and that, to show that they would not be interfered with, the members of the Legislature had appointed him to a great many offices, and he went on enumerating what these were.
I made a full explanation of the Bullion-Beck affair. I said, Bro. Thatcher says he put $5000. into the mine. I myself have put in $22,500. and have taken upon myself a debt that has been very heavy upon me, because I desired to carry out President Taylor’s wishes. I had no more to show what I had done in this business than Bro. Thatcher had. I then went on to explain concerning the transfer by us of three-fifths of the stock to President Taylor, giving him the absolute control thereof – that is, myself and Bro. John Beck had done this, and Brother Taylor had also done it himself; and I stated how it came that President Taylor had signed a document transferring this stock to me before his death; that I had been quite willing that Bro. Thatcher’s share of that should be taken possession of by himself. I did not wish, after the manifestations of a want of confidence which he had exhibited, to have anything to do with it. I <had> told him before, and now tell him again, that, so far as I was concerned, he could have the entire control of that.
At this point he asked me again if I was willing to do this.
I told him I had stated that two or three times before, and I now repeated it, that he was at entire liberty to have this.
After some conversation and explanations, I told him that I would not ask a bond from him for the money I paid in on this reserved stock of Bro. Beck’s, if he did not wish any dividend from Bro. Beck’s stock. He said he did not. So he expressed himself, after my explanation, as being entirely satisfied with the Bullion-Beck matter. President Woodruff was particularly desirous that he should get from him an expression on this point, and he expressed himself that he was entirely satisfied. I then explained concerning the iron mines. I had put in $10,000. in cash in that. But I was asked by Bro. Thatcher, and also by Bro. Grant, respecting notes for $40,000. which I had given to Thomas Taylor. I said that I had given these notes, but they were afterwards surrendered. They asked me if, in surrendering them, the Church had not taken my place. I told them, no; that President Taylor had intended to take the same interest in the company that I had; but the Lord revealed to him that he should not do so, and he had not done so, and had succeeded in getting Brother Thomas Taylor to surrender my notes to me and to form a new organization; and that it was after this transaction had been completed and a new arrangement had been made that the Church took the interest which it held; that instead of there being $60,000. the Church had only $35,000. in it; I had $10,000. and President Taylor had $10,000.; making in all $55,000., a mortgage for which was made in Bp. Preston’s favor. I had not the scratch of a pen to show the interest I had in this. During my explanations, several questions were propounded to me by one and another, and I answered them. I explained about Bro. Hammond’s case, and Bro. John W. Taylor, who was a member of the last legislature, also said that he refused to obey counsel. I told them that it was not my individual wish alone. President Taylor was desirous that men who would not listen to counsel should not represent the people in the Legislature. I also explained concerning the article in the Juvenile Instructor; that I had told Bro. Thatcher more than once that it was not intended to be personal to him. Brother Thatcher expressed satisfaction in regard to the iron mines, as also Bros. Lyman and Grant.
It was with profound gratitude this evening, on my part, that the Council closed. I felt that the Lord had been with me, and that he shielded me from the attacks which were made against me. A more complete failure to substantiate anything of a tangible nature against an accused person I never saw in all my experience. I felt to thank the Lord with all my heart, and I thought to myself it was a good thing to have the Lord for a friend.
Thursday, March 22/88.
Council met this morning. All the brethren who were present yesterday were there to-day. Bro. F. D. Richards prayed.
While waiting for Bro. E. Snow, a letter from Bro. Macdonald, of Maricopa, was read. It was voted that a letter be sent to meet Bro. Macdonald at St. George, in reply to his communication.
President Woodruff asked if there was anything in the minds of Bros. Lyman and Thatcher that they wished to say concerning me.
Brother Thatcher then read the conditions of the indemnifying bond which I had requested him to sign for the share that he received of the dividends on the consecrated stock of Bro. Beck.
This surprised me, because I supposed the Bullion-Beck affair had been finally dismissed and ended yesterday, and said to him that I thought there was no need to read that now, as the matter was settled. I did not ask him nor expect him to sign it, if it did not suit him, and told him that he could sign any bond he wished, to protect me. I thought it was a fair proposition[.] If he received money from me, and for which I might be called into question, and he was not known in the matter by Bro. Beck, it was no more than fair, I thought, that he should protect me. As it was, however, there was no need for a bond now.
He then spoke about the injurious consequences which had followed him because he had been accused of teaching false doctrine, and about a telegram being sent to him by the First Presidency (which he attributed to me) asking him to return and thereby endanger himself. Also that I had put him in great jeopardy by arranging for him to speak at Ogden on the 4th July, and in consequence of this he had been deprived of his liberty. Also that I had expressed a feeling that the Twelve ought to be in the world, preaching. Also that my brother Angus had told the High Council that he had sat down on two or three of the Twelve. Also that Bro. Merrill had refused to admit any of the Twelve into the Temple without a recommend. He also alluded to the comments upon President Woodruff’s circular by the Deseret News, which were very bungling, and which had not been made until two weeks had elapsed after the circular had been issued.
Those sort of charges, to me, appeared like peurilities. It is most extraordinary that a man of God, a member of the Twelve Apostles, should have feelings against a member of the First Presidency for no better reasons than these. Brother L. Snow arose and gave his experience. He said that he received instructions from the First Presidency —and perhaps I was the one who had suggested it to President Taylor, for anything he knew—giving him a certain mission, which he was called upon to perform. He knew at the time he received that counsel that in all probability it would be the means of consigning him to the penitentiary, as he could not carry the counsel out without exposing himself. He had, however, proceeded to carry out the instructions that he had received and, as he had expected, it was the means of his being sent to the penitentiary, and he thanked God that he had gone there. Said he, shall I question the wisdom of this? Shall I blame the First Presidency for sending me to the penitentiary by giving me this counsel? No. I believe that when we do that which we are required to do by those who have the right to dictate us in our labors, God will bless us and will deliver us, and will overrule that which we do for His glory and our salvation. He spoke very strongly in this strain. He called such things as Bro. Thatcher had been speaking about, childish. He said Bro. Thatcher must pardon him, but such talk was childish.
In reply to Bro. Thatcher, I said that I could not speak about the telegram that he alluded to. If he could give me the date, I thought I could find something that would throw light upon the reasons which prompted us in sending that dispatch; but it was impossible for me to recall, among the many items of this kind, this particular one. We had been for years doing business of this kind, and I could not recall the particular reason for this; but I knew very well that it had not been for the purpose of endangering him.
I said I could not be blamed for all the acts of Presidents of Stakes or of my own brother, or for Brother Merrill’s conduct towards the Twelve. It would be a most remarkable thing for me to be held accountable for conduct of that kind on the part of brethren all over the country, or for the bungling remarks of the Deseret News upon President Woodruff’s circular, or for the circulation of those remarks. True, I was connected with the Deseret News; but I was no more so than Bro. Jos. F. Smith or Bro. F. D. Richards, and was not in a position to revise or supervise anything connected with the articles which appear in that paper. I went on and spoke of the relations that had existed between myself and the First Presidency during President Young’s lifetime, and my relations with the Twelve Apostles; that I had never done anything that I knew of that would give them feelings against me. I had been singled out by President Young and made conspicuous by his kindness to me, sometimes to my great embarrassment; but I had never heard of my brethren having any feelings against me on that ground, and I felt to regret exceedingly that feelings should now arise. I had been accused of being head and shoulders above my brethren. It was not my wish to be so. I had not sought prominence; I had desired to remain in the background, and not to be noticed. I was quite willing that others should come forward. But President Woodruff needed my services. I had told him that I would prefer going on a mission to being anywhere to be a cause of offense to my brethren.
I cannot write all that I expressed; but it was in this strain; and I repeatedly said that I had nothing to bring against my fellow servants, no charge, nor any feeling, and if they had any feeling against me I regretted it and I wished to know what it was and how I could make amends; for I did wish to live at peace and in union with my brethren.
