Wednesday, July 1st, 1891.
The First Presidency was at the Gardo House this morning.
We heard from the brethren who met together to consider the question of having a fusion ticket that after discussing the question very thoroughly the majority were not in favor of a fusion. They thought it would be better to maintain the division. After hearing the report, it appeared clear to me that it would be better for the two parties to remain divided, under the circumstances, as this would give us an opportunity of showing that we did not mean to deceive by dividing, and if we were beaten it would go to the country that we had stood up on party lines. Another point is that if there was a fusion there could be no recognition by the National Republican or Democratic parties of the movement; but if they stood by the party lines those who did so could claim recognition from the committees. President Woodruff felt the same on this, and it was the decision of the First Presidency.
I had conversation with my son Abraham concerning the business of making wire mattresses, which my son William desired to engage in by purchasing the machinery of the Burton, Gardner Co. He has already some machinery, and he thought by adding this to it he could make a good business. Our fears concerning him are that he does not apply himself enough to his labor, and that he needs somebody with him to make him more steady. I thought it might be well to have Lewis associated with him.
A Sister Jenkins of Ogden, whose first husband was named McGregor, came with her son to see us concerning being sealed to her first husband. After listening to the statements, it was decided that she should have that privilege. Brother F. S. Richards called in to inform us concerning the master in chancery. Mr. Varian had suggested Judge Loofborouw, a man whom we know little or nothing about, except that he is a Liberal. It seems that he is not the choice of Mr. Varian, but rather of the court; at least, Mr. Varian conveyed this idea to Brother Richards.
We had a meeting of Z.C.M.I. board today to consider the question of selling four hundred thousand dollars worth of stock to English people, there having been a proposition of that kind made to Brother H. J. Grant. The feeling in the board was one of opposition to the proposal.
There was a meeting of the savings bank and we had quite a lengthy discussion over the condition of the Hotel Templeton, and also the declaring of an eight per cent. dividend.
Prest. Orson Smith, of the Cache Stake, called in to see me in relation to political matters, and I explained at some length the position of affairs and our views concerning the proper course to take.
In the evening, at my house, my sons Abraham and William and myself had quite a conversation concerning the proposed investment in the mattress factory.
Thursday, July 2nd, 1891.
We had a meeting of the Deseret Telegraph Co. and attended to some business.
At 10:30 we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank to take in consideration the Templeton affairs.
At 11 o’clock I met with the B. B. & C. Co. A proposition was made to declare a 50¢ dividend per share. I proposed a $1. dividend; but my proposition was not accepted. I did not expect in making the proposition to receive the dividend now, but I thought it would have a good effect on the stock.
At 2 p.m. the First Presidency and Twelve met. There were present, besides the First Presidency, John H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon. Brother Grant was mouth in prayer. Before we separated, Brother Grant brought up again the subject of selling a block of Z.C.M.I. stock, and the situation of the Templeton Hotel was talked over.
I had another conversation this evening with my sons Abraham and William, in which I related to them a conversation I had had with Brother W. H. Rowe on the subject of the mattress factory.
Friday, July 3rd, 1891.
I was busy a part of the day arranging with my creditors and setting up bills with the means that I received as a dividend. I am very heavily in debt, more so than I ever was before in my life, and it gives me great concern.
The First Presidency had an interview with the gentlemen who purchased the Inland Salt works from us. Their object in seeing us was to arrange some satisfactory terms for the payment of the fifty thousand dollar bonds that are now held by Zion’s Savings Bank.
I had a call from A. E. Hyde, who told me that Brother John Beck, he thought, was now feeling more favorably to the sale of the mine, and he said that if President Woodruff would send for him and urge upon him the propriety of selling, it might have an effect upon him. Hyde seemed to think there was no question about the mine being sold for three and [a] half millions of dollars, the half million for expenses and the rest for the stockholders. Presidents Woodruff and Smith did have an interview with him, at which I was not present. Brother John L. Dalton came to see us about his mission to California. He was advised to settle up his affairs before going.
I dictated a letter to Judge Estee, also to Col. Trumbo and to John W. Young.
Saturday, July 4th, 1891.
I took the opportunity today to go with Brother Wilcken to my farm over the river, which we call Westover, calling on the way upon my sister Mary Alice, who is living on the west side of the river. She and her husband were together and were in pretty good health. We also called at Brother Wilcken’s farm. I spent about two hours at my place, looking over the fields and the orchard and garden. We then returned home. I enjoyed my dinner with my family today.
Sunday, July 5th, 1891.
Attended meeting at the Tabernacle this afternoon, Brothers John H. Smith, H. J. Grant and my son Abraham were present. Brother Grant occupied about half an hour, and I followed for about 40 mins.
Monday, July 6th, 1891.
I had a very sick night last night; slept but little and was afflicted with pain in my stomach, brought about, I think, by
eating drinking chocolate, a beverage that I have scarcely ever tasted; but I was induced to drink some last evening. I felt so sick this morning that if it were not for my duties at the office I would not attempt to leave home. Engaged the greater part of the day in listening to correspondence which Brother Geo. Reynolds read to us.
President Woodruff was detained at home by sickness, having an attack of bilious colic.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Accompanied by Brother John Jaques, I went to President Woodruff’s, he having expressed a wish to see us both. While there we administered to him. His health is improving.
Tuesday, July 7th, 1891.
I called upon President Woodruff this morning, and found him without any appetite. When I came to the city I requested Brother H. B. Clawson to try and find something that would suit President Woodruff’s appetite. He did make some purchases and took them down.
I found Brother Jos. F. Smith at the Gardo House.
Mr. Charles Ellis called upon me to know if it would be possible for him to secure the theatre. He desired to deliver a lecture on Thomas Paine. He said that a good many Liberals were freethinkers and great admirers of Thomas Paine, and that by a lecture of this kind he might be able to set forth the services which Paine had rendered to the American Revolution and draw attention to the present condition of affairs here, suggesting the proper course for admirers of Paine to take.
Brother Geo. Reynolds spent considerable time with us this morning reading the correspondence. Among the letters was one from D. J. E. Talmage, which was listened to with great interest. He had been treated with great courtesy by the Royal Microscopical Society, of which he was a member, and, unexpectedly to himself, had been called upon to speak and explain something concerning the fauna of our region. He had taken some specimens with him which attracted great attention.
We had an interview with Sisters I. M. Horne and E. B. Wells, the subject being the organization of Relief Society corporations. I expressed myself in favor of a general incorporation of these societies, one in every Stake and then a general incorporation for the whole Territory, members of which should represent each Stake. But I suggested to them that they see our attorneys and converse with them and have them prepare a plan which, before taking action upon, they could submit to us.
W. H. Rowe came in to converse upon the subject of buying the Times newspaper for the Republicans. We gave him our views on that subject.
We had an interview with Brothers James Jack and W. C. Spence upon emigration matters, and a letter which had been written upon that subject to President Brigham Young was read to us. Some alterations were suggested.
I held a meeting today with the building committee of the Young University, to take into consideration the propositions of Mr. Bruce Price, an eminent architect in the East, to act as architect for the building. We concluded to recommend the employment of Mr. Price to the general board.
I wrote a letter to Brother Heber Wright, of Ogden, in reply to his informing me of a loan that he had made to one of my sons, and which he desired my aid to secure.
I was startled this afternoon by reports which Brother Jesse W. Fox brought from President Woodruff’s residence concerning his condition. He called upon President Woodruff and found him slightly delirious, he said, and acting somewhat strangely. Brother Fox seemed quite alarmed. But I thought perhaps that not being acquainted with him he had got a wrong idea of his condition. I therefore asked him how Sister Woodruff felt, and he said she did not exhibit any alarm. I concluded then that it was not probably so bad as Brother Fox seemed to think. I drove down as soon as I could and found him much better. He said he had felt strangely because of his stomach, but that he had vomited and been relieved.
