October 1890

1 October 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 1st, 1890. We arose early this morning, breakfasted, and proceeded to the Temple. My brothers Angus and David were at the Temple. Angus desired to receive endowments for some of our dead, and I gave him the name of our grandfather, John Quayle. My nephew Louis, having had his endowments before, desired also to go through, and I gave him the name of my mother’s oldest brother, Charles Quayle. My neice, Anne M. Cannon, Hugh and David and Mary Alice received their endowments. I took Hugh and David through the veil. Louis M. Cannon took my daughter Mary Alice through, and Hugh took May Wilcken through. I performed the sealing ceremony, making each couple man and wife.

We got through a little before two o’clock. John M. Cannon had a carriage waiting for us and took us to Sister Robinson’s, where we partook of dinner, and then went to the station. We had to wait about an hour and a half for the train.

While at Ogden, John Q. and Annie, and daughter Louisa, and Frank’s two little girls, came in and visited us while we remained. They brought boquets of flowers to the brides. We had a delightful little visit. We reached the city about 10 o’clock.

This has been one of the most delightful trips I have had. The young folks were full of life and animation, and made the time pass very pleasantly and swiftly. It does one good to get into the society of young people, full of animal spirits as these were. Such society is in great contrast with that which I am accustomed to. The seriousness of our work impresses itself upon us, and we have little time or disposition to indulge in lively or amusing conversation.

We were met at the station by my sons Sylvester and Lewis, each of which had a vehicle. David rode down in one, and my son Angus and myself rode down in the other. Each of the bridegrooms had his buggy to carry his bride in.

2 October 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 1890. I had a dream a few nights ago that impressed me that it would be dangerous for me to meet with my family in my schoolroom at the reception which I intended to give to the newly married couples. I had thought of doing this until I had this dream. My enemies might take advantage of me if I should be there with my wives, and I had an interview this morning with Brothers LeGrand Young and F. S. Richards upon this subject. They seemed to think that there might be danger. I spoke to Bp. H. B. Clawson about seeing the assistant prosecuting attorney, Mr. Critchlow, Mr. Varian, the prosecuting attorney, being absent from the city, and learning from him his views concerning the matter. He did see him, and also Marshal Parsons. They both expressed themselves as of the opinion that there would be no impropriety in my meeting with my family under the circumstances. Of course, they were careful to confine themselves to this particular thing, and desired it understood that it should not cover anything else. Mr. Critchlow said that he would be willing to give a writing on the subject if it was necessary.

After hearing the report I decided that I would meet with my family.

We got advices from Brother Caine that Congress had adjourned, without passing any legislation affecting us.

I went home early in the afternoon and busied myself getting my schoolhouse ready for the company that had been invited to meet the newly-married couples. The schoolhouse was beautifully decorated, and the tables, which I had made for the occasion, presented a very beautiful appearance. I can say that I never saw a finer <cold> supper spread on such an occasion as <than> we had. Everything that we had was of excellent quality and abundant.

Brother Wilcken was late in bringing his family, and this detained us.

The house was crowded, and Mary Alice was beautifully dressed to receive the company, as also was Hugh’s wife when she arrived.

It had been raining all day, and the evening was damp, and cold.

Upwards of 80 persons sat down to supper, which had been prepared by my wife Carlie. President Woodruff asked a blessing, and drank, in a cup of coffee, the health of the brides and bridegrooms.

After the second table got through, we cleared the tables out, and danced until about half past one in the morning.

All enjoyed themselves and spoke in the highest terms of the pleasant time they had.

In the invitations that were sent out, we had stated that presents were not desired. I have felt very strongly on this. I think it is a very bad fashion our people are falling into. But notwithstanding this, a number of the relatives and others gave Mary Alice some very fine presents, and also Hugh’s wife.

3 October 1890 • Friday

Friday, Oct. 3rd, 1890. I got but little sleep last night.

Busy at the Gardo House all day with Presidents Woodruff and Smith. We had a long conversation this morning with Mr. Layton, of Colorado, and Brother S. S. Smith, President of the San Luis Stake, F. A. Hammond, and Brother John Henry Smith. The conversation was on the subject of making a purchase of a ranch which Mr. Layton is connected with in Colorado.

It was decided today that Brothers Moses Thatcher and John W. Taylor should go to the Bannock Stake and make the saints a visit there. They desire to establish a new town and want the judgment of some of the brethren in its location.

We have been very much hurried today, and I have felt the need of sleep; but my daughter-in-law, May Wilcken, Hugh’s wife, had issued invitations to a reception at her father’s house this evening, and I went there. There were a great many relatives and friends, and we partook of an excellent supper. My daughters Hester, Amelia and Emily, and my son Lewis accompanied me. I returned home before midnight.

4 October 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, October 4th, 1890. Our Conference meetings commenced today.

I spent about an hour at the Gardo House with President Woodruff before going to the meeting.

Conference opened at 10 o’clock. At the request of President Woodruff, I gave out the hymn.

President Lorenzo Snow offered prayer.

The house was unusually well filled for the opening meeting.

President Woodruff made some opening remarks, and was followed by Elders John Morgan, B. H. Roberts, Lorenzo Snow and A. H. Lund.

The remarks were spirited, and the meeting was very pleasant.

In the afternoon the following brethren spoke: Elders F. D. Richards, M. Thatcher, F. M. Lyman and J. D. T. McAllister.

In the evening there was a meeting of the Sunday School Union, and the attendance was tolerably good. Remarks were made by various brethren, and I made the closing address.

I stayed in town all night, as I was warm and dreaded driving in the cold, for fear I would take cold.

5 October 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, October 5th, 1890. The house was completely filled this morning. I think it was one of the largest congregations I have seen in the Tabernacle in a morning.

President Woodruff called upon me to speak and told me to occupy all the time that I wished. I did not intend to speak as long as I did, but I occupied one hour and twenty minutes and had an excellent flow of the Spirit.

President Woodruff, in speaking about my remarks afterwards, said it was one of the most powerful discourses that had ever been uttered from that stand.

