January 1894

Events in George Q. Cannon’s journal for 1894

11 January

Reflections on his life at age sixty-seven

12 January ff.

Business matters pertaining to the Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Company

20 January ff.

Traveled east on business matters

12 February

Wrote letters regarding long deprivation of franchise to vote

22 February

Counseled family members

6 March

President Wilford Woodruff’s memory failing

15 March

Discussion of the subject of adoption

26 March

Thoughts regarding water cures

29 March

Conversed with James E. Talmage about “going into the University of Utah”

5 April

Views regarding sealings of families

23 April ff.

In the East to handle business matters

1 May ff.

Meetings in New York and in Salt Lake City with G. A. Purbeck

4 May ff.

In the Boston area

8 June

Wife Carlie was despondent and expected she would die

11 June

Continuing efforts to raise money for the Pioneer Electric Power Company

24 June

President Woodruff bore his testimony about Joseph Smith

28 June

Conversation on the nature of the Holy Ghost

13 July

Financially embarrassed

20 July ff.

Discussion regarding a loan to the Grant Bros. Livery Company

27 July

Magician Annie May Abbott exhibited her powers of strength

14 August ff.

Furnishing the Gardo House in Salt Lake City for Colonel Isaac Trumbo

15 August ff.

Business dealings with General James S. Clarkson and Colonel Trumbo

27 August

Dr. Iliff proposed a committee to deal with the question of prohibition

3 September ff.

Irrigation Congress meetings in Denver, Colorado

10 September ff.

Communications with James S. Clarkson

13 October

Was given a statement of his tithing since 1864

18 October

Dealings with the Deseret National Bank

19 October

Heard son Frank speak at a Republican rally

22 October

Visited by Prince Gallitzin of Russia

25 October ff.

Conflicts regarding John Beck matters

31 October

Visited the sugar factory

17 November ff.

Dealings with James S. Clarkson and John C. Osgood

23 November ff.

Convention of the Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress; Cannon respected

7 December

Sought loan for the Brigham Young Trust Company

10 December ff.

Sought loans for the church

18 December ff.

Discussed the question of purchasing the sugar bonds

21 December

“A meeting of the committee of the Brigham Young Academy of Provo”

1 January 1894 • Monday

Monday, January 1, 1894 This morning—the first of the new year—I arose with thankfulness to the Lord for the blessings which I and my family enjoy. With the exception of my wife Martha, whose health has not been completely restored but who is tolerably well, we are all in the enjoyment of good health and strength, and we have food, raiment and shelter, our houses are comfortable, and we need nothing to add to our physical comfort. For these blessings I feel profoundly thankful, and in wishing my family a happy new year I felt to bless each and all of them.

I called upon President Woodruff and paid my respects to him; wished him a happy new year and a continuation of life for many years yet to come.

I then visited my son John Q’s house, and also called upon my wife Carlie’s relatives. She accompanied me in her vehicle to my daughter Amelia’s, who, I heard, was suffering from a gathered breast.

I took dinner with my wife Carlie and family and had an excellent meal.

2 January 1894 • Tuesday

Tuesday, January 2, 1894. The First Presidency listened to the reading of lectures which had been prepared by Dr. Talmage. We made several corrections.

We had a meeting with Brothers John H. Smith and Heber J. Grant concerning Brother Hardy’s affairs.

We had a meeting with Brother Franklin S. Richards concerning various matters, especially in relation to the arrangements that are being made for turning over the personal property to the Church.

Brother Karl G. Maeser came in, and I made a statement to Presidents Woodruff and Smith concerning my feelings about his going to the Midwinter Fair at San Francisco. They have proffered space there to exhibit our educational affairs, and it appeared to me that it was a good opportunity for us to make our affairs known to visitors there, and Brother Maeser being a linguist and thoroughly acquainted with educational matters I thought he would be a suitable man to go there. This was agreed to and he was appointed to this mission.

Brother Wm. C. Spence saw us in relation to passes on the railroad. They are restricting the number very much and only propose to let a few of us have annual passes over the Union Pacific and the Rio Grande Western.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

3 January 1894 • Wednesday

Wednesday, January 3, 1894 Held a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. this morning and balloted for an executive committee. Those elected were Spencer Clawson, N. W. Clayton and C. S. Burton.

At 1 o’clock a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank was held. I got excused to take part in the funeral proceedings of Sister Andrew Smith, it being her request that I should speak at her funeral. The house was filled, and I occupied about 35 mins, and then withdrew.

I had an appointment at Brother N. W. Clayton’s with Presidents Woodruff and Smith. We transacted some business and Sister Clayton furnished us with a very fine repast of oysters on the shell and stewed oysters.

We returned to the office and attended to some business.

When I reached home I found Mrs. Whitehead there on a visit to us. She is the wife of Charles Whitehead, who is a son of my cousin Margaret Quirk. They have come to this country partly for her health and for employment, and he is working for my brother Angus at Lewiston.