The Twelve had a council meeting today. There were ten present. The absent ones were Brothers Brigham Young and Geo. Teasdale.
I was informed by Brother Clawson this afternoon that Col. Trumbo and Judge Estee had arrived. I was somewhat disappointed at this, because we had written to him that we thought it would be unnecessary for him to come at present, owing to the delay in appointing the master in chancery; but it seems he did not get our letter.
An appointment was made with him for eight o’clock this evening. I came up from home and had a conversation of an hour and a half with them upon the situation of affairs[.]
Wednesday, July 8th, 1891
I called upon President Woodruff this morning and found him somewhat better.
President Smith and myself met with Le Grand Young and F. S. Richards and we communicated to them the information that Judge Estee was here and was interested in our case, and desired, if agreeable, to have an interview with them. We told them concerning the Judge’s past advocacy and defense of our cause, and how warm and zealous a friend he had been to us, and an appointment was made to meet him at Brother Richard’s office at 2 o’clock today. At that time President Smith and myself went to that place. We spent two hours and a half in conversation. The Judge drew out from Brothers Young and Richards their views concerning the line of evidence that they intended to present to the master in chancery. The conversation was principally upon this point, with a view to getting up an outline of a plan of campaign for the recovery of this property, and also to get correct information before the country through the evidence that would be presented concerning our true position. The question arose as to whether it would be well for the Judge to appear openly in this case. There was some discussion upon this point; but after listening to what was said, I felt very clear, and so told them, that it was my judgment that he should not appear openly, for reasons all of which I did not care to explain, but they were in part personal to the Judge himself and his political prospects, and partly on our own account. The interview, I think, was very satisfactory, and the attorneys were both impressed by the Judge’s clearness in setting forth his points and his skill and knowledge as a lawyer. He has written works which are standard in the legal fraternity.
President L. Snow and the brethren of the Twelve who met yesterday met again today, with the exception of Brother Thatcher, who had gone East.
I had an interview today with Mr. Mortimer A. Downing, of the Agricultural Department of Washington, who is out in this country securing data concerning the best methods of irrigation.
The regular meeting of the bank was held at 1 o’clock.
I called at President Woodruff’s, reported the condition of business, and found him improved.
In the evening I drove to my place over Jordan and took my wife Sarah Jane with me. Brother Wilcken accompanied us.
Thursday, July 9th 1891.
I drove back to the city.
I called at President Woodruff’s this morning and found him very much better. President Smith and myself listened to the answers to a number of letters that had been written.
President L. Snow had invited us yesterday to meet with the brethren of the Twelve; but in consequence of a prior engagement with the attorneys, I had informed him that it would be out of our power to be present. He said that some of the brethren were desirous to return; but we both felt that they had better stay until tomorrow, though we regretted to be under the necessity of asking this. Our engagement, however, was of such a character that we could not defer it.
This morning at 10 o’clock we met with the brethren in council and had a very interesting time. Upon entering the room, President Snow had arranged for President Smith and myself to be seated in large armchairs. We declined to sit there, and I remarked that as it was a meeting of the Twelve I preferred that he should preside and take charge of the business. His first request then was that I should take the armchair, which I did. He gave a recital of what they had done during their meetings. They had told their feelings one to another, and had blessed one another, and had rejoiced very much in their association. They desired us to meet with them to give them such instructions as the Spirit might promt, particularly to give them instructions upon political matters. This we did. President Joseph F. Smith spoke at length and with considerable force upon the political situation. I was very pleased that the spirit rested upon him to do so, as I thought that coming from him it would have considerable weight, as I had done the most of the talking upon this subject to the brethren, and I did not wish the impression to prevail that I was alone in the views that I entertained, or that they were peculiar to me. I followed, and also had great freedom in talking, and we succeeded in pointing out so that the brethren present understood the reasons we had for adopting the course that we recommended in political affairs. Brother Snow stated to us, as did all the brethren who spoke, that the Twelve had expressed their determination to sustain the First Presidency, knowing that they were led of the Lord, and that it was their duty to do so. I was greatly pleased at the spirit that was manifested, and expressed my thankfulness to the Lord and to them for the manifestation of the love and confidence which they felt. We partook of the Lord’s Supper, and separated in time for President Smith and myself to again meet at Brother Richard’s office with our attorneys and Judge Estee[.] We had another lengthy interview, covering nearly three hours. The question arose at this meeting whether it would be advisable to put any of the leading men on the witness stand to establish the fact that polygamy had ceased. This was talked over very fully, and questions were asked of President Smith and myself upon points that would be likely to be raised if we were put on the stand. Among other questions, it was asked whether we thought now that the Manifesto was issued that polygamy was morally wrong. Brother Smith’s reply was that it was not morally wrong. Mine was that it was morally wrong. These replies caused Judge Estee to get considerably mixed, he said, seeing that we differed in our views. I think Brother Smith was startled, and perhaps the other brethren, at my reply. But when I came to explain my views Brother Smith was converted, and the others saw that my answer was the correct one. I illustrated my view by stating that patriarchal marriage among the Jews in Palestine was permitted, and was therefore morally right, but among the Nephites it was forbidden by the Lord; therefore its practice by them would be morally wrong. Before the revelation of plural marriage anyone who practiced polygamy in our church would have been severed from the church, because he would have been guilty of a moral wrong. After the revelation was given, however, and a man entered into this practice, under the sanction of God’s servants, it was morally right. Now, however, the Lord had said through His servant that no man shall take a plural wife. If a man did so, therefore, he violated the authority which God had given to His servant, and was guilty of a moral wrong. There was much more said pro and con to illustrate this point, and I think the result was that the brethren saw the point. Before we got through with our conversation Judge Estee got a better idea, I think, of our position.
Friday, July, 10th, 1891.
I called upon President Woodruff this morning and found him in bed. He had had a good night’s rest, however. I was there rather early, because I had an appointment with Col. Trumbo at the Gardo House at 8:30[.] Brother Clawson and he came there at that hour, and they and President Smith and myself had a long conversation concerning our affairs.
Brother Geo. Reynolds read the correspondence to us.
At 1 o’clock President Smith and myself went again to the office of Brother Richards. The conversation of the previous day was resumed. Brother Le Grand Young expressed himself as opposed to the proposition to put any of us on the witness stand. He thought it would result in greater harm than benefit. Judge Estee asked me my view. I told him I did not see how it could be avoided very well, under the circumstances. I should be in favor of preparing witnesses, so that they could be put on the stand, if necessary; but if it were not necessary, no harm would be done. It seemed to me important that we should take advantage of our action, and that we should follow it up by making it appear clear that we had taken this step in sincerity. A long conversation ensued, and Brother Le Grand Young expressed himself as having changed his view and concluded that perhaps it would be the better course for suitable witnesses among the leading men to go on the stand.
