Sunday, Feb. 2nd<, 1890>
At one, P.M. David and myself went out to Takoma Park. It is a very rainy day. We had been invited by Brother and Sister Caine to go out and take dinner with them. They are living with a Mr. Seth Ford, who formerly lived in Salt Lake City, and was a printer. His wife is a daughter of Brigham H. Young’s and the grand-daughter of Phineas H. Young’s.
He <Mr. Ford> has been stricken with blindness and partial paralisis, but she has been true to him[.] They have two daughters. He has a pension from the Government, which is a great help to him, he having been in the war. Brother Caine met us at the train, and took us to the house, and we spend <spent> a very agreeable afternoon with him. Two daughters of Mr. Ford’s play on the banjo very well, and they played a number of selections to us. We returned to Washington accompanied by Bro. Caine.
Monday, Feb. 3rd
Quite a cloudy morning, I dictated my journal and a letter, to my son David. Attended meeting of the committee on Territories. There were present Messrs Baker, Dorsey, Nute, Rife, Morey, Perkins, Smith, Springer, and Delegate DuBois, of Idaho. Mr. Struble was there, but did not stay. The time was occupied by ex-chief Justice Weir, of Idaho, arguing in favor of the constitution, and especially the clause which excluded members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from voting. Towards the close of his argument, Mr. Baker, who was acting as chairman, asked him why it would not do to insert in the clause objected to by the Mormons the words “after conviction”, that is, that after conviction they should be excluded from exercising the right of franchise.
He <Weir> said this would do, or upon an admission of one seeking to exercise the franchise that he belonged to a Church that did teach polygamy or bigamy. In saying this, he gave away his whole case, for all our people asked for was that there should be such a clause inserted. After Weir was through, <t>he <chairman> said he wanted Mr. DuBois to argue <make his argument.> Mr. DuBois said he had an argument to deliver, but he did not want to do it until the “Mormons” were heard, and he wanted to know whether the “Mormons” wished to be heard. He said there were two present, Mr. Cannon, the leading politician of Utah, and Mr. Budge, the leading politician in Idaho. In reply, I said I had not come with the intention of making an argument, for I was not a citizen of Idaho. I was ready to answer any questions, however, that they felt inclined to ask. I was not aware that I had the distinction which had been given to me by Mr. DuBois. Bro. Budge said he did wish to make some remarks, so it was arranged that on Wednesday next at the meeting it would be decided when further hearing would be had upon this question. From the committee room, we proceeded to the Supreme Court room. Judge Field was reading, when we entered, the decision of the court in the case of Samuel D. Davis versus the Sheriff of Oneida Co. This is the case which involves the statute law of <constitutionality of the> Idaho test-oath <statue,> and it <which> was argued by Brother F. S. Richards and Judge Jere Wilson, it being an application for Habeas Corpus in the case of Davis. There was a great deal of stuff in the opinion. Assertions are made concerning the position taken by Bro. Richards and Mr. Wilson which are entirely erroneous. The court, however, decides that the Idaho Statute is not open to any constitutional or legal objections, and that the judgment of the lower court is affirmed. The court takes the ground that the legislature has full power to enact such a statute as this test oath. A lot of the Idaho men were present in the court room, among them Mr. DuBois, the delegate, ExGovernor Stevenson, Gov. Shoup, Ex-Chief Justice Weir, and some others, and they went out of the court room in great glee over the decision. I cannot say that I am disappointed, for the delay of the court in rendering a decision in this case has had the effect to prepare me for such an opinion has has been delivered. This decision opens the door for every legislature who <which> chooses to do so, to enact laws that will deprive every member of our Church of the right of suffrage.
Tuesday, February 4th, 1890
I dictated a long letter to Presidents Woodruff and Smith concerning the proceedings of yesterday. I asked Brother Caine today to go with me to the Supervising Architect <of the Treasury,> and wrote the results to Presidents Woodruff and Smith in the following letter:
Washington, D.C. Feb. 4th, 1890.
Presidents Woodruff and Smith, Salt Lake City, Utah
In my letter of yesterday, I did not explain very fully concerning the making of an argument by myself before the committee on Territories, in opposition to the admission of Idaho. It is considered scarcely the proper thing for a person belonging to another Territory or State to interfere with the affairs of a place where he does not reside, unless he
had has interests there. It is on this account that I have felt delicate, knowing this rule, about saying anything in the shape of an argument concerning the Idaho constitution. I would gladly have done so, but no opportunity presented itself where I could say anything without exposing myself to the charge of meddling. In talking the matter over today with Judge Wilson, Brother Budge and Brother Caine, we came to the conclusion that it would be better for me not to be present at the next hearing, as there will be but very little time, if Judge Wilson makes the argument that he intends to do, and there might be questions asked me that would be embarrassing, especially if there was not time to make full explanations, and besides not be of profit to us. I shall do what I can with members individually, and think this will be the better way.
I was desirous of getting the views of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury concerning heating, and accompanied Brother Caine, who called to see him about the proposed Federal Buildings. He has been appointed to this position since I left here. He thought that for a building like our Temple, where the rooms are spacious, hot water would be better than steam. For smaller rooms, he thought steam answered a better purpose. I asked him about the upper rooms of the Treasury Building, as it is a very large building and is heated with hot water, was there any complaint concerning them? He said, not at all, it answered every purpose, and made a very equable heat. I asked him if the employees were healthy, or did they complain? I desired to know this, as there are more of them in this building, probably, than any other in Washington. He said there were no complaints. When I described to him the probable size of the rooms in the Temple, he appeared to think that hot water would be grand (to use his own expression) for such rooms. If this building were to be used only occasionally, it would not answer the purpose so well to have it heated with hot water, but as in severe weather it would be necessary to keep it warm to preserve the regular water pipes from bursting, he supposed that the heat would have to be kept continuously. These were his views between hot water and steam but he said the perfection of heating was the principle upon which the House of Representatives is heated, and that is by heated fresh air, which is forced into the building by fans, and which passes over steam heated surfaces. He said this system was the best for heating, for it combined ventilating and heating. We mentioned the expense, Yes, he said, it was more costly than any other method, but to have good health it was worth the outlay. He thought perhaps we could heat our Temple in this manner; if so, it was far preferable to any other, because there would be a constant supply of air coming from the outside, which would ventilate as well as heat.