4 January 1894 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany. 4, 1894 I made a visit to the Hot Springs early this morning, in company with Brother Wilcken. This is fast day.

The First Presidency attended to considerable business, and at 2 o’clock we held our usual meeting in the Temple, there being present, besides the Presidency, Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. President Jos. F. Smith offered the opening prayer and I prayed in the circle. We attended afterwards to a few items of business.

“Cleopatra” is now being played at the theatre and as my wife Carlie wished to see it I agreed to accompany her. I secured two tickets in front of the stage and took dinner with her at her sister Emily Clawson’s. I was not much inclined to see this performance, for I do not have any respect for the character of Cleopatra; but I was pleased afterwards that I did see it. It was put upon the stage in a most gorgeous manner; the scenery was exceptionally fine, and the tempest scene in the 4th act, I think, surpassed anything of the kind I ever saw.

5 January 1894 • Friday

Friday, Jany. 5, 1894. I again went to the Hot Springs this morning.

We listened to the reading of a lecture by Dr. Talmage and made some corrections in it.

President Lorenzo Snow had an interview with the First Presidency and submitted a number of questions to us for our decision[.] He was satisfied with our views upon the subjects.

Brother M. G. Trejo called in and President Woodruff and myself had an interview with him concerning a mission which he proposes to take and which we wish him to take to Sonora, Mexico. He has been very diligent in his labors among the Indians and has endured a great many privations. He still desires to pursue his labors among the races of Indians with whom he is friendly in Sonora. We decided that he should go there, and requested him to submit to us what amount he would require to cover his expenses. He has an idea that within a year he will be able to make the mission self-supporting.

Brother John Gallagher invited the First Presidency and the Presidency of the Stake to an oyster lunch at his restaurant, he having just received a consignment of some very fine oysters. We were all present, excepting my brother Angus, who was not in the City, and enjoyed the treat which Brother Gallagher gave us.

The Salt Lake Tribune has contained a leading editorial each morning of Wednesday and Thursday of an extraordinary character for that publication. The first article conveyed the idea that there were a good many men who had had plural wives and children by them, who were neglecting them, and the editor thought this was wrong, and set forth his views of others like him to the effect that steps should be taken by every person thus situated to care for their wives and their offspring, without violating the law. The next editorial, written in the same tone, said that they would gladly publish the names of any who were thus neglectful of their plural families. Whatever the motive may be that prompts the writing of these articles (I feel that it is best to not be too critical about them) they certainly will have the effect to show that our people are not very flagrant violators of the law. Directly after the Manifesto was issued I predicted to the brethren that the day would come when we should be able to live with our families and own them, and that the restrictions that then were bearing heavily upon us and being enforced against us would be removed. My words were received, I think, with some degree of incredulity; but what I said is just as likely to be fulfilled as if the statement had been then made that the Tribune would contain such articles as now appear.

6 January 1894 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 6, 1894 I again went to the Hot Springs, in company with Brother Wilcken, and upon my return attended a meeting of the Priesthood in the Assembly Hall. President Woodruff and myself made remarks to the brethren.

Brother W. W. Cluff was in the office today and made a report of his trip to Cedar City for the purpose of securing coal lands. We felt very much gratified at his report. He has been very successful in securing them at a much lower price than they were offered to us at. He secured it for $25,000; they asked $32,000. We felt that the Lord had blessed him.

7 January 1894 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany. 7, 1894 I called my children together this morning and had a very interesting conversation with them, in which I pointed out the course which they ought to pursue in order to become useful in their day and generation. I think this conversation will have a good effect.

At 12:30 I attended the theological class of which Brother Talmage is instructor, and at 2 o’clock I attended meeting in the Tabernacle and suggested that Brother Jos. W. McMurrin be called upon to speak. He spoke for 50 minutes and in a very interesting and spirited manner. I enjoyed his remarks exceedingly.

My son Abraham invited myself and my wife Carlie to take dinner with him and his wife Mamie.

8 January 1894 • Monday

Monday, Jany. 8, 1894 Brothers L. S. Hills, H. Dinwoodey, James T. Little, W. W. Riter, James Sharp, Geo. Romney, J. R. Winder, J. C[.] Cutler, directors of the Deseret National Bank, met with the Presidency. There were also present, Brothers John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant. The object of the meeting was to consult with these brethren in regard to Brother Hardy’s case.

I was busy attending to various matters.

9 January 1894 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany. 9, 1894 President Woodruff and myself had a call this morning from M. H. Walker and Fred Simon and Sister F. S. Richards, on behalf of a relief committee that is organized here to take care of the destitute. They wanted the use of the Tabernacle for a concert, which we consented to their having.

