1 February 1895 • Friday
Friday, February 1, 1895. This is the anniversary of my wife Carlie’s birth; she is 44 years old today.
We did some business with Brother John R. Winder yesterday in connection with the Iron Springs in Iron County. He has obtained options from most of the owners. It was arranged that Brother Winder should pay the money to those who had agreed to take it and get receipts therefor.
I am owing the Church on an old overdrawn account $8361.50, which I am desirous of settling. Today I proposed to President Woodruff to settle this by paying $4861.50 in cash and releasing to him as Trustee-in-Trust $3500 which I own in a lot that was transferred by the Ogden Standard to John Henry Smith in payment of my $3500 and an amount due from the Standard to the Church. It was transferred to John Henry Smith to hold for the Church, and I have nothing in my hands to show my interest in this property; so I thought this a good time to dispose of it in settlement of this old account. I might have let this old affair been charged to me; but by paying this amount in cash I hoped to wipe it all out and at the same time help the Trustee-in-Trust in this straitened time for money. I at the same time paid $2500 as cash tithing for 1894; which with the other amount made $7361.50 that I paid in cash to President Woodruff as Trustee-in-Trust, and which, just now, relieved the strain upon us. I said to President Woodruff that I felt bold to ask this because I had worked now for upwards of a year for the Church without drawing anything for my services, it being my pleasure to work without compensation from it and to pay my tithing as well. He appeared quite pleased at the proposition and did that which was necessary to carry it out. I make this record of it that I may not trust to memory alone, but that the facts may be in writing.
2 February 1895 • Saturday
Saturday, February 2, 1895. In company with Brother Arthur Winter I went to Coalville this morning at 7 o’clock. Was met at Echo City by Brother Branch, who took us in a sleigh from there to Coalville. The ride was a delightful one. Had much conversation with Brother Cluff concerning the situation of affairs in Iron County, where he had been on business for us to try and secure iron properties. Attended the forenoon meeting of the Conference and I made a few remarks. In the afternoon I occupied nearly the entire time. The attendance was limited in the morning, somewhat larger in the afternoon. We were entertained at Brother Cluff’s.
3 February 1895 • Sunday
Sunday, February 3, 1895. Attended the forenoon meeting. The attendance was good. Brother Wright had been selected as Bishop of the Consolidated wards of Coalville, and his name was submitted by President Cluff to the congregation, who accepted him, and he was ordained before the close of the meeting, I being mouth.
I went with Brother Hudson, who had been Bishop of one of the wards of Coalville, and took dinner at his house and administered to his wife, who is affected in her mind.
At 12:45 Brother Winter and myself left Coalville in a sleigh driven by Prest. Cluff’s son William. We took the train at Echo at 1:30. Reached Salt Lake City at 4:10[.]
4 February 1895 • Monday
Monday, February 4, 1895 Brothers Orson Smith and J. E. Langford had an interview with the First Presidency this morning, in which they described a very valuable property that had been offered and which they thought could be obtained for something less than $100,000, and which they felt we ought to buy if we could, as they believed it would relieve us from our financial difficulties if we purchased it. It is a gold property, and they have examined it carefully and are completely satisfied that there are from $200,000 to $300,000 worth of gold ready to be taken out, some of the ore being very rich. They say that it has been dug through to the bottom and there is gold all the way and in the bottom also. The reason that the people want to sell it is that one man who owned a large share of the stock was chosen as a trustee to hold the title of the claim, and the deed was made out in his name. This was before the property was developed, and there was neglect in inserting the word “trustee” in the deed, and therefore the title was vested in him individually. He had gone east, and another one of the partners had developed the property and found that it was very rich; but the knowledge of this had been concealed from the other man. He had sent an agent out to have it examined; but they would not let the agent examine it. This man, however, has now made an arrangement with Samuel T. Godbe for the sale of his share of the property, which 48 1/2 shares out of 100, and the transfer of the deed, for $50,000. Godbe is willing to part with this to Brothers Smith and Langford if they will give him a commission of $2500 and 5% of the stock. He would not do this if he could make any arrangement with Mr. Montgomery, who is in possession of the mine; but Mr. Montgomery has proposed to let the brethren have that interest for about $20,000 and about one-fifth of the stock. This would make the whole property worth not far from $75, 000. The brethren think with the expenditure of $7500 in furnishing a mill and repairing one already there, it would enable them to turn out quite a large product of gold every month. Brother Orson Smith says that he is quite willing to guarantee that by the 1st of May, and perhaps before that, they would be able to turn out $10,000 per month to the First Presidency, if they would buy the property, as their share of the product, and do that every month, at least till the whole cost was covered. I do not feel enthusiastic about this at all. I suggested that we should think it over till the next day.