I write you this, it being the information which I have obtained; but I shall make further inquiries as quickly as possible, and will keep you advised.
The confirmation of Mr. Varian last week, as District Attorney of Utah, and of U.S. Marshals in other places stirred me up, and I visited friends to know why nothing had been done concerning Paul. I thought it a bad sign. I learned, however, that Senator Edmunds was still sick, and this was the reason action had been deferred. I saw him, however, today in the Supreme Court, Room? and I suppose he is out again. There was an executive session of the Senate today, but I have not heard any report concerning its action. I have done what I could in this matter, and shall keep doing what I can.
Brothers Caine and Budge had a conversation with Judge Wilson about his fees for making arguments against the Idaho constitution before the committees, and Brother Caine will explain to you what Judge Wilson expects[.]
With love to yourselves, the brethren of the Council, Brother Reynolds and all the other brethren, in all of which the brethren here join, I am, as ever,
Brother Caine returned home this evening for the purpose of voting[.]
He left on the Baltimore & Ohio at 9:30. He telegraphed to President Woodruff to know how he felt about making this trip, and President Woodruff referred him back to me. I thought that inasmuch as Brother Caine felt to return it would be a very good example, as it would show the people at home that he took such an interest in the election that he was willing to travel that distance to cast his vote.
Wednesday, Feb. 5th<, 1890>
The House committee on Territories met today and decided to give a further hearing on the Idaho Constitution next Saturday. I had an interview with Judge Wilson today, and suggested several points, and we talked over the treatment of the question in view of the recent decision of the Supreme Court. I wrote a number of letters home, and had conversations with Senators and Members[.]
Thursday, Feb. 6th<, 1890.>
Ex-Senator S. C. Pomeroy, formerly of Kansas, send [sent] Col. Forney to see me a few days ago, and said he wished to have a conversation with me. I made an appointment with him this morning, and went there, the result of which I sent in the following letter to Presidents Woodruff and Smith:
Washington, D.C., Feb. 6th, 1890
Presidents Wilford Woodruff and Joseph F. Smith.
Ex-Senator S. C. Pomeroy, of Kansas, of whom you doubtless have heard, and who has always expressed a very friendly interest in us and our affairs, and has offered on several occasions to help us—“for a consideration”—sent a messenger to me the other day with the request that I would call upon him, as he had some matters he wished to communicate to me? I did so this morning, and I will endeavor in brief to give you some of the points of his communication. He is interested in a large land grant in the states of Columbia and Costa Rica. This is a grant which has been in hand for sometime. There is quite a history connected with it, which he gave me, but it is not necessary for me to repeat it to you here. The commencement of it was during the administration of Abraham Lincoln. There are two important harbors, one on the Atlantic and one on the Pacific side. One is called Chiriqui Lagoon, which is described as a very fine harbor, and the other on the Pacific side is called “Golfito”, or “Golfo Dulce.” The former was in the state of New Granada. The latter is in Costa Rica. The design is to build a railroad from one ocean to the other, which will be about fifty miles distance. The consent of both the New Granada or Columbian Government and the Costa Rica Government has been obtained for the construction of the railroad. There are immense beds of coal, and the U.S. Government is interested in the project because if successful, there will be a coaling station on the Atlantic and on the Pacific for our ships of war, and the saving will be very great, as the coal has to be brought now on the Pacific side in ships from Oregon at a cost of upwards of eight dollars per ton, whereas if this line were completed, it could be furnished at between two and three dollars a ton. Senator Pomeroy says that some two hundred thousand dollars has been appropriated by Congress sometime since, and this has stood to the credit of the Secretary of the Navy to establish warehouses and other conveniences at these ports. Secretary Tracy has had this amount placed to his credit within a short time, intending to use it for the purpose for which it was appropriated. Mr. Blaine, as Secretary of State, is very much in favor of the project, and is anxious to have it carried out. I now come to the reason which Mr Pomeroy had for having this conversation with me. He heard I was in the city, and having been acquainted with me in old times, he desired to lay the scheme before me for the purpose of learning whether there was any likelihood of getting suitable men among us interested as contractors in building of this railroad. He says that everyone with whom he has spoken has said that if they can get the “Mormons” to take the contract of building this railroad, they will put their money into it, because whatever may be said about the “Mormons”, they are an honest, industrious, faithful and
praise<trust>-worthy people. Henry Willard, of the Northern Pacific, is interested in this scheme, and a large capitalist by the name of Boynton[.] It suggested itself to him, he said, that as a good many of our people were now being persecuted, that some of them might find it convenient to go down there and superintend this work. which would occupy them for sometime. They could make money, and if they wanted any land, he would be glad to let them have any amount they wanted. He described the country as being very desirable, and the greater part of it very healthy. Laborers, he thinks, can be obtained there without much difficulty. Negroes can be brought, if necessary, from Panama, where the canal project, he says, has failed, and Indian labor can also be obtained there. What is needed from us is, responsible men, familiar with employing and directing labor, in whom the company could have confidence[.] The scheme as he described it to me, and our conversation covered about an hour, struck me very favorably, as it might be the means of furnishing a number of our brethren good employment, and give us a still more widely-known character for those qualities which distinguish, and which, despite all that our enemies can say, give us a reputation in the business world. If our people are willing to enter upon this, an assurance of that, he says, will give life to their operations. The government will send ships of war down there, and they will carry the engineers and contractors free of cost there and back, so that if we seriously entertain this purpose, and should wish any of our people to go down and view the country and examine with the engineers the feasibility of the project, they can go on vessels of war belonging to the government free of cost. Of course, it would be expected that only a few would go, as accommodations on board vessels of war are limited. This feature pleased me, because it would furnish an opportunity of gaining information concerning the proposed work that would take from it any great risk. The contractors could see for themselves whatever difficulties there might be to contend with, and have a clear idea of the character and extent of the undertaking, and especially satisfy themselves as to the climate—whether it would be healthy and the proper place for them to spend time at. There may be places near the coast that may be low, but he describes to me the greater part of it as being on the uplands, and remarkably healthy. I have heard that region described by men who have travelled there and also in published accounts, as being very healthy <and> one of the finest climates on the globe but whether this line runs through that region or not, I cannot say. You will understand that part of this route is in Costa Rica and part in the state south of that line. I have procured a document, published in the first session of the 47th Congress, which I send to Brother Reynolds, that will give you such information as has been furnished to Congress, and from a careful perusal of it, the information in possession of the government up to that date you will have before you. I have not had time since I got the document to read it myself, but think it proper to send this immediately to you, that it may receive early consideration. I am impressed with the importance of this, if statements which Senator Pomeroy has made to me can be relied upon. Of course, before anything definite can be fully decided upon, and especially before any binding arrangements can be made, the fullest understanding of every point connected with it should be had. I think there must be many men among us who, if this proposition should be as favorable as represented, would be pleased to engage in an enterprise of this character. The time is not far distant, it seems to me, when we shall have to push to the south, and if a knowledge of these lands could be gained by our men by engaging in such an enterprise, it would be of exceeding great value to us.
