Friday, August 1st, 1890. After my arrival at the Gardo House this morning I met with the stockholders of the Deseret Agricultural and Manufacturing Co.
Afterwards we had a meeting with Elders E. Schoenfeldt, J. H. Ward, C. H. Wilcken and A. H. Cannon in regard to the “Intelligent Blatt”, which a man named Dittrich had been publishing. This man apostatized some time ago, but made overtures to come back and to publish this paper, under the direction of a committee of brethren, of which some of the above named were members; but he had again apostatized, and has written a strange letter concerning the paper. It was decided to let him do as he pleased with this paper – to publish it or not; and for the committee to gather up the accounts and find out how the affairs stand, and to liquidate the obligations.
Brother Wilcken carried me down to my home about 3 o’clock. Took a swim in the river, and then prepared for my visit with President Woodruff to the Logan Conference. We left on the 5 o’clock train. Brother Arthur Winter accompanied us, and we were joined at Brigham City by Brother Lorenzo Snow. We reached Logan about 10 o’clock. Brother Moses Thatcher met us at the station. President Woodruff was taken to a friend’s house, and myself and Brother Winter were carried to Brother Moses Thatcher’s.
Saturday, August 2, 1890. At 10 o’clock we met with the saints in the Tabernacle. The attendance was rather small, as there had been a change made in the day of holding Conference. The public announcement had been for Sunday and Monday; but in view of Monday being election day, a change had been made to Saturday and Sunday.
The acting President of the Stake and a number of the Bishops made reports. President Woodruff spoke about 10 mins, and I followed and occupied about 15 mins.
We met again at 2 o’clock. Brother C. O. Card and myself occupied the time. I enjoyed a good flow of the Spirit.
In the evening we had a Priesthood meeting. The time was occupied by President Lorenzo Snow, myself and President Woodruff.
Sunday, August 3, 1890. We have had several counsels together over the appointment of a new Presidency for this Stake. We have decided that it would be better for Brother Card to remain in Canada, and that Orson Smith, one of his counselors, should be appointed President of the Stake. Brother Geo. O. Pitkin is the acting President of the Stake, but he is also Bishop of Millville, and it was felt that he had better remain and act in the latter position.
The house was crowded this morning with saints. Brother Franklin D. Richards came from Ogden last night and joined us this morning.
Brother Lorenzo Snow and President addressed the saints.
We had meeting at noon, at Brother Thatcher’s, in company with Brothers Orson Smith and Geo. O. Pitkin. The latter was informed of our decision, to which he acceded, seemingly with good pleasure. Brother Smith selected as his Counselors, Brother Simpson M. Molen, now Bishop of Hyrum, and Brother Isaac Smith, now Bishop of the 7th Ward, Logan.
In the afternoon meeting the authorities were presented. President Woodruff made some explanations concerning the changes about to be made in the Presidency of the Stake, and Brothers Card and Pitkin were both honorably released by vote of the people.
President Woodruff desired me to speak to the saints and occupy all the time I wished. I spoke about 45 mins and enjoyed a goodly outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord.
Brother F. D. Richards spoke for 20 mins. afterwards.
We then set Brother Smith and his two Counselors apart, I being mouth in setting Brother Orson Smith apart, and Brothers Lorenzo Snow and F. D. Richards in setting apart his Counselors.
An appointment was made for a meeting at Smithfield, at 6 o’clock in the evening.
I rode with Brother Thatcher and wife and Brother Winter to Smithfield. Brother Thatcher and family have been very kind to me and have treated me with great consideration. Last evening we were out riding for about an hour in his carriage.
At Smithfield we were taken to the house of Brother James Mack.
The meeting house here is a new one, quite convenient, and a very substantial building. It is not quite finished. It was crowded with people. At President Woodruff’s request, I occupied a good part of the time, and he followed. I was greatly blessed in speaking to the people and enjoyed great freedom.
Brother Thatcher and wife and Brother Winter returned to Logan. I remained and slept at Brother Mack’s
Monday, August 4,1890. Sister Mack got my breakfast in time for Brother Mack to take me to the train, which left for the south at 6:15 this morning. I had a very comfortable night’s rest.
At Logan Brother Lorenzo Snow joined us and rode to Brigham City, where he got off. Brother Franklin D. Richards left us at Ogden. Brother C. H. Wilcken met President Woodruff and myself at the train. Brother John Henry Smith came down with us from Logan, and communicated the fact that he had visited Brother Cluff and found that he was committed to Mr. Beckwith to some extent and found himself in a somewhat embarrassing position in consequence of it.
Brothers Young, Lyman and Smith were at the office and we considered the matter, and it was decided that if Mr. Beckwith would run as Governor, our people could vote for him, not as a Democrat, but as a friend and an honest, worthy man; but we still felt that everyone of our folks who could vote the Republican ticket conscientiously should do so for the other offices, and Brother John Henry Smith was told to carry that message over.
We had quite a long interview with Elders H. H. Cluff and F. A. Mitchell concerning the settlement of Josepa. There have been some complaints made regarding the location of the townsite; but from the information we get of it we felt that the proper place had been selected.
We had an interview with Prest Geo. C. Parkinson in relation to a charge that had been brought against him by Brother Chas. L. Anderson of Grantsville, in which he is accused of swindling Gustav Anderson, a brother of Chas. L. Anderson, of considerable means in a sheep trade. Brother Parkinson explained his side of the affair, and it illustrated the saying, so often made, that there are two sides to a story. He is to inform us when he will be ready to meet Brother Anderson with us and have the case investigated.
We had a lengthy interview also with my nephew, John M. Cannon, who has just returned from Independence, where he went, at our instance, to examine the title of the Temple lots which the Hedrickites, through their President, C. A. Hall, and their Bishop, [blank] Hill, had offered to give us as security for a loan of $20,000.. He found the title, in some respects, not as clear as it should be, but it was made good by the length of time it had been in the present parties’ possession. He returns here with the understanding that he is to send the Hedrickites word whether they can have the loan or not. We thought this of sufficient importance to bring before the Council of the Apostles, so that we might get their views upon it.
Tuesday, August 5, 1890.
The First Presidency had a lengthy conversation at the office today with F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young concerning legal affairs and also the work to be done politically.
Before coming to the office this morning I drove round to Bishop John R. Winder’s. He is still confined to his house, suffering from kidney troubles. Had a pleasant interview with him and administered to him. He felt much better after the administration.
My son Lewis and my daughters Hester, Amelia and Emily intend going this afternoon to Farmington for the purpose of taking a sail on the lake for two or three days, to which they have been invited by a young man by the name of Miller, who was their schoolmate at the Academy.
The Twelve had appointed today as a day when they should meet together and have prayers, &c. There were present: President L. Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon.
I was very much gratified this morning to learn that notwithstanding the efforts of our enemies and the tricks to which they have resorted, it is now conceded that we have elected at least two of the officers on the ticket, and perhaps more. The Sheriff, Brother Burt, had run far ahead of the ticket, and J. H. Rumel, Jr, has been elected Recorder.
My son Frank came down from Ogden and had an interview with us, in which he informed us of the results in Ogden. They had at least secured three of their ticket, which, considering that there were 700 majority on the lists of registered voters against them, makes their triumph very great.
Wednesday, August 6th, 1890. After my arrival at the office, the First Presidency listened to correspondence which had accumulated.
In one of the rooms of the house there were of the Twelve, President L. Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant[,] J. W. Taylor, A. H. Lund and A. H. Cannon, and Couns. D. H. Wells. They were fasting and praying together as a Quorum, and they partook of the sacrament. I am greatly pleased to know of the Twelve meeting in this way, as I am sure it will be productive of great good in bringing about unity of feeling and perfect harmony. I do desire exceedingly to see the First Presidency and the Twelve of one heart and mind, and President Snow seems determined that his quorum shall have every cause of division or improper feeling removed from their midst, if he can possibly effect it, and it is for this purpose that he is having these meetings.
At one o’clock the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank met. The First Presidency had an interview with Col. Isaac Trumbo, who gave us many particulars concerning the affairs here as he had learned them.
We had a long conversation with Brothers F. S. Richards, J. N. Pike and Elias A. Smith, of the People’s Party Central Committee, respecting proceedings being taken on the part of the candidates who had been voted for by us, to contend for their rights. It was suggested that Arthur Brown, the Attorney, be employed for that purpose.
Thursday, August 7th, 1890. After my arrival at the office, Prest. A.O. Smoot and his son Reed called regarding the latter’s mission. After hearing all that was to be said, I suggested to President Woodruff that Brother Reed Smoot be appointed a mission to Europe, and that he be called upon to labor, in the first place, in the office at Liverpool, or Berne, or Copenhagen, as the President of the Mission should decide. Brother Brigham Young, whom we expect to go to Europe in a few days to preside, was present during the conversation.
