Sunday, April 1, 1894 We commenced our meeting earlier than the announced time, because the house was so crowded and the people had been standing some time then. I addressed the congregation and enjoyed excellent liberty. I had not felt satisfied at not having the opportunity last evening of addressing the Priesthood on the subjects that had called me to the north; but I prayed to the Lord to give me the spirit to talk today, and he answered my prayer. My talk was on the political situation and the duties of our people. It was a subject of some delicacy, because there were those in the settlement who were ready to make any capital out of anything that would be said that could be used to disadvantage; but I was enabled to speak without saying anything that anyone could take offense at or could make a bad use of, unless they deliberately lied.
The afternoon was occupied by President Smith and myself. I have not felt better for a long time in meeting with the people than I have since being here. They are a good people, mainly young people; there are very few men over 50 years of age. I feel that our meetings have done good, and I am very thankful for them.
About 6 o’clock we were carried by Bishop Jardine, his wife accompanying us, to Market Lake, and at 12 midnight the train came along. My nephew had secured berths for us and we went to bed.
Monday, April 2, 1894 We reached Salt Lake City between 10 & 11 this morning and went to the office. Found President Woodruff there.
Brother John W. Taylor called upon us, he having just come in from Canada. He has been absent for some months, and we have scarcely known where he has been. He has not corresponded with us, and the First Presidency felt impressed to call the attention of President Lorenzo Snow and the Twelve to his movements, stating to them that it was their duty to investigate his operations, and whatever speculations he might be in, to see what he was doing and whether he was engaging in anything that would in any manner compromise us. The brethren were quite impressed with what was said, and thought it a proper subject of inquiry to be made of him.
I suggested to President Woodruff that we had an excellent artist in the person of John Willard Clawson, who probably was as talented an artist as could be found in the country of his age. He has had excellent opportunities in New York, Paris and Italy, and it seemed to me that it was a proper thing to employ him, especially as he is in narrow circumstances now, to paint a full length portrait of President Woodruff for the Temple. President Smith seconded this, and I was authorized to make terms with Brother Clawson for the likeness.
We had a call today from Mr. Geo. M. Pullman, Robert T. Lincoln (son of the late President Lincoln) and Mr. De Koven. There were a number of brethren in the office at the time, and the visit was a very pleasant one. They called to pay their respects.
Tuesday, April 3, 1894. The First Presidency had another interview this morning with Dr. J. E. Talmage. It appears, after fuller investigation of the law, that the amount required to endow a chair is larger than we were told. After this matter was fully discussed, it was decided still that we should try to secure the chair of Geology and have Dr. Talmage fill it, and we agreed to have this apparatus of ours turned over at one-fourth the cost of the endowment.
We had a call from Brothers Orson Smith and J. E. Langford, who have been down on an exploring trip to the south. They made quite a favorable report of the results of their investigations.
We had a call from Mr. Daniels, the General Passenger Agent of the New York Central R.R.
At 3 o’clock we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.
Wednesday, April 4, 1894 I attended, with Presidents Woodruff and Smith and all the Twelve who are in the City, the funeral services of Brother Jesse W. Fox, who died last Sunday of heart failure, aged 75 years. The meeting was held in the Assembly Hall. A large number of brethren spoke, all bearing testimony to the great worth of the deceased. He has been very much beloved. I spoke about 20 minutes. I had known him upwards of 49 years.
I dictated my journal.
Thursday, April 5, 1894. At 10 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met in the Temple. President Woodruff opened the meeting by making remarks concerning the law of adoption. He stated that the Lord had revealed to him that the principle (upon which we had had conversation) of sealing children to parents, and continuing this from generation to generation back as far as could be learned, and then having the last one adopted to the Prophet Joseph, was the correct principle for carrying out the law of adoption and fulfilling the words of the prophet Malachi concerning the turning of the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers. He said the Lord had made this clear to his mind. There had been in his mind, as in the minds of others, a want of clearness concerning this principle. He had had men adopted to him, but he had not felt altogether right about it, and had never said anything in his life to encourage any man to be adopted into his family; in fact, he had not wanted men to come to him for that purpose; still he had consented to it, as we all had probably. But now it was clear that it is the duty of children to be sealed to their parents. He had been sealed to his father; and his father he had sealed to the Prophet Joseph, which he would not do now if the sealing had to be done; but he should proceed to have his father and his brothers sealed to their father, and so on back.
