Thursday, November 1, 1894. I had an appointment with Mr. Dooley this morning to converse over financial affairs.
Afterwards I went with my children John Q., Abraham, Mary Alice and Emily, to the studio of Brother J. W. Clawson, to see an oil portrait that he had painted for my daughter Mary Alice of my son David. We suggested some changes, but we were all greatly pleased with the portrait. I thought the tout ensemble was very good. We saw a grand portrait that he is preparing for President Woodruff.
On returning to the office I met Mr. Critchlow. He wanted to know if I would resign my position as one of the Trustees for the voting of Brother John Beck’s stock. I told him I would not. My reason for being firm on this is that Mr. Knox has spoken to me on this subject and hoped that I would not resign, as it would leave him in a very bad position. I told him that I should not resign; but Mr. Critchlow seems determined to have my resignation if it is possible, in order to show their displeasure at my voting for Brother Clawson to be on the Board and also for the firm of Rawlins & Critchlow to be dismissed. I told him in this conversation my reasons for voting as I did. I said I had gone into that meeting with the feeling that I would not allow, as far as my vote was concerned, anything to be done looking to their dismissal; but when I read what they had said in their complaint I felt that I could not submit to it, and had therefore taken action. He said that if I chose to take that view of what they had said, that was my business. They had not intended it for me, but if I accepted it, that was allright. I said, “What else could I do but accept it?” He said it was intended for P. T. Farnsworth and H. B. Clawson. I said Mr. Clawson had nothing to do with voting at the time fault was found; it was myself and P. T. Farnsworth, and they had used the plural in speaking about those that were confederates with Ryan, and there was no other conclusion that could be reached but that I was included in the charges.
Dr. Talmage came into the office to talk about the Chair of Moral Philosophy in the University. His proposition today was to change the endowment of the Chair of Geology to the Chair of Philosophy. My objection to the proposition is that as the Chair of Philosophy is one that is generally filled, according to Brother Talmage, by the President of the University, if there should be a change in the Presidency, and he be removed for any cause, it might lead to a conflict hereafter between us and the Board of Regents, and I thought we ought to go slow about making any changes of this kind.
At 2 o’clock we held our usual meeting in the Temple. The First Presidency, L. Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, H. J. Grant and A.H. Cannon were present. President Smith was mouth in prayer, and Elder F. M. Lyman was mouth in the circle.
I had been invited with my wives by Moses W. Taylor, on behalf of his father’s family, to meet with the family of the late President Taylor in celebration of his birthday, at the house of Brother Alonzo E. Hyde, at 6 o’clock. I was there at the hour and found my cousin Geo. J. Taylor the only one present; but different members of the family soon came in. My wives Sarah Jane and Eliza were there. We spent a very pleasant evening. About 9 o’clock we withdrew to go home. Myself and my brother Angus administered to Sister Hyde, who was confined to her bed.
Friday, Nov. 2, 1894. I volunteered to go to the Bear Lake Conference in company with Brother Grant. The train leaves at 6:15 today.
I dictated my journal.
At 6:15 I took the train, in company with Brother H. J. Grant, for Pocatello. Reached there between 1 & 2 in the morning.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 1894. We remained at Pocatello about one hour and then took the Oregon Short Line for Montpelier, reaching that place about 2 o’clock this morning. It is an unpleasant journey in consequence of having to change in the night. Before reaching Montpelier, Mr. Ainslie, ex-Delegate to Congress from Idaho, and Capt. Codman, came on board. They were going to Paris to hold a Democratic meeting. Mr. Ainslie and myself were formerly very intimate. We were in Congress together. But my regard for him cooled off very much upon hearing that he had taken a fee to do his best to have the test oath inserted in the Constitution of Idaho.
At Montpelier, Bishop Wilford W. Clark took Brother Grant and myself in his carriage to Paris, to the house of Brother Wm. Budge.
After breakfast, we went to the Conference, which convened at 10 o’clock. There was rather a thin house. Prest. Budge made some remarks, and called upon several of the Bishops, after which I occupied about half an hour and had very good utterance. In the afternoon the congregation was somewhat larger, and some other Bishops were called upon to report. Afterwards Brother Grant occupied about 50 mins., and I spoke about 25. There was an excellent spirit in the meeting and good instructions were given.
In the evening Brother Grant went to Liberty and held meeting, and Brother Budge took me over to Bloomington. We took a meal at my sister Elizabeth’s. The meeting at Bloomington was the largest that had ever been held, it was said, in that house. I occupied the entire time and felt very well in speaking.
We returned to Paris.
Sunday, Nov. 4, 1894. The weather is beautiful and the meeting house was crowded at both meetings. This is the most elegant structure, I think, that is owned by our people in any of our settlements next to the Temples. It is a great credit to the Architect, Brother Don Carlos Young. It cost $47,000, so Brother Budge informed me. Brother Grant and Brother Budge and myself occupied the forenoon. In the afternoon we had the sacrament. I spoke, and was followed by Brother Grant.
In the evening I was taken by Bishop Clark back to Montpelier and after eating at his house attended meeting. The house was crowded to overflowing. I occupied the most of the time. Bro. Budge followed in a few remarks.
I have enjoyed my visit very much. I sat up tonight till nearly 12 o’clock for the train. Reached Pocatello at 1:50.
Monday, Nov. 5, 1894. At 3:40 I got aboard a sleeper for Salt Lake and managed to get between four and five hours sleep. Reached Salt Lake a little after 10. Was met by Brother Wilcken with my buggy and taken home to breakfast. I found Mark and Tracy much improved.
I came to the office at 12:30 and spent the remainder of the day.
Tuesday, Nov. 6, 1894. This is the day of election. I met President Woodruff at the polls at Farmers Ward, where we both cast our votes for the Delegate to Congress and Country officers, and also for members of the Constitutional Convention. As near as I can remember, it is 14 years today since I last voted. I then voted for myself as Delegate to Congress and was elected, but was cheated out of my seat by the fraudulent conduct of Gov. E. H. Murray. Today I voted for my son Frank as Delegate to Congress.
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 1894. When I came to town this morning I found that it was announced that Frank J. Cannon had been elected, with a majority of about 1500. I was gratified at this, as I secretly desired his success, in view of the fact that he had run once before and been defeated. At the same time I have asked the Lord to control this election for the good of his people, regardless of everything else. I did not want Frank elected if it was not for the best.
At 1 o’clock we had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co.
The First Presidency had an interview with Col. Trumbo this afternoon to talk over the percentage that is claimed by Bishop and Gerber, lawyers.
At 4 o’clock we had a Sugar Co. meeting.
Thursday, Nov. 8, 1894. I telephoned yesterday to my son Frank to know if he could come down, as we were very desirous to have a meeting of the Utah Co. He came down
and at 10:30 this morning, and we went through the correspondence from Purbeck & Co; took into consideration the proposition of Gen. Clarkson and the proposed alliance with the U.P. Co; and after careful deliberation, the subject was referred to the Executive Committee, with the understanding that they would make a report tomorrow morning.
At 2 o’clock attended meeting in the Temple. Brother Lyman made the opening prayer, and Brother John Henry Smith prayed in the circle.
At 4 o’clock attended meeting of the Co-op. Wagon & Machine Co[.]
Friday, Nov. 9, 1894. The Utah Co. held a meeting this morning and the committee made a report.
At 2 o’clock I went to the house of Brother John Beck to attend the funeral of his wife. I had no idea when I went of taking any part in the proceedings. My purpose was to pay my respects to the family. But I was pressed to take a seat with Bishop Whitney and to speak, which I did for about half an hour. Brother Whitney followed in a few remarks.
Upon my return to the office there was a meeting in progress of the Church Board of Education with Profs. J. E. Talmage, B. Cluff, W. J. Kerr and Willard Done. There was quite a lively discussion upon the subject brought before us, viz., the question of granting authority to the Brigham Young College to confer degrees, and also how far we could go in the direction of teaching higher branches of learning without conflicting with the understanding that was reached between the Board of Regents of the State University and the First Presidency of the Church[.]
Saturday, Nov. 10, 1894. I have omitted to mention several calls that I made upon Brother Brigham Young, who has been very sick. He is now somewhat better. His wife Lizzie is also in feeble health.
