The Church Historian's Press

August 1892

1 August 1892 • Monday

Monday, August 1, 1892.

We had a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Literary & Scientific Association this morning, and afterwards a meeting of the stockholders, at which the Presidency were present. I am the President of that Association. After discussing the best method of consolidating the Literary & Scientific Association with the Church University, we adjourned until the 17th. In the meantime the lawyers were to take into consideration the best method of achieving the objects that we had in view.

President Woodruff had telegraphed to Brother Lorenzo Snow to come down, and we had a lengthy conversation with him upon the situation of affairs in Wyoming. We described to him our position in political matters, that which we desired to accomplish for the salvation of the people, and how few there were who were laboring with us, and we desired him to go into Wyoming and use his influence with the people not to act rashly and all to rush into the Democratic party, as though Latter-day Saints could not be Republicans in politics, which is a too prevalent idea at the present time. We do not want the impression to go out that we are hopelessly chained to the Democratic chariot, for if it does we stand in jeopardy. I agreed to go with President Snow on Saturday and Sunday next to attend the conference of the Summit Stake, with a view to getting Brother Cluff and his counselors to see the position as we see it.

I dictated a letter for the First Presidency to sign, in reply to a communication of Brother John W. Taylor ’s on the subject of lands in Canada.

I received a letter of introduction from an ex-Member of Congress, Colonel H. B. Strait, of Minnesota, introducing to me Mr John Douglas, who is here on a visit. Mr. Douglas is a prominent man in Minnesota, and a brother-in-law of ex-Secretary Windom of the U.S. Treasury. I was pleased to have the opportunity of doing kindness to Mr. Douglas, for the sake of Colonel Strait. The Colonel was a very good friend of mine in Congress, and on one occasion had a very warm dispute with Gov. Wood, of Utah, who was living at the same hotel that he was, and who made some remarks about me which Col. Strait resented. He defended me strongly and had quite a severe quarrel with Wood over it. I got Brother Spence to take Mr. Douglas around in a carriage to show him the various points of interest in the city and introduce him to prominent men, as I was busily engaged.

2 August 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 2, 1892.

First Presidency at the office today.

Mr. Douglas called upon me to thank me for the courtesies I had extended to him. I introduced him to President Woodruff, and we had a very interesting conversation. He spoke very strongly about the persecutions we had endured. He said while he did not sympathize with plural marriage, still he thought that inasmuch as we had entered into that relation in good faith, its cessation was all that ought to be asked by the government, and that the old relations should be allowed to exist while life lasted. He spoke strongly also against the confiscation of our property. President Woodruff and myself were both much pleased with the spirit that he manifested.

At 10 o’clock I attended a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. We did considerable business.

I arranged a letter which I had dictated to Brother Winter for the First Presidency to sign, in which we appealed to the brethren to subscribe for stock in the Sugar Co. It was designed to have this letter addressed to such brethren as Brother Heber J. Grant would call upon to subscribe for stock.

We sent a dispatch yesterday for the brethren of the Twelve in the Territory to come together on Thursday, at 11 o’clock, for the purpose of considering the manner in which we should conduct the exercises at the dedication of the temple.

Brother F. M. Lyman and my son Abraham returned from their visit to the Logan conference, and we received an interesting description of the teachings of that conference and of the spirit manifested by Brother Moses Thatcher after he left here and after he had had the warm conversation that Brother Jos. F. Smith had started. After hearing what the brethren said, the First Presidency felt that it was necessary to have a pretty serious talk with the Twelve concerning the course the Presidency had taken in political affairs and was still taking.

3 August 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 3, 1892.

First Presidency at the office this morning.

Brother Arthur Stayner has obtained an option on a very valuable mine, as he thinks, near Hailey, Idaho, and he had conversation with me this morning, representing his condition and the amount of wealth that it would bring to those who would invest in it. His purpose in talking to me was to secure my interest in it, and to get me to consent to act as President of the company and to assist in the purchase of the property. He states that for $125,000 the mine can be purchased, and that it is a veritable bonanza. He has had several conversations with me about it, and I spoke to President Woodruff on the subject, and he consented to see Professor Garvin, an expert whom Brother Stayner has induced to visit the mine. This gentleman is highly recommended, I am told, by eminent men, among them, Professor Huxley.

At 1 o’clock today a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank was held.

Brother A. J. Stewart and Brother Morris called upon the First Presidency and had conversation upon a concession which Brother Stewart had received from the Mexican government, by which he had obtained control of a large tract of land well watered, about 160 miles distant from our present settlements in Mexico. The object of the call was to get us to take an interest in the city that they proposed to build, etc.

We had some very plain talk with Brother Stewart, during which we told him that we could not possibly countenance any plan that would draw away Latter-day Saints from our settlements to live at places so distant. It was not the spirit of the Gospel for Latter-day Saints to scatter, and we were endeavoring to hold our people together so as to make our foothold in Utah as strong as possible. There was a tendency among many brethren to speculate in lands, which they hoped to have settled by Latter-day Saints. They were purchasing in Mexico, in Colorado, and in Canada, all with the view to be occupied by the Latter-day Saints. We could not give counsel to any Latter-day Saint to go so far away as to make homes on this land which Brother Stewart had purchased. We said that brethren, before they entered into such schemes, if they expected any aid or countenance from the Church, should come and talk to us about it, and not consummate the project and then call upon us to help carry it out.

Prof. B. Cluff, of the B.Y.Academy, called upon President Smith and myself last evening, after President Woodruff had gone, and laid before us the need there was for some teachers in the Academy to instruct normal pupils and to qualify them as teachers. He said it would require $3600 to pay the salaries. We submitted this to President Woodruff and he acceded to the appropriation of this amount.

4 August 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, August 4, 1892.

First Presidency at the office.

