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April 1891


1 April 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 1st, 1891.

The First Presidency were at the office this morning.

I had a call from Brother Junius F. Wells, who wished to converse with me alone concerning business affairs. He related to me several items of business connected with his father’s estate, and then reported to me concerning a lawsuit that his father had thought of commencing against John Beck for his interest in the B. B. & C. mine which had been withheld by John Beck. He wanted to know whether the estate could proceed without any of them being exposed to condemnation for doing so. The question was submitted afterwards by me to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, and they were of the opinion that, under the circumstances, none of the children of Brother Wells could be condemned if they chose to take that course. Brother C. W. Penrose, of the Presidency of the Stake, took that view also. The reasons for this are that there is at least one minor heir, whose mother is a deceased daughter of Brother Wells, and whose father is not in the church; and the oldest son of Brother Wells is in the States, an Episcopal clergyman, and if the estate was administered upon he would be compelled under the law to protect the rights of these individuals, or be liable himself. It was thought, therefore, that if the family felt themselves justified in going to law to recover their property, it could be done without the administrator being condemned for not having it before the church tribunals first.

Zion’s Savings Bank board met at 1 o’clock, at which I made a report of an interview that I, as one of the committee, had had with Brother Heber J. Grant, Bp. Preston, Spencer Clawson and Chas. S. Burton, the committee of the State Bank. I told the board that the committee of the State Bank were not willing to consent for an exchange on the terms that had been talked of, that, $200. for Savings Bank stock and $100. for State Bank stock. Brothers H. J. Grant and N. W. Clayton, out of all whom they had selected, were the only ones that were willing to do this. The board to whom I made the report were quite unwilling to exchange on any other basis than the one that has been proposed[.]

The First Presidency had a meeting with the Apostles to take into consideration the question as to whether it was wise for Brother John Henry Smith to accept the position of director and president of the Standard Publishing Co. of Ogden. In order that some of the Twelve should have an understanding of the situation in Ogden and the reasons for the counsel which had been given, President Woodruff requested me to give a detailed account of all that had occurred, which had led to our giving the counsel.

2 April 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, April 2nd, 1891.

We met with Brothers J. W. Summerhays, A. M. Musser, E. G. Woolley and R. W. Young, to give them our views concerning the exertions that ought to be made throughout the Territory to get our brethren who are not naturalized to take out their naturalization papers and to get registered. It was desired by the Territorial Central Committee that these brethren should be sent to various parts of the Territory to carry out this work.

At noon the First Presidency met with the Apostles and held meeting for about five hours. The question that was under consideration yesterday afternoon was brought up, and the decision was that it would not be wise for Brother John H. Smith to accept the position of President of the Standard Co, though there did not appear any objection to his becoming a director if he so wished. Afterwards, the question of the Church purchasing stock in Z.C.M.I. came up, but in consequence of Brother Moses Thatcher making a statement concerning a plan that he had which had been suggested to him by Brother C. W. Nibley, for the organization of a large financial company here that would get money in England, the question was deferred until Brother Thatcher, Brother Grant and Brother M. W. Merrill should sound our brethren who are engaged in financial matters regarding the project.

We partook of the sacrament, it being fast day, and had bread and wine together, Brother Jos. F. Smith offering the prayer over the bread and wine. Our meeting was characteristic of much union of feeling, and the Spirit of the Lord was with us.

3 April 1891 • Friday

Friday, April 3rd, 1891.

The First Presidency had an interview with Brother Junius F. Wells and told him the conclusion that we had come to concerning the suit that he had mentioned. He wanted to know whether we would counsel him to enter upon this suit. The other brethren did not express themselves; but I said that personally I could not give him counsel of that kind; that must be left to himself and his co-heirs. He enquired of me if it was my interest in the B. B. & C. mine that prompted me in giving that counsel. I said that I thought I would be quite unworthy of giving counsel if such a thing as that would influence me. I gave my decision in this entirely independent of any personal interest I might have in the B. B. & C. Co.

John M. Cannon called to see us in regard to the Temple lot at Independence which the Hedrickites had desired to offer for sale for taxes and to give us the chance to buy it under a tax title. We decided that this was not a safe proceeding, and he was instructed to write a letter to that effect.

We had interviews with Prest. Thomas J. Jones, of Parowan Stake, and Brother John Parry, of Cedar City, concerning a coal mine that belonged to the Walker brothers of Cedar City, which it was very important should be retained by our people. The time for securing it would expire on the 26th of April. The Presiding Bishops were sent for, and Brothers Burton and Winder came up, and the matter was conversed upon, and it was suggested that the $1200. needed should be furnished and the property be bought if possible.

We also had an interview with Prest. Jones and Bp. Ford, of Kanarra, concerning the matter meeting house at that place; but we decided that we could not help them at the present time in rebuilding their house, which had been burned down.

My son Frank called, in company with Abraham, and represented the position of affairs in connection with the “Standard”, and thought that it would be an unfortunate thing now to either transfer the Standard in any form which had been suggested or to change the policy that had been adopted.