The First Presidency and several of the Twelve had a meeting this morning, Brother A. F. Macdonald being present, to consult about the affairs of the Mexican Colonization Co.
I dictated my journal.
Sunday, Nov. 11, 1894 I took train this morning for Ogden where a Sunday school conference is being held. I reached the Tabernacle about 11 o’clock. It was crowded with adults and children. Brother Shurtliff took me to his house to dinner. In the afternoon and after the business was through, I spoke for about half an hour and had a good deal of freedom. The people listened with great attention. There was a meeting of the teachers held afterwards, and I addressed them also. I spent the remainder of the time until the train started at my son Frank’s. He was absent, however. I returned home and was met at the depot by my son Joseph with a buggy.
Monday, Nov. 12, 1894. I met with the Brigham Young Trust Co. at 11 o’clock this morning, and as soon as I could get away I came back to the office, where the First Presidency met with the Pioneer Electric Power Co. It was felt that something should be done in relation to the affairs of that Co., and it might be necessary for someone to go east. We came to no decision about this, however, as it was thought that the Utah Co. might find it necessary to send someone, and whoever went could attend to both interests.
Today has been a great jollification for the Republicans. People have come in from all parts to take part in the celebration of the Republican victory. I did not see the procession in the evening, but it was reported to be an exceedingly fine one; and the evening wound up by speeches delivered in the theatre to a very crowded audience.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 1894. General Clarkson and his son, accompanied by Col. Trumbo, called upon the First Presidency this morning, and we had a very agreeable conversation. It was merely to pay his respects.
I dictated articles for the Juvenile Instructor.
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 1894 President Woodruff and myself waited this morning for President Smith to go with us to meet with Gen. Clarkson and Mr. Osgood and Col. Cockerill at the Hotel Knutsford; but he did not come, and at 2:30 we went there and had a very pleasant conversation with them. Mr. Osgood is a Colorado capitalist who has come out here with Gen. Clarkson, with the expectation of taking part with him in the enterprise of building the railroad. Col. Cockerill is a newspaper man, formerly connected with the New York World, and now with the New York Advertiser. They all expressed themselves as being delighted with the country. Col. Trumbo was also present at the interview.
There was a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. at 1 o’clock.
Thursday, Nov. 15, 1894. A meeting was held this morning of Z.C.M.I. directors.
At 2 o’clock the First Presidency went to the Temple and met with President Snow, F. D. Richards, B. Young, J. H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale, H. J. Grant and A. H. Cannon. Presidents Woodruff and Snow and Brother Brigham Young did not clothe because of their health. Brother Richards was mouth in prayer and Brother Teasdale prayed in the circle. We heard a report from the Twelve concerning letters that had been submitted to them proposing a plan of education for our Elders. The writers were Brothers John W. Young and B. Cluff, Jr.
Our attention was called by President Smith to an article which appeared in the Ogden Standard of the 13th. It seems that the Logan Journal a few days ago contained an editorial in which the First Presidency were spoken of in a very improper manner. One statement was made which I can easily prove to be utterly false. It said that my fondness for my relatives and my disposition to push them forward was well known. The truth is, and it can easily be substantiated, that I never in any instance have put a relative forward for position. On the contrary, it is well known by those who are acquainted that I have been averse to my relatives being put in position. Not that I wish to oppose them; but I have held back rather than been forward in this matter. The Ogden Standard has taken this article up, and has written a vile article in reply, if its statements be untrue. It charges Brother Moses Thatcher with the authorship of this article, and it speaks of him in a terribly severe strain. I cannot think that there is any truth in the article. President Woodruff called the article to the attention of President Snow, and told him that he thought, in justice to himself, Brother Thatcher should deny the truth of the charge.
There was a meeting held this evening at the theatre which had been called by the Chamber of Commerce, and the wish had been expressed that I would act as Chairman of the meeting. The theatre was very well filled. I was introduced by Mr. Adams, who, in the absence of the President of the Chamber of Commerce, W. H. Rowe, presided. I was received with a good deal of applause and made some opening remarks, and then introduced the different speakers. I made concluding remarks and felt much more free in them than in the opening.
Friday, Nov. 16, 1894. We had a visit this morning from Brother Andrew Kimball, who proposed an enlargement of the Indian Territory Mission, so as to give the Elders a larger field and an opportunity when sick to change their places, as the Indian Territory is a sickly country. We thought favorably of the suggestion.
We had a call from Congressman Meiklijohn, of Nebraska. Mr. & Mrs. Hayes, who visited Salt Lake 20 years ago, accompanied him.
The First Presidency paid a visit to the Gardo House.
An appointment had been made for the Executive Committee of the Utah Co. to have interviews with Gen. Clarkson and Mr. Osgood. They spent the day conversing with them on different phases of the proposition to build a railroad to the Pacific.
Saturday, Nov. 17, 1894. The Executive Committee of the Utah Co. informed me that they were ready to report. As President Woodruff did not intend to come to the office, and President Smith had not arrived, I sent for them to come, and the Committee made the following report:
We visited Gen. Clarkson and Mr. Osgood yesterday morning. Had two conferences with them yesterday, lasting in the aggregate all day; had another meeting with them this morning. The association was surprisingly pleasant. We felt in our transactions with them, and I am satisfied Gen. Clarkson did, as though some great barrier had been removed from between us. We attribute the relief of feeling that he entertained to the very evident fact that he had come to a better understanding of your purposes and the purposes of the executive committee. Col. Trumbo was not present, and from incidental remarks made by Gn. Clarkson we were satisfied that it was at the General’s instance that he was not there. General Clarkson remarked that he was satisfied if he had come without any intervenor in the beginning that he would have better understood you and you better understood him and no difficulty would have arisen[.] The whole of our conversation was of the frankest character, and it was straight business so far as it related to the business phases of the enterprise. We did not at first present our propositions. We listened to a general statement from Mr. Osgood as to the character of the enterprise and the possibilities that he had in his possession for aiding such a project. After listening to him for some little time we became convinced that it was useless to offer the suggestion that had been considered here by you brethren, because in the course of his remarks he stated so fully his situation that we knew it was not worth while to present that and would in fact militate against the character of the association, and that we must approach the thing in some other way. It became apparent quite early in the conversation that we would have to reach our ends by some other means, and so we presented these suggestions to them, not by way of propositions, but stating to them that they were merely offered to see if they could take either one of the suggestions, and if so we would learn if we were at liberty to make the suggestion in a formal proposition. You will remember that when we talked here last there was a proposition that we should issue $20,000,000 of straight general bonds and they should take $10,000,000 of these bonds on certain conditions. We did not make that at all because it would simply have injured any further negotiations and we wanted to ascertain positively if we could do any business with these people, for two reasons; first we wanted to know whether there was any element of strength in them that could be helpful to the Utah Company; and secondly, we wanted to discharge any obligation which any one can esteem you brethren to be under to General Clarkson to give him an opportunity to become connected with this enterprise. We made this suggestion to them: That the Railway Company issue $10,000,000 first Mortgage bonds, and $10,000,000 second mortgage bonds; that the Company give to Messrs. Clarkson, Osgood and friends the $10,000,000 first mortgage bonds, $1,000,000 second mortgage bonds, $4,900,000 Utah Company’s stock of the profits thereon, and $9,800,000 railway stock or the profits thereon, aggregating in all $25,700,000; but with the understanding that the 49 per cent. of stock in the Utah Company and railway Company must be held in part by our own people in Utah; for which they were return to the Company $10,000,000 in cash and materials at cash prices, give to the Company all the terminals and way contracts, and accord to the Company the continuous services of James S. Clarkson until the enterprise shall be carried through. This suggestion was debated at considerable length. As will appear this would have given to them $11,000,000 in bonds and 49 per cent. of the stock or the profits thereon, leaving in the hands of the Utah people $9,000,000 in second mortgage bonds and 51 per cent. of the Utah Company’s and Railway Company’s stock. It was estimated that the railroad could be built and equipped for $20,000,00, or $20,000 a mile, and that the bonuses and terminal facilities accorded at the various towns which were to be reached would aggregate in value $5,000,000, which would be given to the Company free, and that the Utah Company would then have $9,000,000 of second mortgage bonds with which to pay about $5,000,000 of expenses to carry the enterprise through. It was thought by us that with the $10,000,00 in cash, which would pay for the iron and telegraph line and allow $3,000 a mile for the equipment, there would be $2,000 in money and $9,000 a mile in bonds with which to do the grading, and that it could be reached in this way.