With love to yourselves, the brethren of the Council, Brother Reynolds, and all the other brethren, in all of which the brethren here join with me, I am,
In the evening, Bro. Nuttall, and my son David and myself went to see Charles Wyndham in a play called the Candidate. There was also a farce called a Pretty piece of Business.
Friday, Feb. 7th<, 1890.>
I received the following dispatch from San Francisco[:]
“What is the earliest day you can conveniently be in Salt Lake. Clawson and ourselves go over next week, Hyde, Beck and Richard Taylor are here and return on Sunday. They are determined to make us great trouble. Your presence would help matters greatly.
Alexander Badlam & Col. Trumbo”.
After receiving this, I telegraphed as follows to James Jack, for Presidents Woodruff and Smith:
“Should not Saturday’s News and Herald publish John T. Caine’s return as example to all voters. Badlam and Trumbo telegraph they go Salt Lake next week, ask earliest day I can meet them. They say Hyde and Richard Taylor determined to make trouble, and my presence would help matters greatly. What shall I answer them?”
I have been troubled in my feelings somewhat concerning the B. B. & C. Co.’s affairs. I cannot understand why there should be any refusal on the part of anyone connected with the company to surrender their twenty-five per cent of the stock to the California Company, according to agreement. I believe the ground for refusal is based on what is called a secrecy that prevails
of <as to> whom these parties are[.] Why that should figure in this transaction, I cannot imagine. Mr. Badlam was the only one I knew in the matter, and he acted for the others. Now, if he has done it all, I see no reason why he should not have the stock. They seem to be anxious that I should return to Salt Lake, thinking I can be of service, but I have had my feelings so hurt over this business in the past, that I have no inclination, if it can be avoided, to have anything to say or do about it further. I suppose, however, that it will be difficult for me to stand aloof, as President Woodruff, Bishop Clawson, and the California people all seem to think that my influence and understanding of the affair would be an important element in inducing those who refuse to come to a settlement. Of this, however, I do not feel sanguine myself, for the reason that they have treated me in such a way as forces me to the conclusion that they do not look favorably upon me, or upon my action in connection with this affair. I received a long letter from my son Abraham, and also one from President Woodruff.
Saturday, Feb. 8th, 1890
I was quite sick in the night, last night, and did not feel well today. I called upon Senator Vest concerning the confirmation of Parsons as U.S. Marshal of Utah. I submitted affidavits which I had, and asked him whether it would be better for them to be presented to Edmunds by Senator Stanford. He said it would. I had Brother Nuttall and my son David copy them off, and tried to find General George B. Williams to consult with him about them, as he has had this case in hand. He was out of town, but was expected back. I called twice afterward without finding him. The rain poured down in torrents during the night, and has continued most of the day[.] There was a meeting of the House committee on Territories to consider the application of Idaho to
the admission in the Union with the constitution which had been framed. I had attended two of these meetings, and thought of continuing to attend them, but in conversation with the brethren concerning it, they were all of the opinion that it would not be attended with good results if I was present and attempt<ed> to make an argument. I would like to have taken part in this discussion, as I think I could have thrown light on a good many points. I took pains, however, to tell them to Judge Wilson and Brother Budge. In the first place, not being a citizen of Idaho, there would be an impropriety in my making any argument against the admission. In the second place, if I did appear, I would naturally draw upon myself the anger of ex-Governor Stevenson and Governor Shoup, Mr. DuBois, the delegate from Idaho, and others who are here pressing for her admission. They would doubtless assail me in order to break down the force of anything I might say, and especially on my marriage record, if I were to be catechised closely by them. And the brethren felt that, judging by DuBois’ past actions, he would do so. The fact that I had married since the passage of the Edmunds Law would be brought out, and probably with damaging effect, because as one of the leaders of the Church I had set an example of contempt for the law, which would nullify my remarks upon the disposition of the people to observe the law, and also the remarks that Brother Budge had made and would make. The spirit manifested to me that it was better not to be present for these reasons, and I came to that conclusion because there was light in that direction, and I felt it was the proper thing to do. The committee had its meeting this morning, at ten o’clock, and remained in session until about three. Judge Carlton made a very excellent statement of the effect that pursuing a legal course had upon the people of Utah. He did this at my instance to show the committee that it was not necessary to incorporate this hateful proscription in the constitution of Idaho by which our people would be disfranchised without conviction. His statement of what had been accomplished in Utah by the laws already existing would show the committee that this was a much better plan, and certainly more in accordance with constitutional government than to adopt this Idaho constitution. Judge Wilson followed in a very plain argument against the injustice and wrongfulness of the proposition, and they were followed by Mr. DuBois, who gave a history of the people, and described what a bad people the Latter-day Saints are, drawing all his statements from bitter anti-Mormon sources. Brother Budge followed him, being permitted to do so because of some allusions to him personally. He made an excellent use of his time. The committee has received considerable information upon this question, and I feel that they are now left without excuse. If they admit Idaho, they will do so in the face of very powerful reasons against it. I received the following telegram: “If you think your presence not needed, will not urge you to come. Please notify Badlam, as we know neither address or cipher. W. Woodruff” and sent the following answer: “Am ready to leave here whenever you say. What is your feeling concerning it? I was sent here, and expect to remain until you say return. Don’t wish to drop mission at suggestion of California people. You know whether my presence at home will do any good”
Sunday, Feb. 9th, 1890
Robert Collyer, the Unitarian preacher, who is quite famous, was announced to preach in All Souls Church this morning and this evening. Brothers Budge, Hammond, Nuttall and my son David and myself attended both meetings. The house was very much crowded, but we secured good seats[.] In some Editorial Thoughts, I dictated, I give my opinion of his discussions. He is a man of originality, and has a strong way of putting things—plain and sturdy in his manner. Until thirty years ago, he was a blacksmith. He is now about 66 years old. Born and brought up in England, he came to America as a blacksmith, but has risen to eminence as a preacher. He is a man of extensive reading, and has educated himself until he has become quite cultured. His discourses were both written.
