September 1893

1 September 1893 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 1, 1893.

The shrieking of steam whistles was something extraordinary this morning. Every one appeared to have a different tone, from the deep foghorn to a shrill calliope scream. If they had all turned loose for the purpose of welcoming the Choir, I do not see how they could have made more noise. We were at Kansas. After dressing myself I went to the ticket office at the Union Depot and obtained the transportation for our car from this point to Chicago via St. Louis. We had scarcely finished breakfast when Mr. Hall and Mr. Hill of the Hedrickite Church from Independence called upon us; also a committee of citizens of Independence who came to welcome and accompany us to Independence. They had obtained the use of the meeting house of the Josephites, who are somewhat numerous here. We left Kansas City for Independence about 9:30 a.m. Our car was crowded with committeemen and reporters. Mr. Flourney, chairman of the committee, took me in charge and was very attentive to me, and after the close of the proceedings took me and my daughters Mary Alice and Rosannah around the city in his carriage. Upon our arrival at Independence we were met by the Mayor, Mr. Mercer, a one-armed man, and a number of citizens, and were conducted in carriages to the Temple lot. I had been averse to entering the Josephite building, preferring to have the proceedings under the auspices of the Hedrickites on the Temple lot; but the heat was great and the Mayor appeared so disappointed, as he said the building would seat 1400 and the leading ladies of the town were there expecting to hear the singing, that we concluded, after the choir sang “The Spirit of God like a fire is burning” and “Hosannah”, to go to the meeting house. There the Mayor delivered an address of welcome, and President Woodruff responded in a few words and announced that I would follow and speak longer; but there were only 45 minutes left before the train started, and I made a few remarks and excused myself for their brevity by pointing to the shortness of the time. Brother Easton sang “O my Father” and the full choir sang “Hosannah”, and we then returned to the train. The time was too short to enable us to do justice to Independence.

Returning to Kansas City we repaired to the Midland Hotel, took lunch, and then President Woodruff took a carriage and invited me to accompany him and with his wife and daughter Alice we rode around the City for an hour. The streets are narrow, many are shockingly rough, and while there are many good residences there is a general air of shabbiness about the place, owing partly to the drouth, for the lawns generally appeared dry and neglected. We had an excellent view during our ride of the Missouri river and the opposite side.

The Choir gave a matinee, moderately attended, and an evening concert at the Auditorium.. The concert was as good as that at Denver; but the audience was not as large.

We went from the concert to the cars, and were soon on the way to St. Louis. Mr. Lyons of the Missouri Pacific had our train in charge.

2 September 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 2, 1893.

We reached St. Louis a little before 10 a.m. All were impressed with the beauty of the scenery in Missouri. Our track ran near the river from the time we arose. The choir went to the Mosher Hotel. Our party put up at the Southern Hotel. We had a call from Mr. Doddridge, Manager, and Mr. Townsend, General Passenger Agent, of the Missouri Pacific R.R. I went with President Joseph F. Smith around the City, and we visited the bridge over the Mississippi—a grand structure.

The Choir gave a concert at the Exposition Building, which seats 3500, and the most of the seats were occupied. I fancied the voices were not so good this evening, perhaps owing to having sung considerably lately or to the size and acoustic faults of the house.

From the concert we went to the cars and were soon on the way to Chicago by the Chicago & Alton R.R. After starting, my son-in-law Lewis M. Cannon was seized with bilious colic and suffered severely. He was administered to and remedies applied and got relief after some time.

3 September 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 3, 1893.

We reached Chicago about half past eight. The labor of transporting the choir to hotels was very great, and the ladies especially became faint for want of food. The Choir have exhibited extraordinary patience and forbearance in all their movements. We did not get away from the car till about 2 p.m., awaiting Brother Clawson’s return. He had been very busy with the choir and was almost worn out. We took cars from 63rd St. and went to the Montreal Hotel, where most of our people were. We intended to go down town to the Auditorium, but could not get our trunks taken there, it being Sunday and late in the afternoon. So we passed the entire afternoon and evening unsettled and undecided, and finally put up at the Montreal.

We received the following dispatch from Geo. M. Cannon, Cashier of Zion’s Savings Bank.

“All nervous. Banks here agree refuse pay withdrawing depositors more than three per cent of their money in one month. F. M. Lyman, Lorenzo Snow away. All others concur, also State Bank directors. Do you endorse? Please answer by telegram at once.”