Mr. Osgood said that this was a different proposition from any which he had considered, and that to accept it would wipe out Gen. Clarkson, because his only idea had been to take a straight loan on preferred mortgage bonds to the amount of $5,000,000; that there was no speculation in that
enterprise proposition for him at all, that he would merely loan money to the amount of 25 per cent. of the actual value of the property; but that our suggestion contemplated a speculation on the part of the people who were to advance the money, and if they were to go into a speculation they would want all that there was in the transaction, and this would eliminate Gen. Clarkson, which he, Mr. Osgood, did not propose to do, and as he understood it we did not propose to do.
While this was under debate, Mr. Osgood asked Gen. Clarkson to retire to another room and they held quite a lengthy consultation together. Upon their return Mr. Osgood stated, I am satisfied that the only thing which I can do is to furnish $5,000,000 as against $15,000,000 or as against the completed road. The impression made upon us at the time, as we afterward compared notes, was that Mr. Osgood had consulted to see whether Gen. Clarkson’s obligations would permit him to allow the whole of this offer to go to the people who should furnish the $10,000,000. Mr. Osgood’s manner both before retiring and after indicated that he thought the proposition an attractive one, and while it was only an inference we think it a justifiable one that had he been entirely clear, and we also, he would have undertaken to try to bring about the result. When Mr. Osgood stated that this was the only proposition he was prepared to make, to furnish the $5,000,000 as against the completed road, he reiterated that the understanding which he had had from the beginning was that we were in a position to furnish all but $5,000,000 and that this $5,000,000 was all that Gen. Clarkson was to advance, and for the $5,000,000 they were to have the bonds and 49 per cent. of the stock. <The excess of stock in proportion to the amount of money furnished would be in liquidation for services of Gen Clarkson & others.> Committeeman Clayton stated that being present at the original understanding he did not know of any such question involved in the original contract. But we stated that it was not so material so long as we had a proper understanding of what had been the negotiation of the past, if we or they could suggest a plan by which Gen. Clarkson’s plan could be fulfilled and this great enterprise carried through also, we were prepared to do it. But inasmuch as they had brought up the question of the old contract we then stated as a second suggestion, that $20,000,000 general mortgage bonds be issued, that Messrs. Clarkson and Osgood et al take $5,000,000 of these bonds, furnish $5,000,000 in cash or material at cash price, take 49 per cent. of the stock in Utah Company and 49 per cent. of the stock in the Railway Company or the profits thereon; that George Q. Cannon et al furnish $15,000,000 on $15,000,000 bonds and take 51 per cent. of stock in both companies. That suggestion was dismissed. Mr. Osgood stated that he could not see his way clear to do that and he presented to our minds incontrovertible business reason why he could not get $5,000,000 to invest in our property, to be under our control, unless that $5,000,000 should have priority of lien upon the entire road. At this point Mr. Osgood referred again to the original contract, and we asked Gen. Clarkson if he could furnish the iron and the telegraph line in accordance with the provisions of that original contract, and take according to the provisions of that contract general mortgage bonds. He replied that he could not, except as this offer of Mr. Osgood’s covered that
Without detailing all the conversations, to sum up here, it is a satisfaction to show these results: That we not only made to Gen. Clarkson, and to Mr. Osgood in his behalf, a suggestion which if they had accepted and we could have complied with would have carried out the entire original idea of the contract, but we presented two other suggestions, either one of which, if carried out, would have been favorable to them from our standpoint, and it was found impossible to negotiate on the terms of either one of the three suggestions.
Mr. Osgood made to us a counter suggestion, which is provisional and which he can withdraw at his pleasure, to the effect that if we were not able to raise enough money to carry through the entire enterprise to San Francisco, that we raise enough to take the line from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, 750 miles, with the understanding if he can carry it out, that his people shall furnish $5,000 a mile in materials or cash,
and an aggregate of $3,750,000. According to his estimate, this would leave the people in Utah to raise only about $5,000,000 in cash and labor, or the products of labor in the form of ties and bridge timbers, the deficit being made up by the concessions and bonuses received between here and Los Angeles, including the two terminal points. We took that into consideration, and have suspended the negotiation at this point, with the understanding that Mr. Osgood will communicate with his friends, and that we will examine into our resources and communicate with him and Gen. Clarkson on that point at a later time.
We are satisfied that a serious misunderstanding has existed in the minds of Gen. Clarkson and Mr. Osgood, and probably in the minds of the friends with whom Gen. Clarkson has talked back east. It is perfectly apparent that you brethren are esteemed to be immensely wealthy. Mr. Osgood, in Gen. Clarkson’s presence, stated repeatedly that the understanding which he had was that you were prepared to carry through $15,000,000 of this enterprise; and to show how detailed the conversation must have been between Mr. Osgood and other men on this subject, Mr. Osgood stated that he supposed that if you did not have money enough privately to do this, you would merely take your emigration fund or some other fund at your disposal and use it for the time being until you could arrange the matter in some other way. We are further satisfied that Gen. Clarkson’s friends back east are of the opinion that he has fulfilled every obligation that was resting upon him in the original contract when he brings to you a man with $5,000,000. They imagine that all you have to do is to say yes, and this $5,000,000 will put into your hands enough reserve to build this entire line. Mr. Osgood leaves with the impression, we think, that it is simply a little figuring up to see how many millions short of the $15,000,000 we at the present moment lack.
(Question by Director Wilford Woodruff: “How have they obtained that impression, through Col. Trumbo, or how?”)
From remarks made by Gen. Clarkson incidentally, we are of the opinion that he has been entirely misled concerning this whole affair. He stated that he had been assured again and again that everything was all right, and when he replied to the party who made this remark to him, that business was business and the matter ought to be arranged in some tangible form, he was assured that it was doubting truth and honor to doubt that the thing would go through. He appears to have conveyed this impression to Mr. Osgood and everybody else. Mr. Osgood, without saying anything impolite, but showing every deference to you and every consideration to your committee, did say that there were grave responsibilities attached to this matter; that his friend Gen. Clarkson had entered into serious obligations and that he was satisfied that the matter could be carried through, and hoped it would be, with amity and good feeling. It is proper to state here the conclusion at which the committee arrived after these conversations: That if we shall fail to establish any relation with Gen. Clarkson in this enterprise, after he has brought Mr. Osgood here with what on the surface appears to be a frank, open offer of $5,000,000 in cash, all of Gen. Clarkson’s friends in the east must be, in his own defence, led to believe that we have entirely failed to carry out to <the> understanding which he received from you. Your committee in general terms disclaimed the financial power which was attributed to you. We stated that it was wrong to assume that the Church as such had any relation to this enterprise; that the endeavor was being made by you brethren as leaders of the people to establish an enterprise which should be for the benefit of the people, and that you were assuming the obligations personally, but that behind you, of course, stood the faith and works of such people as might become interested in the enterprise. Mr. Osgood seemed much surprised to learn that this was not the enterprise of the Church, distinctively so. He said that he had arrived at the idea and had entertained it all the time that the church was doing this work, and he intimated that the changed attitude could weaken the situation financially. We did not go into any details as to your impoverished condition; but if it shall meet with your approval we have thought it would be well before Gen. Clarkson shall leave the City, to state to him privately something of the facts, so that in his conversations in the east he may mitigate to some extent the severity of the judgment which will undoubtedly be passed. On this point we are between two fires; if Gen. Clarkson shall not say anything to his friends to defend you they will think that he has been willfully betrayed; if we shall put into his possession the full details of your impoverishment and he shall tell these facts to his friends, then it will be useless for you to undertake to carry through any financial enterprise because your credit will be destroyed. If you care to assume it, the honorable way to adjust this matter will be to place the responsibility right upon the intermediaries who betrayed you both.
