Thursday, October 1st, 1891.
Elders Taylor, Sheets and Woolley reported to the First Presidency this morning the result of their visit to the ranch owned by Mr. Roland in Clover Valley, Nevada. They brought with them specimens of vegetables, fruits, grain and grasses which were grown on the place, also some specimens of soil and rock. It was decided today, at the meeting of the Presidency and Apostles, after hearing the report read which these brethren had written, that we would not purchase this place, as it would not be suitable on account of its meager facilities for the purpose that we wanted it for.
Shortly before 11 Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself drove to the residence of Dr. J. M. Benedict, to take part in the funeral services of his mother, just deceased. We all spoke.
At the meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve a written report was read from Brothers F. M. Lyman and W. B. Preston of their visit to Kanab, St. George and Parowan Stake Conferences, etc. There had been complaints made against Prest. E. D. Woolley, of the Kanab Stake, which these brethren were requested to investigate. They reported that he had been fully vindicated, the brethren who complained signing a letter to the effect that there was no cause of action.
During this meeting there were read a number of pages of manuscript which had been prepared by Apostle F. D. Richards, called “The History of the Apostles”. Mr. Gillespie called to see us in relation to getting the use of the Tabernacle for the National Educational Convention to meet in.
Friday, Oct. 2nd, 1891.
Snow fell during last night. It was cold and wintry this morning. At 10 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met. There were present, as on yesterday, the following members of the Twelve: Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, A. H. Cannon. President Jos. F. Smith was excused to attend the funeral of ex-Bishop Collett. The reading of the History of the Apostles was resumed. After this we had a lengthy conversation and interchange of views concerning the position that we would take before the master in chancery, if we should be summoned as witnesses. It was thought very important that we should view things alike, and that our answers should be of the same character. Some of the brethren felt that they could not answer questions as they ought to be, and could scarcely vote to reply as some of the brethren felt that they could reply. In stating my feelings I said I did not want to go on to the stand and answer questions which my brethren felt would be improperly answered. I wanted to see us agree on replies that if any of us were called we could make.
It was decided to hold another meeting on Wednesday next for the purpose of a further interchange of views on this question.
We decided to authorize Mr. Gillespie to tender the free use of the Tabernacle to the National Educational Convention.
Saturday, Oct. 3rd, 1891.
The weather is very disagreeable.
Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Cannon met with the First Presidency this morning to consider the question of filling the vacancy in the Council of the First Seven Presidents of Seventies which was occasioned by the death of Brother Henry Herriman [Harriman].] From Brother Reynolds, who is himself one of the Seven, we learned that four names had been mentioned in the Council of the Seven Presidents; they were: Jos. H. Dean, Jos. H. Summerhays, O. H. Berg, and Ben E. Rich. No action was taken by this meeting, further than to conclude that we would have the six Presidents of Seventies meet with us some time during Conference.
It was decided at this meeting to appoint Brother Jos. F. Merrill to preside at Ann Arbor. There are a number of students there from Utah, and we have found it a great advantage to have them meet together and partake of the sacrament, etc.
After this was ended, the Twelve retired to a room upstairs, and President Woodruff and myself continued the reading of the History of the Apostles from the commencement, until 12:30, when we joined the brethren in their meeting upstairs. When we joined them they had been speaking upon the case of Brother John W. Young and all had spoken except Brother Snow. As that subject was up, I begged, before any further remarks were made, the liberty of reading the following letter which I had received from Brother John W. Young in reply to a letter that I had written to him, in which I had spoken with some degree of plainness concerning feelings that existed here upon his case and the danger that I thought there was of there being opposition votes cast, even if his name were presented to the Conference, as a Counselor to the Twelve:
London, England, Sept. 16th, 1891.
Dear Brother Cannon:
By some mistake your letter was not handed to me until Saturday last as I was leaving for the Continent. Now on my return I hasten to answer it.
It would have been a great pleasure to have answered the letter of the First Presidency by a financial response, at once, to the Bank, but circumstances intervened, which could be explained, which renders it impossible at present. First I might mention: November last Mr. Barclay sent his Denver Agt. out to Salt Lake to examine my real estate. The report was satisfactory, but when it arrived here, times were hard in England, so soon after the Argentine failures, and I could not come over, so the loan was not completed. At last when obliged to come here in June, I fully expected to complete it soon after my arrival. To my surprise and regret, I found Mr. Barclay and his friends had just “written down” the capitol [capital] of their American companies some £200,000. In addition to this loss of nearly one million of dollars, they were obliged to raise in July and August, a large amount to pay off their debenture bonds on their Cos. This left them short for the present, and of course closed that door for the present.
In taking up the Mexican Business, I fondly hoped it would be a great blessing to the people there, and to those who wished to go to that “Haven of rest”. Besides, I believed it would result in a financial success to all concerned (So it will yet—such is my faith). The way opened in a most miraculous manner to draw me into it, and give me the control of the Concessions. Rest assured, I am justified in my faith, that the Lord will help the matter through. All circumstances have gone to reinforce this belief, until the failure of the parties who contracted to purchase the Concessions on July 2nd (I remaining Constructor and Manager). We were led into the error (if it be such) to enter into control with them, by certain cablegrams sent by men of influence here to whom the parties referred us, which proved afterwards were obtained by false pretenses. This failure, however, on their part to purchase and pay me £100,000. threw me back in my payments, and making it more difficult under these trying circumstances to rearrange the whole business.
Unforeseen and unhumanlike difficulties have arisen since July 2nd, such as, people killed on railroads, failure of firms, and individuals, elopements, &c, and many discouraging circumstances to combat which might discourage some persons; but it proves to me the powers of the evil one are at work to overthrow this most excellent plan wherein so much good can be accomplished and which, I am fully satisfied, it was right to enter into. Because of these difficulties I have not lost heart at all, but am working it out slowly but surely, I feel. What has, however, hurt me more than all else, and filled me with grief beyond expression is, the knowledge that some of those who need their money out of my business are in destitute circumstances. You and every one, both in and out of the Church, who are acquainted with my real motives, know that to do good to the poor and relieve their wants is the greatest pleasure of my life. To give work to the people, open up the isolated places, and build up Zion practically, has been the ruling cause to inspire me to work on and on against untold difficulties, many of which, I am sorry to say, are raised up, unnecessarily, at home.
As to my expenses, no one who knows and realizes the real necessities of the case can say I have paid out money that the circumstances did not justify. When one comes to this great metropolis to meet the wealthy people whom it is expected will become interested in any business presented, it cannot be done by one acting like a pauper, but by one who at least appears respectable. The expenses of myself and family have been in surroundings and personal appearance what those rich and courteous people of the world we have met consider on the very verge of respectability. Not one of them who are acquainted with us but think me a very careful business man, considering the character of the enterprises I bring to their attention. Where my family stopped was selected by Mr. Barclay. The rent was £6. per week and £1. for cooking our meals. We ordered our food—about £3.10.0 per week. For business reasons I was obliged to keep a room at this hotel—Langham. I have the same now 7 6 per day. The hotel where my family stop in Paris is the same one where Brigham’s family stop, and where Brother Clawson and family were for some time—7 frs. per grown and 6 frs. for children, per day. The place is barely respectable, and where I could not ask Paris bankers to call, although I am now negotiating with some for the purchase of 120 miles of Concessions from Guaymas north east to cool, for sixty thousand pounds—1,500,000 frs. A man under all the circumstances has to be very careful, I can tell you. Many of our brethren at home but little realize what trouble and expense is actually necessary to negotiate for and raise the capital to build a railroad. Especially where there is so much prejudice to be overcome because of our religion. As to my expenses, there is not much anyone could justly find fault with. Mr. Barclay knew I wished to, for certain reasons, bring my family, and he loaned me the money, and so not a dollar has been taken out of the business for that purpose that could have gone to others.
Now as to my financial prospects: The condition of the market (which is growing better) and the absence of so many on their holiday out, compelled me to devise some plan by which I could reach people individually. I now have a subscription paper well along by which a number of gentlemen severally buy an interest in the profits of the Mexican Concessions. The total price is £50,000. I can soon complete it when people return—if some of the ugly reports from Utah, that I have worked so hard to build up, do not get over here.
If the brethren and business men at home could see what is for the best good of the country, they would withdraw and help to withdraw all suits and prejudice against me, and trust to a little time to put everything right again.