In the afternoon the sacrament was administered. President Woodruff spoke for 40 minutes, and was followed by Brother John Henry Smith. In the evening we had the largest Priesthood meeting that I have ever attended. The body of the Tabernacle was nearly filled, and a most excellent spirit prevailed. Elders W. B. Preston, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor and M. W. Merrill spoke, and I followed for about 20 mins.

I remained in town again tonight.

6 October 1890 • Monday

Monday, Oct. 6th, 1890. There was a large attendance this morning at the Tabernacle, the Saints having been invited to come, as there might be important business presented.

The general authorities were presented and sustained.

We then called upon Bp. O. F. Whitney to read the Articles of Faith to the congregation.

Brother F. D. Richards moved that they be accepted by us as our articles of faith, which motion was carried unanimously.

Then Brother Whitney read the Manifesto, and Brother Lorenzo Snow presented the following motion, which had been prepared beforehand for him: [Attached newspaper clipping:]

“I move that, recognizing Wilford Woodruff as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the only man on the earth at the present time who holds the keys of the sealing ordinances, we consider him fully authorized by virtue of his position to issue the manifesto which has been read in our hearing and which is dated September 24th, 1890, and that as a Church in General Conference assembled, we accept his declaration concerning plural marriages as authoritative and binding.” [End of newspaper clipping]

This motion was also unanimously carried.

After this, President Woodruff desired me to speak. He had spoken of this two or three times, and I had suggested that he should speak; but he did not seem to have the spirit of talking, and I felt to shrink very much from it. It was, in our minds, an exceedingly delicate subject, and I think I never was called upon to do a thing that seemed more difficult than this. There was nothing in my mind that seemed clear to me to say upon this subject, and I arose with my mind a blank. I felt that whatever was said must be dictated by the Spirit of the Lord. I did get great freedom and spoke with ease, and all fear was taken away; and I think that everyone felt free after the subject was fairly entered upon, and President Woodruff followed with great freedom. He told me afterwards that a great weight had been lifted from him by the acceptance by the Conference of his manifesto. I had not entertained any doubts about this; but I had felt timid concerning remarks that would be made.

This whole subject has been one about which we have all been greatly exercised. I am not able to tell my thoughts concerning our action. I know, however, that it is right. It is clear to me that this step taken by President Woodruff is a correct one. I have been such an advocate of this doctrine, and have had to defend it so much, that I had hoped that we would be able to maintain it, despite the opposition of the whole nation to it. But I have a testimony from the Lord that our sacrifices in regard to this and our firmness up to the present time in resisting every attempt to extort from us the promise to stop the practice are accepted of the Lord, and He virtually says to us, “It is enough,” and we leave the case in His hands.

We have had meetings respecting the best way to deal with this, and there has been quite a variety of views among the Twelve concerning the manner in which it should be treated. At our meeting last Thursday the question was up, and I said to President Woodruff, when he pressed me for my views, that I had listened to all that the brethren had said, and there were many things which they presented that I could approve of, but my mind was not clear as to the best method for us to adopt in relation to it. Some were in favor of reading the Manifesto to the Conference; others were not. Some were in favor of taking action upon it by the Conference; others were not; and there seemed to <be> quite a variety of views. We held a meeting on Saturday afternoon, after the afternoon meeting, and we seemed to be more united then. At my suggestion, the whole matter was left with President Woodruff, for him to decide what should be done. Today’s proceedings are the result of his decision, after counseling with his Counselors upon the subject.

The Spirit of the Lord was powerfully poured out, and I think every faithful Saint must have had a testimony from the Lord that He was in this movement, and that it was done with His approval.

In the afternoon, Brothers Grant, Taylor, Merrill and A. H. Cannon occupied the time. Before closing, President Woodruff arose and blessed the people in all their departments, in all their labors, in their Priesthood and in their families, in their lands, and in their flocks and herds, and then dismissed the congregation, the Conference having been adjourned until next April.

This Conference has been remarkable for the union that has prevailed, for the Great outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord upon the Elders and upon the people, and for the numbers that have attended it. I am thankful that so many manifestations of the Lord’s approval and favor have been shown unto us; for if this had not been the case, there might have been doubtful ones, who might have felt that the Lord had withheld His Spirit because of our action. As it is, all testified that they never attended a better Conference.

Today we had a meeting, at which Brothers A. F. Macdonald, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman and Geo. Reynolds were present. The course to be pursued in relation to carrying out plural marriages in the future in Mexico was fully examined, and President Woodruff expressed himself very clearly to the effect that for the present time all plural marriages should stop, not only in the United States, but in Mexico, in which decision all present acquiesced.

7 October 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Oct. 7th, 1890. A meeting of the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, the Presiding Bishopric and the First Presidents of the Seventies was held today, and very much instruction was given them. At the instance of President Woodruff, I spoke to the Presidents of Stakes and dwelt upon the importance of dividing the pecuniary responsibilities more among the people than they were at the present time, instead of having the Church saddled with every expense.

Much was said upon this subject that was very practical, and I think that good results will follow the agitation.

I also spoke to the brethren in very pointed terms concerning the comforting of women and children, and not allowing men who were disposed to be cowardly to take advantage of what had been done at the Conference. We also had a meeting with Brothers C. I. Robson, C. Layton and W. Farr, of Arizona, concerning political affairs there.

We had a meeting of the Sugar Company.

8 October 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct. 8th, 1890. We had a meeting of the Board of Education at 10 o’clock, at which considerable business was done.

At l o’clock the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank met.

In the afternoon President Woodruff and myself took time enough to pay a brief visit to the Territorial Fair. We have been crowded with matters through the Conference and since that we have scarcely had time to eat.

I attended a dinner party this evening at the house of my brother Angus’ wife Amanda. She had all my mother’s children there, but my sister Mary Alice, who is confined to her bed with sciatica. My daughter Mary Alice and her husband and my son Abraham and wife were also present, besides other friends. We had a very delightful visit.

9 October 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct. 9th, 1890. At the Gardo House today the First Presidency had a meeting with Brothers S. S. Smith, F. A. Hammond and John Henry Smith concerning the purchase of the South Zapato ranch, which the two first named brethren have bought, but which they are unable to pay for according to agreement. The result of our conversation was that we found $6000. had to be paid by the 14th of Nov. next, and if this were not met, they would lose the property, break their agreement, and bring us into discredit. We are very much oppressed for the want of means, and this load coming upon us makes a very heavy burden. Brother S. S. Smith is about to return to Colorado.