Monday, Feb. 10th
I had an interview with Gen. George B. Williams, this morning, and left the papers with him defending E. H. Parsons, the U.S. Marshal. I afterwards called upon Gen. Rosecranz, register of the treasury to converse with him about steam heating and hot water. He gave me a letter of introduction to Mr. Norman Wiard, who is an expert at steam heating. I failed, however, to find Mr. Wiard at the place where he generally stays. This evening Brothers Budge, Hammond, Nuttall and David and myself went to the National Theater and saw a play called the “Gold mine” in which Nat C. Godwin was the leading character. We all enjoyed it very much, especially Brother Hammond. I sent the following telegram to Mr. Badlam and Col. Trumbo at California:
“Telegraphed Wilford twice subject your dispatch, requested him telegraph you his decision. I await his reply. Can you telegraph him?”
Tuesday, Feb. 11th
I dictated most of the day to my son David articles for the Juvenile. In the middle of the afternoon, I took the brethren down to Harvey’s where we had a lunch of oysters. In the evening I had a call from Mr. F. A. DePuy, a reporter of the N. Y. Times, who came to ask questions about the election and condition of affairs at Salt Lake City. Brother Hammond bid us good by this evening, as he returns to New York in the morning. I assisted Bro. Budge in preparing the report of his remarks, which is to be printed in the House Document.
I received the following dispatch from President Woodruff, and sent the following reply.
Wednesday, Feb. 12th,
I dictated another article to my son David this morning, and also my journal[.] Mr. James McKenzie, former member of Congress from Kentucky, dined with Mr. Leedom, who is our fellow-boarder. He expressed great pleasure at meeting me, he having promised to come and see me in return for a visit I paid to him a few days ago. We served together six years in Congress, and I became quite attached to him, and he to me, he tells me. He has displayed personal friendship to me. He is a very remarkable man, and one of the most gifted men in conversation I ever met. His knowledge of books is very great, showing that he is a great reader, and there is scarcely a subject that can be broached that he is not familiar with. Mr. Leedom says he is the finest speaker in America[.] I certainly think him a very fine speaker. The evening was spent very pleasantly until ten o’clock, he furnishing a great deal of information in his conversation, as well as amusement.
Thursday, Feb. 13th
I dictated answers to correspondence to my son David[.]
Friday, Feb. 14th,
Received the following dispatch<:>
and sent the following telegram to President Woodruff:
“We want to consult you before commencing a law suit. Come to Utah as soon as you can. It is very important, and serious results may be expected. Answer Alexander Badlam.”
<I sent the following dispatch to President Woodruff:>
“Awaiting anxiously answer my Tuesday’s dispatch. Badlam telegraphs again, desires to see me early as possible before commencing law suit as serious consequences may be expected. Answer quick[.”]
In the evening, received the following dispatch from President Woodruff[:]
“Your messages received. Return here as soon as possible consistent with demands on you at Washington movements. California friends depend upon your arrival.”