Mr. Osgood’s reasons for declining to entertain any other proposition than his own original one are as follows: He says that it would be unreasonable to ask any man to invest $5,000,000 on equal security with the people who furnish the $15,000,000 and who control the whole enterprise. He recognizes that Gen. Clarkson is with you and not with him and his people, and as they are merely lending money they want irrefragable security for it. If they were to lend money to this enterprise on equal security with your own they would want partnership interest. His original proposition contemplates nothing but a straight loan of $5,000,000 at 5% annum which is a very low rate, and from his standpoint he has tendered everything which anyone ought to ask. On the suggestion made by your committee <of> the issue of $10,000,000 preferred bonds, he said, the only way in which that could be considered would be to wipe out Gen. Clarkson and let the people who put up the $10,000,000, being probably two-thirds of the actual cash expenditure involved in the whole affair, have all the profits which are comprised in this suggestion. This morning, he added,—and we think his addition was in defence of Gen. Clarkson—that it was not a proper thing to consider, because they would be putting up two-thirds of the money and would be holding a minority interest of the stock, and it was a strong possibility that your general interests and the welfare of the people would lead you, as soon as you had control of the enterprise, to reduce all the charges for freight and passenger traffic to the point where the revenues of the Company would merely pay the fixed charges and there never would be any profits on the stock. You would derive your profits from the welfare of your own people and through your holdings in other enterprises benefitted by this railway, while the people who furnish the money would get no interest. If they put up $10,000,<000> and we should get $5,000,000 in Bonuses and terminal facilities as a gift, the whole enterprise should only cost $20,000,000, that would leave you only $5,000,000 to supply.
Mr. Osgood impressed us as a straightforward, strong, capable business man and gentleman. He went directly to the point on every proposition. We parted from these gentlemen with the most cordial expressions on both sides. We have agreed to communicate further with Mr. Osgood in writing, and to see Gen. Clarkson before he shall leave the city and to write to him. Before we parted, Gen. Clarkson seemed very much affected. He said that he was willing to efface himself if only the obligation of his honor could be carried out; that he felt more bounden by his promises to his friends than he would feel bound to pay a note in the bank. Gen. Clarkson shone out in his real greatness in all our conversation with him. He showed the devoted and the patriotic man. He said that his aspiration was to see the enterprise go through and be forever under the control of a people who had made a mighty state from nothing; that he felt that the destiny of California was somewhat wrapped up in you; that relief to the people of the Pacific Coast would come right from these valleys through the medium of this railroad; and outside of his profound interest and pride in the people here, that all he wanted to do was to discharge his obligation, which he was ever under. He said if he could get through without a cent, with his pass to return home, and feel that he had discharged the pledges which he made to his friends he would be satisfied.
Mr. Osgood stated that if nothing came of the proposition in the form in which he presented it he would ask to withdraw from it and leave us to continue our negotiations with Gen. Clarkson, it being very evident to our minds that Mr. Osgood feels himself under the obligation of honor to protect Gen. Clarkson’s interests and wishes.
All through our conversations the idea was kept forward by us that certain obligations and contracts were in existence which would prevent us from making any absolute proposition to them, and that we could only carry out any one of these suggestions which they might accept if we could remove obstacles which we knew existed. Mr. Osgood asked us if we were still under contract with Mr. Purbeck and we answered yes.
In making our suggestions we felt that we were going far beyond anything which you had considered in the meeting in which we received our instructions; but as we progressed with the negotiation we felt that the ground was more and more safe under our feet and that we could make suggestions which would protect you on all the obligation that they ever esteemed you were under, and so we finally waived all the idea of Gen. Clarkson’s furnishing 49 per cent. of the cost.
Concerning General Clarkson, your Committee, with Director Jack, recommend that either yourselves or some Committee make a fair statement of the entire situation, in general effect as follows:-
Pre-supposing that it would be your Executive Committee who would make the statement, it would say: “General Clarkson, you have been seriously misled in this affair, and the time has come when, in behalf of our friends and speaking for them, we want to set you straight. First, we want to say to you that there has been no such communication with our friends at home as would have justified any statement or inference to you that they knew of the cost of statehood, or that they knew you were being led to believe that you could have 49% of this railroad with which to discharge your obligations, or that they had any idea that you entertained a definite expectation that the contract would be renewed at your pleasure in the terms of the old understanding. The communication which has been had with our friends has been touch and go. Men would come and say: Why, statehood is being achieved; we must do what they expect of us, or something of that kind in general terms, without ever once sitting down and stating to our friends what you expected and what had been stated in their presence as the expectation of men who associated themselves with you to get these great ends. So far have they been misled that on more than one occasion George Q. Cannon and H. B. Clawson conversed on this subject, and H. B. Clawson understood and endorsed the statement that the old contract had absolutely failed, and that he was gratified that the thing had been brought to a conclusion without involving our people in something which they could not carry. Further, with regard to the possibility of our people carrying any such idea as that entertained in your proposition, there has not been an hour when they could do it. If they were to command every resource within their power they could not carry one half of it.”
Detailing to him then sufficient of your circumstances so that he shall know and shall acquit you of all willful distaste for this thing. Then say to him:
“General, the only resource that we have now is to proceed in the way that our people have always accomplished their little works. Go at it by easy stages, and do what they can, and gather the forces by slow accretion with which to carry through this enterprise, and as it is carried through, our people will put aside for you and your friends, 49% of the profits accruing to them in this entire enterprise, to be disposed of by you in discharging the obligation of yourself to your friends, and not through any intervenors or intermediaries. The only consideration which we ask is that our friends shall be protected in their honor before the world, and that every effort which you can make and every inducement which you can offer to people abroad shall be contributory to our success rather than against it. We will be glad to consult with you at your pleasure on the methods which we propose to follow in carrying this out. It may be done in a slow way, but none the less sure. This 49% means 49% of all that our friends have, and not 49% of the entire enterprise, with the proviso that the stock shall remain in such an attitude as to insure to the brethren the perpetuity of their control, you and your friends receiving the profits of it only or in such other attitude as may be equally safe for them.”
Concerning Mr. Purbeck, your Committee recommends that a visit be paid to Mr. Purbeck, and that he be asked if he has any money for the Utah Company. His reply will probably be that the Utah Co. has not done what he told it to do. The answer to that, we are of the opinion, should be that it has not done and cannot do what he asks until he puts in the possession of the people facilities with which to proceed, and that he be asked in cordial terms to show to us where the money is if we carry out his instructions, and that upon that showing, if it is satisfactory, that we do carry out his instructions; and if he shall fail to show to us where any money is to be obtained, that we then say to him, “Mr. Purbeck, we will hold you until this contract shall be terminated to supply us the money according to the understanding, but in the meantime we must proceed as directors to protect the properties which are under our control. There are other stockholders than those with which you have been dealing, and the directors of these various corporations are going to proceed to protect the property which is in their custody. They are obliged by the law to do that.” If he enquires as to particulars, we can state to him that there is a salt company operating and owning grounds contiguous to this company, and our interests must be protected. There are other parties who own coal lands adjacent to the mines of this company, and we must protect these coal lands from being shut out of the market. There is a beach resort contiguous to ours, and our beach resort must be protected, and we must do it by traffic arrangements or such other arrangements as are proper. This railway field which we propose to occupy is threatened, and we must proceed to occupy that field now to the extent of our capacity to hold it, and we do that without proposing to interfere with your prerogatives, your rights or your duties. You can go on and furnish us the money which you can command, and we will be glad to utilize it, and as we receive it we will pay you your proportion. But we are going to protect the property which is in our control, and we are going to grasp the opportunities for the increase of that property in value. Thereby we will be giving to you greater values on which to raise money.