A young man by the name of [last name redacted], just returned from Scandinavia, confessed that he had been guilty of wrongdoing with a young woman in Sweden between the months of June and October last year. He had confessed his sin to the president of the conference, and also to President Anthon H. Lund, and had been sent home. President Woodruff consented for him to be baptized and instructed Brother Geo. Reynolds about it. I did not feel that this man should act in the Priesthood; for it seemed to me that a man sent out to preach righteousness who could be guilty of such an offense was unworthy of the Priesthood; but President Woodruff did not seem impressed in this direction. Besides the thought occurred that it would expose it too much, and it was let go.

Le Grand Young came in and brought a letter to me from Brother John W. Young, which I read to the brethren, in which John stated his situation and what a great benefit 2000 pds. would be to him in his present circumstances. We are helpless, however, and can do nothing of the character that he desires.

We afterwards had an interview with Brother F. S. Richards concerning the proceedings of the Supreme Court here in our property case. He described with some minuteness what he had done in the matter.

Brothers John Henry Smith and H. J. Grant brought up the L. G. Hardy case again. It seems difficult to raise the money to deliver him. My wife Carlie this morning told me before leaving home that she would be willing to mortgage nine acres of land that she had and her State Bank stock and five shares in Z.C.M.I., if by doing so and parting with it all she could save him from the penitentiary. I thought the sacrifice quite considerable, but I did not say anything to discourage her, though if she does so, her income will be much lessened and the burden doubtless would eventually fall on me. I made the statement to Brothers Smith and Grant of her proposal.

Brother Jos. E. Taylor had requested me to use my personal influence with Mayor Baskin to get him appointed Sexton. President Woodruff and myself sent for my son John Q. and asked him to go down and represent the case to Mayor Baskin, which he did and reported that the application should have been made a week ago, and then probably he would have been appointed.

10 January 1894 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany. 10, 1894 I was pleased this morning to meet Brothers Orson Smith, C. W. Hardy and J. E. Langford, who have just returned from the expedition on which we sent them to explore the route for a railroad westward.

11 January 1894 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany. 11, 1894 At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon met in the Temple. Abraham H. Cannon was mouth in prayer, and F. M. Lyman prayed in the circle. It was decided that the First Presidency and Brother Lyman should go to Provo, that Brothers John Henry Smith and H. J. Grant should stay here, and that Brothers Lorenzo Snow and A. H. Cannon should go to Weber Stake Conference.

My wife Carlie made a dinner party, the cause of it being my birthday, I being sixty-seven years old today. President Woodruff and wife, President Smith and wife Sarah, my brother Angus and wife Amanda, Brother C. H. Wilcken and daughter Minnie, my son John Q. and wife, my son Abraham and his three wives, Angus and his wife, Hugh and his wife, William and his wife, Amelia and her husband, my son Frank’s wife, my wife’s mother were present. Mary Alice and her husband and Mrs. Whitehead were invited, but were not present till late. My daughters Hester, Emily and Rosannah were present also. The dinner was an excellent one and the evening was spent very delightfully. President Woodruff expressed a wish to hear me speak, which I did, expressing my feelings concerning the dealings of the Lord with me and my family and the wonderful manner that my life had been ordered. It was like a drama to me. I had never seen anything on the stage that appeared to me more interesting than my own life, and it had been, notwithstanding my trials and sorrows, a singularly happy one. The Lord has brought me out of obscurity and my father’s house, and I wonder at his goodness.

President Jos. F. Smith followed, and in his remarks he made the warmest and kindest allusions to myself and his long association with me and admiration for me. He said, among other things, that next to the Prophet Joseph he did not know any man that had done more with his tongue and pen than I had. My life had been one of great industry. I felt very much touched by his remarks concerning myself and family and the blessings that he felt to invoke upon us.

President Woodruff followed and spoke in the kindest manner and made many promises concerning myself and posterity.

My brother Angus made some remarks also.

We had singing, and the evening was one of delightful enjoyment to myself, and all expressed themselves as very delighted with the visit.

12 January 1894 • Friday

Friday, Jany. 12, 1894 Brother Talmage and the committee came in this morning and read to us his lecture upon the sacrament.

The personal property of the Church has been occupying the attention now of the Supreme Court and our attorneys for some days past, and today the Receiver turned over to the First Presidency of the Church $438,174.39, and we appointed tomorrow at 10 o’clock for the First Presidency to get together with Brother James Jack to go through our accounts and see how we stand.

Meeting of the B.B.&C. Co., at which a full board was present. One of the chief matters of business, over which we spent considerable time, was a contract which had been made with John Beck to let him have 400 tons of ore which he was to work up for us and we were to pay him $14 a ton. The result is $4400, which we have a check for; but he has lost money by his operation, and asked that another proposition which he had formerly made, but which the company declined, he accepted, viz., that he should have the ore at $5 a ton. The general expression of feeling was that this could not be done legally and that the board might get into trouble with some dissatisfied stockholders[.] I expressed myself as willing to vote to relieve him, if it could be done legally. If it could not be, I was willing to pay my share of the amount if it was awarded to me on dividend. A motion was finally made by Brother Hyde to change the contract and to let him have the ore at $5 per ton, which John Beck seconded, and for which we three voted. Brothers Thatcher and Preston did not vote; they said it was illegal. Brother Thatcher remarked that he would be willing to give 2 1/2 cents per share to Brother Beck, as he had lost about $2500, but he was not willing to vote for this. This offer of his would amount to a very small sum for him. The proposition did not strike me very favorably. He was about to declare the vote carried, when I said I withdrew my vote, for I did not want to stand in the light of doing an illegal thing. I then proposed that as there were five of us and our salaries were pretty good, that we pay this amount ourselves, each paying his share. Brother Beck seconded that motion; but the others did not see it and did not vote for it. I felt that sympathy was very cheap when expressed in words, but the best way to show sympathy would be to pay. A dividend of 30¢ a share was declared.