After speaking upon this principle in this way, he called upon me to speak, and I followed on the same subject, expressing my joy and great satisfaction that the Lord had made this clear to President Woodruff and had given him His word upon the subject; for I had felt for 47 or 48 years that the principle of adoption as carried out in some instances in Nauvoo and subsequently would lead to disunion and division, and I had dreaded such a thing, as it seemed to me we were likely to be divided into families and clans, and rivalry might arise. I had been applied to numbers of times by persons who wished to be adopted into my family, and I had tried to put them off, for I shrunk from doing so, as I saw there was a great responsibility, and I did not believe that it was my privilege to control men and women who belonged to other families and who were not connected with me by the ties of paternity. I spoke at some length, explaining my views of the principle.
President Joseph F. Smith was not present, though we had sent for him. He had been in the north and the train had been detained.
After I had finished, President Lorenzo Snow was called upon to speak, and each of the Twelve in their turn, there being present—Lorenzo Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, G.Teasdale, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Cannon. Brother Moses Thatcher had come down with President Smith from the north on the same train, but did not come to the meeting, and he told Brother Smith that he intended to return to Logan that afternoon and come down on Saturday.
President Smith came in as Brother Snow was closing his remarks, and President Woodruff suggested that he should hear what the brethren had to say and then he would get a better idea of what had been done and would be able to speak upon the subject. All the brethren bore testimony that that which President Woodruff had said was the word of the Lord, and the most of them expressed themselves as being filled with great joy at this revelation. President Smith also joined in testimony to the same effect.
After we had all spoken on this subject, the sacrament was prepared and we partook of it.
Before partaking, President Woodruff called upon me to pray, and Brother Snow to pass the bread and wine.
It was decided while we were sitting together partaking of the bread and wine, that the brethren of the Twelve who might be absent from time to time should have the privilege, if they so wished, of returning once a year to the general conference, to meet with us and the saints.
It was also decided that we should discontinue the administering of the sacrament in the large Tabernacle on Sunday afternoons, on account of the difficulty there was in knowing who were members and entitled to this holy ordinance and who were not; and it was decided to instruct the Bishops of the Wards to administer the sacrament in their ward meeting houses every Sabbath.
There was one subject that I alluded to before we partook of the sacrament for the consideration of the brethren, and that is what the world call concubinage. There are three classes of cases among us which appeal very strongly to me. One is, where young women are left widows, who, being sealed for time and eternity, have no alternative but to remain single the remainder of their lives or marry Gentiles, as under the one-wife system no man would want to take a woman for time as his only wife and raise up children to his deceased brother, and have no wife or children of his own. Another class is, men who have barren wives and who have no prospect, under existing conditions of raising posterity and perpetuating their names in the earth. The other class is, young men who die before marriage, who, under present arrangements, cannot possibly have seed raised up to them by their brothers. In connection with this also are the young women in excess of the demands for marriage, who have no alternative but to remain old maids or take up with any worthless person who may make them offers. These cases appeal very strongly to me, and I have felt that if I were in the condition that some men are—say having one wife and she barren—I would go to the Prophet of God and see if I could not get permission to take a concubine and raise me children by her, entering into covenant with her and she with me in the strictest manner to observe the law of marriage, and with the covenant that if either of us died, the sealing should then be performed. My son David died without a wife, and his name I would like to see preserved and seed raised to him. Under present circumstances this is impossible; and if it were possible, consistently with the law of God, I would like a covenant made by one of my sons with some woman to take her for time with the understanding that she should be sealed to David for eternity and raise up seed to him. I have daughters I would rather see, if it were right and the Lord permitted it, living with honorable Latter-day Saints, to whom they could bear children, than to see them marry Gentiles or worthless men who might have a standing in the Church. I said that perhaps such sentiments might shock some of my brethren; but in saying what I did I did not mean to occupy the position of an advocate of a system of concubinage, but to throw these thoughts out for consideration.