Concerning proposed alliance with Union Pacific Co., your Committee recommends that on the return of such members of the Utah Co. as may go to New York, they stop at Omaha and be joined there by Manager Clayton, and hold a consultation with the heads of the Union Pacific there, so as to deal no more with intermediaries. That we present a series of ideas to them, and strive to obtain these arrangements: On Coal, that we ask as low a rate as it is possible to get for freight; that they put in the Grass Creek Line, entering into a stipulation with us that upon the termination of the freight rate and the relationship, that the grade belongs to us and the rails and ties belong to them, so that we do not lose our power of access to the property; that we then insist upon their making with us a reduction of fifty cents a ton on the selling price of Weber coal in this vicinity, for two reasons—one, because it is right and the people ought to have lower-priced coal, and another because that will vindicate the Utah Co. if it shall fail to put in a railroad to the east, as is now expected by the people; it will also furnish us the opportunity to induce large purchases of our coal, because the people will soon understand what was the instrumentality that brought this reduction, and they will support us with the feeling that there will be still further reduction through our instrumentality. On the Salt, that we ask them to make a tariff from Saltair and Syracuse of, say $1 a ton. That would furnish us a margin of a dollar a ton, less whatever it cost us to bring that salt from Saltair to Salt Lake City. The disposition of the balance to be arranged with them satisfactorily. Of course, they would have to have some profit out of that. On the Bathing, we ask them to close up their resort and accept such a percentage of the profits of our business as may be mutually agreed upon. That we ask them to make a trackage arrangement with us from Saltair to the Stockton terminus on their present line, and accord to us facilities in the use of their abandoned iron that they are now taking up, with which we can extend on to Deep Creek. That in return for these we tender to the Union Pacific our good will, and accompanying that good will all the business which we can command for them, so that we make an alliance that will reward them for all that they give to us. That if we can make this arrangement, we then proceed to say to the people of Salt Lake City, We are now prepared to build to Deep Creek, provided Salt Lake and Utah will do as well for us as they have offered to do for other people. We ask the Fort Block, and we ask such bonus as has been offered to other people; and we ask the bankers of Salt Lake to take a certain percentage of the bonds of this Company, to be issued at par. This percentage of bonds would only need to be a small one, in order to furnish to us the necessary cash with which to do this work. By issuing these bonds in small denominations, a considerable portion of the work could be paid for in bonds, and these bonds could pass current in the Territory, because after a year’s time, if the road paid as it is now expected it will, the interest would be paid on the bonds and they would stand at par.
That brings us to the end of our difficulties and, we think, to the solution of them.
We had a call from Mr. Osgood, with Col. Cockerill.
I dictated my journal.
Sunday, Nov. 18, 1894. Brother B. F. Cummings came to my house this morning to get some particulars of my life for publication in the Contributor.
At 2 o’clock I attended meeting in the Tabernacle. Brother Brigham Young spoke for 30 mins., and I followed and spoke about 40 mins.
Monday, Nov. 19, 1894. The Executive Committee of the Utah Co. met with the First Presidency today and we considered their report and the propositions which they proposed to make to Gen. Clarkson. It was decided that they should see him and tell him the true condition of affairs. Before doing so I suggested that it might be well to explain to Bishop Clawson what had taken place between the committee and Gen. Clarkson and what was proposed to say to him. After some little discussion this was acceded to, and he was sent for and told the position of affairs. The feeling with the brethren is that Bishop Clawson has not been as frank in explaining our situation to Gen. Clarkson as he should have been. He has stood by and heard Col. Trumbo make representations concerning affairs that have been misleading, it is thought. If there be any fault of this kind, I attribute it to Brother Clawson’s anxiety for us to obtain statehood. In the course of conversation he proposed a way of settlement that might answer, and that was that Gen. Clarkson and his associates should be permitted to build the railroad to the Pacific and we give them our goodwill and do nothing about it ourselves, only be employed, etc. The reply was made that they had the right to build any time they wished; we could not prevent them. But I was very emphatic myself in saying that as far as our goodwill was concerned, I never could consent to barter that off to anybody. It was our business to build the railroad and to control it. I said it would only be fastening another yoke upon us to do any such thing. He made some remarks that we were not able to build it, &c., and I spoke very emphatically that we would build it and we would carry this enterprise through. I was scared, after I had said it, at my own expressions, because, to all human appearances, we have no prospect of being able to do any such thing. But I have endeavored to get the mind of the Spirit concerning this, and I am unchanged in my feelings that this is the thing we ought to do.
I have been in the Temple every morning in the room of the First Presidency during the last week, in order to pray unto the Lord in my Temple clothing. I have felt so much the weight of these things upon me that I have sought relief in that manner, and the Lord has given it to me.
I attended a B.B.&C. Co. meeting after this. The business was the proposal of John Beck to sell the Caroline property to the Co. The attorney, W. C. Hall, was sent for to know concerning our power to make such a purchase. While he admitted the power, he questioned the propriety of our doing so until the suit that is now pending concerning the title to that property should be decided, and this was agreed to by the Co., though John Beck was exceedingly anxious to sell the Caroline to us.
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 1894. I came to the office this morning early, in order to get through with my work preparatory to going east this evening. President Woodruff desires me not only to go to Kansas and St. Louis, but myself and Frank to go to New York and see Mr. Purbeck.
I dictated my journal and articles for the Juvenile Instructor.
I have received the following letter from Gen. Clarkson:
Salt Lake City, Nov. 19th, 1894.
Hon. George Q. Cannon and Associates,
Salt lake City, Utah.
It is due in frankness and good faith for me to express to you before I leave the city the sense of disappointment that my associates and myself feel in not having been permitted to hold a business conference with you and your associates. We had come over two thousand miles for that express purpose, and had relied confidently on being able to sit down and talk over in perfect frankness and in thorough business detail the subject of the construction of a Railway from Salt Lake City to the Pacific Coast. Mr. Osgood, who is one of the most successful business men of the nation as well as one of the largest capitalists of the West, was confident that in such conference with you he could either demonstrate to your satisfaction the wisdom and safety of his proposition, or else reach by mutual agreement some other basis of understanding by which the building of the Road could be assured. Since we have not been permitted to hold such conference with you, and since our conferences with the members of the Executive Committee of the Utah Company, whom we met as your designated agents, failed in any definite results, we now feel it a duty to address you formally with the hope of placing our business matters in such definite shape that we may all, as mutual friends and intelligent business men, be able to fully understand them hereafter. This is as necessary to your interests and to your self-respect as to our own.
We had supposed before coming here this last time that you had become able under your contract with Purbeck and Company to deal with us as to this Pacific Road independent of that. We had supposed that on the basis of our mutual contract of October 3rd, 1893, or on some basis which, in friendly conference, we could fully and harmoniously agree upon, we should be able to reach at least some definite preliminary understanding. When it was proposed we should see the Executive Committee of the Utah Company we supposed that that was preliminary to a final and definite conference with yourselves. During the two interviews that we held with these gentlemen on the first day here we received no intimation that you and the Utah Company were not free to deal with us independent of Purbeck, and the spirit of the conference and negotiations on that day was hopeful. On the second day we were suddenly and abruptly informed that Purbeck still controlled as to this Railroad as well as in the other matters of previous contract between you and him, and that nothing could be done with us without his final approval, and that we were summarily dismissed for the present and until we should hear from this Committee in writing. This abrupt conclusion, by which we were shut out from any conference with you, was, as you must understand, very disappointing to us, since we had taken so much trouble to come so long a distance to see you, and since we had waited two or three days after coming here for you to make yourselves fully ready to meet us. Personally it left me in much embarrassment to explain it to Mr. Osgood satisfactorily.