We sent the following reply:

“Cannot agree to policy suggested. There would be no more deposits and all depositors would at once serve notice of withdrawal. If compelled to close better do so after paying all money we have. Let us trust providence and go on.”

While on the road we received this dispatch from F. S. Richards and Le Grand Young:

“Our Supreme Court has decided in favor of Church as to tithing office and historian office and against Church as to Gardo House, Church farm and coal lands.”

4 September 1893 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 4, 1893.

Had a good night’s rest. Mr. McDaniel, Secy. of Utah World’s Fair Commission, called and took me to the Utah Building. Brother Heber J. Grant was there. He had secured a loan of $250,000 at 6 per cent for two years, the $50,000 to be a bonus to the party loaning. John Claflin secured the loan; he is to get $30,000 out of the $50,000. This is a frightful sacrifice—equal to 20 per cent per annum; but Brother Grant is willing to make desperate efforts to save the banks. Pay day is coming, however, and what then? He had another proposition to secure $100,000; that is, pay Brayton Ives 8 per cent for $150,000, we to get $100,000 in cash and take 80 per cent of John W. Young’s Kaibab ranch stock, which Ives thinks worthless. I could not agree to this at present. Brother Grant went back to New York carrying a written guarantee signed by the Trustee-in-Trust and the First Presidency endorsing the notes given to Mr. Claflin.

My cousin Mary Ann Quirk called upon me at the Utah building. She is visiting the Fair. I introduced my daughters and son-in law to her.

I went through several buildings in the Fair, and in the evening we saw very fine fireworks in honor of New York. Gov. Flower of New York gave a reception and I shook hands with him and staff and Chauncey N. Depew. I served with Gov. Flower in Congress.

Mr. McDaniel took us to lunch at the New York restaurant.

A very hot day.

5 September 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1893.

Last night was sultry. I slept very well.

We all went to the Fair together. I told the children to select the places they desired to see and go there. President Woodruff went to the Fishery building. I wandered around alone until 1 p.m., when I went to Festival Hall to hear the contest of 60 male voices for $1000, second prize $500. There were five contesting choirs—two from Wales, the rest American. The Welsh had the advantage in training and experience, and the sympathy of the audience—principally Welsh—also the adjudicators; but I was much pleased with the singing of our chorus. The voices were excellent; but they showed lack of training as compared with these professional contesting choirs. It is scarcely to be expected, under the circumstances, that they will carry off any prize, but they will gain credit and honorable mention. I was completely worn out, sitting for five hours, hungry and faint, listening to duet and solo contests, and there was so much Welsh spoken from the stage and among the audience that I became saturated with it. The chief officers came into the concert with druidical robes on and green chaplets on some of their heads. They were the bards.

6 September 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 1893.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Middleton of the D.& R.G. railway and the Rio Grande western volunteered to show our folks points of interest in the City.

We went by elevated road to the Auditorium Hotel. Mr. Tripp, the Manager, was very courteous and sent a young man with us to show us over the building. This was interesting to the young people. We passed under the street through a tunnel lined with marble and lit with electricity to the Annex, a beautiful addition recently erected. Among other places visited was Seigel & Cooper’s store, the largest retail store in the world, also the Masonic Temple—21 stories high—the highest building of the kind in the world. We returned to the Fair grounds by water, on the whaleback steamer, capable of carrying 5000 people. My daughter Mary Alice and one of President Woodruff’s daughters were sea-sick. I spent the afternoon and evening in the Fair grounds. At 4 p.m. a cane was presented to Director General Davis, Bishop O. F. Whitney making the presentation speech. The cane was of mountain mahogany, the same as used in the Temple. The Director General made a suitable response. I presented Presidents Woodruff and Smith and other brethren and my daughters Rosannah and Emily to him.

7 September 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 7, 1893.

Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself took the Illinois Central R.R. to the city and called upon Mr. Pullman and paid our respects to him for his kindness in sending us a private car. Our conversation with him was very interesting and he seemed loth to part with us. Speaking of his town of Pullman and how it was governed, I said it reminded me of a remark of the Prophet Joseph Smith in response to an inquiry made by a visitor to Nauvoo as to how he maintained such good order in that city; he said he taught the people correct principles and they governed themselves. Mr. Pullman said, “Yes, that’s the true way. My father’s mother, my grandmother, was a Mormon and lived at Nauvoo.” I afterwards remarked to the brethren, “how widely our people are connected. We meet every little while with people whom we do not suspect of knowing anything about the Mormons, and are surprised to learn that they have kindred who have been or are Mormons.”