I had a call from a lady by the name of Shaw. She is a native of the Sandwich Islands, and expressed a desire to understand more about our principles. She had recently come here, and had married since coming.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency and President Lorenzo Snow, Moses Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, H. J. Grant , M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund and A. H. Cannon, of the Twelve, met at the office. The remainder of the morning was spent in obtaining the views of the brethren concerning the best plan to be pursued in the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. After discussing the matter it was decided that we should hold two meetings a day in the Temple until all the people who should come and were worthy should have the opportunity of participating in the services in the Temple. It was thought that nothing short of this would be satisfactory. There was nothing done in regard to details, that being left for future action.

We adjourned until 2 o’clock and then met again. The meeting was opened with prayer by President Woodruff, who also made remarks concerning the necessity of union among the First Presidency and Twelve.

Brother Lyman spoke in relation to the injury that he thought was being done to the Sugar Co. and to that enterprise by the political speeches of Brother Moses Thatcher on the sugar bounty. This led to further talk upon political matters, and President Jos. F. Smith spoke upwards of an hour upon the course which had been taken by Brother Thatcher in his political operations. He arraigned him with some degree of severity for doing what he had done without ever seeking the counsel of the First Presidency to know whether it was proper for him, as an Apostle, to do as he had done.

Brother Thatcher explained, in reply to Brother Smith, with some degree of fullness, his reasons for taking the course that he had done, and he manifested a submissive spirit, and was not at all disposed, apparently, to resent anything that President Smith had said.

Several of the brethren spoke, President Snow especially, and Brother Thatcher was made to feel that his conduct was not approved by the brethren generally; in fact, all who spoke felt to speak in that strain concerning his course.

President Woodruff had expressed a wish that I should speak in the beginning, but I knew that President Smith desired to speak, and I told him that I should defer to President Smith; but after the afternoon had been pretty well spent, President Woodruff was still anxious that I should speak, and I had Brother Gibbs read extracts from the office journal which contained reports of various meetings that we had held with prominent brethren and with the Twelve themselves, in which, as the First Presidency, we had outlined a certain policy that we desired to be pursued, and which we assured the brethren was the policy that was from the Lord. After these extracts had been read, I then said: I read these to avoid the necessity of repeating these things, and that the brethren might see that 14 or 15 months ago we had outlined the course to be pursued, and we had not varied a hair’s breadth scarcely from that up to the present time, so that our position today was precisely that which we occupied when this policy was outlined to them and to other leading brethren. I said that we had been pursuing the course that the Lord had indicated to us as the proper course to be taken in our present position. I talked upon this with some degree of fullness and plainness. Among other things, I said that we had not been sustained as we should have been by the Twelve. I spoke this in general terms; not that I wished to find fault with any individual, for President Snow and others of the brethren had sustained us; but there had been an indifference and we had been left to sustain and carry out this policy without the hearty co-operation of all of them. I felt to say to the brethren that I did not wish to offend them nor hurt their feelings; but these were the facts. The brethren received this in very good part, and Brother Snow moved that the Twelve should heartily sustain the First Presidency in the policy which they had outlined. This was seconded and carried. Before the vote was carried, Brother Lyman remarked that he hoped the Twelve would put themselves in such a position that the First Presidency would not have to say that much concerning them again. The vote of Brother Thatcher was watched with a good some degree of interest by me, because I did not know whether he would feel to carry out heartily the line of policy which we had deemed wise and necessary. He has seemed to be anxious to make everybody Democratic, while our counsel has been for the brethren not to try and convert everybody to Democracy, but to let the Republican party have a chance. The tendency of our people, for reasons which are obvious to all who understand the situation, has been towards Democracy, as many of them thought that to be a Republican was almost to be an apostate.

Upon driving home this afternoon I was much saddened by finding that a young man named Ball, 18 years of age, had been drowned in the river near my place while bathing with his brothers. They were searching for the body when I reached home, and they searched all night, firing a great quantity of giant powder, but without success in finding the body.

My wife Carlie had an offer for her house in the city from Brother P. T. Farnsworth which she thought she would accept. She had company this evening, consisting of Brother C. H. Wilcken and his daughters Bertha and Mamie May, and his neice, Sister Karl G[.] Maeser and her daughter, and also her own daughter Mamie, Abraham’s wife. We spent a very pleasant evening together.

5 August 1892 • Friday

Friday, August 5, 1892.

First Presidency at the office this morning. President Smith and Brother Lyman started for Bear Lake to attend conference, and from thence to go into Wyoming to meet with the saints there and perhaps organize a Stake.

We had a conversation with Brother Lorus Pratt, who is one of the young men whom we have assisted with means to visit and remain in Paris to study art there. He had returned and is prepared to do anything that we need in the Temple. We felt that under the circumstances it would be better probably for us not to push the artistic work in the Temple, but to do it leisurely and in such a way that it would give us pleasure in years to come, and if it was necessary to dedicate the Temple without it that we could do so, and leave this to be done afterwards. Brother Pratt agreed with us in this view.

Brother Seymour B. Young called to report to us the result of a conversation which he had had with Brother B. H. Roberts. Brother Roberts is the editor of the Semi-Weekly Herald, and in that appeared some time ago an editorial article called “False Lights”[.] It was also published in the Daily Herald, and is now incorporated in a pamphlet. Brother Grant had suggested to Brother Young to inquire of Brother Roberts whom he meant by his reference to false lights, for that which he said referred pointedly to the First Presidency and the counsel they had been giving, it seemed to me. It did not truly represent, either, our position or the position of any who had the right to talk upon this subject. We all felt that this article was a very unwise one, and not only unwise, but it would have the effect to weaken our authority and to make light of our counsel. Brother Young had asked him concerning this, and he said that all he referred to in the article were opinions, and these opinions had been given to him in conversation by President Jos. F. Smith and Geo. M. Cannon, and the reference he made was to these two persons and their views. President Woodruff felt a little inclined to have Brother Roberts called up; but I suggested that as President Smith was absent it might be well to await his return before having him up. Brother Roberts is a very ardent Democrat, and some of his writings the brethren take exception to. It is astonishing to me the spirit that some of our brethren manifest in regard to politics. The love of their party and its success seems to be paramount to the love of the Gospel and the success of Zion; at least, some of their actions seem to indicate that this is the case.