My cousin Thomas E. Taylor called upon us to pay his respects after his return from his mission to England.
Brother H. E. Baker has been selected to go to Baker City, Oregon, to preside there. He will be employed by the Oregon Lumber Company, an organization belonging to our people. Bros. Joseph F. & John Henry Smith and myself set him apart as presiding elder, I being mouth.
5 February 1895 • Tuesday
Tuesday, February 5, 1895 We had interviews today with Judge Toll and Mr. Barrows, the gentlemen who have come out in the interest of the Travelers Insurance Company to investigate our properties and to report upon the loan that we ask. I was busily engaged with them the greater part of the day. Brother N. W. Clayton and my son Frank, however, did most of the business and made most of the responses to the inquiries.
Upon my return to the City from the east I found that the Board of Directors of the Bullion, Beck & Champion Mining Co. were all split up into factions. The time for the election of a new board is near at hand. Mr. Bamberger and Mr. Knox, who with myself have the authority to vote John Beck’s stock, which is the majority, are opposed to each other, and each of them wants to secure my co-operation, I holding the balance of power. I learned that John Beck and Mr. Bamberger have their ideas about how the new board should be constituted; Mr. Knox has his ideas; Mr. Ryan has his ideas, he and Mr. Knox probably feeling alike; Brother Farnsworth has his ideas also, and each wants to get my influence. In reflecting upon this it has seemed to me an unwise thing for me, as one of the First Presidency of the Church, to allow myself to be drawn into this wrangle and be compelled to take some action that will in all probability create feelings and probably antagonism on the part of some of these parties against me. It seems scarcely possible that I can harmonize all; and while I would not care so much about this if I were a private individual, I do care for the sake of my office and for the effect it might have upon us as a people. I have, therefore, seriously contemplated the idea of having one of my sons act for me on the Board of Directors. I have talked with the boys about this, but had not come to any definite conclusion until today, when learning there was to be a Bullion-Beck meeting this afternoon I determined to keep out of the meeting, as there was a probability of their [there] being a wrangle over the appointment of a new superintendent, and I wrote my resignation, addressed it to the President and Board of Directors, gave it to my son Abraham, with the understanding that he was to present it; but before doing so, to make sure that he would be elected in my place. This he did, and he was elected this afternoon a director. He has had interviews with these directors, but more especially with John Beck and Mr. Bamberger. They are very desirous to have my co-operation. They do not see why there should be any difference between John Beck and myself because our interests are identical, both being large owners of stock, etc. This is the idea and feeling that I have
entertained endeavored to induce John Beck to adopt; but he has never seemed to see it until now. I have said that all that I desire is that whoever are chosen directors should be men that will take care of the interests of the stockholders. My son Abraham is acting upon this and holding conversations with them. I understand that Mr. Ryan is much disgruntled at the shape things have taken today, and Mr. Knox appeared low-spirited. I told Brother H. B. Clawson what I was going to do, and that I had been doing what I could to have him put on the board again, though John Beck felt that he was unfriendly to him. I felt, however, as Brother Clawson is a stockholder, that he ought to have a place on the board, and I have told Abraham to use his influence to reconcile John Beck to this view. Brother Clawson has been acting more with Mr. Ryan and Mr. Knox as against John Beck—at least, the latter things so. I said to Brother Clawson that if we could reconcile affairs our interests as stockholders were identical with John Beck’s, and that we ought to hold together and not join with men who had no interest in the property only to make money out of it or the stockholders.
6 February 1895 • Wednesday
Wednesday, February 6, 1895 The First Presidency had another interview with Brothers Smith and Langford today, and I told the brethren that as far as I was concerned I did not feel to take the lead in this matter or to say one word about it. I said I generally felt very sanguine, more so that Brother Jos. F. Smith especially, and I said to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that I wanted them to say about this matter and I would do whatever they said, but I had not spirit myself to suggest it, much less to urge it. There was a good deal of conversation on the value of the property and the benefits that would flow from its purchase. The brethren went away for awhile and afterwards came back, when the conversation was again renewed. President Smith took the ground that he could not in his individual capacity do anything towards buying that property, as he could not raise the money. I remarked that I thought probably the money could be raised, but it would be on our private estates as security. He replied that he did not wish to endanger his private estate. President Woodruff was quite willing to put up his Valley House property as security. President Smith took the ground that the Church could do it, or we could do it for the Church. In reply, I said I would much rather, if I were going into the business at all, do this in a private capacity; for I could defend my conduct if I risked my own property, but to do it on the credit of the Church, if it should be a loss, it might be asked if we were so certain of it why we did not take some risk ourselves. President Smith finally made a motion that we endeavor to secure the property, the understanding being that we should do it in our capacity as a Presidency. I did not second the motion, for I felt that I did not wish to do more than to sustain their feelings. President Woodruff put the motion without being seconded by me, he himself, I think, having seconded it, and we all voted for it.
A meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. was held at 1 o’clock and the regular monthly business transacted.
7 February 1895 • Thursday
Thursday, February 7, 1895 I called at Mr. Knox’s office at the Bank of the Republic and had conversation with him in which I explained to him my reasons for resigning from the Board. I told him I had so much to do that it was utterly out of my power to attend properly to that business, and I felt, and my family felt, that I ought to take steps to relieve myself from some of my labor. I wanted harmony, however, on the Board of Directors. My son Abraham I had perfect confidence in that he would do what is right, and I thought he would give satisfaction to everybody connected with him, as he was a fair and honest man and had been honorable from his childhood. Abraham was there before I left and I made these remarks concerning his character to Mr. Knox when I parted with him. I told Mr. Knox that I thought a board might be selected that would be satisfactory all around.
At 9:30 there was a meeting of the Utah Company and considerable business was done connected with our enterprises. All the members of the Company were present.
Colonel Shaughnessy called to see me today concerning the senatorial election in Idaho. He wanted my influence used in favor of Senator Shoup’s re-election.
The regular Council meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve was held this morning at 12 o’clock, an hour late. We held a short meeting. Brother F. M. Lyman prayed and President Smith was mouth in the circle.
The Sunday School Union board held a meeting at the office, after which there was a meeting of the Co-operative Wagon & Machine Company.
My family had intended to give me a pleasant entertainment on my birthday and for this purpose had been making preparations; but my business prevented, and it was postponed until this evening. I invited President Woodruff and his wife and President Smith and his wife to be there; but President Woodruff’s wife was quite sick and he thought he would not be able to be present. Beside my own household, my brother Angus and wives and some of his children and my sister Mary Alice were invited. It was one of the most pleasant entertainments of the many that we have had. The remarks that were made by my sons John Q.[,] Frank and Abraham were very touching to me. They were beautiful and full of the feeling of respect and honor which they entertain for me. President Smith and my brother Angus also made some remarks. When the folding doors were opened and the curtain raised, after the salutation had been delivered by my son John Q., my children and grandchildren were arranged as a boquet, in seats one above another, each child representing some flower and expressing a suitable sentiment. It was very delightful to listen to them, because not one of them forgot a word. Everyone present appeared charmed with the children. There were [blank] of them. Refreshments were served after the exercises.
8 February 1895 • Friday
Friday, February 8, 1895 There was a meeting this morning of Cannon, Grant & Co. A letter had been received from Mr. Lamson, of the New York Security & Trust Co., asking us to take up two notes, one of $20,000, the other of $25,000, as they wished to collect that which was secured by financial paper. These notes are secured by paper of Zion’s Savings Bank. We held a lengthy meeting, but we were all non-plussed as to what to do to raise this money, or how we could satisfy this house, which has been very kind and lenient with us. We suppose that in view of the uncertain condition of the currency and the failure of Congress to pass any legislation looking to the settlement of this vexed question, these people are fearful of another panic, and if another panic should occur, they think probably it is the banks that will suffer, and this paper of Zion’s Savings Bank they do not look upon as very good. I can see now why I was impressed as I have been about not taking any part in the purchase of this gold property; for if I had I should have felt very much oppressed in my feelings. I am in hopes now that I shall be able before long, if Abraham’s plan in regard to John Beck be successful, to be free from debt. I have had my neck under the yoke now for so long that I have been greatly oppressed in my feelings, and have supplicated the Lord a great deal on this subject, and I do not wish now to put my neck under the yoke of debt if I can avoid it. Better be content with a little and be able to sleep nights than to have riches and feel oppressed by them. I want, however, to assist the Juvenile Instructor business, as my name is connected with the firm, and to borrow $20,000 to enable us to meet our engagement with Cannon, Grant & Co.
I had a call from ex-Senator Dorsey, who came in company with Mr. I. A. Benton, of this City.
9 February 1895 • Saturday
Saturday, February 9, 1895 Dictated my journal to Brother Winter.