No stone shall be left unturned and all will be paid, both principal and interest. Then how sorry the “I told you so’s” will feel, to see me paying everything again, as I have always done. With the millions of dollars worth of business I have done there is not a debt that is a year old, that I know of, that is not fully secured as a loan. Then why do monied men and banks at home act as they do? Jealousy. It is a strange and lamentable fact that nearly all the monied men of Utah want to see me fail. At every unfavorable report they are ready to say, “I told you so”. I have needed money, like all active business men in new countries, to start home enterprises, but I would have had to wait a long time before any of the home ring of cormorants, both inside and outside, would have assisted me much if any, nearly all of whom sooner or later are greatly benefitted by my labors.
I thank you, dear bro. Cannon, most gratefully, and also Le Grand and a few others who are my friends. All the present circumstances, however, have deeply impressed me, and at this time I feel it right to make a request that I have many times felt like proposing, but never seemed so proper as now. It is that my name as Counselor to the Twelve be omitted at this Conference. To use the words of some of the brethren, “it was only a courtesy” extended to bro. Wells and myself. It is, to say the least, an anomalous position and one that has never seemed quite proper to me, especially so now, that bro. Wells has passed away. On any call I will respond to the best of my ability, but I am fully persuaded that under the present condition of affairs it is right to omit my name at Conference. I think, however, it would be best to say it was done at my request. As to this President Woodruff and you brethren will be the best judges. My cause is just and will succeed, the Lord being willing, and all will come right. My prospects are good, and I shall work hard to accomplish the desired end. Can I say more?
I assure you, you brethren and the saints have my sincere prayers. And with kindest regards to President Woodruff and all the brethren,
I am, very sincerely,
Your brother and friend,
JNO. W. YOUNG.
The reading of this letter called forth expressions of satisfaction from some of the brethren, as it relieved them from the unpleasant duty they felt of dropping his name. Some of the brethren favored saying nothing about it, and not mentioning his name. President Smith rather took the view that if it were stated he had declined, it might leave the impression on the minds of the people that we would have presented his name if he had not declined. I felt, I said, that I could not conscientiously drop his name without mentioning the fact that he had requested his name to be withheld, and I thought that we could bear any animadversions which some might feel to make upon us by suspecting us of a willingness to sustain him if he had not declined. This seemed to be the general feeling, and it was decided that the Conference should be informed that he had asked that his name be not presented.
After attending to this, as we were all fasting, I proposed that we should pray before partaking of the bread and wine. President Woodruff requested me to be mouth. I felt exceedingly well in offering prayer. We then partook of the bread and wine, which was blessed by Brother Lorenzo Snow. Our method of partaking of the bread and wine is to break the loaves in two and pour out wine in glasses, after which prayer is offered by one of the brethren asking the Lord to bless it, and then we sit down, and each takes half a loaf. There was an excellent spirit in our midst on this occasion.
Sunday, Oct. 4th, 1891.
The weather was fine for our Conference, which commenced today at 10 o’clock. The Tabernacle was crowded.
After singing, and prayer by Brother M. W. Merrill, President Woodruff made a few introductory remarks, and President Jos. F. Smith and myself occupied the remainder of the forenoon.
In the afternoon the Tabernacle was so crowded that the Assembly Hall was
crowded opened and meeting was held there also. Brother Lyman was appointed to take charge, and he was accompanied by Brothers H. J. Grant, A. H. Lund, B. H. Roberts and O. F. Whitney, all of whom spoke, excepting Brother Lyman.
In the Tabernacle, Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, President Woodruff and John W. Taylor occupied the time.
A Priesthood meeting was held in the evening, and a very large assemblage was present. I was requested by President Woodruff to address the meeting, which I did for about 40 mins., and had much freedom in speaking. I was followed by Presidents Smith and Woodruff.
Monday, Oct. 5th, 1891.
There was a good sized congregation at the Tabernacle this morning. F. M. Lyman, H. G. Grant and M. W. Merrill were the speakers.
In the afternoon Brother Moses Thatcher spoke, followed by President Woodruff and myself.
In the evening there was a concert held for the benefit of the Sunday School Union, which was very largely attended and passed off delightfully. Judge Bennett and Judge Bartch met with the First Presidency immediately after the afternoon meeting. They were accompanied by Brother James Sharp. The purpose was to bring to our attention the report of the Utah Commission, in which the Commission made many false statements concerning the continued practice of polygamy, also the domination of the priesthood in political matters. These gentlemen are Republicans, and they are anxious that this report should be contradicted, as it did the Church a great deal of injury, and would especially check this movement that has been going on. We held considerable conversation with them, and before leaving, Judge Bennett, who is an old acquaintance of mine, handed me a paper that he had drawn out, something of the kind that they would like to have us publish. After they left, we read the paper, and I said I thought it entirely too weak. President Smith suggested to President Woodruff that I be authorized to call to my aid whom I pleased and to get up something that would meet the wishes of our non-Mormon friends, and at the same time do us, as a people, the justice that we deserved. I made an appointment for Brothers W. H. Rowe, John T. Caine, F. S. Richards, C. W. Penrose, R. S. Campbell, and F. M. Lyman to meet me at the Gardo House at 7 o’clock. Some of the brethren had other appointments, and we could not remain together long. I told Brother Campbell what I thought would be the best way to meet this, and he said he would see Brother Penrose before he went to bed and get the thing into shape. There is so much resting upon me in Conference, President Woodruff requiring me to take the lead as he is very wearied, that I have not time to devote to the preparing of this paper myself. I have also been much concerned in my mind since Sunday through the sickness of my son David, who is suffering from an attack of typhoid fever. It commenced with very severe cholera morbus and soreness of his entire body.
Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 1891.
I agreed to meet the brethren this morning at the Gardo House and see what had been prepared. There were present the brethren mentioned yesterday and Brothers L. Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, A. H. Cannon, Jacob Gates, S. B. Young, C. D. Fjelsted, B. H. Roberts, and Geo. Reynolds. Brother Penrose had prepared a lengthy rebuttal of the Commissioners report. I read it hastily through, but it did not suit me. Brother Penrose afterwards read it to the meeting, and President Woodruff thought it would answer very well; but I took the liberty of objecting to it. I said it was an excellent paper, but it was not in the form that I thought would answer the purpose; it was too much in the shape of a manifesto from the First Presidency. I suggested that speakers be selected to address the Conference on the subject and lay before them the infamous falsehoods that the Commission had officially prepared against us, and then let the Conference propose a committee to get up resolutions to be adopted by the Conference. This plan struck all present as being a good one, and it was adopted, and arrangements were accordingly made.
Brother Penrose spoke first to the Conference, and was followed by Moses Thatcher, F. S. Richards and John T. Caine. President Woodruff also made a few remarks. Brother John Clark arose from the body of the house and moved the appointment of a committee. That committee was John Clark, W. H. Rowe, C. W. Penrose, John T. Caine and F. S. Richards, and they were instructed to report at 2 o’clock.
In the afternoon, Brothers A. H. Lund and A. H. Cannon spoke for a short time; after which the committee presented the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted:
President1 Wilford Woodruff and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in General Conference assembled:
Brethren and Sisters.—Your committee appointed to formulate an expression of the Conference relative to certain statements made by the majority of the Utah Commission in their report to the Secretary of the Interior for the year 1891, beg leave to report the accompanying Preamble and Resolutions, and recommend their adoption by the Conference.
W. H. Rowe,
Chas. W. Penrose,
John T. Caine
Franklin S. Richards.
Salt Lake City, Oct. 6, 1891.
PREAMBLE AND RESOLUTIONS.
Whereas, the Utah Commission, with one exception, in their report to the Secretary of the Interior for 1891, have made many untruthful statements concerning the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the attitude of its members in relation to political affairs; and,
Whereas, said report is an official document and is likely to greatly prejudice the people of the nation against our Church and its members, and it is therefore unwise to allow its erroneous statements to pass unnoticed.
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in General Conference assembled, that we deny most emphatically the assertion of the Commission that the Church dominates its members in political matters and that Church and State are united. Whatever appearance there may have been in past times of a union of Church and State, because men holding ecclesiastical authority were elected to civil office by popular vote, there is now no foundation or excuse for the statement that Church and State are united in Utah or that the leaders of the Church dictate the members in political matters; that no coercion or any influence whatever of an ecclesiastical nature has been exercised over us by our Church leaders in reference to which political party we shall join, and that we have been and are perfectly free to unite with any or no political party as we may individually elect; that the People’s Party has been entirely and finally dissolved and that our fealty henceforth will be to such national political party as seems to us best suited to the purposes of republican government.