We had an interview with Brother Grant concerning the proposition which had been made to buy out the Herald property by Democrats of the city.

We also had conversation with Brother Moses Thatcher concerning Mexican matters.

4 April 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, April 4th, 1891.

Our Annual Conference commenced at the Tabernacle today, at 10 o’clock, and there was a large attendance. The meeting was opened by singing and prayer, and then President Woodruff made some remarks, which were quite plainly heard. He seemed to be in good voice. He was followed by Brother Anthon H. Lund, M. W. Merrill and John W. Taylor. Patriarch John Smith dismissed the meeting by prayer.

At 2 o’clock Conference was again held, and the opening prayer was made by Brother Jacob Gates. The speakers were, Brothers F. M. Lyman, Lorenzo Snow, my son Abraham, and myself. My remarks occupied only about ten minutes and were upon the subject of the sugar industry.

I returned home after this meeting, and then came back for the evening meeting, a Priesthood meeting having been called to meet at 7:30 in the Tabernacle. The meeting was very well attended. President Woodruff called upon Brother Thatcher and some of the other brethren to speak, but they declined, preferring that I should speak. I addressed the meeting and had a great deal of liberty. I spoke about 40 mins. and was followed by President Woodruff, who spoke for about 15 mins.

I went down to the Theatre with President and remained there until nearly 11, when I went to take the car for home, the last one leaving at 11 o’clock. Brother John R. Murdock, who presides over the Beaver Stake, has been desirous for some time to resign his position as President of that Stake. His reasons are that he has been a long time in the ministry, and he feels that he could resign his position now and have the confidence and love of the people; whereas if he stayed longer he might not retain that, owing to growing feelings in that Stake. He had an idea that some younger man might be selected who would fill the position. In talking with President Woodruff and myself upon the subject he disclaimed having any feeling like that of a lack of faith. He felt that he would have better influence and leave a better record now in the minds of the people than to remain longer. We told him that we would consider the subject.

5 April 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, April 5th, 1891.

The Tabernacle was crowded to overflowing this morning. Prayer was offered by Brother John Morgan. President Woodruff spoke for half an hour, and surprised us all by his vigor, considering his age and the fact that he has not been able to speak in public scarcely through the winter, or even to offer prayer, his lungs have troubled him so much. He was followed by Brother F. D. Richards, who occupied about 20 mins. and Brother Thatcher, who spoke about 40 mins. The latter’s discourse was showing the distinction between religious and civil liberty and religious and civil duties. He spoke with a good deal of power and plainness. The dismissal prayer was offered by Brother H. J. Grant.

At 2 o’clock the Conference again convened. The sacrament was administered. President Woodruff desired me to occupy the time. I did not feel much like speaking, and was somewhat hurried in my feelings. The subject that I attempted to speak upon was really too large for the time that I felt I was entitled to, and I did not satisfy my own feelings. I was followed by Brother H. J. Grant.

There being such a large number of people who could not get into the Tabernacle, it was decided to open the Assembly Hall and hold meeting there. Brother F. M. Lyman was selected to take charge. He was accompanied by my son Abraham and Prests. John Morgan and B. H. Roberts. They had a very full house, and a spirited meeting. The fact is, if there had been another building as large as the Tabernacle, it could have been, in the opinion of all, easily filled.

Between the meetings we heard the case of Elijah Shaw and John Shupe, deceased. There were a good many witnesses present. John Supe’s widow, after his death married Elijah Shaw, and had raised a large family by him, and there were reasons why Shaw thought he was entitled to the woman for eternity. We listened patiently to all that was said on both sides, and decided that the woman should be sealed to Shaw, and that a wife should be sought for John Shupe and be sealed to him. President Woodruff, Brother F. D. Richards and myself listened to the case.

In the evening we had a Sunday School Union meeting, and I never saw the Tabernacle so full on such an occasion as it was this evening. The services were not lengthy, but were quite interesting. Brothers F. M. Lyman and H. J. Grant were elected as members of the Board of the Union.

6 April 1891 • Monday

Monday, April 6th, 1891.

President Jos. F. Smith was at the Gardo House today, his health improved. President Woodruff and myself attended Conference in the Tabernacle. The authorities of the church were presented and were sustained by the large assembly present. I presented the authorities, and also read the report of the Relief Society. We felt that the report of these ladies was exceedingly creditable. Elder John Henry Smith addressed the meeting, and was followed by President Woodruff and Brother Seymour B. Young. The benediction was offered by Brother C. W. Penrose.

We had a call from Aaron Hardy, of Moroni, who has just been released from the penitentiary, and who brought us messages from the brethren incarcerated there. I am very much stirred up in my feelings concerning the condition of these brethren. I feel as though every effort ought to be made to have them released. There are eighteen of them in at the present time.