Brother Jos. F. Smith expressed his views with a good deal of force, and explained to Judge Estee our position in relation to plural marriage, bringing forward the words of the Lord concerning the temple in Jackson County and in Far West as illustrations of our position; that we had been prevented from building those temples by the acts of our enemies, and that the Lord would hold the people who did this accountable, and their children after them to the third and fourth generation, unless they repented. He said that this was our position in regard to plural marriage. We had been prevented from carrying out a command of God, and the Lord would hold this nation responsible for it. He spoke with considerable plainness on this. I saw that Judge Estee was touched by his remarks, and as he was not well and had occasion to go out, I remarked to the brethren that if I were not a Latter-day Saint and I were told by one of them that they had ceased the practice of plural marriage because they had been compelled to do so by the nation, I would naturally conclude that when that compulsion was removed they would resume its practice, and that if we became a State and were relieved from the pressure of the present laws, which applied only to the Territories, we might endeavor to re-establish the practice. I said to them I believed that Judge Estee had that impression from the remarks that had been made. Just then he returned into the room, and with a view to draw from him his real feelings I related to him what I had said. He asked me if I desired him to give his candid opinion upon the subject. I told him I did. Then he said, I believe that some of you old fellows—here is President Smith, for instance—would re-establish polygamy if you had the chance. Shortly afterwards he said if he could think that polygamy would be re-established he could not consistently assist in or favor the making of Utah a State. Further conversation ensued, and he became convinced that we were sincere in what we had done, and he felt also, as he expressed himself, that the matter had gone so far that we could not retreat, and we could not change the condition even if we would. I felt that I had no right to criticize my fellow counselor’s remarks, whose authority is the same as my own. I know he is a man of God, and a man entitled to the spirit and guidance of the Lord; but I would not have thought it prudent for me to have set forth those views, as they were scarcely necessary, under the circumstances, and they were calculated to inspire distrust in us and our future intentions. On these matters, however, the Lord, I feel sure, will overrule and control everything for good.
I had been invited by Colonel Stevenson, President of the Polytechnic Society, to meet with that society this evening, the intention being to discuss irrigation matters. They hoped to have a lecture from Col. Hinton, who is in the employ of the Agricultural Department of the government. Upon entering the rooms of the society the President introduced me to the assembly as a distinguished gentleman, known by reputation to them all, “Hon. Geo. Q. Cannon” [.] The evening’s proceedings were very interesting. I was requested to speak two or three times on artesian wells and my experience with them. Upon closing a pressing invitation was given to me to attend whenever I felt disposed, and to invite our people, civil engineers, mechanics, etc, to join the society and not leave it an entirely gentile association.
Saturday, July 11th, 1891.
Busy with my private affairs, and dictating to Brother Winter.
At 12 o’clock I had an interview with Judge Estee in the directors room of the savings bank. He suggested that we select some charitable objects for this fund in the event of a refusal to restore it to the church without question. I suggested that it could be used for schools and hospitals, mentioning the university that we are about to start. He thought that the fewer the charitable objects we had the better, perhaps.
Sunday, July 12th, 1891.
I drove up to President Woodruff’s this morning to invite him to come to my house at 4 o’clock this afternoon to meet Judge Estee. I found him in much improved health, excepting a blow that he had received on the forehead through falling while climbing into his new house. At 2 o’clock I went to the Tabernacle. My brother Angus informed me that he had invited Brother B. H. Roberts to speak, and as Brother Roberts had come there upon his invitation it was thought
proper better for him to speak. Brother Lyman was there also, and I would liked to have heard him speak. Brother Roberts occupied about 70 mins, and while he was quite eloquent, the tone of his remarks I did not like. I gathered from the spirit that he manifested that he is not clear in his mind as to the steps that have been taken lately in relation to our movements. He quoted from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and informed the people that they might expect to be tried even unto death, and alluded to our present circumstances, and spoke very emphatically respecting those who would not stand up to the principles which the Lord had revealed. It was not so much what he said as what he did not say, that I did not like, because it left his remarks open to the inference for those who are not entirely clear in their minds respecting recent actions that there was a disposition somewhere to depart from the law of the Lord.
I had an appointment at 4 o’clock at my house with Judge Estee and Col. Trumbo, and intended to leave the Tabernacle at half past three, but as Brother Roberts did not get through till a few minutes after that, I felt that I could not leave, and yet I was so hurried in my feelings that I did not want to speak myself. I asked Brother Lyman to speak, and he made some remarks which were quite pertinent, but did not dwell upon them to the extent that I would have liked. I should judge that Brother Roberts is feeling somewhat gloomy, a disposition to which, I understand, he is susceptible. I regretted, under the circumstances, that he had permitted himself to speak in that strain, as he is a powerful speaker and what he says is said very effectively and makes an impression.
When I reached home I found President Woodruff, Judge Estee, Col. Trumbo and Bp. Clawson already there. I invited Brother Lyman to come down, which he did shortly afterwards. We had a very full and free conversation upon the situation, and I said to the Judge that I had brought Brother Lyman in order that he might catechize him and see how he would do for a witness. During our conversation on the Manifesto and the sincerity of the people, President Woodruff said he would like to make some remarks, and he rose from his chair and commenced to speak upon the subject of inspiration; how men in former times had been inspired to say and do certain things which others around them did not exactly understand; yet these men were servants of God and thir [their] words had been fulfilled. He referred to the prophecies of the ancient prophets concerning cities and nations which we who live now know to have been literally fulfilled. He traced this down to the days of the Savior, and mentioned His Apostles, and then to the Prophet Joseph and the men of our day. This led him to the Manifesto and the action that had been taken upon that document. His manner was solumn [solemn], and he bore an exceedingly strong testimony to the effect that the Manifesto was the inspiration of the Lord, and that he had done it under the influence of that inspiration. I think it made a deep impression on the two gentlemen who were not members of the church—Judge Estee and Col. Trumbo. Certainly no one who heard him could doubt the sincerity of the man. His language was simple, but to the point, and there was an earnestness and a sincerity in that which he said which did not fall to impress these gentlemen that however much he might be mistaken he certainly was an honest and a sincere man[.]
We had ice cream and cake, and separated a little after six.
Monday, July 13th, 1891.
President Woodruff came to the office this morning. We listened to the correspondence.
Several brethren came in, among them, Brothers John H. Smith, F. M. Lyman, John Morgan and F. S. Richards. We had conversation concerning the character of the testimony that would be needed. We find upon interrogating the brethren that they feel quite delicate about going on the witness stand, under their circumstances. The point which seems to be a difficult one to testify to is concerning the re-establishment of polygamy. All the brethren shrink from the idea of saying that they would not re-establish it if they had the power; yet it is clear enough, I think, to all our minds that we would not under present circumstances. But in answering questions of this kind categorically, our people might draw wrong conclusions from them, and the man who answered such a question in that way would be put in a wrong light before the people. At 3 o’clock the First Presidency had another interview with Judge Estee. He informed us that he had been circulating a good deal among the non-mormons, had seen some of the members of the Utah Commission, Judge Anderson, and a number of others, and told us confidentially his conversation with Judge Anderson. It was that Anderson had talked very freely with him concerning affairs here and had emphatically expressed himself against us, believing that we were not sincere, and that the Manifesto was but a ruse. We had been led to expect, from things that we had heard, that Anderson had had a change of views recently upon our question; but from the Judge’s report we should think him still as bitter as ever. The Judge said to us that he could not tell what plot was being hatched; but he felt convinced, from what he could learn, that some plan was about being put in operation, and perhaps had been already, looking to our injury. He thought it very likely that they would have men on our track, to see if they could not trump up some charge to arrest some of our leading men, and he thought that we ought to be exceedingly circumspect at the present time in our associations. We suggested the name of Brother Lorenzo Snow to him as a witness, and described the kind of man he was. He thought perhaps he might answer. So we telegraphed to Brigham for Brother Snow to come down.
President Woodruff and myself had an interview today with Mr. Dallin, a Utah born young man who has attained considerable prominence as a sculptor in Paris and in the East. He has been authorized to make a bust of President Woodruff, and intimated that he had also been instructed to get my bust.
Upon my arrival home this evening I called my children together for whom I had purchased some mandolins and guitars with a view to their learning to play those instruments under the tuition of my daughters Ada and Caroline. The terms upon which I let the boys have the guitars are that they shall have the use of them until the 1st of December next. If by that time they can play six tunes, I shall make a present of the guitars to them. In the event of their not learning six tunes, then they shall have no claim on the guitars, and shall make good any damage they may have received.
Tuesday, July 14th, 1891.