Also, be it resolved that we do not believe there have been any polygamous marriages solemnized among the Latter-day Saints during the period named by the Utah commission; and we denounce the statements which convey the idea that such marriages have been contracted as false and misleading, and that we protest against the perversions of fact and principle and intent contained in the report of the Commission, and declare that the manifesto of President Woodruff forbidding future plural marriages was adopted at the last October conference in all sincerity and good faith, and that we have every reason to believe that it has been carried out in letter and in spirit; and all statements to the contrary are entirely destitute of truth.
And be it further resolved, That we appeal to the press and people of this country to accept our united declaration and protest, to give it publicity, and to aid in disseminating the truth, that falsehood may be refuted and justice be done to a people continually maligned and almost universally misunderstood. And may God defend the right.2
The following declaration by the First Presidency was then read and also adopted:3
DECLARATION BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH:
Concerning the official report of the Utah Commission made to the Secretary of the Interior, in which they allege, “During the past year, notwithstanding the ‘manifesto,’ reports have been received by the Commission of eighteen male persons who, with an equal number of females, are believed to have entered into polygamous marriages,” during the year,” we have to say, it is utterly without foundation in truth. We repeat in the most solemn manner the declaration made by President Wilford Woodruff at our General Conference held last October, that there have been no plural marriages solemnized during the period named.
Polygamy or plural marriage has not been taught, neither has there been given permission to any person to enter into its practice, but on the contrary, it has been strictly forbidden.
George Q. Cannon,
Joseph F. Smith
First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints4
After this business was through, I presented the general authorities of the Church, all of whom were sustained. I then spoke for the remainder of the time, and enjoyed considerable freedom.
The Conference was adjourned for six months.
In the evening I attended a Sunday school meeting, which was quite interesting.
Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 1891.
The First Presidency, the Twelve, the First Presidents of the Seventies and the Presiding Bishopric spent upwards of five hours in meeting with the Presidents of Stakes and their Counselors and the Bishops and their Counselors. A great many items of business were considered. Instructions were given concerning politics, and the First Presidency had the opportunity of giving their views to the brethren present. Instructions were also given respecting Church schools, and the ordaining of young men to the Priesthood.
While we were in session, Judge Colborn, who is the manager of the World’s Fair Transit & Trust Co., of which I am President, spoke for about half an hour in a very interesting manner concerning the objects that were to be accomplished by the organization of the company.
The question of completing the Temple came up, and Brother F. M. Lyman related a manifestation which he had concerning its completion, and that President Woodruff would live to see it. President Woodruff also spoke of the manifestations he had had concerning the Temple while on a mission in Boston many years ago. The feeling was manifested to raise the necessary amount by donation. It was thought that a hundred men could be found who would put in a $1000. each, the architect having intimated that $100,000. would complete the building. It was suggested, however, that it would be wiser to raise $150,000., and that it should not be confined to the rich, but that all should have the opportunity of contributing according to their means and their faith towards the completion of the building. There was a most excellent spirit manifested concerning this.
After this meeting the First Presidency met at the Gardo House with the brethren of the Twelve, for the purpose of comparing our views concerning the questions that would be likely to be asked in the examination before the master in chancery, which would come up on the 19th inst. We had a very free discussion, and there was more unanimity in the expression of views than had been at previous meetings. The brethren who have seemed reluctant to adopt the view that was considered most prudential under our circumstances have relaxed in their feelings and are more disposed to look upon the answers which have been made by Brothers Lorenzo Snow, A. H. Lund and others as not improper.
Thursday, Oct. 8th, 1891.
The First Presidency was at the Gardo House today. Brother Reed Smoot, who has just returned from England, having been called home on account of sickness of his father, called.
I met with the directors of the Brigham Young Trust Co, and transacted considerable business, more than we have done at any previous meeting, because it has been so difficult to get a quorum. Now seven of the board constitute a quorum, and we can get that number and do our business.
The First Presidency had an interview with Brothers Dan Seegmiller and Joel H. Johnson, of the Kanab Stake, and we extended help to the people in rebuilding their dam.
We had an interview also with Elder J. H. Bingham, who has just returned from presiding over the New Zealand Mission. He made a very interesting report of his labors. The mission is composed of 3500 members, 500 of whom are Europeans.
President Woodruff, Heber J. Grant and myself attended the Fair, and were very much interested in what we saw. We were pointed out so often that it seemed as though we were more of a curiosity to some people than the animals.
Before I went to the Fair, Brother Heber J. Grant and myself had a private interview, at his request. He gave me some particulars concerning his family. One of his wives appears to be dissatisfied. She considers that she has suffered from neglect. In speaking about the circumstance he was very much affected. He had been with her the evening before, and I presume--although he did not say so--that she had reproached him and had misconstrued his actions. In the conversation, while weeping, he seized my hand and said that he felt he was getting paid back now for his treatment of me—alluding to the attacks which had been made upon me after the death of President Taylor. He was very frank in his remarks, and it affected me very much. He repeated several times that he felt he was getting paid back again, for it was a dreadful thing, he said, to be misunderstood and to have one’s actions misconstrued. I told him that I had no feeling whatever on the subject. I had buried all my feelings. I was willing to leave that to the future. All I asked of my brethren was to know me as I am. I was exceedingly pleased to have him manifest so kind a feeling towards me, and since our last private conversation on this subject I had dismissed everything from my mind and felt sure of his confidence and his love. He embraced me several times, and kissed me, and said that I could rest assured I had his love and his confidence. I record this because of what I have said in my journal concerning the transactions of the day to which I refer. I record it with exceeding great pleasure, because if there is anything in the world that I desire, it is to have the love of my brethren and sisters and my family, and I want to conduct myself so as to have this under all circumstances.
Friday, Oct. 9th, 1891.
Letters from Brother Geo. Teasdale were read, one of which contained a series of questions relative to the ownership of lands in Mexico. We had an interview with Brother Henry Eyring from Mexico, who gave us a report of affairs there; and Brother J. Fewson Smith, who was the engineer in constructing Brother John W. Young ’s railroad in Mexico, called and gave us quite an encouraging report concerning Brother Young’s prospects.
I attended a meeting of the B. B. & C. Co[.]
Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
Gov. Chauncey H. Black, of Pennsylvania, Hon. Mr. Bynum of Indiana, and Mr. Gardner, Secretary of the National Democratic Club League, called upon us in company with Brother F. S. Richards, and we had an interesting conversation with them. They are on a political tour. I have known Gov. Black for 32 years.
I had a private conversation with Sister Maiben, one of the wives of Brother John B. Maiben, in which she described in a very pathetic manner the condition of her husband and family, and the work they have done for the Manti Temple. She felt that they had been very much neglected. But she spoke in a very kind manner, and did not find fault at all. I expressed myself as greatly pleased at hearing from her this statement; for it was unaccountable to me, now that I looked at it from her standpoint, how Brother Maiben had been neglected and had received no position in the Temple. I assured her it was no design on our part to neglect him, but for some reason he had been overlooked; and though I did not say so to her, I felt that something should be done.
Brother Wm. Budge called and I had quite an interesting conversation with him concerning political affairs in Idaho, and made some suggestions to him as to the proper policy to be pursued.
At 4 P.M. Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself, accompanied by Brothers L. J. Nuttall and C. H. Wilcken, President Woodruff’s son Asahel and son-in-law O. C. Beebe, left on a private car for Oasis in Millard County. Our purpose in going was to see the water turned on our desert land entries at Deseret. Sister Smith had entered land, and she accompanied Brother Smith. We stopped and took supper at Provo. We slept in the car at Oasis, which we reached shortly after midnight, until morning.
Saturday, Oct. 10th, 1891.
I passed a very painful night. I did not sleep more than an hour. I suffered from indigestion, caused by eating hastily at Provo and having warm biscuits.
