The Church Historian's Press The Church Historian's Press

January 1890


Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1890

10 January

A parade of the People’s Party

20 January

Business in Washington DC and New York City

3 February

Attended meeting of the committee on territories

4 February

Ideas about how to heat the Salt Lake temple

15 February

The Democrats in Washington “confess their inability to cope with the Republican party”

17 February

“Had an interview with Hon. Calvin S. Brice, the newly-elected Senator from Ohio, and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee”

27 February

Counsel to members who wanted “to know whether they could sell their inheritances for the large sums which were offered to them”

3 March ff.

Concern about Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Company matters

15 March ff.

A meeting of the stockholders of Zion’s Savings Bank

3 April ff.

Conflict in regard to political parties

10 April

Discussion on how to handle tithing in kind

20 April

Gave counsel regarding the proper way for a bishop to be chosen

24 April

A plan for holding church property

2 May

Question about the church renting land and buildings

19 May

“Today the U.S. Supreme Court made its decision in the Church suit.” Dissenting opinion was given by Chief Justice Melville Fuller joined by Justices Field and Lamar.

31 May

Attempt to have the inspector of immigrants allow Mormons into the United States

2 June

Massage treatment for son Abraham Cannon’s leg

11 June

Modification of opposition if Mormons “might be of use politically”

17 June ff.

Discussion of “whether we should divide as a people into the national political parties”

20 June

Opposed to John Beck taking another wife

30 June

“President Woodruff has felt very clear that no plural marriage shall be solemnized in the Territory.”

21 July

Discussion with the president of the Hedrickites

23 July

Questions regarding what to do with the Social Hall property in Salt Lake City

26 July ff.

Meetings in regard to political matters

7 August

Discussion regarding political affairs in Arizona

15 August ff.

Visit to Santa Fe and other places in New Mexico and Colorado

27 August ff.

Visit to Josepa in Skull Valley, Utah

1 September ff.

Concern regarding possible confiscation of property

7 September ff.

Observations of life and activities in San Francisco; business with Alexander Badlam Jr., Colonel Isaac Trumbo, and Judge Morris M. Estee

23 September ff.

President Wilford Woodruff “felt that it was his duty to get out some kind of manifesto.”

29 September

“I am convinced that I am in great jeopardy” financially.

2 October

Reception given to new married couples in the family

6 October

General conference meeting pertaining to the Manifesto

10 October

Meeting of the Mexican Colonization Company

13 October

Post-Manifesto question regarding unlawful cohabitation

18 October

Concern over the conduct of Alonzo E. Hyde, manager of the Bullion-Beck mine

3 November ff.

Selection of a site for the sugar factory

11 November

Allowances for presidents of the Seventy

12 November

Changes in seats in the Salt Lake tabernacle

15 November

Challenge to the executors of the Brigham Young estate by Parley L. Williams

24 November

In a lecture, Charles Ellis “exposed the conduct of our enemies.”

15 December

Question of remuneration of the executive committee of Z.C.M.I.

26 December

Laying the cornerstone of the sugar factory

29 December

“Had a lengthy and important interview with Enid (Judge Estee) this morning.”

1 January 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 1st, 1890. New Years Day.

I was able to move around today and sat at the table and ate dinner with my children; but the day has been a rather lonely one to me.

In the evening I went over to the house of my son Abraham’s wife Mamie, where I found my wife Carlie and the children spending New Year.

It stormed very heavily in the evening.

2 January 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany. 2nd, 1890. I came up to the city this morning and attended to considerable business, listening to and answering public correspondence.

3 January 1890 • Friday

Friday, Jany. 3rd, 1890. I drove up this morning and attended to the business of the office.

4 January 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 4th, 1890. I felt very unwell today and stayed at home. I felt better in the evening.

5 January 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany. 5th, 1890. My son Abraham took me in his buggy to the meeting at the Tabernacle. Brother B. H. Roberts spoke and gave an excellent discourse.

After the meeting I went down to my nephew Geo. M. Cannon’s, where his father and his brothers John and Lewis and sister Annie were, having been invited to eat dinner together, in view of the departure of John M. tomorrow for Ann Arbor, he having returned from there to spend the holidays. He is a law student in that college[.]

Brother Dittrich and wife came and joined the party. I forgot to mention that my son Abraham and his wife were also present. My wife Carlie came in the evening and spent an hour or two.

I had a very nice visit. I suffered considerable pain during the latter part of the afternoon and in the evening. I think I must have been sitting too much today.