At 2 o’clock the Conference met. Prayer was offered by Brother B. H. Roberts. Brothers Jacob Gates and John Morgan spoke for a short time with great freedom and power. President Woodruff desired me to occupy the remainder of the time, which I did. A portion of my remarks was upon the subject of the Manifesto and our attitude towards the anti-polygamy laws, and kindred questions. It was a delicate subject to treat upon, but I had considerable freedom in laying it before the people. I also made remarks about the importance of our young men learning skilled industries. I felt exceedingly well in speaking to the people this afternoon, and was thankful to the Lord for the liberty He gave me. The benediction was offered by Brother Jos. E. Taylor, and the Conference adjourned for six months.

The singing by the Choir during this Conference has been unequalled in our history. There were at many meetings over 300 voices, and Brother Stephens has shown his ability as a director to most excellent advantage. The speaking also was more than usually good. There has been a goodly outpouring of the Spirit upon the speakers and the hearers, and all have rejoiced in the testimonies that have been borne.

I had to attend a political meeting at the Social Hall this evening, which occupied my time till nearly half past nine.

It was decided to send an epitome of my afternoon’s discourse to the Associated Press by telegraph, as it was thought it would have a good effect on public opinion in the East. Brother Wm. B. Dougall, with the assistance of Brother A. Winter, prepared a dispatch and brought it to the Social Hall, and it was submitted to Brothers F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund and C. W. Penrose. I expressed the wish to Brother Winter, also, that he would go to the Herald Office, go through their proof, and see that no blunders appeared in their synopsis.

Immediately after this afternoon’s meeting I met with the Brigham Young Trust Company and considerable business was attended to. Among other things, a claim of Sister Margaret W. Young , the mother of Richard W. Young , and the widow of Joseph A. Young, for support from the Estate was presented by her son Richard, also an opinion of Attorney J. L. Rawlins concerning the legality of the claim. Brother Richard W. Young has had feelings against Wm. A. Rossiter, and has credited him with being the cause of much of the opposition that is shown by the family against this claim. He made remarks of this character and spoke plainly upon the subject. This called forth angry retorts from Brother Rossiter, who, when he gets roused, is very severe, not to say abusive, in his speech. Richard was so provoked with something that Brother Rossiter said that he advanced towards him as if to strike him, and Brother Rossiter got up and grappled with him; but they were separated before any blow was struck. The scene was very painful to me; for I did not think it necessary that there should be, on a question of this kind, any such feeling as was exhibited. Brother Young withdrew after having laid the business before us, so that we might be free to discuss it without the restraint of his presence. I took occasion to say to the brethren that I thought everything of this kind should be discussed temperately and without feeling. I said that this was an organization which, if properly managed, would be of great benefit to all concerned. The only regret I had was that all the children of President Young were not interested in it, as I felt it would be an agency of great good. But we should not allow any feelings of hostility or enmity to ever arise in our midst. I said the enmity of relatives, if ever it was engendered, was much more painful in its effects, and more deep and bitter, than between persons who are not related. I suggested that a committee be appointed to get the opinion of a lawyer concerning this claim. We had the statement of Mr. Rawlins, but that was exparte, and we should, in justice to all concerned, have the views of other attorneys upon the subject. I myself am in favor of this sister receiving some support, evidence having come to me after the death of President Young that satisfied me that it was his intention that she should have her support from his estate; and she did receive her support until the lawsuit, when receivers were appointed to take charge of the estate, who refused to give her any support, though the releases which we had signed expressly mentioned her as well as the widows of President Young.

7 April 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 7th, 1891.

There was a full attendance of Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors, Bishop and their Counselors, together with the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, Seven Presidents of Seventies, and Presiding Bishops, at the Assembly Hall this morning at 10 o’clock.

The forepart of the meeting was given over to the Presiding Bishops, who made a report of the condition of tithing, the percentage consumed in the various Stakes, and also the small amounts which were contributed as fast offerings. The figures set forth were very startling and call loudly for a reform. It is very evident that fast offerings are almost entirely neglected, and a fashion has grown up of calling upon the church to supply the wants of the poor. There is also a larger percentage of the tithing consumed in the places where it is contributed than ever before known in the church. These subjects were treated upon by the Bishops and by President Woodruff and myself. At the request of the brethren, I spoke very spiritedly about the sugar industry. Brother Elias Morris also made some remarks upon the same subject. Brother C. W. Penrose spoke about political affairs. I made an explanation, before he spoke, for the reasons the brethren had in Ogden and Weber County for dividing on national lines. Brother Evan Stephens also made remarks to the assembled brethren concerning the choirs of the various wards and stakes. Altogether, this was a meeting crowded with business, and a great many matters were touched upon, and I have no doubt it will be productive of great good. The brethren were urged to make minutes of what had been said, so that they would not forget these things.

It appears probable that the Inland Salt Company will be transferred to a company of Gentiles. I have felt to regret this very much; but the decision to sell was reached by those who hold the majority of the stock.

8 April 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 8th, 1891.

The First Presidency was at the Office today. President Woodruff and myself met with the General Board of Education and held a lengthy meeting, at which considerable business was done.