13 January 1894 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 13, 1894 The First Presidency met at 10 o’clock this morning and went over the financial affairs of the Church with Chief Clerk James Jack.

I attended to a number of items of business; among other things, read letters to the First Presidency from Gen. Clarkson concerning the steps that were being taken to secure statehood and also concerning the railroad project. President Woodruff expressed himself yesterday to the effect that he thought I ought to go back East. We had selected Brother Clawson to go a day or two ago, but yesterday President Woodruff felt that I ought to go also.

My wife Carlie had her mother and her sisters Emily, Miriam and Josephine with their husbands to dinner this evening. We spent a very pleasant evening together.

14 January 1894 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany. 14, 1894 Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself went to Provo to attend conference. The forenoon was occupied by Brothers F. M. Lyman and Jos. F. Smith. In the afternoon President Woodruff and myself occupied the time. I enjoyed the conference very much and felt greatly cheered. Last night I was much exercised, so much so that I could not sleep and felt quite oppressed. I cannot recall more than one night in my life when I felt more burdened in view of our situation; but today’s meetings have had a very cheering effect upon me.

15 January 1894 • Monday

Monday, Jany. 15, 1894 The First Presidency had a conversation with Brother Karl G. Maeser concerning his going to the Midwinter Fair to represent our educational matters, and also instructed him to take charge of the mission there.

We held a meeting of Z.C.M.I. at 11 o’clock.

We had a call from Mr. Boyle, an attorney of Chicago.

The First Presidency and Brother Jack went through our accounts to see our situation. Our debts are far greater than we can meet.

I was busy going through my papers and letters.

It is rarely that I felt as much fatigued as I did tonight in leaving the office. I was almost prostrated, and much of it was due to the monetary pressure upon me in view of our financial obligations, and also my feelings about going East.

16 January 1894 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany. 16, 1894 I passed a good night last night. I cried constantly to the Lord to deliver me and the First Presidency. I felt that He would open the way before us, although I did not see how it could be done.

A meeting had been called for the First Presidency and Twelve at 10:30 this morning, as I was desirous to lay the communications which I had received from Gen. Clarkson before all the brethren. The position was so serious in my mind that I was quite anxious to get their views, so that in going East I would go with a full understanding of their views, and that they might also know the views of the other parties. In order that the question might be brought fairly before the brethren, I had an estimate drawn out of the cost of building 20 miles of railroad, and how much we would have to guarantee to secure the Bethlehem people for their steel and things connected therewith in the building of the road. I also had a statement drawn out of the cost of the road already built from here to the Lake. This enabled us to look at this matter with some intelligent idea of that which we were about to assume. After all these things had been got through with, the conversation turned upon coal and how we were going to secure coal for our road. I related to them the steps that we had taken in sending Brother Cluff to Cedar City to secure the Wood and Jensen coal mine and how he had been blessed in going there; also that we had talked to him and had him look up the coal properties on the Weber with a view to securing options on them, so that if we wished to we could buy them. This turn in the conversation led to almost unexpected results. There was a unanimity of feeling concerning the building of a road to Coalville and the guaranteeing of it that was exceedingly pleasant. I had explained that the guaranteeing meant the payment of the interest, and that we must not, in thinking of the guarantee, imagine that all of this would have to be paid by us. The railroad that we built would certainly earn something, and of course we hoped it would earn far more than would pay the interest on the bonds; but the guarantee was needed as an evidence of our confidence in the undertaking, so that strangers might know that the enterprise was so feasible and so likely to result in success that we had no doubts about it ourselves and therefore we are willing to guarantee. I need not dwell on all that was said; but it seemed that everyone was struck favorably with the idea of building to Coalville. We then, it was felt, would hold the key to the situation; there would be the city at one end and the coal fields at the other, and there would be no doubt about the road paying. Brothers Lyman and Grant, who had seemed to be doubtful about the other railroad project, were quite favorable to this, and Brother Grant moved, and Brother Lyman seconded, that the Church guarantee bonds for the building of a railroad to Coalville. I cannot describe the gratification, and I may say delight, that I felt at this change. The burden that had been resting upon me now for a few days rolled off my shoulders, and I felt to thank the Lord from the bottom of my heart for His goodness. I felt now that I could go East and talk intelligently and with some good basis to invite the cooperation of our friends. I was so elated at the change of feeling which this action had produced in my own mind that I almost felt I could dance for joy.