We had a conversation with Brother H. J. Grant today concerning his mission to solicit subscribers to the stock of the Sugar Co., and we concluded that as the mill would soon be in operation perhaps it would be better for him not to go out at present, as if the mill should be successful the people would be more likely to invest without so much persuasion. Therefore the letter that I dictated was laid aside.

Prof. Garvin, the mining expert, called in with Mr. Starr and gave us a very glowing description of the value of the property that Brother Stayner has an option on. I have received communications also upon the subject from Brother Stayner, in which he offers me 44000 shares of this stock if I would take hold of the project and allow my name to be used, or to put someone forward that I could stand behind. He has told me in private that by our investing about $125,000 we could make a million, and he thought the property would be worth from one to four millions. He has urged this very strongly and repeatedly upon me and pointed out the great wealth that would flow to our people and the great influence we would wield in Idaho. I am not in the least dazzled by these representations. I said to him that I could not take upon me any such responsibility, however strong the inducement to make money might be and however sure I might be of making it. As one of the First Presidency of the Church, my time is fully occupied, and I did not wish my name used in affairs of this kind, as I think it improper.

6 August 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, August 6, 1892.

At 8 o’clock this morning I started for Coalville, where the Summit Stake conference is to be held today and tomorrow. At Ogden I met President Snow and Brother M. W. Merrill, and we rode together to Coalville, taking at Echo a freight train. Brother Cluff met us at the station and took us to his residence.

In the afternoon we met with the saints in their fine meeting house. The attendance was very thin, as it had been, we were informed, in the morning. Brother Merrill occupied the afternoon and spoke 75 minutes, dwelling on the practical duties of the saints.

In the evening a lecture was delivered by Bishop Hodson on the duties of the Priesthood. It was intended to be delivered to the High Priests quorum, but all the saints had been invited. There was, however, a very thin attendance. After he had finished the lecture, which consisted principally of reading the 107th section of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, I was requested to speak and I occupied half an hour.

We were hospitably entertained by Brother and Sister Cluff at their residence.

7 August 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, August 7, 1892.

Last night was quite a warm night for this country. Today, however, is cool.

There was a goodly gathering of saints in the meeting house this morning, and President Lorenzo Snow occupied the forenoon.

At 2 o’clock we met again. The sacrament was administered, and I spoke. The congregation was quite a large one. I had excellent freedom and felt to praise the Lord for His goodness in giving me His word to declare unto the people.

After the conference adjourned, the High Council, the Bishops and their Counselors were requested to remain. We were desirous to explain to these leading brethren the course which we had taken in regard to politics. We felt that it was important that something should be said to them concerning our policy and that which we knew would be for the best interest of the Latter-day Saints, not only in Utah, but throughout the mountains. I requested Brother Merrill to speak. He did so for a little while, and was followed by President Snow; after which I occupied considerable time and talked very fully and freely. In order to ascertain how many Republicans there were in the meeting, as there were from 50 to 75 men present, I asked those who were Republicans to lift up their hands, and there were four who lifted up their hands. I said, this gives you some idea of the condition of the Territory and the necessity for just such counsel as we have been giving to you. I told them I had been praying to the Lord that He would raise up Republicans among the people, although I had always been known as a Democrat; still I loved Zion, my country and my religion and the liberties of the people better than I did any party.

In conversation while I was here I told some of the brethren that I thought they were very bigoted in relation to their politics. Some of them seemed to feel as though salvation almost depended upon their endeavoring to proselyte everybody to Democracy.

8 August 1892 • Monday

Monday, August 8, 1892.

Last night was delightfully cool. We arose early and breakfasted, and got off by the train at 7:55. At Echo Brothers Snow and Merrill got off to await the train from Ogden while I went on to Ogden.

I reached Salt Lake City about 11 o’clock. Went to the office and spent the remainder of the day there attending to various matters of business.

9 August 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 9, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself were at the office today.

A letter was received by President Woodruff, signed by Brothers Jos. F. Smith, F. M. Lyman and Wm. Budge, setting forth the condition of affairs in Idaho and the extreme necessity there was for some efforts being made to convert our people to Republicanism. Unless something of this kind were done, three out of every four voters of our people, because of tradition, would vote the Democratic ticket, and they thought this would be very injurious to our cause; that the power in Idaho was in the hands of the Republicans, and they could relieve us and would if they were assured they would get a majority vote. They suggested that Brothers John Henry Smith, John Morgan, my son Frank and others proceed to Idaho and deliver addresses.

Upon hearing the letter I said to President Woodruff that I did not think that plan would succeed, unless something more were done. I had no idea that the brethren by visiting there could convert enough people to make a majority Republican; that when public addresses were made by Republicans they were immediately followed by brethren of the Democratic party, who tried to nullify all that they had said. I thought, however, that such meeting<s> would do good<; but,> It seemed to me, it was necessary to send brethren up there who could talk quietly with the leading men and with the people as far as they could get opportunity, and show them the peril they were in, and how necessary it was that they should seek safety by voting in the right manner. This policy seemed to strike President Woodruff as well as Brother John Henry Smith and my son Frank, who were present when this letter was read.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

10 August 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 10, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself were at the office.

We had an interview with Brother Lewis M. Grant, Bishop of Bountiful, concerning the case of Harvey Perkins and his wife. After listening to what he had to say, we sent word that if Sister Perkins still desired to get a divorce, we should not interpose any objections.

We had an interview with the Templeton Hotel Co. Brother H. J. Grant was also present. It was found that there was a deficiency of about $600 every month. This the Church had been paying in order to see whether a hotel could be run there and pay its way in a favorable season. The season has been favorable, and notwithstanding the bank has not charged the hotel any rent, the loss has been $600 every month. It was decided to give notice that the hotel would be closed on the 20th inst.

11 August 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, August 11, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself were at the office.