6 January 1890 • Monday

Monday, Jany. 6th, 1890. Listened to public correspondence and dictated answers to a number of letters to Brother Winter, also my journal.

President Woodruff expressed himself today as feeling that it would be a proper thing for me to go to Washington. He thought I could do a great deal of good there, if I would go down. I told him I was ready to do whatever he wished in the matter.

7 January 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany. 7th, 1890. The past night has been a very cold one, the thermometer within 5 or 6 degrees of zero.

My son Lewis took me in my sleigh to town this morning.

Held a meeting at 11 o’clock with a number of brethren who had been engaged in endeavoring to ferret out the licentiousness of our enemies in the city, for the purpose of arranging for the payment of expenses that had been incurred in this affair. Brothers Alfred Solomon and R. B. Young had gone bonds to the amount of $1500. for one of the witnesses, who had forfeited the bond and they now had it to pay. It was arranged for the $1500. to be paid.

At 2 o’clock we had a meeting of the Deseret Agricultural & Canal Co, to hear an account of the indebtedness that the Company was owing. It was decided to continue the work on the canal as soon as the present assessment that had not yet been paid by some of the members had been collected. I called with my daughter May Alice upon Mr. Charles Kraft and his bride, Miss Katie Belle Young that was. I have been so long acquainted with the family that I felt under obligations to pay my respects to this young couple. Mr. Kraft, though not a member of the Church, has been friendly and kind, and I think that if he had a good opportunity to hear the gospel he would join the Church. I have known him some 16 years. The bride showed us her wedding presents, which were numerous and costly and elegant. I made this the occasion afterwards, when I reached home, of a conversation with some of my children. To me there is something improper in the idea of people receiving presents from those who are comparative strangers to them on the occasion of a wedding. This has become an evil among us at the present time, one vieing with the other in the elegance and cost of their gifts. It is expected, of course, that everyone who goes will carry something along, and people don’t like to appear stingy at such times and frequently will buy articles that they cannot afford in order to appear to advantage among their fellows. I told my girls that if any of them had a wedding and invited guests, I hoped they would print on their cards of invitation “No presents”; for with my organization it would be very humiliating to receive a lot of gifts from people that visited us. Of course, if any members of the family wished to make presents, it would be different; but the sense of obligation that one feels when he receives presents from those to whom he cannot return the gifts would be a feeling that I would not want any of my children to have.

I had an interview today with Mr. Remington, who was very desirous to get me interested in a railroad scheme running from Salt Lake west, south of the lake, to California. He says he does not want me to do any work, but wishes to have my good will and, I suppose, the influence of my name. He found that I was going to be absent and asked if there was any one that I could recommend to whom he could speak upon this subject, and from whom he could get help. We both mentioned Brother Heber J. Grant and James Jack. I am averse to these schemes, though, as far as I heard from him, there is nothing improper in his proposition.

I sent the following telegram to Brother John T. Caine at Washington:

“President Woodruff requests me to visit Washington. Expect to start Monday.”

I drove home this evening.

8 January 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany. 8th, 1890. Another very cold night.

Listened to the reading of several letters, which Brother Reynolds answered.

I read articles for the Juvenile Instructor, which I dictated yesterday to Brother Arthur Winter.

In the afternoon I went down, by invitation, to Brother C. H. Wilcken’s, in company with Presidents Woodruff and Smith. We had an excellent dinner, before partaking of which the house was dedicated, I being mouth at the request of President Woodruff. The company was not large, but all appeared to enjoy themselves.

I reached home about 11:25.

9 January 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany. 9th, 1890. Lewis drove me to town this morning.

Busy gathering up my papers. Dictated some letters to Brother Winter.

Brother F. S. Richards came in and talked over political matters.

I went down to my place early in the afternoon and was joined by Brother Don Carlos Young and his sister, my wife Carlie. We selected a spot on which to build her a house. He is an architect and intends to get out a plan for the house. It is my intention to deed her about 5 acres of land down there, on which to live.

After this I went, by invitation, to Brother Leonard G. Hardy’s. Brother Wilcken took me there, and my son Abraham brought me away. They desired to have their new house dedicated before I left, and as this was the only evening that I could spare they desired me to come this evening.

I offered prayer at Sister Hardy’s request, before we partook of supper.

I enjoyed my visit very much.

I reached home about 10:30[.]

I forgot to mention that we had our regular meeting today at 2 o’clock.