Teams came from Deseret to carry us there. Bp. Wm. Pratt carried the First Presidency and Sister Smith and babe to Brother Josiah Gibbs, where we took breakfast. He afterwards carried us to the land which we wished to view, and took us all around in his team. When we reached the place we were met by Brothers Jesse W. Fox and C. D. Haun. This is 8 miles from Deseret. It was a disappointment to Brothers Smith and Nuttall to find that the water had not been turned on their lands. On mine and President Woodruff’s it had been. John Q’s and Frank’s had also been watered, as their sections lay contiguous to ours, and Brothers Smith and Nuttall’s laid off in another direction. After viewing the land, which I think very rich, and satisfying ourselves that we could make the necessary affidavits, we returned to the company’s house, where we took dinner. Brother and Sister Aldridge live at the house. After dinner we drove to the dam on the Sevier river, and after examining that and satisfying ourselves concerning its stability, we returned to Deseret and took supper at Brother Wicker’s. From there we drove to the meeting house, which was crowded. President Smith spoke for about 20 mins, Brothers Nuttall and Wilcken followed, when I was called upon. I had great freedom and considerable of the spirit. Afterwards, President Woodruff spoke a few minutes to the people.
From the meeting house we drove to the car and went to bed.
Sunday, Oct. 11th, 1891.
I enjoyed a most excellent night’s rest. We stopped at Provo for breakfast, and reached the city at 9:40. There being no vehicles to meet us, we went by the street cars to the Tithing Office, with the expectation of getting a team there for President Woodruff to drive home; but the man in charge was away. I met my son Abraham with his carriage at the corner, and he sent his driver with the carriage to take President Woodruff and son home, while I went with Brother Wilcken in his buggy to the Hot Springs for a bath.
Upon my arrival home I found David downstairs in the parlor, much improved; but this proved to be imprudent on his part, for he suffered very much from pain in his heart, and in the evening he had to be carried upstairs to bed.
I attended the meeting in the Tabernacle. There was a good sized congregation and President Jos. F. Smith was called upon to speak. He delivered a very powerful discourse, which was listened to with the greatest attention. I enjoyed it very much.
Monday, Oct. 12th, 1891.
The First Presidency was at the Gardo House.
The morning was taken up by hearing correspondence read by Brother Reynolds, and instructions were given to him concerning the replies.
At 11 o’clock the Presidency and Twelve met with Brothers F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young, during which they interrogated us regarding the answers that we would give and the ground we would take before the master in chancery in relation to polygamy and the reasons which led to the issuance of the Manifesto.
While this meeting was in session Brother Webber brought a Mrs. Lonsdale, a niece of Mr. Ferris, who was Secretary of the Territory some 35 years ago, who desired to have an interview with me. I introduced her to all the brethren, and she had some conversation with them and then withdrew. Several of the older brethren knew her uncle.
At 1:30 I met with the Board of Directors of the Literary & Scientific Association, of which I am President, and listened to a report which had been drawn up by the Secretary, with the expectation that I would sign it as President and report it to the stockholders. A financial statement was also made by the Treasurer, and the Curator of the Museum also made a report. After this meeting the stockholders met and adopted the reports and attended to some other business.
At 2:45 the Presidency and Twelve, whose names I have heretofore mentioned, excepting Brothers Merrill and Grant, met with Mr. Dickson, who is one of our counsel in the case to come before the master in chancery, and had a very lengthy conversation with him concerning our position. There was a difference of views on the part of some of the brethren—Brothers Moses Thatcher, F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young—as to whether the revelation on plural marriage was mandatory or permissive.
We decided today to appoint Brother A. H. Lund as President of the Manti Temple, and Brother John B. Maiben his assistant. Brother Lund desired to be set apart, and President Woodruff requested me to attend to it, which I did, in company with Elders Moses Thatcher and F. M. Lyman, I being mouth. I dictated letters of appointment for Brothers Lund and Maiben.
Tuesday, October 13th, 1891.
I went to the office of the World’s Fair & Transit Co. at 9 o’clock to meet with the Board of Directors, of which I am President, I spent the entire day there, with the exception of about an hour at the office between 2 & 3.
I also had a short interview with Mr. Foley, of Nevada, who was the chairman of the judiciary committee in the Nevada Legislature which made the bill into law that caused the statute of limitations to operate in cases like my own. I had been accused of having tried to bribe an officer there, which was without the least foundation in truth; but there was a law in Nevada that no matter how long it might be since a man had committed anything that exposed him to the operation of the law, if he did not reside in the State, the statute of limitations would not operate and it would hang over him as long as he lived. When I went to the penitentiary it was threatened that I would be arrested as soon as my term of imprisonment expired here and be carried to Nevada, there to be tried on the false charge which had been trumped up against me. My friends in California, getting some knowledge of this, used their influence to have this statute changed, so that it would apply to persons out of the State as well as those in it; and Col. Trumbo had gone to the capital while the Legislature was in session, and by great exertion and some personal risk—the smallpox being raging at the time to the town—succeeded in getting the law changed. Mr. Foley claimed that he was the chief instrument in getting this done. His object in seeing me was to know whether it had been stated in any way to me that money had been paid to him for his services. I told him that I had not heard any such thing about him; but I had learned that he had been very active in securing the passage of the measure. He assured me that he had done it out of the purest of motives, because of his sympathy with us.
Wednesday, Oct. 14th, 1891.
I found President Woodruff at the Gardo House. President Smith had gone to Josepa to visit the Hawaiian settlement.
At 11 o’clock I attended a meeting of the B. B. & C. Co. Considerable business was attended to, and a dividend of 50¢ a share was declared. This has enabled me to take up some of my notes and brought me some relief.
Dispatches came from Gen. Geo. B. Williams at Washington, informing me that the U.S. Supreme Court had consented for my case to be postponed, and requiring $600. to meet expenses connected with it. I had heard previously, through Judge Estee, that the Attorney General had agreed to postpone the case, but it required the action of the court itself to allow it to be done.
I omitted to mention that Judge Estee has written to me a personal letter, enclosing to me a form of general amnesty, to be signed by friends favorable to us, asking for the people to be pardoned. The document pleases all of us who have heard it read.
We had a meeting of the Deseret News Co. Considerable business was attended to.
My sons David and Edwin, who have been suffering from attacks of typhoid fever, are gradually improving. David’s diseases seems to have settled around his heart and has given me serious concern; but I have administered to him constantly and have felt well in doing so.
Thursday, Oct. 15th, 1891.
President Woodruff and myself were at the Gardo House. We had a meeting of the Saltair Beach Co, and attended to business connected therewith. Afterwards had a meeting of the Saltair Railway Co, and I was selected as President, Brother Jos. F. Smith as vice president. The object is to build a railroad from this city to Saltair Beach. I was authorized to see Brother Willard Young and learn from him if he would accept the position of engineer of the road.
At 11 o’clock there was a meeting of Z.C.M.I. There was a proposition made by E. W. Tullidge to publish a history of Z.C.M.I. and to have the portraits of the President and Board of Directors accompany the description. Brother Romney and Barnes seemed to be averse to the engraving of the plate because of its expess [expence], unless each director paid for his own. In my remarks I said that I was quite indifferent about my portrait appearing, because it already appeared in the other volume. I did not care, therefore, about paying $100. to have another portrait inserted; but I thought that while there might be no benefits result from this as an advertisement, Z.C.M.I. owed it to the people of the Territory to have something published about the institution, that the world might know what we were doing. I said this is an opportunity of disseminating correct information concerning a great commercial enterprise that is unique in the
history country. After I presented this view, a motion was carried that $1800. be appropriated, or so much thereof as might be needed for this publication and engravings.
President Woodruff and myself met with Brothers F. D. Richards and F. M. Lyman and A. H. Cannon, and we had prayer. I was called upon to be mouth.
I dictated my journal.
At the Council this afternoon I read a very interesting letter, a copy of which had been forwarded to me by Judge Estee. It was addressed to Gen. J. S. Clarkston, Chairman of the National Republican Committee. In it he wrote with great plainness and force to Mr. Clarkston concerning the political situation of the Territory and his views respecting the proper course to be taken in recognizing the Republicans of the Territory who had attempted to form the Republican party, instead of recognizing the Liberal Republicans. It was a very able letter, and sent to me under the strictest seal of confidence. The brethren were much gratified at hearing it read.
Friday, Oct. 16th, 1891.
Took train this morning at 7:10 for Provo. I had been requested to deliver an address upon the life and labors of President Brigham Young, today being Founder’s Day at Brigham Young Academy. Sixteen years ago today the Academy was opened. Capt. Willard Young was also on the train.