I had received a letter addressed to me as President of the Saltair Beach Co. from Matthew White, Manager of affairs at the beach, to make a visit there before the annual meeting, which would be held next week. Brothers Clayton and Jack came in this morning and expressed a wish that we would go out today, so President Woodruff and myself consented to do so, and we left here at 11 o’clock and were driven to the car, which was at the lower part of S. Temple Street. The engine took us out ten miles on the railroad at considerable speed. We found two carriages awaiting us, which carried us the remaining five miles. Brother Wilcken drove the carriage in which President Woodruff, N. W. Clayton and myself rode, and Brother J. E. Langford drove the carriage in which Brother James Jack, G. H. Snell and L. John Nuttall rode.

We spent a very pleasant day there. Mr. White is an excellent host. We looked at the place where we think of putting up a pavilion, and all agreed on the manner in which the road should approach the lake and where the pavilion should be erected, excepting Mr. White. He wanted the cars to stop on the shore, a long distance from where the pavilion was to be built, and then either walk or have a little motor line to take people out. We all felt that this was not a good suggestion.

Mr. White gave us an excellent lunch and we returned to the end of the track, reaching there a few minutes after five. The ten miles run back to the city was made in 15 minutes, and there was very little oscillation of the car. The general opinion is that the whole distance, when the road is properly completed and ballasted, can be made in 15 minutes. As President of the road, I said to Manager N. W. Clayton that I hoped to see a model road built there, one that we could be proud to show to visitors. He felt the same.

Before starting to the lake, we had an interview with Brothers Franklin D. Richards, Seymour B. Young and C. D. Fjeldsted, in which we outlined our policy to them concerning political matters, and desired them to take hold and sustain us in the course that we felt led to pursue. The brethren seemed to be impressed with what we said, and expressed a willingness to carry out our counsel.

12 August 1892 • Friday

Friday, August 12, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself were at the office.

Brother Arthur Stayner called upon me again. He seemed not to be satisfied with anything that I could say to him concerning my position and disinclination to take hold of his proposed silver mine purchase, and he proposed, therefore, that the Church should take hold of it. I said to him then that he had better talk to President Woodruff. He did so, and I listened to him also. I suggested to President Woodruff that under the circumstances probably the best way to have this thing fairly considered and acted upon would be to appoint a committee to listen to all Brother Stayner had to say and to judge of the reliability of the statements which were made, and also whether his propositions were worth entertaining. We told Brother Stayner to call at 12. In the meantime we selected Bishop John R. Winder, N. W. Clayton and James Jack as the committee.

I attended a meeting of the Bullion-Beck Co. this morning. A dividend of 20¢ per share was declared, although there was not quite enough funds to meet this in the treasury.

Between 2 & 3 o’clock Brother Wilcken called for me with a carriage and we rode down to my place Westover and took my wife Sarah Jane with us, and returned in the evening.

13 August 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, August 13, 1892.

President Woodruff went up to Wasatch last night, and I am alone at the office today. I attended to private business. Dictated an article for the Juvenile, my journal and a letter to Brother Winter.

14 August 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, August 14, 1892

15 August 1892 • Monday

Monday, August 15, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself at the office today.

We had a call from Brother John Morgan, who conversed with us concerning political matters in Arizona and Colorado.

We had a call from Brother J. G. Kimball, who is at present presiding in the Southern States. We appointed appropriated $50 to assist Brother Kimball.

We had a call from Delegate John T. Caine, who has just returned from Washington.

We had an application today for the Tabernacle from two gentlemen who represented all the religious denominations in the city excepting the Roman Catholics. They were referred to the President of the Stake.

16 August 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 16, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself at the office. I spent a good deal of the day dictating correspondence, journal and articles for the Juvenile to Brother Winter.

17 August 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 17, 1892.

President Woodruff and myself at the office today.

We had a meeting of the Saltair Co., then one of the Literary & Scientific Association, then one of the Directors of Z.C.M.I., and then one of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co., which occupied the greater portion of the day.

General Norton, of Texas, called upon us. He spoke very kindly of the labors of our people. He knew me in Washington.

President Jos. F. Smith returned today from his trip to Star Valley, Wyoming. He and Brother Lyman had been there and had organized a Stake, called the Star Valley Stake, with Brother George Osmond as President, Wm. W. Burton and Anson V. Call as Counselors. They had selected also members and alternate members of the High Council.

Brother David M. Stuart’s letter to me concerning a mission to his old field of labor in Oregon and Washington, was read. It was decided to appoint him, and that he should be helped on his mission.

18 August 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, August 18, 1892.

I had been invited some time ago by Brother N. W. Clayton to spend some little time at his camp on the upper waters of the Weber. I had suggested to President Woodruff that he should make the trip also, and he acquiesced, so this morning my son Lewis took my wife Carlie and myself and Vera and baby to the Utah Central train, which left at 8 o’clock for Park City. Mr. Hobbs, of the Land Office, was on the train, and I had conversation with him. Brother Wilcken met us at Park City with my team and buggy. Brother N. W. Clayton had brought his team there yesterday and came from there by train to the city. His team took President Woodruff and wife and our daughter Vera and himself, and my buggy carried myself and wife and baby. We reached Peoa about 2 p.m. and stopped at Bishop Walker’s for dinner. He was not at home. His wife entertained us kindly. Brother Clayton’s camp is 12 miles from Peoa up the Weber. We reached there at sundown. Taken on the whole, the roads were not bad for my light vehicle; but for heavily loaded teams there were several bad places. I felt pleased that Brother Wilcken had suggested taking my team and buggy for us to ride in.

We were welcomed very warmly by Sister Clayton, and had a comfortable tent, with bedstead and cot and mattrasses assigned us for our occupation. The tent had a floor and a stove in it.

19 August 1892 • Friday

Friday, August 19, 1892.

Had a good night’s rest.

President Woodruff exhibited the utmost ardor about fishing. I was afraid he would overtax himself. I walked about six miles hunting grouse, but saw none. Brother Clayton caught fish.

20 August 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, August 20, 1892.

Cool night; slept excellently. Spent day in camp, mostly reading. Brother Clayton shot eleven grouse, and one charge killed two chickens, struck a rock and glanced and hit his stepson, Tyler Young, and his horse a long distance at one side—an angle of 45 deg. Tyler was hit in a number of places, but was not seriously injured.