Brother Lorenzo Snow spoke very warmly in advocacy of what I had said, and President Woodruff said that he did not believe there would be any harm or wrong in a man raising children by another woman, if his wife were barren, provided he did so upon proper principles.
At 3:30 we met with the stockholders of Z.C.M.I[.] and listened to the report of the President.
Friday, April 6, 1894 The General Conference opened this morning. At President Woodruff’s request, I announced the hymn and called upon President Smith to make the opening prayer; after which President Woodruff addressed the conference for a short time, and was followed by Brothers Abraham H. Cannon, M. W. Merrill and John W. Taylor, all of whom spoke interestingly.
In the afternoon, Elders Heber J. Grant, George Teasdale and John Henry Smith occupied the time.
We had a priesthood meeting in the evening. At President Woodruff’s request, I spoke to the brethren, and he followed. We did not hold the meeting very long.
.Saturday, April 7, 1894 The Tabernacle was quite full today. Elders F. M. Lyman, Brigham Young, Franklin D. Richards and Lorenzo Snow occupied the morning.
In the afternoon, I presented the authorities of the Church and read some reports, after which President Jos. F. Smith addressed the congregation and occupied the remainder of the time. He spoke with a great deal of power.
There was a concert given by the Tabernacle choir this evening; but I did not feel that it was prudent for me to attend.
Sunday, April 8, 1894. The Tabernacle was crowded this morning, and the congregation listened with great interest to President Woodruff’s remarks upon the law of adoption. He spoke very plainly and delightfully. The people were greatly gratified at what he said. He requested me to follow. I occupied half an hour on the same subject.
In the afternoon, at President Woodruff’s request, I occupied the time, and spoke first on the principle of adoption, and then upon the United Order. I enjoyed excellent liberty, and though I have been sick for some time past, I do not know that I ever spoke with more clearness of voice or with greater ease and less fatigue that [than] I did on this occasion.
In the evening there was a meeting of the Sunday school union. The house was crowded and a number of the brethren spoke.
In the afternoon the Tabernacle was filled to its utmost capacity. I never saw so many people in the building as there was this afternoon. This is due to the fact that the sacrament was not administered. Notwithstanding the house was so full, the Assembly Hall was filled also to overflowing.
Monday, April 9, 1894 At 10 o’clock we held a meeting at the Assembly Hall with the Presidents of Stakes and Counselors, Bishops and Counselors, the Presiding Bishopric, the Seven Presidents of Seventies, and the Twelve Apostles. We were in session about three hours. A number of very important instructions were given to the priesthood.
A meeting of the directors of the Literary & Scientific Association was called to meet at the President’s Office. Presidents Woodruff and Smith also met with us. I made a statement to the members of the Board of the steps that we had taken looking to the transferring of our apparatus and the use of the University building to the University of Utah. The matter was fully discussed, and a motion was made and caried approving of what had been done.
Tuesday, April 10, 1894 A meeting of the Pioneer Electric Co. had been arranged for and an appointment had been made to hold it at Ogden, and for this purpose Presidents Woodruff and Smith, Bishop Winder and Asahel Woodruff and myself went to Ogden this morning on the 9:30 train. We were taken in a carriage to my son Frank’s house, where we were afterwards joined by Mr. Bannister, Mr. Kiesel and Judge Patton. We had a very interesting meeting. The report which my son Frank gave of his labors in this country and in Europe was very clear and satisfactory, also Mr. Bannister’s report. We adjourned for an hour for lunch, which we who came from Salt Lake partook of at Frank’s. At 1:30 we again met and listened to the letters of G. A. Purbeck & Co. concerning their propositions of financing this business. After considerable discussion it was decided that we accept their terms, and that the Manager be authorized to communicate with them. We did not complete all the business that we desired before the time arrived for us to go to the train, which left there at 3:25 for Salt Lake, and we therefore adjourned to meet at Salt Lake on Thursday morning, at 11 o’cloc[k.]