This puts an end to the anxiety which I have had for a number of days past, and I shall now arrange to return home as soon as possible. I saw Brother Budge, this evening, and arranged for him to go to New York, and learn whether Mr. Brice was there. Mr. Brice is the newly-elected senator from Ohio, and is the Chairman of the National Democratic Committee. Brothers Nuttall, Budge, and my son David and myself went down to the Riggs House and called upon Sisters Dougall and Sarah M. Kimball, also Wilby Dougall, son of Mrs. Dougall. The ladies are down to attend a convention of the Women’s
Sufferage, <Suffragists,> which is to be held in Washington City. I was quite pleased to notice that they occupied the room, 315, in the Riggs House where I lived for some six or seven months in 81–82. I had conversation with a number of Members of Congress relating to the situation of affairs in Utah. I sent the following dispatch to Mr. Badlam:
“Expect to leave so as to reach home Friday, twenty-first. Sorry for delay. Hope you are all well”
Saturday, Feb. 15th<, 1890.>
I saw a number of Members and Senators today, among them Senators Butler, Gorman, Reagan and Mr. Mills of Texas, with whom I had considerable conversation concerning the situation of affairs in the mountains. Senator Gorman has been sick for ten days. Brother Budge and myself called upon him yesterday morning, but he was unable to grant us an interview. He apologised today for it. I had a very long and pleasant interview with him. He says that there are a number of them who have formed a sort of a committee to look after affairs, of leading Democrats, and they intend to do everything in their power to thwart the purposes of the Republicans in their encroachments upon the liberties of the people, and he told me they would do all in their power to prevent a consummation of the villainy that was proposed against the “Mormon” people in Idaho, in Utah and elsewhere. He mentioned a number of things to me confidentially concerning the situation. He appears to be very much dissatisfied with the indifference of some of the southern people concerning the wrongs that are being attempted by the Republicans, and he said that he hoped that the Republicans would make an attack upon the south immediately, so as to arouse the southern members, and put them in fighting trim. If something of this kind were done, he thought it would divert attention from us and prevent the admission of Idaho. But he confessed that the party was powerless to stand against the Republicans in their designs. He deplored the decision of the Supreme Court, as also did Senator Butler. Senator Butler said he did not see how such a decision could be reached. Senator Gorman related to me that in his visit to Salt Lake he had gone around and visited the court and spent one day in the Third District Court unknown to anyone. He had told his friends since then that it reminded him of the Drum-Head court <martials> of the war. He spoke in high terms of the labors of the Latter-day Saints in settling the western country, and his feelings seem to be generally with us. This I may say, is the general feeling, and I have been reminded today, as I have been several times, of what Martin Van Buren said to the Prophet Joseph: “Your Cause is just, but
I <we> can do nothing for you.” This is the way the Democrats feel. They confess their inability to cope with the Republican party. I feel quite satisfied with the interviews I have had today, and feel now that I can return with my mind easier than it would have been if I had gone away last night, as I thought of doing at first. I took Sisters Dougall and Kimball, and Brother Dougal, Brother Nuttall and my son David to Harvey’s, and we had stewed oysters for lunch. I afterwards strolled through the Corcoran Art Gallery with Brother Nuttall, and then took train to Tacoma Park and visited Sister Caine. I received the following dispatches:
“Our friend can be seen at three P.M. Monday, all well, Wm. Budge.” <This refers to Mr. Brice.>
“If you are home Friday next, that will be all right. Answer about Parson’s papers. Alexander Badlam”
“In Parson’s case, Edmunds says counter statements are copies not attested. Originals were sent to you ten days ago. See that they are sent to him at once. Think he would have been confirmed yesterday if Edmunds had read them. H. B. Clawson”
I sent the following reply to H. B. Clawson:
“Delivered all the Parsons papers received here to Williams at his request, to be given through the Governor to Edmunds.”
<I also wrote the following notes:>
Washington, Feb. 15th, ‘90
I have received a dispatch from San Francisco upon the subject of Marshal Parson’s papers, and as I am on the point of leaving the City, I think it better to give you a copy, and enclose it herewith. I handed you all the papers upon this case that have been received, and I replied by telegraph that it had been arranged for them to be handed to Edmunds through the Governor. I have no idea as to how the impression could get out that they were copies, for they were the same papers which were sent to me.
(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon
Gen. Geo. B. Williams,
700- 14th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C, Feb. 15th, 1890
I called at your office today, but failed to find you. Unexpectedly to myself, I am under the necessity of returning home.
After our interview I wrote immediately home about the business of our interview. No answer has had time yet to reach here. When I reach Salt Lake City, I shall communication [communicate] with you. My address is P.O. Box B. Salt Lake City,
(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon
HON S. C. Pomeroy,
Sunday, Feby. 16th, 1890. Busied myself with David this morning in making my preparations to get away this afternoon. Mrs. Woods, the lady of the house where we had our room, appeared sorry to part with us. Her husband was formerly the clerk of the Land Committee of the House and I knew him very well. He is not in the city at the present time. Our room was well kept and very nicely furnished. I have arranged for David to stop with Brother L. John Nuttall. He will continue to board with Mrs. Keeler, who appeared to regret my departure. I have enjoyed myself very much at her house. Mr. Dibble, Member of Congress from South Carolina, and ex-Sergeant-at-Arms Leedom, who also was formerly a Member of Congress, and with whom I was well acquainted, were boarding there, also a Mrs. Sayre and her son. She is a niece of Dr. Sayre of New York. At 2:30 I started for New York and reached the Astor House a short time before 9 o’clock. Found Brother Budge there.