Elder Nelson A. Empy was ordained as Bishop of the 13th Ward, and Hamilton G. Park was ordained a High Priest and set apart as his first counselor. I was mouth in ordaining Brother Empy, and President Smith was mouth in ordaining Brother Park.

We had conversation with Brother W. T. Stewart, of Kanab, concerning a mission that we wished him to take to New Zealand, to preside there, he having some years ago filled that position, and he has the advantage of being familiar with the Maori language.

We had a meeting with the presiding officers of the church in the State of Idaho, and we gave them counsel concerning the course to be taken in political matters. I set forth my views, giving the brethren caution about not urging the testing of the constitutionality of the test oath law in Idaho. The experience of the past has been such that I think we ought to be very careful not to push our affairs into the courts, as in nine cases out of ten they decide against us, and that only rivets our fetters more firmly. I thought we ought to match our opportunity and use political influence, and when we gained that in the right direction we might perhaps trust the courts, at any rate better than we can now. The brethren all agreed with this view.

We spent some time with the Presidency of the Panguitch Stake. They reported the condition of the Cannonville Ward. The Bishop and his two counselors had resigned, and they wished to get counsel as to the course to be pursued.

The usual meeting of the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. was held at 2 o’clock.

9 April 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, April 9th, 1891.

We have had a very busy day today, so much so that the regular meeting of the Presidency and Twelve could not be held. Brother A. F. Macdonald has been quite sick, nigh unto death. President Woodruff and myself have called twice and administered to him. He is, we are pleased to learn, improving somewhat, and steps were taken to assist him and his family. Instructions were given to Bishop Winder to this effect.

A case was heard on appeal from the High Council of the Box Elder Stake. The report was presented and the minutes were read by Prest. Rudgar [Rudger] Clawson. We decided to sustain the action of the High Council. The parties were Ulrich Stauffer and H. Packer.

At my request, Brother Le Grand Young came up, and Brother Grant and myself had some conversation with him concerning the best method for the First Presidency to take in borrowing money and loaning it to the brethren on their subscriptions to stock in the sugar company.

My brother Angus came in and we had some very plain talk concerning the college here and the affairs generally of this Stake. I think this conversation will result in stirring up the Stake Board of Education. They have rather leaned on the First Presidency to do for them what we think they ought to for themselves. It was a very pleasant interview, but we set forth the condition of things in plainness.

Sister E. B. Wills came up to see us, at our request, concerning a practice that had prevailed in Panguitch Stake, requiring those who received assistance from the Relief Society to sign vouchers for the same, that they might be given to the Bishop. We thought this entirely unnecessary.

I attended a meeting of the Co-op Wagon & Machine Co at 4:30 this afternoon, and being detained after the last car had gone, Brother H. J. Grant kindly furnished me a buggy to take me down home, which Brother F. M. Lyman drove.

10 April 1891 • Friday

Friday, April 10th, 1891.

The First Presidency were at the office today. We were very busy.

We had an interview with Elder Wm. Spry, the President of the Southern States Mission. It was decided, if Brother Jonathan G. Kimball, who has formerly labored in the Southern States Mission, could arrange his affairs to go, we would appoint him as President of the Mission to succeed Brother Spry. It was thought unnecessary to have him get ready before the 1st of August. I dictated a letter to Brother Gibbs, to be addressed to W. A. Kinney, an attorney, in answer to a letter he had written to President Woodruff, concerning statements that had been made to him, as the representative of the Hawaiian government, by some of our people whose passage the government had expressed a willingness to pay from here to Honolulu. Mr. Kinney is himself a native of the Sandwich Islands, but is a white man, and his letter asking for explanations was dictated by a kind spirit, and he was answered in the same way.

A letter was also written to Elder John W. Young ; also one to Bp. Irons, of Moroni, concerning the case of his son who is deceased; also a letter imbodying the decision which we had rendered in the case of Elijah Shaw and John Shupe.

This evening I had a lengthy interview with my son Hugh, who expects to leave in the morning on a mission to Germany. I gave him many instructions, and then gave him a father’s blessing. I trust that Hugh will perform a good mission. He has always been a most excellent boy, and I have hopes that he will be the means of doing great good. He has one peculiarity, of which I spoke to him, and that is to be very reticent. He scarcely ever speaks unless spoken to, and then replies in the briefest possible manner. In many things he resembles my son Abraham very much, but he is more quiet even than Abraham is. I told him he must open his mouth and talk. He is sent out to talk and warn the people, and he must not shut himself up and be silent.

11 April 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, April 11th, 1891.

I came to the city this morning, in company with Abraham and went to the depot to see Hugh start. He had a cousin, Nephi Hansen, who is going on a mission to England, and a brother-in-law, David Wilcken, his wife’s brother, who is going with him to Germany. They travel together as far as New York. There was a large number of other young men going at the same time.

I dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

My brother Angus and his son John M. took breakfast with us this morning, and he spoke very feelingly about the manner in which my family was situated now, having a dining room where they could eat together. He said he admired it very much, and he felt the <a> spirit of peace and quietude there which was very pleasant to be witnessed in a family as large as mine. I told him that I felt exceedingly thankful to the Lord for having permitted me to arrange my affairs in this manner. I said every man, I suppose, has his ideal as to what he would like, and my ideal concerning my family and their mode of living, so far as eating is concerned, is filled in the present condition that we are in, and it gives me great happiness, and seems almost too good for me.

12 April 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, April 12th, 1891.

This was a very wet, disagreeable day.

I went to the Tabernacle. There was a moderately good attendance, considering the inclemency of the weather. Brother John Henry Smith spoke for nearly an hour, and I followed for a few minutes, speaking upon the necessity of fast days being observed and fast offerings brought to the Bishops for the poor.

13 April 1891 • Monday

Monday, April 13th, 1891.

Presidents Woodruff and Smith were at the office this morning. I had a number of persons call on me to get counsel upon various points. No less than five women waited upon me today to lay their troubles before me.

President Woodruff and myself listened to the reading of a long lecture, in manuscript, by Mr. Charles Ellis. We suggested a few alterations, but were quite pleased with the lecture, and we wrote a letter to him expressing our appreciation of it, and saying that we thought its publication and wide circulation would do good. He desired to have an expression of opinion from us upon it, as he thought of publishing it, and such a letter as we wrote to him, he thought, would give him patronage. His lecture is entiteled “Utah from ’47 to ’70.”

A dispatch was sent to Judge Jere Wilson, of Washington, concerning our brethren in Idaho who were indicted a year or two ago for illegal voting and conspiracy. We had succeeded, through using influence with the Attorney General, in having a postponement of these cases and instructions sent to the District Attorney not to bring them forward unless it was for the public good. Brother Budge informs us that the District Attorney is agitating the matter and will likely bring the cases up at the pending term of court. We informed Judge Wilson of these facts, and asked him to either have the cases dismissed or one or two selected as test cases, to save the expense of all going to Boise.

14 April 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 14th, 1891.

We had a heavy rain last night, and today has been cloudy and rainy—most excellent weather for the farmer.

The Receiver is tearing out the plumbing in the Gardo House to adapt it to the new system required through the sewers being laid. We occupied the front room as an office.

We listened to correspondence, which was read to us by Brother Geo. Reynolds. We hear today that Brother L. John Nuttall, who is afflicted with a strange eruption on his skin, and which we suppose is some form of eczema, and who went to the Hot Springs for treatment, is in a much worse condition than he was, his eyes being almost closed with the swelling. He has been strangely affected for some time with this trouble. I have felt that his case was very serious and have urged him to have something done; but he did not seem to attach much importance to it. Now, however, I understand he feels quite concerned himself.

We had a visit from Brother Geo. Goddard concerning a hat industry which he wished to have us take stock in and to give a circular letter to the people in its encouragement.

We also had a call from Brother C. W. Penrose respecting the cases of the brethren who had been elected to the City Council, but who were denied their seats. The prospect now is that they can obtain them by a little exertion. Brother Seymour B. Young called concerning the organization of another quorum of seventies, its headquarters to be in the Sugar House Ward. Brother A. E. Hyde called to tell us that a Belgian gentleman who had a large concession of land in Mexico wished to see us. We referred him to Brother John Henry Smith and Bp. Wm. B. Preston, who are members of the Mexican Colonization Co.

We examined the papers in connection with the case of Brother D. W. Jones. He has been accused of having falsified affairs in Maricopa Stake in his book which he has published, “Forty years among the Indians”. We did not come to any decision concerning it.

I dictated some letters and my journal to Brother Winter.

15 April 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 15th, 1891.

This day has been a constant succession of meetings.

The First Presidency had an interview with Elders Wm. Spry and J. G. Kimball in relation to the Southern States Mission, to the Presidency of which Brother Kimball had been appointed, in view of Brother Spry’s release. It is not expected that Brother Kimball will take charge until the 1st of August. His health is not very good. He still suffers from ague, which he contracted while in the South before. But he is a very suitable man for the position, and we have thought that by not being confined to the office, but traveling through the healthy parts of his field in the sickly season, and visiting the malarious districts after frost set in, he might have good health. We charged him, however, that when he did go he must not remain in the field to the injury of his health, through any feeling of false pride. He is a tall, fine-looking man, as many of Brother Heber C. Kimball’s sons are. He measures over six feet four inches.

At 12 o’clock the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. met.