We listened to explanations from Brothers F. S. Richards and J. N. Pike concerning the new school law and the proper manner of transferring the property of the old districts to the new school board. It was decided to call a meeting of the Bishops and others interested, and after hearing all that had to be said pro and con, decide upon some plan of doing this that would prevent irritation and bitterness of feeling. Brother Pike and two others of our brethren are on the new board, and it would add to their influence if our people did not indulge in any vexatious attempts to prevent that board going into operation under the law.
At 2 P.M. we met and had prayer meeting. Elder Moses Thatcher opened by prayer, and Elder F. D. Richards was mouth in the circle. There were present, besides the First Presidency, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, A. H. Lund, A. H. Cannon and D. H. Wells.
After we had finished prayer, we dressed in our ordinary costume and descended to the room below, where we thought it would be cooler.
The first matter introduced, which I stated by request of President Woodruff, was concerning the situation of affairs in Arizona. A letter from a gentleman by the name of C. W. Wright was read. It was a confidential letter, sent to F. S. Richards, in which he said that our people held the balance of voting power in the Territory of Arizona, and that if he was sure that he could get our vote, he would try to obtain the nomination by the Republican Convention, which he thought he could easily do. In his letter he set forth the advantages that would result from our voting for him. We had considered this letter at a previous meeting; but Brother H.J. Grant had brought to my attention some facts that he thought ought to be reconsidered, and on this account the question was again brought up. Brother Grant and others stated their views upon the matter; that the Republican party in Arizona had deprived our people of the franchise, but that the Democrats, under the lead of Governor Zulick, had restored it to them, and did we not owe it to that party to vote for its candidate, in view of the good service they had done us? and if we were to flop over and vote the Republican ticket now, would we not expose ourselves to the charge of fickleness.
After remarks had been made by some of the brethren, I reviewed the situation and described the dangers that we were threatened with. On the one hand, if we voted the Republican ticket, as had truthfully been said, we exposed ourselves to the charge of unreliability, and both parties would probably be afraid of us. If, on the other hand, we voted the Democratic ticket, the danger would be that we would bring upon us the anger of the Republican party, who would consider it absolutely necessary, for their own safety, that we should be emasculated of the franchise, and the Democrats would be powerless to save us. I thought it required the highest wisdom and the inspiration of the Almighty to be with us to point out the safe path for us to pursue. It had occurred to me that in view of all these facts, it might be well to leave our people to divide in voting, and some vote one way and some another, and in this way avert the danger that would follow the casting of a solid vote for either party. I said I did not advocate this plan, but I threw it out as a matter to be considered. This idea of mine seem[ed] to strike all the brethren favorably, and it was finally voted that the suggestion which I had made about our people dividing their votes should be adopted, and that steps should be taken to have interviews with the different Presidents of Stakes and have this policy carried out.
The next matter brought before the Council was the loan which had been asked for on mortgage of the Temple lots at Independence, Jackson County, by the Hedrickites. John M. Cannon was brought in, after I had, at the request of President Woodruff, explained to the Council what had been done, and he gave a recital of all that had taken place between himself and these people, and also the condition of the title. After careful consideration, it was decided by vote that the First Presidency should go ahead and do what they could to secure the 8 lots on a loan of $15000.; but although this was the vote, the brethren felt that the First Presidency should have entire discretion in the matter. This motion was made by Brother H. J. Grant and seconded by Brother F. D. Richards.
By this time it was nearly 5 o’clock, and President L. Snow and Brother Moses Thatcher desired to be excused, so as to go home by the evening train, which left at 5 o’clock. I stated that I had some private matters of considerable importance that I would like very much to lay before the Council before they separated; that I had been trying for some time to get the opportunity, but the Twelve had not been together, and if the brethren could listen to what I had to say I would be greatly pleased. It was decided that I should proceed with my business. I made a full explanation concerning my dedicated stock and the payment by President Taylor of 15000 shares to John Beck to liquidate a claim which he had against us of $25000. I read all the documents connected with it, excepting the instrument which President Taylor had signed, assigning the dedicated stock to me, to have control of it as he had done. This I did not take time to read to the Council; but the agreement between President Taylor, John Beck and myself I read, also his receipt for the 15000 shares and a portion of the contract made between us when we bought two-thirds of the property, in which the terms connected with the payment of the $25000. were clearly set forth. My claim is this: that inasmuch as all the brethren had withdrawn their dedicated stock, and particularly John Beck, who was a party to the contract with President Taylor and myself, instead of his retaining my portion of the 15000 shares which were paid to him by President Taylor, he ought to restore them to me, with the dividends accruing thereon, upon my payment to him of my share of the 25000 dollars at a proper rate of interest. The ground I have taken is, that I had no voice in the disposition of that stock to him. President Taylor had entire control of it, and I should never have consented to have paid him my individual stock to liquidate a debt which did not exist, and which might never exist, because according to the terms of the contract we were not to pay the $25000., neither was it to be collected in any other way than out of our share of the profits of the mine. I did not feel well to think that he should not only break a solemn covenant that we had entered into and get back his 20000 shares, but that he should retain my stock which I had dedicated, and which I held sacred for the purpose agreed upon. I stated to the brethren that I had kept my dedicated stock sacred thus far for the purpose designed. The Lord had revealed to President Taylor that my bond which was forfeited should be paid out of the proceeds of this dedicated stock, and I had just paid to President Woodruff $25000 advanced me by the Church to pay the amount which my bondsmen had to pay, and there was $20000. more pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, which the lawyers say I will have to pay. Brother Beck had written to me that President Taylor had told him concerning the revelation, and he had expressed his willingness to comply with its terms; but he had absolutely refused to give me my portion of the 15000 shares back.
Considerable discussion followed. Some of the brethren took my view. Brother Grant took the view that the transaction of paying John Beck the 15000 shares, in lieu of the $25000., was one that President Taylor was competent to make, and that he having done it, it was settled; but he thought that I should have 5000 shares from Beck without any interest whatever, because the whole amount of dedicated stock was in President Taylor’s hands to do with as he pleased, and having paid the 15000 out, John Beck should
be <have> paid his third of that amount.
I was very glad to have the opportunity of explaining the whole thing to the brethren. I told them that I did not wish to do anything in relation to this matter any further than they would think wise. Some thought it would be unwise to bring the matter before the Bishop’s Court or High Council, as it might call out many things that would be better concealed. I finally stated to the brethren that as there was so much difference of views among them, I thought that it would not be wise for me to do anything about the business <at the present,> because if a council like this could not be unanimous in their views, it would be hopeless for me to expect a Bishop’s Court or High Council could be otherwise. All the brethren seemed to feel that there was something due from John Beck to me. Brother Thatcher’s position was that if anything of this kind were done with Beck, it would drive him out of the Church, as he had but very little faith at the present time, according to his views. John W. Taylor said afterwards that he had only met Beck two or three times, and he thought him a very fine man, and the most liberal man he had ever seen. He spoke in terms of praise of him.
When this business had terminated, I then brought before the Council the condition of what is known as the Cannon House and lot, and described what had been done by the First Presidency a few days ago. I gave them a report of my account. It was decided that I should pay the difference between the amounts that I had been credited with and the sixty thousand dollars, which amounts to about twenty-five thousand dollars. Some of the brethren were in favor of no charge being made, and spoke very kindly of my services; but I felt that I could not do that, and Brother Jos. F. Smith said that it would be better for me to pay that amount for it, because <if I did not and> the people
, if they learned the fact, it might hurt my influence. It was understood that I should pay as soon as I was able to do so. I was much gratified at the manifestation of kind feeling in this matter. I tried to impress upon the brethren that I had no anxiety to retain the property; but I thought something should be done with it, because in its present condition it is a disgrace and was going to ruin, and then it might endanger the property. It was on motion of Brother Thatcher that my proposition was accepted by the Council.
After this, Brother Heber J. Grant introduced the question of the sale of the street railroad stock to Francis Armstrong and expressed his dissatisfaction with the course Brother Armstrong had taken; but though some of the brethren shared this feeling with him, it was generally felt that we had better let the matter drop. There are some – and among them the First Presidency – who feel that Brother Armstrong was not so much to blame as some thought he was.
It was about 7 o’clock when we got through with our Council. Brother Wilcken drove me home.
My wife Sarah Jane is making preparations to go to Granite and expects to leave in the morning. Her health is not good.
Friday, August 8th, 1890. I found Presidents Woodruff and Smith at the office this morning when I arrived. President Woodruff did not remain very long. He intends to go out to Granite and remain there till Monday morning. We had conversation concerning the best method of reaching the Presidents of Stakes in Arizona, and finally decided to telegraph them to meet us at the San Felipe Hotel in Albuquerque, on Thursday next. Dispatches and letters to this effect were sent to them. It was decided that this would be the better way of reaching them, in view of the fact that the First Presidency purpose visiting the San Luis Stake on the 17th & 18th of August and hold conference there.
I had been intending to visit Emery Stake, but in consequence of this new arrangement, I will have to leave here for Albuquerque on Monday, which I could not do if I went to Emery. Brother A. H. Lund and my son Abraham were therefore appointed to go to that Stake Conference.
Brother J. B. Milner came in about his case that was on appeal before us, and he agreed to pay $200. in settlement of the claims against him.
