September 1890

1 September 1890 • Monday

Monday, September 1st, 1890. I came up to the office this morning and found Presidents Woodruff and Smith there.

Elder W. D. Johnson, of Kanab, and his son Bp. W. D. Johnson, of Diaz, had conversation with us concerning affairs in Kanab and in Mexico.

The Commissioner, Mr. Stone, is sitting today and examining Mr. Dyer’s, the ex-Receiver, accounts. Brother John R. Winder has been upon the stand, and the effort seems to be to prove a connection between the Church and the temples, so as to get some claim upon them, and to show that they are used for illegal purposes; as, for instance, the solemnization of plural marriages.

I spent a little while at the Salt Lake College in conversation with Brother Talmage, arranging the studies that my children should have for this session of the school, the College having opened today.

The Presidency of the Stake, through Brother Penrose, was requested to arrange for a change in the leadership of the Tabernacle Choir. We have great respect for the present leader, Brother Beesley, but for some reason he does not succeed in gathering around him the best singers, and our choir has gone down. It formerly was noted for its excellence. Brother John Pickett was in to see us about getting employment in Z.C.M.I, Brother John Pickett was in to see us about getting employment in Z.C.M.I, and gave us some painful particulars concerning the conduct of Brother John Beck with his family in San Francisco. He has three wives there, and he uses very foul and violent language to them and is full of jealousy concerning them.

There was a meeting of several Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank to take into consideration the lighting of the building by electricity and the placing of mantles in the building, and other improvements. The architect was also with us.

Brother A. W. McCune had an interview with President Woodruff and myself and gave us a letter to peruse from Marcus Daly of Montana, a very influential and wealthy man in that State, who is written to by U.S. Senators to endeavor to make Idaho and Wyoming Democratic States. He writes that he does not wish to say anything of this kind unless he can secure the Mormon vote. After considerable conversation, settling forth the impossibility of our people voting in Idaho, it was concluded that in about a week or ten days it would be well, so President Woodruff thought, for me to take a trip with Brother McCune to Montana and see Mr. Daly. He is very friendly to us, and we wish to treat him with courtesy.

The position of our affairs is such that I have felt impressed that we should have a consultation with some of our influential friends in California. Only about five or six weeks remain until the U.S. Supreme Court again meets, when there will be a further decision upon our affairs, carrying out practically the confiscation of our property. I feel deeply impressed that we should make some effort before the Court meets to endeavor to have the decision changed, and whether we shall be successful or not, it appears to me, at least, that we should make the effort. I suggested this to Presidents Woodruff and Smith and they thought seriously with me of the suggestion, and that something should be done. The actions of the officials here at the present time seem to us to be in the line of bringing pressure to bear upon the Supreme Court and paving the way for an adverse decision to us.

2 September 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 2nd, 1890. I came up to the office this morning, and on my way called upon my sister Mary Alice, who is in a very low condition, suffering from spinal trouble and sciatica. I administered to her and felt well in doing so. She wept after my hands were taken off her head, and said that the Lord had been very good to her all her life. She is a most excellent, sweet-spirited woman. I am glad that I have such a sister. The First Presidency and Brothers Thatcher and Lyman had a full and free conversation with Elders A. F. Macdonald and W. D. Johnson, Jr, the latter’s father also being present, concerning affairs in Mexico, and went over the whole ground as to the condition of the colonists and their rights under the concession of the Campos, who had received it from the government. There have been fears entertained by some of our people that owing to a non-compliance with some of the sections of what they supposed to be the contract our lands and improvements were in danger there; but it was shown by Brother Macdonald that the original contract had been greatly modified, and that the paragraphs which contained these points that had created alarm had been dropped from the new contract. It was also shown that the Government of Mexico had accepted all that had been done, so that there was no room for fear. The agitation has been conducted principally, I think, from what we learned, by a brother by the name of Galbraith, who moved from Kaysville – an excellent man, but inclined to be an agitator, and he seems to be at loggerheads with Brother A. F. Macdonald. In fact, there has been a good deal of division in the settlements there, and we have endeavored in this conversation to have the causes removed.

The Dyer examination is still going on before the Commissioner, and I was informed that the Examiner said that he wished to have me brought as a witness, as he desired to question me concerning my individual property. A subpoena has already been issued for President Woodruff.

We made up our minds that we would start for San Francisco tomorrow evening, and commenced making our preparations accordingly.

While Brother Caine was here I had some conversation with him concerning my bond of twenty thousand dollars which had been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and he said that a compromise might be effected by using strong influences in the right quarter. I received a telegram from him, informing me that General Williams and he and talked the matter over, and that Williams thought he could effect something in the shape of compromise. I have been in communication with Colonel Trumbo upon this matter, and he informs me by telegraph that it would be well to have the case put to the foot of the Calendar, if possible, and that the Southern Pacific people would use influence to that end, if I wished it. I replied that I thought it would be a good thing.

At 3 o’clock this afternoon a meeting of the Directors of Z.C.M.I. was held in the Gardo House and considerable business attended to.

I had quite a long conversation with Brothers F. S. Richards and J. R. Winder concerning political matters, and a committee was appointed by the First Presidency, consisting of Francis Armstrong, W. H. Rowe and Nelson Empey, to collect funds, as the Central Committee was very much in debt. I dictated a letter to these brethren, and afterwards signed it in behalf of the First Presidency, Presidents Woodruff and Smith not being present. I stayed in town tonight.