Brother Heber J. Grant was in and the subject of appointing a trustee or trustees came up, Le Grand Young and F. S. Richards having been invited to be present. It was thought that in order to elect a trustee or trustees it would be necessary to call a special conference of the church and have the object of the conference advertised. This is a subject that I had not reflected upon; but afterwards, while in consultation with Judge Estee and our attorneys, I expressed my views upon the subject. It seemed to me that such an advertisement for a conference would call attention to our matters, and that it would create the impression that we had property which we wished to have put in the hands of a trustee to hold, which might have a bad effect on the pending proceedings before the master in chancery. Our object was to show that we had been stripped of all property and were destitute, and we should make every effort to have that returned to the church; but if it were known that we were investing in the sugar company and appointing a trustee to hold that, it might create a contrary impression; in fact, our enemies would be sure to seize that and misrepresent it to suit their purposes. Another point is, that if we engage in any enterprise of this character, so different from churches generally, will we not increase or revive the prejudice against us for doing these things in the past? That which we view as a great virtue, to sustain struggling individuals, help struggling industries and struggling communities, has heretofore been made a cause of offence against us, and our motives have been misinterpreted. Judge Estee and the other legal brethren were quite emphatic in the expression of their views against this proposition.
Brother Theodore McKean came in this morning to be set apart for a mission to Europe. He has been on the “underground” for a number of years. I asked him why he did not come out and face the indictment against him, and get it dismissed. This seemed to be a good time to have indictments set aside. He said he did not like to do so; for he felt conscientious about making any promise. I told him I thought that he might be able to go into court and not be catechized very closely. It seemed to me the best movement that he could make to get rid of the indictment, so that he would be perfectly free. I remarked that there was a disposition at the present time on the part of some of the judges, especially Judge Zane, to treat these cases leniently. If he should go away on a mission, there might be a revival of the old hatreds, and then it would be difficult to get rid of such a charge. Brother Jos. F. Smith seemed to differ from this view. He said that he would not like to do this. I replied that I thought he spoke because of his personal position. I spoke from the standpoint of one of the First Presidency and as a matter of public policy. It is true, as Brother Joseph remarked, there may be amnesty granted and we may become a State; but these were contingencies. Amnesty may not be granted, and we may not for a long time become a State. Therefore it seems to me now that there is a kindly feeling on the part of the court, brethren ought to avail themselves of it. I alluded to the cases of Thomas E. Ricks, Sylvester Collett and R. T. Burton, who had been arrested and tried for murder. Their lives had been put in jeopardy. If they had known as much as we now knew, this might have been avoided by having their cases tried when there was no disposition to treat them unfairly, and this, I felt, ought to be a lesson to us.
We had an interview with the brethren of the Hotel Templeton today concerning their closing up. They are not at the present time paying their way, but are going steadily into debt.
The First Presidency went to the office of Brother Richards, where we met Judge Estee. We had expected to have had Brother Lorenzo Snow with us, in order that he might meet Judge Estee and get a clear idea of what might be expected of our witnesses. But he had not come down.
After this I called at the Knutsford Hotel and had an interview with Hon. R. G. Horr, of Michigan, who has come out here to lecture on Republicanism.
I remained in town till evening and then went to the theatre to listen to Mr. Horr’s lecture. I was very much interested in it. It was lengthy, but contained a good deal of information. He is quite a witty speaker.
I had some conversation with him after the lecture, on the stage.
Wednesday, July 15th, 1891.
President Smith was <not> at the office. He had gone for a trip on the lake. President Woodruff and myself were
also there. President L. Snow came to the office this morning, and I had a conversation with him concerning the subject which we had up yesterday with the attorneys. President Snow seemed to be quite willing to go on the stand as a witness, and I am under the impression that he will make a very good witness.
I set apart, in company with my son Abraham, Brother J. T. Woods, who is going to England to get some property that his deceased wife has willed to him.
I had an interview with Brother Rowe concerning the Times newspaper.
Col. Hinton, of the Agricultural Department, called upon me and I had a very interesting conversation with him. He gave us a good deal of information concerning what was being done by the government in irrigation matters. He is a man whom I have known for many years.
At 11 o’clock I had an interview with Messrs. Sloan and Thomas concerning the Deep Creek railroad.
At 12 o’clock we had a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. Afterwards a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank.
At 3 o’clock President Woodruff and myself met Miss Ruth Jones, who claimed restitution from the church for property that her uncle, who died in Sanpete 16 years ago, had bequeathed to the Ephraim Ward.
At 4 o’clock met with the sugar company, and remained in session till after six o’clock. The subject under discussion was how to raise the money which we needed to pay off the balance due on machinery, and also to pay for debts already existing and to meet the payment of beets to the farmers. I said that I would willingly give 5% or 10% premium for a loan of $100,000. for two years, and a resolution was adopted of that character.
I had an appointment at the Chamber of Commerce for half past four, to which I had been invited by the First Vice President and the Secretary; but owing to this meeting I was prevented from going.
I went home this evening somewhat fagged. The day has been a very busy one.
Thursday, July 16th, 1891.
President Smith still absent. President Woodruff and myself at the Gardo House.
Brother F. S. Richards brought a communication which he had received from the Solicitor General of the government. It was on the subject of the stipulations which had been agreed upon by the District Attorney and our attorneys and had been sent to Washington.
Mr. Isadore Morris called, in company with Brother F. Armstrong, and showed me a letter which had been received from Washington on the subject of obtaining a pardon for President Jos. F. Smith.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met. There were present, besides President Woodruff and myself, Elders F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon. We did not clothe. I was called upon to pray, and the Spirit rested powerfully upon me in offering prayer.
Brother Penrose had proposed to me the propriety of the Republicans not making any nominations for the Legislature from this city. He thought it would be a good thing to concentrate the votes on the Democratic nominees. He feared that unless something of this kind were done, the Liberals would gain the victory, and it would solidify them and we should have that party perpetuated. I mentioned to the brethren of the Council the views that Brother Penrose had expressed. President Woodruff’s opinion was very clear, as were all the rest, that it would be a most unwise thing for such action to be taken at the present time. It was felt that it would be better for us to be defeated on national lines than to depart from them, because accusations were already made of insincerity on our part, and if the people should all vote for the Democratic ticket, it would be said it was the old People’s Party again, and it would disgust many of our friends.
Brother Wm. T. Stewart, who has been appointed to go to New Zealand and preside over the Mission there, called, in company with his brother, who is also called to that Mission, and we had conversation with him and sent a message by him to the Maori saints.
Brother Wilcken called for me shortly after 4 o’clock and I rode with him to Westover.
Friday, July 17th, 1891.
I arose early this morning and breakfasted, and returned to the Gardo House to meet with the members of the Brigham Young Trust Co. As there was no quorum at that time, it was decided to hold a meeting of all who could be obtained at 11 o’clock. There were only eight of us then, and we attended to several items of business. It was resolved that I, as President of the company, should call the stockholders together for the purpose of changing the articles of incorporation so that a smaller number than is now necessary could form a quorum. It was felt that seven members should be permitted to transact the business.
Brother William King, of the Josepa Colony, called and reported its condition. Bishop Preston called to speak about the sidewalk around the Temple block. It was felt that one 12 feet wide would be sufficient.
Brother M. W. Merrill called in and I had some conversation with him concerning difficulties in the Oneida Stake. He purposes going to Nephi this afternoon to attend conference.
We had a call from Mr. Isadore Morris, who brought two young Jews with him. One is the son of a Rabbi at Chicago.
Brother Ezra T. Williams, of Beaver, was honorably released today from going to New Zealand, to which mission he had been called, in consequence of his crippled condition, he having lost part of both feet through being frozen.