A meeting was held today at the Gardo House of the Board of Directors of the Literary and Scientific Association, of which I am president. My son John Q., who is Secretary, was instructed to get up a report for our annual meeting, which is to take place next Monday.

The Liberals, so called, have nominated C. C. Goodwin as their Delegate to Congress. He is the present editor of the Tribune.

At 2 o’clock we held a meeting of the Presidency and Twelve. There were present: President Woodruff and myself, Apostles F. M. Lyman and A. H. Cannon. It was not convenient for us to put on our Temple clothing, so we met and A. H. Cannon prayed.

10 October 1890 • Friday

Friday, Oct. 10th, 1890. I found President Woodruff alone at the Gardo House this morning.

Besides other business, we had a meeting today of the Mexican Colonization Company. Brothers W. B. Preston, J. H. Smith and A. F. Macdonald representing that company. Upon my motion a resolution was adopted for Brother A. F. Macdonald to go to Mexico and secure all the concessions of land and other privileges and benefits which were to be obtained under the colonization laws of Mexico, and also that an official recognition be obtained of the right of our people to live and own property in the prohibited zone. I also moved that the brethren having means who were desirous of purchasing land in Mexico be encouraged to make purchases under such restrictions as shall be in harmony with the operations of the present company, and that in making those purchases they should buy land contiguous to that owned by our people at present in Chihuahua, where it is possible. I dictated articles for the Juvenile Instructor.

Brothers John Henry Smith and F. A. Hammond and Mr. L. G. Layton called on the First Presidency to converse about land in Colorado. The Medano Ranch Co, of which Mr. Layton is a representative, offers the whole of their property for $325,000. The minds of the First Presidency were clear that this could not be reached; but Mr. Layton was exceedingly desirous to have the North Zapato ranch purchased, which he offers for $50,000. The property is a valuable one, and there would be little hesitation probably about buying it were it not for the narrow circumstances in which the Church is now placed. A verbal promise, however, was made to him that the North Zapato ranch would be taken. No papers would be drawn out until February next, and no payments would be required until that time. Mr. W. W. Durke, who is one of the main proprietors of the property, told Mr. Layton that he viewed a Mormon’s word better than other men’s bonds; and if Mr. Layton could get a promise from the First Presidency that they would purchase the property, that would be sufficient until the papers could be drawn; and he would hold the property subject to that offer.

Mr. Layton claims that he has been inspired in this matter. He seems to be deeply interested in it, and proposes to take some large interest in the property himself. He informed the First Presidency that he had determined to be baptized. He intends to leave Colorado on the 5th of November to visit his mother, whom he has not seen since his father’s death, and whose health is in poor condition; and on his return he wants to be baptized. He said that President Woodruff was the first man he ever met who could tell him what to do in order to obtain the Spirit of God, and a knowledge from God, although he had a good many relatives who were prominent in religious circles, some of them being bishops.

My wife Carlie gave a dinner to my brothers and sisters at the Cannon house this evening. My son Abraham and daughter Mary Alice and their companions were also present. I had to go in by stealth. We had a very enjoyable time and an excellent dinner. It is a pleasure to me to meet with my kindred as I have done of late. My mother’s children have not been altogether in one place since we were at Winter Quarters – 43 years ago – and of course this reunion makes us all feel very delightful. The only regret is that my sister Mary Alice is not able to be with us, on account of sickness. My father’s daughter, Elizabeth Pigott, has been called home by sickness of her husband. Her mother has recently died. Her course since my fathers death has not been a proper one. She has been cut off the Church. My Sister Elizabeth, her daughter, was born six months after my father’s death.

11 October 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 11th, 1890. Brother C. H. Wilcken called for me this morning, and we drove to my place over the river. It stormed very heavily all day after we started. My object in going was to see the lines of my land. Brother Jesse <W.> Fox we found there.

Brother Wilcken’s children who are living with his wife in my house at this farm were quite sick, and we administered to them.

We returned in the storm to my place, which we reached about 5 o’clock.

My daughter Mary Alice had made a dinner for my brothers and sisters, which we enjoyed very much and spent an agreeable evening together.

12 October 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 12th, 1890. I attended meeting at 2 o’clock at the Tabernacle. There was a very good attendance. Brothers James E. Talmage, Abraham H. Cannon and Heber J. Grant addressed the people, and spoke with spirit and power.

I have had for some time past sickness in my family. My son William has been suffering from typhoid fever, but is improving. My wife Sarah Jane has had an attack of malarial fever, accompanied with chills, but she is now better. My son Collins, who is only an infant, but a very bright little fellow, has had chills.

13 October 1890 • Monday

Monday, Oct. 13th, 1890. At 11 o’clock this morning I met with the Literary and Scientific Association, having previously had a meeting of the Board of Directors and listened to the report which had been prepared by the Secretary. There was quite a full attendance at the Assembly Hall. The minutes of the last meeting were read and the report of the Board for this season. There were some new names presented for membership in the Association, and a motion was made to authorize the Board of Directors to carry out as they deemed best the recommendations which were made in their report concerning the appointment of a building committee and the best disposition to be made of the Museum collection, for the time being.

At 12 o’clock there was a large gathering of brethren who had been invited to come for the purpose of laying before them the financial condition of our political committees.

Brother John R. Winder opened the meeting, and I followed in some remarks which were quite strong, for I felt warm in talking about our political affairs. I alluded to the culpable indifference of the late Convention. It was with difficulty that a quorum could be kept to adopt the Platform; and when the Central Committee which had been appointed met there were only seven counties out of the whole represented, the rest of the members being so eager to get home that they could not stop to attend it. Besides this, some of the counties had no representation in the Convention. I felt that this was disgraceful, and I said, when I hear of it, I was ashamed and I burned all over to think that our people should be so careless. I spoke for some time in this strain.

Steps were taken to raise funds, and it was thought best to call on the brethren present. Four of us – R. K. Thomas, H. J. Grant, J. R. Winder and myself subscribed $100. apiece, and the remainder of the house subscribed altogether a little over $400. This money is to help defray some of the debts that have been incurred in the past political campaigns.