Afterwards the Board of Directors of Zion’s Savings Bank met. I was not present at only a part of this meeting, as I was called out to have an interview with Mr. F. H. Dyer, ex-Marshal of the Territory and ex-Receiver of the Church property, and Commissioner Norell. I had a long conversation with them concerning political matters. They spoke in the highest <strongest> terms of their determination to form a Democratic party, and they wished to get our people interested with them, promising that they would sink the Liberal party and would go in for the rights of the people. They intend to start a Democratic paper. We went over the subject with considerable care. I told them plainly the reasons we had for distrusting them, and that if anything were done in this matter, they must take the initiative; that our people could not possibly divide while they remained united; neither could they enter into an alliance with any faction to divide our strength. They expected to take the initiative, still they represented the difficulties that they would have to contend with in consequence of the allegations which were made against us and the distrust that was entertained in our sincerity. They said so far as themselves were concerned they did not care whether the Manifesto had been issued in good faith or not; they considered that we were pledged to that, and that we could not retreat from it. I was quite impressed with the sincerity of these men in this meeting, though Mr. Dyer is one that has not given us reasons for trusting him in every respect. They wished me to converse with some of our leading people and have them meet with them, which I promised should be done.

I met with the Board of Trustees of the Brigham Young Trust Co and attended to considerable business.

16 April 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, April 16th, 1891.

The Presidency were in the office this morning, and listened to the correspondence read by Brother Reynolds.

I described to Presidents Woodruff and Smith, Brothers F. D. Richards, J. R. Winder and H. B. Clawson also being present, the conversation I had with Messrs. Dyer and Norrell yesterday afternoon. I told them I felt greatly impressed with the importance of this movement. It seemed as though the Lord was moving upon these people, and that we were not in a position to reject their overtures; that perhaps it would be impossible for us to stem the current as it was now running, but we could guide it, and it might be the means of bringing us deliverance. For myself, I felt to watch such movements and try to discern the hand of the Lord in them. The brethren were much impressed also with what I told them, and felt that we should not reject these overtures.

In view of all that was taking place, Presidents Woodruff and Smith thought that I ought to take a trip, accompanied by Brother H. B. Clawson, to California and consult with our friends there concerning political matters. We decided to leave tomorrow evening.

A meeting was appointed for 3:30 this afternoon with a number of brethren whom Brother Winder had selected as Democrats to meet with us, and I explained to them what had occurred. There were present, J. R. Winder, T. G. Webber, E. A. Smith, F. Armstrong, F. W. Jennings, W. H. Rowe, and Brothers F. D. Richards, H. J. Grant and John H. Smith. Brother Winder was instructed to see Messrs. Dyer and Norrell to arrange for an interview with them.

At 1 o’clock I met with the Bullion Beck and Champion Mining Co.

At 2 o’clock I met with the First Presidency and Twelve. We did not clothe ourselves in our Temple robes. Brother Grant offered prayer.

I met today, at 11 o’clock, with the Board of Directors of the Scientific and Literary Association. We decided to purchase a cabinet of minerals from Dr. Talmage and give him $2500. for it, and $500. for his own services.

17 April 1891 • Friday

Friday, April 17th, 1891.

Brother Moroni L. Pratt took breakfast with my family this morning. My sister Anne also has been visiting us. She came to the city with me this morning.

The First Presidency were at the office and listened to the reading of the correspondence.

Bishop Preston called and read to us the monthly cast statements from Dec. 1890 to March 1891.

We had a visit from Brother M. W. Merrill, of the Logan Temple. He had bought in, through agents, a piece of land opposite the Temple, which was offered for sale by the City Council of Logan. He had to pay $6050. to secure it. Some of our brethren bid against him, though, he informs us, they knew that it was desired for Temple use. The only desire we have to secure the property is to keep improper places from the proximity of the Temple. He had not money enough to pay for it all, and some of the brethren have proposed that they sell part of it. President Woodruff was desirous to have my views about this. I told him I was quite in favor of our keeping it, as some person might secure a piece of land there and put some offensive place upon it for the purpose of blackmailing us to buy it out. It was, therefore, decided that we should keep it.

I had an interview with my son John Q., who told me of his position in relation to the “Standard”. I have felt quite concerned about him and his affairs, as I had received an impression that he was in straitened circumstances. I had a very good talk with him, and after, he told me all his feelings concerning his treatment in regard to the Ogden Standard. He felt considerably disgruntled, though he acquitted his brother Frank of all blame in the matter. I still felt to advise him, if he could do so, to resume his connection with the Standard, as I thought it better than to be idle or to be waiting for an opening on some Democratic paper, offers having been made to him in that direction. I told him I did not think he would enjoy himself in such society anyway. Before we separated he said he would do anything to please me, and intimated that he might consider the proposition favorable.

Brother Franklin S. Richards called and gave us a description of his visit to Washington, in company with Mr. Varian, in connection with the new suits which have been instituted for part of the Temple Block, my property on South Temple Street, and what is called the Whitney corner. He said the Solicitor General had agreed that these suits should be dismissed. His visit there had been productive of good results. We felt gratified that he had done so well. At the same time it is apparent that much depends, in fact everything depends upon the decision of the Attorney General, and he must be placated. Brother Richards is in poor health, having had an attack of la grippe. He was brought down in a close carriage by Brother Clawson, as he learned that I was to leave this afternoon and he desired to make his report before I left.

I dictated my journal and an article for Juvenile Instructor, to Brother Winter.