Monday, Feby. 17th, 1890. I started out after breakfast this morning to find Brother Charles Brown, the purchasing agent of Z.C.M.I.. I afterwards, in company with Brother Budge, had an interview with Hon. Calvin S. Brice, the newly-elected Senator from Ohio, and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Mr. Brice is a very busy man and had numerous callers; but he gave us a private interview, which was very interesting, excepting that I thought that from his anxiety to state the position of affairs from his standpoint I would not be able to get in the remarks I wished him to hear concerning the position of affairs with our people. He is a very bright man, very quick in comprehending things, an excellent talker, and is, I thought, a little too fond, it might be said, of hearing himself talk; at least, it appeared so for our purpose. He made quite a fine comparison between our position and that of the primitive Christians, comparing the American nation to the Roman Empire, with all its organizations, its increase of wealth, its luxury and its determination to have everything come into conformity with the dominant ideas. He said that the primitive Christians were martyred until they assimilated to the world and, through the breaking of the Roman Empire, obtained freedom and recognition. He said there were two things that presented themselves before us; one was for us to be martyrs, and the other was to conform to the requirements of the age. He spoke of his own church—the Presbyterian; that the demands of the age required it to abandon its chief doctrine, which had distinguished it from all other churches—election and reprobation; and though it had been always an unyielding church it would have to yield and it would yield, he said, although there might be many who, like himself, had been taught to believe that that was correct. It would be hard for the old generation to part with that belief, perhaps; but the new generation would adopt the creed in its changed form. He gave this to illustrate how institutions, even one so long established as the Presbyterian church, would have to bow to the demands of public opinion. He spoke as though it would be a good thing and a proper thing for us to come out and announce the cessation of the performance of plural marriages among us, and formulate something that would show our true position. I endeavored from time to time to make remarks that would throw light upon our situation, and I remarked to him that such an announcement would be useless upon our part, in my opinion, and that it would be discredited. I related to him what had been done in Idaho, and the evidence that had been brought before the court there in the trial of Samuel D. Davis, to show our true position. This evidence had been thrown aside and had had no effect upon the court; and if we were to make such an announcement as he suggested, it would be unavailing; for our enemies were determined that we should not have the benefit of anything of that kind, and they would charge us with all manner of bad motives for doing so and accuse us of deception. Besides, suppose, as he suggested, that the leading men of the Church, say the Apostles, were to come out and make an announcement of that kind, it would be immediately seized by our enemies and they would reassert that here was an evidence of the thraldom in which the Mormon people were held by their leaders, for when they came out and made an announcement of this kind the people all submissively did as they told them, and if they told them anything else in opposition, they would be equally servile in obeying, and that would be urged as an argument to prove their unfitness for citizenship. Another reason for not making such an announcement was that we believe that God had given a revelation concerning plural marriage, and, having that belief, how could any man come out and say that it was not right or that it must be discontinued, and set themselves up in opposition to God. He saw the force of these points, and then remarked, Well, the people then should get together and they could come out and make the announcement. I said to him that they had already done this. A constitution had been framed by delegates duly elected by the people from all parts of the Territory, and in that constitution everything had been said that could be asked of the Mormon people concerning the practise of polygamy. I said to him, I am telling you now a secret, a thing that I have never mentioned to anybody before, and that is, that the clauses in that constitution which relate to polygamy had been prepared in Washington and were adopted in the Convention, and it had required influence on our part with the people to have that adopted. But, I said, that announcement had been of no avail. I then dwelt upon the egregious political folly that had been displayed by some of the leading politicians of the Democratic Party, when an opportunity was presented for them to gain the great credit of settling the Mormon problem and of having Utah admitted as a State. I said, now you have lost the opportunity of making at least four Territories Democratic States, and unless you prevent the admission of Idaho with the constitution which has been prepared, you destroy your prospects for Democratic supremacy in these mountain Territories. The Mormon people, as a political factor, stand emasculated. They will be deprived of the power to vote in Idaho. Let the same thing be done in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, and the Republican Party gain the supremacy thereby. The Mormon vote would make Idaho a Democratic State. It would do the same for Utah, for Arizona, and I think without doubt for New Mexico also. He said, But what can we do? I told him that they could use an influence to prevent the admission of Idaho with that constitution, and do it too without exposing yourselves, I remarked, to any of the odium that attaches to a defense of the Mormons. You can object to it on the ground that it is unrepublican, that it is contrary to all American ideas, to the genius of the government, and to everything, in fact, that has ever been known among us as a people since the organization of the Republic. I said to him, We do not come to you asking you to defend Mormonism nor to defend the Mormons. We come to you and ask you to stand up for and defend the rights of men under the Constitution. We are Democrats, because it is good Democratic doctrine to believe that every man should have entire freedom in religious matters as long as he does not trespass upon the rights of his neighbors. We ask that we shall not be punished before conviction, and not be condemned as a class. Here are hundreds of young men growing up to manhood in the Rocky Mountains, and is it not a shocking proposition to say that these young men, who are in every respect fitted for all the duties of citizenship, shall be deprived of those rights because they happen to be born of Mormon parents; and all this, too, without the least evidence that they have done anything improper; in fact, all the evidence going to show that they were eminently worthy of the full privileges of citizenship? This is what we ask. We ask it of you, and we ask it of all our fellow-citizens who have influence. We come to you because you are the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and a man that will soon fill a seat in the Senate, and one who has influence. We plead for the ordinary rights of human beings that have always been recognized in our land—nothing more than this. I cannot give all the details of our conversation. Brother Budge sat and listened and made a few remarks as we went along. Mr. Brice expressed himself as greatly pleased to have met me and to have had a conversation, and hoped I would call upon him again whenever I felt to do so. He knew me by sight, having seen me in Washington.
After this I had an interview with Mr. Gibson of the Guion Line, in company with Brother Budge. We saw Brother Morgan and bid him farewell, and at 3 o’clock we left Jersey City on the Chicago and Atlantic for Chicago.
Tuesday, Feb. 18th, 1890. Reached Chicago at 9 o’clock this evening. I took passage on the Chicago and Rock Island for Council Bluffs. Brother Budge had a ticket over the Chicago & Northwestern. So we separated. I telegraphed my son David at Washington.
Wednesday, Feb. 19th, 1890. Arrived at Council Bluffs at 5:30. Was met by Brother Budge. We took cars together for Ogden.
Thursday, Feb. 20th, 1890. Spent the day on the cars. I had to change sleeping car at Cheyenne.
Friday, Feb. 21st, 1890. Brother Budge went to Montpelier. I continued my journey to Ogden. We were an hour late in reaching there. I was met by John Q., who spent the time that we remained with me in the car. A little after 1 I reached Salt Lake City. My son Abraham met me and took me to the Gardo House, where I met Presidents Woodruff and Smith and the other brethren, all of whom I was very glad to see.
It is quite a stormy day. The snow last night began to deepen as we drew near the mountains. There was none on the plains. This morning in crossing the rim of the basin the snow was quite deep. The streets of Salt Lake are exceedingly muddy. My brother Angus drove me down home. The mud down there is worse than I ever saw it. There has been a great deal of rain and snow since I have been gone and the ground is full of water. I found my family all in the enjoyment of good health. Sylvester had run the tine of a pitchfork in his instep, which had kept him in the house for two weeks, but it is better.
Saturday, Feb. 22nd, 1890. This is Washington’s Birthday and a holiday. I spent the morning at home looking over papers, accounts, etc. In the afternoon my son Hugh took me to town in my buggy. I had an interview with my wife Carlie. Called at Brother Francis Armstrong’s but he and his wife were out.