3 September 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, 1890. Brother Wilcken called for me and took me down home early this morning. I packed my things in readiness for my trip to California. My daughter Mary Alice drove me to town in her mother’s carriage. Presidents Woodruff and Smith were not there. I attended to a good deal of business; dictated articles for the Juvenile and my journal to Brother Winter. Listened to correspondence and suggested replies. The train was late to take us to California, and we had to sit up till 2 o’clock in the morning. My son Abraham, Brother Wilcken and Sheriff Burt sat up also and, with Brother Walsh, accompanied us to the train.

Our sections were secured on the sleeper and we <Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself> soon retired.

4 September 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 4th, 1890. Two young ladies belonging to our people were in the sleeper who recognized us; one was the daughter of E. M. Weiler, the other of Geo. Serrine. They were both granddaughters of the late Charles Crismon.

Today was a very disagreeable day in traveling, it being hot and dusty, and the dust penetrated the cars and covered everything.

President Woodruff [is] suffering from a severe cold.

5 September 1890 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 5th, 1890. We were detained at Colfax this morning in consequence of the wheels of one of the coaches being cracked. We were 3½ hours late.

We were met by Bishop Clawson, and at the ferry by his son Fred and Col. Trumbo. The latter had secured a fine suite of rooms at the Palace hotel, intending to use them for the reception of the Governor and his staff, of which he was a member, on the occasion of the celebration of the admission of California into the Union. Learning that we were coming, he transferred these rooms to us. They consisted of a large sitting room, three fine bedrooms, bathroom and closet.

We had calls from Brother Clawson’s wife Emily and family.

President Woodruff was not well and was unable to go out.

Brother Smith and myself accompanied Brother Clawson and his wife Emily to see Scanlan at the California theatre, in the play “Irish Minstrel”. Mr. Newton, to whom I had been introduced in the afternoon, is Mr. Scanlan’s manager, and he gave us a fine box as a compliment.

6 September 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 6th, 1890. San Francisco is beautifully decorated. The whole town is alive with visitors. The streets are full of music, and the stores make very fine displays. It is the intention to have the admission of the State celebrated, it being the 40th year. It is impossible for us to do our business until this is over.

Bishop Clawson had a carriage and took Brother Smith and myself and his wife Emily to the Golden Gate Park, where we had a very nice lunch. Then we drove to the Cliff House and to Sutro Heights, and from there back to the hotel.

When I got back I was sorry to find President Woodruff quite under the weather, and he had not had anything to eat while we were gone. I supposed he would ring and order what he wanted, but he had not done so. I took him down to the restaurant, and he felt better after he had had some warm food.

In the evening there was a flambeau parade and a grand display of fireworks, etc. Our view from the windows of our rooms was very fine.

7 September 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 7th, 1890. Col. Trumbo had received a letter from Mr. Clarkson, the First Assistant Postmaster General, who is also a very influential member of the National Republican Committee, asking his views concerning the political situation in Idaho and Wyoming. It was a very nice letter, in which he complimented the Colonel and his wife for the kind treatment they had extended to him and his wife on their recent visit to California. The Colonel desired me to write a reply for him, which I did, and with which he was much pleased.

Today is Sunday, but one would not suspect it to be the case in seeing the life and animation in the streets. Many of the stores are open, and nearly all the theatres, on this day as much as on a weekday, and on ordinary Sundays, bands play, there are parades, and the people go out to beer gardens and other places of amusement, just as they do on the continent of Europe. Today was more than usually lively, because of so many people being in the city. The saloons were also open.

In the afternoon we went out to the park, it being stated that there would be a public concert there, and we desired to see the collection of people that we were told would be there. I suppose it is not an exaggeration to say that there were fifty thousand on the ground.

We met Brother and Sister Riter on our way out, and also, while out there, Mary, widow of the late Jos. A. Young.

In the evening we went to a Presbyterian church and heard Dr. McKenzie, who delivered a lecture on the Holy Land. The church is a beautiful structure inside, but badly ventilated. Brother Clawson and his wife and daughter Lulu, and President Smith and myself were present. Dr. McKenzie is an able man, but his lecture was upon other matters than the Holy Land, though his allusions to it were very frequent.

8 September 1890 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 8th, 1890. I wrote letters to Geo. Reynolds, my son Abraham, David, Mary Alice, C. H. Wilcken, F. S. Richards.

In the afternoon we went to Willard’s <Woodward’s> Gardens, and from there to see the panorama of the Battle of Gettysburgh. Then we visited the section of the Big Tree.

President Woodruff is improving in health. We do not go out without having some of the folks stay with him, either Brother Clawson’s wife or his daughter.

Joseph Jennings came down to see me and described the condition of Brother Riter and wished me to go and see him, which I did. He is suffering from nervous prostration.

From there I joined Brothers Smith and Clawson and the latter’s folks at the Mechanic’s Pavilion, where there was a promenade concert, for which Col. Trumbo had secured us tickets. The crowd was so dense that it was impossible to see the tableaus which were given, and we did not stay a great while.

9 September 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 9th, 1890. This is Admission Day, and the display and enthusiasm was very great. There was a large procession, and many of the features were quite interesting, all having reference to the old days of California and the present time. There were sixty-five bands in the procession, which was three hours passing the end of Kearney Street, near our hotel, from the windows of which we saw the whole affair. The procession was thin in some places, but, taken as a whole, it was a grand affair.