We had conversation also with W. P. Nebeker concerning a call that had been made upon him to go to Switzerland to preside. His circumstances are such that he cannot very well comply with the call now, and therefore he was honorably released from it, with instructions to do everything in his power to get ready, so that he could fill the mission at some future time.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Saturday, August 9th, 1890. I came up to the office, and found President Jos. F. Smith there. Attended to various matters of business. Dictated article for the Juvenile Instructor and letter to Brother John T. Caine at Washington, giving his particulars of the political situation, also dictated a letter of appointment for Brother Brigham Young, as President of the European Mission, with some memoranda concerning the emigration. I had an interview with Brother Penrose, one of the Presidency of the Stake, concerning the Bishops meeting which I had promised to attend on Tuesday to talk over the school affairs. I explained to him that I could not be there, as we would have to leave the city on Monday. After I returned home I had a delightful swim in the river with Brother Wilcken.
Sunday, August 10th, 1890. At 2 o’clock I attended the meeting at the Tabernacle. I occupied the time in speaking [to] the people.
After the meeting I drove to Col. John R. Winder’s. I was greatly pleased to meet him just as I was entering his gate. He had been to meeting at Mill Creek. While I was there I secured his signature to a document which I happened to have in my pocket, which had been signed by Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Bishops Preston and Burton, acknowledging the receipt from me of $25000, in payment of the money advanced to me to pay my bond.
Monday, August 11th, 1890. I went to the Gardo House this morning, and attended to considerable business. President Woodruff was not there. Brother Brigham Young brought his wife Lizzie in to be blessed for her mission. I was mouth in blessing her. Brother Brigham was afterwards blessed by President Woodruff.
Between two and three o’clock I returned home and got ready for the train.
At five o’clock I arrived at the train and found President Woodruff and Brother Arthur Winter aboard. We took sleepers at Salt Lake that will take us through to Denver.
We expected to meet Brothers Jos. F. Smith and C. H. Wilcken at Uintah, as they intended to board the train there, but the train did not stop there. Fortunately, they had learned before it came up that it would not stop and they got aboard the Park City train and ran up to Echo, where they got off and met our train, which came up shortly afterwards.
Tuesday, August 12th, 1890. I had a very pleasant night’s rest. At Laramie, as I stepped off the car, I was met by Mr. A. C. Beckwith, of Evanston. He was just returning from the Democratic Convention at Cheyenne. He told me who had been nominated for Governor on both tickets. He was curious to know what we had to say to our people concerning the votes. I told him we intended to let our people vote as they pleased, as far as we were concerned. However, I said that if A. C. Beckwith was nominated for Governor, personally I was in favor of our folks voting for him. He said that he could have had the nomination, but he had too much to do and did not wish it. I told him that we were under many obligations to Judge Carey. He had stood by us manfully; in which Mr. Beckwith agreed. I gave him a description of some conversation that I had with Senator Brice, of Ohio, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and told him what I had said to him concerning the political folly of which the Democratic party had been guilty in not receiving us and our overtures and not fighting for our admission as a State.
It was raining and we went into the car. I introduced him to President Woodruff. He said if the people were left to themselves, he thought he had sufficient influence to accomplish what he wanted, as he was well known to them. I do not think it right, however, to let him have a clear field to proselyte our people to Democracy without informing them of the consequences which voting that ticket might bring upon us. It was our duty to preserve ourselves at the present juncture, and I favor the idea of letting our people be thoroughly informed as to what Judge Carey has done for us, and what the Republicans behind him have done, and then if they wish to vote the Democratic ticket, it is their business; but I think they should be thoroughly informed, and no Democrat should be allowed to go into the field and persuade them to vote the Democratic ticket and they remain in ignorance of what they are doing and the consequences involved in such action.
I dictated the following letter to Prest. W. W. Cluff, of the Summit Stake. It was dated the 14th and sent on that day:
“We met Mr. Beckwith at Laramie on Tuesday last, and he was anxious to know what we were going to say to our people concerning politics, in view of this pending election in Wyoming. We said to him that if Mr. Beckwith had been nominated as Governor, we would like to have seen our people vote for him. He replied he did not wish the Governorship, though he could have had the nomination, as he had too much to do. We said that we thought of letting the people vote as they pleased. Some conversation followed concerning the manly and intrepid course which had been taken by Judge Carey in regard to our people and the obligations we naturally felt to him; in which Mr. Beckwith agreed. Remarks were also made as to the manner in which we had been treated by the Democratic party, embodied in the remark of S. S. Cox, when he said that “Utah is a fly in our ointment”, and how we had been sacrificed through the cowardice of the Democratic party, but for which cowardice these interior Territories, now becoming States, might have been made Democratic.
Mr. Beckwith seemed quite confident, when he learned that our people were to be left to vote as they pleased, as he said he felt sure that they were Democratic, and that he could get them to vote that ticket.
Now, while we occupy this position, we would think it most unfair for Mr. Beckwith, or any other Democrat, to have the opportunity of going among our people and proselyte them to Democracy, or get pledges from them as to how they will vote, without the people knowing the true situation of affairs; and our object in writing to you this letter is to put you, and, through you, the people, on their guard concerning this matter.
If the Latter-day Saints who have the right to vote have a thorough understanding of the whole situation – the obligations they are under to the Republican party for its fair treatment in the Constitution of the State of Wyoming, and especially to Judge Carey, personally, and can obtain a correct conception of the consequences which will follow the casting of their votes either for or against the Republicans, and the making of the State a Republican or a Democratic State – we are personally willing that they should vote as they please. But to give them only a partial view of the situation, to let them be deceived by appeals to Democratic doctrine and the grand results which Democrats are so fond of asserting as likely to follow the adoption of their views, while the other side is concealed, we think would be doing our cause and our people great injustice and wrong.
We are under no obligations, in one sense, to either political party. They have both been tried and found wanting. In Idaho our treatment has been most base, and we have been betrayed in the most cruel manner. Some of the leaders of the Democratic party in Washington have acted in a very cowardly manner to us, thinking that we were a discredit to the party, and that they could not afford to carry us. The results now show that had they stood by us as they should have done, and as we gave them an opportunity of doing when we framed our new Constitution, they might have had a tier of Democratic States through these mountains, instead of Republican as they now are likely to be. But we were “a fly in their ointment,[”] and they despised us.
The law of self-preservation appeals as strongly to us as to any other people; and we should carefully consider our movements and take such steps as will result in freedom to us.
There has been a change in the feelings of some prominent Republicans towards us. They have supposed that we were hopelessly Democratic; but since they have learned that this is not the case, and that many of our people are Republican in their feelings, they have felt disposed to ward off the blows that they have aimed at us, especially disfranchisement. We are not under such obligations to the Democratic party as to sacrifice ourselves and expose ourselves to be stripped of the franchise to please them; for many of them have shown themselves incapable of appreciating the fidelity which we have shown to that party, and are as ready to strike us down as their opponents are.
We write you thus freely, that you may know some of our feelings upon this subject; and as you are in a position to have great influence, much depends upon your wise and prudent action. We are very deeply impressed with the importance at the present juncture of the action of our people who reside in Wyoming in voting at the next election, as the manner in which they vote will probably affect the liberties of our entire people throughout all the Territories and States, and therefore whatever is done should be done with the utmost circumspection and care.
Praying the Lord to bless you with His Holy Spirit in all your labors,
We remain Your Brethren,
(Signed) Wilford Woodruff,
Geo. Q. Cannon,
Jos. F. Smith.
A copy of the foregoing letter was afterwards sent to Brother Wm. Budge. We remained 20 mins. at Cheyenne, then turned off the main line, without changing our car, to Denver, which we reached at 7:55. The road between Cheyenne and Denver passes through a better cultivated country, agriculturally, than any we had seen. There were some fine fields of grain in places, and several towns of considerable importance. At Denver we were detained till 10:30, though we were able to get on the sleeping car about an hour before.
Wednesday, August 13th, 1890. I had a most excellent night’s rest. We were up betimes this morning, as we had to get off at La Junta at 5:30. This is a quiet little town, and we got a very good breakfast. We left at 7:30. The town of Trinidad, through which we passed, seems like an important place, and there is considerable coal mining being done in this vicinity. Occasionally we passed well cultivated farms, which attracted our attention, because this was not the general appearance of the country we traveled over. We took dinner – and a very excellent one it was – at a little town called Raton, just across the line into New Mexico. The boundary line between Colorado and New Mexico is marked on the railroad by the entrance to a tunnel about 1500 yards in length. This, I believe, is the first time I have been in the Territory of New Mexico. We feel the heat perceptibly greater today.
In the evening we stopped for supper at Las Vegas, a place noted for its hot springs.
We reached Albuquerque at 12:05. Most of us had some sleep after dark. A bus carried us from the depot to the San Felipe Hotel. The house was crowded. President Woodruff and Brother Wilcken had a bed each in one room; and Brother Jos. F. Smith and Arthur Winter slept in one bed and I in another, in another room. The house seemed like a very well kept house.