21 August 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, August 21, 1892.

Spent the day very quietly.

We met in President Woodruff’s tent and administered the sacrament, I being mouth. President Woodruff and myself spoke.

22 August 1892 • Monday

Monday, August 22, 1892.

Sisters Clayton, Woodruff, my wife Carlie and myself walked up to Cyclone Grove, so called because a young daughter of Mr. Wells of Chicago was killed there by the falling of a tree some years ago.

23 August 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 23, 1892.

There is a beautiful spring of ice cold water near our camp, which with my wife Carlie I visited this morning. The scenery around it is very fine.

24 August 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 24, 1892.

Brother Clayton and his stepson Tyler started for Bear River, about 15 miles distant. Fish and game are reported to be plentiful there. They took a buckboard and bedding, expecting to stay all night. The day is cloudy and showery, and the air a little chilly.

In the afternoon Brother John Henry Smith came to the camp in a carriage driven by Brother Wm. H. Kimball. The object of Brother Smith’s visit was to inform us as to the course which was being taken by the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I. in relation to the contest which is going on between the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce and the Union Pacific R.R. The Board wished President Woodruff and myself to understand the position that it had taken and to get our endorsement of it. I advised the pursuing of a conciliatory course, and not the adopting of a course that would bring our Institution into antagonism with the Chamber of Commerce, if it can possibly and honorably be avoided. I suggested that some one intimate with Colonel Donnellan, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, see him and try to come to some understanding which would prevent an open rupture and antagonism. The Colonel has the reputation of being a fair-minded and honorable man. Brother Smith remained two hours and then returned.

25 August 1892 • Thursday

Thursday, August 25, 1892.

Beautiful day. We watched with a good deal of interest today for the return of Brother N. W. Clayton and his stepson. It was after dark when they reached the camp. They had been over on to the headwaters of Bear river, and then ten miles to Hilliard, on the U.P.R.R. They had caught some 36 fish, but had not seen any game to shoot. The trip was a very hard one, as they followed no beaten road. The weather had been stormy also, but they had been entertained by sheepherders. The whole country is filled with sheep, and this frightens off the game. Brother Clayton speaks in the most enthusiastic terms of the beauty of the country. He said he had never seen so much timber. We were very glad for them to get back without accident.

26 August 1892 • Friday

Friday, August 26, 1892.

We paid a visit to Brother Le Grand Young’s camp today. It is about nine miles higher up the stream than Brother Clayton’s. The latter part of the road is quite rough. The place of encampment is very beautiful. Halliday Park is just above this, between the encampments of Mr. Roundy and H. B. Clawson, Jr. Dr. Heber J. Richards has an encampment close by also.

27 August 1892 • Saturday

Saturday, August 27, 1892.

President Woodruff and wife and myself and wife drove up to Oscar B. Young’s. We took with us Owen Woodruff, who had joined us today. He and Tyler Young went hunting while we visited with Brother Oscar Young. Brother Young has bought a claim here and had a very comfortable summer residence built of sawed logs. He spends his summer here and cultivates a garden which furnishes them with vegetables. They remain here until it is time for the children to go to school; then they return to their residence at Provo. I received the following letter from my son David, which I read with deep interest. It was brought with a number of other letters to our camp by Brother Isaac A. Clayton:


Saturday night, Aug. 6th, 1892.

My Dear Father:

You must excuse this peculiar way of writing, but these are the circumstances. I am away from my headquarters, and have no paper with me except this, which I have partly scribbled over, but I have a few minutes, and wish to give you my experience while I have the spirit of it. I have no stamp to send this letter with, but if the Lord wants me to send it, someone will give the money to buy a stamp.

I wish to bear my testimony in regard to traveling without purse and scrip, when we can do it strictly according to the command—that we go exactly as the Doc. & Cov. states we should go, and our money use[d] for the building up of Zion, and not have it in such a way that we think if the Lord does not bless us we can help ourselves. Now, father, you know I cannot, and do not, for one moment, take the least honor for what I have done, for to tell the truth it was unwillingly done, but I was driven to it. I do not care to have my name used in connection with this principle, for I know that the Lord knows if I say or believe that it was my own idea, and it was all done willingly, and I seek praise therefor, that I will go hungry and thirsty, and will see how many friends I can make myself. But this is what I wish to say. I have felt the power of the Holy Ghost more today than ever before, and it has filled me with inexpressible joy. This is because I made another resolve before the Lord this morning, and have carried it out the best I could today. I know that just as sure as I am sitting here, that the Lord knows every thought of my heart, and when we can have this constantly before us, we can draw nearer to Him. I believe I have learned more of the Gospel in the last few days than before in my whole life, and can say as Paul, “I have received from no man, but through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Oh, how my heart leaps for joy to write these words, for they are true! In my great, great weakness, the Lord has given me friends, and enough of His Spirit to explain the first principles, and farther I have not wished to go, and know that I should not go farther. I visited a family this morning, an entire stranger to them, and laughed and talked with the frou a few minutes, and ten minutes after she was in tears, and I felt like crying with her. When her husband came home for a late breakfast I talked with him, and although at first it was hard work, he finally gave way, and confessed I had spoken the whole truth, and I bore my testimony in spirit and in power, and told him he would now answer for the light he had received. This was after a four or five hours conversation. He remained home from his work, to listen, and tears streamed down the face of his wife as she went about her work, and when I left they both thanked me with their whole hearts, and blessed me in the name of the Lord, and invited me to come again. They were very poor, and have seen much sorrow. And this, father, when I can speak so littl[e] German and very brokenly! Is not this the power of God? And yet when I walked out on the street I returned to my former self, and felt very weak indeed. I cannot take honor to myself, or my daily bread will be taken from me. I walked to the next village, and conversed with a man in the field, with whom I was somewhat acquainted, until he took the pipe out of his mouth and hid it in his pocket and invited me, before I left, to return tomorrow, and he would invite some neighbors to listen. I had made the acquaintance of one of the principle men of the village here, and wished to reach here before nightfall. The people received me as they would a son, and nothing is too good for me here. They have fed me, given me a place to sleep, and money, and invitation for the future. When I meet with such people, oh how I feel my unbelief to be able to explain to them the Gospel, as it should be explained! But to the man tonight I have said something which never occurred to me before, in this way, and it entirely convinced him. It was in relation to calling men to preach through revelation from God. I said to him, “If you wished to preach the true Gospel, you must go out without purse and scrip, as Jesus sent His disciples out.” “Yes”, he said. “Well”, I said, “when you had called yourself, or a man had sent you that you did not know received revelation from the Lord, could you with the knowledge in your heart that no man can take the honor to himself have faith enough that the Lord would provide you all that is necessary?” He saw the point instantly, but I thought, and think now, that I could not have shown him this, when I had my own pocket full of money, for the only way I can get around some here, is to tell them they have the appearance of religion (I cannot quote it in English) but deny the power. I really believe it is the same to a certain extent with our missionaries who have money, for we know that the commands are very plain on this point.