From Mr. Pullman’s offices we went to the Rock Island Depot and I introduced the brethren to Mr. St. John, the Manager of the railroad and an old friend of mine. He gave us a pass for our car over his lines to Denver.

We lunched on oysters at the Lakeside buildings.

At 3 p.m. we all went to Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and enjoyed the performance. Mr. Alex. Majors was there and after the performance he took us to Col. Cody’s tent and the folks were introduced to him. He had arranged to have our party admitted free.

I met my wife Martha’s brother, Dr. Edwin Telle, of New Orleans, and had an interesting visit with him.

8 September 1893 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 8, 1893.

Went to the Utah building and met Governor West, Mr. R. C. Chambers, Col. Lett, Mr. C. Crane and other citizens of Utah, and went to the Administration building and we were introduced to the National Commission. The President, Ex-Senator Palmer, suspended proceedings during the ceremony. Gov. West made a nice address, to which Mr. Massey of Delaware made a very happy response. President Woodruff was requested to speak to them, “not in his capacity of President of the Mormon Church, but as a Pioneer.” His remarks were brief.

The concert at Festival Hall commenced at 1 p.m.. We reached there at nearly 3 p.m. The contest between the choirs did not commence till a little after 4 o’clock. Our Tabernacle choir did splendidly and made a fine appearance. The first prize was given to the Scranton choir, second prize to our choir. I think without doubt that ours was best; but the Society is Welsh, the audience was Welsh, the majority of the judges are Welsh, and it was determined that Scranton must have the first prize. It was more than could be expected to have it otherwise, though one of the judges admitted that our choir was the best.

In the evening I attended a reception of Governor West’s at the Utah building. To my great pleasure I met Mrs. Gen. Thos. L. Kane and her sons Elisha K. Kane and Thos. L. Kane and their wives. They appeared delighted to see me. To no family outside the Church am I more warmly attached than to this. The General and myself were very intimately acquainted.

I received a letter from my wife Carlie.

9 September 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, September 9, 1893.

I was sick with diarrheoa last evening and during the night.

Busy writing journal till it was nearly time to go to Festival Hall. This is Utah Day at the Fair, being the anniversary of the organization of the Territory, 1850. President Woodruff and myself reached there at 11:30 a.m. R. C. Chambers, the Chairman of the Utah Committee, presided over the proceedings. He was somewhat awkward at the business and there was a lack of system in the preparations; still everything, after the proceedings commenced, passed off pretty well. I did not learn until I read the programme on the platform that my name was down for an address. The choir sang several pieces, Mr. Chambers made some opening remarks, Gov. West made the oration—occupying about 25 minutes—and spoke very well, President Woodruff made remarks for ten minutes, and I spoke about 15 minutes. President Woodruff was listened to attentively and spoke in a strong voice, and his remarks were very good. I also had the attention of the audience and felt well in speaking.

From the Festival Hall I went to the Utah building. Col. McDaniel invited me to take lunch with him at the restaurant of the Windermere Hotel and we had an excellent and well-cooked meal. Upon returning to the Utah building I found it filled with visitors and many were anxious for an introduction and interview. Mrs. Isabelle Beecher Hooker was there awaiting my return and I had a long conversation with her. A Mrs. Dickinson, a great grand neice of Solomon Spalding, had a conversation with me and was anxious I would read her book on Mormonism if she should send it to me.