As we are to separate on this unsatisfactory result we have deemed it the part of wisdom to address you formally, in that spirit of frankness and amity which exists between personal friends and Christian men, in the hope that we may speedily reach some self-respecting position as to our mutual affairs which will be fully protective of the interests of us all. We have come to such a situation that we are all left, as fair men intending honorable dealing with one another, to come to some definite understanding, doing away with all uncertainty and so many chances for misunderstandings. One of two things must be true: First, we are still left with all of us bound in honor to carry out in good faith, in some manner acceptable to us all, the spirit of the contract of October 3rd, 1893. Or, second, all interests that myself and associates acquired in that contract have been transferred to the Utah Company and the Purbeck contract. In either event it would seem that we are fairly entitled to have, and that you would find your fullest protection also, in an explicit statement in writing to us as to your understanding and intention as to our present situation and unrelinquished rights. If you consider that we no longer have any rights under the spirit of the contract of October 1893 we think that we should in fairness know that. If we were, in place of that, assigned an interest in the Utah Company and the Purbeck contract, without our being consulted as to the formation of the Company or notified of the making of the contract, we feel that we should be notified of that now, and of the character and amount of our interest. We further feel that, if we have such an interest, we should be admitted to representation in the Company, to participation in its affairs, and to a full knowledge of the terms of the contract with Purbeck, and that we should be consulted as legitimate parties in interest in all further negotiations with him or others. We were notified by President Cannon, and such notice was verified by Presidents Woodruff and Smith, in the interviews held with you in your office here in September last, that such interest had been assigned to us in the Utah Company and Purbeck contract, and that the interest was as large as that we held in the contract of October 1893. Doubtless the failure to inform us fully and definitely as to our interests in these new companies has been an oversight. Now that we call your attention to it we feel sure that you will admit the justice of our being represented in the Company and as to the contract, if we do possess such interest. We are confident that with you the rights of minority are as sacred, and as worthy of representation and consultation, as the rights of the majority. We have no feeling that, if we are possessed of such interest, you would desire in fact to exclude us from a full knowledge of all the details of the Company and the terms of the contract, or from a full representation and participation in the conduct of the Company and in all of the negotiations. While we have never waived our rights of contract in the least under the instrument of October 3rd, 1893, and while we do not suppose that you feel that we have in any way forfeited such rights, we have always been willing to consider any other plan for building the Railway, or to adjust matters in any shape or in any form of settlement agreeable to us all.
We may say too that we have never had any other thought, and have not now, other than that you intend to deal in fairness with us in every respect; and that we want you to feel that the same spirit exists with us towards you. Therefore with confidence in each other, and with our interests all identical, we are unable to see any reason why there should not be the utmost frankness between us, the readiest access to each other, and the fullest desire on the part of us all to reach first a plain, definite understanding as to all our rights and wishes; and, second, the earliest possible inauguration and construction of the Railway. It is a Road certain to be built by somebody within the near future, and no others can do it so certainly, and in a manner so beneficial to the people in interest, as those of us who united for the purpose in 1893.
If, however, personal interviews with you on these important matters of mutual interest, and which our mutual honor as well as our personal interest is involved, are not possible or advisable, and if you are not prepared or disposed to answer the legitimate inquiries of this letter, we would then propose that the whole matter of our entire negotiations, from 1893 up to the current time, be referred to some one who possesses the confidence and respect of all of us, and the ability and honor to decide justly all the questions between us. Our present situation is neither right as between good friends, nor as between good business men. We feel that you are ready to meet in honor and full conscience all that is right and just. We feel as sure that we want no more than is right and just. If we cannot agree between ourselves, and if we are not to have the opportunity for conference in which to reach an agreement, let us end the suspense and uncertainty by referring it all to some fair, just, and competent man for him to decide. You believe in arbitration and its spirit of fairness. So do we. It seems, therefore, to be the fair and certain way to reach a settlement now.
The present situation of uncertainty and no real understanding is not creditable to either side. We feel, however, that we have striven more diligently than you have to reach a plain understanding and a certain settlement. Speaking for myself, it is absolutely necessary for me to know as early as possible whether we are going to build this Railroad or whether we are going to give it up. My duty to my family and my necessities are such that I must accept some other opportunities which are offered if this enterprise, to which I have dedicated myself for nearly two years, is not to go ahead, or if I am not to be permitted to be part of it.
So while I am here, and as we are all separating, we would suggest, in the utmost seriousness, that we now take some definite action, or at least begin the first steps toward it, to the end of terminating all uncertainty, and to the further end that when we shall meet again it will be either to reach a plain and written agreement, or else to put it all in arbitration to decide what in honor is left us to do. None of us on either side, I am also sure, believe in this uncertain way in which we have lately been dealing. It is not the manner in which fair men and good friends, saying nothing of intelligent business men, deal with each other. Therefore, let us, who have no other reason or interest than to be sincere friends always, end it by coming to an agreement between ourselves, or by referring it to some one of wisdom and honor, in whom we all have faith, to decide it for us.
Arbitration is both honorable and Christian, and men of honest hearts and good intentions are always ready to submit themselves and their interests to its decision.
In this broad spirit, and with no anxiety to reach any conclusion which will be other than just to us all alike, we subscribe ourselves in the utmost friendship and goodwill as
(Signed) James S. Clarkson and associates.
I looked through my accumulated correspondence and attended to considerable other business, dictated my journal to Brother Winter, listened to his reading of a discourse delivered by me at the last General Conference, dictated two articles for the Juvenile Instructor and replies to a large number of letters. Beside this work, I had interviews with my sons John Q. and Abraham and others about different matters of business and with Bishop John R. Winder, the Receiver for the Church property, concerning getting help in money to finish paying for the Gardo House. At his instance and that of President Woodruff’
s and Smith, I had an interview with Chief Justice Merritt to have him favor the expenditure by the Receiver of some of the money he had in his hands derived from our property. I explained to the Judge that I was about to leave and before doing so wished to see some bills settled for repairing the Gardo House which had been left in a frightful condition by its former occupants. I told him President Woodruff worried about the money with which to make this payment, and I thought it ought to be paid out of the money in the hands of the Receiver, for I said if the government should restore the property to us this money would be ours and if the government should retain it, it is to the government’s interest to keep so valuable a property in repair. He agreed with me in these views, and said he had no doubt the other Judges would agree with him in accepting the bills for repairs. He wished he was as sure of his salvation as he was that these bills would be all right and the property would be turned to us. I told him that it would probably require from $2000 to $3000 to meet these bills. In parting with him he said, Tell President Woodruff not to worry; it will be all right for the Receiver to pay this money. I reported the result of this interview to Bishop John R. Winder and Presidents Woodruff and Smith.
Before leaving for the train this evening, I called such of my family as I could get together and talked to them about what I wished them to do while I am absent.
Brother Wilcken met me at the Rio Grande Western train and took my buggy to drive it home. I met General Clarkson, Col. Cockrell and Col. Trumbo at the depot. Col. Cockrell is returning east and the others came down to see him off. I had a few minutes’ conversation with Gen. Clarkson and explained how busy I had been getting ready to leave and that I could not possibly get time to see him, but that I thought Presidents Woodruff and Smith would see him tomorrow. Respecting the business he said he felt it would come out all right.
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 1894. The day passed pleasantly and without any event of note. At 7:30 p.m. we got off the Colorado Midland sleeper at Colorado Springs and after waiting two hours got on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe train.
Thursday, Nov. 22, 1894. We reached Hutchinson about 12:30 noon and put up at the Midland Hotel, according to directions which I had received.
Mr. John E. Frost, of the Land Dept. of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R.R. called upon me and introduced me to a number of gentlemen, among them a Mr. Brown, who took Sister Cannon and myself out for a two hours’ ride in his carriage with a very fine team of black horses. He showed us all over the town, and also took us to see a Salt works, of which there are several in this vicinity. There is a bed of salt underlying this region at a depth of 500 feet, that is 325 feet deep. It is a solid body of salt. The manner of obtaining it is by sinking a large pipe and a smaller one inside of it. The forcing of water down the outside pipe causes the diluted salt water to rise up in the inside pipe. This is then boiled and produces a salt 99 per cent pure. There is shipped from this point an average of 60 tons of salt every day in the year. One thousand men are employed in the industry. It is all shipped in barrels; the table salt in sacks of one, two, three and five pounds weight. I did not see any of the leading men; but one of the workmen thought the table salt was worth 3/4 of one cent per pound.
In the evening had a call from Mr. J. E. Frost and a number of ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Ladd and wife; Mr. Redhead and wife, of the Committee of the Hutchinson Commercial Club, who had a reception in charge for us and the additional duty of looking to our entertainment; Col. Forshay and wife; Mr. Whitesides and wife, and Mrs. Vinson. An hour or two was spent very pleasantly in visiting.