President Woodruff invited President Smith and myself to partake of dinner with him and some brethren this evening. We therefore, after calling at the office, drove to his house. His other guests were Geo. Teasdale, John D. T. McAllister, James G. Bleak and my brother David. About 8 o’clock we separated.
Wednesday, April 11, 1894 This morning the First Presidency had an interview with Bishop Clawson, and letters were read which he had received from Col. Trumbo, in which he urged that Brother Clawson be sent to join him, if possible. He expressed a wish also for me to go down if I could; but this was not thought necessary by any of us.
We had an interview with Brothers Orson Smith and J. E. Langford. It was agreed that they should make still further investigations, and that we should place at their disposal $1000, which we would bear individually.
We spent considerable time this afternoon listening to reports from Elders Brigham Young, John Henry Smith and George Teasdale concerning the condition of affairs in the Mexican Mission. A good many questions were asked by them, to which we gave answers. We could not finish the conversation because we had an engagement to attend what is called a “tea” at Brother W. W. Riter’s at 5 o.clock, it being the eleventh anniversary of his marriage. I took my wife Sarah Jane there. This is also the anniversary of our marriage; thirty-six years ago today she was sealed to me. We had a very pleasant time at Brother Riter’s, and were entertained very hospitably. A most excellent meal was provided, to which we sat down about 6 o’clock.
Thursday, April 12, 1894 At 11 O’clock this morning Messrs. Kiesel and Patton, of the Pioneer Electric Co., came into the office; but previous to their coming we had a telephone message from my son Frank and Mr. Bannister, informing us that they had been misled concerning the time of the departure of the train and had missed it. The meeting of the Company, therefore, was postponed until 3:30.
The First Presidency listened to the reading, by Brother Winter, our reporter, of President Woodruff’s discourse upon the law of adoption, which he delivered last Sunday morning, the object being to prepare it for the press. I also went through my discourse on the same subject.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met in the Temple, there being present, besides the Presidency, President Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. A circular which had been prepared concerning the form to be used in baptism, was read. Some of the brethren wished a part of it to be dropped, in which the statement was made that it must be understood that the First Presidency would have the right to change the form at any time when the necessity for it should arise. President Snow, F. M. Lyman and John H. Smith all felt that this was unnecessary; that it ought to be understood without being stated in that manner that the First Presidency did have that right. Brother Jos. F. Smith argued in favor of the retention of that part, and assigned his reasons therefor: that there were sticklers who might at some time if this were not mentioned in this way, arise and produce this circular as an evidence that this was the form and it ought not to be changed. There was some argument pro and con on this, and I suggested that the first part of the circular be read, as I thought that conveyed the idea sufficiently strong without it being repeated in the paragraph to which the brethren made objection. But this did not end the matter. I then said that I thought we either ought to change the form so that it would be acceptable or lay this matter aside entirely for the present, as I did not think it was right that we should fall into disputations. Some of the brethren proposed that that part be stricken out, to which Brother Jos. F. Smith said, I object. I then moved that the whole subject be laid aside for the present.
Brother Grant brought to our attention the condition of the livery stable. I afterwards suggested that it should be considered by the Twelve, and after they had come to some conclusion concerning it, they could report to us and save us the necessity of going through with all the business.