From this meeting I went to the Theatre office, and there met with C. S. Varian, our prosecuting attorney. He and I were alone. I told him that we were desirous to see if there could not be some understanding reached on this question of unlawful cohabitation; that as we were now situated we were in a very painful and unsettled condition; no one knew what he could do for his family, or how far he could go in caring for his family without exposing himself to the charge of unlawful cohabitation. I then explained to him how we were situated. As an illustration, I described my own position. I had had a son dangerously ill, but I had not been able to go and visit him, except once, and I had taken the risk of doing it then; for, from what I had been told, I was in great danger. And there were a great many in the same condition. We had considerable conversation on that point.

Mr. Varian said: “Mr. Cannon, you understand, do you not, that there is nothing in any of the rulings that will prevent men from extending support to their families?”

I told him, Yes, I had that understanding; but it was desirable to know how far we could go, in addition to that, without overstepping what would be considered the line. There had been such constructions put upon unlawful cohabitation that there was a great deal of uncertainty; and because of that uncertainty, and the great field covered by the construction of the law concerning unlawful cohabitation, there was a decided reluctance on the part of our people to make promises to obey the law; and we did not want to have the impression go out, because of the refusal of our people to promise, that that which we had done had not been done in good faith. “Well,” says he, “what do you gentlemen think should be the extent of this association with families?”

I said that I had been told scores of times, I supposed, while in Congress, that if we would consent to put an end to all plural marriages, the present status might be maintained; that our wives and children would be recognized. But, I said, we scarcely expected such tolerance now, with the present feeling. Still we thought there ought to be a good deal of leniency shown, in view of the recent action of the Church.

Mr. Varian said that the law was intended to prevent the semblance of criminal intercourse; “and”, says he, “you can see, Mr. Cannon, how difficult it would be to define where the line should be drawn, and I do not think there can be anything general; each case would have to be judged on its own merits. If a man were to go in his habitation, and treat his family as he has done, the danger would be that there would be criminal intercourse and the law would be violated.”

I said that I thought we should at least have the privilege of treating our families as we would other people. If they needed our presence, we should go in. I remarked that there were some families that needed a father’s care, and the father ought to have the opportunity of going in his house. It was this remark that drew forth the other from him – that there might be danger that there would be criminal intimacy, and the system thus be perpetuated.

I told him that, with the present feeling, I did not think we could ask for too great liberty; there would have to be some restriction, and I thought our people would be willing for that, under the circumstances. They wanted, at least, to be able to treat their families with common humanity.

He said the whole case was surrounded with difficulties. Says he: “I myself am very much disposed to do anything in my power to bring about a good settlement of this question. Aside from my official position, I would do it as a citizen.” He said the duties of prosecuting attorney in these cases had been exceedingly unpleasant, and he would like some settlement of this question reached.

We covered a great deal of ground in this sort of conversation.

He asked me if he would be at liberty to communicate with the Attorney General concerning our conversation.

I told him I had no objections.

He wanted us to formulate a plan that would suit us.

I told him I was not prepared to do that. I asked him what his views were on the question. Says I: “You have given this subject some thought; what do you think would be the right thing, under the circumstances.”

I said in the beginning of our conversation that I wanted to converse with him, and, if it would be agreeable, with the judges; and if nothing can be reached here, that we thought it ought to be carried up to the Executive, and the Department of Justice, and the Cabinet perhaps, so that we could have an understanding.

He said that, of course, he had got to be bound by his instructions and by the law, and however much he might be disposed, he could not depart from the law.

I told him that in seeking for this conversation it was not for the purpose of binding things or expecting him to make any pledges; but that there might be an understanding reached that would lead to better results.

He spoke in the most feeling manner about the way our people are suffering. He said it seemed to be inevitable that a great many would be crushed. Says he: “They are being crushed now – a great many souls – under this thing, and a great many children are running wild in the Territory. There is a sort of terror prevailing, and I, for one, would do all in my power to have a better condition inaugurated.”

In reply to his asking me to formulate a plan, I said it seems to me that we having taken this stand now, and the Church having announced it to the world, the government could treat this question very differently to what it would if there were any disposition to continue it. There should be leniency shown and a disposition manifested to treat us kindly and to bring about a condition that would save these women. I described to him as well as I could the sufferings of the women and children. As to the men, I said, I did not think of them; they ought to be able to stand these things. But here are women whose lives are being crushed out. I showed that one of the reasons for refusing to promise in court was on account of these women, as they interpreted these promises to mean the abandonment of them and their offspring. Here are children growing up, and the fathers do not want their children to look upon them with contempt, as cowards, and as men who were not willing to stand up to the covenants that they had made. This was one reason why men are so tenacious. They would rather die than have their wives and children take that view of them. I said it seems to me that there is a good chance now for the government to step in and show magnanimity in the treatment of this.

He said that if we could formulate some plan applicable to this case, that would embody our wishes, and that we would consider right; and if that could be submitted to Congress, and Congress would enact a law (it would not require more than two or three lines) suspending all these laws for a certain time, or, to begin with, for one year, that would probably cover the case. Says he: “If I were a Member of Congress, I would favor that.” “Now,” says he, “whether you have made this manifesto in good faith or not, I think it is the duty of the government to accept it as in good faith, and to meet you in good faith, until there is evidence that you are not acting in good faith. That is my view”.

I said: “Mr. Varian, I feel greatly obliged to you for that suggestion. I think it covers the entire case. It seems to me it is just the thing”. “Now”, says he, “until something of that kind is done, the law stands, and we cannot tell what a judge will do. Judges are men, and they have their views.”

We then got talking about the deputy marshals, and I gave him some instances of how they acted. I said that many of them are miserable wretches that are in for making money.

Says he: “That is another reason why there should be a suspension of these laws; for while these laws remain, I, as prosecuting attorney, as well as the court, cannot do anything with these marshals. They can harass and annoy the people, and there will be no cessation to this; whereas if a law were passed by Congress suspending the present laws for a year, this would be prevented.”