Thursday, August 14th, 1890. I enjoyed an excellent bath this morning and felt much refreshed.
Before I got fairly dressed, Brother Jesse N. Smith came in, and upon inquiry we found that all the brethren whom we expected to meet had arrived. There were: Jesse N. Smith and Jos. H. Richards, Snowflake Stake; D. K. Udall, St. John Stake; C. Layton and W. D. Johnson, St. Joseph Stake; and C. I. Robson, Maricopa Stake. With Brother Udall was a young man by the name of Richard Gibbons, who had had a strange misadventure a few weeks ago. He is engaged in the sheep business, and while asleep out of doors, something came on to his breast. He thought it was his little dog that he has around, but it proved to be a skunk, and as soon as he moved and touched it, it bit him in the lip, and he had great difficulty to get its jaws separated and get loose from it. He had been treated by a doctor of one of the military posts close by, who advised him to go to New York and be treated by the Pasteur system, to prevent hydrophobia. The lip had healed in three days and gave him no trouble whatever, which the doctor thought to be a bad sign. Brother Gibbons was desirous to know our counsel concerning the best course for him to take. He had no fears himself as to the result, though one man who had been bitten by one of these creatures had died of hydrophobia, and two or three men had been bitten and had been treated on the Pasteur system against hydrophobia.
We talked his case over, and President Jos. F. Smith was very confident that no harm would come to him if he was not treated, and before we separated in the evening he came into my room and we all administered to him. At President Woodruff’s request, I was mouth, and he was promised that no harm should come to him, which I pray may be fulfilled. After breakfast, we met together in President Woodruff’s room, and after prayer by Brother Jos. F. Smith, President Woodruff made a few remarks, introducing the subject of our visit and meeting, and then called upon me to give a statement of what we wanted.
I gave a general recital of the whole political situation, going back to the affairs in Washington and the successful efforts which we had made there through Republicans to stop the passage of the bills against us. I then went on and explained to them our wishes concerning Arizona and the decision that the Council had come to.
The brethren listened very attentively, and a good many questions were asked; but they appeared to see the importance of the situation. The letter from Mr. Wright was read to them, so that they could see what his wishes were; also our letter to W. W. Cluff, so that they could get a full and complete idea of the situation and our views.
We adjourned till after dinner.
Presidents Woodruff and Jos. F. Smith, Jesse N. Smith and myself took a ride of about two hours in a hack. We visited the old town, and went to the Presbyterian Indian Mission school and found everything closed and no sign of a living soul. We did not get time to visit the cathedral, which I wished very much to see[.]
President Woodruff was considerably exhausted, and he laid down. Brother Jos. F. Smith and myself and the brethren from Arizona held conversation, and we answered a good many questions that they propounded, and gave them counsel on various points.
We paid them for the expenses of their journey.
Brothers Layton and Johnson felt that they must leave this evening or they would be detained two days on their journey, and Brothers Jesse N. Smith, Jos. Richards, D. K. Udall and Richard Gibbons also returned. The evening was spent in my room, in listening to the interesting descriptions which Brother C. I. Robson gave of his imprisonment and treatment in the Yuma penitentiary. I described affairs in California in early days, when I went there to publish the Western Standard. These reminiscences were called up by allusions which Brother Layton made to some circumstances that occurred while he was there.
Our trip thus far has been quite satisfactory. We have made the journey in the time we expected, and have met the brethren whom we expected to see, and have got through the business that we had in view in a satisfactory manner.
Friday, August 15th, 1890. I enjoyed a good water and liquor bath this morning, which was very refreshing.
After breakfast, Brothers Jos. F. Smith, C. H. Wilcken[,] A. Winter and myself took the street car for the old town, for the purpose of gratifying my wish to see the old cathedral. This is a very old building, dating back to [blank] and is built of adobies. There is an addition of brick being constructed at the present time. Services were being performed. There was a good sized congregation present, chiefly women, and a dark-skinned priest was preaching in Spanish. As soon as he finished we left, while the singing was going on. This old town is very interesting in its appearance. It shows the style of Mexican buildings that were common all through their settlements when the Americans conquered the country – houses with flat roofs, one story, and gardens enclosed in adobie walls. I am told that the insides of these houses are very comfortable, although the exteriors have nothing inviting about them. The roofs are very flat. It is a wonder, with such light covering, how they resist the rain; but I am told that they do shed the rains admirably. This place was visited by white men as early as 1540. In 1850 there was a Governor appointed here, and since then the history is well known. It is remarkable that Santa Fe, in this region, so far in the interior, should have been visited by white men and settlements made long before the Atlantic or Pacific coasts were settled.
The people of the hotel treated us quite kindly. Mr. Walker, the clerk, had known me in Washington. The proprietor also came and expressed his regrets that we were so crowded the first night, and he arranged for me to have a good room, and if anyone of the rest desired he would arrange for them also. So President Woodruff and myself had two rooms adjoining, which were very nicely situated. The charges were quite moderate.
We left here at 11:30 and went to Lamy Junction, which we reached at 2:20. We got dinner here and changed cars for Santa Fe. This line was very winding, and considerable climbing appeared to be done.
We reached Santa Fe about 4:50, and was carried in a bus to the Palace Hotel.
Santa Fe is a place which we had all heard considerable of. I had heard of it from my early boyhood. In those days it was a great outfitting point for the mountaineers and all who did trad<ing> with Mexico, and was known throughout all the mountain region as a point of great importance. Since the introduction of railroads it has fallen into comparative insignificance. It and St. Augustine, Florida, claim to be the two oldest cities on the continent, and each claims the precedence. It must have been a place of some desirability, for the first Spaniards that penetrated the country found a large city or village of Indians here.
After we had washed, we ordered a hack, the driver of which was said to be the best guide in town, who took us round and showed us various places of interest. Some of the streets were very narrow, scarcely affording more than room for a foot passenger and vehicle. There were evidences on every hand of the age of the town. The United States has a company of troops here. We saw them on parade, and listened to their band, which is a very fine one. The soldiers are not numerous, but they seem to be better uniformed than the soldiers at Camp Douglas. We understand the intention is to make this the headquarters of this division; the present headquarters is Los Angeles.
We visited the cathedral, the front part of which is built of stone and is a very excellent structure. The rear part is still adobie and the walls are very thick. This cathedral was erected in 1583. The beams were curiously carved and seem to have been put in with a great deal of care. There was a large crucifix at one end of the room and some pictures on the wall; otherwise there was no furniture in that part of the building. In a recess there was a monument built in the wall that had been taken from the grave of the man who had reconquered the province. It seems that the Indians had rebelled and succeeded in capturing Santa Fe and overcoming the Spaniards, and in 1592 this man, Don Diego De Vargas, reconquered the province from the Indians, and he lived some years afterwards. This monument was erected on his tomb. It is a very elaborate piece of work, and it had been taken from the tomb when his tomb was disturbed, and placed in this cathedral for keeping. The front part of the building also was formerly of adobies, and the present building was erected over it, covering it completely. During the time of the erection of the new building, services had not been suspended a single day, and when they got ready, 500 men were employed to take down the old building from the inside, and it was cleared away in a day. In the new part of the building we were shown a doll-like image of the Virgin, or of some Saint, which was tricked out with a great deal of tawdry tinsel work, and which, our guide told us, was claimed to be the image that had been carried before Coronado’s army when he came up from Mexico and conquered the Indians; and at a certain time in June the Mexicans take this image out and it is borne before them in procession for nine days and again restored to its place in the cathedral. In appearance it looked like such a doll as a good sized girl might have.
We were driven to a cathedral which is still older by ten years than this one. It is a small building, very plain. We were charged 25¢ apiece for admission to this. At the time we were there, services were being conducted. There was a bell near the door of this cathedral, the tones of which were very mellow. It was cast in 1356, according to the inscription upon it. They had put stone buttresses against this building to keep it from falling. Within a rod or two of this cathedral is a building which is claimed to be the oldest structure in America. It is built of adobie, and when Coronado penetrated this country in 1540 this building was then standing. We entered it. The door is only about 4 ft. high. The room which we entered was a small room. There was a ladder leading to an upstairs chamber, where those who lived in the house did their cooking. It has the appearance of a very ancient building. Whether it is as old as described or not we had no means of knowing; but our guide said that whatever might be said about the claims of St Augustine to be older than Santa Fe, one thing was certain – they had the oldest house here that was known to be in existence in America.
Our impressions of Santa Fe were very pleasant. There seems to be a lack of enterprise and energy; but there is no doubt it has many advantages. It has a fine climate.
Governor Axtell, finding that we were here, called upon us and I had a good deal of interesting conversation with him. I have reasons for entertaining very kindly feelings to Governor Axtell, as when Gov. Geo. L. Woods, of Utah, was disinclined to give me my certificate of election, his place was supplied by Gov. Axtell, and his first official act was to give me my certificate of election as Delegate to Congress. In the evening we walked together down through the Plaza and listened to the music of the band. He had not only been Governor but Supreme Judge of the Territory of New Mexico. His circumstances, I imagine, are not the best, though he told me that he had sufficient income from real estate and other matters to furnish him a living. He has been employed as an attorney for the Southern Pacific R.R. until quite recently. The Governor retains his old liking for us, and thinks that we have been very badly treated. He seemed to have kept close track of our movements and to be quite familiar with the treatment I had received.