Brother Clawson and myself called upon William Riter today at his hotel. We found him better. I had spoken to him last Sunday about going on a mission to Germany and Switzerland and taking charge of affairs there. He wrote me a letter upon this subject, stating his circumstances. I found that he was very heavily in debt, and after listening to his further details, I told him that we would not expect him to go.

In the evening President[s] Woodruff and Smith, Brother Clawson and wife Margaret, Sister Kimball and myself went to the Bush St. Theatre and saw the play “Inherited”. Maude Granger was the principal character. I did not like the play, although it furnished good opportunity for fine acting.

10 September 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 10th, 1890. Wrote to each of my wives and to my son Lewis. Called at Mr. Edgar Badlam’s and examined his improved gas machine. He exhibited the gas which he manufactured and explained the principle of manufacture. I arranged with him to make me a hundred-light machine. He is about entering into a contract with a company to sell his machines. By making my contract now I save considerable, as he is at liberty to make it cheaper than he would be.

Mr. Seymour, of the Russ House, where some of Brother Clawson’s folks are stopping, called for us with a 4-horse elegant drag and took us for a ride. There were: Brother Clawson, his wife Margaret, her sister Kimball, his daughter Tessie, William Groesbeck, son of John Groesbeck, and Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself. This was done at the instance of Brother Clawson. We were driven through the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, and over the hill south of San Francisco, making a drive of 18 miles in all, which we enjoyed very much. Mr. Seymour takes great pleasure in his horses and carriage. He is described as a wealthy man. Brother Clawson and his wife Emily dined with us.

In the evening Col. Trumbo and Brother Clawson called for us and took us through Chinatown. We were taken in a carriage part of the way, as President Woodruff was not able to walk it <much>. I cannot adequately describe what we saw. We were led through their quarters, and at one place we were taken down stairs clear under the streets, they having, we were told, hollowed them out, <in the beginning,> without the knowledge of the city authorities. How they ever manage to live in such close quarters I cannot imagine. The passages were exceedingly narrow, and men might be killed there and no one be ever the wiser. We also visited the joss house and had their system of worship explained to us. We went to the theatre, where we stayed nearly an hour. Those who represented women were men, but dressed so much like women and painted that no one who did not know would suspect that they were men. One person who represented a female part is said to receive $5000. a year for his acting. To us it was very strange. There is but little scenery, and the actors march in and out, the music all the time playing airs of a most horrible character. The audience was large and seemed to be thoroughly interested in everything that was said and done. Though there was an entire absence of stage adornment, the dresses of the actors were very rich. Among other places, we were taken into a Chinese store and shown some of their goods. One quilt and pillow shams, beautifully embroidered, were shown to us, for which they asked $170. Many of the articles carved in ivory and in bronze were very excellent.

After this we were taken by Col. Trumbo to Maison Tortoni, a very noted restaurant, which has a high character in San Francisco for the excellence of its cookery. The Colonel gave us a very fine supper. This house is used for giving fine dinners. But we had descriptions given us of the society that frequented this place that seemed almost incredible. In the floors above, which were very elegant, there were connected with many of the rooms, bedchambers, where assignations could be held, and where people could indulge their sexual propensities without being in any way interfered with. It was shocking to hear of the condition of society that would admit of such things being done, and done as openly as it is said to be in this house. Yet this is one of the finest restaurants in the city.

11 September 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 11th, 1890. This is my wife Sarah Jane’s birthday, and I wrote her a letter.

We had a long interview with Judge Estee today, and another with C. H. Livingstone, proprietor of the “Alta California”. Judge Estee told us that what we needed was less law and more policy. We described to him the situation, and I gave him a plain talk about the object of our coming there. We had been prompted to do so by the kind interest he and other friends had taken in us, and desired to consult with him respecting the peril that we were in, in consequence of the near approach of the meeting of the U.S. Supreme Court, when it will be decided what shall be done with our property. I showed him the order of the court and described the responsibility resting upon us. He talked in return very plainly to us. He thought that we did not pursue a politic course in some things. We ought not to expect sixty-five millions of people to come to our standard. We could not hope to stand out against them. In his remarks he alluded to my reputation in Washington as a shrewd, suave and prudent man, and his remarks, he said, would not apply probably to myself, for I had maintained the credit of our people very wonderfully in consequence of my prudent course.

Col. H. H. Markham, who is now nominated for Governor, called upon us and we had a pleasant conversation with him.

In the evening we had a fine box at the Baldwin theatre, obtained for our party by Bp. Clawson. Besides Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself, there were Brother Clawson and his wife Emily. The play was “Adonis”. Dixey was the principal character.

12 September 1890 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 12th, 1890. Bp. Clawson and his wife Emily went with me to buy a breast pin. I afterwards went with Edgar Badlam to look at some gas stoves.

Brother Clawson and myself visited Mr. Alexander Badlam’s office, and from there we went and visited a fire engine house where there was a boiler for heating water quickly for the bath tub—something which I need very much at home.

We again had an interview with Judge Estee. We told him we came to him as a friend, not as a paid attorney. We felt more free in coming to him in this way, because we knew that he was disinterested, and that we could expect to get his views uninfluenced by any other motive than to do us good. We went over the ground of our case very thoroughly. He referred to the necessity of our making some announcement concerning polygamy and the laying of it aside. I described to him the difficulty there was in writing such a document—the danger there would be that we would either say too much or too little. He appreciated this difficulty, but nevertheless pressed the point as one that must be done sooner or later.