I told him that if it was agreeable to him to communicate with Judge Zane on this subject, we would like to know his views, and if he would like to see any of us, we would be pleased to wait upon him.

He said it would be perfectly agreeable to him to do so.

I said to him that, of course, it would be presumptious on my part to say what kind of questions the judge should ask our brethren, but it seemed to me that he could get at this thing without driving the folks into the position where they had been heretofore compelled to promise. He could ask whether they accepted the manifesto, and if they looked upon President Woodruff as having the right to issue the manifesto, &c; that would cover the case, and would render unnecessary the question whether they would promise to obey the law.

He said he believed Zane was a just man.

I said that our folks have given him great credit for his decisions on the bench on everything excepting on this particular question. His recent utterances had pleased our people very much, and they had a high regard for him as a judge.

We were waited upon this afternoon by Brothers Elias Morris, T. R. Cutler and Arthur Stayner, as bearers of a message from Brother Moses Thatcher, to the effect that if he was to act as the President of the Sugar Company he wanted the First Presidency to signify their wish in writing to him to that effect, and to wish him God-speed. On no other condition could he wish to accept the presidency of that company.

We talked very freely with these brethren concerning past transactions and the spirit that had been manifested by those comprising what is called the Bullion-Beck company, all of whom, with the exception of Bishop Preston, have been nominated as Directors on the board of the Sugar Co., viz, Moses Thatcher, John Beck, A. E. Hyde, R. J. Taylor. Brother Beck had taken enough stock in the company to control it, and he was manifesting the same spirit that had been exhibited in the Bullion-Beck matter.

Brother Morris spoke very plainly about the matter. He said that Brother Thatcher’s course was very arbitrary, as he had said that if he became President he must have the appointing of the executive board and had named as that board, R. J. Taylor, of Ogden; I. D. Raines, of Logan; and T. R. Cutler, of Lehi. No one had any objection to Brother Cutler, who is an excellent man; but they did object to the other two, and they did not want such an appointment to be made without the voice of the Board.

We could see from the remarks made that both Brothers Stayner and Morris were opposed to the movement. Brother Cutler also said that he did not wish anything to do with any concern that was not under the control of the First Presidency.

They informed us that Brother Beck had said that he also wished the First Presidency to dictate.

We said, in reply, that if this were the case, he could show this very plainly by not seeking to obtain the controlling interest, and let it be divided among others.

It was finally suggested that if they wished to be dictated by the First Presidency in all these affairs, we would take the list of stockholders and select from that a Board of Directors, and name also the President and other officers. We were quite in favor of Brother Beck having representation on the Board; but we were opposed in our feelings to any combination that would seek for the control of the company by buying up a few more shares than the half, as we did not feel that this was from the Lord.

The brethren said that proposition was entirely acceptable to them, and if the rest would not accede to that, they wanted nothing to do with it; for they did want the First Presidency to have a voice in the management of this.

We told them that we had no feeling in regard to the matter as to who held the offices. None of us wanted to be on the Board; in fact, I said that when my name had been mentioned, both President Woodruff and President Smith had objected. They said I had better not be on it, and I did not wish to be on it; and we had nobody in our minds to put on it. But what we did want was that this company should be organized in the interests of the whole people. I said that I had not the least objection to Brother Thatcher being President of the Company. We had settled our trouble, and it had been settled satisfactorily. I had nothing to say against him being President of the Company, or any other man that might be selected, if the company would listen to the counsel of the First Presidency and seek for it. By doing this we would be strong and could call on the people, when needed, for them to sustain the company.

I received the following dispatch from my son Frank:

“Telegraph us immediately particulars about the several sworn statements covered by the four indictments, also which two were dismissed, also which plead guilty, also which one was represented by twenty five thousand forfeiture, and also which ten thousand. I ought to have full information about those points tonight. It now seems certain that we will secure postponement, if we do not secure immediate final settlement.”

I requested Brother Clawson to take this dispatch to Brother F. S. Richards. It was late when it came.

14 October 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 14th, 1890.

Brother Richards was not able to get the information last evening, but he did today, and it is as follows:

1. Indictment found Mch. 24, 1885, cohabitation from April 1st, 1882, till Jany. 1st, 1885, with Sarah Jane, Martha, Eliza and Emily. $25.000. Bond.

Dismissed Dec. 3, 1888.

2. Indictment found Mch. 20, 1886, charges cohabitation from Mch. 26, 1885 till July 1st, 1885, with Martha and Emily. $10,000. Bond.

Dismissed Dec. 3, 1888.

3. Indictment found March 20, 1886, charges cohabitation from July 2nd, 1885, till Dec. 31st, 1885, with Martha and Emily. $10,000. Bond.

Sentence 75 days and $200. fine.

4. Indictment found Sept. 15, 1888, charges cohabitation from Mch. 21st, 1886, till Sept. 15, 1888, with Sarah Jane, Eliza, Martha, Emily and Caroline.

Sentence 100 days and $250. fine.

Frank is very impatient. He has telegraphed me again about it.

Brother Stayner brought over a list of the names of the stockholders of the Sugar Co., and upon being interrogated as to the willingness of the stockholders to have us select the names of the Directors, he was sorry to say that Brother John Beck said that he would not consent to our selection, if the names that he had already selected were not chosen.

In consequence of that, the following letter was addressed to the stockholders:

“Brother Arthur Stayner has brought to us a list of the names of the Stockholders of your Company that you might get our views concerning the organization of the Company, and who will be best, in our opinion, to act as a Board of Directors and other officers of the Company. He has intimated to us that it is the wish of some of your number to have this done in order that whatever influence we may have among the people may be used when necessary to help sustain the enterprise and give it a proper standing. If this be your wish, brethren, we shall comply with this request; but before doing so, desire to have an assurance from you that that which we do will be accepted and carried out by you.[”]


W. Woodruff,

Geo. Q. Cannon,

Jos. F. Smith.

The following proposition was received by us from California today:

[remainder of page blank]

At 5 o’clock this afternoon I started for Logan, accompanied by my son Abraham. Brother John C. Naile (Naegle) was on the train also. At Ogden we were met by my son John Q. and his wife Annie, who were quite disappointed that they had not seen their aunts and my daughter, who had gone up on the morning train.