I had a most interesting conversation with Honore J. Jaxon, one of the Metas of Canada. He was in prison with Louis Riall, the leader of the half-breeds and Indians in the Canadian insurrection a few years ago, and escaped from prison before Riall was executed. He could go back to Canada on condition that he would take an oath which he could not conscientiously subscribe to, as it would be an acknowledgement that his previous course was wrong and not in the interest of liberty; he therefore preferred to stay on this side of the line. He informed me that he is 5/16th Indians, but his sympathies are all Indian. The Metas are French Indians, descended from the intercourse of the French voyageurs and the Indians. They have intimate relations with the Ojibbeways, the Crees, the Blackfoots and the Chippewa-anas (?) and are extending their influence and connections to the Sioux and the other tribes as fast as possible, and are looking to combinations with the Mexican Indians.. They used their knowledge derived from the whites through their parentage for the benefit and advancement of their purposes. He believes there is a great future for the Indian race and that the Great Spirit loves them and cares for them. He said if the white race had been exposed to the same treatment the Indians had received, they would not have survived as the Indians have. His people have heard much concerning us and our attitude towards and treatment of the Indians, and they were drawn to us. He looked upon us as occupying the position of a pier to a bridge whose ends were in Canada and Mexico. I explained to him our views concerning the Indians and their future and the covenants and promises which the Lord had made to their fathers and which are recorded in the Book of Mormon. He evidently knows much of our history and the course we are pursuing. He said that he understood we were gathering people of certain inclinations and of certain blood out from the different nations as the magnet draws to itself everything which has an affinity with it. I then told him how successful we had been among certain peoples—the Polynesians and the Indians—and how natural it appeared to be to them to receive and believe our principles—so different in this respect to the whites[.] Mr. Jaxon is a remarkable looking man; while his skin is white—a peculiar white—he has more of the Indian in his appearance than the white man.

Myself and children attended the concert given by the Tabernacle choir at the Grand Central Music Hall; the audience appeared cold and unsympathetic.

10 September 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 10, 1893.

I am suffering from a severe cold and feel badly. I concluded not to go out sightseeing with the others.

The Choir left Chicago for Omaha last night. They give a sacred concert at Omaha this evening.

I secured a room at the Auditorium Hotel. We agreed yesterday—President Woodruff and Smith and myself—that we would stay where we were, that is, at the Hotel Montreal, until we could get rooms at the Auditorium. I felt so badly and there was so much discomfort that I took the first opportunity of moving.

11 September 1893 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 11, 1893.

I spent a large portion of the day with my children at the Fair. Among other sights, we visited the battle ship Illinois and saw the life-saving service operate. It was very interesting.

At 12 noon I met President Woodruff at the Utah building. He is not well. I have felt badly all day, suffering from dysentary and a severe cold. I intended to be present at a reception to which I had been invited by Mr. & Mrs. A. C. Bartlett, 2720 Prairie Ave., to be given to Rev. John Henry Barrows D.D., the Chairman of the Comittee in charge of the Congress of Religion; but my trunk had miscarried and I was unable to go.

12 September 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 1893.

I had a bad night and concluded to stay indoors today. I wrote “Topics” for the Juvenile Instructor. It rained heavily in the afternoon and evening. I am alone at the Hotel. President Woodruff and family, instead of coming to the Hotel, had taken quarters at Mrs. Osgood’s, 1626 Michigan Ave., where Brother Clawson and a number of our people were stopping. I heard he was sick and I called upon him towards evening, and finding I could get a room there, and being tired of my loneliness at the hotel, I had my son-in-law settle my bill and bring my satchel from there, and I remained at Mrs. Osgood’s. President Woodruff is better.

I have taken scarcely more than one trip solely for pleasure in my life, and that was last Fall for the two weeks at Brother N. W. Clayton’s camp on the Weber; and this is the second, but it is no pleasure to me to be as I am now—without a wife as a companion to enjoy with me the sights and to converse upon them now and revive the remembrance of them hereafter. Though with a crowd, I am in a certain sense lonely, having no mate; though I enjoy the society of my children, yet I have not been much with them.

13 September 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sep. 13, 1893.

Though not well, I had a better night last night. President Woodruff suffered from diarrhoea. I stayed in the house and wrote an article for the Juvenile. So anxious were the children to see the play of America which is performed at the Auditorium that they bought standing tickets (50¢ each) and stood through the performance. Sister Woodruff and daughters did the same. My girls said the sight was worth the fatigue and the 50¢. Lewis went to the races to see Nancy Hanks and other fast ones trot, and the girls went to the theatre alone.

Brother Clawson says we cannot go home before Saturday, unless we leave him and his folks, on account of tickets needing arranging. We do not want to leave him after what he has done for us; but it did not require a good guesser to know that we would stay till then after hearing that Sister Emily Clawson had said she was intending to stay through the week even if the rest did go. I knew we would stay as long as would suit Brother Clawson, so I felt, or appeared to feel indifferent. If one cannot have his way, it is no use letting other people know you are disappointed. But for myself I am thoroughly tired of the show, as most of the rest of us are also. It is our complaisanc[e] that keeps us here now.