While I was speaking, Bro. Thatcher alluded to the remarks which I had made concerning his going to Washington, to labor with Bro. Young. I had hurt his feelings on that occasion by objecting to his going to Washington.
I explained to him the reason why I objected. I was aware, from what he said, of his feeling towards Bro. Young. I had some idea of Bro. Young’s feelings towards him. I knew they could not work together harmoniously, and that it would be an unwise thing to send him there. This was not from any personal feeling against him, but was prompted by the purest motives.
Brother L. Snow spoke and said that he also objected to Bro. Thatcher going. Said he, I expressed myself more strongly than Bro. Cannon did on this subject, for I felt that you ought not to go
I also explained to him why the arrangement had been made for him to go to Ogden to speak on the 4th of July. Brother Shurtliff had come to me and had suggested that someone be selected, and we had canvassed names. Of all the names suggested I felt that Bro. Moses Thatcher was the one best suited. It was because I had confidence in him and thought him capable that I had suggested him, not for the purpose of getting him into trouble. I looked upon it more as a compliment than anything else; but unfortunately he felt that he had been put in a position on that occasion that had resulted in trouble. Now, said I, suppose I should have these feelings against President Taylor. He desired me to go to Mexico. He hurried me off. The result was, I fell into the hands of my enemies. Shall I have feelings against President Taylor on this account, and blame him for this? God forbid that I should entertain such a thought! I believe that when we do that which we are told to do, God will overrule it for our good and will bring forth, as Bro. Snow said He had in his case, His purposes.
We had some conversation also concerning the position taken by myself after President Taylor’s death; that I had sat at the table and presided while President Woodruff was present. Another thing which he alluded to in the course of his remarks was that he saw people were disposed to pay me respect which he thought ought to be given to President Woodruff. For instance, he said, Bro. LeGrand Young would come into the office and would address me as President Cannon, and he would address President Woodruff as Brother Woodruff.
I explained how it was that I had done as I had at President Taylor’s death. I had not intended to slight President Woodruff. I said I need not defend myself against any charge as to my views concerning the right of the senior Apostle, because the elder brethren knew where I stood on that question, they having heard me at the time of the death of President Young.
Bro. Richards also explained that a vote had been taken to have myself and Bro. Jos. F. Smith continue our labors till a majority of the Twelve could be present.
After recess, President Woodruff arose and enumerated the several items which had been made by the brethren during the past two days against me, and stated how false they were. He spoke with great feeling and power; said it was most painful to hear such things. He had never seen such a spirit in the Twelve since the days of Kirtland; said he could not sleep because of the effect of these things upon him. We must stop these divisions and fault-finding one with another and bringing false accusations against each other, or we may as well throw up the sponge and everyone go his own way. These charges had been made and they had not been proved.
Brother John H. Smith was then called upon to speak. He said that he had unloaded his feelings at Bro. Armstrong’s some time since. He went on then to allude to the $25,000. which had been appropriated by the Council to the Savings Bank, and asked what had been done with it – why some report had not been made of it. He also alluded to feelings which had arisen among the members of the Legislature because of apparent division in the Twelve. He cited the case of the bill giving a fourth judicial district and two places to hold sessions of court – Provo and Nephi. It had been stated to him that Bro. Richards favored one view and that I favored another; and he went on and built up in his remarks quite a structure on the evil of this condition of affairs and how it might be avoided if we would only get together, and instead of one giving counsel, as he thought I had done, all give counsel unitedly. He said he had become suspicious by being thrown into the company of a man who was the most suspicious man he ever knew (referring to Robert R. Anderson), and went on and told how Anderson had accumulated information concerning the transgressions of leading men, which he had in a book, and in consequence of this he had become suspicious himself. He gave his version also of the altercation that took place between himself and me the other evening respecting the gas stock note. Before he concluded he gave his view concerning the organization of the First Presidency, which he thought ought not to be at the present time. It would injure our prospects, possibly, for success in our State movement. He said he held nothing against any brother and believed that a little time would enable him to feel his confidence in me fully restored.
President Woodruff explained about the Savings Bank and the stock the Church held in it, and his explanations seemed to be quite satisfactory.
I then said to the brethren that the remarks made by Bro. J. H. Smith concerning Bro. Richards and myself being opposed to each other’s counsel was a good illustration of how large a structure of misapprehension could be erected on a baseless foundation. The fact was, I had never seen any member of the Legislature Council alone, to speak on the question, which he had heard I had done. I had studiously avoided this. I had met with President Woodruff at his house the members interested in this matter, and I had then stated my feelings to them, but not to give them counsel. The whole thing, I said, was incorrect concerning my action in this matter.
Bro. J. H. Smith and myself again had some words over the affair the other night. I was not satisfied with his version of it. I thought that he put me in a wrong light. Before we got through, however, he said he saw that there was a misunderstanding. I told him that if he had not mentioned this matter I should not have mentioned it. I supposed it was ended, and that the matter was entirely satisfactory to him, as it was to me. He came forward finally and shook hands with me.
Friday, March 23/88.
The same brethren were present to-day as yesterday. Letters from Ammon M. Tenney and C. O. Card were read.
Then Bro. H. J. Grant spoke. He reviewed several occurrences in the past which had taken place at Bro. Armstrong’s. He felt that the majority of the Council should act on all matters, and not one or two individuals. He referred to the Savings Bank and a number of other things in which I was concerned; but closed by saying that he hoped all unkind things would be wiped out, never to be revived again.
It appears from his remarks that at various times I have offended him and I do not know how. Bro. Lyman, in his remarks the other day, stated that Bro. Grant had spoken against me to him as long ago as the time when he was appointed President of the Tooele Stake, and that he had endeavored to explain those charges, but that finally he himself had got to believe the things that Bro. Grant had said concerning me.
I felt greatly grieved at Bro. Grant’s attitude – a young man like he is. I have wounded his self-love and he seems to feel badly because he thinks I do not like him.
After his remarks I stated my feelings in regard to the disposition which was shown to find fault with and question the acts of the Presidency. I said I had been trained in a school which made me look with reverence upon the man who presided over me. I alluded to the remarks that had been made by Bro. J. H. Smith concerning the wisdom of the suggestion made by the First Presidency respecting the hoisting of the flag at half mast on the 4th [of] July. He evidently thought it unwise and presumed to criticize it. I also alluded to remarks made concerning my statement about the Twelve going on missions, and other acts and counsels which the First Presidency had given and which were attributed to me, though President Taylor was living and was the President of the Church. I stated that there was one feature of President Young’s character which I had admired exceedingly. I had been very intimate with him the last 12 years of his life – as intimate probably as any man could be with another. I had been with him in public and in private, when men threw off restraint and talked freely; but at no time in my life had I ever heard an expression or a word from President Young that reflected on the policy of the Prophet Joseph or upon any of his acts. It was this loyalty to his leader that had distinguished him in Kirtland when ten of the Twelve had opposed Joseph, which opposition resulted in the excommunication of several of them from the Church. The Prophet Joseph’s acts were no doubt open to criticism, if men chose to do so. Apostates had found plenty of fault with him, concerning the bank in Kirtland, and other measures. I might have alluded – although I did not – to the last public act of his life, viz.; the destruction, as mayor of the city, of the Expositor press in Nauvoo, which had brought upon him public indignation to a great extent. But respecting these things President Young had never found any fault. This had created a very deep admiration in me for him. I said that President Young also, successful and great though he was, and Bro. Geo. A. Smith as well, had counseled many things that might be criticized. There was the United Order; and to go back beyond that, to the days of Prests. Young and Kimball, there was the settling of San Bernardino, the settling of Genoa, in Carson Valley, the sending of a settlement to Salmon River; and a great many things might be criticized if men were disposed to indulge in that spirit. I was thankful I had never had a feeling of that kind, and I hope I never shall have, for I think it exceedingly dangerous. When men do the best they can and seek the counsel of the Lord, the Lord will overrule their acts for good and out of seeming failure He will bring forth His purposes. I had endeavored to the very best of my ability to do my duty. Of course, I had erred, no doubt. I was a human being and might do many things that were not right, still I claimed that I had sought to do right and to avoid everything that would lead to evil.