I afterwards had an interview with Mr. Livingstone, who desired to see me alone respecting business matters he did not wish to talk of in the presence of more than one person. Col. Trumbo represented the situation to President Woodruff, and President Woodruff desired me to do the conversing with him and they would retire. He made statements to me concerning Mr. Garber and Mr. Bishop and their influence, and what they would do for us. He took me to be a mason, and spoke to me as such on the square and on his honor as a mason. He desired that whatever business we should do should be done through one person, and that person, Col. Trumbo, as he had entire confidence in him.

In the evening Bp. Clawson secured a box at the California theatre. The play was “A midnight bell”. Besides the First Presidency and Brother Clawson and wife, Col. Trumbo joined us. This is a good play in some points.

13 September 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 13th, 1890. Bp. Clawson and wife and daughter Lulu went with me to purchase a silk quilt and shams as a present to Col. Trumbo’s wife. We visited various stores, and finally found a very elegant quilt of Chinese manufacture, beautifully embroidered. The Colonel and his wife, we learn, have a prejudice against peacocks; therefore, we wished to get one with storks on, and succeeded in doing so. The price was $175., but we secured it for $160. Col. Trumbo and wife were greatly pleased.

I received a dispatch from Gen. Geo. H. Williams, at Washington, concerning my bond case which had been appealed to the Supreme Court. My friend Enid <Estee> had been very anxious that I should have this postponed. If it were permitted to come up in its regular order, it would be reached two or three weeks after the court met in October. Gen. Williams, after telling me what time it would be reached, asked what inducement he could offer for its continuance.

At six o’clock we went to the Maison Tortoni, in accordance with an invitation of Col. Trumbo and wife to dine with them. The table was most elegantly prepared. It was loaded with roses and other flowers, and the dinner was superb. This place has the reputation of preparing the best dinners in San Francisco. Besides claret and champagne, which I scarcely ever taste, there was a wine which was called Chateau Yen, that all praise very highly for its excellence. The dinner lasted until 10 o’clock. From there we went to the rooms of Col. Trumbo and wife at the Palace Hotel and Mrs. Trumbo gave us a description of their travels in Europe, by means of the magic lantern and views. Her descriptions were very entertaining. I obtained some idea of how I might do, if means would enable me, to give very instructive lectures to my children.

The flowers that we had at the dinner were sent to our rooms.

14 September 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 14th, 1890. Col. Trumbo took us all to San Salito by steam ferry (about ten miles), and then procured carriages and gave us a ride through a very romantic and hilly country. We had a beautiful view of the bay, and after lunch returned. I enjoyed the sail very much.

At 7:30 in the evening we went to the Metropolitan Hall, on Fifth Street, to witness the Episcopalian services. The choristers were young men and boys in white surplices, one of whom played the organ. They came down the centre of the building marching and singing, with two banners, and they were followed by the clergymen and Bishop. The services and prayers were read and intoned by one of the clergymen, followed by the congregation. There was singing by the choristers alone, and also by the choristers and congregation. The first and second lessons were read by two different clergymen. The sermon was delivered by the Bishop. It was a rather thin sermon, but what there was of it was pretty good. This is a new place for services to be held in and the house was filled. The rector announced that pews would be rented at 50¢ per month. A strong invitation was given to the people to come often. There was a collection after the services.

15 September 1890 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 15th, 1890. We accompanied Bp. Clawson to the Southern Pacific Co. to see Supt. Fillmore, to obtain a pass for Marshal Parsons. I called in and saw my old friend Goodman, who is the ticket and passenger agent of that line.

In the afternoon we called upon Dr. R. H. McDonald. He is the President of the Pacific Bank, and the head of the Prohibition Party in the State. He received us warmly. He is a man who is very kindly disposed to our people. He knew us at Nauvoo.

In the evening we went to the circus, in company with Bp. Clawson and his daughters Lulu, Kate and Alice. It was a fine performance.

16 September 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 16th, 1890. We took a carriage this morning, and in company with Col. Trumbo and Bp. Clawson, the First Presidency called upon W.W. Stow, a very eminent lawyer; A. N. Towne, Manager of the Southern Pacific R.R.; and Creed Haymon, the attorney of the Southern Pacific R.R., a very strong man here and favorably disposed to us.

Brother W. W. Riter called upon us at our hotel to arrange about returning with us.

We had a long and interesting conversation with Mr. Henry Bigelow, the Manager of the San Francisco Examiner.

17 September 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 17th, 1890. [blank]

18 September 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 18th, 1890. [blank]

19 September 1890 • Friday

Friday, September 19th, 1890. We settled our bill at the Palace Hotel this morning, and started at half past seven for Sacramento. The car “Carmello” was ready to receive us at Oakland, and we embarked and were soon speeding our way to Sacramento. Besides the First Presidency, there were Brother Clawson and his daughter Lulu, Brother W. W. Riter and wife, and nurse and three children, Col. Trumbo, Mr. Al. Badlam and Stephen Kinzie. The latter is a cousin of Brother Clawson.

A very fine lunch was prepared for us upon reaching Sacramento. We find our cook is an excellent one, and the steward is very attentive.

We went in carriages to the State Fair grounds and had a fine view of the stock. The display of stock is excellent. The shorthorn Durham and the Holstein are very numerous. The display of horses also was very fine. There were running races arranged for the afternoon. We stopped and saw four. The horses did very well. We had a seat on the Directors’ stand, which was quite exclusive, and we had the best of opportunity for seeing the track and the running.