10 February 1895 • Sunday
Sunday, February 10, 1895. I felt quite tired today and did not feel very well, so I laid in bed till noon. I then dressed and got ready for meeting, and was about stepping in the buggy when I concluded, it looking so threatening, that I had better not go out. It was a very cold, disagreeable day.
Between 4 & 5 I drove over to my son John Q’s, he having desired me to go there and bless his baby, which was born on the 1st. inst. I found Annie in very good condition, but they were at a loss to know what name to give the child. I have some collateral ancestors by the name of Cavendish, and I suggested that they give that name to the boy. They were pleased with it, and he and I took it into our arms, I being mouth, and blessed it, calling it Cavendish Wells Cannon. I stopped and took dinner.
11 February 1895 • Monday
Monday, February 11, 1895 Brother William Budge was in the office and saw us with regard to the political situation in Idaho. We gave him such counsel as we felt led to do.
We had a long conversation with Orson Smith and J. E. Langford concerning the purchase of the gold property and how it was to be paid for.
President Smith was not present at the office today, he being in the north.
12 February 1895 • Tuesday
Tuesday, February 12, 1895 Sister Amelia Frost called on me this morning at the office and had some conversation with me about the subject
with whi that she and I had conversed upon before.
The First Presidency met with Geo. M. Cannon, H. B. Clawson and James Jack, the executive committee of Zion’s Savings Bank, and arranged with them to get some money if needed.
13 February 1895 • Wednesday
Wednesday, February 13, 1895 We had a lengthy meeting today with the trustees of the Young University to take into consideration the best method of disposing of the block of land in the 18th ward which President Young had devoted to an institution of learning, the plans concerning which, however, he had not completed before his demise. A motion was made for a committee to meet with a committee of the Latter-day Saints College and see how the transfer could best be made.
In the afternoon I had a long talk with my son Abraham and Mr[.] Bamberger concerning Bullion-Beck matters. Mr. Bamberger related to me some conversations which Alonzo E. Hyde had had with him, which were of a very strange character when applied to myself. He stated to him that Brother Moses Thatcher and he wanted to resume relations with Beck; that Brother Thatcher had the money on hand with which to take up the outstanding account of Brother Beck, and that they would then form a board to their own liking, and when asked if they would have me or somebody representing me on the board, they said, no. They wanted to get the management of this property again, not to get money so much as to get revenge. He also told me that John Beck had had a meeting with Brother Thatcher at the latter’s request in which he had made proposals to resume the old connection which had existed between them. I am pained and surprised at these statements, because I do not consider that I have done anything that any of my brethren should seek to obtain revenge upon me. But he stated a number of things which Alonzo E. Hyde told him, which were utterly false. I am not surprised at Brother Hyde manifesting such a spirit as this; but I am surprised at what is said about Brother Thatcher’s participation in this scheme. Brother Hyde has no stock in the Bullion-Beck; Brother Thatcher has 400 shares only, and yet he would like to get control of the property, according to these statements, and work it to his own advantage. The statement is made that if he could get this property into his hands and the bank account, that he would open a bank in this city. He has applied to Mr. Bamberger for a building that he has to rent for this purpose. While on this subject of Brother Thatcher, I may say that I have been told since I returned home that he has written a letter to the Post published at Paris, Bear Lake Co., denying the statements which had been made in that paper in the report of his remarks concerning Brother Merrill, and that Brother Wm. B. Preston has corroborated his statement. Brother Budge, when he was down here yesterday, told me that there were any number of people there who would testify that the report in the paper was a correct one, and it was creating some talk among the saints to see this statement of Brother Thatcher’s contradicting what had been reported. I am very sorry that there should be anything of this kind; but I cannot reconcile his conduct with what I think a man of his standing should practice. I attach but little importance to this affair in Bear Lake in and of itself; but when I hear of his efforts to get control of the Bullion-Beck property again, I am led to think there is something wrong, and that there may be more about this Bear Lake affair than he has been willing to admit.
14 February 1895 • Thursday
Thursday, February 14, 1895 Brother John Beck came to the office this morning and had an hour’s interview with the First Presidency to lay before them plans which he had for introducing farming machinery and doing it on a large scale in Cedar Valley. His plans are quite grand, it may be said; but President Smith calls them Utopian. There are, however, some points about his plans which, if carried out, might be very successful and beneficial.
At 11 o’clock the regular meeting of the Presidency and Twelve was held. President Woodruff opened the meeting with prayer, and Brother John W. Taylor prayed at the altar.
I dictated to Brother Arthur Winter an article for the Juvenile Instructor.
President Snow and Brother Winder came up from the Temple to talk with us about what arrangements should be made for the celebration of President Woodruff’s birthday at the Temple on the 1st. of March.