Sunday, Feb. 23rd, 1890. My son William drove me to meeting today. I felt uncommonly weak and timid today at the thought of speaking. I do not know when I had such a feeling so strongly. Brother Penrose had charge of the meeting and asked me if I would not speak. I suggested that somebody precede me; but Brother Penrose thought that if I would speak it would be more satisfactory, under the circumstances, and I ought to have all the time. So I complied and spoke for about an hour and ten mins, and after I got started felt exceedingly well. I was very glad then that I had arisen first.
Monday, Feb. 24th, 1890. I came to the Gardo House this morning and spent the day looking through my correspondence and attending to public duties. I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter. Bishop Preston reported the Rexburg mill as being in a good condition. The First Presidency afterwards appropriated $2000. of the stock of that mill—$1500. to Brother Rick’s first wife, who lost her home in Logan, and $500. to Brother Thomas E. Ricks himself. The roads are in a very bad condition. It is terrible traveling between the city and my home.
Tuesday, Feby. 25th, 1890. Brothers L. W. Shurtliff, C. C. Richards and F. J. Cannon had an interview with the First Presidency this morning concerning the condition of the Ogden Standard. After considerable conversation, Brother Jos. F. Smith moved that $10000.00 be appropriated for the relief of that paper. An appeal case from the High Council of Cache Valley Stake was brought before us. The case was that of Brother George W. Baker for teaching false doctrine. We listened to the minutes of the trial before the Bishop’s Court and before the High Council, and the evidence was so plain that we sustained the decision. Brother Jos. F. Smith, being an old acquaintance of Brother Baker’s, felt that he should be written to and he framed a letter to him, which we signed.
On my way home tonight the snow fell very heavily.
Wednesday, Feby. 26th, 1890. The case of Brother Dittrich came up for consideration before the First Presidency this morning, my son Abraham being present also. He informed us concerning Brother Dittrich’s feelings and desires, and it was decided that inasmuch as the Latter-day Saints’ College in this city was in need of a German professor, arrangements be made, if it were agreeable to the Faculty and to Brother Dittrich, for him to spend some portion of each day teaching German there. We feel that he will be quite an acquisition to the College, as he is a man of fine attainments.
The First Presidency had an interview with Brothers F. S. Richards and C. W. Penrose concerning legislative matters. At 1 o’clock there was a meeting of the Directors of Zions Savings Bank. The subject of heating the Temple was brought up and I made my reports. The following resolution was adopted: That the Architect be instructed to take the necessary steps to heat the Temple with hot water and to provide suitable warm air ventilation, combining the two, and also the Tabernacle by indirect steam heating combined with warm air ventilation; and it was suggested that Brother D. James take the business of heating the Tabernacle, and Brother Midgley that of the Temple.
Thursday, Feby. 27th, 1890. At 12:30 today, in company with President Woodruff, I attended the funeral of Bishop Joseph Pollard of the 15th Ward. The house was crowded and many had to go away for want of room. Brothers Payne, John Siddoway, G. G. Bywater, Angus M. Cannon, myself, President Woodruff and Counselor W. L. Binder spoke. Our remarks were brief. I never listened to more favorable remarks than were made concerning the deceased, and Brother Siddoway was especially fine in his testimony concerning him. He has been a remarkable man. Since the increase of prices offered for real estate in this city and neighborhood, and particularly since what is called the “boom” has commenced, the First Presidency of the Church have had occasion to give counsel frequently to brethren and sisters who have applied to them to know whether they could sell their inheritances for the large sums which were offered to them; but, in accordance with the policy that has governed the First Presidency since we came to these valleys, parties who have thus applied have invariably been counseled not to sell. For some few weeks past, however, the minds of the brethren of the First Presidency have been led to consider the propriety of a change of policy in regard to the inheritances. A stream of money has been setting in this direction, and notwithstanding the tempting offers which have been made for land, a large number of faithful Latter-day Saints have refused to accept them. Some of these are aged and in indigent circumstances, standing greatly in need of means to pay obligations that rest upon them and to meet their current daily expenses. The question has been a very serious one, even before the so-called Liberals carried the city election. Since that time it has become still more grave, as the prospect is that taxes will be increased very much, and parties who refuse to sell will sooner or later have their property taken from them to meet the taxes. This will be the case with the great bulk of the Latter-day Saints. There are some few who might meet these expenses and still retain their city property. The plan that appears to be adopted by those who now have control of city affairs is to go and ask a person who has real estate, what he will take for his lot. If he refuses to set a price upon it, he is then asked if he would not take such an amount for it. When this is refused, it of course furnishes a basis for future taxation, because property is valued at that for which it will sell and is taxed accordingly. There are many families in this city who have considerable land which they have held as their inheritances. One instance has been brought to our knowledge. Brother Hamilton G. Park has a city lot in the 13th Ward for which he has been offered in sums varying from $75000. to $10000.00; but he has refused to sell because it is the counsel of God’s servants that he should not. It is not at all likely, however, that if he retains this lot his entire earnings will enable him to hold it. This is one case out of very many of a somewhat similar character. These things have given the First Presidency very serious thought. The question has arisen, how shall this condition of affairs be met, and what plan shall be adopted to prevent the plans of our enemies being successfully carried out, which would have the effect, if successful, to lead to the almost entire confiscation of the surplus property of the faithful Saints. The minds of the brethren of the First Presidency have been led to contemplate as never before the propriety of changing the counsel that has heretofore been given, and releasing the brethren and sisters from the obligation they have been under to retain their inheritances and not sell them to the outsiders. Brother Francis Armstrong came in today at 9:30, by appointment, he having had some conversation upon this subject and having broached a plan that he had to Brother Geo. Q. Cannon last evening. As Presidents Woodruff and Smith would be in the office this morning, an appointment was made for Brother Armstrong to come and meet with the Presidency. He did so with some degree of timidity, as he did not know how the brethren would receive his proposition. His proposition is that the saints be counseled to sell all their surplus land, but retain their houses with just enough land around to enable the owners to have necessary passage-ways, and to dispose of all the rest at the present high prices. In this way brethren and sisters will be enabled to meet their taxes. If they could not get cash down for the land they sold, then insist, at