There were present, besides the First Presidency, Brothers H. J. Grant, John W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon. In view of my departure, President Woodruff desired me to be mouth in the circle. After we got through I requested the brethren to lay hands on me and bless me for my journey, which they did, Brother Jos. F. Smith being mouth.

The question of disposing of some part of the property that is now held by the Literary and Scientific Association came up, I having brought it before the meeting in my capacity as President of that Association. The question was whether a portion of the land for which we hold a title should be sold to help us erect a building, and if so which piece, or should none of it be sold. The feeling expressed was in favor of the sale of some portion, and most of the brethren seemed to favor the sale of what is known as the Council House corner.

10 January 1890 • Friday

Friday, Jany. 10th, 1890. It snowed very heavily in the night and this morning.

Two of my children, Lewis and Brigham, were both down with what appears to be the influenza and were unable to arise from their bed. My son Joseph is threatened with it also.

It snowed most of the day.

I was busy attending to public affairs and also making my preparations for my departure.

Attended a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. at 1 o’clock.

We listened to the reading of an article by Sister Susie Young Gates which she had prepared for the North American Review, but which we all agreed was not suitable for that magazine, even if they were to publish it; but we had no idea that the editor would publish it.

There was a parade of the People’s Party this evening at 8 o’clock, and President Woodruff obtained the privilege of occupying the windows in Brother Le Grand Young’s office, which is over the Deseret Bank, and which gives a fine view of the corner. It was a very excellent place to see the whole affair. I have seen a good many torchlight processions, but have never seen anything in my life that I think equalled the parade tonight, although I have seen larger bodies. The good order and the beautiful manner in which everything was conducted was most admirable, and the number of uniformed people in the ranks surprised me. There was a corps of cavalry that appeared to excellent advantage. All the parties in the procession carried torches and the streets were illuminated by calcium lights and fireworks. A star was formed by the procession, having its centre in the centre of the street opposite the Deseret Bank.

This was the most beautiful sight I think I ever saw and everyone was filled with admiration at the manner in which the whole movement was executed. There appeared to be no hitch or confusion. The snow which had fallen heavily through the day was not a disadvantage, as it made the streets very clean and it was not unpleasant marching, the streets being well tramped.

After the parade I went to my son Abraham’s and stopped at his wife Sarahs house.

Today I received the following telegram from Brother John T. Caine:

“Will be most happy to see you. Advise me by telegraph when en route, time of your arrival here, so that we can meet you. Brother Nuttall arrived O.K. on Saturday evening.”

11 January 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 11th, 1890. Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

Saturday, Jan. 11th, 1890 <(continued)>

It would have pleased me to have had leisure today to have visited with my family, as it is my birthday. I am sixty-three years old today, but I do not have time to spare for this purpose.

I drove to the city this morning, and was very busy while I was there. I returned home in the afternoon, and came back again to the city. I had supper at Aunt Carlie’s.

12 January 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan. 12th

Brother Wilcken carried me home this morning. The forenoon was occupied by my daughter Mary Alice and myself packing my valise. In the afternoon, I went to meeting. Brother George Romney Jr., spoke for a while, and I followed him, and had great freedom in speaking. Upon my return home, I met with my family and gave them some instructions in view of my approaching departure.

13 January 1890 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 13th

Stormy this morning, Snow was falling rapidly. My son Lewis took me to the train. Brothers W. C. Spence met me there, and secured my sleeping berth. We were detained ten hours at Ogden in consequence of the detention of the Central Pacific. Our train waited for it, and we did not get away from Ogden until nine o’clock at night. John Q. met me at the train and I went home with him and took dinner.

14 January 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jan. 14th.

This morning I found the snow was not nearly so deep as it was at Ogden. I had quite a conversation with Mr. Corlett, the former delegate to Congress from Wyoming. At Cheyanne, I changed sleepers.

15 January 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jan. 15th

Reached Council Bluffs, and had to wait two or three hours for the departure of the train for Chicago. I took the Chicago & Rock Island.

16 January 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Jan. 16th,

I reached Chicago at nine o’clock this morning. Called upon Mr. Hurlburt, of the Chicago & Atlantic, with a letter of introduction which I had from Brother Spence, and found him prepared with passes for me to New York, via Marion, Ohio. I found that road very ruff <rough> for some distance west of Marion; after that, however, it was much better.