Friday, Nov. 23, 1894. The meeting of the Kansas Irrigation Association was held at the Auditorium and opened at 9:30 a.m. Mr. J. E. Frost was appointed temporary chairman, and Messrs. Cowgill and Hinckley, Secretaries. Rev. S. E. Busser then spoke on the subject “The Almighty is with us” and followed in prayer. An address of welcome was then delivered by Judge Houk, of Hutchinson, which was responded to on behalf of the Convention by Mr. J. H. Churchill, of Dodge City. The President of the Association was sick; but he sent an address, which was read. Committees on permanent organization and resolutions were appointed, and a number of papers were read upon profits from irrigation in various counties. After the business of the Convention was started, Mr. Frost introduced me in complimentary terms to the Convention and requested me to preside during the remainder of the morning session. The proposition was received with applause by the Convention.
In the afternoon the Convention again met, and one of the Vice Presidents, Mr. J. E. Frost, presided, followed by another of the Vice Presidents, Mr. Clement, of Witchita. A number of papers bearing on irrigation and setting forth its advantages were read. The Convention adjourned till 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Ladd, of the Reception Committee, informed me that Mr. J. E. Frost would call upon myself and wife at the Hotel with a carriage at 7:45 p.m. to take us to the Auditorium; after the adjournment of the Convention, then he would take us to the Hutchinson Commercial Club Parlors to hold the reception which it had been arranged myself and wife should give the members of the Convention and the citizens of Hutchinson, in accordance with the following invitation which had been lithographed for the occasion:
[Middle section of page blank]
We dressed suitably for the address which I was to deliver and for the Reception, and Mr. Frost called for us, accompanied by two ladies—Mrs. & Miss Biggar. A fine audience in appearance and numbers (estimated at nearly 3000) was assembled, and I was credited with being the attraction. Two papers were read, and then Judge Emery of Kansas followed in an eloquent address; after which I spoke for about 45 minutes and was listened to very attentively. A great number expressed the interest they felt in my remarks and the pleasure I had given them.
We were taken by Mr. Frost in a carriage, accompanied by the two ladies, to the Club Parlors. The rooms were soon crowded with ladies and gentlemen, dressed in style, and myself and wife stood up (Mrs. Biggar and others standing by the side of my wife) and Messrs. Ladd and Redhead at my side, and introduced the ladies and gentlemen to us until all were presented. This ceremony occupied considerable time and was followed by conversation, and the Reception did not break up till about 12 midnight. The affair was an exceedingly pleasant one, and though I had shrunk from and dreaded it, I felt that great good was done—prejudice was removed, and those present were impressed favorably and friendly feelings for us and the Latter-day Saints were inspired. We were treated with the utmost consideration and kindness, and if we had been the most distinguished personages, I cannot see how we could very well be treated with more honor. What a wonderful, a marvelous change the lapse of
time a few years has produced! Six years ago today I was in prison, wearing the stripes of a convict; my wife had fled to California to avoid arrest! These were our conditions personally, and the general situation of our people was no better. In those days of distress, and previous thereto, I frequently prophesied that we should emerge from our trials and difficulties stronger and more influential than we ever had been. But to many this seemed unlikely and incredible; for the feeling against us was so intense and bitter that it seemed impossible it could ever be overcome, at least in our generation. But when in our history has it been esteemed a pleasure and an honor for the members of a numerously attended convention and the inhabitants of a city to be presented to any “Mormons” occupying the positions in the Church of myself and wife? Suppose in our dark days I had prophesied that on the evening of Friday, Nov. 23, 1894, such an event would happen, who would have believed it possible? Yet I knew by the spirit of prophesy which the Lord gave to me that we would obtain an influence and a standing among men such as we had never known. I thank the Lord for the encouragement and light He then gave me, and now with all my heart I thank Him for the fulfillment of the promises which I then felt I had received.
Saturday, Nov. 24, 1894. The forenoon and afternoon at the Convention was occupied in the reading of papers. The evening was devoted to the reading of two papers and two addresses: one from Mr. Smythe of the Irrigation Age and the other from Gov. Prince of New Mexico. Mr. Smythe spoke in the highest terms of praise of President Brigham Young and what he had done in Utah, and he held up our people and their labors and methods as models for the nation. Frequent allusions have been made by the different speakers to myself and this afternoon I spent half an hour, at the request of the Convention, in answering questions of members. The resolutions presented this afternoon included one in which I was personally thanked for my presence.
Mr. Ladd and Mr. Hinckley gave me $30 to pay my expenses in coming, which they insisted I must take. I did so, but I felt afterwards that I would return it, as I would feel better not to take it. They paid our hotel bill and the other expense I would have incurred any way in going to St. Louis, so I gave the $30 back.
Mr. & Mrs. Ladd took us back and forth in a carriage to the Convention this evening, and to the train, which ought to have left for Kansas City at 10:50, but did not till 12:50 midnight. Mrs. Redhead brought a large box of beautiful chrysantheum flowers, and her husband also waited upon us till the last. We left Hutchinson feeling deeply touched by the kindness and friendliness with which we had been treated there.
Sunday, Nov. 25, 1894. The Chicago & Alton train had left for St. Louis when we reached Kansas City, but a special was sent out at 9:40 a.m. A number of delegates from home were on this train on their way to attend the Trans-Mississippi Congress at St. Louis, whom we were glad to meet. They were, John Henry Smith, T. G. Webber, W. H. Rowe, Wm. Paxman, C. Andrews, C. R. Savage, W. Budge and son, Bishops Hughes and Farrell, J. Jensen, Rudger Clawson, W. H. Dusenberry and Sister Webber.
Mr. Meyer and Mr. Allen, of St. Louis, came out to Lexington, Mo., to meet us. Mr. Meyer had his carriage at the Union Depot to carry us to the Planter’s House, the hotel at which we expected to stop. Before leaving the depot we were shown through it, and we were accompanied by President Whitmore of the Trans-Mississippi Congress, who met us upon landing at the depot. This is the most elegant and costly depot I ever saw. It is roomy, artistic and beautifully ornamented. We were assigned a good room at the Planter’s, Judge L. W. Shurtliff and my son Frank having preceded us a day or two.
Monday, Nov. 26, 1894. The Congress met this morning at 9:30 at the Entertainment Hall connected with the large Exposition Building. The building was well filled; a large number of prominent men were present. The Congress was called to order by President Whitmore, who delivered an address. A prayer was offered by [blank]. The Mayor of the City and the Governor of the State delivered speeches of welcome. Committees on Credentials and Permanent Organization were appointed also a Committee on Resolutions. In the afternoon I had a very pleasant visit with Hon. Charles Foster, ex-Secretary of the Treasury, who was a visitor to the Congress and sat surrounded by a number of prominent men, among them ex-Secretary Noble of the Interior Dept., ex-Gov. Stannard of Missouri, with whom Mr. Foster and myself had served in Congress. Mr. Foster recognized me in the distance and sent a messenger to me to tell me he wanted to see me. We sat together in conversation until the session adjourned. A large number of leading citizens came up to be introduced to me.
In the evening, at the request of President Whitmore, I presided at the session of the Congress, and Professor Newell, of the U.S. Geological Survey, delivered an address. He was followed by Hon. Elwood Mead, State Engineer of Wyoming, and then Wm. E. Smythe, editor of the Irrigation Age, gave a most eloquent address. In the course of his remarks he spoke most eulogistically of President Brigham Young and of Utah. He held up our system of agriculture and small holdings as models for the country to adopt and was unstinted in his praise of the results.
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1894. Hints had been dropped that I might be selected as President of the Congress for the ensuing year. I begged our people from Utah not to press this. I did not want the position; but if it came at all I desired it to come spontaneously and unanimously from others rather than from the Delegates from Utah. This morning the Committee on Permanent Organization made its report, and sure enough I was reported as President. The report was received with applause and was carried unanimously. Mr. Whitmore nominated ex-Governor Stannar[d] of Missouri, Senator Johnson of California, and Mr. Black of the State of Washington to escort me to the Chair. When I took my place I was received with a round of applause. I made a somewhat brief speech, reviewing the objects which had brought the members together and thanking them for the honor conferred on me, &c. To me my selection for this position was entirely unlooked for. There were a large number of prominent men in the body, any one of whom I would have thought more likely to be chosen than myself, and so far as my feelings personally were concerned the selection of any one of them would have suited me better than to be chosen myself. But I esteemed my nomination as an honor to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to Utah, and in that light I felt exceedingly gratified at my selection and praised the Lord. But what a wonderful thing is this! What a change God hath wrought! A Mormon Apostle chosen in St. Louis, Missouri, of all the cities and States in the Republic of the United States, to preside over a large convention, largely composed of delegates from St. Louis and Missouri, and escorted to the chair by three leading men, one of whom is an ex-Governor of the State and an ex-Member of Congress! Who could have believed such an event possible a very few years ago? All things are possible with God.
