The Church Historian's Press

June 1888

1 June 1888 • Friday

Friday, June 1/88. Emily remained at the Gardo all day to-day.

I dictated to Bro. A. Winter a letter of appointment for Brother Wells as President of the Manti Temple, for President Woodruff to sign, also my journal. After it was dark enough for me to go out, I left the Gardo House and went to the Social Hall, which I found filled with Supts. of the Y. M. M. I A. from various parts, there being 25 Stakes represented. Presidents Woodruff and M. Thatcher and Junius F. Wells and their assistants were present. As I entered, Bro. Wells was speaking. Considerable curiosity was shown at seeing me, as it is the largest assembly I have been in since the fall of 1885, when I made my trip to Logan and met with the Priesthood at the General Conference at that place. After Bro. Wells got through, President Woodruff spoke, and I followed. I spoke for about half an hour. Bro. H. J. Grant followed, then Bro. Thatcher; then President Woodruff made a few more remarks, and Bro. Thatcher followed him. The meeting held till very late, but the congregation seemed interested. Numbers of brethren crowded around me and shook hands and expressed pleasure at having seen me. There was a very warm feeling shown, and many expressions of kindness and sympathy were made and blessings invoked upon me. President Woodruff also received a very warm greeting from all present, so far as I could see.

Bro. Alfred Solomon took me to my home on the river.

2 June 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, June 2/88. I had two visits to-day from Bro. Clawson on business matters, and a visit also from my son Frank. I was busy the greater part of the day on my History of the Prophet Joseph.

3 June 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, June 3/88. I had all the older children go up to the Conference of the Y. M. M. I. A., held in the Tabernacle, and I therefore gathered my wives and the small children together, administered the Sacrament, and read some chapters in the Testament, as we are in the habit of doing in Sunday School.

4 June 1888 • Monday

Monday, June 4/88. I dressed in my temple clothing this morning, as I do whenever I have an opportunity when I am at home. This is a privilege which I enjoy exceedingly.

Bro. Wilcken came down for me about 9 o’clock and drove to the Gardo House.

We had a meeting of the Twelve at 10 o’clock. There were present: President Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, myself, M. Thatcher, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant.

Bro. Le Grand Young met with us, but not <being> prepared to report, we adjourned till 3 o’clock. He then met with us and spoke on the terms that had been proposed by Mr. Peters as a compromise. I asked him some questions concerning the range that this would take – how it would affect other property. He thought it better to defer any decision on this matter till we had considered it and till he had made further inquiry.

Considerable business was attended to afterwards, and the Council adjourned sine die.

I dictated answers to public correspondence to Bro. Winter.

5 June 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 5/88. We had two meetings of the Deseret News Co. to-day, endeavoring to arrange our affairs so that if an attack were made upon us, we could defend ourselves.

I dictated my journal, and read a revise of the History of Joseph.

In the evening I accompanied President Woodruff to the theatre, where I had a seat in his box. The play was “The Old Homestead”. The performance was a most delightful one, giving a picture of primitive life in New England that was very charming. Rarely are better voices heard upon the stage than those of this company. President Woodruff was very much delighted, as it brought back to him, he said, Connecticut as it was before and after his birth.

6 June 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 6/88. Dictated answers to public correspondence. I had an interview with Bro. J. M. Waddell respecting making a deed to my wife, Sarah Jane of some land which I intend for our children.

My son Frank called upon me, and I had a long interview with him.

Bro. Clawson came in the evening with an elegant barouché and carried President Woodruff and myself to the Hot Springs. Bro. Chariton Jacobs drove the carriage. We had a most delightful bath.

7 June 1888 • Thursday

Thursday, June 7/88. Busy on my History of Joseph. Had a number of visitors on various business matters. In the evening President Woodruff and myself went to the Historian Office and met with Dr. Isaacson, the ex-Jewish Rabbi, who is translating the Book of Mormon into Hebrew. We had conversation with him concerning the translation and compensation therefor. He said it would occupy about 8 or 9 months. I felt led to caution him about not getting lifted up in pride by the abundance of blessings and by the favor which the people were showing him in their anxiety to see him.