I was met at the station by Brother A. O. Smoot, Jr, who took me to the house of his father. I found Prest. Smoot’s health improved, which was very gratifying. He took me in his buggy to look at the new Academy building. Upon our return we saw a procession of the students, marching with banners and music, each student wearing a badge, from the old academy to the meeting house. The procession presented a fine appearance. At 10:20 services at the meeting house were commenced, and after singing and prayer and music by the band, I delivered an address on the life and labors of President Brigham Young. I had had no time to make any preparation. Therefore, I spoke impromptu. Dr. Karl G. Maeser delivered an historical sketch, and Prest. Smoot and Brother Willard Young also made remarks. After these proceedings we repaired to the old academy building to enjoy a fruit festival which had been prepared. We had a nice entertainment.
After remaining there some time, I took the Rio Grande R.R. with my son Frank, who had come down from Ogden to communicate some matters to me, and returned to Salt Lake City. Frank had just returned from San Francisco.
I met at the Gardo House a Mr. & Mrs. Briant, of Illyria, Ohio, who had called upon me, hearing that I might be able to give some information concerning Mrs. Briant’s uncle, Thomas Keeley, a Manxman. Mrs. Briant’s parents were Manx, and she herself is well acquainted with my cousin in Cleveland.
I also had an interview with Sisters Irvine and Bowman, the latter the wife of Brother Bowman, who has just been sentenced to the penitentiary. After hearing Sister Bowman’s statement of the case, I advised them to go and see Judge Zane, as I thought if the facts related to me were presented to him it would give him a different idea concerning the case to that which he appeared to have.
I found my son David not quite so well this evening as he had been.
Saturday, Oct. 17th, 1891.
President Woodruff and myself were at the Gardo House this morning.
We had conversation with and answered the question of our attorney, Brother F. S. Richards, it being the expectation that we would be called on the stand as witnesses before the master in chancery on Monday.
We had some conversation with Brother Silas S. Smith, President of the San Luis Stake, concerning the Zapato ranch. We have already paid in the vicinity of $6000. on this affair, and there is some $1600. interest nearly due, and upwards of $22000. in principal. Brother Hammond had said that he would be willing to lose the $1000. that he had paid. Brother Smith had paid $2000., and in our conversation today he said he would be willing to lose $1000., and would make over all the titles to anyone whom we might select, on condition that we assumed the payment of their notes. He is already engaged in negotiations for the sale of the land with parties whom he thinks may be willing to buy. We told him to go ahead with this, and effect a sale, if possible, on proper terms.
I dictated a letter to Hon. S. M. Stockslager, at Washington, concerning the Rexburg townsite entry, which Brother Thos. E. Ricks brought to our attention this afternoon.
I went home and visited my sick ones, and left by the 6 P.M. train for Ogden. I put up at my son John Q’s.
Sunday, Oct. 18th, 1891.
Attended meeting at the Tabernacle, which was crowded. Brother Middleton, in the absence of Prest. Shurtliff, he having gone to meet President Jos. F. Smith at the train, made a statement concerning the condition of the Stake. Afterwards I spoke for a few minutes, and President Smith came in. In my remarks I spoke of the adoption of some plan by which all the saints of the Stakes should be visited. I suggested that a corps of Elders be selected to devote themselves exclusively to the ministry, and visit the houses of the saints, pray with them, converse with them, eat with them, and sleep at their houses, so as to learn their true condition, their wants, and to comfort them in affliction; if any were out of work, to bring their cases to the knowledge of those who could furnish employment; if any were dissatisfied, to explain to them that which they needed; if any were wayward, or cold, or indifferent, to labor with them; and to strengthen the hands of parents, and strive to increase their influence over their children. Each of these experienced Elders could take with him one of the Lesser Priesthood, and labor for a month, or two months, or three months, as they could spare the time, and then have others appointed to take their place. There was a good deal of the spirit poured out in speaking in this strain.
President Jos. F. Smith occupied the remainder of the time, speaking about one hour. He spoke with a great deal of freedom.
I had engaged to go back to take dinner with my son and his family; but the brethren were desirous to take my suggestions into consideration, which I may say were backed up by Brother Smith’s remarks; so we repaired to the house of Prest. Shurtliff. There were present: Prest. Shurtliff and his counselors, and President Smith, Brother F. D. Richards and myself. We gave such counsel as we thought suitable to the circumstances to carry out the suggestions we had made.
In the afternoon I called upon President Smith again to speak, which he did for one hour. I occupied about 35 minutes afterwards, and felt excellently. After the meeting, Brother Smith and myself took a meal at my son Frank’s. Upon my return I found my son David suffering from neuralgia in his face. Poor boy, he is much afflicted. He has never been sick before in his life since he was an infant. I console him by telling him that he must learn to bear his afflictions patiently.
Monday, Oct. 19th, 1891.
The First Presidency were at the office.
A little before 10 o’clock we got into a carriage with a view to going to the Wasatch building, thinking that the master in chancery would hold his sittings in that building; but we found they had decided to go to the office of Brother F. S. Richards, where there was more room than they could get in the Wasatch building; so we repaired there. Lawyer Heywood of Ogden presented a claim on the part of
the five or six citizens of Ogden to have a portion of the funds that had been taken by the government from us given to them, these parties claiming to represent five of the northern counties of Utah. The coolness of this proposition was almost beyond belief, as he admitted that those whom he represented had not contributed one cent towards the fund. There was some argument between the attorneys as to whether he should have the right to present his scheme, and it was decided that he would have.
An adjournment was then taken.
In the afternoon I was put on the witness stand, the master in chancery being C. F. Loofbourow. My direct interrogation was by Brother F. S. Richards, who had Mr. Dickson associated with him; and my cross-examination was by J. L. Rawlins and C. S. Varian, who were assisted by Judge Marshall. They kept me on the stand for two hours and a half. My examination was on property matters.
President Woodruff was then put on the stand, and was examined and crossexamined concerning the manifesto, its purport, and its bearing, etc. This occupied the afternoon.
While I was at Ogden I got word that my son Hugh’s wife had been confined about one o’clock on Sunday morning and safely delivered of a fine boy. I went down with Brother Wilcken late in the afternoon to see her. She had had an excellent time, and the boy was a beautiful little fellow.
After we returned from the morning session before the master in chancery, my son Frank called in to see President Woodruff. He had conversed with me on Friday, and with President Smith on Sunday, concerning the subject that he now laid before President Woodruff. He has been in San Francisco on some private business, and while there has met Col. Trumbo. Col. Trumbo has had offered to him by Senator Stanford a half interest which he owns in the “Wasp” cartoon paper published in that city, the oldest cartoon paper in the United States. The other half is owned by Mr. Backus, the postmaster of San Francisco. Col. Trumbo, knowing Frank’s familiarity with newspaper business, requested him to go with him and examine the books of the business, without informing him of the ideas that he had in his mind. Frank did so and gave him a very satisfactory exhibit, showing wherein there had been wrong information given as to the value of the plant and the extent of the circulation. One conversation followed another until Col. Trumbo made an offer to Frank to this effect: to give him, if he would come to San Francisco, the entire half interest in the “Wasp”, and would bear all the expenses of publishing it until it could be made to pay itself. These expenses were estimated, in addition to the income it now had, to be about $380. per week. Col. Trumbo appeared to be willing to spend from $25000. to $25000 [sic] in this direction, and he would expect Frank to repay him his half if the paper got on its legs and paid a return, which they both seemed to think, after a close examination, that it could be made to do in the course of a few months. Senator Stanford has been very anxious for some time for Col. Trumbo to take hold of that paper, or, in other words, to get us to take hold of it. While I was in San Francisco, the Colonel mentioned it to me, though nothing was said about Frank. It now appears that Senator Stanford is quite willing, if it will be of any benefit to us, to give his interest outright, if the paper can be run by friends of ours and do us any good. He seems to have two objects to view; one to aid us, and another to protect his own reputation and not allow the paper to go into hands that would in any manner reflect upon him. Backus’ interest can be bought, so Frank informs us, for $12,000. This proposition, of course, is a secret, because it is obvious that it would never do to get out, at any rate until the transaction is consummated. The counsel that Frank desires to obtain is, what he shall do about this proposition. It would be a great sacrifice for him to go to San Francisco, and break up his home in Ogden, where he has now, for the first time, he says, since he was married, got a home of his own; for he would have to make San Francisco his residence in order to [do?] what is required; but if he could be of any service to us, and we thought proper, he would be willing to do this. He merely brings to our attention the proposition that has been made.