I told the brethren that this was a great affliction. I had suffered very much in my feelings; and in view of such painful conversation as these the prison lost its terrors. I would rather endure imprisonment in the hands of my enemies than be subjected to such criticisms and be brought in contact with such a spirit. I said I have been somewhat conspicuous and have therefore been censured; but suppose I should sink so low as to cease to be an object of attack or to be considered worthy to be noticed in this way, will this spirit that has been manifested be content? Who will be the next that may be attacked?
At this point, Bro. L. Snow spoke up. Says he, Do you want me to tell you, Geo. Q.? Says he, I’ll tell you: it will be President Woodruff.
I said that at a previous meeting, when some remarks were made intimating that the brethren thought I might have some ambition for office or to be President, when I disclaimed any such feeling or desire I had stated that I was profoundly thankful to the Lord and had thanked Him a number of times in my prayers that it was not my lot to preside over the Quorum of the Twelve or over the Church. Bro. Thatcher had asked me on that occasion why I had that feeling. I had then declined to answer; but I thought that now I could make a reply to that question and state my reasons for having that feeling. I would not for the world, unless it were God’s direct command, occupy such a position with such a spirit as has been manifested – this spirit of division and this disposition to find fault. (President Woodruff has called this several times, in the course of his remarks during these meetings, watching for iniquity and making a man an offender for a word). To me it would be most unpleasant to have to act as a Counselor, under such circumstances. I would shrink from the position, and nothing but what I felt to be the will of God, manifested in the proper way, could induce me, after the experience I had had, to stand in that relationship to the President again.
Brother John W. Taylor was then called upon to speak. I wish I could give a verbatim report of his remarks. He was filled with the Spirit of God and spoke with great power. Perhaps it appeared more so to me because his remarks were in agreement with my own feelings. He said it was evident that the Spirit of the Lord did not reign in our midst, and that we were divided. He went on then to speak in the strongest terms concerning the proceedings and said that I had been most cruelly attacked and not a charge had been sustained against me; that he had always thought I was the right man to be where I was, but that since these meetings he had become convinced that I was the man who ought to be with President Woodruff and to be his Counselor, for God was with me. I had been called intelligent, and I had been called able; but this was the intelligence and ability which came from God. God had been with me; and when he saw me stand up, as I had done, and modestly reply to the charges which had been heaped upon me, he felt that I was a different man to him; for he never could, judging by his past experience, have borne so patiently and answered in the manner I had done the charges which had been made against me. He said, (and while speaking his frame trembled under the influence of the Spirit) “All these things originate in envy and jealousy.” While he was speaking Bro. Moses Thatcher interrupted him and took down some of his remarks; but Bro. Taylor kept on and bore a solemn testimony that what he said was under the influence of the Holy Ghost and were words of truth, and he was responsible for them before the Lord and his brethren. His remarks evidently displeased some of the brethren. He stated that when President Woodruff had remarked that the inspiration of God in him indicated that the First Presidency should be organized, he believed him and received it as a revelation from the Lord, and the First Presidency ought to be organized. He quoted from the Book of Covenants concerning what the Lord said about His disciples forgiving each other.
While I had been speaking concerning President Young, Bro. Thatcher interrupted me and asked me if I remembered a very strong document that President Young had signed, with others, in relation to some conduct of President Joseph Smith’s. I remarked, in reply, that I did not care to talk about that. What I said was my personal experience with President Young.
After Bro. Taylor had got through, Bro. Thatcher arose and said that while he thought Bro. Taylor was quite sincere, he thought his remarks were ill-considered. He then went on to dwell upon the difference which existed between the Twelve and Joseph in early days, and how thankful the Prophet was at being remonstrated with by his brethren, and he asked their forgiveness and expressed the pleasure it gave him to be thus remonstrated with. He also quoted what President Young had said at Logan concerning Brother Joseph having preached a sermon in which there was no light. He took issue with Bro. John W. Taylor and thought him wrong.
Bro. D. H. Wells afterwards spoke. He talked at considerable length about his relationship to the Quorum of the Twelve and the feelings that were aroused. He referred to the scenes that had taken place after President Young’s death and what he had suggested as a revelation at that time.
Of course, all this was more or less connected with my case – to my attitude on that occasion. He ventilated his feelings, which have been very much wounded at times, and over which he has felt sore. It seems that in his mind he considers me, to a certain extent, responsible for this. But the facts are, Bro. Wells does not know what my feelings were towards him and how I would have aided him, if I had had the power, on the occasions he referred to. He said there were some things in his heart about me that he would not mention – that we would have to settle privately. I do not know what these are, but I suppose they refer to something connected with John Q. He was in favor of the organization of the First Presidency, and thought that the Twelve ought not to be here “playing presidents.” He [Remainder of page cut at an unknown time]
(March 23rd. continued in next book.)
[The first leaf of Journal No. 21 containing pages numbered 1 and 2 was torn out, approx. 600 words]
I said Bros. E. Snow and F. M. Lyman ought to remember what I said on that occasion. They came from the Twelve and gave us the names of several whom they were talking about with a view to selecting one to make him the President. On that occasion I said I thought Abraham was too young for so responsible a station, and that I would be obliged to them if they would tell the brethren of the Twelve that I did not want him appointed, unless the Spirit of God clearly manifested that he was the man.
Bro. Lyman assented to this; he remembered, he said, my making those remarks.
Bro. J. H. Smith also arose and said, I can bear testimony that this is true, for you told me yourself that you did not want Abraham appointed. You were afraid that as he was your second son, it might bring jealousy or feeling between him and his elder brother. Concerning my brother Angus, who was President of Salt Lake Stake, I said I was in Washington when he was appointed. I knew nothing of it, and had not the remotest connection with it
One of the Twelve – I think Bro. Thatcher – asked me at this point how about my brother David.
I said my brother David had been appointed as Bishop in St. George without my knowledge. His present position – Counselor to the President of the Stake – was in consequence of Bro. McAllister sending up two or three names to be selected from. David’s name stood at the head of the list. I had nothing to say about it, inasmuch as it was my brother. But President Taylor had nominated him, and I had no reason to object to him because he was my brother, and the nomination was made.
The Lamberts now in the News Office had been employed without my interference. George, when he came from his mission, was employed by the Manager of the New Office who was exceedingly anxious to get him. I had never said a word nor done anything to favor it. Chas. John Lambert, who was manager of the paper mill, had been employed many years ago, when a young man, to go to work in the paper mill and had learned the business. This is all that can be said upon this point, only for me to repeat that I have had nothing to do with the appointment of any of these to any position which they hold. I have told my boys that I never wanted them to hold public office, unless they were forced to do so; but to endeavor to live without it. Allusions had been made, so I had heard, to John Q. being nominated again to the City Council, and I had been credited with having done this. Bro. Lyman was present on the occasion and he ought to be able to bear witness that I never mentioned John Q.’s name. I did not support it; and it was my intention to urge him as I did afterwards, to decline the position. Bro. F. D. Richards, I remarked, is in a position to state what he has heard me say concerning my relatives holding positions where I had the opportunity to control matters. He was a member of the Deseret News Co., with myself, and he has heard me say more than once that there were too many of a family around the establishment and I was opposed to it.
Bro. Richards said he had heard me make that remark a number of times.