14 September 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 14, 1893.

Wrote my journal, also Editorial Thoughts.

My children and myself went through Midway Plaisance and we saw the representation of the Volcano Kilauea. I desired my children to see it, as I had heard it was very good, and it proved so. Four half-bloods sung some native songs and sung them well. I visited and saw the volcano forty years ago.

This day has been oppressively hot—the hottest of the season here. A great many have been stricken down with heat at Fair grounds. I felt the heat very much.

Brother & Sister Clayton invited me to accompany them to see the play of Judah, the principal character being taken by Mr. Willard. We had good seats and I enjoyed the performance very much. It is a strong drama, and though there are sentiments in it which I cannot agree with, the termination is very good—quite Mormonlike.

15 September 1893 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 15, 1893.

Made an appointment with Mr. Jos. S. Woodruff and his son Jos. B. to meet President Woodruff at their offices, Hartford Buildings, corner of Dearborn & Madison Sts. There are from the same place as President Woodruff, and probably distant relatives. I afterwards accompanied President Woodruff and we spent nearly two hours in conversation.

At 2 o’clock President Woodruff and myself were called for by Counselor Boyle and Mr. Beatie and taken with Bishop Clawson to the Stockyards, where we saw the expeditious manner in which cattle, hogs and sheep were slaughtered, dressed and packed—a sight I took but little or no pleasure in. I never took any pleasure in hunting and have had a great repugnance to killing anything, even to killing insects. After this we were taken through the boulevards, Washington Park, Drexel Park and Avenue and some very beautiful avenues. Costly residences abound, built in the highest style of architecture. There is every evidence of great and widespread opulence. We had a most enjoyable afternoon.

In the evening we had a call from Brother A. W. Ivins, who sent had the following dispatch from Brother H. J. Grant:

“Tell Presidency first thing tomorrow I favor purchasing eighty per cent Kaibab bonds and stock for forty thousand, ten thousand less than former offer, provided Wes will extend our note eighty thousand one year and loan ninety thousand one year at six per cent. This gives us fifty thousand cash, which I think we will absolutely need. If they approve wire me immediately to close deal Friday.”

We sent the following answer:

“If in your judgment absolutely necessary you have fifty thousand then Presidency agree with you about purchasing; but would avoid if possible.”

16 September 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 16, 1893.

Wrote “Topics of the Times”; afterwards visited the Fair to bid good-by to the folks at the Utah building.

We went to our private car at 7 p.m. to start home by the Rock Island route.

17 September 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 17, 1893.

We passed through Iowa after daylight and admired the country and the crops. From Omaha we passed through Lincoln and on into Kansas.

18 September 1893 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 18, 1893.

Wrote “Editorial Thoughts”.

The heat yesterday afternoon and evening was oppressive. It is somewhat so today; but it became cooler as we drew near the mountains. We did not go to Denver, but to Pueblo and thence to Leadville. The scenery was very grand.

19 September 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 1893.

We reached the City about noon and were met at the station by our friends and relatives. I went home and shortly afterwards came up to the office and attended to some business. Presidents Woodruff and Smith were not at the office.

20 September 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 20,1893.

President Woodruff at the office. President Smith was attending to the preparations for the obsequies of his Aunt, Sister Mercy Thompson, who is to be buried at 2 o’clock. She was 86 years 3 months old when she died.

Brother Isaac Smith, of Logan, Counselor in the Presidency of the Cache Stake, called upon me and asked several questions respecting domestic affairs, after which we had some conversation concerning the situation in Logan.

Brother Penrose called in and laid before us his views of the political situation here, and John Q. Cannon also came in to see if we had any instructions to give concerning the tone of the News in regard to the political situation. We know so little about this that we thought it better for him to hold on and not say much at present.

At 2 o’clock I went to the funeral of Sister Thompson at the 16th Ward meeting house. Brothers F. D. Richards and F. M. Lyman were there and they addressed the congregation and occupied so much time that I made no remarks.

21 September 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 21, 1893.

Brother Cederstrom, from the west side of Utah Lake, brought in some beautiful specimens of Onyx, which had been obtained out of claims that he and his son own in that vicinity. He is desirous of disposing of part of the property to the Church.

Ex-Attorney General Roberts, of Idaho, called with my son Frank upon me and I introduced him to Presidents Woodruff and Smith. He has always been very friendly to us and has done us good service at different times.