Upon our return to the office, a meeting of the Pioneer Electric Co. was held, all the members of the Board being present. The subject of employing Messrs. Purbeck &Co. was continued. President Woodruff expressed his desire that I, as President of the Company, should have supervision with the Manager on the terms on which these people should be employed to finance our affairs, and a motion was carried to that effect. President Woodruff expressed himself to the effect that it would be necessary, he thought, for me to go East, and seemed to be quite strongly of the opinion that I ought to go; and the non-Mormon members of the Co. as well as Bishop Winder felt that it would be an excellent thing for me to do so.
After this meeting I went up to the house of Bishop Clawson, where his wife Emily lives, having been invited there. There is a club belonging to the 12th Ward composed principally of ladies who are members of the Relief Society. It is the fashion in that Ward to hold meetings of a social character once a month, and they change from house to house; that is, each member having opportunity to invite the club to her house, and those invited take picnic with them. Their husbands go in the evening afterwards and partake of refreshments also, and they have an enjoyable time. There were a good many old acquaintances there, and I was quite pleased with the meeting, as it brought the members of the Ward closely together and made them acquainted with each other. Myself and wife Carlie did not stay till the close; we left about 9 o’clock.
Friday, April 13, 1894 The Presidency had an interview of some length with Prest. Chas. O. Card of the Canada Mission. We gave him counsel in response to questions which he asked.
After this I took the brethren aside, and with N. W. Clayton, Bishop Clawson and my son Frank, went through the Purbeck correspondence upon the subject of our railroad enterprise. After getting through this, it was decided very emphatically, and repeated several times, by President Woodruff that he thought it necessary that I should go East and see to this business, and he appealed to me to know what my feelings were. I told him I thought somebody ought to go. I would be very glad to have somebody else go; but he and the brethren thought I was the proper person to go. My health has not been as good as I would like for four weeks past; but it is improving, and I felt quite willing to go, especially if I could have my son Frank with me, who could relieve me from a great deal of labor. It had been decided some days ago that Bishop Clawson should go, and he seemed very greatly pleased to hear President Woodruff speak about my going, as he had been desirous that I should go East with him. I requested Brother Clayton and Frank to draw from these letters all that had to be attended to, so that I might get information concerning the various points to take with me.
I took my brother David down with me home, he having been invited to attend a musicale which my wife Carlie had arranged to give this evening. We met at 7 o’clock at her house, and we had an exceedingly enjoyable time in singing, giving recitations, and conversation. Refreshments were served. Those who were present were all members of my own family, with the exception of my brother Angus and his wife Mattie, and my brother David. As we all felt very free and at home, I consented to sing “Forty years ago” and also to give a recitation—“Phaidrig Crohoore”.
Saturday, April 14, 1894 President Smith was at the office today and Brother Arthur Winter read to us the revised proof of my discourse of last Sunday, which is to be published today.
I dictated my journal.
Sunday, April 15, 1894 Attended meeting at the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock. My brother David was called upon to speak; he occupied about ten minutes. Elder John Morgan then addressed the congregation and delivered a very interesting discourse.
Monday, April 16, 1894 Came up to the office this morning. Found Presidents Woodruff and Smith there. I was busy making preparations for my departure in the morning; but as there had been no arrangements completed for money against which I could draw if necessary, I concluded to defer my departure till tomorrow. I telegraphed to my son Frank informing him to that effect. My sons are very anxious that I should take some one of my folks with me. There is only one that I dare take without exposing myself to the law, and that is my wife Carlie; but I feel reluctant to take her. Frank urged me very much to do so, he and John Q. and Abraham having talked the matter over. My brother Angus and Brother Penrose, of the Presidency of the Stake, called to see us respecting the suspension of the Latter-day Saints College and the Academy at Mill Creek. It was decided to suspend the Mill Creek Academy, but to sustain the Latter-day Saints College. It will require $3000 to help it.
There was a meeting of Z.C.M.I. today at 12.
Tuesday, April 17, 1894 This morning I came to the office and explained the situation to President Woodruff, and he and President Smith and myself arranged a plan by which if I had occasion to draw, I could do so with safety. It is necessary that there should be an understanding concerning this matter, because I may be under the necessity in our negotiations to draw a draft on the folks at home.