I told the brethren that I did not wish to say a word one way or the other. I wanted them to look at it calmly, and decide upon it. I would then give them my views about it. The question that arose in my mind was, what will this benefit us? Frank admitted that the paper could not appear friendly to us in the beginning. But Senator Stanford, Col. Trumbo and himself all thought that it might, every little while, do something that would be very effective in favoring us in various directions, and counteract the influence of the Tribune. I said another point with me was, if he were to be connected with it as a Mormon, would not that destroy any favorable influence it might have for us. He said that point had been considered, but as he had formerly been connected with the Chronicle there, and had been pressed to remain there, and he was known to the editors there, it would not be as if he were going from here without ever having resided there. His living there could easily be explained; that he had determined to resume his journalistic career there. Both Presidents Woodruff and Smith thought that it would be an excellent thing for him to do, if everything came around right as it was thought it would do. President Smith said that he wished we could have a Mormon writer on every prominent newspaper; still he thought it was a great sacrifice for Frank to go there and take his wife and children away from home influences. Frank feels confident that if the matter were laid before Senator Stanford he would be willing to buy out the other half and make a present of the whole of it to Trumbo and himself on the conditions named; but Col. Trumbo feels delicate about making such a request to him, as he has received a good many favors, one time or another, from Senator Stanford. In the event of their having to buy out Mr. Backus, Frank would have to raise half the amount. The only thing that would make me favor the proposition at all is that I believe a great deal of influence can be used by Frank being connected with such a publication, not only through the paper itself—for perhaps that would not amount to much—but with other papers in our behalf.
Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 1891.
I was restless the latter part of the night in reflecting upon my testimony yesterday. I am very sensitive in the night, and my thoughts are apt to take an exaggerated form, especially if I have done anything that I have question about, or left anything undone that I fancy I ought to have done. I had some feeling this morning, after awakening about 3:30, whether I had said anything that would reflect in any way, in the freedom of my replies, either upon President Young or President Taylor. Daylight, however, and moving around brought me relief from this. I was put on the stand again this morning and had a very searching crossexamination, after the direct examination was through, concerning property affairs, and after that regarding the manifesto and its object. This occupied about an hour and a half. I felt remarkably cool and self-possessed. There was one reply, however, which I would rather [have] not been compelled to make: it was to the effect that I had no hope or expectation that plural marriage would be restored. The lawyers were very searching on this point. Our attorneys were anxious that we should say that we had not
not; and if I were to occupy a human standpoint alone, this would be the answer which I would give; for any man who would venture to say that the practice of plural marriage would be restored in this nation would be looked upon as fanatical and but little less than crazy. I, however, profess to have a knowledge distinct from that which is derived from human sight or discernment.
President Jos. F. Smith was put on the stand after me, and his examination was confined to the manifesto and its purpose.
President Lorenzo Snow and Brother A. H. Lund were also interrogated in the afternoon on the same subject, and I was recalled to the stand and asked a few more questions concerning property matters.
This ended the case for our side. I dictated my journal.
Wednesday, Oct. 21st, 1891.
My son David’s health continues very poor. He suffers much from neuralgia in the face.
I dictated an article for the Juvenile Instructor.
I attended a meeting of the Sugar Co., and was appointed chairman of a committee to draw up a letter to send to the President of the United States and members of his Cabinet, and to prominent men who had taken part in securing favorable legislation for sugar, accompanied by a sack of our sugar just manufactured—the first beet sugar ever manufactured out of beets raised by irrigation, and the first beet sugar also ever manufactured in the United States by machinery built by American workmen.
Yesterday President Jos. F. Smith said that Brother George Reynolds had been in the room “boiling over” about a reply of President Woodruff’s that was published as having been made to a question asked him in the cross-examination before the master in chancery. Brother Geo. Gibbs remarked, what did Brother Reynolds know about it? He was not one of the First Presidency. President Smith replied that he did know something about it; for he was one of the men that helped prepare the manifesto and knew all about it.
I was grieved to hear that Brother Reynolds had been making such remarks. So today the question came up, and I told him that I was sorry to hear such remarks. He replied with some asperity to statements that I made concerning our position, and I said to him that I had the right to say what I did by virtue of my office, and that it was his duty to listen. He said that he had had no testimony that it was proper for him to put away his wives. I replied that I thought it was not a proper thing for him to put us in a wrong light on this question. Who of us had suggested the idea of a man putting away his wives? Well, he said, that is the way he looked at it; he could not understand anything else. I said to him, I hold myself second to no man in the Church in my fidelity to this principle. I think that my past career warrants me in saying this, and I have felt and said to many that men ought to be cut off the Church, if they were properly dealt with, who would in any manner neglect their plural wives because of our present condition.
Our conversation was interrupted, and I took the earliest opportunity when he came in again, President Woodruff and myself and Brother Gibbs being alone with him, to resume the conversation. I said to him that it was a most important thing that there should be a correct understanding upon this question between men occupying our position as the First Presidency and a man like himself, who was one of the Seven Presidents of Seventies. I said you mingle among the people and if you have a feeling and an idea like this, you can do a great deal of injury. I respect you too highly to allow this matter to go without being properly understood.
President Woodruff explained in a very nice humble manner the way he had been moved upon to do as he did, and represented the dangers which he foresaw we were in and the serious results which would follow unless something were done. He said if he ever knew the mind of the Lord upon any subject, he knew that this was His mind and will, and that he had given it as the Lord gave it to him.
I said to Brother Reynolds, it has been very clear to me for some time that your feelings have not been right; nothing particular that you have said, but your manner has been such that I have known you did not feel right, and I think that you should have a very different feeling. He said that if the view that we presented was correct, then he was in the dark. I asked him, why did he say he was in the dark. That which we said was the logical result of the manifesto; and, said I, do you not believe the manifesto to have been given of the Lord? He hesitated about saying positively, but conveyed the idea that he had received it because it was given as it had been. He confessed, however, that he had had feelings as I described, and that he thought we had been influenced by politicians in California. I talked very plainly and sharply to him during our conversation; and upon the question of this manifesto being revelation President Woodruff stated his feelings freely. I said to him that many men in President Woodruff’s position would have said to the people, Thus saith the Lord. I felt myself that I could say that concerning it. At the same time I wanted him and all the brethren to understand that we considered their duty to their wives as paramount; that they should not neglect them in any way; they should perform their full duty as husbands to them. Yet they should not expose themselves to the law. It was this that seemed to be the difficult thing in his mind, to see how this could be done, and I explained to him my view about it. I said to him further, this reluctance to accept the manifesto is working great injury to us, because it perpetuates the belief in the minds of the people that we are not sincere, and that this is a trick. Whenever this nation becomes fully satisfied that we are sincere, then according to my view, and the Spirit of the Lord testifies to me, opposition and antagonism will, to a great extent, cease, and there will not be that feeling concerning existing relations that there is today, and that there will continue to be as long as there is a doubt as to our sincerity. I believe, I said, that it is of the highest importance that this nation should be convinced that we mean what we say, and that we are not temporizing with this, nor guilty of double-dealing; and that he that feels any other way and acts in any other way, and thinks that he is more zealous for God than the rest of us, deceives himself and injures the cause and the people.
After the conversation, Brother Reynolds expressed himself that he felt it would do him good, and he would try and profit by it.
There seems to be in some of the brethren’s minds an idea that because they cling to this they are more faithful than others of their brethren who are guiding this matter; and, as remarked by Brother Geo. F. Gibbs, some of the brethren appear to want to be leaders, to dictate, instead of being willing to be led and to receive the counsel of those whom God has chosen to counsel.
Thursday, Oct. 22nd, 1891.
My son David had a pretty good sleep last night, but he looks badly this morning and is still suffering very much from his face. I dictated my journal and some letters to Brother Winter, one being a letter on behalf of President Woodruff and myself returning to the Ferris Gold and Silver Mining Co, of which Brother A. M. Musser is Secretary, 5000 shares of stock which each of us had received from that company. Our objection to holding it is that our names are paraded as owners of shares in a circular which has been issued to the public, giving glowing accounts of the value of this property, and asserting that it is believed that no safer investment can be made. We do not like to have our names used in such connection.