I had submitted to me last night a copy of a complaint by Alexander Badlam, Isaac Trumbo and others against the board of directors of the Bullion-Beck Co. The intention is to institute a lawsuit for the recovery of ore taken from the Caroline mine, and which has been paid to John Beck as the reputed owner of the Caroline. This Caroline mine is claimed as a part of the B.B. property. My name was not included in either the plaintiff’s or defendant’s, but my son Frank’s name was in, and the question arose as to which position it would be better to put his name in. I expressed my feeling that I would much rather that he would be a defendant, in company with John Beck and the others, than that he should be a plaintiff, because if his name was among the plaintiffs it would put me in a very awkward position. The public would not understand it, and those who were disposed to use it against me could do so with some show of reason. I have had nothing to do, directly or indirectly, with the affairs which are complained of. If anyone is injured, I am, certainly as much so as the plaintiffs. But I am not anxious to enter into a lawsuit nor to have any trouble with anyone, especially with my brethren. Col. Trumbo has an expert accountant from San Francisco examining their books. I am told that the minute book contains very damaging evidence against the
dividends defendants. How all this will result is not very clear at the present; but it is likely to make considerable trouble[.]
Saturday, July 18th, 1891.
I left for Nephi this morning at 7:10. My son Sylvester took me to the train in a buggy. I reached Nephi about half an hour before the morning session of the conference adjourned.
The weather is very hot.
In the afternoon I addressed the meeting, and spoke upon a great variety of subjects.
In the evening we had a priesthood meeting, to which the sisters were also invited. Brother M. W. Merrill spoke, and as the weather was hot I did not think it wise to have the meeting protracted, so we closed after his remarks. I had been kindly invited by Sister Pitchforth to stop with them. They are old acquaintances of mine and it was quite a pleasure to have the opportunity of visiting them. Brother Elmer Taylor and his wife were also guests.
Sunday, July 19th, 1891.
Brother Merrill and myself met with the prayer circle before the forenoon meeting, and at the request of the brethren I gave them some instructions, occupying the greater part of the time in explaining the political situation and the reasons we had for giving the counsel which we did concerning politics. Brother Merrill did not add anything more than to express his concurrence in what I said. The brethren expressed much gratification at the explanations which I gave to them, and they seemed to be in entire harmony with the counsel that I gave them.
The Sunday schools had a conference this morning. Brother John Morgan and myself both addressed the children.
In the afternoon the authorities were presented, the sacrament was administered, and Brother Merrill, Brother Morgan and myself occupied the time. There was a good spirit, and we spoke with freedom.
In the evening we had another well-attended meeting, at which I, Brother Morgan and Brother Merrill spoke.
The meeting house was very close, although a number of the windows were taken out. It was almost like a Turkish bath. I suggested to the people, in my remarks, that they either build a bowery or erect a pavilion.
Monday, July 20th, 1891.
I awoke this morning before 4 o’clock. At 4:30 I arose and got ready for the train. Sister Pitchforth and daughter Leonora prepared me some breakfast, of which I did not eat very heartily, but I was much obliged to them for their kindness. I left Nephi at half past five. There were a great many delegates got on to the train who were going to the Democratic Territorial Convention which convenes today at Salt Lake City. In conversation with Brother Morgan, I was surprised to hear from him that Brother B. H. Roberts, one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies, had declined to vote for the Manifesto at our last fall conference. This was confirmed by Brother Merrill, who said he had noticed that he did not vote for it. Brother Morgan said that Brother Roberts felt exceedingly bad, and he had hoped that he would not speak last Sunday but one; in fact, he had persuaded him to go home, but, to his surprise, he returned again. This accounted to me for the curious tone of Elder Roberts’ remarks the other Sunday, with which I was not at all pleased. Unless Brother Roberts takes a different course, he will be apt to lose the spirit of his office and calling, because no man can refuse to sustain an action of this kind, brought forward as this was, without placing himself in a very bad position. The Manifesto was either from the Lord or it was not. If from the Lord, Brother Roberts should know it, and by seeking unto the Lord he can know it; and so if it were not from the Lord. But he stands in the position, in refusing to join with his fellow servants and the saints in this action, where the adversary can assail him, and I think he is in great danger; in fact, I feel that a man occupying such a position in regard to a public affair, so very important in all its effects and consequences upon the people of the Lord, is not a proper person to labor in the ministry among the saints, as he can do a great amount of injury among the people. I regret very much that Brother Roberts should be in such a position, because he is a very eloquent man, probably the most oratorical of any of our Elders.
I met with the stockholders of the Social Hall Society, and a motion was made to dispose of the Social Hall property with a view to turning the means realized therefrom over to the Salt Lake College.
While in meeting, Dr. Geo. L. Miller, of Omaha, an old friend of mine, came to see me. I took him in and introduced him to the brethren.
I dictated my journal and articles for the Juvenile to Brother Winter. Upon my return home this evening I found my family in good health[.]
Tuesday, July 21st, 1891.
President Woodruff came to the Gardo House this morning. He was absent all day yesterday, having had a severe attack of diarrhoea. He is still suffering from it. He came up to give a sitting to Mr. Dallin, the sculptor, who is making a bust of him, John W. Young having authorized him to do so on his account.
Don Carlos Young came in and brought a draft of the finish that is intended for the spires of the Temple. The central tower on the east is to be crowned with the stature [statue] of an angel with a trumpet. Considerable discussion was had concerning the best method of fastening that in its place to make it entirely safe. Mr. Dallin was called in to give his views also, as a sculptor. It is intended to make the stature twelve feet high. Brother Young also submitted a plan of the annex to the Temple, which we all thought well of and approved. Bishops Preston and Winder were also present.
I had a call from Dr. Miller and a party of ladies and one gentleman. He called to pay his respects, he said, and he used such complimentary terms to me in speaking of me that it made me feel quite embarrassed. I took the party up to the room where President Woodruff was sitting for Mr. Dallin, and they enjoyed the visit to this room, as they saw Mr. Dallin at work on the bust. They were quite complimentary in their remarks concerning the fidelity of the likeness.
I received a very long and interesting letter from Judge Estee, repeating the cautions that he had given to us, and emphasizing the necessity of preventing the impression going out that as a church we are engaged in business affairs. He said that having now put ourselves in a position not to be attacked on the question of polygamy, our enemies would naturally seek some other weak point, and if it could be proved that we were using church funds for business purposes, it would be seized as a pretext for further attacks upon us; that we should not give color to the idea that we were combining church and state in any manner, or doing anything as a church that would be considered in the character of business.
As the First Presidency were so crowded with business affairs, with politics, etc, I suggested to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that we select somebody to assist us in managing and giving counsel concerning political matters between this and the pending election. I suggested that Brother Lyman be asked to drop everything else and pay attention to this, so that we could refer all questions of this character to him, and that he could travel around and see what should be done. It is a time when attention must be paid to this matter. Our people are actually in a condition of political chaos, and our enemies are combined and active, and unless there be some guidance given to our political affairs by men who have experience. After President Woodruff had returned home, President Smith and myself gave Brother Lyman our views concerning the duties that we would like him to attend to.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
It was arranged that I should call for Dr. Miller and take him to the Walker Pavilion, where he was to make an address to the Democrats. I went down in a carriage furnished by Brother H. J. Grant, and found that the Doctor had left. I then proceeded to the Pavilion and listened to an address from him, and from Ex-Gov. West, Messrs. Lett, Benson, F. S. Richards and Hadley Johnson. While with Dr. Miller he was very profuse in acknowledgements of courtesies that he had received and was particularly impressed, he said, in that which I had been the means of doing for him and his party.
My son Willard took me down home.
Wednesday, July 22nd, 1891.
Presidents Woodruff and Smith were at the office this morning when I reached there.