Bro. Wells had made some remarks respecting whose right it was to preside after President Young’s death, which enabled me to bear testimony that I had heard President Young designate President Taylor as the man that should lead or preside in his absence. This he did at a meeting at Mt. Pleasant, in Sanpete Co. He had also explained to me the reasons why Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt were changed from occupying the two leading positions in the Quorum of the Twelve to the third and fourth positions in that Quorum, Brothers Taylor and Woodruff being moved up ahead of them. He had explained this to me because we were arranging the names of the Authorities, which I was to present to the General Conference. Brother E. Snow then spoke. He got on to a somewhat similar strain to Bro. Wells in regard to the evil consequences which follow the association of men who say “Yes, Yes” to whatsoever their leaders say. Sycophants should not be near leaders. He spoke in admiration of Bro. Geo. A. Smith. He dwelt considerably upon this subject; talked about toadies, sycophants, curs who yelp at the heels of men when the big dog barks, and a good deal in a similar strain.
The relevancy of his remarks to the question at issue was not apparent, unless it was his intention to convey the idea that I was one of this class. I should have felt exceedingly hurt at his remarks if I had thought they were applicable to me; but a consciousness of innocence in regard to these things sustained me. I did not believe that I was a sycophant, or that I ever had lacked independence enough to tell my feelings frankly and plainly to my brethren. I might not do it offensively, nor in a way to make a quarrel; but President Young had known me <from boyhood and> for 12 years <before he died. I was>
and if I one of his most intimate and trusted friends and made his chief executor, and if I had been one of a class such as Bro. Snow described, I cannot think that he would have ever retained the friendship which he did for me up to the hour of his death. Certainly, I have talked as plainly to President Taylor as Bro. Snow ever had, or any other man, I think, in regard to matters, whenever occasion required it. If I differed with him, he always found it out without any trouble, and I believe he respected me for my independence. I certainly have never concealed from him what he ought to know or been a toady to him. Bro. Snow spoke of his loyalty to President Young and alluded to his own independence, and rather, I thought, commended the brethren for their independence in telling their thoughts as they had done. He praised Bro. Grant for his speech that he had made, and had not one word to say disapprovingly of the spirit that had been manifested or the charges which had been made, and which had not been sustained by any evidence. I scarcely expected this from Bro. <Erastus> Snow, because I thought his experience would have enabled him to see the dangerous ground upon which these young men stood; but he seemed to direct his remarks to me, and said finally that this was the thing he feared for me: that through my reverence for my leaders and my disposition to obedience and willingness to do whatever I was called to do, I might not be so good for that position as another. He praised my qualities in this respect; but qualified it by conveying the idea that I was inclined too much to render unquestioned obedience and to submit to whatever the President should say was right. He did not know but that I might have influenced President Woodruff in regard to this matter of the First Presidency, and that if the First Presidency were organized it would soar above the heads of the Twelve. Many of his remarks were very excellent, as they always are – for Bro. Snow is a man of great experience and a wise man, for whose judgment I have always entertained a very high regard; but I cannot feel that his present course in regard to these young men is a wise one. I believe that they derive encouragement from him, and that the spirit which he seems to admire so much – the spirit of independence and of frankness in giving utterance to these things – is a spirit which, with the natural tendency of some of the brethren, is dangerous for them to be encouraged in.
Bro. John W. Taylor said that Bro. Snow’s statements were startling to him. He seemed to think that we were sycophants and toadies, – curs barking at the heels of people. He went on <in> this strain, took up several of Bro. Snow’s remarks, and said that he could not understand them. Bro. Snow disclaimed having any reference to the brethren; his remarks were general.
After Bro. Taylor sat down, President Woodruff arose, and he went after Bro. Snow with a vigor that is unusual. He said he was a man who did not know what he was talking about. When he said things he had no idea how they sounded and how they cut other people’s feelings. Turning to me, he said he believed Geo. Q. Cannon was as independent a man as there was among us; that I had not concealed my feelings from President Taylor; that I had not influenced him; and that I had not endeavored to get between him and the Twelve, or to get him from meeting with the Twelve. He said that Bro. Snow was a man he could not get along with, their ways were so different. Bro. Snow would always be behind his appointments. At St. George he would come to meeting at the time it should be dismissed, and then would get up and spend an hour or two in whipping the people. Prominent men had said to him at St. George that they did not want to go to meeting, because they did not want to be whipped. He said, speaking about nepotism, there was scarcely an office in the South, it was said, that there was not a Snow in. He did not know whether this was so or not, but these are the statements which are made.
I felt, after he got through, that I did not want to say one word scarcely; yet in regard to the statement that I had influenced President Woodruff respecting the First Presidency I wished to state solemnly, before my brethren, that I have not done anything of this kind. I neither suggested such a thing or in any manner said or done anything that could have contributed towards bringing the matter to President Woodruff’s mind.
Brother Snow stated that he accepted President Woodruff’s rebuke and thanked him for it, and hoped that he would continue to admonish him whenever he needed it.
President Woodruff, in reply, said that he asked Bro. Snow to pardon him if he had said anything that was improper.
I was pleased at this, for it pained me to have anything occur between these two aged servants of God, arising out of anything with which my name was connected.
Remarks were made by Bro. Wells concerning my expressions to President Young concerning his son John W. He seemed to think that I had spoken warmly in his favor when I ought not to have done; so he attributed this to sycophancy.
I defended myself against this by stating that I had a very high regard for John W. Young and, as the brethren knew, I had defended him here in this Quorum, though I considered he had faults; but he was of a lovable nature and had many traits of character which were admirable. I had not stated anything to President Young concerning John W. that I did not believe. It was while I was in Washington that his name was brought forward as one of the First Presidency. After I returned, President Young told me what had occurred between himself and the Twelve concerning John W. and asked my views. I then told him plainly my feelings; but I had concluded by saying to him that I thought he had the right to select his Counselors.
At this point, Bro. Thatcher questioned me as to my view about the President’s right.
I replied that I thought he had a perfect right, as well as every other man who held office, to have a choice as to his counselors. Of course, I did not consider that he was the only one to be consulted; that his brethren, or the Ward, or the Stake, over which they would be called to preside, or the Church, should have some voice in this matter.
Considerable conversation ensued upon this topic. Bro. B. Young was then called upon to state his feelings upon this subject. He made remarks which were very grateful to my feelings. He spoke in the highest terms of me and my relations with his father, and of my ability manifested in assisting his father in doing things which he himself (Brigham, Jr.,), however much he would like to have done, could not do. He spoke very eulogistically of my talent. He said that I had imperfections, no doubt; if I had not, I could not stay here.
He was followed by Bro. F. D. Richards. He spoke about the deference which he entertained for his President and for those who were his seniors. His remarks were of a character to show what he thought was the proper principle in these matters. In regard to myself, he said he knew the great labors I had performed and his sympathies were called out for me. He said he thought I had carried a great load and I had worked with great zeal, and he had felt to approve of my course. He thought I had done as well as it would be possible for a man to do, under the circumstances. Bro. Wells again spoke and made further remarks upon the subjects that had been up, alluding again to the counsel which I had given John Q. in his matter. He seemed to be anxious to get his views out on this and all other matters, and expressed the good feeling that he had for me and the respect which he had for my ability. He thought that I was a very capable man, etc.
The remarks which he and the other brethren had made concerning my abilities have made me feel ashamed. I do not take pleasure in listening to them in connection with these affairs. Of course, in the midst of the storm that has been raging, it is pleasing to hear remarks from those whom I know speak their true feelings when they dwell upon my good qualities; but to hear myself praised in one breath and then condemned in the next, is not agreeable to me.