Sisters Zina D. H. Young and Jane S. Richards called in and we had quite a lengthy conversation with them concerning the Relief Society matters.

At 12 o’clock we had a meeting of Zions Savings Bank &Trust Co.

At 2 o’clock we had our usual weekly meeting in the Temple. There were present, the First Presidency and Elders L. Snow, F. D[.] Richards, F. M. Lyman and A. H. Cannon. After we clothed we opened the meeting with singing. Abraham H. Cannon then prayed. We formed a circle (President Woodruff not being able to dress for want of his clothing) and F. M. Lyman was mouth. We talked over various business matters and an excellent spirit prevailed. We felt to supplicate the Lord with great earnestness for our way to be made plain in pecuniary matters, and also that work might be furnished for the unemployed.

My son Lewis T. Cannon started for the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Boston, this morning. He has spent one year there and it has been a question in my mind whether he should go again or not, as my circumstances financially are very narrow. I consulted with my son and family, and they all felt that if it was at all possible Lewis should go back and continue his studies. This was also my own feeling; but the money necessary to enable him to do so was the difficulty. The way was opened, however, for me to raise a part, and he started this morning.

22 September 1893 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 22, 1893.

The First Presidency at the office.

Brother Lorin Walker called in and made some statements concerning his domestic affairs, and we gave him counsel.

I had an interview with Brother John L. Nebeker and arranged for his mother and his Aunt Maria to come down to my house on Sunday morning and talk over their affairs.

We extended some aid to ex-Attorney General Roberts in the shape of a loan of $250.

We had an interview with Sister Davis, the widow of Brother R. J. Davis. The circumstances are quite romantic connected with her statement, and we decided to cancel her mariage with him, and that her children should have their choice as to whom they would belong—to their deceased father or another.

23 September 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 23, 1893.

Came up to the office. Busily employed till 11 o’clock, when I went down to the Assembly Hall in response to an invitation extended by Sister Ellen Clawson to meet with the Primary Associations in their conference. I listened with much interest to the young children reciting and singing, and made some remarks occupying about 15 minutes.

Upon my return I started to visit Westover. Brother Wilcken drove. We called at my wife Carlie’s mother’s and took them in the carriage. Brothers Clawson, L. G. Hardy and Don Carlos Young with their families went with us and took picnic. We had a very enjoyable time at Westover and returned in the evening.

24 September 1893 • Sunday

Sunday, Sept. 24, 1893.

I had an interview this morning with the two widows of Brother George Nebeker. An appropriation of $2000 had been made by the First Presidency in favor of Sister Maria Nebeker, and this has caused feelings in the family. I told Brother John L. Nebeker that if I could be of any service in restoring good feelings, I would be glad to do so. We had nearly two hours’ conversation this morning. They are an excellent family and have lived very harmoniously together; but the appropriation of this money to one part of the family has created feeling. I hope, however, that my counsel to them will have the effect to settle all the trouble.

I attended meeting at the Tabernacle, and President Woodruff intimated that he wanted me to speak; but as Brother Moses Thatcher was present and he had not attended meeting there for a long period, I suggested that the people would doubtless like to hear him, and President Woodruff asked him. He spoke about half an hour. His theme was principally financial matters. When he had concluded, President Woodruff desired me to speak, and I occupied about 45 minutes. He himself followed and spoke about ten minutes.

25 September 1893 • Monday

Monday, Sept. 25, 1893.

Came to the office. President Woodruff was there; President Smith came in about midday.

We had a call from Mr Maples and Mr. Green, both of Connecticut. The former had called upon President Woodruff on Saturday and had had a long conversation with him. He is editor of the “Hour” at Norwalk, Conn., and appears to be an intelligent and influential man. We explained a number of things to him, for he was very curious to know all about our affairs, and expressed a willingness to do us full justice and thought he might be of service on the restoration of the property question.

We had a meeting of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles R.R. Co., and heard the reports and elected another board of directors. The directors afterwards met and elected a president, vice president, Manager and Secretary and Treasurer. I was elected president, Jos. F. Smith vice president, N. W. Clayton manager, Isaac Clayton secretary and treasurer. An auditing committee, consisting of James Jack, G. H. Snell and L. J. Nuttall, was elected also.

We afterwards had a meeting of the stockholders of the Inter-Mountain Salt Co.