I met here also Hon. Charles S. Lamison, a former Member of Congress from Ohio, with whom I served. We had a long and interesting conversation with him, and he expressed his pleasure at having met me.
I am surprised at the elevation of Santa Fe. I am told it is over 7000 feet above the level of the sea. I never suspected this, as it does not have the appearance of having such an elevation.
Saturday, August 16th, 1890. There had been an interruption in travel, and the train that ought to have come in last night did not arrive till this morning. This delayed our departure, and we did not get away till 9 o’clock. The road from here is narrow gauge in the direction which we traveled.
We reached Espanola, where we expected to change cars, but found that we continued in the same car to our destination on the railroad.
We were joined at Espanola by Bishop Berthelson, of Sanford, in the San Luis Stake. He gave me a good deal of information concerning the country and the situation of affairs, as he is one of the original settlers of our people. He seems quite an intelligent man and a man of influence among our people. He pointed out to us a steam saw mill on the road, where 25000 feet of lumber was sawed each day. There is very fine timber through this country, and it is shipped to Denver and other places, where it finds a market.
Antonito, which we passed, seems to be an important town, and a number of our people reside there. There is an organized branch there, I believe. We reached Sunflower, which is not a station, but where the mail is dropped, and we got off there. We were met by Prest. Silas S. Smith and his son Silas, with two vehicles.
The town of Manassa is about 3 miles distant.
This is a fine, open valley, very level, bounded by mountains on each side; but it must be at least 60 miles wide.
We were driven to the house of Brother Silas S. Smith, and President Woodruff and myself stayed there, and the other brethren were distributed among the saints. The air is very cool here, and I feel the change and enjoy it.
Sunday, August 17th, 1890. Brother Silas S. Smith’s family consists of a wife and ten children, all of whom are living at home. He has several children here by other wives, but they are all married.
At 9 o’clock I went to the Sunday School and spoke a few minutes to the children.
A congregation numbering probably five or six hundred assembled, and after President Woodruff had made a few remarks, he called upon me to speak. I occupied about 60 minutes, and President Jos. F. Smith followed and spoke about 30 mins.
In the afternoon, President Woodruff occupied an hour and Brother Morgan about 20 mins.
There was a good spirit in the meetings. The saints seemed to feel well and paid strict attention.
At 7:30 we held a priesthood meeting. President Woodruff called upon me to speak, which I did, and he followed, also Brother Jos. F. Smith. I had considerable freedom and felt very well in giving counsel to the priesthood concerning the situation of affairs here.
We took dinner today at Brother John Henry Smith’s, who arrived here after the afternoon meeting. At his invitation I stopped with him, as it gave more room for President Woodruff at Brother Silas S. Smith’s.
Monday, August 18th, 1890. I enjoyed an excellent night’s rest.
Brother Winter came and I dictated my journal to him.
My remarks last night concerning the necessity of men who had more than one wife arranging their affairs so as not to bring trouble and persecution upon the settlement seems to have stirred up some of the folks, and this morning two of the brethren – Brother King, from Davis County, and a Brother Downey, who is from Georgia – came and saw us, in company with Brother John Morgan, concerning their cases.
Brother Morgan represented how difficult it was for the brethren to keep their wives at the place that had been selected for them in New Mexico, and talked as though it was a great hardship to keep their families at such a distance or be disfellowshipped.
I said that I had not made my remarks because of any particular cases; that I knew nothing about the condition of any of the folks who had more than one wife; my sympathies went out toward all such, and I would do anything in my power to help them; but I had felt impressed to say what I had said, and I knew it was from God. It was in general terms, and not intended to apply to any individual case.
After considerable conversation, and as the hour of meeting had been reached, it was agreed that we should meet at 6 o’clock in the evening and resume the conversation.
Our forenoon meeting was pretty well attended. The first speaker was Brother John Henry Smith. He was followed by Brothers B. H. Roberts, Geo. Goddard, C. H. Wilcken and Silas S. Smith.
At 2 o’clock we again met. The authorities were presented, and a new Counselor – Brother Jos. F. Thomas – was selected and sustained to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Brother William Christensen as second counselor.
Brother Jos. F. Smith spoke for about 50 mins., and I followed for about 15 mins. President Woodruff spoke afterwards about half an hour. His testimony was exceedingly interesting to me, although I had heard it before. He gave a description of how he was called to preach the gospel. After he had finished, Brother Thomas was set apart to be second counselor and ordained a High Priest, by Brother Joseph F. Smith and myself, I being mouth.
Brothers Jos. F. Smith, Wilcken and Winter took dinner with myself at Brother John Henry Smith’s, after which we went down to Brother Silas S. Smith’s and met with a number of brethren there.
The question of a suitable place for the plural wives of our brethren to locate was fully discussed. Brother King described the place where some now are, and where he had been, and he gave a very different description of the country, and from their description I was much impressed with its suitableness for settlement. Brother Berthelson told us that he thought land could be bought there at very reasonable prices, and it was finally decided, by vote, that a committe be appointed by Brother Silas S. Smith, of suitable men, to go there and examine the river Charma in New Mexico, and see whether sufficient land could not be obtained to make a settlement, where some of the Southern States saints who are here, and who are suffering from the coldness of the climate, could go and raise fruits and vegetables suited to that place. If a settlement of this kind could be formed, then the wives of the brethren could live among them without attracting attention.
Brother Mortenson spoke of some place to the northeast of Manassa, in New Mexico, where he thought land could be obtained; but this would be as cold a region as Manassa, or very nearly so, and would produce only the same kinds of grain and vegetables, whereas this other place produces quite a variety, which could be marketed readily, either at Manassa or any of the adjoining settlements.
Tuesday, August 19th, 1890. It had been arranged for Brother Morgan to take Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself to visit the sisters who are here for safety, and whose husbands reside in Utah. There are quite a number of them, and we felt that it would be a comfort to them to have us call upon them. We first called upon Sister Emily Grant Wells, a daughter of Brother Daniel H. Wells and a wife of Brother H. J. Grant. Her sister Kate was with her on a visit. She has two beautiful little girls and seems very comfortably situated, as do all whom we visited.
From Sister Grant’s we went to see Sister Haskell, wife of Thales Haskell, the Indian interpreter. He has gone down to attend the feast that is to be given the Indians in San Juan Stake.
From Sister Haskell’s we went to Sister Lyman’s. She occupies a large two story house. She has five children with her and seems to be quite at home. She is a daughter of old Bishop Thomas Callister of Fillmore, and her mother was a sister of George A. Smith. She is the wife of Brother F. M. Lyman.
From there we called upon two sisters who passed by the name of Randall and McKay, both of whom have a child each. The husband of Sister McKay is E. M. Weiler, of Salt Lake City, and the husband of Sister Randall is Brother [blank] of Lehi.
We called upon Sister Georgia Snow Thatcher. She occupies the house that my wife Martha lived in when she was here; but it is very differently arranged now. Sister Thatcher is the wife of Brother Moses Thatcher and a daughter of Brother Erastus Snow. She has one girl. There is a sister living with her, who has one child, and she is the wife of Thomas Cardon of Logan and the daughter of Brother Ira N. Hinckley.
We also called upon the wife of Brother William Hansen, of Brigham City. She had just been confined. She has now two children. Brother Hansen was with me in the penitentiary and I there formed a very high opinion of him.
We called on a wife of Brother John C. Graham’s. Her health is not very good. She is suffering from neuralgia. She has two children with her. We administered to her. I anointed and Brother Jos. F. Smith was mouth. We also called on Sister Williams, as she is called. She is a daughter of Brother Jos. E. Johnson and the wife of Jesse W. Fox, Jr. Her mother is with her.
We called at the house of Sister Shipp, the wife of M. B. Shipp, but she was not at home.
Our visits were very interesting and seemed to be greatly appreciated by the sisters. They expressed themselves as being greatly honored at our calling on them. I know it must have a good effect, because they are here, in every instance, away from their kindred.
We drove to Brother Morgan’s, where we got dinner, and found Sister Shipp there. She is a daughter of Brother Absalom Smith of Draper.
I was greatly interested in Brother Morgan’s place. After dinner he took me out into his nursery. He has 1500 poplar trees growing quite thriftily. His apple trees and other fruit trees looked exceedingly healthy. This part of his nursery is surrounded with a close fence, to protect it from the wind. Outside of this he has 15000 trees for shade, which he set out last spring. They are growing very nicely and look promising. They consist of maple, sugar maple, black locust, catalpa and box elder. I was greatly pleased at what I saw. I felt that it was the most promising thing I had seen in Manassa, as it will be a source of profit to him, and also a means of ornamenting the town. Manassa stands sadly in need of trees to make it appear like one of our settlements. The winds here are very bad, and trees do not seem to do well; still I think there has not been that effort made which should have been, as cottonwoods grow quite well in some places.