At Logan we were met by my brother David and Brother J. Z. Stewart. We were taken to the latter’s residence and ate supper. My son Abraham went and slept with my brother David at Brother Fred Turner’s, and Brother Stewart entertained Brother Naile and myself.

15 October 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 15th, 1890 At half past eight we repaired to the Temple, and here within its sacred precincts we six children of our father and mother met together for the first time in 43 years—that is, at Winter Quarters in 1847. My sister Mary Alice has been confined to her bed for seven weeks, and during the greater part of that time has been <in> such pain that she could not lay on one side; but she was determined to accompany us to the Temple, and by the exercise of faith she succeeded in coming this distance, and without any special inconvenience. We had a very joyous time. My son Abraham and my daughter Mary Alice acted for their grandparents, George Cannon and Ann Quayle Cannon; and we six children—myself , Mary Alice, Annie, Angus M., David H. and Leonora—were sealed to our parents. Brother Naile and five Brother Robertsons, who were present, were adopted in my family; also they officiated for one of their brothers, who is dead. Their mother was also sealed to me. Myself and my two sisters received [two words redacted relating to a temple ordinance] for my father and my mother and another wife, Anne Demming, <Denning> who had been sealed to him. We all felt that this was a glorious day for us, and we rejoiced very much.

We took dinner at the house of widow Horricks, and returned by train to Salt Lake City. We were met at the depot by my son-in-law, L. M. Cannon, with the victorine.

16 October 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, October 16th, 1890. I was glad to meet Presidents Woodruff and Smith and to get back to business, which is very pressing these days.

We had an interview with Elder Arthur Stayner and a Mr. Dyer and his son, who are interested in the building of sugar factories, and who propose to build one here if a contract can be made with them.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met. Besides the First Presidency, there were present, Elders H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. Brother Grant was mouth.

I sent a dispatch to my son Frank in Washington today, asking if he could do anything for the brethren who are indicted and arrested for illegal registering, illegal voting and conspiracy in Idaho. I said that these were old trumped up cases, but that the trial was set for the 29th inst. They should be dismissed, and shrewd policy would prompt the Republicans to do so, if they expect to get the Mormon vote in Idaho. I suppose that our people in Idaho, now that the Manifesto has been published and accepted, can claim the right to vote.

17 October 1890 • Friday

Friday, October 17th, 1890. We laid before Brothers H. J. Grant and A.H. Cannon yesterday the situation of affairs in regard to the sugar company, and they both felt that such an organization as had been proposed, in which John Beck would have the controling interest, would be an improper one. Brother Grant was very emphatic in stating that he would not invest any money in such a concern.

The First Presidency sent for Brother Schettler, of Zion’s Savings Bank, to know whether, if it were necessary for us to call for money to back this sugar institution in the event of John Beck withdrawing all he had subscribed, it could be done, and we found that if necessary it could be. My brother David expected to have left for the South yesterday, but he did not. We had an interview with him today concerning going into Nevada and seeing all our voters, and learning their names and places of residence, and that Brother Robert Lund, of St. George, also go; and in order that Brother Lund might know this, we wrote a letter to him, informing him that we had verbally instructed Brother David H. Cannon concerning the duty we wished him to perform. We also wrote a letter to the Presidency of the Stake and to Brother McAllister, informing them that we wished these Elders to go and attend to some business for us. We are desirous to know what our strength is in Nevada, so that we can help our friends whenever necessary. My brother David was also expected to visit the committees in the various counties, in company with Brother William Fuller, as he went south to St. George.

Brother Grant called today and had quite a long conversation concerning the Home Life Insurance Company, which had resolved to dissolve, but which he felt should be perpetuated. He made a great many remarks concerning this. I told him that I could not favor the principle of life insurance, though I was willing to say that if our people were going to insure their lives they had better do it in a home company than to send their money abroad; but I did not like the idea myself of encouraging the disposition to insure lives. He dwelt upon it at some length, and Brother Jos. F. Smith seemed quite favorable, as he has been president of the company. President Woodruff also said something rather encouraging; at least Brother Grant I saw took it as sufficient warrant for him to go ahead and push this business. I did not feel very well satisfied about this, because I do not think it is a good thing to do among our people. The argument that money could be saved in this way is a very good one if that were the only method by which money could be saved; but other plans could be devised to accomplish the same end, and, I think, with better results. President Woodruff and myself having been invited to go out to Saltair, we went on a special train which had been furnished by Brothers Nephi W. Clayton and James Jack, of the salt company. We had a very pleasant trip. There are twenty thousand tons of salt piled up ready for shipment. It is a very imposing sight, and I look upon it as a valuable industry.

Upon my return I was introduced to Mr. F. K. Gillespie, Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and had a lengthy conversation with him about affairs in the Territory.

18 October 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 1<8>th, 1890. I had been invited by Alonzo E. Hyde, the manager of the Bullion-Beck mine, to go out today and see the new hoisting machinery which was to start today. I felt a little reluctant about going. However, it seemed to me plain that it was the best thing I could do. There was quite a party of people, among them being, A. E. Hyde, wife and two daughters; Bishop Preston and daughter; Elias Morris and wife; Walter Beatie and wife; Aurelius Miner and wife; and John Beck, I. D. Haines of Logan, R. J. Taylor, Geo. J. Taylor and F. Y. Taylor. It was very tedious reaching the mine, as we had to switch a great deal. But I was very much gratified with the appearance of everything out there. The hoisting works are exceedingly fine. My attention was directed to a very nice house, where we were received, and we dined in the dining room, separate from the house. Captain Smith, the Superintendent of the mine, was there and expressed himself as being very pleased to see me. Brother Hyde treated me with a great deal of respect and accompanied me down the mine to the 600 ft. level. I had overalls and jumper on to keep my clothes from being soiled. We made a complete examination of the mine, and I was quite pleased with what I saw. It is the first mine I ever entered.