After this interview, President Woodruff wished me to accompany him to the theatre, which I did and saw a part of the representation of “The Old Homestead”.

8 June 1888 • Friday

Friday, June 8/88. Dictated correspondence to Bro. A. Winter.

We held a meeting at 12 o’clock of the Board of Education, and it was most interesting to me, as I see in this some of my anticipation likely to be realized. The cause of education has been one that has been very near to me for years, and I have not felt satisfied with its condition among us. It was moved that we have a Board of Education, consisting of not less than five nor more than eight, in each Stake, to be appointed by the Presidency of the Stake, and to have charge of the educational interests in each Stake. The Board in Salt Lake City consists of eight, and it was decided that they should take the subject of education here in hand. There is a crying necessity for a good school here. Bro. Eldredge is willing to give $5000. towards a building, if land can be secured, with good title, in a suitable place. The Church will doubtless help also. After the meeting I dictated a letter to Angus M. Cannon, Chairman, and Members of the Committee of the Salt Lake Stake Academy; and letters to the absent members of the Board of Education – Capt. Willard Young, Prof. Karl G. Maeser, Geo. W. Thatcher. These letters contained particulars about the proceedings. I also dictated to Bro. Winter a circular letter to all the Presidents of Stakes, informing them of our action concerning the Board of Education to be appointed in each Stake.

My son Abraham paid me a visit. He is improving somewhat in health, though he is far from well. In the evening I was very busy till quite late, working on my History of Joseph and other matters. After dark I walked over to my wife Carlie’s, with Bro. Sudbury.

9 June 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, June 9/88. I was called for this morning by Bro. Lehi Pratt, who took me down to my home on the river.

I worked on my History part of the morning, but did not feel much in the mood of writing. I could not get out to take exercise, as there was a man at work whom I could not trust; but after he left I took the opportunity of rowing some <of my> folks around on the pond. This gave me needed exercise.

Bros. B. Y. Hampton and C. H. Wilcken called on me in the evening and brought the mail.

10 June 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, June 10/88. Attended Sunday School and Sacrament meeting. My son David administered the Sacrament, and I called on him and Lewis to speak. I followed, and had a good flow of the Spirit. This is my son Sylvester’s birthday. He is 11 years old to-day. We made him some presents. I feel that, his I mother being dead, I have a double duty to perform. So far, he is a very sweet, interesting child and manifests a most excellent spirit.

I forgot to mention yesterday that I received a very nice heifer from Bro. Amos Howe. She is a pure Devon and has a pedigree. He insisted on my taking it. I do not like to accept gifts; but in this instance I suppose that he felt it was a little return for kindness which I had shown to him and partner at the time their place was burned down. I assisted them with money, (which, some years afterwards, they repaid, however) and also furnished them with adobies that I had got for a building of my own. It being late in the season, they could not get adobies anywhere else, and this enabled them to put up their building and start their works again.

11 June 1888 • Monday

Monday, June 11/88. Bro. B. Y. Hampton called for me this morning and took me to Bro. W. W. Riter’s, where I met President Woodruff.

I heard that Bro. Jos. F. Smith had returned yesterday from Washington, with Bros. F. S. Richards and C. W. Penrose. We met the former at a meeting of Z. C. M. I. in the evening, and he returned with us to Bro. Riter’s.

12 June 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 12/88. Dictated to Bro. Winter answers to public correspondence, and arranged for interview with Bros. Richards and Penrose at midday.

13–15 June 1888 • Wednesday–Friday

Wednesday, June 13/88.

Thursday, June 14/88

Friday, June 15/88.

I have been very busy these days attending to public affairs. In company with President Woodruff and Jos. F. Smith, had interviews with “Maude” and “Dellie” concerning the settlement of the Church suit; also with Attorneys F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young, talking over the terms. I have also attended to public correspondence and dictated letters to Bro. Winter, and every spare moment of my time I have worked on my History of Joseph.