Mrs. Monroe Saulsbury came and introduced herself to me. I had known her in Salt Lake and in Washington. She introduced me to a number of lady friends.

We returned to our car to dinner at 5 o’clock, and in the evening we went to the Pavilion and spent several hours there, viewing the display of fruits and vegetables and grains, &c.

Col. Trumbo, Mr. Al. Badlam and Mr. Kinzie took leave of us here. The former two returned to San Francisco, and the latter remained in Sacramento.

I was much gratified at what we saw at this Fair, and when I saw Mr. Fillmore I thanked him for having suggested to us to do this, and also for his courtesy in arranging that we could do it.

The train left Sacramento a little after midnight.

20 September 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 20th, 1890. We were on time and doing very well.

21 September 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 21st, 1890. We reached Ogden this morning a little after 8 o’clock, and our car was attached to the Salt Lake train of the U.P., and we reached the city about 11 o’clock. My son Lewis drove up about the time we landed, and he carried me down to my home. President Woodruff’s team was not there, but he succeeded in getting Brother Alonzo Young to carry him home in his vehicle.

In the evening I returned to the city and called at my wife Carlie’s. I was informed by my daughter Mary Alice that she and her cousin, Lewis M. Cannon, to whom she is engaged, had arranged for their marriage to take place on the 1st of October. I had promised Bishop J. P. R. Johnson that I would be in Manti today, ready to attend to the ordinance of adoption, as he wished to be adopted to me. As soon as I heard of Mary Alice’s proposed marriage, it suggested itself to me that perhaps I could postpone going to Manti another week, if Brother Johnson had no objection.

22 September 1890 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 22nd, 1890. I telegraphed to Brother Johnson today, but found that he had gone to Manti, and was there waiting, and would be until Saturday. So I had no alternative but to arrange to go there, and shall go to Logan to marry my daughter next week.

I was greatly pleased yesterday, upon arrival home, to find that the steam motor was running on the line which had just been constructed through the corner of my land and across the river Jordan, and my children are able to go to the city to school now by paying the fare. To me this is a very surprising affair, as in other parts more inviting than mine they have been offered large sums of money to have the steam cars go through their land. I have not offered anything, and yet they have come right almost into my dooryard. It will prove a great convenience to me. I have already found it so in coming up this morning, as by making one change I can be brought from my place to the door of the Gardo House.

Brothers F. S. Richards and C. W. Penrose came in this morning and had a lengthy conversation with the First Presidency concerning the political situation and the Report of the Utah Commission. This Report was evidently handed by the Commission to the “Tribune” people in this city for the latter to publish what they call a synopsis of the Report. It is said to be the most damaging Report ever been made. They have accused us of teaching polygamy and encouraging people in its practice, and that since June, 1889, there have been at least 45 plural marriages contracted in this Territory. I felt considerably stirred up over this, and thought that there should be a square denial, and I remarked that perhaps no better chance had been offered to us to officially, as leaders of the Church, make public our views concerning the doctrine and the law that had been enacted. It is evident from that which is being done by our enemies that they are determined, now that Congress is so near its adjournment, to bring pressure to bear for the enactment of some of the bills pending before it. The election in Wyoming, which our votes made triumphant in favor of the Republican party, has stirred our enemies up, and they are evidently endeavoring to counteract whatever good influence our people’s action in that Territory will have on the public mind. I gave my views with a good deal of plainness concerning this matter and the steps that ought to be taken about it, Prest. J. D. T. McAllister and my brother David called upon us and had a lengthy conversation concerning St. George Temple. Counsel was given to them respecting the method of conducting affairs in the Temple, and special instructions were given by President Woodruff respecting plural marriages.

I arranged with my daughter Mary Alice particulars concerning her marriage and the reception that we should hold. My wife Carlie proffered to do all in her power to get up a reception for Mary Alice, which the latter gratefully accepted. My wife thought, as Mary Alice had no mother, that somebody ought to take the business in hand. I told Mary Alice that I wanted her to invite all her friends, and we would have a good time, as there was only once in a girl’s life that such an event occurred – at least, I hoped it would be only once in her life, and I would make it an occasion to be pleasantly remembered by her afterwards. I gave her some money also to procure her an outfit. She was very much touched by what I said, and was very grateful to me.

23 September 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 23rd, 1890. I felt very much depressed this morning. I have been troubled of late with weakness in holding my water, not being able to hold it more than three or four hours at a time. I felt to ask the Lord to prepare me for every event. If it was His will that I should go, and that my mission here was finished, I desired him to prepare me for it and to give me the spirit of it; but if not, to inspire me with the love of life and with faith to overcome any weakness. I have been suffering from cold, which has affected my kidneys apparently. We all were affected in like manner at San Francisco. I should have been alarmed then had not the rest been troubled in the same way. I have a great desire to live, if it be the Lord’s will, in order to help establish His rightousness and bring to pass His purposes connected with Zion; still if I thought it was His will that I should go, I desire to have the spirit of it and to go without reluctance.

Upon reaching the Gardo House this morning, I found President Woodruff quite stirred up in his feelings concerning the steps taken by our enemies to malign us before the country and to make false statements concerning our teachings and action. He felt that it was his duty to get out some kind of manifesto. I was pleased that he had this spirit. He dictated to Brother Geo. Gibbs something that he wanted to say, and after it was written desired me to go in and listen to it, which I did. While it was not in exactly the proper shape to publish, it contained the ideas and was very good. I told him I felt it would do good.