On our return I had a very lengthy and plain talk with Brother Hyde, in which I expressed to him my feelings concerning his conduct and the conduct of others. He claimed that he had done what he had conscientiously, and he felt very badly to think that there were feelings against him. He said that he would not have had them for the whole mine, if it had been his. I gave him in some detail my feelings, and he acknowledged that under my circumstances I had cause for feelings. He asked what he could do to make matters right. I told him that as far as I was concerned now I had emptied myself and all feeling had gone from me. He said he would be glad to ask my advise [advice] at any time and to carry out my counsel. I related to him the feelings that I had concerning the treatment I had received from Brother Beck. I considered myself very much wronged by the course that he had taken in taking possession again of the dedicated stock and refusing to settle with me on the basis of the old contract, which I thought he ought to have done inasmuch as all the covenants concerning the dedicated stock had been broken by him.

We were very late in reaching the city. I was met by my nephew, John M. Cannon, who had a valise for me which contained clean clothes. I had intended to have got back in time to have taken the half past seven train to Ogden, where I expected to meet with the saints in conference tomorrow, but through missing the train I had to seek lodgings, and after trying to get into the Cannon House and failing, and trying to get a bed at Geo. M. Cannon’s, where my brother Angus lodges, I was glad to accept the proffer of a bed from John M. Cannon in his mother’s house.

19 October 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct. <19>th, 1890. My sister-in-law, Sarah M. Cannon, gave me a very good breakfast, and John M. carried me to the train in his buggy. I was met at Ogden by my daughter-in-law, Annie Cannon, and by Brother L. W. Shurtliff. Brother F. D. Richards rode up from the city with me. Brother Shurtliff took us in a carriage to the meeting.

The Tabernacle was crowded. After Brother Shurtliff had opened the conference and reported the condition of the Stake, Brother Reynolds, who had accompanied me, spoke a short time, and at 11 o’clock I arose and occupied the remainder of the time. I enjoyed myself excellently. The Lord poured out His Spirit upon us.

Brother Shurtliff took Brother Franklin D. Richards, myself and Brother Reynolds and his two Counselors to dinner.

In the afternoon, Brother Reynolds again spoke for a short time, and I occupied the remainder of the time—a little over an hour—and was abundantly blessed. The Lord has been very good to me today in giving me His Holy Spirit and in filling my mind with good things to speak to the people. My son John Q. carried me, after meeting, to his house, where I met his mother-in-law, Sister Wells, and ate a meal with them. He then carried me to the train. I remained in Salt Lake City all night.

20 October 1890 • Monday

Monday, Oct. 20th, 1890. Upon arriving at the Gardo House this morning, I found Brother L. John Nuttall, who had just returned from Washington, where he has been acting as Secretary for Brother John T. Caine.

Brother Heber J. Grant is suffering from a loss of sleep, and he has made up his mind to go east on a visit with his wife, to get genealogies, thinking it will do him good. The First Presidency laid their hands upon him this morning, and at President Woodruff’s request I was mouth in blessing him previous to his departure.

Major Kellogg, of Iowa, called on me this morning to make a very advantageous proposition, he said, concerning a ranch in Colorado, out of which, he thought, I could make a million dollars, and he also could make a great deal. The purchase would amount to five hundred thousand dollars. I spoke discouragingly to him about it.

Elder Walter Roge called upon us, having just returned from a mission to England.

The First Presidency had a lengthy interview with John Beck and A. E. Hyde concerning their subscriptions to the sugar industry. They thought that they were relieved by our action from doing anything and wished to withdraw or to reduce Brother Beck’s subscription to $10,000. I pressed him to put in $100,000. It ended by his consenting to take $50,000. in the institution, and Brother Hyde $5000. We showed them the impropriety of organizing a company where one man should have the majority of the stock under his own control, in which they acquiesced.

21 October 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Oct. 21st, 1890. Brother F. M. Lyman reported his labors on his late visit to the [location redacted] Stake Conference, and among other things, communicated to us the very painful intelligence that Elder [first and last name redacted] had committed adultery. He is a member of the High Council and a man held in great esteem in that Stake.

We had some conversation with Bishops Burton and Winder concerning the case of Elder W. E. Bassett, who is under indictment for bigamy, and whose case has been appealed to the Supreme Court and will soon be reached.

We listened to letters, and replies were sent.

22 October 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct. 22nd, 1890. The First Presidency met with Elders Arthur Stayner, Heber M. Wells, L. G. Hardy and Elias Morris, for the purpose of requesting them to take an active part in collecting subscriptions to the sugar industry. The matter was fully explained by me, at President Woodruff’s request.

I had an interesting meeting with the committee of the heirs of President Young’s estate who had prepared articles of incorporation for the company. We went over them carefully and made such changes as were thought proper. They were all in favor that I should act as president of the company, and Brigham Young as vice president, R. W. Young as secretary, and Spencer Clawson as Treasurer, subject, however, to the approval of the rest of the family.

A meeting of the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank was held and considerable business was done. As one of the building committee, I afterwards had an interview with Samuel F. Fenton concerning the electric apparatus for the building.

I had an interview with F. S. Richards on political matters.

My son Frank called on me today, having just returned from Washington. I had a very interesting conversation with him, and I found that upon the motion of the Attorney General of the United States, my bond case, which was to come up in a few weeks, has been postponed until the next term of court, which will be next year.

23 October 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct. 23rd, 1890. I had another meeting with the heirs of President Young this morning and signed a circular to all the trustees whose names will appear in the articles of incorporation, to meet at the Gardo House at 12 o’clock on Saturday next.

At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Elders F. M. Lyman and A. H. Cannon met in the circle. Brother Lyman prayed, and Brother Jos. F. Smith was mouth.

I dictated this morning a letter for President Woodruff to E. C. Foster, of the Department of Justice, in reply to one which he had sent to President Woodruff concerning the issuance of the manifesto. I also dictated letters, which the First Presidency signed, to Judge M. M. Estee, of California, and Henry Bigelow, managing editor of the “Examiner”, San Francisco, expressive of our feelings of regard and gratitude to them for the kind interest they had taken in our affairs.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

24 October 1890 • Friday

Friday, Oct. 24th, 1890. Had an interview with Brother Arthur Stayner today concerning the sugar company.

Very busy all day at the office.

25 October 1890 • Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 25th, 1890. Presidents Woodruff and Smith were not at the Gardo House this morning, and I attended to the usual business.