There was a meeting at 3 o’clock of the B.B.&C. Co., at which considerable business was done. I took the liberty, as the meeting was closing, of expressing my views concerning the report of a committee that I noticed in the minutes of the last meeting, in which it was stated that a committee, consisting of A. E. Hyde, John Beck and P. T. Farnsworth, who had been appointed at the stockholders’ meeting last March to arrange the salaries of the officers of the Co., had reported recommending the increase of the officers’ salaries, doubling that of the President and Vice President, and increasing that of the Treasurer and the Manager and directors, and having this retroactive, not commencing at the time the committee reported, but to go back to the time the committee was appointed. I said I was opposed to that sort of thing in my feelings. I thought it was not the proper way for doing things; that back pay was very distasteful to me and always had been from the time the Members of Congress had done this twenty years ago and had brought such odium upon themselves by doing it. It seems that Brother Farnsworth had not taken part in this, he being absent; but Brother Beck’s consent was gained for this by giving him some means which he would not have otherwise, and he is in a very impecunious condition. My remarks hurt Brother Moses Thatcher, and he spoke with some asperity about it. He said he thought he was entitled to the pay; that he had told them at his election last march that he would not serve for $1200 a year and his conscience did not trouble him about receiving $2400. I said I had met frequently with the board and I had not heard a remark of dissatisfaction with the pay; no protest had been uttered, and I thought that as we had all accepted the salary it was an evidence that we were satisfied with it; and to take this method of giving us more pay for back services seemed to me very improper. He replied that he did not think he was well paid even now. He thought his services required more; he would not have served for $1200. I remarked “then you could have resigned, Brother Moses, if the pay did not suit you”. This remark, I think, hurt him. The property has not been giving any dividends for a long time, and therefore the committee seems to have remained in abeyance, as they certainly knew that the Co. would not consent to paying increased salaries when there were no dividends, but as soon as dividends commenced then this method was taken of increasing the salaries.

17 January 1894 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany. 17, 1894 Brother Wm. W. Cluff came in last night and we had an interview with him this morning about securing options on the coal properties in Coalville and told him what our design was. Of course, we have to keep it secret, as we do not want to invite defeat for the present.

At 10:30 Brothers David Eccles and Hyrum S. Young came in to settle up the Saltair account, they claiming about $17,000 more than the contract price for the work they had done. Brothers Jack and Clayton were present also. We talked this over freely and amicably, and finally I made a motion that if Brother Eccles would buy out Matthew White’s interest, who would be likely to make trouble for us if we allowed this claim of theirs, the company should allow himself and fellow contractors the $17,000. This was seconded, after considerable discussion. I remarked to him that if he would buy Matthew White out I would take half the stock myself. We were glad to settle this amicably, because it is a matter that has been pending some time.

I sent for Brother C. W. Hardy, the engineer, and instructed him about proceeding as soon as possible to Cedar City and securing the right-of-way up the canyon to the coal mine which we had purchased, and also conversed with him about a line between this city and Coalville, so as to get all the information I could from him. This detained us till twenty minutes past one, when we repaired to the Temple, having made an appointment to meet with the Twelve and partake of the sacrament there. We had fasted all day.

There were present, besides the First Presidency, Brothers Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. President Snow called upon me, at President Woodruff’s request, to ask a blessing upon the wine, which I did. Just as we had finished and were about to separate, Brother Thatcher came in. His condition was such that he could not drink the wine, but simply took some water and did not eat anything. He had been detained by attending the funeral of Sister Ruth Clayton. When we were on the point of separating I sat down with him and said that I desired to apologize to him for speaking about the matter that I did last evening, as I saw that in his weak condition it agitated him and made him feel badly; but I said I thought it was perfectly right that I should express my views on a matter of that kind and should be permitted to do so without any exception being taken to it. It was not my intention to hurt his feelings, nor the feelings of any of the brethren; but it is a matter that I was interested in and upon which I had feeling, and I desired to let the Board know what my views were upon the subject. He expressed himself that he thought I had the right; but his sickness made him, he said, rather sensitive. I had spoken to Bishop Preston in the morning about this and asked him if I had said anything to hurt his feelings I hoped he would forgive me. He said he thought I had spoken just right.

Had a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co. at 3 o’clock, and a meeting of Brigham Young Trust Co. afterwards.

I was very busy preparing to get away in the morning, and I dictated my journal and some letters to Brother Arthur Winter.

18 January 1894 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany. 18, 1894 My son Hugh and Brother C. H. Wilcken took me to the train this morning before daylight. I left my family in tolerably good health, excepting my wife Carlie’s children, some of whom were suffering from la grippe. Nothing of note occurred during this day, nor the next[.]