President Woodruff and myself had a long interview with Brother A. W. McCune concerning political matters in Idaho. The Democratic Senators in Washington were urging their Montana friends to use all their influence to get the Mormons of Idaho to vote, so as to make Idaho a Democratic State. We have not been able to see how this is possible, without our people incurring risks that are too grave for them to take, and we have counseled them not to vote, but stand aloof. We talked very plainly to Brother McCune on this subject, and promised to have Brother Wm. Budge come down and have him explain more fully the real situation in Idaho. I dictated answers to correspondence today.

Brother Moses Thatcher is in town. President Woodruff has telegraphed for Brother Lorenzo Snow and Brother M. W. Merrill to come down, as he is desirous to get all the Twelve together that he can, to submit to them that which he has written, before he publishes it.

24 September 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 24th, 1890. My health is a little better this morning, though I am far from being well. All my low-spiritedness vanished yesterday.

Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself, and Brothers Geo. Reynolds, C. W. Penrose and J. R. Winder met together in the front room of the Gardo House, and President Woodruff read what he had written in the shape of a manifesto, and after talking the matter over I suggested that as we were busy Brothers Reynolds, Penrose and Winder take the document and arrange it for publication, to be submitted to us after they had prepared it, then we could submit it to the Twelve. This was done. When we went over it I suggested several emendations, which were adopted.

At half past two, the First Presidency, Brothers F. D. Richards, M. Thatcher and M. W. Merrill met together. Brother L. Snow had not arrived. This document was carefully read, and one or two slight alterations were made in it, and then each one of us expressed his views concerning it, beginning with myself, then Brother Smith, Brother Richards, Brother Thatcher and Brother Merrill.

In order that I may know hereafter all the particulars concerning this, I think it best to insert here the original document drawn up by President Woodruff, then the emendations which were made at my suggestion, then two or three changes made while it was being read to the Twelve, so that all the facts may be known connected with this. I am desirous of doing this, because it is frequently the case that when important documents are framed there is a disposition to attribute their authorship to one and another, and I have been often credited with saying and doing things which I did not say nor do. In this instance my health has been such that I have not felt like doing anything connected with this document, except upon hearing it read to suggest alterations in it. The word “permission”, which was changed in the committee’s document, I felt ought to be changed, because if it were not it would make the parties whose marriage this referred to unhappy, as it would throw a doubt upon the legality of their marriage. This whole matter has been at President Woodruff’s own instance. He has felt strongly impelled to do what he has, and he has spoken with great plainness to the brethren in regard to the necessity of something of this kind being done. He has stated that the Lord had made it plain to him that this was his duty, and he felt perfectly clear in his mind that it was the right thing.


“It is reported by the press of the nation that the Utah Commission in their recent report to Congress state that the Mormons are still carrying on the plural marriages in our temples or otherwise; and that ………. marriages have been attended to during the past month; and the press throughout the land is stirred up bitterly against us, and are making many false accusations against us for political effect, to take away our rights as citizens. We wish here to state to the government and people of the nation that these charges are false; and also to say, that as soon as the Edmunds-Tucker law was passed President John Taylor gave orders for all plural marriages to cease, that no plural marriages should be performed in our temples; and further, that he took steps to not only obey the law himself but to have the people, and we have endeavored to carry out the same principle since his death. There has never been any plural marriages in any of our temples since the passage of that law, by our consent or to our knowledge. And inasmuch as the nation has passed a law forbidding plural marriages we feel to obey that law, and leave the event in the hands of God. We have not been teaching neither are we now teaching that principle to the church or the world since the passage of that law; and wherever any member of the church has taught it he has been reproved for the same. Therefore we make this public declaration that we are neither teaching nor practicing the doctrine of polygamy. And while we have been accused of preaching it in our public sermons there is no sentence which we have uttered since the enactment of that law that can rightly be construed as teaching that doctrine. Our teachings to the members of the church have been to obey the law. And in one instance where a man testified that he had married a plural wife in the endowment house, this marriage was not with our permission or knowledge, neither could we ever learn who performed the ceremony; but in consequence of this testimony we had the endowment house taken down.

As to man’s religious belief, that is something with which we have nothing to do; we can deal only with their acts – a doctrine held by the highest court of the nation. Our religious faith is based upon the Bible. We believe fully in all the principles taught by Jesus Christ and the apostles, and we teach no gospel or religion but that taught by them. And we now publicly declare that our advice to the Latter-day Saints is to obey the law of the land, leaving the nation responsible for their acts in this respect.

We are misrepresented by the press and those who are opposed to us. It is reported that the Utah Commission has reported that there have been some 80 cases of plural marriages in the last month. There is no truth in those charges.”


Committee’s Document, after alterations hereafter noted had been made.

[Attached newspaper article]

To Whom it May Concern:

Press dispatches having been sent for political purposes, from Salt Lake City, which have been widely published, to the effect that the Utah Commission, in their recent report to the Secretary of the Interior, allege that plural marriages are still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year; also that in public discourses the leaders of the Church have taught, encouraged and urged the continuance of the practice of polygamy;

I, therefore, as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, do hereby, in the most solemn manner, declare that these charges are false. We are not teaching polygamy, or plural marriage, nor permitting any person to enter into its practice, and I deny that either forty or any other number of plural marriages have during that period been solemnized in our temples or in any other place in the Territory.