I went to the 16th Ward to be present at the laying of the corner stone of a new meeting house. There was quite a congregation of people. The sun was very hot. Bp. Kesler was dressed in black, with a pair of white overalls on, and was busily engaged in the ceremony of laying the stone in Masonic fashion. The whole proceeding was quite elaborate, and the Bishop seemed to enjoy the ceremonies very much. Brothers Jos. E. Taylor and C. W. Penrose, of the Presidency of the Stake, were present. After the dedicatory prayer had been offered by Brother Summerhays, singing by the choir, I was called upon to speak. I was followed by Brothers Taylor and Penrose. A letter signed by the First Presidency was deposited with other articles in the cornerstone.
Upon my return from there, President Woodruff and myself called upon Mr. Stoddard at the Clift House. He is a veteran actor, and is playing at the present time at the theatre. My reasons for being specially desirous to call upon this gentleman are that when he heard that I had been sent to prison, he came up to the penitentiary to see me, accompanied by the proprietor of the Clift House, Andrew Brixen. He was the first person whom I saw after I donned the prison uniform, and he treated me with marked respect. I felt that it was so kind an act that I could not refrain from paying my respects to him when I heard he was in the city. We had a delightful interview with him. He is a gentleman of the old school, and expressed great pleasure at meeting me again under such changed circumstances. He felt quite honored by President Woodruff’s call also.
Brother Moses Thatcher has arrived from the east, where he has been on business connected with the World’s Fair Transit and Savings Co.
At 2 o’clock we held our usual bank meeting.
I took my wife Carlie and the baby over to Westover, with the design to have her remain there to prepare for the 24th.
Thursday, July 23rd, 1891.
Our baby was so sick all night that my wife scarcely had a minute’s sleep, and after considering the matter carefully it was decided that it would be better for her to return home with the baby, as she could be better taken care of at home than there.
I reached the Gardo House about 9 o’clock.
Mr. Ellis called upon us and laid plans that he had in view before us concerning going east and getting access to the papers and publishing matter on our questions.
At 11 o’clock I went down to Z.C.M.I. and met with Elders M. Thatcher and T. G. Webber and Messrs. Colborn, and Donnellan. Brother Thatcher reported the result of his visit to Omaha, and Judge Colborn of his visit to Denver. Their reports were quite satisfactory as to terms, etc. Considerable discussion followed as to the method of doing business. It was finally decided to organize a company, to consist of Moses Thatcher, J. W. Donnellan, Fred Auerbach, R. C. Chambers, T. G. Webber, Judge Colborn and myself. When it came to the election of officers, I expressed myself to the effect that there were three persons, either of whom I would be willing to have as president—Moses Thatcher, J. W. Donnellan, and R. C. Chambers. Brother Thatcher was quite emphatic in his expression that I ought to be president, R. C. Chambers vice president, J. W. Donnellan, treasurer, T. G. Webber secretary, Judge Colborn manager. A board of control of four members was also appointed. They were, Moses Thatcher, J. W. Donnellan, T. G. Webber and Fred Auerbach.
Brother B. H. Roberts called upon me last week to get counsel concerning his going to the law school at Ann Arbor to study law for one year, with a view to adopting the legal profession as a means of making a living. He wanted to know whether it would be compatible with his calling as one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies to do this. He called in today to know whether there was any answer. I then stated to Presidents Woodruff and Smith the circumstances. After talking pro and con for some time, President Woodruff expressed himself to the effect that we would consider the question and would inform him respecting it. The feeling seemed to be that it was not a proper thing to do, because if he adopted the practice of law as a profession, it would naturally engross his time and prevent him from attending to the duties of his calling. Brother Jos. F. Smith suggested to him to study surgery or medicine, which he thought a man might follow as a profession without interfering so seriously with his duties as a minister of the gospel. Brother Roberts said he had no taste for either surgery or medicine. The question was what he should do, if he did not adopt the law, to make a living. I said that in former times a man who studied law was considered as getting on dangerous ground and liable to apostatize; but I supposed that view would scarcely be taken at the present time. After Brother Roberts’ departure, the question of his not having sustained the Manifesto came up, through conversation with Brothers Morgan and Lyman with the First Presidency. After hearing what those brethren had to communicate, President Woodruff expressed himself to the effect that it would be better for him to study law or anything else rather than to use his talents improperly among the people, in weakening their faith in that which had been done or in not sustaining the action of the First Presidency and Twelve. It was thought better for Brother Lyman to have a conversation with Brother Roberts upon this subject and endeavor to show him the dangerous position that he occupied through not sustaining the Manifesto.
We had a meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve. My son Abraham was mouth in prayer. Brother H. J. Grant spoke about going to Europe, according to the suggestion of
one of the Twelve at one of their meetings, and he wanted to know our views about it. In view of the fact that the church could not in wisdom take any stock in any business enterprise, as was contemplated by the Twelve when they suggested that Brother Grant go to Europe, I said it was not clear in my mind that Brother Grant should go to England. I thought he could raise the needed funds in the east. It was decided that the money for the sugar company should be raised there, although permission was given to Brother Grant to cross the water on a visit, if he wished to do so. The propriety of my going to London was urged by Brother Grant, as he thought through my acquaintance with Lord Roseberry and my prominence I could be successful in raising loans. President Woodruff spoke also about me going; but I suggested that perhaps before I should go I might correspond with Lord Roseberry and learn what prospect there would be to obtain funds on our securities.
Friday, July 24th, 1891.
My family and friends, numbering some 78, went down to Westover and spent the day there. I had furnished food in abundance, and we had a table and benches constructed and everything done that could be to make it pass off agreeably. Presidents Woodruff and Smith were there with portions of their families; also my brother Angus with part of his family. My sons John Q. and Frank and their families did not join us. But my son Abraham and the rest of my boys and girls who are in the city were all there, as were all my wives. The day was delightfully spent, and I enjoyed it very much. After taking dinner and resting awhile, I called the folks together and asked President Woodruff if he would not speak to them. I was desirous that the children should understand the character of the day which we celebrated—a day that should always be memorable in our history, because on that day the Lord led His servants to a land where we have enjoyed a great amount of liberty and been greatly prospered. President Woodruff was one of the pioneers. In his carriage President Young lay sick when he entered the valley. President Woodruff is approaching 85 years of age, and I felt that I would like my children to listen to the recital from his lips, that in years to come they would recall this day and be able to say that they had heard from his lips an account of the entrance of the Pioneers into the valley.
Afterwards Brother Jos. F. Smith spoke very instructively to the young people, also my brother Angus and myself.
We partook of ice cream and cake, and at six o’clock we started for home.
Saturday, July 25th, 1891.
I felt quite fatigued today through my exertions yesterday.
I attended to considerable business, and at 3:30 took train to Brigham City for the purpose of attending conference there tomorrow and next day.
My son Abraham was on the train going to Oxford, where he expected to meet with the saints in conference. Brother O. F. Whitney was also going to Brigham. We were met at the station by Brother Lorenzo Snow. Brother Joseph Jensen had a very elegant carriage and team, which carried us to Brother Snow’s residence. He does not enter the gates of any of his places. He lives by himself, having rooms at Bp. Nichols’. It brought home very forcibly to me the awkwardness of his position. He said he thought this necessary in order to preserve his freedom. We were very kindly entertained by Sister Minnie Snow.
Sunday, July 26th, 1891.
Last night was excessively hot, as was yesterday also. I did not sleep very well.
I attended meeting in the forenoon and in the afternoon, and at 7 in the evening. The forenoon was occupied by reports of Bishops and President of Stake, and a discourse by Brother B. H. Roberts, who reached Brigham this morning. I occupied the greater part of the time in the afternoon, and was followed by Brother O. F. Whitney. In the evening Brother Whitney occupied the time.
This has been one of the hottest days I ever felt in Utah Territory.
Monday, July 27th, 1891.
Brothers Whitney and Roberts left Brigham City for Salt Lake City on the early train.
I attended meeting in the forenoon and spoke about 70 mins.