It was decided to adjourn until 10 o’clock on Monday. President Woodruff is about worn out. He has remarked to me that the second day of our meetings seemed almost like a hell to him, there was such a spirit manifested. A better feeling, however, prevailed afterwards. In making a record of what occurred, I do not wish to do my brethren the least injustice. There were many kindly expressions, and it was repeatedly said that we would arrive at a better understanding of each other and of our affairs by these conversations. I trust we will. I sincerely believe all the brethren desire to do right. But the matter that astonishes me is how such terrible misconceptions should arise concerning myself and my conduct. It seems as though Satan has been very industrious in sowing the seeds of distrust and dissatisfaction. As I remarked, a man may have two wives; one pleases him better than the other and is a favorite with him, and whatever she says or does appears right in his eyes. If the other wife, who may not be so well liked, should say and do the same things, he would get angry and attribute her remarks and actions to wrong motives. There seems to have been an inclination to view every act of the late First Presidency which was not pleasing, as originating with me, and to blame me and make me the scapegoat. I consider that under the circumstances, in view of all that has been said concerning me, the Lord has delivered me wonderfully. Of course, I am imperfect and, no doubt, my manner may have not pleased the brethren. I may have erred. I may have furnished grounds for suspicion. This, doubtless, is the case. But I have been grieved at the readiness with which fault has been found, and with which all I have said and done that has not struck some of the brethren properly has been misconstrued and misinterpreted. Those brethren who have had feelings have in nearly every instance testified to my integrity and to their belief that I would lay down my life for the work; they give me credit for industry and for devotion, but have seemed to think that by some means I was aggregating power or had too much favor. Brothers Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young and John W. Taylor have been unqualified in their defense of me and in their expressions of regard. Bro. E. Snow, I believe, is my friend; in fact, he has expressed, in his remarks, feelings of high regard for me; but he has his views concerning me and my actions. I am confident that much of the feeling which he entertains has arisen from false statements or false ideas concerning my actions. I sincerely trust that after this there will be better feelings on all hands. If there are any men in the world who ought to be united, we are that body. If we are divided, how can we expect the Latter-day Saints to be united? If we cherish hard feelings against each other and are unforgiving, we know that the Lord will not be pleased with us. I have not had a spirit to find fault or to condemn, so far. It has been enough for me to defend myself, without creating any additional feelings by making attacks. I trust I ever shall have that spirit. The Lord has delivered me from jealousy, and I have not been suspicious, so far. I felt to praise the Lord with all my heart for his goodness to me during these trying days. He has sustained me to my fullest satisfaction, and I feel that it is good to have the Lord for a friend.
This evening we had interviews with Attorneys Le Grand Young, Sheeks & Rawlins and Judge Sutherland, concerning the best way to suggest to our friends in Washington by which an appeal can be taken on the Church suits. “Maude” has written and telegraphed that he has a strong team of influential men ready to call upon Mr. Garland, the Attorney General, and request him to allow the suits to be put in a certain shape – such a shape as we suggest, in order that it may be appealed. A dispatch was framed, which I remained behind to prepare. I also sent others to Washington, to Bro. Jos. F. Smith.
Saturday, March 24/88 I arose this morning not feeling as well as usual; but after breakfast I dictated an article for the Juvenile Instructor, also my journal, to Bro. Arthur Winter.
Bro. C. H. Wilcken called for me this evening and took me down to my home on the river. I was quite fatigued and felt the need of rest. I enjoy the prospect of tomorrow being Sunday.
Sunday, March 25/88. This has been a veritable day of rest to me, a relief from anxiety and from the rushing whirl of thoughts which have been careering through my brain for the past few days. I can enjoy the peaceful surrounding of my own house and the quiet of the Sabbath day.
I had an interesting time with my children in Sunday School, and in the afternoon enjoyed the Sacrament with them and addressed them, having considerable of the spirit accompany my words. I ordained my sons Hugh and David to the office of Priest, in the Lesser Priesthood. I ordained William and Lewis Teachers, and Brigham and Reed Deacons. Before doing so I interrogated them as to their willingness to take upon themselves these callings and to magnify them, to which they all responded before the family. I then called them to a seat in front and we knelt in prayer. I asked the Lord for such blessings as they needed, and as I, in ordaining them, needed.
I retired to rest early this evening, after the family had all assembled and we had joined in family prayer.
Monday, March 26/88. I arose early, in order to be ready to go to town. I called on my wife Eliza, whose health has not been very good. She has been suffering from something like lumbago.
Bros. Wilcken and Livingstone called for me. I put on a disguise and rode up with Bro. Chas. Livingstone. Reached the office a little after 9. The Council met; there were present: President Woodruff, L. Snow, E. Snow, F. D. Richards, Geo. Q. Cannon, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, D. H. Wells.
Prayer was offered by Bro. Lyman.
An appropriation of $30000/ was made as a retainer to Judge Sutherland.
Some conversation ensued concerning the Pipe Spring Ranch and some other items of business.
President Woodruff then brought forward my case and said that he wanted whatever was to be said on the subject to be ended. He said I was prepared to read the journal which contained a full description of the measures which had been taken for the care of the properties of the Church while President Taylor lived. Considerable conversation was had in relation to this matter. I said that my reason for proposing to read this was because the statement had been made that I had not communicated as freely as I should do to the Quorum the disposition that had been made of the properties. It had been stated that I had concealed this information and persistently refused to impart it; while I had asserted that several of the brethren knew as much about its condition as I did. I wish now to relieve myself from that charge and to impart as fully as could be all that was known concerning this, so far as my action was concerned. As this reading would take considerable time, some thought it not necessary.
Bro. H. J. Grant said he did not think it was necessary to read this. He had been present at the meetings, and it was not this that was needed. Bro. J. H. Smith also, and some of the other brethren, thought nothing could be said against me in regard to this.
Bro. Grant stated that everything I had done in regard to that had been full, free and frank. But I now learned from them that the points in their minds were that it was the subsequent disposition of the avails of the property about which they appeared to think I made concealment. This was the first time that this was brought plainly to my understanding. I told them that I had done the business here, and that several of the Twelve, and a number of other brethren, who were present at the time the transactions took place, were as familiar with them as I was; that when these things were done I reported to President Taylor and then my duties ended. I was not the Trustee-in-Trust; I was no more to him than any of them – that is, I was his Counselor in the First Presidency, and one of his Counselors as Trustee-in Trust, occupying precisely the same relation to him in this respect that my fellow Counselor, Bro. Jos. F. Smith, and the Twelve Apostles and Presiding Bishop occupied, who were all Counselors to him as Trustee-in-Trust; that in all my association with President
Woodruff <Taylor> I had been exceedingly careful not to interfere with anything connected with the Trustee-in-Trust business, unless he asked me a question and desired my views. He was a man who thought he was fully capable of managing that business. When it came to matters connected with the First Presidency, then I felt it to be my duty to attend to the duties of that position. This explanation seemed to surprise the brethren. They seemed to think that I had the whole disposition of everything. I presume this has arisen partly from the idea that he was sick and incapable of attending to business; but President Taylor attended to business almost up to the end, and I did nothing in regard to Trustee-in-Trust matters that he could attend to. I told them that if they did not wish to hear the rest of the minutes which had been taken concerning property matters, I would read them a confidential letter addressed by President Taylor to James Jack. James Jack, I said, was President Taylor’s agent, fully authorized by him to attend to all business matters connected with all the notes, accounts and avails of the property sold. I then read to them the following letter:
Salt Lake City, March 2nd, 1887.
James Jack, Esq.
It is proper that I should give you the following memoranda for your information and that a correct understanding may be had by all the parties concerned respecting the Stocks which I sell and transfer, and which I ask you in my letter of to-day’s date to deliver to the persons and corporations which I therein name.
I design this to be Kept Private and from the public; but to be understood by those to whom I transfer and sell, and myself, as the basis upon which all these transactions rest.