One case has been reported, in which the parties alleged that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House, in Salt Lake City, in the spring of 1889, but I have not been able to learn who performed the ceremony; whatever was done in this matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurrence the Endowment House was, by my instructions, taken down without delay.

Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare

my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.

There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or in those of my associates during the time specified, which can reasonably be construed to inculcate or encourage polygamy, and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to convey such teaching he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.

Wilford Woodruff,

President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

[End of newspaper article]


In the 10th line the words “in Utah” were inserted[.]

In the 5th line of 2nd par., the word “not” instead of “neither”.

In the 7th line of 2nd par., the phrase “nor permitting any person to enter into its practice” was inserted.

In the 3rd line of 3rd par., “marriage” instead of “ceremony”.

In the 5th & 6th lines of 3rd par, the committee’s document read “I instituted careful inquiries, but could not”; changed to read “but I have not been able to”.

In the 8th line of 3rd par., “if it was done” changed to read “whatever was done in this matter”.

In the 9th line of 3rd par, “knowledge” instead of “permission”

In last line of 3rd par, “taken” instead of “torn”.

“and to use my influence with the members of the church over which I preside to have them do likewise” was inserted in the latter part of 4th par.

In the 5th line of last par. the words “practice of” before “polygamy” erased.

The following additional alterations were made in the afternoon meeting:

In the 8th line of 4th par, the word “all” before “the members” left out.

In the 9th line of last par, the words “corrected and” just before “reproved” left out.

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank was held today.

I went home and retired early to bed.

25 September 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 25th, 1890. After I retired last night, and when I was in a deep slumber, my son David came into my bedroom, with my nephew L. M. Cannon, and woke me up. They informed me that my son Hugh and his affianced had just concluded to go to Logan with Mary Alice and Lewis, to be married. The children were much delighted at this and had come up to communicate the news to me.

I had a talk with Brother C. H. Wilcken this morning upon the subject and how to arrange for the reception. I also arranged for the purchase of 20 acres of land adjoining mine, which Brother Turner had offered to sell to me, but which he had sold to Brother Ira Bennion. I have agreed to pay Brother Bennion $200. more than he paid for it.

Upon examining the papers this morning we found there was a very meager account of President Woodruff’s manifesto. We sent for Brother W. B. Dougall and got him to prepare a dispatch to the Associated Press agent at Chicago, asking him to publish it in full, and whatever charges there were would be met. He telegraphed to Brother Dougall to know whether President Woodruff meant to accuse them of telegraphing the Commissioners’ Report for political purposes. I framed a dispatch, disclaiming any such intention, but attributing it to some agent in this city, who desired to promote the schemes of a local clique here.

Brother Clawson was requested to translate the manifesto into cipher and send it to Col. Trumbo, for publication in California.

Brother Lorenzo Snow failed to come down yesterday, but reached here today, and the manifesto was submitted to him. He read it carefully and approved of it, and also thought it a judicious move to have it issued at the present time.

A copy of the manifesto was also sent to Brother John T. Caine, and he was requested to have it published as widely as possible.

We had a call from Brother Stucki, the late President of the Swiss and German Mission, and Brother Henry Tuckett.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and the Twelve met, but did not clothe. There were present, besides the First Presidency, Brothers Snow and Richards. President Woodruff prayed.

We had a call from Mr. Zimmerman, a railroad officer of an Ohio road, who was accompanied by four ladies. They were introduced to President Woodruff and myself by Brother Stucki.

26 September 1890 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 26th, 1890. Bishop J. P. R. Johnson, of Provo, spoke to me some time ago about being adopted in my family, and he has been desirous to have it attended to as quickly as possible. I made an appointment to go to Manti last Sunday, but being delayed in California prevented this. He had been at Manti all week, and I arranged to go there this morning and have the ordinance attended to.

I reached Nephi in time to connect with the train going to Chester. One of the brethren introduced me to Mr. Kerr, the Superintendent, who would not allow me to pay my fare.

I was met at Chester by Brother A. H. Lund and Brother Peter Cornelius Peterson, and was carried quickly through the bottoms to avoid the dust to Ephraim, and thence by the main road to Manti.

I found Brother Wells in tolerably good health. Bishop Johnson and wife and other relatives were there awaiting me, also Brother David Adams and wife, from Alpine, and Brother S. S. Jones, a son-in-law of Brother Johnson’s and a merchant at Provo. He also desired to be adopted to me. All these adoptions were attended to.

I took supper with the brethren in the Temple, and afterwards returned with Brothers Lund and Peterson to Ephraim, to Brother Lund’s house. As I was passing through to Manti, I met Brother Canute Peterson, and he desired me to speak to the people this evening, and had given out an appointment, with my consent. I found the house at Ephraim filled with people. I was surprised to find so full an attendance on so short a notice. We commenced meeting about 8 o’clock, and I enjoyed excellent freedom in talking.

I stopped at Brother Lund’s and was very kindly entertained. Brother Canute Peterson and wife, Brother Beal and Brother P. C. Peterson and wife spent an hour with me in conversation at Brother Lund’s, before we retired.

27 September 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 27th, 1890. Brother Peter C. Peterson called for me this morning at half past six, but we did not leave as early as we expected. Brother Peterson carried me through to Chester in an hour and nine minutes. I found the car very much crowded.

I stopped at Nephi, at Brother Paxman’s, until the train started for the north at 1:15.

I forgot to mention yesterday that, at the request of President Jos. F. Smith, I called at Sister Grover’s, where Brother Smith’s wife was staying, she having gone there to avoid being cited as a witness. They insisted on my eating lunch.