In the evening, packed my trunk and took leave of my family, and was driven to the train for San Francisco by my son David. My son Radcliffe, who is seven years of age, accompanied me, as I was desirous to have his eyes examined. He has been cross-eyed for four or five years, produced, we think, by a fall. I took a sleeper and went to bed.

Blessing1 pronounced on the head of Prest. Geo. Q. Cannon (on his leaving the City to go West to Consult with political friends) by Presidents W Woodruff and Jos. F. Smith, Prest. Woodruff being spokesman. Gardo House, Apl. 17/91.

“Brother Cannon, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by authority of the holy and eternal priesthood, we lay our hands upon your head, according to the desires of your heart, to bless you, and to ask God to bless you.

We say unto you, you are called to go abroad for a short season upon business pertaining to the interest of the Church and Kingdom of God, and we say, go in peace; you shall be preserved from the wicked and ungodly, and from accident and danger, as you have been from the day of your birth to the present time. God has blessed you with knowledge and understanding, with intelligence and wisdom and a knowledge of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and these blessings will continue with you; and we seal them upon you. And we say, the Lord shall reveal unto you from day to day and from hour to hour your duty; and He will inspire you in your conversation with men and in your corresponding with men, and in your association with men: the Spirit of the Lord shall be with you, and by that Spirit you shall be enabled to give Counsel to our friends whereby they may labor for our best good.

We bless you with every blessing your heart can desire before the Lord; and we seal upon these blessings and every blessing that has been given upon your head by every inspired man of God. And we say unto you that you shall live to a good old age, and that you shall prevail over your enemies and against the wicked and all who seek to destroy the Church and Kingdom of God and the Zion of God; and you shall live to see Zion triumph in the earth.

We seal these blessings upon you, and we seal you up to eternal life, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

18 April 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, April 18th, 1891.

The train was about 20 minutes late when we started last night; but this favored Brother H. B. Clawson, who, through a wheel coming off his buggy, would have been too late to have joined us had the train started on time, It was very monotonous traveling today through the State of Nevada, as it always is. We had a good dining car on the train, and got our meals there.

19 April 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, April 19th, 1891.

The change this morning from yesterday’s travel is very striking. The whole country is clothed in green, and all vegetation is in a very forward condition.

We breakfasted at Sacramento, at the station. At Oakland we were met at the ferry by Col. Isaac Trumbo . He accompanied us to the California Hotel, where we put up. We had a lengthy conversation with him concerning the object of our visit, after which we walked out and spent the evening in visiting around.

20 April 1891 • Monday

Monday, April 20th, 1891.

I took my son to an optician’s by the name of Berteling, who is very skilful in fitting glasses to the eyes of persons of defective vision. After a pretty thorough examination of Radcliffe’s eyes, he decided that he had no glasses that he thought would remedy the defect. He gave me the names of two eminent oculists there, one by the name of Cornwall, whom we visited. He examined Radcliffe’s eyes very thoroughly, and after listening to his explanations I decided to have him perform an operation. He put the boy under the influence of chloroform, and cut the nerve of the eye. I left Brother Clawson with the boy until he recovered, and went to meet Judge Estee, with whom I had made an appointment, through Col. Trumbo, to meet at 3 o’clock. Brother Clawson joined us afterwards. We had a two hours conversation with him, in which I explained the political situation in Utah and dwelt upon the importance that inasmuch [as] the Democratic party was organizing, the Republicans should not allow them to take advantage of the situation and have our people won to the Democratic party through their lack of energy in laying Republican principles before them. Judge Estee was exceedingly pleased at the information which I gave him concerning the disposition on the part of the non-Mormons to divide and leave the Liberal party. He felt that this would be likely to be attended with excellent results. He agreed with us in our view that the non-Mormons should take the initiative. I endeavored to impress him with the importance of having the Utah Commission, a majority of whom are Republicans, deal fairly in the apportionment of the Territory, so that they would not furnish Democrats with reasons for denouncing them as unfair and in this way make capital among the people.

In the evening we went to the California theatre, adjoining the hotel, and witnessed the play of The Woman Hater. Though a light play in some respects, it was very amusing.

21 April 1891 • Tuesday

Tuesday, April 21st, 1891.

I called upon Badlam Bros. and saw their gas machines in operation. They have manufactured one for me, which I have been unable, for want of funds, to have put up, and I made explanations to them for not doing this, which appeared to be quite satisfactory.

We met Brother Walter Beatie and daughter and Brother C. S. Burton, who is said to be her affianced, and Mamie, my wife Carlie’s daughter.

Col. Trumbo is very attentive to us and spent most of the day with us. We went with him to the Pacific Bank, to Mr. Wood’s office, who is attorney in Bullion-Beck matters for him and Brother Clawson.

Judge Estee called on us and had a long conversation.

22 April 1891 • Wednesday

Wednesday, April 22nd, 1891.

I received a dispatch from President Woodruff asking if it would be possible for me to raise a loan of one hundred thousand dollars; if so, it would save Brother Grant going East.