After meeting I called upon Sister Phoebe Woodruff Snow, a daughter of President Woodruff and wife of President Snow, paid my respects, and learned from her how she and family were, so that I could report to her father.
I was taken to the train by Sister Minnie Snow in her buggy. At 1:10 we started for Salt Lake. We were detained one hour and fifty minutes in Ogden, waiting for a connection. A little daughter of Brother James P. Freeze was put in my charge by Sister Snow, to take to Salt Lake. My son Frank came to see me just before the train started from Ogden. He introduced Dr. Greaves, a member of the Ogden City Council, to me and I had quite a conversation with him on the way down. There was a very destructive fire broke out in Ogden while I was waiting for the train to start. It occurred in an ice house, said to belong to the U.P. Co. The whole structure was utterly destroyed.
I was met at the station by my nephew, L. M. Cannon. I found my family all enjoying pretty good health. I was really very glad to get home this evening, as with the heat and fatigue I felt relieved getting where I could keep cool. I find that my place seems to be cooler than any place I know of in the valleys.
Tuesday, July 28th, 1891.
We had an interview with Brother J. Whitely, who has been working for Brother John W. Young for some time. He has just received notice that he cannot be any longer employed, and he finds himself utterly destitute of employment, of home, and of money. He has drawn very little wages in order to have his means accumulate, with a view to buying land and erecting a high school in Sugar House Ward. We resolved to give him employment in the Historian Office until he can do better, and sent for Brother Musser for that purpose.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Wednesday, July 29th, 1891.
I have been traveling backward and forward from my home to the Gardo House in a buggy, but have resumed traveling in the cars. Brother Thomas E. Ricks called upon us this morning to report the condition of affairs in the Bannock Stake.
The question of President Woodruff going to Deseret to look at his land so as to be able to certify that he had seen the water on it, and in that way obtain his title, came up this morning, through Brother Wilcken coming in. He found that he could not obtain a special car, and it was doubted whether in this excessive hot weather it was a prudent thing for President Woodruff to attempt the journey, as he would have to ride some thirty miles in a vehicle from the station to the land. It was decided that it had better be postponed, and dispatches were sent down there to that effect.
Brother Lorenzo Snow came in, he having come down on business for his daughter Eliza.
Brother Lyman also called. We had some conversation with him on political matters.
We had an interview with Col. Trumbo and Bp. Clawson.
When I reached home this evening my boys were anxious that I should consent to their going to the mountains for a week or ten days, as a recreation. They were: Brigham, Read, Joseph, Sylvester, Willard and Mark. I told them if they would finish the painting of the kitchen and the outside of the schoolhouse, I should be willing for them to go on Saturday.
Some mandolins that I had ordered and paid for were delivered this afternoon, and I had an interview with my daughter Carlie, who is going to teach the others, and Amelia, Joseph, Grace and Vera, who are going to receive lessons. I made a similar arrangement with them to that which I had made with those who had the guitars, with the exception that I gave them until Christmas to learn six tunes.
We had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank at the usual hour. The question of remuneration for the officers of the bank came up on my motion that had been laid on the table at the previous meeting. I found that President Jos. F. Smith was opposed in his feelings to any action of this kind now, preferring to wait till the end of six months to see how the bank would do, and I therefore withdrew the motion, as I did not wish to have any division of feeling, though the sentiment, so far as expressed, was decidedly in favor of my motion. I have felt that the officers of the bank have been working now for seventeen or eighteen years without remuneration, and some of them have very small amounts of stock in the bank, notably Brothers Webber and Jack, who have done a large amount of labor, which has contributed very much to the emoluments that have resulted from banking. I have thought that it is not right that these men should continue, or any of us for that matter, to labor as we have been doing, holding a meeting every week, without remuneration. Personally I have no feeling on the subject. But when men take stock in a bank they should pay those who perform the labor in earning their money. The principal reason, however, that I had for suggesting this was that I have been opposed to the recent dividend of eight per cent, and I felt that if they could afford to pay eight per cent semi-annually, they could afford to pay the officers of the bank.
Thursday, July 30th, 1891.
Found Presidents Woodruff and Smith at the Gardo House this morning.
Had an interview with Brother C. W. Penrose, who has been endeavoring to arrange for the consolidation of the votes of our people on the Republican nominee for the Council from the 8th district and on the Democratic nominee for the House in that district and on the Democratic candidate for Supt. of schools. This movement was decided upon during my absence, and I have felt that it is a dangerous thing. It seems that Brother John R. Winder came up and saw the First Presidency upon the subject and got them alarmed at the danger there was of the Liberals having the supremacy in the Legislature, and had them consent <to> this policy.
I fear that there will be a loss of confidence on the part of Gentiles who may know of this, as it has been already asserted that we would not stick to party lines. Personally, I have felt that it would be better for us to suffer defeat and show that we were true in that which we had done, than to consolidate or have a fusion outside of the regular party lines. My nephew, Geo. M. Cannon, is the Republican nominee in this district who, in view of this, would be sure to be defeated. He probably would have been anyway; but it places him in a very painful position, because he will not get as many votes as others who are on the ticket with him, and it would do him great injustice. I suggested that he resign. He said he could not possibly do that in honor. He had declined the nomination, but it had been forced upon him, and Brother John Henry Smith and President Woodruff had encouraged him to do all he could for the party, and because of that he had taken an active part in the campaign; and it had been understood when the nominations were made that there would be no resignation by anyone. I felt that he was being sacrificed; but he said that he would rather be sacrificed than do anything dishonorable. He informs me that Caleb West knows about this deal, and that he fears it will have a very bad effect.
We had a call from Sister Zina D. Young, in company with Sister Bathsheba Smith. Sister Young has just returned from a visit to Cardston in Canada, and brings good report of the condition of things in that region. She says they need more help and desire to have more saints come there.
I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
I was called upon by Brother W. J. Beatie, who informed me that a meeting was desired of the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co. I attended that meeting, but in doing so was kept from the meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve, which, however, I found afterwards, was quite informal, and there was no prayer offered. I have rather dreaded this meeting of the Bullion-Beck in consequence of the lawsuit that has been commenced against the company by Isaac Trumbo, Alexander Badlam and others. I dreamed last night, and it left an unfavorable impression upon me. There were present at the meeting: President Moses Thatcher, Vice President John Beck, Directors W. B. Preston, A. E. Hyde and myself. Richard J. Taylor was invited also to be present, inasmuch as his name was in the complaint as one of the defendants in the suit. There was a good deal of feeling manifested and very strong expressions used against the parties who had entered this suit; and as neither my name nor my son Frank’s both of us having been at different times connected with the board, was mentioned as a defendant, it was very evident that the brethren had feelings in this account and thought there had been an improper discrimination in my favor. They stated that Frank J. Cannon was on the board as much as any of them were at one of the times alluded to in the complaint, and that I was on the board at another time alluded to in the complaint. I said but very little, because they were not in a mood to listen to anything that was not in accord with their feelings on the subject. I remarked, however, that I did not view the complaint in the light that they did. They considered that the complaint branded them as conspirators, as thieves, as frauds, etc, and that it held them up to opprobrium and obloquy. They wanted to know what my view of the complaint was. I declined expressing myself by telling them that they were not in the mood to listen to my view of the complaint, and I would not say anything about it. A resolution was introduced by Brother A. E. Hyde, seconded by John Beck, to the effect that the company employ its attorneys to defend itself and its officers against the assault that had been made upon them, and to institute any counter complaints that might be proper. When this resolution came up for voting, I declined voting upon it, requesting the secretary to put in the minutes that I desired to take a copy of the complaint and submit it to an attorney, so that I might be able to vote intelligently upon this resolution. My reason for this action was that I had been told that we must be very careful as to what we did as a company, or we might get involved in serious complications, and I desired, as I told the board, to keep out of the meshes of the law and preferred to know how far I could go as one of the directors in voting for this.