Perhaps, father, you may think I am going to do a great deal here. I want to tell you now, so that you will not be disappointed, that I do not expect to do a great deal, and in some respects the outlook is not so good as it might be, but I wish to explain the Gospel as clearly as possible to the people, and bear my solemn testimony in simplicity to the same, and if I am invited, or have another opportunity, to return and visit again such people, I will do so, but I wish to leave them without excuse. I have thought today that if I could only baptize one good honest soul, who would lay all these superstitions aside that are so difficult to combat with, what a great, great joy it would be, and it is to this end I am working in my feeble way.

Sunday, Aug. 7,1892.

Passed a delightful night, and feel very peaceful and happy on this beautiful Sabbath morning. Talked with the man and frou while they peeled potatoes, and explained the Gospel. They were delighted, and listened with attention. I explained how we lived in brotherly love, and wished to love our neighbor as ourselves. And that we wished to make a heaven on earth. I also spoke in relation to faith, that we can only receive faith through sacrifice, and that it is through faith that we will stand and not call the rocks to fall on us, when the Savior comes. That it was the duty of every man to hold an office in the Church, and if he were faithful, he would know that the Lord acknowledged him as His servant, and not that a pastor held all the offices in himself, and that we had nothing to do but listen to him, and eat and sleep, and even be honest with all men. We must do more than this. If I am truly a servant of the Lord, I must have an office in His Church, that I can go among men and encourage and help direct in building up Zion, and if I am called to labor in the world, I must go in the way the Lord has marked out, without purse and scrip, or I would certainly show that I had not faith enough to trust the Lord. (I hope none of our missionaries with money will come this way, or it will be a set back to him, for he is an intelligent man, and really wishes to find the truth.)

I would like very much to have all who really wish to serve the Lord, read the Sixth article or section on Faith, written by the Prophet. It has struck me in such a way that the argument is unanswerable, in regard to keeping the commandments as they are written, and not to think the Lord will take the will for the deed. He would certainly not give us commandments that we cannot carry out, and when He says “when a coat or suit is given, cast the old to the poor, and go on your way rejoicing,” I really believe that we should do it. If I have more suits, why should the Lord open the heart of some man to give me another? If I think I will preach the Gospel in my own way, and not in the way of the Lord has marked out, I will soon find that it is hard to kick against the pricks, if I really want to enjoy the spirit of my mission. Of course, if I am here for sight seeing, that is a different thing, and if I am here only for gaining a little knowledge of Germany and the language, I should not expect to have faith enough to live by faith alone, but if I am here to show by my works that there is a wide difference between our church and the others of the world, (and many here claim there is not) I must strive to keep every commandment. In my eyes there was never a wiser commandment given than traveling exactly as the Lord marked out, though men may bring a thousand and one obstacles against, and I wish to say, that if I do not accomplish one single thing in the future, the past three weeks has demonstrated this beyond a doubt in my mind to be true.

More later.

I am on the way to fulfill my other appointment. I sit down by the side of the road and write my feelings now. I feel like raising my voice and shouting praise to my Heavenly Father my heart is so full. I know He is with me in all that I do in righteousness. O, why should we not have all faith in Him? Why should we think we have a better way to serve Him than He has pointed out! My heart is now filled with love toward all men, and this is what I have sought, oh, so long. I feel that I am in the light, and I am very anxious to show those who walk in darkness how to enter the right path, and not to take the Bible alone, but to do the work, that we can feel the power of God within us.

I will write more later, but these few words while they are in my heart. Father, I know with all my heart, that wherever missionaries are they can do more when they have not a cent in their pocket, and their money is where they cannot get at it, when they think the Lord will not provide for them.

In relation to beer drinking and coffe drinking, father, it has been so often rung in my ears that we should not hurt the feelings of the people who offer these by refusing them. It is true, I should eat what is placed before me, but if a man places a dish of poison before me, in the most kindly manner, I can say I have not been used to eating it, and therefore it does not please my taste. Of course these are not poisonous, but the Lord says they are not good, and I have never hurt anyone’s feelings yet by saying I prefer water. Some tell the people “We don’t drink this at home, but in Germany we feel we must.” But the human family usually believe more readily what they see than what they don’t see. I would not, and have not, disputed with anyone over this, for what we eat and drink we should do it all to the Lord, but many have been in doubt on this point at first and many have taken to them because they were told, or felt it was better. I have met and eaten with a great many different people, and I still think it is a mistake to do this, and to think it is our duty to do it. When we wish to do it of course that is another thing, and I have not a word to say against it. But when we feel that for our health, and also in order that we will not hurt the feelings of the people, we should use these articles, I can say for my part I have commanded more respect, and also have better health, in abstaining and also in regard to eating much meat. The Lord can bless us and will bless us with strength, when we keep the Word of Wisdom, and we should not think that we must live only from that which goes into our mouth.

After the appointment.

Please remember, father, that this is a private letter, and I write to you exactly as I feel, exactly at the time, that you may know what I am doing. I give you an extract, that perhaps your influence will be used in getting our missionaries to travel without purse and scrip, but father please do not use my name.