I dictated a number of letters and attended to other business in anticipation of my departure.
Wednesday, April 18, 1894 At 7 o’clock this morning I started in company with my wife Caroline and Bishop Clawson for New York.
The journey was without any special event of interest until we reached Chicago on Friday, the 20th.
Saturday, April 21, 1894 We remained in Chicago all day yesterday and until 2 o’clock today, when we took the Erie road for New York.
Sunday, April 22, 1894 Reached New York this evening and put up at the Plaza Hotel.
Monday, April 23, 1894 I learned that General Clarkson was here, but was intending to go back to Washington. I was desirous to meet with him and explain the situation of railway affairs to him before he went, as he and Col. Trumbo had not had any intimation from me concerning the arrangements we were making with G. A. Purbeck & Co. About 10 o’clock I had a conversation with him, but it was confined to the political situation at Washington. His mind was full of this and his conversation was confined to a description of what had been and was now being done in Congress about the admission of Utah. I told him there was business connected with our proposed railroad enterprises which I desired to explain to him and Col. Trumbo, and which it was desirable they should hear as early as possible. As I was under engagement to meet the parties with whom we proposed to do business without any loss of time, I pressed upon his attention the importance of having an opportunity to explain matters to him before he should leave for Washington. He said it was necessary he should return today and he had an engagement down in the city which he must keep before he should leave. It was finally arranged that we should meet at 1 o’clock at the Savarin restaurant and take lunch together, after which we could secure a private room for our conversation. Besides himself and his son “Hal”, there were Bishop Clawson, Frank and myself at lunch. I only took half a dozen oysters. While we were eating, Mr. Meek came up and entered into conversation with Gen. Clarkson concerning different matters. Among other things to which he called the General’s attention was a wrongful tax levy, which he said if attended to immediately (as it must be done before 2 o’clock) would save the General $200. This broke up our proposed interview, as the General went off to attend to this business. We afterwards met him at 2:20, but it was so near the time of his departure that it was not worth while for me to attempt to make the explanations I desired at that time. I urged upon him, however, the importance of giving me the opportunity at the earliest day possible. He said he would on Thursday, or Friday at the farthest. I expressed the hope that he would be able to return on Thursday, to which he responded that he would get up then if possible, and we parted.
The next day my son Frank suggested that it might be a saving of time for myself and wife to make the visit to Boston to see my son Lewis, which I had spoken about; and as there appeared to be some uncertainty as to the time when Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo should return from Washington to New York, it was agreed that Bishop Clawson should telegraph to Col. Trumbo and ask him if it would be safe for me to go to Boston and return on Friday or Saturday, to which he received the following reply:-
Can not say what day possible to return. Send Clawson here; work very important. I am sorry not to see Conrad, but I cannot come; you come here; will expect you Congressional limited tonight.”
I did not like the tone of this dispatch, for it appeared to me that the sender was nettled and perhaps displeased about something. What it could be I could not imagine. It was really a matter of indifference to me personally whether I saw Col. Trumbo or not. My only object in trying to get an interview with Gen. Clarkson and Col. Trumbo was in their own interest and to keep them informed concerning a matter about which I thought they ought to know. After that dispatch came to hand, I deemed it proper and necessary that I should communicate with Gen. Clarkson; so I telegraphed him saying:
“Col. Trumbo wires he is unable to come. Shall I expect you this week and when?”
He sent me the following reply:
“Can not say what day possible to return. Send Clawson here; work very important.”