Had an interview with John W. Hess concerning the apathy which it has alleged existed in Davis County on political matters, and he promised to see the Bishops and stir them up.

I had conversation with Brother F. S. Richards concerning public affairs. I had a meeting with the male heirs of President Young, and the articles of association for the corporation were read. It was agreed to call the corporation the Brigham Young Trust Company. I was accepted as President, Brigham Young as vice president, Richard W. Young as secretary, and Spencer Clawson as treasurer. There was a very good feeling, and harmony prevailed during the meeting.

I have been endeavoring for some time back to get a stay of proceedings in the cases of brethren in Idaho who have been arrested for illegal registration, illegal voting and conspiracy. These are merely vexatious suits, and I sent a telegram to my son Frank in Washington to use his influence to have them stopped. A copy of this dispatch was sent to our friends in the west also. Whether this will have any effect or not we do not know; but Brother Budge telegraphs today as follows:

Just received advices from U.S. Attorney Wood, Boise, that no person now under arrest will be called for until further notice.

I was greatly gratified to get this, as I hope it may lead to a nolle prosequi in all the cases.

At 5 o’clock President Woodruff and his wife, and Brother S. B. Young and myself left for the north, President Woodruff and wife to attend Conference at Brigham City, Brother Young and myself to attend Conference at Franklin, in the Oneida Stake.

Our ride to Franklin was rather a dreary one. We were the first passenger train that passed over the new line from what is called Cache Valley Junction, on the Utah Northern. The road was in a very bad condition, and insecure, and we did not reach Franklin until two o’clock in the morning of Sunday, and then there was no one at the station but the station keeper. We had to walk to town and wake Brother Parkinson, Sr, who gave us a bed each, which we were glad to obtain. The present station is a long way from the town. There is a new one, however, being erected closer by. Our passage through the Bear River canyon this night was as dangerous a piece of railroad traveling as I ever remember taking. The ground trickled down, from under the ties and rails, a precipitous embankment of several hundred feet, and it seemed as though everything was so loose and shaky that it would not take much to precipitate the whole train into the abyss of the canyon through which the river runs. We all breathed freely when we had crossed the dangerous place. Before we reached there the conductor had received a dispatch requesting him to stop his train and to go ahead and see the condition of the road, which he did with a lantern.

26 October 1890 • Sunday

Sunday, Oct. 26th, 1890. Early this morning, Brother Geo. C. Parkinson, the President of the Stake, came to his father’s and I returned with him to his house and breakfasted there.

At 10 o’clock Conference opened. Brother Geo. C. Parkinson made the opening remarks, describing the condition of the Stake. He was followed by Brother Seymour B. Young, and I occupied about 25 mins. afterwards.

In the afternoon we held an outdoor meeting, on a platform that had been made for Sunday School purposes. The weather was warm and pleasant, and the house was too small. Brother M. W. Merrill spoke first for about 35 mins, and I followed, occupying the remainder of the time. I had great freedom in speaking to the people.

In the evening we had a meeting of the Priesthood, which the sisters also attended. We had a delightful meeting. Brothers Jacob Gates, S. B. Young and myself spoke.

I slept with Brother M. F. Cowley at Brother Geo. C. Parkinson’s.

27 October 1890 • Monday

Monday, Oct. 27th, 1890. This morning’s meeting was held in the meeting house, which was well filled. The time was occupied by Brother Merrill and myself.

Directly after the meeting Brother Merrill and myself got in his buggy, bid the saints adieu, and drove to Logan. I hope to find Brother Crossley and wife at the Temple awaiting me, they having signified their wish to be adopted in my family. We drove to the Temple, but they were not there.

In the evening I got word that they had arrived, and instead of leaving on the early morning train as I expected to do, I had to wait till 1:35.

28 October 1890 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 1890. This morning, Brother and Sister Crossley and his two deceased wives were adopted to me.

I spent a delightful afternoon yesterday and morning today in the Temple. I took the train at 1:35 and reached Salt Lake at 7:30, and was met at the depot by my son Abraham. He took me to the 7th Ward meeting house, where he had to fill an appointment for a political speech, and I drove home with his horse and buggy.

29 October 1890 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Oct. 29th, 1890. I was occupied a part of the day with the sugar company, of which Presidents Woodruff and Smith desired me to be a director.

At 1 o’clock we had a meeting with the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.

Had an interview with Brother William Budge concerning the political situation in Idaho.

30 October 1890 • Thursday

Thursday, Oct. 30th, 1890. We were very busy today at the office as usual. I had to spend considerable time with the sugar company.

I received a dispatch yesterday from my son John Q. informing me that Thomas K. Little died at 3 o’clock yesterday. This is the oldest son of my wife Emily—a man of 31 years of age and of fine physique, measuring about 6 ft. 4 in. in height. The news was a great shock to us all, as we had not even heard of his sickness. I learned this morning that the funeral was to be held today, at 2:30 p.m., and I made up my mind to attend it. His death was caused by typhoid pneumonia. At 1:30 I started for Ogden, in company with my brother-in-law John Hoagland, his wife, and my daughter Mary Alice. Services had commenced when we reached the house. We were met at the station by my son John Q. and driven in his carriage to the place. Brothers Ed. Woolley and Ben E. Rich spoke. There was a large attendance, and about 50 vehicles followed the corpse to the grave. The wife of the deceased is a daughter of Brother David M. Stuart, my old friend, and she was terribly prostrated. My wife Emily also was in a very poor condition. My son Frank drove us to the grave, my son John Q. being compelled after the services, to go to Eden to attend a political meeting.

After the funeral we were driven by Frank to his house and took dinner with him and his family, a Mrs. Hopkins being present also. From there we were driven to the depot. We were met at Salt Lake City by my son Sylvester, who took his uncle and aunt and myself home.

31 October 1890 • Friday

Friday, Oct. 31st, 1890. After going to the office I went to the funeral of Sister Duncanson, at the 15th Ward. There was a good-sized attendance, and a very delightful meeting was held, considering it was a funeral. There was no feeling of death. This sister bears a very high character among the people of the Ward. She has been a model woman and full of good works.

Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

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October 1890, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed February 29, 2024 https://production.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1890s/1890/10-1890