Before we separated there seemed to be, I thought, a milder feeling upon the subject; but the expressions of most of the brethren were that they had been most unjustly assailed, and that they would defend themselves to the very uttermost. As I told them that I would return the complaint by tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock, an adjournment was held until that hour.
On my return to the Gardo House I found the brethren of the First Presidency and several of the Twelve and Brother James Sharp, who made some statements concerning the rumors that were afloat about political deals. He alleged that the information was current that some of the brethren had been talking to leading people in the county about voting for certain candidates and not voting for others. He portrayed the danger there was in any such movement, and said that if such a thing were to occur, it would destroy confidence, not only on the part of the Mormon people, but particularly on the part of those who had left the Liberal party, and he himself would want nothing more to do with politics. Considerable was said pro. and con. Brother Penrose was sent for and heard what Brother Sharp said. I expressed myself very plainly in relation to this business. I said that while I desired victory, and hoped the men we wanted would be elected, it would be better for us to be defeated, it seemed to me, than to do anything that would have the effect to destroy confidence in our sincerity in this movement.
Elders William Spry and J. G. Kimball came in preparatory to going to the Southern States. Brother Spry has been laboring for a long time as President of the Southern States Mission, and is now about to be released, and Brother Kimball is expected to take his place. He accompanies Brother Kimball to Chattanooga to introduce him there and to transfer the business to him. Brother Kimball is a son of the late President Heber C. Kimball, and has been in the Southern States Mission and done a good work there. He is a young man of integrity and ability. He desired to be set apart, and President Woodruff requested President Smith and myself to lay hands on him, which we did, I being mouth.
I felt much exercised in my feelings today, and for some little time back, over political matters, and also over this law suit, and I have supplicated the Lord to deliver us and make our path plain. I desire to be kept out of every snare. I have tried in all matters connected with the Bullion-Beck mine to so conduct myself that I should have a conscience void of offense towards God and all men, and this is my strength and comfort now.
I went up and saw Attorney Robert Harkness concerning this Bullion-Beck matter. I submitted the complaint to him. We had quite an interesting conversation. He gave me a good deal of information, and said he saw no difficulty in my voting for that resolution, though he would prefer that the words “and its officers” should be dropped out, as he thought it might be better not to vote to defend its officers. He declined to take any fee from me for his legal advice, though I pressed it upon him. He said he was not in the regular practice of law now, but would be pleased to give me any advice at any time. Brother C. H. Wilcken took me home this evening.
Friday, July 31st, 1891.
I found Presidents Woodruff and Smith at the office this morning.
We listened to some letters which were read to us by Brother Geo. Reynolds, and dictated answers to them.
At 10 o’clock I met with the B. B. & C. Mining Co, and after some explanations I stated my willingness to vote for that resolution, though I said if the words “and its officers” were stricken out I would like it better, but I was not particular about that. I then told the secretary to record my vote for the resolution; and I said further, that I had been reflecting on the complaint and I had come to the conclusion that I would prefer having my name put in as one of the defendants, as I did not wish to shirk any responsibility that belonged to me in any form; and although I had had no opportunity of exchanging views with my son Frank I thought I knew him well enough to say that he also would be quite willing to have his name appear as one of the defendants.
Brother A. E. Hyde said that he had understood me to say yesterday that I did not agree with them in their view of the complaint, and he proceeded to interrogate me as to what my view was; that if I did not agree with them in their view of the complaint, then I must believe that the statements of the complaint were true. He did this in a brusque manner, and it fired me up in a minute, because I thought it an imputation on my honor, and that it was an insult to me to suggest that I would think they were all conspirators, frauds, thieves, &c. I told him I resented such an imputation; I would not submit to it from him or anybody else. Very high words followed, and John Beck also made some remarks, stating that I was not one with them, and that they were all united, while I was opposed to them, I said I did not wish to have any argument nor contention. I would not sit on that board a minute and submit to such language as had been used towards me. After the exchange of some heated remarks between Brother Hyde and myself, I sat quiet and made up my mind that I would not say anything more. I thought Brother Hyde wanted to put me in a false light. He said, among other things that I had said was that I would not vote because I did not think their view of the complaint was correct. I made no reply to him about this; but I turned to Brother Thatcher and asked him if it was not true that I had assigned as a reason for not agreeing to the resolution that I wished to find out from an attorney how far I could do that without involving myself in any manner. He said that was correct. He then proceeded to say to Brothers Hyde and Beck that he thought their conduct was entirely unjustifiable and defended me against what had been said. He did this in a very handsome manner. I felt very grateful to him for it, because I had been, as I thought, put in an entirely wrong light. I then said to him, I will explain to you, but not in answer to the interrogatories that have been put to me, why I did not take the same view of the complaint that the rest of you did yesterday. I have had a good deal to do in legal matters in my life, and I know that lawyers in framing complaints make them as strong as they possibly can to cover the points that they wish to make. Now in saying that you have conspired to do this, that and the other, or that you have fraudulently done this, that or the other it does not mean that you are morally guilty of any such things. It is legal phraseology, and to those who are acquainted with such documents it does not in the least reflect upon your moral characters. I do not care personally, I said, what people say about me, if that which they say is not true; and I have not the least objection to my name being put in as a defendant in this case, and share with you whatever opprobium there was connected with it. The meeting soon adjourned, and when we got up and separated, I said to Brother Hyde, Now, Brother Hyde, I am very sorry if I said anything to hurt your feelings. You did hurt mine, and I felt to resent it. I come of a hot-tempered race, and although I have endeavored through my life to maintain control of my temper, there are two things which are apt to start me; one is to have somebody threaten me, and another is to throw out imputations against my honor or my truthfulness. He said he desired to have a conversation with me; so we went into the back room and had a lengthy conversation. He was very much affected, and he proceeded to inform me that he had no design to do anything wrong in saying what he had; but Bishop Preston had told him that Presidents Woodruff and Smith had advised him and Brother Thatcher to keep out of this difficulty and not to make any defense against the suit, and he had felt that it was a design on our part to leave them in the lurch, and I suppose considered I was the instigator of this, and therefore he had felt as he had. I assured him that Brother Preston had misunderstood Presidents Woodruff and Smith; for all the object they had was the same I had in talking to Brother Preston myself. I had said to him that as
a directors of the company we would have to be very careful and not involve ourselves in a defense of John Beck’s claims to the Caroline mine; and I could assure him that it was not the design to leave him or the rest of the brethren in the lurch, but to save the company from trouble. Many other explanations were made which threw light on matters, and he appeared very satisfied. He said he believed President Woodruff had attacked his father because of prejudice that he had against him in connection with the Bullion-Beck. I assured him that I had heard him say just as much as he had done concerning his father’s teaching long before he was connected with the Bullion-Beck mine. He informed me that John Beck believed that I had received some of the stock that had been assigned to the California company. While I think this outrageous, it did not altogether surprise me that he should have such an opinion, because a man who has acted as he has is apt to consider that other people, in taking a certain course, are influenced in so doing by considerations such as he imagined exist in this case. My conversation with Brother Hyde was very satisfactory. I assured him I had no desire to hurt his feelings intentionally; but I told him I was hurt. Brother Thatcher told me afterwards that he felt I was quite justified in speaking as I did; that he would have done the same under the same circumstances. I trust that we shall have better feeling hereafter. I want, if possible, to be a peacemaker between these parties litigant, and I pray the Lord to help me in this.
When I got back to the Gardo House, Presidents Woodruff and Smith were in consultation with Brother John R. Winder about the political situation, and it was proposed that a card be written by the First Presidency and published. Brother Morgan had been in and had given an account of how unwisely some of the brethren were talking about this “deal”.