Last night towards midnight I was awakened by a call from a Tribune reporter, who brought a dispatch for me to look at that the Tribune had received from Washington, in which it was stated that the New York Times contained a seven-column article or correspondence viciously attacking me. I was accused of having used my ecclesistical [ecclesiastical] position to have the Territory of Utah made Republican and to elect my son Frank to Congress, and also to obtain means to carry out my enterprises, and had made money out of the Church. I gave the reporter a brief statement contradicting all that was said. I cannot imagine what they could find to make a seven-column article out of. I give herewith the report of the interview as published by the Tribune:1
President Cannon, when shown the telegram by a representative of The Tribune at a late hour last night, read it over carefully and then said:
“The statements are false in every particular. I took absolutely no part in Frank J. Cannon’s election, quietly or otherwise, and, in fact, I was very careful to refrain from so doing because of my position in the church. I wish to be understood and quoted as stating most emphatically that during the campaign I approached no one, indirectly or otherwise, with reference to Frank J. Cannon’s interests, and did not contribute a single dollar to his campaign fund. Neither did I have any dealings with J. S. Clarkson or Joe Manley relating to Frank J. Cannon’s election, and for that matter, it is a well known fact that neither Clarkson nor Manley had anything to do with his election.
“With regard to the statement that my family has lived from the profits of my church position, I wish to say that I do not draw a single dollar from the church for my services, but instead, I pay my tithing from an income which I derive from legitimate business enterprises. I also wish to state, further, that I have never made any money out of the church in any form.
“As to the statement that my stock in the Bullion-Beck & Champion Mining Company was secured by fraud, I wish to say that my holdings in the company have been acquired only by direct purchase, and whoever says to the contrary, tells an unqualified falsehood.”
With reference to his politics, President Cannon stated that since his disfranchisement, he had refrained from giving any public expression of his views upon political questions, and had not actively interested himself in politics in any form.2
15 February 1895 • Friday
Friday, February 15, 1895 An exceedingly cold morning.
Had an interview with Sister Amelia Frost.
Afterwards I met with the Commissioners of Irrigation, of whom Brother L. W. Shurtliff is President, and I am one of the Commissioners. We attended to business and sent for the Presidency of the Salt Lake Stake and impressed upon them the importance of getting up organizations for the purpose of attending to irrigation and the cultivation of the soil. President Woodruff enforced what I said upon the brethren.
We had a meeting of the Board of Directors of Z.C.M.I.
[The following handwritten, double-sided, folded document was placed loose in the journal next to journal entries for February 15, 16, 17, and 18.]
We, George Q. Cannon and Amelia Frost, known as Amelia Frost Madsen, Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and believers in the doctrine of marriage for eternity, being prevented by the laws of the land from carrying out our purpose while we are both alive, take this method of making known our wishes concerning the relations we desire established between us for eternity, so that, in the event of the demise of one or both of us, our wishes may be carried out by our representatives or heirs. The said Amelia Frost has expressed the desire to be united to the said George Q. Cannon as his wife for eternity; and the said George Q. Cannon being desirous that she should be sealed to him as his wife for eternity, mutually covenant and agree to be thus married for eternity, by the authority of the Holy Priesthood through the sealing ordinance which the Lord has revealed. The object of this paper is to enjoin upon our representatives or heirs to take the necessary steps to have this marriage for eternity solemnized in one of the Temples.
We have drawn up this writing in duplicate, and now sign them, with the design of having a copy left among our papers, in order that when either of us shall pass away from this mortal life our purpose may be faithfully carried out.
In witness whereof we have signed our names this 15th day of February, 1895, at Salt Lake City, Utah.
[signed] Geo. Q. Cannon
[signed] Mrs Emelia Frost
[End of handwritten document]
16 February 1895 • Saturday
Saturday, February 16, 1895. I was busy most of the day dictating letters and articles for the Juvenile Instructor. In order to be alone and free from interruption, Brother Winter and myself occupied the upper room in the Juvenile Instructor office.
17 February 1895 • Sunday
Sunday, February 17, 1895 I attended meeting in the Tabernacle at 2 o’clock and spoke to the people for about an hour, and felt well in doing so.
My brother Angus invited me to accompany him to a meeting at the Eleventh Ward meeting house. I went to his house and ate dinner, and my son Willard drove me up to the Ward. My son Abraham was there also. He occupied about 20 mins. in speaking and I occupied about 45 mins. Although the people did not know we were coming, the house was crowded. The sacrament was administered, which I enjoyed.