I partook of the Sacrament in the woods alone today (Sunday) and then continued [on] my way. I had barely entered the house, when a large number filled the room, about 20 to hear me. I had asked the Lord for help, and although startled, I started in. The Holy Ghost was upon me, and I talked for 3 hours long and not one in the house could withstand my arguments. I told them things that I had never known myself, or at least never understood, and I could see some of them were astounded. I never felt so strong in faith, and so filled with the Spirit in my life. After our conversation, I was so weak I could not hold anything steady in my hands. I was weak to the end of my fingers, but my whole soul went up in praise to my Heavenly Father. When I told the people afterwards that I could not read a word in German, at least a sentence, when I first came here, and had only been here not yet three months, and had not studied the Bible in [blank] they could scarcely believe me. And now I can praise the Lord my God with all my heart that He has chosen the weak things to preach His Gospel, and that I am weak enough to know that unless I acknowledge His hand in all things, I will certainly fall. And I wish to give my testimony that when this Gospel is preached in power, it will be preached without purse and scrip, and without two coats, and I firmly believe this must be the case where it is preached in the whole world, whatever the difficulties may be. Good bye, until later.

Monday morning.

Returned again to [blank] with my heart filled with joy. As I passed the house where I was yesterday morning, I called in to get a book I had left. The frou was home, and I told her what success I had, and that I was now on my way to the Youngling’s Vereign, to seek an opportunity to speak. She wished me again to prove from the Bible that we must have revelation in the true Church. I did so in five minutes, to her entire satisfaction, and she said it was perfectly clear. “Oh”, she said, “that we could have the testimony that you have, but it is so hard here, while people will laugh.” I could comfort her on this point, for from my own experience I knew that when we have great blessings we must go through trouble, and that I could promise her the power of the Lord would rest upon her, that she could carry all, if she would only accept from her whole heart the first principles. Tears came to her eyes, and she followed me into the street, and begged me to visit them again as soon as possible.

I went to the meeting, and found a number of young men together, with cigars in their mouths. The head man is middle aged, and is learned in French, Latin, and some English, and I have heard, prides himself on his learning. I asked for permission to visit their meeting, and hoped they would call upon me to speak, but they did not. But it is seldom I have such opportunities, and the Spirit of the Lord was with me, and I could not keep my mouth shut. When they were through, we engaged in conversation, and I branched off on to religion. I spoke to them with the Spirit of God filling me with light, until 11 o’clock, and they had not a word to say against me. The head man himself wished to read a Voice of Warning, and invited me to come to his house when I had time. He also invited me to meet with them next Sunday evening, which invitation I accepted. I appealed to the young men as follows: “Would it not be one of the greatest blessings on earth to you if you could know that you were really a servant of God, and that He acknowledged you as such? Would you not give your all for such a privilege? And I can and have shown you the way, that <is> if you will commence at the foot, you can have this great blessing, and know that He acknowledges you, and we know He must acknowledge you before you can go in the kingdom of Heaven, for otherwise He will say to you, I do not know you, and have never acknowledged you. It is every man’s duty to labor for the Lord a part of the time, but in your church here they tell me you have no offices to give. They tell me you have no Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, etc., and how can you become a prophet, or an apostle until you have proved yourself worthy of it, through your labors in a lower office. Therefore, when your Pastor tells you these offices are combined in one, and that he holds them all, and you are not privileged to be an acknowledged servant yourself, that you can build upon the rock of revelation yourself, you must acknowledge that there is a departure from the Bible, and as Isaiah says, you are taught the fear of God through the commandments of men.

. . .

O, father, that all our missionaries could feel the power of God speaking through them, that they could turn their backs to no man. Then would we be a greater power in the land. Then, when we have finished our missions honorably, we could come home filled with faith, and love, and Zion would shine brighter and brighter. But, father, it is impossible to do this when we preach with money in our pockets. A man can do good, but I know he cannot be filled with the spirit of God. I have heard of Elders saying they enjoyed themselves on their missions, but it was a joy they could appreciate when they got home more than when actually in the field. I mean, they are not really so happy on their missions as when at home. I can easily see why they can say so, for I know it is three times as hard to preach with money, and one cannot be filled to such an extent with the love of God. The Holy Spirit bears witness of this to me. I wish and know I will, if I am faithful in all things, have a better time on a mission than when at home surrounded with plenty. I can go from day to day without a cent, and have never yet slept twice in the same bed handrunning. I know my Father in Heaven knows I have need of a bed, and He has always provided one, and I have never asked for one. I do not say this boastingly, for I am compelled, actually compelled to do it. I can also read “once I was young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” I know my father is righteous, and I have never yet asked for something to eat. What the future will bring forth, the Lord alone knows, but I am willing and must trust Him.

Father, with all my love for my kindred, the Lord has planted a love in my heart for His Gospel that exceeds all. I wish to nourish it, that it may increase. And oh, how anxious I am that every missionary should partake of this love, and therefore I appeal to you, and ask you to ask the Lord if this is not light, and if it is, to use your great influence in getting every missionary to travel as Prest. Woodruff and you have written you traveled, and promise them that when they will go strictly according to the written command, that they will find themselves a power among men. If they have not faith enough, tell them they cannot have faith until they have made the sacrifice, and then will the blessings come, and after their missions, father, you will find men in Zion ready to leave all instantly and work diligently in this labor of love. You will find more unity and love, and not so much lust after earthly treasures.

. . .

I am

Your loving Son,

D. H. Cannon.

Aug. 8, 1892.

Father, you cannot tell what a set back your letter was to me today. I had been looking for it so long, and to think you would advise me to do otherwise than I have done almost breaks my heart. I want to serve the Lord, oh so much, and if He had not blessed me so greatly the last few days, and also today with His Holy Spirit your letter would almost have overpowered me. Today I have felt the power of Stan [Satan], and knew he was working against me in the hearts of others, and I have rejoiced at it, for I knew that when the Spirit of God rested upon me in this land, I would make enemies. I have heard the preachers are warning the people in regard to other doctrine.