When I received this answer I felt annoyed; for it seemed to me that I could perceive Col. Trumbo’s hand in the wording of this dispatch, and that he appeared determined that neither he nor General Clarkson should comply with my request for an interview. Under the circumstances I would have been justified in not saying another word to them upon the subject. I knew, however, they were working with all their might for the admission of Utah as a state, and the excuse that Col. Trumbo would give would be that the bill was in such a critical position that he could not leave without exposing it to great danger. I may here say that I would gladly have met them at Washington; but when I mentioned this to Gen. Clarkson, he said it would be imprudent for me to do so. Taking, therefore, all things into consideration, I thought it better to send the following dispatch, which I dictated to my son Frank in the presence of Bishop Clawson on the evening of the 25th, but which I withheld until the next morning in order to make any changes or additions should any suggest themselves:
“Regret the indefiniteness of your arrival here. I have pending definite negotiations on the entire enterprises which were to have been closed yesterday, but which I have been contriving to postpone in expectation of opportunity to explain to you and Col. Trumbo. As my coming here was the result of home determination in this matter and as the emergency presses, I cannot much longer delay. It is desirable that Clawson shall be present.”
In reply to that dispatch I received the following:
“I will try and come tomorrow and Trumbo Saturday. We fully appreciate importance of what you have in hand and are anxious to be with you, but State matter now in its most acute and critical state and Trumbo has it absolutely in his control and it would be practical abandonment for him to leave before Saturday. We sent for “Morgan” and he arrives today. Send Frank over today to explain appointment matter to Platt of Conn., who stopped decisive action in committee yesterday on this ground.”
I felt the awkwardness of my position. G. A. Purbeck & Co. knew I was in town, and that I had arrived here on Sunday night. In the letters which they had sent to me before I left home, they had been urgent for replies and for some definite arrangement to be reached. I had my son Frank see them on Monday, the 23rd., and he had satisfactory interviews with them, and had made excuses for my not calling. Now the earliest I could possibly see them was on Saturday; but as the forepart of the day would be consumed in conversing with Gen. Clarkson, and as but little business is done in New York on Saturday afternoon, it was plain that I could not see G. A. Purbeck & Co. until Monday.
After the receipt of the dispatch from Gen. Clarkson, it was decided that my son Frank should go to Washington by 3:30 p.m. train.
Friday, April 27th, 1894 Bishop Clawson went to the train to meet Gen. Clarkson. He reached New York about half past nine.
Saturday, April 28, 1894 I met Gen. Clarkson at his room in the hotel. My son Frank, who had returned early this morning from Washington, was present, and Bishop Clawson also the greater part of the time. I related to Gen. Clarkson the manner in which I had become acquainted with G. A. Purbeck & Co.; their subsequent correspondence, and the propositions which they had made to finance the Pioneer Electric Power Co’s affairs and our various railroad enterprises. I explained to him that it was G. A. Purbeck & Co. who had mentioned to me a project for building a railroad from Salt Lake City to the Pacific; that I had not given them the least hint concerning the plans which he and us had in contemplation, as I felt that this was a secret which I could not divulge without their consent; but our conversation had been upon selling bonds for the property which we already own, namely, the Saltair Beach and Pavilion and the railroad to them. Beside these, we had considered the plan
s of building a road to the coal beds on the Weber. Their correspondence, I said, upon these projects had been voluminous. I then explained the fee that they asked as a retainer, and also the fees for the engineers, and also for expenses, being $5000 for themselves $3000 for the engineers, and the expenses might probably amount to $500.
I gathered an impression from Gen. Clarkson’s remarks and manner that such an arrangement as now proposed by G. A. P. & Co for us to enter into was not agreeable to him. He asked a number of questions about this Company and what their standing was, etc. He said he had never heard of them, and thought it strange, if they were capable of doing what they proposed, that they were not more known. I told him I had Mr. Bannister make inquiries concerning them, and from all he could learn they were a reliable firm.