I reached the city at about 5 o’clock this evening.

I found that my son William was threatened with an attack of typhoid fever, and my wife Sarah Jane was quite ill also, having chills and fever.

28 September 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 28th, 1890. I learned last evening that Sister Martha Bowker Young, one of President Young’s wives, had died on Thursday evening, and that he [the or her] funeral was to be held today at 10 o’clock. I had my son Angus take me up to the Lion House, where the funeral was to be held. There was quite an assemblage present. Bishop Whitney presided, with his Counselors, Brothers Patrick and Barton. Brothers Patrick and Whitney made some remarks, and I followed. I felt exceedingly well, but my emotions choked me during part of the time. The grave was prepared in President Young’s private cemetery, the consent of the City Council having been obtained. Sister Young was a modest, unobtrusive woman, and has been in poor health for a long time. She was a woman of sterling worth, and all bore testimony to her fidelity to the principles of her religion.

I attended meeting at Farmer’s Ward in the afternoon, and preached there. President Woodruff was desirous that I should not attend the Tabernacle for fear they might attempt to subpoena me as a witness in the case that is now pending before Commissioner Stone.

I called upon my sister Mary Alice, who is still quite sick, and administered to her, and also to her son Angus, who is affected with sciatica.

29 September 1890 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 29th, 1890. I went round this morning to select some furniture to present to my daughter Mary Alice as a wedding present. I was accompanied by my son Abraham. I purchased a bedstead, wire mattress, hair mattress and pillows, bureau and washstand, for which I paid $133. It is a very nice set. Abraham bought two chairs and a book case for her. We found articles to suit us best at P. W. Madsen’s.

At the office I found Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and Brothers John Henry Smith, M. Thatcher and H. G. Grant. Brother Lyman came in afterwards. Abraham received a dispatch from Frank at Washington, asking him to request me to furnish him a brief of the bond case which is on appeal.

I omitted to mention that upon my return from California I found a letter from my son Frank, informing me that he had waited some days hoping that I would return, as he wanted to see me about going east. He wished to go in connection with his project that he had suggested for the World’s Fair. Upon reading his letter I dictated to my son Hugh a full statement concerning the situation of the twenty thousand dollar bond case. If it should go against me, as experienced attorneys think it will, the amount, with interest and costs, will be nearly $30000. I have been very much exercised over this case of late, as until within a short time I supposed that I had a good showing to have it decided favorably in the Supreme Court; but when I was East, in conversation with General McNulta and since with other lawyers, I am convinced that I am in great jeopardy, and likely to have this to pay. A compromise has been suggested, but to accomplish this time is needed. The case is to come up the beginning of November. My friends in California, Judge Estee particularly, are very desirous that it should be postponed, at least, till the end of this term, or, better still in their opinion, to put it at the bottom of the calendar. I wrote all this very fully to Frank and told him the peril I was in, and suggested to him that if he could see some of my friends there and describe the situation, influence might be brought to bear on the Attorney General that would be favorable either for a compromise or for postponement of the case. After writing this letter, I telegraphed him, and when he received it he started immediately for Washington and is now there.

The same time that Abraham received the dispatch there was a letter also came from Frank to me from Washington, in which, however, he says nothing concerning the outlook, as he needs information.

I saw Brothers F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young, and the latter said that he would draw up some points on the case, which I afterwards received and forwarded to Frank.

At 2 o’clock we had a meeting of the Directors of Z.C.M.I.

At 6 o’clock I met by appointment my sons Hugh and David, my daughter Mary Alice and my nephew, Louis M. Cannon, and Anne M. Cannon, at the river bank, for the purpose of baptizing them, preparatory to going to the Temple tomorrow. After the baptism we returned to our house, and after changing our clothes held a confirmation meeting. My sons Abraham and Angus joined with me in confirming those who had been baptized, myself and Abraham being mouth. We had a very sweet time.

30 September 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 30th, 1890. Had an interview with Mr. Ellis, a freethinker, who desires to obtain the theatre for a lecture. He has views that He wishes to make public concerning the situation here, and expressed himself as being very friendly to us and desirous of creating a change here, so that there will not be the animosity between the two classes that now exists. I had an interview with Brother C. S. Burton, the manager of the theatre, concerning this, and he said he would bring the matter to the attention of the Directors and tell them our views about it. They seem to have no confidence in Ellis, and thought that he was not a man to be trusted.

The Twelve held a meeting today at 2 o’clock.

At 5 o’clock I started to Logan, in company with my son Hugh and daughter Mary Alice, and my nephew, Louis M. Cannon, to whom my daughter is to be married, and May Wilcken, a daughter of Brother C. H. Wilcken, who is going to be married to my son Hugh. Besides these four, there were my brother Angus’ wife Amanda and his daughter, Wilhelmina, my son Abraham’s wife. My son David was also in the party, he going up to receive his endowments, also Anne M. Cannon and Miss Berthan Wilcken.

At Ogden my son John Q. joined and stayed with us until the train started for the north.

At Logan we were met by my nephew, John M. Cannon, who had gone up for the purpose of arranging for stopping places for us. He had secured a place for the most of us at the house of the widow of Bishop Charles Robinson, of Montpelier, who had moved from that place to Logan within a short time. We had a very good supper. I had a good bed.

We were carried there in a vehicle which he had provided – one of the most roomy vehicles I ever rode in.

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September 1890, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed March 1, 2024