We had a meeting of the Presidency and Apostles F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. W. Taylor and A. H. Cannon. The latter was mouth in prayer. The question of employing Mr. Dallin to make a stature of President Young was brought up, and it was decided to favor such a project, and that a committee should be appointed by the Council to act with other committees that might be appointed for that purpose.
Friday, October 23rd, 1891.
The directors of the sugar factory, the First Presidency and Twelve, the Presiding Bishops and the Presidency of this Stake were invited, with their wives, to visit the sugar factory at Lehi today. I took with me my daughters Hester, Amelia, Ada and Rosanna. Abraham had agreed to take two of the girls under his charge.
We had a very delightful day, examined the whole process of sugar making from the taking of the beets out of the cars to the sacking of the sugar. It was a very interesting process. Manager Thos. R. Cutler provided a nice meal for us at the company’s boarding house.
We were joined at Sandy by Brothers Jos. F. Smith and C. H. Wilcken, who had been down to Deseret to look at the water poured on their lands, so that they could testify to that effect and prove up. They went to the factory with us.
We reached the city at 4:30. I came to the Gardo House and attended to some business.
I took home two geese and a number of ducks which my sons John Q. and Frank had killed at the lakes below Deseret, they having been there also to look at their land.
Saturday, Oct. 24th, 1891.
I remained at home the forepart of the day and attended to various matters.
I left by the train at 3:30 for Brigham City. President Woodruff and his daughter Blanche were on the train also. Brother Lyman was there on his way to the Oneida Stake Conference.
President Woodruff and myself were met at the station at Brigham by President Lorenzo Snow. President Woodruff was carried to the home of his daughter Phoebe, and I was taken to the home presided over by Sister Minnie Snow, one of Brother Snow’s wives.
Sunday, Oct. 25th, 1891.
I enjoyed a very fine night’s rest and felt much refreshed this morning.
We had a fine congregation in the meeting house. Brother Rudger Clawson, the President of the Stake, was requested, after the Conference was opened, to make a statement concerning the condition of the Stake, after which I spoke about 45 minutes, and had a good flow of the Spirit. My theme was the same as that upon which I spoke last Sunday at Ogden, viz: the organization of missionary corps to visit the Stakes.
In the afternoon the authorities were presented, and then President Woodruff addressed the congregation. He spoke in the most solemn manner. He said there was a great deal of feeling among the people concerning the manifesto and the testimony that the brethren had given before the master in chancery. He said the Lord had given to him a commandment, and he wished to communicate it to the people.
After he had spoken he requested me to speak, which I did, following his remarks up and bearing testimony to them. I spoke at considerable length, and had much freedom.
After the meeting I went to the house of Brother Rudger Clawson, with Presidents Woodruff and Snow, and took dinner, and had a very agreeable visit.
Monday, Oct. 26th, 1891.
President Woodruff spoke to the conference this morning, and called upon Brother Seymour B. Young to speak. I never heard Brother Young speak with such power as he did on this occasion, sustaining what had been said by President Woodruff and myself yesterday afternoon. The Spirit of the Lord rested powerfully upon him. After he was through, President Woodruff called upon me to speak, and I occupied about an hour, and he followed in a few remarks.
This meeting was considerably protracted, and after its close the conference adjourned. I have not attended a conference for a long time where I enjoyed the proceedings so much as I did this, and I think this was the universal feeling. I never heard President Woodruff speak with more power and more of the influence of the Spirit of God than he did at this time. The Lord has borne testimony by the outpouring of his Holy Spirit to that which we have done. President Snow said that he felt he had been inspired to invite us to come to this conference.
At 4 o’clock we took the train for Ogden, and from there to Salt Lake, which we reached at 7:30. I was met at the station by my son-in-law Lewis M. Cannon.
Upon reaching home I found my son David much better than he was when I left, which was the cause of great gratification to me.
Tuesday, Oct. 27th, 1891.
The First Presidency had a long conversation this morning with Brothers Francis Armstrong and H. B. Clawson concerning general amnesty. Judge Goodwin, of the Tribune, had expressed himself willing to take this matter in hand and have signatures of leading men of the adjoining States and Territories affixed to a petition asking the President of the United States to grant general amnesty. He is an impecunious man; but there can be no bargain made with him for any fixed amount for his services. He borrows a great deal, however, and it is in this way that he will have to be reached. He is trying to borrow $2500. from Brother Armstrong now to finish his house. Brother Armstrong’s proposition is, if he should be agreeable, to give him about $3000. to bear his expenses, or the expenses of his agents; and if he accomplish the work, then something more could be done. But whatever he did would have to be done secretly, as he did not want the Tribune ring to know that he was engaged in any such business.
We called the Presiding Bishopric together and laid the matter before them. Brother Lyman was also present. President Jos. F. Smith moved, and Brother Preston seconded, that we endeavor to engage Goodwin in this business. Brother F. S. Richards informed me that the attachment against my house which had been laid upon it by the government on the suspicion that it belonged to the Church, was dismissed, also against what is called the Whitney corner, and that information had been laid before the Supreme court to dismiss the suits concerning the Ogden Tabernacle Block and the Council House corner in this city, at which we were all gratified.
Wednesday, Oct. 28th, 1891.
Brother Rowe came in to see the First Presidency this morning and represented the condition that the Republicans were in and the obligations they were under. They wanted to assist The “Times”, which had been conducting itself on a very praiseworthy manner on our question. We had permitted the Democrats to draw $1000. for campaign services from the Defence Fund, and had promised the Republicans an equal amount, but the Republicans had not called for their’s. Brother Rowe wanted to get this $1000., divided into three installments; so we paid him $335.
Had a call this morning from Mr. Shipman, formerly United States judge at Hartford, Conn, a very intelligent man, who had visited me once before some years ago. His present call was for the purpose of paying his respects and learning definitely whether the U.S. Supreme Court had decided upon the escheat cases. He said he would have been very much surprised to have learned that they had decided them. I told him they had not yet been decided. He expressed himself very forcibly upon the question, and said that he had talked very plainly to many people about this. He felt relieved to know that the Supreme Court had not decided adversely to us, and he could not believe that they would.
Brothers Sylvester and Winter came in this morning and brought a rock filled with particles of gold. They said it was float rock which had been found below Brother Sylvester’s mine, in the creek. We read to Brother Sylvester the letter that we had addressed to the company concerning the present of stock that they had made to us, and explained our motives for returning it, in which Brother Sylvester heartily acquiesced.
We had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. There was but little business done.
Afterwards we had a lengthy meeting of the Deseret News Co. Brother Junius F. Wells was present. The object of the meeting was to permit Brother Wells to have the opportunity of meeting the company and to learn from the board who had authorized the stopping of the publication of the number of the “Contributor”, and also to set forth the great injury that this action had done him. In opening the meeting I explained to Brother Wells the condition of the Deseret News Co; that we were in debt upwards of $30000, of which we were paying interest. Enquiries had been made concerning accounts that were due to us, and the company learned that the “Contributor” owed the company $2600, and had been owing it for a long time, and that he (Brother Wells) had promised repeatedly to pay, but had failed to do so. I said considerable discussion had ensued, and it was finally decided by the Board that some stringent measure was necessary to bring home to the “Contributor” people the necessity of paying their debt, and it was moved that unless payment was made the publication of the number should be stopped. I explained that when Brother Wells’ agent, Geo. D. Pyper, had called upon Geo. C. Lambert, and the latter had called upon me to know what should be done, I had referred the whole matter to Brother Jos. F. Smith, knowing the deep interest which he took in the “Contributor”. I had told Brother Lambert that whatever Brother Smith would do in the matter would be acceptable to me and, no doubt, to the entire Board. Brother Smith had instructed Brother Lambert to request Brother Pyper to telegraph to Brother Wells for a positive promise that he would settle the account, but this had not been done, and the matter had therefore stopped. We had a great deal of very plain talk. Brother Wells complained almost bitterly of the treatment he had received, and did not seem, even after we had made all the explanations that could be made, satisfied. He had expected to make a very clear case against the company and to show that he had been treated very cruelly, and that there ought to be some reparation made to him for this. On the contrary, it was clearly shown that he had not done as had been agreed; for at the last settlement which the Church had helped him to make, and at which the News Co. had thrown off a large amount of interest, there was an understanding that his account should be settled before sixty days at the farthest. Brother F. D. Richards spoke very plainly, as did President Smith, my brother Angus, and myself. It seemed to me that Brother Wells took a very unreasonable view, and expected more from us than he had the least right to. We could not carry him. We have enough to do to carry the News itself. But he seemed to think that he ought to be carried and ought to be dealt leniently with. I said to him, your subscription list, according to the information we get, is 7500. If you sell your edition, this ought to bring you an income of $15000. Your printing for the year amounts to $4500. This leaves you a margin of $10500. over and above the cost of your publishing. Now it seems to us that out of this, even making all allowance for deadhead copies, you ought to be able to pay your printing bill and still have a handsome profit.