Gen. Clarkson spoke about acquaintances he had that he thought would be ready to take hold of the railroad enterprises as soon as the State is admitted. They were men of great wealth, and he thought there would not be the least trouble about raising all the funds we would need when the right time came. He said he and Col. Trumbo had kept quiet about this, being anxious lest the agitation of the railroad project should in any manner arouse opposition against the admission of the State from
the Mr. Huntington of the Southern Pacific and men like him. He mentioned, among the rich men who might be likely to take hold of this, a gentleman by the name of Wilson, who is himself very rich, and whose family is connected with the Astors. He also mentioned Drexel, Morgan & Co.
I said there was not the least necessity, if we made this arrangement with G. A. P. & Co., for anything to be said or done that would interfere with the State movement. It had not been thought dangerous to talk with the Carnegie people or the Bethlehem people, or with others who had been spoken to about this project, and why should it be so dangerous now?
The fact is, I have heard Gen. Clarkson talk about his rich acquaintances before, and he seemed as confident then as he does now that he would succeed in getting them interested in these enterprises; but, so far, not a point has been gained, and the talk today is as vague and destitute of positiveness as it has been at any time for the last six or eight months. I do not question the General’s sincerity in this matter; but I think he has more hope in these people and their willingness to take hold of this work than the result will justify. The question in my mind is: Which is better, to go on indulging in hopes and anticipations which may prove vain concerning something which someone may do, or to make an arrangement with a man like the head of the firm of G. A. Purbeck & Co., who says positively that if we employ him as our financial agent, he will sell our bonds and do everything necessary to make our enterprises successful? To tell the truth, I place no reliance on the hopes which Gen. Clarkson entertains. These rich men of whom he speaks, if they take hold at all, only do so after getting a full assurance that they will get a good share of all that is to be made out of the business. They have made their money by looking after self, and this would be their chief and only motive in entering into any agreement with us. I would dread any such alliance.
Col. Trumbo sent word that he could not come up from Washington, as to do so might prove injurious to the prospects of the admission of the Territory. I could not perceive that there was any such ground for fear, and when Gen. Clarkson suggested that he should be telegraphed for, I concluded that someone else would do the telegraphing if any were done. Bishop Clawson and I thought it might be well for him to telegraph him not to come now, as it was not necessary; but when he mentioned it to Gen. Clarkson he himself framed a dispatch and sent to him. This dispatch brought him. He reached the hotel on Sunday night, the 29th. Bishop Clawson met him at the train and explained matters to him, and afterwards he conversed with Gen. Clarkson.
Monday, April 30, 1894 After breakfast this morning I met with Col. Trumbo in his room at the hotel, in company with Bishop Clawson and my son Frank, and gave him full particulars concerning the proposed contract with G. A. Purbeck & Co. It was plain to be seen that he was not suited with the arrangement, and he announced his intention to make extensive inquiries about the standing of this firm. He will start out, it is very evident,
in the with the design to prove them unworthy of being our financial agents. I said I had no objections to the most searching inquiries being made; for if they are unworthy people, we want nothing to do with them. I told my son Frank also to learn all he possibly could as to their standing. I wanted his object to be the opposite of the evident purpose of Col. Trumbo, and for him to obtain all the knowledge he could respecting their trustworthiness and fitness for the work we wanted done.
At 11 o’clock I went with Frank to G. A. Purbeck & Co’s office. I did so with a shrinking feeling, as I felt that I had not treated them with proper courtesy. We were at their office nearly three hours, and we went over the Pioneer Electric Power Co’s business in a very satisfactory manner. Our other enterprises also were conversed upon with some fullness and everything was most agreeable to me. I felt exceedingly well in spirits during the interview, and I thought if for any reason this man (Purbeck) should prove not to be the man for our purpose, we would find a treasure if we could secure another man who would possess the qualifications that he appears to have[.]
While at dinner this evening, Col. Trumbo walked up and expressed himself freely concerning G. A. Purbeck & Co., to the effect that I must have nothing to do with them; and he did this in so preemptory and dictatorial a manner that I felt the blood rush to my face as though I had been insulted. The tone he used was one to which I am not accustomed to hearing addressed to myself; but I controlled my feelings and said very little in reply.