We had a long interview with Brother Wm. W. Cluff in relation to business that we had sent for him to come and see us about.

In the afternoon Brother H. B. Clawson submitted to us a dispatch which he had received from Col. Isaac Trumbo in California, after the reading of which Presidents Woodruff and Smith thought that Brother N. W. Clayton and myself should proceed at once to California. Brother Clawson sent a dispatch informing Col. Trumbo of this conclusion, and received in reply a dispatch asking him also to come with us.

We had a very interesting report from Brother Frank Armstrong, whom we had appointed as one of a committee to go down and examine the Onyx quarries of Brother Cederstrom’s on the west side of Utah Lake. The report was very enthusiastic concerning the value of the property, and he reported to us a proposition which he had made to these brethren, and which after considering they were to come up on Wednesday and see about.

26 September 1893 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1893.

First Presidency at the office.

I was busy with my correspondence and dictated to Brother Gibbs answers to a number of letters.

Brother Wilcken reported a proposition that had been made by some parties to sell the land that a number of us owned at Deseret to agents of Baron Hirsch, for the purpose of making it a place for a colony of Russian Jews. The proposition had been made to Brother Wilcken to go with some of these parties who are acting in the matter to Paris, transportation having been furnished for two agents to go over to represent the property. The object in selling this land is to relieve the Salt Lake & Agricultural Co. from a load of indebtedness now resting upon it. I had no doubt that an advantageous sale could be made of it, speaking financially; but I told the brethren that I could not with my present feelings consent to the introduction of a colony of Jews under such circumstances in the midst of our people, notwithstanding the heavy debt that was hanging over the place. The element was one that would not assimilate with our people, and they were a grasping, greedy and unscrupulous race, especially those who are driven out of Russia. I said that while I thought the Russian government had treated the Jews with great cruelty, still there was no doubt some ground for the statements which they made concerning their overreaching the Gentiles, so much so that they were an injury to the prosperity of the country, their usurious practices being such that the Gentile peasantry could not hold their own with them. I thought that in years to come it would prove an unfortunate thing if a colony of these people were permitted to occupy this land, and it would be a painful reflection to think, if the colony should not turn out well, that the First Presidency had been prompted by pecuniary motives in disposing of this land without caring for the future of our own people. I believe that Baron Hirsch and those who are promoting the emigration of the Jews would be pleased to have them come into our country, because of our known friendly disposition to the Jewish race, and also for the benefit of our example in industry and in our system of irrigation, etc. After I had laid my views before the brethren, both Presidents Woodruff and Smith expressed themselves as being in full accord with what I said. It was therefore decided that nothing should be done in that direction.

At 10 o’clock this morning I attended a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co., also a Bullion-Beck meeting at 2 o’clock, previous to which I had a long conversation with John Beck concerning the mining property and the way it was managed. A dividend of ten cents a share was declared.

I went home and prepared to go to San Francisco. I bade my family good-by and at 11 p.m. was taken by my son Hugh to the Rio Grande Western station and took [a] sleeper. Brothers N.W. Clayton and H. B. Clawson were with me.

27 September 1893 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Sept. 27, 1893.

Somewhat hot and the latter part of the day dusty.

28 September 1893 • Thursday

Thursday, Sept. 28, 1893.

We reached Oakland about 10:30 a.m. Crossed by ferry to San Francisco and was met by Col. Trumbo. We put up at the Palace Hotel.