I cannot retrace my steps, father. If I have done wrong, I am willing to die for it. I cannot even read your letter twice. The Lord knows I was willing to keep this command long before I tried it in deed, but He gave me no peace of mind until I had done it, and now I can only say I am in his hands, and He must defend me, though the whole world be against me. Good-bye, father, this day is dark for me, but I have seen many dark days, and even now I have hope, hope that God will indicate what next I must do. I trust you will fast and pray for me.

28 August 1892 • Sunday

Sunday, August 28, 1892.

President Woodruff spent a very bad night last night, being troubled with a suffocating feeling which he has sometimes when in an elevated region. He cannot lie down, but has to sit up in a chair to get any sleep. He determined to return today, so we arranged to start as soon as convenient after breakfast, but owing to the difficulty of getting our horses up, we did not leave the camp until 11:20. Brother Clayton drove the carriage in which President Woodruff and his wife and our daughter Vera rode. Brother Isaac Clayton also rode with them to the mouth of the canyon, where his wife was stopping[.] In my buggy myself and wife and baby rode. It was a very pleasant drive to Kimball’s, in Parley’s Park, occupying four hours. Brother and Sister H. O. Young gave us a warm welcome. They are old acquaintances of mine. We had a most excellent meal, for which Sister Young said she would not take anything. At this point President Woodruff and wife and our daughter Vera took the train, while I drove my buggy to the city. When we left there it was nearly five o’clock, and we thought that we would stop at Hardy’s in Parley’s Canyon, but we made such good progress that we thought better for us to try and reach the city. We arrived at the ice house some distance below the mouth of the canyon before the sun set. We called on President Woodruff as we went past, and he and his wife were very much surprised to see us, for they said they had only been there half an hour. We reached home in 3 1/4 hours from Kimball’s, a distance of 27 miles. I had a great reluctance <in> traveling today, as I do not think it is a good example to be traveling on Sunday, and I felt ashamed in passing through Peoa. It was President Woodruff’s wish or I should scarcely have made the journey on the Sabbath day. Our justification for this was his condition of health.

I found all my family enjoying good health.

29 August 1892 • Monday

Monday, August 29, 1892.

Upon arriving at the office this morning I found a large mass of correspondence, which I examined. There was a letter from Wm. H. Shearman concerning his future labors, in which he expressed a wish to be useful in the Church and mentioned laboring as a home missionary in company with Brother Gregg. I read the letter to President Woodruff, and he agreed that he should be appointed. I sent for my brother Angus and the explanation was made to him concerning it, and he arranged for Brother Shearman to go to the home missionary meeting. I wrote a letter to Brother Shearman, explaining to him how he could be set apart as a missionary.

30 August 1892 • Tuesday

Tuesday, August 30, 1892.

First Presidency at the office, President Smith having returned from his visit to Josepa.

Brother F. D. Richards called and gave us a very interesting recital of his visit to Alaska; said the natives there were superior to our Indians. Their houses were good and well furnished and very clean, and they seemed to be a thrifty people and capable of doing business satisfactorily.

We had a call from Messrs. Jarvis and Conklin, with Mr. Bacon of the Utah National Bank. These gentlemen are the firm of Jarvis, Conklin & Co, capitalists, who have a good deal of money invested in this country. They came to submit to the First Presidency a proposition concerning some land on the west side of Bear river which they own, and which is watered by the Bear river canal, of which they have been the builders.

Brother B. H. Roberts had requested an interview with me, and he came this afternoon in accordance with the appointment which I made. He informed me that it was his intention to go into Wyoming and deliver lectures in favor of Democracy, with C. C. Richards; the Democratic National Committee having made that request of them, and it being in fulfillment of an obligation which they felt rested upon them because of the aid that they had received from the committee and the party at Chicago. This gave me an opportunity to talk with some degree of plainness to Brother Roberts in relation to our policy and the counsel we had given to the brethren concerning politics. I also brought to his attention the fact that we had some feeling concerning an article that he was credited to be the author of <with having written>, entitled “False Lights”. After talking with him some little time, I said I preferred to have further conversation with him in the presence of Presidents Woodruff and Smith, as I thought it would be mutually satisfactory. President Woodruff’s health was quite poor, and he had to retire; but President Smith and myself went over the whole ground with Brother Roberts and gave him information which he acknowledged he had not heard before concerning what we were doing in political matters. I suggested also to Brother Geo. F. Gibbs that he take our journal and read the extracts from it which I had selected for him to read to the Twelve at the last meeting we had with them, also to read the resolution which the Twelve adopted concerning sustaining the policy of the First Presidency. Brother Roberts was shown very plainly by President Smith where his article “False Lights” did great injustice to us, and he could not see how Brother Roberts could have written such an article without knowing he was striking at us. I said to Brother Roberts that I felt to acquit him in my feelings upon one point—I did not think that he intended to aim a blow at the First Presidency as such, but I did not know but that he might have written what he did in view of our being citizens giving political advice, and not as the First Presidency. He said that he neither had us in his mind as a Presidency or as citizens; he had not intended to say anything that would affect us. Brother Smith seemed to be at a loss to know how this could have been done, but I accepted his statement as correct, and I hope it will be a lesson to Brother Roberts to be more careful in his writing. I appealed to him very strongly as a servant of God. I told him I wanted to see him in harmony with us, and we wanted to be in harmony with him and with all the brethren; that our safety consisted in our being united, and not pulling against each other.

Brother Roberts expressed himself quite feelingly in favor of this. I trust this conversation will be of benefit to him.

31 August 1892 • Wednesday

Wednesday, August 31, 1892.

First Presidency at the office.

I had another conversation with Brother Arthur Stayner today, and explained to him why the Church could not have an interest in his proposed mining purchase; that our attorneys had insisted that we should not, as a church, invest in business enterprises that were not considered within the province of churches elsewhere; that it was this that gave our enemies a chance to attack us. I think I convinced him that the church could not legitimately engage in anything of this kind.

We attended to various items of business today.

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August 1892, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 25, 2024