18 February 1895 • Monday
Monday, February 18, 1895 This morning the correspondence that I had heard of as being published in the New York Times concerning myself and my operations appeared in the Tribune and Herald of this city in full. The article occupied seven columns. I did not care about reading it, and so expressed myself in reply to my son John Q., who thought I should answer it over my own signature. He mentioned it again in the presence of President Woodruff, and the latter said he thought I ought to answer it. This was in the latter part of the afternoon. On hearing this, I asked Brother Winter into the back room, and I took the article paragraph by paragraph, I having not read it up to that time, and dictated the answer. It occupied about an hour and a half. A more scandalous attack has never been made upon me, and I cannot think that any Gentile has written it. Undoubtedly the information that it contains has come from Mormon sources, and from sources too which are intimate with our affairs. Now the question arises, who has written it? A careful analysis of it satisfies me that it is written by one professing to be a Mormon. My reasons for reaching this conclusion are that a Gentile could not write so lengthy a communication as this without showing his want of familiarity with our affairs, so that he could be detected. But this article does not trip; the writer does not fall down anywhere in displaying ignorance of our affairs or in his treatment of them. Another reason is, that through the whole article the writer studiously avoids saying anything disrespectful of the Church or of the people, and is particularly careful to avoid saying anything disparagingly of President Woodruff or President Smith, though he does allude to the latter being a Republican, but he does so very gently. He is very careful to separate me from my brethren. A Gentile could not avoid giving the Church or the rest of the brethren a slap in writing such a lengthy article. Another point that may be mentioned here, the article evidently displays underneath a desire to stir up jealousy on the part of the Twelve, and perhaps of the First Presidency, by showing how I have usurped authority and concentrated it in myself, and sought to concentrate offices in my family. This, I think, is the villainous part of the communication; for undoubtedly, whether designed to do so by the writer or not, this would be the natural effect upon ordinary people of such a communication.
19 February 1895 • Tuesday
Tuesday, February 19, 1895 We had an interview with President A. O. Smoot this morning concerning the condition of affairs connected with the Brigham Young Academy of Provo, and Brother Heber J. Grant was selected to have the affairs of that institution examined to know of its indebtedness and its assets.
At 12:30 I attended the funeral of Mrs. Ben Hampton, who is a daughter of Joshua Grant, a brother of Jedediah. She is a woman that has had but little faith, though apparently a superior woman, and one for whom I entertained high respect. Brother Heber J. Grant said the family desired to have me attend her funeral. Bishop Whitney also was desired to be present. The house was crowded with all sorts of people—Latter-day Saints, Gentiles and Jews. Bishop Whitney opened the proceedings and spoke for about half an hour. He was followed by Wm. S. Godbe. Henry W. Lawrence read a poem, and I was called upon to speak. I occupied about 20 mins. and spoke on the resurrection, and paid a tribute to the deceased.
I revised the article I had dictated, and it was prepared for the press, John Q. giving me aid in the matter. A copy was prepared for the Tribune and one for the Herald. The Tribune in the treatment of this article is repaying me a little for the abuse that it formerly heaped upon me.
20 February 1895 • Wednesday
Wednesday, February 20, 1895 I am surprised at the interest that is manifested in every quarter in the assault upon me and my reply. Presidents Woodruff and Smith, to whom I read the communication yesterday before sending it to the press, are in full sympathy with my side, and I am pleased to have their warm feelings. It is rather a remarkable thing that the concensus of opinion of nearly all that have spoken on the subject is that a certain man wrote this. He is a member of the Church, or at least professedly so, and if he be the man, then he is guilty of the basest ingratitude, because I was a friend to his father and family at a time when my friendship was of some service; in fact, I arranged for the emigration of the family, having the opportunity at the time to do so.
Mr[.] Rawlins got word through a friend to my son Abraham that he hoped I did not suspect him of being guilty of writing such an article. He said that was not his way of doing things. He did not believe in the propriety of this attack. He was opposed to it, and if he did any fighting he would do it aboveboard, and he said he could tell the name of the man who wrote it. Strangely enough, this is the name that has been most frequently mentioned as the writer.
Sister Riter called at the office today with her husband to be administered to, she having made the appointment with me yesterday evening. President Smith and myself and her husband administered to her, I being mouth.