At 3 o’clock we went to the meeting which had been appointed, of the Presidency of the Stake and High Council and Elders.
President Woodruff desired me to make the opening remarks, and in introducing the subject spoke concerning me being talented, etc, which embarrassed me very much, and it was with difficulty that I could say anything at first. However, the spirit came upon me and I spoke with a good deal of plainness. I felt the Spirit of the Lord resting very powerfully upon me, and I talked with plainness about Brother Silas S. Smith’s course, there having been some dissatisfaction expressed concerning business affairs in which he had engaged. There were four causes, as we learned, of dissatisfaction – the saw mill, the grist mill, the co-op store and the land business. I spoke in relation to the best method of keeping accounts and having regular reports, which every stockholder could hear, and which the Board of Directors should be familiar with, so that there could be no suspicion. I said that we had entire confidence in Brother Silas S. Smith; but he was a reticent man and did not talk as much as he should do to the people. I told him that one of the best things he could do would be to get together the Priesthood and confess their sins one to another, and fast and pray, and get the Spirit of the Lord to rest upon them. Then all feelings would be removed and they would know one another. In the course of my remarks I alluded to what President Woodruff had said and how embarrassed I was. He said he asked my forgiveness if he had said anything that had hurt me. I told him I was not hurt at all.
Brother Smith followed and spoke in the same strain, endorsing what I had said.
Then President Woodruff spoke, and said that he thought he was one of the most blessed men that lived, in having such Counselors as he had. He spoke of me as a man who had as much communion with God, with Jesus Christ and with the Holy Ghost, and as much revelation and inspiration, as any man on the earth, not excepting himself; and he spoke in the same high terms of Brother Jos. F. Smith. He said that we were united as much as men could be, and we set an example to the Church in this respect. He then made remarks in continuation of those that had already been said. The attention of the Presidency of the Stake was called to the scattered saints, and it was suggested that they should be organized where there were sufficient to meet together and partake of the sacrament.
Then Brother Silas S. Smith spoke in a very humble strain. He said he had not heard about these reports to which allusion had been made, and he did not know that there was dissatisfaction. He then went on and explained what had been done in these companies and made a very satisfactory statement – at least, I felt so – concerning his actions. The meeting then closed. We had a most excellent time, and I enjoyed it more than any meeting we had had since we have been here. I think it will result in good.
After the meeting, Brother Smith and his son Silas drove us down to the Conejos river and to the San Antonio. It was quite stormy. These river valleys have considerable cottonwood trees growing in them, which add very much to the beauty of the landscape. I was very favorably impressed with this region and think it very fertile. From what I could learn, it is chiefly owned by Mexicans. Brothers John Henry Smith and F. A. Hammond (who came in from San Juan yesterday) started at about 11 o’clock for Durango, en route to Montocello, in the San Juan Stake, where the Stake Conference is to be held next Sunday.
Wednesday, August 20th, 1890. Sister Emily Wells Grant had invited us to take a meal with her and we had arranged to have breakfast with her this morning at half past nine. Sister Georgia Snow Thatcher assisted her in preparing breakfast, and we had an excellent meal and enjoyed our visit with them.
Shortly before 10 we got into the carriages and drove over to our settlement called Sanford, where Bishop Berthelson resides and presides.
We had appointed a meeting to be held here at 11 o’clock. We found the meeting house crowded with people. Brother Jos. F. Smith spoke, I followed and President Woodruff closed.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
A Mr. Henry and a Mr. Colt, the former a representative of extensive canal land owners, had propositions to make to us, on behalf of his company, to have our people come as settlers. He offered to give homes to a thousand persons if they would come, and furnish them with seed grain to help them, if necessary, and they could go on the land and they would give them plenty of time to pay for it. They were very desirous to have our people, Mr. Henry said, as he knew them to be trustworthy and the right kind of settlers.
Bishop Berthelson accompanied us to La Jara, where we took train for Alamosa. We saw some very excellent grain on the roadside, and the country seemed to be well adapted for agriculture. At Alamosa we were met by Messrs. Le Grand Layton and W. W. Durkee, with carriages, to take us to Zapato, their ranch which they were desirous of selling to our people, and nearly half of which they had bargained for with Brothers Silas S. Smith and F. A. Hammond. Brother Smith was along with us.
The roads were very muddy, there having been considerable rainfall, and we did not reach Zapato till after nine in the evening.
We were made as comfortable as possible, and I enjoyed the night’s rest.
Thursday, August 21st, 1890. This morning we had a beautiful view of the valley and of the mountains, at the base of which this place lies. Sierra Blanco, said to be the second highest mountain on the continent, was close to us apparently – about 15000 feet above the level of the sea. This is a very beautiful location. There appears to be an abundance of timber for sawing, and plenty of pinion pine and cedar for fuel. Water also is convenient.
It seems that Brothers Smith and Hammond have bought 1400 acres of patented land from this company, of which those gentlemen I have mentioned are the representatives, and 22040 acres of leased land, which has been leased from the State, and the lease of which runs for a little over 3 years. For this leased land they pay 3¢ per acre per annum to the State, and it is not subject to taxation. They have paid $3000. in cash, and have given their notes for $4000., payable on the 1st. of January, at 7% interest, for which Brother Hammond has given cattle as security. $2000. of the $3000. already paid in cash, together with some other expenses, Brother Smith has paid. On Nov. 1st. interest will be due on $23000., at 7%, which will be $1610. The note for $4000. will be due in January. Then the remainder – $23000. – will have to be paid in five annual payments of $4600. each.
We feel to blame the brethren somewhat for entering into this arrangement without asking counsel. Now they are in a bad condition, as they cannot meet thir [their] payments. Brother Hammond excuses himself for doing as he did by saying that he fully expected that the people of San Juan would be paid by the Government for their improvements when the place was turned over to the Indians; but even then he ought to have consulted, we think, with the First Presidency and let us know something about this, inasmuch as it is a matter that affects our people generally and our credit in this country. There is $280. interest due on the $4000. note, and they have not the means with which to pay this, and we shall have to advance it to them.
There are about 2000 acres more patented in the remainder of this ranch, and 22040 of leased land, all under fence, which these gentlemen are desirous to sell to us, for which they ask $50000., one-tenth of which they ask down, and the remainder to be paid either annually or at the end of five years, at 8% interest per annum.
We considered this matter in a council with Brother Smith, and decided that the better course for him to take would be for us to advance him the $280. as interest and let him pay it, his credit having suffered already through not having paid it, and to say to these people that he would go to Utah and see if he could form a company of people to enter into the purchase of this.
Besides this, this company offer all they own here, consisting of 7000 acres of patented land and 69000 acres of leased land, and about 7000 head of cattle and all their improvements, for $320,000. It is said that their profits amount to an interest of 10% on the investment, and they pay very high salaries to some of their officers, Mr. Durkee himself getting $6000. per annum.
Perhaps this might prove a good investment, but we are not in a position as a Church to do anything of this character; though I believe that inasmuch as the brethren have gone as far as they have in this matter, it might be well for our people to buy the whole of the Zapato ranch. If the brethren who have plural wives in Manassa – there being four of the Twelve and other business men – would engage in this enterprise and take hold of it as they do other business affairs, it might be made to yield good returns and furnish them some occupation while they are visiting their families here.
We rode about 15 miles this morning in carriages looking at the land. We called upon Brother Silas S. Smith’s son’s family, who are living on this ranch. Their location is very beautiful. His son, Jesse N., was not there.
After dinner we were taken in carriages to what is called the Medano ranch, 7 or 8 miles from Zapato, down in the valley. At this place there is quite a collection of houses, also corrals, shops and everything necessary for the successful carrying on of a ranch. There is a fine flowing well, which is over 240 feet in depth, the water of which is very sweet. We saw some young stock, which is all of the Hereford grade. We were told that the Hereford is the best stock for the market, and yields the best returns of any breeds that have been tried. They have tried Poll Angus and Galloway stock, and imported bulls for the purpose of raising this kind of stock. The same number of bulls of this breed and the same number of bulls of the Hereford breed were turned out, under precisely the same conditions, and Mr. Durkee says that the calves of the Hereford greatly outnumbered the calves of the Poll Angus and the Galloway, and on that account they discarded them and adopted the Hereford entirely.
Mr. Durkee has some very fine dogs, one of them a pure St. Bernard, and several cocker spaniels and setters.
Mr. Durkee gave me his room in which to sleep. He has very fine quarters and appears to have a very good collection of books, numbering probably 500 or more.
In the evening the gentlemen had us sit in a group and endeavored to take our photographs by lime light flash. Two negatives were taken. They practice photography here and are very successful, it forming one of their amusements.
The collection of guns and pistols which Mr. Durkee has here is quite noteworthy.
Before going to bed, Mr. Layton described to me how a partner of Mr. Durkee, a very fine, handsome young man by the name of Aidee, had killed himself in the room where I was about to retire to rest. When found he lay within a few feet of where my bed was. Although it had no effect whatever upon me, I would have much preferred not hearing it, under the circumstances.