At 2:30 we met at Col. Trumbo’s office with himself and Gen. Clarkson. We entered upon business which had brought us here. I was much gratified to find how much work Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo had done in the business. They have spent about $1800 in maps and altogether, in securing information and data, about $2400. Gen. Clarkson said he had been full of this project for months and had been working at it steadily; in fact, this was the case with both; and the results were before us. Maps covering sections of each 50 miles of the proposed route of the railway—one inch to the mile—had been prepared and an omnibus map covering the whole from Salt Lake City to San Francisco and showing the entire route was being finished. Everything was very complete. Surveys had been secured which had been made by one and another of the different routes. They had been offered a profile of a line which had been made in the interest of and by the Missouri Pacific R.R. for $3000, which had cost that Co. $200,000; but Judge Estee, whom they had consulted, advised against it, as they would be in the position of buying stolen goods. In our conversation I took occasion to say what our (The First Presidency’s) motives were in thinking of undertaking this enterprise. We were in the position of shepherds of a flock. However much our enemies might say that we must not as a church, or leaders of a church, engage in temporal business, we could not avoid doing so if we did our duty. Our people had been gathered from afar. They had come because they believed the Lord had commanded them. They looked to us as their leaders, and while they did not surrender their judgment or submit to be blindly led, whenever trouble arose they turned to us for counsel and guidance. We could not, therefore, without incurring condemnation, leave them to wander like lost sheep upon the mountains. They needed employment and could not get it. Unless something should be done to provide it, there was danger of disintegration and scattering. The men employed by the railroads we had helped build, and at one time owned, could be counted on the fingers of one hand. The cities, the government of which had passed out of our hands, imported strangers to vote for and hold their officials in power, and refused our people employment. The need was imperative, therefore, that we as leaders of the people should do something. This enterprise had commended itself to me, and I had urged it upon my brethren. We have credit; instead of permitting our enemies to bank upon it and use it, I thought we ought to use it ourselves. We should assert ourselves, and endeavor to secure influence in the transportation of our country, which was now entirely out of our hands, instead of being under the heels of others. This would deliver us from bondage and the state of dependence we were now in. But in engaging in any enterprise of this kind we should have the control. We could never consent to be in the minority or to hold a minority only of the stock; for this would only be a repetition of the past. We desired to show the country a railroad built honestly, economically and excellently. We were confident if we had the opportunity we could build such a road, and manage it afterwards in the interest of the public and not of a few magnates, to make them princes and oppressors and a grievous burden to the country. I believed, I said, that if we did this work it would stand as a monument in our favor and to our credit and be an object lesson to the whole country. I said much more in this strain, for I felt deeply upon this subject, it being one very dear to me and upon which I have been deeply impressed and reflected very much.

My gratification was very great at finding that Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo both accepted my views and were willing and desirous that the control of the enterprise should remain in our hands. In that they felt there was safety, and they both expressed themselves as unwilling to have anything to do with the project if the control did not remain with us. They both desired the road built at cost and this would be its chief advantage as a competing line. If this can be built at $20,000 a mile it can compete successfully, it may be expected, with a line which is stocked at $70,000 a mile.

Our conversation and interchange of views lasted till 6 p.m., when we adjourned to meet at 7:30 at Colonel Trumbo’s residence.

29 September 1893 • Friday

Friday, Sept. 29, 1893.

Spent the day at Col. Trumbo’s office, going over the whole subject in detail and examining every phase. We dined at Col. Trumbo’s, and after dinner Judge Estee joined us and we discussed the whole subject very thoroughly till 10:30 p.m. The Judge’s remarks about San Francisco and the difficulty of getting in there and the apathy of the people upon the subject of another railroad were not encouraging, though the community is groaning under the burden of the monopoly of the Southern Pacific R.R.

30 September 1893 • Saturday

Saturday, Sept. 30, 1893.

Judge Estee met with us this morning at Col. Trumbo’s office and he felt more hopeful, and had a plan which he thought might accomplish in San Francisco what we wanted in the securing of terminals here, without it being necessary for our proposed company to appear in it. I thought the plan a good one. I suggested that the Judge get up a memorandum of the points we had agreed upon for Gen. Clarkson to have a copy to take East with him and for me to have one to take home. This he agreed to have ready by Monday. Gen. Clarkson expects to leave tomorrow and this will be sent after him. The Judge will also draw up forms of incorporation for the companies we need. I do not mention many points talked over and agreed upon because his Mem. will explain them.

This afternoon I had a long private conversation with Gen. Clarkson, the brethren and Col. Trumbo affording me the opportunity, in which in response to my questions he expressed himself as perfectly satisfied with everything we had done and proposed to do. I was much pleased at what he said respecting his own feelings upon these subjects in the past and how he felt concerning the corruptions and wrongs which existed, and for which there was a crying need for remedial measures. His views are as much as or more in accord with those of the Latter-day Saints than any one I have conversed with. I explained today to him and Judge Estee and Col. Trumbo what we Latter-day Saints believed to be our destiny in respect to the upholding of constitutional government and the correction of wrongs in the nation; that from my youth I had been taught we would do this, and that it was our destiny; and this enterprise, I felt, was a step in that direction, if we could only make an arrangement with monied men that would be satisfactory. We dined at Col. Trumbo’s and separated at 10:30.

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September 1893, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 23, 2024