21 February 1895 • Thursday
Thursday, February 21, 1895 At 11 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met in the Temple as usual. There were present of the Twelve, President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, J. W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Cannon. We had prayer first, which Brother Grant offered, and Brother John Henry Smith was mouth in the circle. Afterwards we brought up a question which Brother B. H. Roberts had desired action upon concerning the endorsement of a work of his entitled, “A New Witness for God,” which had been examined by a committee consisting of Elders F. D. Richards, Geo. Reynolds and John Jaques. They wrote a report of a somewhat elaborate character, highly endorsing the work. Brother Roberts in an interview with me this morning expressed the desire that the work might be endorsed as authentic and orthodox by the Council of the Apostles and the Seventies, and left me to infer that he wanted the endorsement of the First Presidency. This had been mentioned once before, and in that conversation I had expressed the feeling that we had had respecting endorsing works—that we thought it was a bad practice for us to indulge in and we had discontinued it, leaving each work to be sold on its own merits. He read to me a letter that had been sent to him by A. R. Barnes & Co., publishers, in which they asked for the endorsement of the leading authorities, as they expected it would make the work sell better. After hearing Brother Roberts’ remarks, I said perhaps an endorsement might not be so objectionable on our part, as this was a somewhat different case from the ordinary, this book being intended as a missionary labor and to be circulated among the outside world. But when this matter was mentioned in the Council there was a general expression against endorsing. Brother Lorenzo Snow spoke emphatically about it, and different ones spoke more strongly than I expected, and it was finally decided that the report of the committee to the First Presidency might be left to Brother Roberts to use as he might see fit for this purpose, and of course with the statement that it had been accepted by the Council. A change, however, was suggested in the first paragraph of the report, and with that change it was thought that that paragraph alone would be sufficient without saying anything more.
After this was through with, I called the attention of the Council to a letter which I had received from Santaquin, signed by Brother Lars A. Johnson, in which he informed me that a question had come up in the theological class at that place to this effect: “Did Jesus and His disciples lay on hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost before He died or before the day of Pentecost, or according to the order of the Church today; also how could He choose and ordain Twelve Apostles and Seventies before the ordinance of laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost. The reading of this letter brought up a discourse which President Jos. F. Smith had delivered at the Oneida Stake Conference lately, and which was published in the Deseret News on Saturday, February 9th, in which the following passages occur:
“But to say that Judas committed the unpardonable sin and became a son of perdition by betraying Christ as he did is more than I am able to do, because I do not believe that he had ever received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter denied the Lord, and cursed and swore in order to make unbelievers think he was not a follower of Christ. He lied in the presence of God and before the world, and declared that he was not one of the disciples of Jesus. Did he commit the unpardonable sin? Was he a son of perdition? No; it was only the weakness of human nature that was in him, and he repented of it, repented sorely, and God forgave him. Afterwards he received the Holy Ghost, and he never committed any such sin again.”
As soon as this letter was read, President Smith started in to defend the position that he had taken in the discourse, and remarks were made by one and another upon the subject. I sat quiet, but in order to give the council an idea of what I intended to have written in reply to this, I told them I would like to recite the character of the reply that I would have made if my attention had not been called by Brother Arthur Winter to this discourse. As Brother Joseph had seemed to entertain the idea that the Holy Ghost was not conferred upon the disciples or Apostles until after Jesus had ascended into heaven, I felt that perhaps it would be well to clear that point up first. I therefore read from section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which speaks of “John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb.” I also said in relation to Peter that it is recorded in the 16th chapter of Matthew that in response to the Savior’s question as to whom men said he was, different replies had been made, but Peter answered, “Thou are the Christ, the son of the Living God.” I continued the quotation where Jesus had said that flesh and blood had not revealed this unto him, “but my Father which is in heaven”. Now, I said, by what power was this revelation given to Peter? Jesus expressly said that it came from the Father; but the Holy Ghost is the minister of the Father, and undoubtedly it must have been through the agency of the Holy Ghost. In confirmation of this view Paul says in the 12th chap. of I Corinthians, “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” It seems only reasonable to suppose that Peter, occupying the position that he did, having had the keys of the kingdom bestowed upon him, would be as much entitled to the Holy Ghost as John the Baptist. I also alluded in my remarks to the fact that Peter, James and John were with Jesus when the transfiguration took place, and I have always understood that these three Apostles received then the higher ordinances of the Priesthood, those that were now called the endowments. Taking this view, I could not, I said, entertain the idea that Peter had committed the unpardonable sin or sinned against the Holy Ghost when he was guilty of denying that he was a disciple of Jesus. I read the four accounts of this matter recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I also said that if Judas had not committed the unpardonable sin and become a son of perdition in betraying the Savior, I could not imagine how any human being on the face of the earth could ever be guilty of that frightful sin. Of course, the full mercies of God are unknown to us. We can only conceive of a little of His divine goodness; but it seems to me that if there is any human being that would merit that dreadful fate it would be the creature who betrayed the Son of God. If Cain could be cursed, and his posterity after him, for slaying Abel, how light is his sin when contrasted with that of Judas!