We were in meeting upwards of two hours; but after the meeting, when I spoke to him, he expressed himself almost petualantly that he thought we had wronged him very much. The feeling of everyone present was that the News had been greatly wronged by him.
We had a call from Mr. Isadore Norris and Mr. Bamberger. There is a
Hospital Hebrew Charity Ball to be given in the theatre tonight, and they gave the First Presidency a complimentary ticket each, and pressed us to go there. I attended with my daughter Emily, was treated with considerable distinction, and introduced to a great many Hebrews, and when we sat to table President Woodruff and myself were placed at the head of the table. I enjoyed the affair very much, though I did not take any part in the dance.
The First Presidency had a long conversation with Brother John Beck this morning. We had heard that he was about to lease the Hot Springs to some of the Bambergers, of whom he was borrowing money, and to whom he had given a mortgage of the Springs; and we thought there was great danger of his losing the Springs by letting these parties take possession of it. There was sympathy also felt for Brother Lehi Pratt, who is now in charge, as if he loses the position he will be in bad circumstances, he having a large family. We found that Brother Beck was committed to these people so far that he could not very well retreat; in fact, he had signed the lease, though they had not yet signed it.
After we got through with that subject, we explained to Brother Beck concerning the relationship of Col. Isaac Trumbo to us and the help that he had rendered us, and it was described to him very plainly the injury that the B. B. & C. Co. had done us as a Church by their unwise conduct. All this was said, however, in a very inoffensive manner, our object being to lay the matter before him without exciting his prejudices, which were very strong against Trumbo, Clawson and others, and have him see plainly where we stood and the reasons we had for acting as we had done. He, in common with several other brethren of the company, had viewed us as partisans of the California people, and we wished him to have this impression removed. I hope the conversation will have a good effect upon him.
Thursday, Oct. 29th, 1891.
The First Presidency had a conversation with Brother Clawson concerning the general amnesty.
F. S. Richards called and suggested that a couple of brethren make their appearance as intervenors in the trial to come off next week involving the Gardo House, Tithing Office property, &c. The parties named were Spencer Clawson and James P. Freeze.
We had an interview with Patriarch John Smith this morning, in which he represented to us that Patriarch Wm. J. Smith of this Stake had been going around through the Stakes and blessing the people, and in some instances letting the impression prevail that he was the Patriarch to the Church, because of the similarity in name. Patriarch John Smith had had an interview with him, and pointed out to him that he was transcending his proper bounds, but he had not been received very kindly, and therefore Brother Smith appealed to us. We thought that which he said to the other Patriarch was correct, and it was decided to call the attention of the Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake to Patriarch Wm. J. Smith’s conduct, that they might restrain him within his own bounds, and if this should prove unavailing, that we as the First Presidency would take the matter in hand.
Judge Bartch called upon us, his object being to get from us a statement concerning our position in relation to politics, plural marriage, and controling the people in temporal matters up to the time of the manifesto. It is the intention to draw a contrast between the past and the present in a statement which they are preparing for the National Republican Committee, with the hope that the Republican party now organized here may be recognized by that committee.
We had an interview also with Mr. Rowland, the owner of a ranch in one of the border counties of Nevada, which he is very desirous to sell to some of our people.
There was a meeting at 11 o’clock of the Saltair Railway Co, at which considerable business was transacted, and Nephi W. Clayton was appointed Manager. The intention is, upon the recommendation of Capt. Willard Young, to have a surveyor carefully examine the bottom of the lake in front of our beach and learn the depth of water and the best place to build a pier, also to know whether we have a good sandy bottom suitable for bathing purposes. Manager Clayton was instructed to select a surveyor for this purpose, and also to employ an attorney for the road.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Brothers Lyman, Taylor and Cannon met. Brother Jos. F. Smith offered prayer.
My son Frank had some conversation with us today concerning a proposition made by Dr. Graves on behalf of Judge Loofbourow, the Master in Chancery. We did not favor the proposition, but thought it better to telegraph to our friends in the West concerning it.
Friday, Oct. 30th, 1891.
The most of the morning was occupied in hearing correspondence read by Brother Reynolds.
A circular was prepared, addressed to the several Bishops of this Temple District, reminding them of the action of the late Priesthood meeting to make an effort to raise sufficient means to finish the Temple.
An endorsement was also prepared and signed by the First Presidency, to a circular which I had prepared for the Deseret News Co, urging its claims upon the public.
Brother F. S. Richards was instructed to prepare a power of attorney from President Woodruff, as Trustee, for Ward E. Pack, of the Sandwich Islands Mission, that he might be fully authorized to commence a suit for the ejectment of intruders upon the plantation there.
Brother F. S. Richards presented to us the willingness of ex-Governor West to go to Washington and labor for the abolishment of the Utah Commission, and for other things in that line. The difficulty, however, in the way in that the Democrats do not have the money to send him, and almost any one of the members of the committee would like to go himself. The matter was fully canvassed, and it was felt that Gov. West would be the most suitable, under the circumstances, of any of them to go for this purpose. The fact that he had fought us before and was now converted is very important. Brother Richards gave us a number of illustrations of his sincerity and courage. After careful consideration, it was decided that we would, through Brother Richards, agree to furnish him enough to pay him for the trip, he to remain in Washington during the session of Congress.
We had a meeting of the Salt Lake & Deseret Agricultural Co. The affairs of this company are in a very unsatisfactory condition, and we could not get a report before us. I made two or three motions, which were carried, looking to the settlement of all its affairs and the winding of them up. Brother Aurelius Miner called upon us yesterday to get counsel in his case. He had been disbarred by the action of Judge Zane when he was convicted of unlawful cohabitation. He had had an interview with Zane, and the Judge seemed favorable to his restoration to the bar, but thought that he should apply for admission. The difficulty, however, in Brother Miner’s case was that in doing so he would have to take an oath which with his present family relations he could not see how he could take. We felt that he should endeavor to be restored to the bar, so that he could practice his profession; but as he had to take an oath before doing so, he should not take it without arranging his family affairs in such a manner that he could take it conscientiously, and not expose himself to a charge of having taken a false oath.
I had been invited to attend the anniversary of the wedding of Brother Jas. W. Eardley and wife. I went there about 5:30. We spent a most delightful time. An excellent supper was furnished, of which I partook with zest. My wife Sarah Jane had been invited also. President Woodruff felt too fatigued to attend. President Smith was there, and a large number of friends. Some young men with mandolins and guitars came in and played very sweetly, and one—Brothers [Brother] Thos. Ashworth—sang a very pathetic song, which was much appreciated. There was singing also by Sister Henry Bassett, whose husband is now on the Samoan Islands. A recitation was also given by Sister Nellie Colebrook Taylor. I was requested to speak, but I suggested that President Smith had been absent so much that we would like to hear him talk. He did speak for 20 mins, after which I was again requested to speak and did so. I dwelt upon the present situation of affairs and made explanations that I think were appreciated.
Saturday, Oct. 31st, 1891.
Last night I was awakened in the middle of the night by my son Sylvester, who told me that David was very bad and wished me to come and administer to him. I found him suffering from a chill and from heart trouble. I administered to him a number of times, and my wife Carlie came over and prepared a mustard plaster for his heart and made him some composition tea, and she sat by him during the remainder of the night. He received relief from the administrations and the mustard plaster. I felt well in administering to him, and at one time, in which my son-in-law, L. M. Cannon, participated, I felt to promise him not to be discouraged, for he would get well. He slept tolerably well afterwards.
Brother Arthur Winter came down to my house, and I dictated my journal to him.
At 3:30 Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself, accompanied by Brother Arthur Winter, our reporter, and Brother Geo. F. Gibbs, left Salt Lake City for Logan. We reached there about 7:30. President Woodruff and myself were taken by Brother Moses Thatcher in his carriage to his house. President Smith stopped with Brother C. W. Nibley, and Brothers Gibbs and Winter stopped at Prest. Orson Smith’s.