I passed a very pleasant night and enjoyed my rest.
I have not mentioned a Mr. James, who is associated with Messrs. Durkee and Layton in ranching here. These people represent a very wealthy syndicate in New York, and both Mr. Layton and Mr. Durkee are of wealthy parentage. The former’s father has died recently, the latter’s is still living and is the head of the company.
Friday, August 22nd, 1890. We breakfasted early, and started before 8 o’clock to view some lakes about 5 miles distant. One of them was of considerable size[.] It is fed by a spring and never gets dry.
Brothers S. S. Smith, C. H. Wilcken and A. Winter and myself, and Mr. James, went in and took a bath and enjoyed it. The bottom was sandy. Brother Jos. F. Smith succeeded in killing some snipe and a duck. President Woodruff shot at some and winged one duck, but failed to get it. We drove around considerably and got back to the ranch house about 12 o’clock. After partaking of dinner, we started at 12:45 for Alamosa and reached there about 4 o’clock.
There is one feature on the outskirts of Alamosa that was very attractive to me – an artesian well has been sunk 1200 feet, with the hope of finding gas, but instead, a beautiful vein of water had been struck, which came up in quite a large volume. The owner had a carp pond, in which he cultivates carp and sells them at considerable profit. The flow can be seen from a long distance.
Mr. Layton insisted on paying for our dinner at the hotel, as he said we were his guests.
From Alamosa we rode on the narrow guage to Cuchare Junction, passing the Veta Pass in the night, which has an elevation of 9393 feet. We reached Cuchare, and although I had telegraphed some two days before for berths I found there was none for us, and it was with the utmost difficulty that I succeeded in getting the drawing room for us, in which Presidents Woodruff and Smith, myself and Brother Winter slept. Brother Wilcken insisted on not sleeping with us, as he said we should be crowded, and he took his seat in a different carriage.
Saturday, August 23rd, 1890. I enjoyed my rest last night; for we were tired, having rode upwards of 35 miles in carriages yesterday. We found ourselves in Denver, and arose and dressed by six o’clock.
We left Denver at 9:35.
We were surprised to meet Brother James Jack in the depot this morning. He had come on here with his daughter and son-in-law, who were coming through from Los Angeles. He expected to return tomorrow.
The sleeper for Salt Lake leaves Denver, but we did not learn this till after we were on the road. At Cheyenne we changed into the sleeper and were very comfortable, securing all the room we wanted.
During our ride I had two hours’ conversation with a couple of gentlemen concerning our views and position – one of the most interesting conversations I have had for a long time; and they both expressed themselves as greatly delighted with it. I learned the name of one of them to be Kirby. He is a civil engineer and an educated man. The other man is from Cincinnati and a business man. The revelations which Mr. Kirby made concerning the condition of society were confirmatory of what I knew myself and of what I have heard. He said he was very familiar with Roman history in the late days, but the condition of affairs in the United States was equally bad, in his opinion.
Sunday, August 24th, 1890. Found ourselves about an hour and half late this morning. I had a good night’s rest.
Arrived in Salt Lake City about 2 o’clock, all well. I was met at the depot by my son Hugh, with the carriage, and drove home. I found my family in good health. It was my intention, if I had reached a little earlier, to have changed my clothing and gone to meeting.
Following is a table of the distances between the different places that we passed through on this trip:
From Salt Lake to Denver
Denver to Albuquerque
Albuquerque to Santa Fe
Santa Fe to Sunflower
Sunflower to Manassa
Manassa to Sanford
Sanford to La Jara
La Jara to Alamosa
Alamosa to Zapato
Zapato to Medano
Medano to Alamosa
Alamosa to Denver
Denver to Salt Lake City
Monday, August 25th, 1890. I drove to the office this morning, and President Woodruff afterwards came. Brother Jos. F. Smith wrote a note, stating that he had not been well and asking if he should come to the office this evening. If it was not required, he would prepare to go out to Skull Valley to attend the anniversary of the celebration of the Hawaiian settlement. We dropped him a note to the effect that it would not be necessary for him to come to the office.
We were kept quite busy through the day.
Brother W. W. Cluff, President of Summit Stake, came in and we had a very plain talk with him concerning the political situation in Wyoming. Brother John T. Caine also came in and joined in this conversation, and the course to be taken was acquiesced in by him as being the best possible under the circumstances.
Bishops Preston and Burton came in and brought a book containing the list of tithe payers and the amount paid by each, for our use. Some conversation was had concerning the Church Farm, as it is called. All the choice horned stock had been sold to Brother F. A. Mitchell, and it was decided that notice should be given to the Receiver that the farm would not be wanted after the 1st of October.
Bishop L. C. Mariger and his Counselors, of Kanab, called and made representation concerning the condition of affairs in that Stake, and described the feelings, to some extent, that existed between themselves and the Presidency of the Stake. They felt that they had been hurt by the action of the Presidency in regard to their resignation. We told them that steps would be taken to have the whole matter investigated as early as possible.
A man who calls himself a Cherokee Indian, named John King, and who was dressed in ordinary costume, but had a string of some sort of beads around his neck, desired to see us and bring a message from Porcupine to us. It seems that this John King claims to be a member of the Church and an Elder, and professes to have great power as a healer. I was not favorably impressed with his appearance and his spirit. Quite a remarkable thing about his appearance was that he was inclined to be bald-headed, and the little hair that he has was cropped so closely that he appears entirely bald – a very unusual thing for an Indian. He speaks English with considerable fluency, though he slips in his grammar. He says that it cost him $160. to see Porcupine, who was in Dakota, and he had a long conversation with him, which he described to us. There was nothing particularly new, however, about what he told us more than we had already read in the papers concerning Porcupine’s claim to having seen the Savior. Brother Arthur Winter, at the request of President Woodruff, took a shorthand report of what Brother King had to say. This man King resides at Manti.
We listened to the reading of a large number of letters.
Tuesday, August 26th, 1890. I went to the Gardo House this morning.
We finished the reading of the letters that had accumulated during our absence.
A number of persons called, on various matters of business.
Brother A. F. Macdonald is here from Mexico and desires to have a full conversation with us. We listened to some reports that he had; but as we had not time to consider them, we suggested that, if agreeable to him, we would like to have him stay till our return from Skull Valley, which he said he would do.
Brother F. S. Richards called on some business.
Brother Geo. Naylor had an interview with President Woodruff concerning his family affairs. President Woodruff desired me to hear his story also. It seems that Brother Naylor’s second wife, who is the mother of seven children, is playing the whore. He knows enough himself to be satisfied of this, and then one of his sons by her has given him evidence which confirms that which he himself understands. It seems that her sister’s husband has been stopping with her, and he has slept with her. Brother Naylor wanted to have counsel in relation to the proper course to pursue. We advised him to get more proof, if it were possible, so that he could prove beyond dispute, by two or three witnesses, that she was guilty of adultery; but in the event of not being able to do this, we suggested that he have an interview with her and tell her that he has evidence that she is an adulteress and endeavor to come to some arrangement with her concerning her attitude towards him. The reasons for giving this counsel is that she is now pregnant, and he is afraid that she will “give him away”, in which case his punishment would be three years in the penitentiary. By getting evidence of her guilt, he might escape this, or by letting her know that he has evidence of it she might agree to adopt a course that would deliver him from his peril. It made me sick at heart to hear his description of his wife’s conduct.
I left the office shortly after one o’clock to go down home to prepare to go to Skull Valley. I took the train for Garfield at 1:45. President Woodruff and his wife and my wife Sarah Jane followed in the next train at 2:45. Brother Wilcken had my team attached to his carriage and met us there. Myself and wife rode with him, and Brother Moroni Sheets had a Church team and carriage to carry President Woodruff and his wife. We reached Brother Samuel W. Woolley’s, two or three miles the other side of Grantsville, in the early evening. Our arrival there was unexpected. We supposed that Brother Jos. F. Smith had written to inform them that we were to stop with them, as this was the arrangement that he made with us. We were welcomed, however, with great cordiality, and we appeared to be more annoyed than the family were. They made us very comfortable.
Brother Jos. F. Smith and his wife, accompanied by Brother Albert Davis and wife arrived about bedtime.
Wednesday, August 27th, 1890. We started for Skull Valley shortly after 9 o’clock, and we reached Josepa between one and two. This place looks very beautiful in the distance. It is a real oasis; for the country between Grantsville and this point partakes largely of the desert character. It is true, we passed some springs, but they only made their banks green. Trees grow well at Josepa, and it was very refreshing to see them.
We were welcomed by Brother H. H. Cluff and wife and others, with considerable warmth. Brother William King, recently returned from the Sandwich Islands, where he has been presiding, was also there with his wife. We expect to have him take Brother Cluff’s place after the harvest has been collected.
The natives crowded around us, and they manifested considerable affection and great pleasure at our coming out to see and to participate in their celebration.