Mr. Alexander Badlam, Jr, has been out of town, but returned this morning, and we called upon him and paid our respects to him, also upon Judge Stow. I had another interview with Judge Estee.

In the evening went to the Baldwin Theatre with Brother Clawson, the Manager having tendered us free tickets. I took my son Radcliffe with me.

23 April 1891 • Thursday

Thursday, April 23rd, 1891.

Mamie, my wife’s daughter, and my own daughter-in-law, is very sick today, and she sent for me to come and administer to her, which I did. She is stopping at the Palace Hotel.

Early this morning I took Radcliffe to the Cliff House, to see the seals. In the evening I went with Brother Clawson and Col. Trumbo to see Kajanka at the theatre.

24 April 1891 • Friday

Friday, April 24th, 1891.

Judge Estee had mentioned the writing of his views out. I pressed him to do so. I called at his office today and he read what he had written, which pleased me very much. The following is a copy of it: [remainder of page blank]

I talked with Dr. Macdonald, the President of the Pacific Bank, about a loan. Brother Clawson has been stirring up Col. Trumbo, who is an important factor in that bank, to do all he could to let me have the money. The Doctor talked favorably about it and told me he would give me a positive answer tomorrow morning.

I went to the Southern Pacific offices and paid my respects to Manager Towne, Mr. Goodman, and several others.

Judge Estee called at the hotel, and I had a long talk with him.

At quarter to six Brother Clawson and myself and son Radcliffe went to Col. Trumbo’s to dinner, and had a very elegant meal. His wife’s mother, and her sister, Mrs. White, and Mrs. Beatie, were there also. We could not stay at the Colonel’s as long as we wished because Brother Clawson had secured tickets for himself and myself at the Grand Opera House, to see Sarah Bernhardt in the play of La Tosca. The scenery was not much. I imagine, from the manner of playing, that these artists, probably the best in their profession in the world, do not depend upon accessories so much as they do upon their own playing for effects. She and the principal male actor did their parts to perfection. She certainly is a very powerful actress. I was very much pleased with the performance, though the style of play is not one that suited me.

This afternoon I called at Septimus W. Sears’ office to see him. He was not in; but I found there Judge Cotton, formerly a Member of Congress from Iowa, with whom I was acquainted. He expressed great pleasure at seeing me.

25 April 1891 • Saturday

Saturday, April 25th, 1891.

We called at the Pacific Bank this morning and had an interview with Dr. Macdonald, and found that he could let us have fifty thousand dollars now, at 8%, and that he hoped to be able to loan us fifty thousand more when we needed it, as I told him we did not need the whole amount now. Money is very tight here, and they are loaning at 9%; but the Doctor expressed himself very kindly concerning the First Presidency and said it did him pleasure to do anything to aid us. I told him that we would give him a note signed by the First Presidency, and we would also put other names on it to make it a good note, which he said would be quite satisfactory to him.

S. W. Sears called upon us at the hotel.

I called at Mr. Badlam’s office and saw his father. He is about 83 years of age. His memory is wonderfully strong, and we talked considerably about old times and persons with whom he had been acquainted in former years. He remembers the names of persons with great distinctness. He has known me from boyhood, and in speaking to others in the office concerning me said a great many things in my praise, which made me feel a little ashamed. He has lost all faith in the Gospel, in the Bible, and even in the Deity. He feels warmly towards us, apparently, but is without God in the world—to me a most dreadful spectacle to see a man who has been at one time connected with the saints, possessed of such hopes and testimonies as probably he had, in such a condition. There was nothing, however, occurred in our conversation at all unpleasant, excepting that he made the remark that he had been for years writing a book upon the Bible.

Active preparations are being made for the reception of President Harrison, who is expected to reach this city this evening. We left at 7, and crossed the bay to Oakland as he and his party crossed from Oakland to San Francisco.

26 April 1891 • Sunday

Sunday, April 26th, 1891.

Another monotonous ride through the State of Nevada. We were very comfortably situated, however, and the day passed off quickly.

27 April 1891 • Monday

Monday, April 27th, 1891.

We reached Ogden this morning on time. I was met at the depot by my son John Q., who accompanied us to the city. We drove up to the Gardo House and found Presidents Woodruff and Smith there and enjoying excellent health. We made a report of our visit and read the letter of Judge Estee to the brethren. They appeared quite gratified with our report.

After I reached here I did not feel well, and in a short time was taken quite sick. I did not go home till the afternoon, but after reaching there I was so sick that I had to lie down.

28–30 April 1891 • Tuesday–Thursday

Tuesday, April 28th, 1891.

Wednesday, 29th

Thursday, 30th

I have been suffering from a severe attack of la grippe and have been in bed most of the time. I have been visited by several of the brethren; among them, Brother F. M. Lyman and my brother Angus, on Tuesday, and Brothers M. Thatcher , H. J. Grant and J. W. Taylor, on Thursday.

Footnotes

  1. [1]The following handwritten text of the blessing given President Cannon on this day by Presidents Woodruff and Smith was enclosed as a separate sheet in the opening of the 1893 journal.