19 January 1894 • Friday

Friday, Jany. 19, 1894 Brother Clawson did what he could to make the journey pleasant to me, for I was tired and slept almost continuously. A strange thing for me, I had no inclination to read. We reached Council Bluffs in the evening. It rained heavily.

20 January 1894 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 20, 1894 Reached Chicago at 9:30 this morning, and we were met by my son Frank at the train. He stopped here to meet me and to let me know the progress he had made. He and Mr. Bannister have done better in some respects than they anticipated; but it is necessary they should go to Europe. Frank desired to get my counsel concerning his going home, as they could not cross the water without more funds. I told him to go home and lay the business before the other members of the Co. We had a full conversation with him concerning Bullion, Beck and Champion Mining Co’s affairs, and I outlined some work I wished to have done. This I intended to have told my son Abraham and sent him word that I wished him to travel to Ogden with me; but he, poor boy, had an accident. His horse fell upon him as he was coming to the train and bruised him. This I learned from a telegram he sent me on the train.

At 7:45 we proceeded on our journey eastward, leaving Frank to go westward. We stopped at the Auditorium Hotel.

Patti and company are in Chicago and they gave a matinee. Bishop Clawson saw Marcus Meyer, her Manager, and told him I was at the Hotel (the theatre is a part of the hotel building) and he invited us to come around, and if there would be a chance he would squeeze us in. Every place was filled. Hundreds could not get in. There was no standing room left. But Marcus tried to get us into a box, and failing in this took us around and on to the stage. We stood at the wings, close to the singers, and I feel sure that he told Patti that we were there, for when she came on she turned and looking straight at me gave me a very sweet stage smile of recognition, and as she was called out three times, giving four songs, we had the best of opportunity of seeing and hearing the “queen of song”.

21 January 1894 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany. 21, 1894 Nothing of importance occurred today.

22 January 1894 • Monday

Monday, Jany. 22, 1894 We reached New York at 7 a.m. and took up quarters at the Hoffman House.

Bishop Clawson and myself called upon Dr. Sayre. The Bishop’s son Bradley is troubled with appendicitis and he consulted the Doctor about the safety of an operation. He advised it and recommended Dr. Pinkerton. He pressed us to eat lunch with him, but we excused ourselves.

Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo are at Washington.

23 January 1894 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany. 23, 1894 Visited Seth Thomas’ clock store on Maiden Lane, to look at different kinds of clocks, so that if I should get funds with which to buy I would have some idea of the kind I want and the cost. I do not have a good timepiece in all my family. Bishop Clawson also took me to a brass bedstead wholesale place and we looked through the stock. If I were able I would like to buy each one of my houses a good brass bedstead with box and hair mattress. By buying them wholesale they can be obtained at a reasonable price. In the matter of furniture I do not think there is a man in Zion who has handled as much money as I have who has spent as little on furniture. I feel now that I should pay more attention to the comfort of my family in this direction; but at present I do not have the means.

Bishop Clawson and myself spent about two hours at the auction place of Van Tassel and Kearney, watching the sales of horses, carriages, harness &c. I desired to get an idea of what a good second hand carriage harness could be bought for.

In the evening went to the theatre and saw the Texas Steer—a very amusing performance.

24 January 1894 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany. 24, 1894 I felt quite unwell today. I have been suffering from internal fever for several days. I laid down in my room several hours and did not go out of the hotel all day.

Had a long visit from Brother Junius F. Wells and Mr. John N. Neels.

In the evening went to the theatre and saw the Maid of Plymouth, a comic opera, played by the Bostonians.

25 January 1894 • Thursday

Thursday, Jany. 25, 1894 Called at the Imperial Hotel and had a long conversation with Brother J. F. Wells concerning financial affairs.

We have been corresponding with Gen. Clarkson and Col Trumbo since we have been here. They cannot leave Washington at present to come up here, as the statehood measure requires all their attention. After waiting until last evening I asked Bishop Clawson to suggest that we go to Baltimore and meet them. It is only an hour’s run from Washington there, and I thought they might spare the necessary time to make the trip. Of course, we could go to Washington; but they fear that if we were to appear I should be besieged by the Democrats to give them some assurance as to how Utah would stand politically if admitted; and that, perhaps, if I said nothing definite they might manufacture something and tell it as coming from me that would influence both Democrats and Republicans. It is for this reason they have been desirous I should not appear in Washington at present. They telegraphed me this afternoon that in the Committee on the Territories of the Senate the Democrats not appearing desirous for action on the Bill for admission of Utah, the Republicans moved to take the Bill up and discuss it in Com. of the Whole; but the Com. voted in deference to the wishes of the Chairman (Faulkner) to give the subject more time. Our friends think the design of the Democrats is to keep it back until the Tariff Bill can take the lead, and thus postpone action and perhaps defeat it. It is said that they are afraid the admission of Utah may result in the election of two Republican Senators and their party supremacy in that body be endangered thereby.

At 3:20 p.m. Bishop Clawson and myself left New York for Baltimore. We were four hours on the road. We put up at the Hotel Rennert—a good house.