In delivering the Deseret Telegraph Stock to the various corporations or their agent or agents, it must be distinctly impressed upon them that this distribution is made for the purpose of preserving the property from the rapacity of our enemies, and that whenever the Trustee-in-Trust shall call upon them for its restoration to him, they must not hesitate to deliver it up.
The understanding concerning the Salt Lake City Railroad Stock is this: at any time within one year from this date, I am to have this Stock returned to me upon my surrendering Brother Armstrong’s note to him, and paying him any interest that he may have had to pay on the note he gives to me, or any loss that he may be at during the period while the stock is in his ownership, and I am to receive all the dividends which may be declared on the stock while it is in his hands.
The understanding respecting the Gas Stock is that you hold this Stock for one year and give me the privilege of buying it back on the same terms and for the same payment that I let you have it, I receiving all the dividends that may accrue from the Stock and repaying you any interest you may have to pay on your money or any loss you may be at while this stock is in your ownership.
I understand that the purchasers of the Theatre Stock are to give me an instrument in writing, to be drawn up by Bro. Le Grand Young, in which they are to give me the privilege of buying this stock back at any time within two years at the same price at which I sell it to them; I to pay them the interest they pay on the notes given for the purchase and to make up any expense or loss they may be at while the property is in their hands, and they to give me whatever profits there may be derived from the property during the same period.
I wish it expressly understood respecting the stock of the Deseret News Company which I transfer to the Salt Lake Literary and Scientific Association, that I shall expect this stock to be returned to me whenever I shall make demand for the same.
The 1024 shares of Provo Manufacturing Co’s stock, of which I place one half as security at Z. C. M. I. for my indebtedness there, and the other half I dispose of to Brother John C. Cutler at $25.00/ per share, I reply upon receiving back from them on demand whenever I settle my indebtedness to Z. C. M. I. and whenever I surrender to Brother Cutler his note and repay him any interest he may have paid and any loss or expense he may have been at while this stock shall be in his possession.
In delivering the stock of the Rio Virgin Manufacturing Company to the St. George Ecclesiastical Corporation, I desire the same distinct understanding concerning its return to me on demand that I have mentioned above concerning the Deseret Telegraph Stock.
You and all interested have heard through Brother George Q. my desire to have the privilege of purchasing all these stocks again from the parties to whom I sell or to whom I make transfers and at the same price at which I sell them, paying back to them the interest they may have to pay and securing them against any loss or expense they may incur while the stocks are in their hands; and receiving to myself all the dividends or profits which may accrue to the stocks during the same period. I wish you, therefore, to be particular in calling the attention of our Attorneys to these points. I desire the best reciprocal security to be given that the law will permit – I to[ld] them that I will fulfil my part, and they to me that they will fulfil their part; and, in the event of anything happening to either party, that our heirs, successors and assigns will be held to fulfil the agreement made by the principals.
With Kind regards,
(Signed) John Taylor
The effect of this letter upon some of the brethren was quite remarkable. Bro. Thatcher said he was almost overwhelmed by its contents. Several of them said it threw a flood of light on a matter that had troubled them, and they expressed satisfaction and approval at the information which it contained, as according to the statements it relieved me from the responsibility which they supposed had rested upon me.
We had a recess, and after transacting some business in the afternoon, Bro. F. M. Lyman again spoke on the things that I had done which did not please him. He spoke of my example as not being a good one. Alluded to conversations that had taken place in presence of President Taylor, while I was a member of the First Presidency, in regard to the way these deputy marshals should be treated; that I had rather favored giving them a drubbing, and that I had carried a pistol, and intimated that if the officers had attempted to serve a process on me I would resist them. He thought this was a bad example and that it had the effect to induce others to resist the process of law and to indulge in violence. He alluded, in connection with this, to the McMurrin affair, in which McMurrin was shot, and said he did not know how much my remarks had contributed to produce that condition; and also that my remarks had had the effect to stir up Bro. John W. Taylor to say that if there was anybody that
he wanted whipping, just to say so and bring them along, he would whip them. He thought I had not acted wisely, also, in suffering my son John Q.’s name to be mentioned in connection with the City Council; that if I had objected when it was first mentioned it might have saved painful feelings afterwards. He also referred to my not making full explanation about matters, and that there were grounds for suspicion concerning my conduct.
His whole remarks seemed to be in the spirit of self-justification. He said he did not wish to be recorded as being my accuser. He did not want to stand on the record in that light. He had not brought these forward as accusations; but he had stated frankly his feelings, and he thought that I ought to appreciate them. He would be thankful if folks would talk to him that way. He indulged in considerable talk of this character. I interrupted him at one point and asked him not to use the word “we”; that that included the whole of the brethren and was not definite enough. If the other brethren had the feelings that he had, I preferred that they state their own feelings, and for him to speak for himself.
He said that he could not say anything to please me, it was no use him trying, and sat down.
I assured him that I would be glad to hear all that there was in his heart; but I wanted him to speak for himself, not for others.
Bro. B. Young then arose and said that he felt to repeat what I had said; that he had much rather that Bro. Lyman should speak for himself, not for him, as he did not have these feelings himself.
After this little episode, Bro. Lyman continued his remarks. Among other things of which he complained was, that he had desired to talk with me and tell me all there was in his heart, and have me tell him all that was in my heart; but he could not do it; the conversation ceased and he was not able to do it. This was on Thursday morning last.
In my reply I stated that after charging me as he had done the previous day with very serious offenses, he had asked me in the evening to converse with him, and I had done so; but instead of that conversation taking the turn I expected it would, he had commenced repeating to me things that I had done which he did not approve of, and I felt that it was a kind of conversation that I did not care about indulging in on the occasion, and had shown coolness over it, and the conversation ceased. In relation to the charges he had made, I told the Council that it was a new thing in my experience for one of the Twelve to sit as a sensor and a judge of the actions and counsel of the First Presidency. At the time that I had done these things of which he complained, President Taylor was alive and was present, and if I had indulged in any expressions or spirit that was not right, it was his place to have corrected me; it certainly was not Bro. Lyman’s, as I understood matters. I told him I did not think that I could suit him; I almost despaired of being able to do things to please as perfect a man as he appeared to be; but I left the Lord and my brethren to judge between us as to our spirit and our methods of life. I omitted to say that he said in his remarks that a good many people shared in his views concerning my course.
At this point Bro. L. Snow spoke up and said he had never heard such a thing from the people, although he had traveled a great deal among them. I felt wounded at these remarks, because it seemed to me as though there was going to be no end to this sort of talk, and I asked myself, when shall we get to the bottom and end of these things, if these charges or complaints are to be iterated and reiterated in this way?
Bro. J. H. Smith followed and spoke upon various topics; among other things, alluding to an article which I had written in the “Juvenile Instructor”, and which had been copied by the Deseret News. He thought it placed the Twelve in a bad light. He was not in favor of criticizing President Taylor’s accounts; but before the books are closed the accounts should be audited to the conclusion of his administration. He asked to be forgiven for his impetuosity and for his manner of speaking. He was given to speaking sometimes without the consideration which the subject desired, being naturally of an impetuous disposition.
Bro. L. Snow made some very excellent remarks. He said that he loved his brethren, but they all had weaknesses; the people knew they had weaknesses; the Lord knew they had weaknesses. Nevertheless, he loved them, he said, because he thought they were men of integrity. He then referred to the way the Prophet Joseph had been treated by the Twelve and the faults that had been found with him, and no doubt many of the things that were told about him, and of which they complained, had some truth. He related several instances which he believed were true; but they ought not to have been held against a servant of God; yet the Twelve had heard of them and had made them a cause of offense against the Prophet, which had led to the wretched end of several of them, a number of them having been cut off from the Church. He quoted also from the ancient prophets; how many of them had faults; but those that accused them and treated them improperly
and had to suffer; for the Lord loved His servants. It was hard, he said, to forgive one another, and quoted from the revelation on that subject, that if we did not forgive, in us would be found the greater sin. He said that the Apostles in ancient days had suffered in consequence of not forgiving one another, all of them but one having been martyred. He hoped that this spirit would be banished from our midst, and that we should forgive one another. He regretted the way we had been doing, the spirit that had been indulged in, and he wished it might stop. It was not a spirit that he wanted to be present.