After dinner, we all got into carriages, excepting my wife Sarah Jane. She felt to stay and rest, and Sister Cluff took her place with me. We rode back on the road and examined a small spring creek which had been dammed up, forming a reservoir or pond, in which a good many carp had been. This had burst away. The intention was to raise the water so as to bring it out on the land. After this, we drove back and went through the fields of the settlement, and I was greatly pleased at what we saw. The corn here is the finest that I have seen this season anywhere. Some of it was at least ten feet high, and the ears were heavy and well developed. The third crop of lucerne also looked better than any I had seen this season. There was barley and oats and wheat, most of which had been harvested, and it all looked exceedingly fine. They have 70 acres of old lucerne and 50 of new, most of which was doing very well. It was expected that they would put up about five hundred tons of lucerne. The hay already harvested makes very large stacks and gives prospect of furnishing abundant feed for the coming winter. They expect to have at least ten tons of corn fodder, besides quantities of chaff and straw. They can turn their stock, of which they have about 500, into their fields after the harvest is gathered, and there is no reason why they cannot do very well till towards Christmas. There seems to be an abundance of food for man and beast, and there is every prospect of this being a most excellent settlement. The soil is rich, and they have an abundance of water to supply their wants, or at least can have by proper steps to preserve the water and not allow it to sink into the ground as it comes from the mountains.
Brother Charles Anderson, Counselor to the President of Tooele Stake, does not seem to be favorably impressed with the future prospects of the settlement. He feels that if we had a good bank account behind this settlement to rely upon, then we could sustain the people. Food, he says, is not all that is needed; there is clothing and groceries and other things, for the procuring of which there must be some income. There is probably force in these remarks, though I think myself that with care and good management the place can be made self-sustaining. If we had some sheep, it would be a great advantage, as they might be fed for market, and the wool would be a source of income also.
We had some beautiful singing and music this evening from the natives. They played the guitar and mandolin, and one of them plays a mouth organ wonderfully well, and one also the violin. They gave us a serenade. The first song they sung was in praise of Keoki Pukuniahi, which is my name translated into their language. They call me their father in the gospel, I being the first to introduce the gospel or to preach the gospel to their race in their native tongue. A number of other songs followed, and the evening was spent very pleasantly, we sitting out of doors, in chairs, listening to the serenade.
Sister Cluff yielded her room to us. It contained two beds. President Woodruff and myself and our wives occupied them.
Thursday, August 28th, 1890. We were awakened this morning by the firing of cannon.
About 10:30 a procession was formed and we marched from the house up to the townsite and round the liberty pole, and back again. There was one wagon which showed Skull Valley as it was, in which sage brush, rabbit brush and other brush
es <which> had grown wild here in early days, were displayed, and a lot of Indians were on the wagon also. Another wagon represented Skull Valley as it is, containing specimens of all the grains that were raised and the various vegetables and flowers, and upon this wagon there were a number of ladies.
The procession was led by a string band. President Woodruff and several ladies were driven in a carriage by Brother C. H. Wilcken, Brother Smith and myself followed next, Prest. Gowans and Counselors next, and the missionaries who were appointed to labor here, and then the Hawaiians. The appearance of the Hawaiians was very creditable. They were dressed with good taste, the women especially. They were all in white, and they had leis (wreaths) of flowers ornamenting their heads and necks. They made strings of rosebuds like beads, with which they made several wreaths and put around the necks of the First Presidency and their wives. The procession marched to the bowery that had been constructed, and there we rested at ease, listening to songs and joining in conversation, until the dinner was prepared.
President Woodruff and all the visitors who had never seen the Imu – that is, the pit where the food is cooked, took great interest in watching the uncovering of the pit, where a whole hog, with chickens and beef, were roasted in the ground. A large circular hole is dug, and firewood is piled in there, and rocks piled upon the firewood; these rocks are heated by the kindling of the firewood, and the
y<n> they are spread evenly in the bottom of the pit, and the food to be cooked is placed thereon, and then grass. On the Islands they have better material for covering than grass, but here they had to use the grass. On top of this, dirt is piled, until the whole thing is covered in and made air tight. Then water is poured in at a little hole that is left in the top of the mound, and that is closed up, and the steam cooks the food. On this occasion the meat was very well cooked, though the brethren who did it said that it was not near so nice as it would have been could they have obtained leaves in which to wrap the food such as they had on the islands.
The meal was a very excellent one. I was requested by the brethren to ask a blessing, which I did in native, being the first blessing in native that I think I have asked in thirty six years.
We afterwards had a meeting, which opened by singing a native hymn, and prayer was offered by the Chaplain – Solomona – an aged man, probably 93 or 94 years of age, whom I baptized 37 years ago. His prayer was very fervent. Another hymn was sung, and [blank] delivered an oration. He is a very fine speaker and acquitted himself very creditably. He spoke concerning the bringing of their race from the islands of the sea to the land which God had dedicated as the land of Zion and had promised to the seed of Israel. He spoke about how merciful God had been to them – people of red skins; and then he dwelt upon the fulfillment of the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah concerning the Lord’s house being in the tops of the mountains, and all nations being gathered unto it. After he had got through another hymn was sung, accompanied by music, and Brother Kauleinamoku made an address on behalf of the pioneers of that settlement, he being one. He spoke with a great deal of force, and his remarks were very excellent and timely. He alluded to the disposition that had been manifested by some of them to murmur and some even had turned back and gone to the Islands. He dwelt upon the blessings God had bestowed upon them, and how faithful they should be, instead of yielding to a spirit of dissatisfaction.
Afterwards President Woodruff made some remarks, which he desired me to translate; but I preferred that Brother Jos. F. Smith should do so. After Brother Smith had translated what President Woodruff said, he spoke then for himself, occupying considerable time. President Woodruff desired me to speak afterwards. I would like to have done so, but the time had been so much occupied that I thought I could not, in the few minutes that were remaining, express myself as I desired; and as so much had been said, I preferred not saying anything, under the circumstances, especially in view of our departure at 6 o’clock. It was then nearly 5 o’clock, and the land had to be dedicated. President Woodruff offered the dedicatory prayer in English, and Brother Smith in native, after which we had singing, and Brother William King dismissed.
I was much gratified at the fact that I understood almost every word that was spoken. I think this is very remarkable, considering that I have had no association scarcely with the Hawaiians since I left the Islands in 1854. Occasionally I have met with them and exchanged a few words, but I have not kept up my knowledge of the language. The gift of interpretation, however, was given to me, and it seems that I have not lost it. There was a time when it was easier for me to speak in that language than in my native tongue, and I could speak and write it better than I could the English. I think I could soon regain my former practice, though I feel awkward now.
I have enjoyed myself exceedingly during this visit.
At 6:15 we started for the house of Brother Woolley. The ride was a very pleasant one, and we reached there about 10 o’clock.
Friday, August 29th, 1890. Brother Wilcken and myself started at a little before 8 this morning, and <when> we reached Garfield he proposed that I stay there and go in on the train. I did not like to leave him alone, but he said it would be much better, and I complied.
Captain Douris invited me to take a bath, and would not take any pay for it. I did so and had a most excellent bath in the lake. There were but few persons near.
I took train at 11:45 and reached the city about 12:45.
Spent the afternoon at the office.
I received a letter from Brother Christensen of Sanford, in which he reported his condition in connection with his plural families, and said that he understood that exterminating orders had gone forth to disfellowship any man that had more than one wife in that country, and remarked that he had been told that my counsel and remarks on the subject had been intended for him personally. I replied to him that whoever said that I had made such remarks as he had been told I had made, told a willful falsehood and had misrepresented me, and I explained to him my position in regard to that matter.
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Saturday, August 30th, 1890. I was busy today opening some caskets of chinaware that I had bought for my family. I had bought a set for each of my wives. I also divided some apples that had come from the farm.
Sunday, August 31st, 1890. I took train this morning for Provo to attend Conference there.
On the way down I had quite a serious conversation with Sister Susie Young Gates. She told me the feelings that she had had concerning myself and her brother Brigham as executors of her father’s estate. I had a very plain talk with her, and she asked my forgiveness for things that she had said. I made explanations to her, which seemed to be satisfactory, and she said it was the first time that she had ever known my side of the case. I blamed her for not coming to me instead of entertaining such feelings as she had had.
Brother Smoot met me at the station and took me to the meeting house. Brothers F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant and John Morgan were there. These brethren occupied the forenoon, following Brother Smoot, who made a report of the condition of the Stake. There was a pretty good attendance.
Brother Smoot took us home to dinner. My wife Martha is here, visiting her sister Caroline Pratt, and she also dined at Brother Smoot’s.
We set apart Brother Eggertson to go to college in the east, in order to become a teacher of the commercial branch of education in the Academy.
In the afternoon the authorities were presented, after which I spoke for an hour and ten minutes. The people seemed deeply interested and listened closely, and I enjoyed great freedom.
After meeting I called at Brother Moroni L. Pratt’s to administer to his sick child. Afterwards, Bishop J. P. R. Johnson called upon me and I went to his house and administered to Sister Johnson, who is troubled with a cancer.
Bishop Johnson carried me to the train.