least, on receiving half, and have a mortgage for the remainder on the land. He suggested that a loan and trust company be formed of men in high standing in our community, in whom the people would have entire confidence, and that its officers should work for nothing in the beginning, at least. He himself would be willing to devote his attention to this business for a long time, if necessary, to carry this scheme out. The money obtained for the sale of this property, he suggested, should be put in this loan and trust company, together with the mortgages, and they would invest this money judiciously in various directions where it would bring in interest, and each person who sold land and placed money or mortgages in the company would derive the interest from that which he put in. He thought that if this were rightly managed, perhaps millions of dollars might be accumulated, and in this way, he said, the “boom” could be killed, and instead of our paying tribute to these people in the shape of taxes and heavy outlays, they having the power to assess us, they would be paying interest to us. He believed that it would not be long before we would be able to realize on these mortgages and get much of the property back. Of course, great secrecy would have to be maintained, to begin with, because if the knowledge of this plan were to transpire, measures would be taken accordingly and the good effect would be lost. He took this position: that the present high prices of land were due to the fact that so many of the people would not sell. This made the property of apostates and unfaithful Latter-day Saints and Gentiles of more value, because there was a smaller quantity in the market and it stiffened the market; whereas if we were to unload all our real estate in the way that he proposes, he thought real estate would soon depreciate. This matter was listened to very carefully by the brethren of the First Presidency, and they were favorably impressed with the proposition. After considerable conversation upon the subject, it was concluded that it would be advisable, in the first place, to have the brethren outside of the city who had poor lands, and who had been offered large prices for land, informed that they were at liberty to sell, before the people who had city property should have the same suggestion given to them. A good many of our poor brethren who own suburban property have held on conscientiously to their land, refusing enormous prices for it, who now ought to have the privilege, if this plan be adopted, of getting the advantage of the high prices. Brother Armstrong was told to call again in the afternoon and we would talk further with him upon the subject. The brethren of the First Presidency then took the matter into consideration by themselves. The first question which presented itself—and this was a serious one—was, is it the will of the Lord that the counsel which has heretofore been given to the saints concerning holding on to their inheritances and not disposing of them, should be changed and a new policy be adopted? President Woodruff asked his counselors as to their views. Each of them expressed himself as convinced that the time had come when a change of policy in regard to our inheritances was called for; that the circumstances which surrounded us were of such a nature that we must take some step to save ourselves or we should be robbed by the processes that our enemies who are now in power would adopt. The only fear that was expressed was that unless great care was taken there might be a panic, and the brethren rush into the market with their property and be so eager that it would result in disaster. After hearing his counselors express themselves, President Woodruff said that his views were clear upon this point also, and that he felt that the time had come for us to make a change in the counsel that we have been giving the people, and that it is the will of the Lord that the people should be permitted to dispose of their surplus lands in the way that had been talked about. The brethren then took in consideration names of proper persons to associate with Brother Armstrong as a committee to look after these suburban lots and to see that the brethren who owned them were properly notified, so that they might obtain the advantage of the high prices that were offered. It is felt that great care should be taken in the selection of these men, so as to have wise men, who would make no blunders, and who would not communicate the information that would be placed in their possession to others, without the consent of the First Presidency, and who at the same time would take such a prudent course that no excitement would be created. The following names were selected: John R. Winder, Jesse F. Fox, Jr, B. Y Hampton, Abraham H. Cannon and N. V. Jones. Brother Armstrong afterwards came in and these names were submitted to him, and he thought they were excellent, and he was told to notify them to meet with the First Presidency at 10:30 tomorrow morning.
The foregoing is a copy of what I have dictated to Brother Winter for the Office journal. I will say in connection with it that Brother Armstrong called upon me and laid this plan before me last evening, and I thought well of it; in fact, since my return my son Abraham has had some conversation with me concerning some of our land that we have, and I told him that I had changed in my feelings considerably of late, and I began to feel as though the time had come for us to dispose of our property; and when he told me what he had been offered for 20 acres which I had deeded to himself and some other of the children, I told him I thought he had better dispose of it. This was before I had any conversation with Brother Armstrong. After he told me his plan, I told him I would like him to come in and see us in the morning, and made an appointment for him to meet with us at half past nine. There was no one with us but him.
Friday, Feby. 28th, 1890. At half past ten this morning we met Brother Armstrong and the other brethren of the committee and had a lengthy conversation with them concerning the objects for which we called them together. All that I have previously written on this subject was talked over, and an injunction of secrecy was placed upon them. Brothers Geo. Reynolds and Arthur Winter were also present; the latter took the minutes in shorthand. After we had got through with the conversation it was decided that these brethren should formulate some plan and submit [it] to us. They did this and we approved of it. The plan, in substance, is as follows: That two or more real estate agencies be organized under the management of B. Y. Hampton & Co. and N. V. Jones & Co., also a loan agency under the direction of Armstrong, Winder & Co. These businesses to be under the absolute control of one Board of Directors, though ostensibly owned by the parties named. That the First Presidency form part of the Board of Directors, and that the Amussen building, containing six rooms besides a store, be rented at $300.00 per month for five years. It was learned that the brethren present could immediately list over one and a half million dollars worth of property. We had the Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake with us today. They submitted their own names and the names of the other officers to us for our approval before presenting them to the Conference which is to be held on Sunday and Monday next. We accepted the names, with this change—that Brother Joseph Horne, who is now a member of the High Council, be released from that position and be ordained a patriarch, and that Brother Joseph Harker, who is now a home missionary, be released from his labors in that direction and be ordained a patriarch. I attended a meeting of the Sunday School Union at 3 o’clock this afternoon.