Mr. Meyer had arranged a dinner party at 6 p.m. today for myself, Brothers John Henry Smith, T. G. Webber, W. H. Rowe and my son Frank, to meet some friends of his—his father, who is President of Meyer Bros. Drug Co.; Mr. D. K. Ferguson, President Mechanics’ Bank; Mr. H. C. Haarstick, President Mississippi Valley Transportation Co., and Mr. Julius Pitzman, Engineer and City Surveyor. He intended to have the Mayor of the City, Mr. Wabbridge, there also and Col. Broadhead; but the Mayor was unavoidably prevented from coming, and Col. Broadhead was called to go East this morning; he is our Minister to Switzerland at present. The dinner was an elegant one and it passed off in a most delightful manner. When we had progressed as far as the dessert, Mr. Theodore F. Meyer, at whose right I sat, arose and made a few remarks expressive of the pleasure and honor which our presence gave to him and his friends, and he called upon his father to speak words of welcome to us. Though a modest gentleman and not in the habit of speaking on his feet, Mr. C. F. G. Meyer made a very neat and warm speech of welcome and expressed the honor which he felt very free. I gave a sketch of the troubles which had driven us from Nauvoo into the wilderness, of our journey across the plains, the condition in which we had found the valleys which were now called Utah, our early struggles and hardships, and then gave an epitome of our doctrines and why we had practiced plural marriage. I was listened to with intense interest, Mrs. Meyer and the household crowding into the dining room to listen to me. The evening was spent delightfully, and the gentlemen all said they had enjoyed it more than anything they had ever heard in their lives. The Spirit of the Lord was there and its influence was felt by them.
There was an evening session of the Congress, but I selected Senator Johnson of California to preside and explained as a reason for so doing that I had made a previous engagement which would prevent me from being present.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1894. There were three sessions of the Congress today, and the Committee on Resolutions, of which Congressman Bryan of Nebraska was Chairman, reported a number. There was one on Silver—a majority and a minority report, the former reported by Mr. Bryan and the latter by Gov. Stannard. They divided their time with others. The majority report was adopted. The evening was occupied in giving illustrations of Alaska scenery by Mr. Green of that Territory; an address by Mr. Craig of California, showing the trade of the Sandwich Islands and the advantages which annexation would bring, &c. &c.; and papers on the Nicaragua Canal by Prof. DeKalb and Pro. Waterhouse.
Thursday, Nov. 29, 1894. This being Thanksgiving Day there was no session of the Congress. Mr. Theodore F. Meyer called at the hotel and took Brother & Sister Webber and myself and wife out to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Mr. Allen had Mr. Meyer’s open carriage and carried Brothers John H. Smith, W. H. Rowe, T. R[.] Cutler and Judge Dusenberry out there at the same time. This is a stupendous affair, in which fifty millions bottles of beer are made annually. Twelve millions of dollars have been offered by an English syndicate for the plant and refused by Mr. Busch, who would not sell at all, but especially not to the English. The corporation is only stocked at $250,000. Mr. Sost, the Secretary of the Co., took us through and went to great pains to show us and explain everything. He had desired the pleasure, he said, of doing this because of his interest in Utah. He has been there and is well acquainted. He knew me, though I did not recall him. We had an interview with Mr. Busch, he having come to the office purposely to see us. He expressed great pleasure at meeting me, he having heard, he said, so much about me, and he presented each one of our company with a knife as a souvenir of our visit, through a hole in the handle of which his portrait could be seen. Mr. Meyer gave him a nickel for the knives so that our taking them as a present would not have the effect to cut friendship.
Mr. Meyer had planned to take Brother & Sister Webber and myself and wife in his carriage to show us the city. He came for us at 3 p.m. and we did go, but it rained heavily all the time. At 5 p.m. he took us to his residence to eat Thanksgiving dinner with Mrs. Meyer and himself. The dinner was an elaborate and very excellent affair. Mr. Meyer had secured two boxes at the theatre and Mrs. Meyer and himself took us there to see Sol Smith Russell in the play of the Poor Relation. In the other Mr.& Mrs.Allen sat with Brothers John Henry Smith, W. H. Rowe, Judge Dusenberry and my son Frank. The theatre was crowded from pit to dome.
Friday, Nov. 30, 1894. As President of the Congress I crowded business through today so as to secure as early an adjournment as possible. Among other resolutions which were adopted was one reported by Congressman Bryan and which was unanimously adopted, returning the thanks of the Congress for “the able and impartial manner” in which I had presided over the body in its deliberations. Omaha was selected as the place for the next meeting of the Trans-Mississippi Commercial Congress and the Congress adjourned sine die at about 4 p.m. Before declaring the vote for adjournment I made a few remarks thanking the members for the kindness, consideration and respect with which they had treated the occupant of the chair and congratulating them upon the work which had been accomplished and the harmony which had characterized the proceedings.
A number of members came to me and expressed the pleasure they had in making my acquaintance and praised me for the fairness and impartiality of my decisions. It is true, I had to decide a number of times against members who raised points of order and against others who violated parliamentary rules, but I did so without any one appearing to take offense, and not one of my rulings was questioned or appealed from. I was treated with the utmost respect, and I have reason to believe that I was able to maintain the dignity of the position as presiding officer to the entire satisfaction of all the members of the Congress. This, I felt, to be important; for every member of a deliberative body takes pride in seeing the presiding officer inspire respect and maintain the dignity of the position. I entered upon the duties of president with some timidity and shrinking, far more so I think than I would have done had they been our people; but the Lord sustained me and I felt entirely at ease and was able to hold the convention in control at times when many became excited and noisy.
In return for the kindness shown by Mr.& Mrs. Meyer, I proposed to Brother & Sister Webber and Brothers John Henry Smith and Rowe and Frank, that we give them and Mr. & Mrs. Allen a dinner at the Hotel, to which they readily agreed and included President Whitmore, who had been so kind and attentive to all of us. Mr. Whitmore had intended to invite Sister Cannon and myself to eat Thanksgiving dinner with him and his wife; but she had an attack of sickness which confined her to her room, and this had also prevented her from showing other attentions which they had contemplated. Yesterday he had been very kind to our folks, and at the banquet given to the members at the Jockey Club, in his speech had spoken in the highest terms of Utah and her people. I ought to mention in passing that Frank in responding for Utah yesterday at the banquet—each delegation being represented by one of its members—gained great credit. He was highly praised, and his speech was considered the speech of the occasion.
At 6 p.m. we sat down to dinner in a private dining room at the hotel. Covers were laid for fourteen, but Brother & Sister Holbrook were not there, they having concluded to go home this evening. I sat at the head of the table with Mrs. Meyer at my right and Mr. Whitmore on my left. Brother Webber sat at the other end with Mrs. Allen on his right and Mr. Meyer at his left. Next to Mrs. Meyer on my right Frank sat, and next to him a vacant seat for Brother Holbrook, then Mr. Allen, then Sister Webber, who sat next to Mr. Meyer. On my left, next to Mr. Whitmore, sat my wife, then Brother John Henry Smith, then the vacant seat for Sister Holbrook, then Brother Rowe, who sat next to Mrs. Allen. The dinner was an excellent one and excellently served. The table presented a fine appearance, having two large banks upon it of beautiful flowers and candelabra with wax candles with crimson shades, which were the only lights until we were ready to sit down, when the electric lights were turned on. I requested Brother John Henry Smith to ask a blessing. We had two wines, claret and champagne; but very little of either was drunk; some of us never tasted either, more than to put it to our lips when I proposed a toast for the happiness and prosperity of our kind friends who had made our visit so exceedingly pleasant to us by their unceasing attentions. We rose from the table about eight o’clock and spent the remainder of the evening very agreeably in conversation. Frank withdrew to go to New York.