The Bishop secured tickets for the play, Mrs. Grundy Jr., a very laughable comedy.

26 January 1894 • Friday

Friday, Jany. 26, 1894 Snowing this morning. We are pleased with this House, and the breakfast in the Cafe sustained Maryland’s reputation for good cooking.

Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo arrived about 1 p.m. from Washington. The afternoon was spent in conversation upon the R.R. project and the movement for Statehood. The change of plan in relation to the R.R.—that is, the building of a road to Coalville in the first place, instead of building westward—did not appear to strike Gen. Clarkson favorably; but explanations which were made concerning its value and the necessity which existed for us to have a supply of coal of our own in building a railroad, instead of being dependent upon others, caused a modification of his views. When we separated it was understood that he should write to Senator Hobart and arrange for a meeting. They had much to tell me about the statehood movement. It is evident from their statements that the Democrats are desirous to postpone action on the Bill for the admission of Utah. Faulkner, the Chairman of the Com. keeps putting off consideration. Gen. Clarkson has solidified the Republicans and they are ready to vote favorably for the Bill whenever they can get an opportunity. They both say it will not do for me to go to Washington at present. The leaders of the Democrats have spoken about me and would like to see me. They appear to think that I could tell them reliably concerning the political situation in Utah. They would like to get some assurances or pledges that the State will be Democratic. The danger of my going to Washington is not alone that an effort would be made to obtain pledges from me, but in attributing statements to me which I had not made; it would not be what I said, but that which I would be credited with saying that I would fear.

As it was late when we separated and I do not like traveling on the cars by night, if I can help it, we (Bishop Clawson and self) concluded to remain here in Baltimore till morning. Our friends returned to Washington.

27 January 1894 • Saturday

Saturday, Jany. 27, 1894 We left Baltimore at 8:23 and reached New York at 1:23.

I found a cipher dispatch from President Woodruff asking my opinion concerning the proposition which had been made to elect Dr. Talmage President of the University of Utah and to have the Church University suspend for the present, and the Church academies act as feeders for the University. The advantages urged for this were that there were not pupils enough for both, that the employment of Talmage would give opportunity for more Mormon Professors to be engaged, and that in the present condition of Church finances it would lessen the burden of expense. I telegraphed a reply favoring the plan. My reasons for doing so are, that we should lose no opportunity to get our qualified teachers into the leading and best positions and where they can use the greatest influence. The University of Utah is the leading educational establishment in our country; it is extensively patronized by the young people; it has the advantage of being sustained out of Territorial funds; and therefore its control by one of our own people is very desirable. We must pay greater attention to what are called the Religion Classes and keep them up, and make them interesting and attractive, if we suspend any of our Church schools.

I received interesting information from my son Abraham concerning B.B.&.C. Co. matters. It seems John Beck has sued A. E. Hyde for an accounting of the funds of his which he had in his (Hyde’s) hands as Agent. He has demanded books and papers from him, the complaint says, but has failed to obtain them and he now applies to the Court for its aid. The amount which Hyde has handled is probably about a million dollars. I am told that Brother Moses Thatcher will likewise be called upon for an accounting, and if not made in a satisfactory manner will also be sued.

This is likely to be a serious business before it is ended. Mr. Ryan asserts that both these brethren have acted dishonestly, and that he can prove it. While I was at the Auditorium Hotel in Chicago on my way home from my last visit to the East (just before Christmas) Mr. Ryan called upon me. In talking about the affairs of the Mine he spoke as if I had been wronged by the officers of the Co. Subsequently, before we separated, I said to him very seriously: “Mr. Ryan, you have spoken as though you thought Moses Thatcher had not been as honest in the affairs of the Company as he should have been; do you merely suppose this or have you reasons to believe it?” He replied with equal seriousness: “I am careful about saying anything about any man’s character, but particularly about one occupying the position Mr. Moses Thatcher does; but I say to you that Mr. Thatcher has acted dishonestly”. I said to him that I had always believed him to be a man with a high sense of honor, and there was a time when I had such confidence in him that I would have trusted him with all that I had. He repeated his statement that he was not honest and he would yet be able to show it. It seems now, the way things are shaping, that he will have an opportunity, as John Beck’s agent, to prove his allegations, both against Brother Thatcher as well as Brother Hyde. He denounces the latter unsparingly as a rogue, and asserts that he can and will show him up as such. In connection with this subject I insert a letter which I wrote to my son Abraham while on the train after leaving Salt Lake City:

Jan. 18/94

My dear Son:

Rec. your dispatch. Very sorry. Hope you are not hurt. Want you to see Mr. Ryan as soon as you can. He intends to leave for Chicago on Sunday. I promised him you would see him. Let your meetings be as private as possible. I believe he is doing good work, but I do not think it prudent to appear openly as his ally. I can not explain in writing what I desired to tell you. Bro. Farnsworth is prejudiced against Mr. Ryan on account of what he has heard about him, though they have never met. Mr. Ryan is prejudiced against Bro. Farnsworth because of some alleged advantage the latter took of Mr. R’s brother in a cattle deal. But as Bro. Farnsworth can be of service in the present contest for right, Mr. R. is desirous of meeting Bro. F. and reaching an understanding with him. It will be to my interest, I believe, to have them friendly and co-operating. Everything possible is being done to blacken Mr. Ryan and to arouse prejudice against him. His motives and his objects are alike misrepresented. Because he asks $50,000 for one year’s work from John Beck he is denounced; but without he saves it out of John Beck’s property he cannot get anything. When he took hold of Beck’s affairs Beck was a beggar and could not raise enough to pay for a load of coal. In May, 1892, John Beck pawned his stock (51,000 shares) for $200,000. In May, 1893, he had only paid $25,000 of this principal and had to pay $12,000 commission to secure another loan, or a renewal of $175,000. He had paid $10,000 commission for the first loan. Until Mr. Ryan appeared on the scene, notwithstanding the rich strikes which had been reported in the Mine, no dividends of any consequence had been paid, and J. Beck’s loan had only decreased in 17 or 18 months $25,000. About 13 months elapsed without any dividend being paid. If some men had had the property and managed it in this way, I should have thought they had a design on Beck’s stock and to depreciate the property and make the mine appear as of little value. But how dare I think so of those who have had it in charge? What a change took place as soon as Mr. Ryan appeared on the scene and brought pressure to bear by his threats and action! In the space of a few short weeks the mine yielded dividends, and in this short space J. Beck’s debt has lowered, I am told, $50,000, and his affairs are in a much better condition than they have been for some time. When Mr. Ryan took hold J. Beck was literally like a sucked orange; he was in a condition to be thrown in the gutter. I understand that certain parties have alleged that I was behind this movement of J. Beck’s in employing Mr. Ryan. This is utterly false. I had nothing to do with it. Yet I am an interested spectator of these movements, for as I own so much of the property, they concern me deeply, and I hope that right will triumph. Whatever you can do to bring about in a quiet manner the meeting between Bro. Farnsworth and Mr. Ryan, and between Bro. Frank Armstrong and Mr. Ryan, I wish you to do, and that, too, before Mr. Ryan leaves on Sunday. I say quietly, for the reasons that I do not wish to appear in a wrong light, or to be accused of taking an improper part in these proceedings[.] No just man would think that I, deeply interested in this property as I am, should stand idly looking on while these proceedings and conflict are going on. It is my duty to look after my interests and not permit them to be sacrificed if I can prevent it. It has seemed to me that the coming of Mr. Ryan is providential, for others have tried to cope with the situation and failed (at some cost to me) but it has seemed to require such a man as he who will employ the only effective methods that will accomplish the end.

With love, I am your affectionate father,

Geo. Q. Cannon.

Had a call from Brother Hyrum S. Wooley and Robert Spence, both from Paris, Bear Lake Co., who are here on business.

Bishop Clawson secured tickets for himself and me to see “Sowing the Wind”, a beautiful and interesting comedy, at the Empire Theater.

28 January 1894 • Sunday

Sunday, Jany. 28, 1894 Called upon Brother J. F. Wells at the Imperial Hotel.

From there went to Brooklyn and called upon my cousin, Wm. Qualey, and family. They pressed me to stay with them; but it was not convenient to do so. I stopped for dinner and left there at 7 p.m.

29 January 1894 • Monday

Monday, Jany. 29, 1894 Col. Trumbo came up last night as the bearer of a proposition from monied Republicans outside of Congress upon the State question, and before saying anything in reply to them upon it Gen. Clarkson desired my views and counsel[.] The Colonel returned to Washington this afternoon.

I wrote letters to Brother John W. Young, Heber J. Grant, and my son Abraham.

Brother Clawson took me to see Mr. Hearne’s play of “Shore Acres”.

30 January 1894 • Tuesday

Tuesday, Jany. 30, 1894 Expected to go to Philadelphia today to meet with Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo and the Bethlehem people to lay before them our R.R. plans; but Gen. Clarkson telegraphed it would have to be postponed till Friday.

My son Frank telegraphs me he will be in New York on Sunday next.

Had an interview with Mr. C. K. Bannister upon the subject of the business of the Pioneer Electric Light Co., which brought him and Frank down east. He has done well from his report.

Had a call from Brothers Geo. Naegley and Charles Haun, both on their way to Germany as missionaries.

My son Lewis T. Cannon called upon me. A few days’ holiday between school terms enables him to visit New York to see several young friends of his who are here on their way to Germany as missionaries. He feels very well, though he is thinner.

31 January 1894 • Wednesday

Wednesday, Jany. 31, 1894 Wrote letters to my family.

In the evening went to the theatre and saw “Camille”.

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January 1894, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 19, 2024 https://www.churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon/1890s/1894/01-1894