17 January 1890 • Friday

Friday, Jan. 17th,

We were four hours late today, and I telegraphed my son David to advise him when I would arrive. After leaving Chicago, the charges on the dining car for meals is one dollar per meal, and I found them inferior to those on the Rock Island for seventy-five cents per meal. I reached Jersey City at 9:40 in the evening, and was met by Brother John W. Young and my son David, who took me to Mrs Bell’s 1707, Broadway, Corner 54th St. I slept in Bro. Young’s bed, and he slept with David.

18 January 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Jan. 18th, 1890

I called upon Bro. Charles Brown, the purchasing agent for the Z.C.M.I., this morning, who accompanied me to H. B. Claflin’s, where I bought some shawls for my family. I met Mr. Neel at St. John, Kirkham & Co’s, and had an interesting conversation with him.

Bro. Young afterwards accompanied me to the tailor’s, where I got measured for some clothes. In the evening Brother Young, David and myself went to the Madison Square Theater, to see Aunt Jack, which was very amusing. Bro. Wells joined us there with a hack, to take me to the train, but Bro. Young was afraid that we would not be in time, so we took the elevated railroad to Liberty St., and there I left Bro. Young and David. The train left Jersey City at <1>2:15, midnight.

19 January 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Jan. 19th

Reached Washington at 8:40[.] Met at the train by Brothers John T. Caine, L. John Nuttall and F. A. Hammond. Bro. Caine afterwards went to Takoma Park, where he and his family reside, a place about six miles distant. Brothers Nuttall, Hammond and myself did considerable walking today. We visited Georgetown, and crossed the bridge into Virginia. We also called at Brother Budge’s place, but he was not in. Sister Caine and two daughters called and spent two hours in the evening, and then returned to their home.

20 January 1890 • Monday

Monday, Jan. 21st [20th]

I ate breakfast with the brethren at Mrs. Keeler’s, a few doors from where Brother Caine’s office is. I spent the day quietly, writing, etc..

As I have not kept any minutes of what I have done each day, I will have to summarize my movements for two weeks. During the remainder of this week, I was quite busy visiting members, Senators, and others. I wrote letters home, telegraphed home, and received a number of letters from home. On Saturday, Jan. 25th, I went to New York. This is the anniversary of my wife Elizabeth’s decease.

Eight years ago today she passed away, and the recollection of it brings sad memories. I was plunged in grief at her departure, being myself in a very critical situation in consequence of the attacks of my enemies upon me in Congress. Upon my arrival in New York I went to the North American Exchange, 57 Broadway, kept by Brother John W. Young. He had gone home, having left New York last Monday. My son David and my Nephew Charles <M.> Cannon met me there[.]

I went to the tailor’s to have my clothes fitted on. On arriving at Mrs. Bell’s, where David and myself afterwards went, I found two dispatches in cipher, which were as follows: “J. W. Young advocates John T. Caine for Mayor of Salt Lake City[.] Would he accept?

Ascertain his desire on the subject. What is your own? Let us know immediately.” “Single ballot of caucas [caucus] last night, J. T. Caine received fifty out of ninety-eight vote. The probability is that it will be carried last <next> caucus. Will meet tomorrow. They will be pleased to learn by tomorrow morning if J. T. Caine will accept nomination. Has Budge started for home?” I immediately made up my mind to return to Washington, to consult with Brother Caine.

I reached there Sunday morning at 8:40, and started out in company with Brother Nuttall to Takoma Park to see Bro. Caine. We returned to Washington together, and I sent the following reply to President Woodruff: “John T. Caine leaves question of his nomination entirely to us, asking us to consider his obligations to people of all Utah as their elected representative. I think he will be strongest candidate, but would suggest that you consider; first, effect of the interregnum between his resignation and new election in the midst of the present session of Congress; second, the election of new delegate who has not experience and political influence here which John T. Caine’s long service gives; third, be sure and guard against influence operating for the purpose of changing delegate to further personal ends. These considered, I am united with you. Budge is here.” The first, second and third reasons which I mention in this reply were suggested by Bro. Caine himself, and I desired these views should be presented to them, and took this method of doing so, as though it were me <I> who suggested them. I did think them worthy of consideration, also, and in a letter which I wrote to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, immediately after, I explained that I had put them in the dispatch because they seemed to rest upon Bro. Caine’s mind. In the evening I went to hear Mr. J. N. Kimball, Unitarian preacher, who has been very friendly to us, and has defended us on several occasions. After the service, I went to him and introduced myself. He remembered me very well, and we had a very pleasant interview.