In conversation with Brothers Woodruff and Smith concerning the labor that my son Frank had performed in Washington, at his own and my son Abraham’s expense, in my behalf, they felt that he ought to go back again, and it was decided for him to go. He had an interview with us on Friday and said that he could go on Sunday evening. He has been very successful in getting matters before President Cleveland in a way that, I think, has done great good; but it should be followed up. We are likely to have two new judges within a short time, and now is the time to get work in respecting their selection and also the policy that they shall pursue when they come here. I am anxious to have a change brought about on some terms that shall be honorable to us as a people, upon which we can emerge from our exile and the entire people meet this issue so as to get it behind us.

On Friday evening President Woodruff left the Gardo House.

Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself had in [an] interview with “Maude”.

I had a visit this evening from my wife Emily.

16 June 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, June 16/88. Bro. McHennery, from the Tithing Office, called for me with a covered carriage and took me over to my wife Carlie’s, where I spent the day in working on my History of Joseph. Had a visit from Bro. H. B. Clawson.

17 June 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, June 17/88. Bro. Wilcken called for me this morning about 9 o’clock and took me to my home on the river in time for Sunday School, which I held, and afterwards had sacrament meeting. The Lord poured out His Spirit upon us and we had a good time.

18 June 1888 • Monday

Monday, June 18/88. Bro. Wilcken called for me about 9 o’clock this morning and took me to the Gardo House.

At 1 o’clock we held a meeting of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank. The general feeling manifested by the Board was that we should, instead of starting a commercial bank, confine ourselves to a savings bank.

Attended to public correspondence and other matters of business.

President Woodruff, Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself held a meeting with Bro. F. S. Richards concerning the compromise.

In the evening Bro. Wilcken took us out for a ride down to President Woodruff’s and through Liberty Park, and brought us to Bro. W. W. Riter’s, where we were kindly welcomed.

19 June 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 19/88

Dictated public correspondence to Bro. A. Winter, also articles for the Juvenile Instructor.

20 June 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 20/88. Bros. F. S. Richards, J. R. Winder and James Jack called upon us and we went over, item by item, all the property that it was likely we should have to surrender. Bro. Winter came also and I dictated answers to public correspondence to him, and my journal.

21–22 June 1888 • Thursday–Friday

Thursday, June 21/88.

Friday, June 22/88. Attended to correspondence and other matters. Friday evening I went to my wife Carlie’s.

23 June 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, June 23/88. Bro. Wilcken called for me and took me to my place on the river. I was busy in the forenoon reading proof of the History of Joseph. In the afternoon I exercised myself in cutting weeds with a scythe.

24 June 1888 • Sunday

Sunday, June 24/88. Had Sunday School and sacrament meeting as usual and had an enjoyable time.

25 June 1888 • Monday

Monday, June 25/88. Bro. B. Y. Hampton called for me this morning and carried me to the Gardo House, where we had a meeting of the Council at 9 o’clock. There were present: President Woodruff, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, G. Q. Cannon, J. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman, J. W. Taylor, J. R. Winder, F. S. Richards and L. G. Young. Bro. F. S. Richards reported to the Council the results of his labor with Mr. Peters. Considerable conversation ensued.

After the Council adjourned, we had a meeting of the Deseret News Co.

In the evening we were carried by Bro. Bateman to Bro. Riter’s, and afterwards Bro. Jos. F. Smith and myself went and visited the family of Bro. Elias Smith, who died yesterday morning, aged 84. The family all assembled and we had an interesting time with them. Bro. Smith arose and addressed some remarks to them of a very consolatory nature, he being their kinsman, and I followed. Bro. Elias Smith was one of my earliest acquaintances. We worked together in the printing office in Nauvoo. He was bookkeeper and I was apprentice, and for a long time before he married we were bedfellows. He was very kind and fatherly to me, gave me much good counsel, and had some influence over my life and my subsequent career. I felt to bless the family.

Bro. Bateman carried us back to Bro. Riter’s.

26 June 1888 • Tuesday

Tuesday, June 26/88. Attended to public correspondence; dictated to Bro. A. Winter. I received the following dispatch from my son Frank at Washington:

“Presidents Woodruff, Cannon and Smith –

I have just had an interview with President Cleveland. He was kind and has promised to grant further opportunity. He is pleased with the National Republican Convention nomination. His opinion is that it is certain the Republican Party will be defeated.”