President Woodruff then said he wanted to confess his sins. He expressed regret about having spoken to Bro. E. Snow as he had done, and wanted Bro. Snow and the brethren to forgive him and he would try and do better.
This spirit which he showed, so humble, so meek, seemed to take hold of the brethren, and each one spoke in his turn and told his feelings, confessed his sins and asked forgiveness.
I spoke freely and said that I had nothing against any of my brethren. I had no feelings only those that were aroused within me by the charges that had been made against me. If my brethren could forgive me, I certainly was ready to forgive them. I knew that I was a fallible man and guilty of many weaknesses and follies; but my desire was to do right and keep the commandments of God, and I did desire to live at peace with my fellow servants.
When it came to Bro. J. W. Taylor’s turn to talk, he commenced by saying that he had a number of complaints to make against my practices. He would have made them before, but he did not wish to do so until we got through with those charges that had been made. He felt, however, that before we closed he would tell me his feelings against some of my practices.
I wondered what was coming next. I thought I had heard everything that could be said, and now I asked myself, what is there in my life that has given Bro. Taylor cause for such remarks.
He continued and said that I had gone down to the river and bought land and built there. My brother had followed my example, had gone down there also and bought a duck pond, or land that was good for nothing, and had spent considerable means on it in reclaiming it, and he felt that I had set him a bad example and thought I ought to repent of such conduct. He said I was in the habit also of getting up early in the morning and going into the Jordan River to swim. The result was that others, seeing me, had followed my example and a number had been drowned in the river. He thought this was something I ought to repent of. He said, <on> one occasion my brother Angus had gone down with me and in attempting to dive off the water wheel in the river had fallen off and skinned his entire body nearly. I had also jumped from the train, and Bp. Geo. Halliday said that in following my example he had skinned his backside and received other injuries. He made these remarks in such a comical way that, though I was very sad and felt as though I had no life in me, I could not restrain my laughter, and everyone seemed to be convulsed with laughter. It was a complete burlesque, and I suppose was intended as such, on the charges that had been brought against me or the remarks that had been made about my example.
I felt greatly relieved at the termination of this meeting. This is now four days that I have been under fire. In all my experience in the Church I have never seen anything like it. Of course, in the days of Kirtland, affairs were much worse; but I never knew an instance of several of the Twelve making statements concerning one of the Quorum of <the> character that had been made against me, and with so little cause. I do not want to boast, neither do I wish to indulge in any self-righteousness or self-justification; but it has seemed to me that the grave charges made against me have all been disproved, and that the others, if they were true, were so trifling as to be beneath the notice of men of our standing. Still I do not want to close my eyes to the fact that I have many failings, and I pray God to show me them and help me to conquer them. I do want to live so as not to offend the Lord nor grieve His Holy Spirit, nor to offend my brethren, whom I love. I shall try and profit by this experience. I am satisfied that what I have passed through of this character has done me good. I feel that this will, painful though it has been.
Tuesday, March 27/88. The same members of the Twelve were present today as yesterday, also Bps. Preston and Winder, Attorney Le Grand Young, and Geo. Reynolds.
Bro. Winder offered prayer.
The object in having Bro. Le Grand Young present was to make inquiries concerning the decisions that have been reached by the attorneys in regard to the City Offices that were to be filled. He said that the examination of the law had satisfied him that the new law was operative. After considerable conversation, the list of offices having been read, it was decided that it would be better for the brethren who are disqualified not to attempt to hold office under the City Government.
Bro. Morgan Richards, Jr., of Parowan, was advised not to take any further action with regard to the appointing of several Bishops until some of the Twelve could visit there.
An appropriation of $30. per month was made to assist the Salt Lake Stake Library.
The correspondence with Bro. Jos. F. Smith concerning our emigration was read. He had closed a contract with the Huntington Line to bring our people from Liverpool to Salt Lake City. The whole subject was referred to Bro. F. D. Richards and the brethren who were formerly members of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Co.
A letter from C. R. Hakes, written to Bro. Lyman, was read, concerning the water rights of our people in Mesa City, Arizona, and the danger there was of our folks losing the control of the canal. It was determined to appropriate $10,000. to endeavor to save that, and the subject was referred to Bros. E. Snow & M. Thatcher to attend to on their visit.
Bro. John W. Taylor suggested that there should be an examination of the subject of the people selling their homes, as he wished to know the views of the brethren. He felt that it was important that something should be done in this direction as quickly as possible. As we were not prepared to converse upon that at this time, it was laid over, and the report of the Committee, consisting of M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant and W. B. Preston, concerning the method of conducting our business in the future, was taken up, and, after considerable discussion, was adopted.
In discussing this report considerable was said about the duties of the Presiding Bishopric. I felt in the beginning that I did not wish to speak upon the subject, but before we got through with it, I thought it was proper that I should state my views. I said I had no objection to the views of this report being carried out, as I was decidedly in favor of improvement in everything, and our present method of keeping accounts was not satisfactory in all respects. We should have a stricter system. It would be no harm to try the method proposed. But there should be a distinction made between the Trustee-in-Trust and the Presiding Bishop, and their duties should be clearly defined. If the Bishop was to be entrusted with the control of everything, what would be the duty of the Trustee-in-Trust? I thought it right that the Bishop should collect tithing and take care of it. But if a Trustee-in-Trust were elected, there was great responsibility connected with his office, and it was he who should control the finances of the Church.
The Council adjourned.
Shortly after, the Mayor, Francis Armstrong, and Alderman John Clark called to get our views concerning the offices to be filled. There was quite a free interchange of opinions upon the subject. I did not feel to say much, because I saw that there was a disposition to have the brethren vacate who were not clearly eligible. My own feeling is very much in favor of the present incumbents, if they possibly can, keeping their offices. They are proved and tried men – men who are willing to go night and day to carry out counsel and to defend us. Still, it seems as though the brethren will not be able to keep some of them in their present positions, as the requirements are very strict and difficult for those who are in plural marriage to evade.
After we got through with this business, we appropriated the sum of $2500. to assist Bro. Antony Ivins to go to Mexico and study law and become familiar with Spanish laws and customs. He is already a pretty good Spanish scholar. The appropriation was made on this wise: $1000. for the first year, to assist him in bearing his personal expenses, $500. for the purchase of law books and other incidental expenses, and $1000. for the second year.
I walked over to my wife Carlie’s this evening and spent the night there.
Wednesday, March 28/88. Bro. Lehi Pratt called for me at five o’clock this morning and accompanied me to the office.
The Council met as usual.
Bro. L. Snow offered prayer.
A letter from Bro. A. M. Tenney was read, which gave much pleasure to the brethren in hearing the news it contained concerning missionary labors. The letter was referred to the Committee on Indian affairs. A letter from Bro. F. A. Hammond, of San Juan Stake, was also read.
The Pipe Spring Ranch came up again for discussion, and in consequence of some views which I had expressed it was suggested that I should be put on the committee which had been appointed to consider this subject. They thought I seemed to understand certain points connected with it that would be of advantage for the committee to have the benefit of.