From letters which I have received from home from Brother H. B. Clawson, my son Frank, and Brother Geo. Reynolds, I am greatly pained to learn that the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co., or rather two or three of the officers—Brother Moses Thatcher, the president, Brother W. B. Preston Vice-President, and Alonzo E. Hyde, one of the directors and Supt.—have spoken very harshly concerning Brother Clawson, and what we call the California Company. Under our agreement, consented to by President Taylor <and myself,> twenty-five per cent. of our stock was to be given to certain California people for taking hold of our property and defending it against the attacks of the Eureka people, who were endeavoring to obtain the property. I have felt very grateful to the Lord and to these people for the deliverance which has been effected through their instrumentality. There is no doubt in my mind as to what the result would have been to us if this arrangement had not been made.

We should have lost the property, and I have therefore been very willing to do what I agreed to do—to give them twenty-five percent of my stock. I supposed there would be no question about this, but it seems from what I hear that Brother Clawson is accused of being the chief holder of the stock, and the company do not wish to surrender it, Bro. Thatcher saying that if Alexander Badlam has anything to do with it, he ought not to have a share.

Bro. Reynolds writes me that President Woodruff has had an interview with Brother John W. Taylor, who talked very harshly about the stock, and spoke about embezzlement and the Penitentiary as though there had been a fraud, all of which has hurt me very much. <After getting this news> I have thought the matter carefully over, and endeavored to get the mind of the Spirit upon the subject, and came to the conclusion that I would surrender twenty-five per cent of my stock and the dividend accrued upon it to whomsoever the California People should designate as their agent, which I suppose is Brother Clawson.

Bro. Nuttall, who has one hundred shares, who was the former president of the company, and who is familiar with all that took place, and feels exactly as I do, and we joined in a letter to Bro. Clawson informing him that we were ready to surrender twenty-five percent of our stock. We also said that the rumor had reached us that he was the principal claimant or owner of this stock, and we said if so, it did not make a particle of difference to us. We would just as readily surrender this amount to him as to any person, though we did not believe that he was such a claimant.

I wrote in a similar strain to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and also to Bro. George Reynolds, and wrote quite a long communication to my three sons John Q.[,] Frank and Abram, to whom I had given the power of attorney to act for me in connection with the stock. I have felt very badly at these accusations against Bishop Clawson. There were serious remarks, if not charges made concerning his accounts, and it was intimated that he was about forty-eight thousand dollars behind, and that the amount of money was missing. On examination, all the accounts in his book which he kept were found straight, proving beyond a doubt that he had managed the business in the most scrupulous and straight forward manner, and every dollar was fully accounted for. Not content, however, with this, there seems to be a spirit on the part of some to endeavor to blacken him, and to make it appear that he is a wrong-doer in some direction; hence these remarks about his being the proprietor of claimant of this stock. Col. Isaac Trumbo was in Salt Lake City, and I was greatly pleased and relieved to

learn from Bro. Reynolds that he had had an interview with Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and had assured them that Brother Clawson did not own a share of the stock that was coming to the California Company. Col. Trumbo knows who the owners are, and while it would have made no difference in my feelings if Bro. Clawson had been the owner or not, it takes away the basis which his opponents had for complaining about him. I wrote to Bro. Reynolds thanking him for the information. He informed me that it was the intention of Brothers Woodruff and Smith to hold a meeting of the company, at which my son Abram was to be present. I hope to hear that this business is settled. Brother J. T. Caine received a dispatch from President Woodruff informing him that in viewing of his obligations to the people of the entire Territory, and his inability to consult with them, his name had been withdrawn from the Caucas. We got word that Spencer Clawson had been nominated for Mayor, H. M. Wells, Recorder; C. W. Carlson, Treasurer, Gilbert A. McLean, Marshal; J. H. Rumell for Assessor, and 15 councilors, 5 justices of the peace and 5 aldermen, all of whom are new men excepting S. P. Teasdel and J. Fewson Smith. Great enthusiasm had been shown over the nominations. I have received two letters from my daughter Mary Alice, and one from my wife Carlie since I have been here, which I have answered. I have also written to each of my family.

My son David came down from New York on Monday, the 27th, he having stayed until that time to bring my trunk. I have dictated a number of letters to him, which he has copied for me on his typewriter. He has been of great help to me, and I shall miss him when he has to leave to join Bro. Young, who expects to be back from Salt Lake by the beginning of Feb.