There was a meeting of the Twelve this evening at the Gardo House. There were present: President Woodruff, F. D. Richards, G. Q. Cannon, J. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant and John W. Taylor. Bro. Geo. Reynolds was also present, and Bro. Francis Armstrong.

The object of our meeting was to consider the condition of Bro. Armstrong in connection with the Street Railroad. Bro. Armstrong had bought the Street Railroad just previous to the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker law, at $45,000. and had given secretly a verbal option of one year to President Taylor, or his successor, to re-purchase the road at the same price, President Taylor, on his part, agreeing to secure Bro. Armstrong against any loss or depreciation of the stock during the same period. This is what is called a mutual option. Of course, the object was to save the property from being taken by the Receiver. President Taylor did not wish to sell the road if he could save it, and he took this method to secure it. Before the 12 months granted for the option had expired I brought this matter several times to the attention of the Council and said that I thought something should be done, if we intended to make any other disposition of that property. But the business went over without receiving attention. I have felt, and so expressed myself a number of times, that in justice to Bro. Armstrong something should be done in order to settle the matter in his mind. Bro. Armstrong got greatly bothered when I on the witness stand before the Examiner in relation to this property, so much so that they have determined to seize it, but have agreed to take the $45,000. and interest from the time the road was sold. Affairs in the Church are in such a condition that unless some energetic measures are taken the road will be lost to us.

We had a very lengthy meeting this evening, lasting until 12 o’clock. Bros. Grant and Lyman were very much opposed to letting Bro. Armstrong have the road. Bro. Grant urged that we sell it to a man named Alfred McCune, who is not a member of the Church, who offered to pay $4000/ a share for it. He felt perfectly sure that McCune would do nothing but what was right with the road and be governed by counsel, and was willing to promise that he would employ our people on the road. He pressed this with considerable vigor. He also stated that several members of the Church had offered to buy the road for $2700/ a share. There were 2190 shares, for which Bro. Armstrong had paid $45,000. and he urged with a great deal of pertinacity that we should not let Bro. A. have the road, as it was virtually making him a gift of the difference the between $45,000. and the money the road would bring, if sold at $27.00/ a share. He and Bro. Lyman displayed considerable feeling on the subject. Bro. J. W. Taylor also made a number of remarks, not exactly as they did, but a little in the same line. President Woodruff expressed himself with great vigor in favor of letting Bro. Armstrong retain the road, and Bro. F. D. Richards, after hearing his remarks, made the following motion: “That Bro. Armstrong is the bona fide owner and possessor of the Salt Lake City Railroad, and that he has the liberty to make such disposition as shall be consistent with the liberties of this people, and shall meet the demands of the Receiver”.

I seconded this.

In the course of Bro. Grant’s remarks he stated that if Bro. Armstrong paid $25.00/ a share for the road at the time it was sold to him, he should not have objected to his keeping it; but the position he assumed was that he had got it at a much less price than the road might have been sold for at that time, and that he had been at no loss since.

As I had been the party who had sold the road for President Taylor to Bro. Armstrong, I knew all the circumstances, and it was exceedingly doubtful in my mind whether $25. had ever been paid for a share of stock up to that time. I said it might be that we could have sold it for $25.; but I had no real evidence to that effect. Admitting this, I said, to be a fact: if we had sold it for $25. a share, we should have had $54,750. for the road. Now we ask Bro. Armstrong to furnish the money which the Receiver demands in lieu of the road – that is $45,000. and interest at 10% from March 2/87. Now, said I, if Bro. Armstrong pays this, it will amount to $51,750., principal and interest, up to the 2nd. of this month (June). That is, he will have to pay, within $3000., the amount that Bro. Grant says he would have been satisfied with if Bro. Armstrong had paid it at the time.

Bro. Grant interposed here and said that there was the interest on the amount.

I remarked, Bro. Armstrong should not be required to pay interest, so long as he did not receive the dividends on the road.

It was then stated that a portion of the dividends had gone into the road, so that he received the benefit of these dividends in the increased value of the road.