A statement concerning the condition of the poor in the various Stakes and the requirements for the ensuing six months was read and considered. The sum asked for is $25,766. It appeared from the report which accompanied this that in 1884 the tithing of the people amounted to $750,771.91/100, in 1885, $789,261.31/100, in 1886, $735,00319/100. This afternoon the question of taking up the indemnifying bond which had been given to Bro. B. Young and myself at the time we transferred the property to the Church, to satisfy the claim which it had against the estate of President Young, which was done in April, 1878, was brought up by Bro. F. D. Richards. He has been very uneasy for some time on this subject and has spoken to me a number of times, desiring that the matter should be settled. I have put him off, because I felt it was not opportune to bring this question up; but I felt that now perhaps it might be done, and in order that the Council might feel perfectly free to discuss the question without fear of hurting feelings, I told him I should withdraw, if they would permit me, while the question was under consideration. But I laid on the table the bond they had given us and said it was there and I should endeavor to abide by the decision they might reach, whatever it might be.
Bro. Young made some remarks also, and we both withdrew.
I did not suppose it would take more than half an hour to get though with the business; but, to my surprise, it occupied till after 5 o’clock – about 3 hours – and then it was not completed when they adjourned. I had communicated my views to Bro. Grant, as he is a man quick in figures, to lay before the Council; not that I thought he would favor the settlement that I wished,
but because I had reason to believe that he would not, from remarks he had made to someone, but that he, being a good hand at figures, could make the statement properly.
In the evening, in conversation with President Woodruff & Bro. Thatcher, I found that there was misapprehension existing concerning it. I made explanations, which appeared satisfactory as far as they went, and, they said, threw new light on the subject. They desired me to meet with them the next day and make these explanations to the Council.
Thursday, March 29/88. The Council met as usual, there being 11 of the Apostles present. Bro. Wells afterwards came in.
After the Council was fairly opened, I was requested to make some statements concerning the matter that they had under discussion the previous evening. I did so and made a number of explanations, throwing light upon questions on which there seemed to be a misunderstanding.
Bro. B. Young followed; but I could see, notwithstanding my explanations, that the disposition of a number of the Council was to adopt a motion that had been introduced the previous evening by Bro. E. Snow, which was, that as we paid 1/5, the difference between 1/5 & 1/8 should be paid back to us, with interest at 8% for the time we had been out of the money. This would amount to a little over $4000.00/, while the amount we had paid was $6666.66/, a difference of about $2600.00/[.] President Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, J. H. Smith and D. H. Wells, I found, favored the settlement of the amount that we had paid – that is, $6666.66/; the other brethren were not in favor of this. After remarks had been made by one and another, seeing the division there was in the Council, I arose to make a compromise statement, upon which we all could unite, as I did not want the Council divided on a question of this character. I commenced speaking, intending to make the proposition, but before I had proceeded far, Bro. L. Snow interrupted me (a very unusual practice with him) and arose and spoke, and I sat down.
At the time that I intended to speak, the views of the Council seemed irreconcilable; but from that moment the feeling turned. After he spoke, Bro. F. D. Richards and President Woodruff spoke, all in favor of settling with us the amount that we had paid. I stated that I had thought that if we got our money back which we had paid, the interest we had lost on that money during the 8 or 9 years that we had been out of it should make up any amount that we ought to have paid towards the settlement at the time.
Bro. E. Snow then said he would withdraw his motion and he would accept the views of President Woodruff, that we be paid the amount that we had paid out – that is, $6666.66/, without interest, and that that amount be applied on our accounts.
There seemed to be a desire to know whether this would be satisfactory to me, and I told them it would be perfectly satisfactory; that if they had given me interest on the amount I did not intend to take any of it, but to apply it on tithing and turn it back to the Church. But I did feel that this was right, and that I was entitled to this amount.
I was very much pleased at the turn this took because it showed me that the Lord can fulfil His promises and the words of His servants. I had felt impressed to say to Bros. B. Young and A. Carrington at one time, soon after we had paid this money, that the time would come when it would be refunded to us. I had not had a doubt upon this subject at any time; but this morning my faith seemed to fail me, and I thought that my expectations were vain. It seems, however, that the Lord stopped me from making the proposition that would have changed the current, and he moved upon His servants to fulfil the promise, if I might call it such, that I had made that this would be paid to us. I was filled with joy and thanksgiving, not because of the money so much as that the Lord had helped us through in this matter. I said to the brethren, “I do not want you to give this unless you are perfectly satisfied that it is right”; and all expressed themselves with whom I conversed that they were perfectly satisfied – Bro. Thatcher, Bro. Snow, Bro. Grant; in fact, all.
In the afternoon, the revised contract with the firm of Davis, Howe, & Co, was read. The Temple is to be roofed for $20,631. Bro. Howe is to receive 10% of this for his trouble[.]
Bro. Snow, from the committee on the Pipe Spring Ranch, reported the conclusions. We feel that Bro. Dan Seegmiller should take possession of the place and try to secure title to it.
A letter from Bro. Folsom, concerning furniture for the Temple, was referred to the Manti Temple Com. $1000.00/ was appropriated to the Portage meeting house – $300.00/ in cash and $700.00/ in produce. Several other letters were read and some other business attended to, and the Council adjourned until 10 o’clock on Monday morning.
I felt relieved, because we had been in counsel so constantly that business has got very much behind. As soon as Council adjourned, I took hold of correspondence and dictated answers to Bro. A. Winter.
Friday, March 30/88. I enjoyed my night’s rest last night. I dictated my journal to Bro. A. Winter. Had a visit from my son Abraham; talked over business matters with him.
There is a general feeling of relief at the change in the spirit that has taken place among us. Of course, probably no one has greater cause to rejoice than I in this change. I have felt very much oppressed in my feelings for a long time, – unusually so for me. Perhaps at no time in my life have I been a prey to feelings of sadness – at least, since I have been a man – as I have within the past few weeks. I trust that there will not be a recurrence of these scenes. I have thought that I was the most favored man in this generation, in many respects. The Lord has been very good to me all my life. He has given me friends, given me influence, given me honorable standing among His people – in all of which I have rejoiced. He has blessed me with a family in which I have had much joy, notwithstanding the sorrow which the acts of some of my children have given me. I have had a great deal to meet with from our enemies. They have assailed me with bitterness and have denounced me with ferocity. At times I have met them face to face, before committees of Congress, and have rejoiced, notwithstanding their opposition. But these things are insignificant compared with having my brethren censure me or express disapprobation and disapproval of my course. At no time in my life have I striven <to live> nearer to the Lord than I have during the past three years. I have felt to do all in my power to exercise faith before Him, to get His mind and will, so that I might be governed by it in my conduct. I felt the greatness of the responsibility that rested upon me. I have had the consolation of knowing that He approved of my course, and that He has manifested, by the testimony of His Spirit, that I was accepted of Him, and that He would bear me off over all the obstacles and evils that I might have to meet. I praise His holy name for His having done so. He has been with me through these troubles, and has delivered me, and now again He has delivered me, and I feel to rejoice in His exceeding goodness and in the salvation which He has extended to me.
I walked to my wife Carlie’s, accompanied by Bro. Wilcken. Found her suffering from a severe cold.
Saturday, March 31/88. I spent the day at my wife’s and busied myself in re-writing some portions of the 2nd. chap. of the History of Joseph, and adding to the 3rd. I also tried to get my mind on the Epistle which President Woodruff desired me to write for him.
In the evening Bro. Wilcken called with his buggy and took me down to my home on the river.
The children had prepared a surprise for me in the schoolhouse, and we spent the evening together until about 10 o’clock, singing, giving recitations and performing a little play called “Cinderella”. My daughter Emily took the part of Cinderella, and Lewis the part of the Prince. Rose Annie was the mother, and the twins, Hester and Amelia, were the sisters. Mary Davy was the godmother. The whole performance passed off very nicely, Emily doing her part excellently. She has grown so much that she is becoming quite a young woman. She is now taller than any of her sisters and bids fair to be as tall a woman, I think, as her mother.
After the performance, my wife Sarah Jane had arranged for cake and lemonade to be distributed.
We had a very pleasant evening, and I felt greatly obliged to my children for the treat they have given me.