Then, I said, according to my views, the difference was the $3000. already mentioned and whatever dividend had gone into the road, be it much or little.

Bro. Grant said he would be perfectly satisfied if Bro. Armstrong would give $9000. more than he paid. He contended that he should pay interest on the $45,000. My view was that the dividend of the road, inasmuch as we had the option, ought to be sufficient to cover the interest. The dividend that has gone into the road, as I understood from Bro. Armstrong, amounts to about $2000., which would make a difference of $5000. I remarked, these are the reasons for my seconding Bro. Richard’s motion – that there was only that difference and I would not have been put in Bro. Armstrong’s position for 50 times the amount, and I thought that he should have the road, especially as he has told us he will do anything that we say in relation to the matter.

Bro. F. M. Lyman did not want to vote and demurred considerably; but President Woodruff appealed very strongly to him, and finally he said he would vote in deference to President Woodruff’s wishes. Bro. Jos. F. Smith objected to this and said he thought every man ought to vote independently; and when it was explained further by Bro. Armstrong the peril that we were in through a man being here who had a patent for a cable road that was promised to be of great advantage, and which the rivals of our Street Railroad were endeavoring to purchase from him, and that he (Bro. A.) had been keeping him out of their company for some days, Brother Lyman said he was quite ready to vote, and Bro. J. W. Taylor said that all his objections were removed by that statement. But Bro. Grant voted under protest, stating that he could not see his way clear to give Frank Armstrong several thousand dollars of the Church’s money.

I felt very much grieved at this meeting. I write this on Wednesday, June 27th, and my reflections during last night and this morning have been sad. I feel grieved in my spirit at the stubbornness that we have in our Council. It is most painful that there should be division in our Council, and that the wishes of our President, who holds the keys, do not receive that attention which I think they ought to do. I have felt that I must unlearn a great many lessons that I have been taught in my past experience or else there must be a change in our manner of business. The rule that has always prevailed among the older members of the Quorum, and which they still respect, is to express their feelings freely upon any point that may be brought up, and afterwards it is for the President of the Council to obtain the mind of the Lord and to decide after hearing all that is to be said, and that decision has always been accepted in former times as final.

In saying this I do not attempt any self-justification or to convey the idea that I am right and my brethren are wrong. I merely state the facts as they exist, and leave the matter with the Lord to judge. He knows all our hearts. I know my brethren are good men and desire to do the will of the Lord; but even the best of us are ignorant and inexperienced and need the guidance of the Lord to enable us to carry out His will. I mourn greatly, however, the lack of that perfect union and submission that I would like to see.

We returned to Bro. Riter’s[.]

27 June 1888 • Wednesday

Wednesday, June 27/88. This is the anniversary of a memorable and sad event – the martyrdom of the Prophets Joseph and Hyrum Smith; and it is also the burial day of Bro. Elias Smith, a cousin of the Prophet. The funeral services are being conducted in the Assembly Hall.

Bro. A. Winter brought the mail and I dictated to him answers to public correspondence.

We had an interview with my brother Angus concerning property matters, also with Bro. F. S. Richards.

28 June 1888 • Thursday

Thursday, June 28/88. Had another meeting with Bro. Richards and my brother Angus; afterwards had an interview with “Maude” and “Dellie” and Bro. Clawson, and went over the situation.

In the evening President Woodruff and Jos. F. Smith, went to the Gardo House, and I went to my wife Carlie’s.

29 June 1888 • Friday

Friday, June 29/88. Busy with public matters. Had an interview with “Maude” & “Dellie”. At 2 o’clock the Council met. Bros. F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young were with us. Bro. J. W. Taylor made a motion, the terms of which did not exactly suit me, and I wrote it out as follows:

(Was not able to get this. – A. W.)

It was carried unanimously.

Had two interviews with my son Abraham. I have not felt well to-day for some reason; but have been too busy to rest.

30 June 1888 • Saturday

Saturday, June 30/88. Busy to-day looking round my place.

In the afternoon Bro. Clawson brought “Maude” down. He related how matters were progressing in the B. B. & C. negotiations, &c.

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June 1888, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 14, 2024