The discussion then became more general. Brother Snow participated in it, and Brothers John W. Taylor, F. M. Lyman and Heber J. Grant. President Smith spoke several times, and in his latter remarks drew a distinction between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. He admitted that John the Baptist, and even the Apostles, might have had the Holy Ghost, but it would be as Cornelius had received it, the gift of the Holy Ghost being, as he set it forth, only received by the laying on of hands. I could not myself discover the difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost, though I said I could see a very great difference between the blessing that Cornelius had received and that which would be bestowed upon men and women who had joined the Church. If Cornelius had failed to obey the Gospel, he would have lost that blessing. It was not a permanent gift to him, only to lead him to the truth and to obedience to the ordinances through which the Holy Ghost would be received.
President Woodruff spoke very emphatically concerning his belief. He said he did not believe Brother Joseph F.’s doctrine and this evidently hurt Brother Smith. When the brethren had expressed themselves as not taking the same view as he did, he was deeply touched, and in his last remarks he said that he felt he had not been treated right in this Council. He mentioned my name, and said that he did not think I had done right, for if I had these views about what he had said, why had I not talked to him alone, and not have him humiliated before his brethren? I was deeply pained by his remarks and by the feeling which he manifested concerning my conduct. He also said that he had been blamed by President Woodruff without being properly understood. After he got through, President Woodruff expressed himself quite briefly to the effect that he did not think any Elder had the right to publish views that were not in accord with those of his brethren, and he stated emphatically that he believed that the Holy Ghost was enjoyed by the Apostles and the saints, though not to so full an extent as after the day of Pentecost. After President Woodruff had finished, he said he thought I ought to say something, and I arose and asked Brother Joseph’s pardon. I said I had not the remotest idea of anything occurring such as we had witnessed when this matter was brought up. (The fact is, it was President Woodruff who desired this question brought up and had told me so before we went to the Council, and had given the newspaper containing the discourse to Brother Gibbs to take to the Council.) I confessed that I had done wrong in not talking to him alone on the subject, and I certainly would have done so had I thought that the conversation would have assumed the form that it had done. I said I had no more thought of humiliating Brother Joseph F. Smith than I had of humiliating President Woodruff. I would not do it. There was no one in the world that I would avoid saying anything to humiliate quicker than I would him, and I knew this was the feeling of all the brethren present. We all loved and admired him, and in introducing the subject as I had done it was merely to get a united expression from the brethren as to our views upon this important point. I said one reason that I wanted it brought before the Twelve was that I had known of some of the Twelve teaching the doctrine that Peter did not have the Holy Ghost until after the Savior was crucified, and if that were the correct doctrine I wanted to know it, for I had taken a different view. Besides, there were two of the Twelve who were present when Brother Joseph F. preached this discourse. Of course, I did not say that what he said was untrue or incorrect. I did not know but my views were incorrect. But I thought it was only proper that we should talk the matter over in a friendly spirit as brethren. At the same time if I had had the least idea that the discussion of this question would take this form, I certainly would never have done it, and I humbly asked his forgiveness. I said we had never, so far as I could remember, differed on doctrine.
Brother Joseph F. then
arose and said he forgave me and would have no feeling on that subject.
After the Council adjourned, I went up and shook his hands, and said to him--and I was much moved--“You must not have feelings, Brother Joseph, against me on this point.” He said he did not have and would not have. I also alluded in my remarks to his statement that Peter had lied before the Lord and before the world. I said I regretted that such an expression had fallen from him, and I regretted more that it should be published, because to me men who had done as Peter had done--served the Lord faithfully--ought not to be held up, nor their faults, before the world, nor to be spoken lightly of. I said there was a sacredness about men of that character which I felt we ought to respect. I alluded in this connection to a conversation that occurred between myself and Brother Orson Pratt some years ago at one of our councils. Brother Pratt and others had indulged in censorious remarks concerning President Young and his course. I felt exceedingly pained at hearing them, and the next day, being Sunday, and Brother Pratt being in the stand with several of the Twelve, I took the occasion to speak to him privately upon the subject. I said to him that if he ever intended to make such remarks again concerning Brother Brigham, I asked him as a favor that he would let me know, that I might not go to the Council; for I did not want to listen to remarks of that character in the Council of the Apostles of the Church. Bad enough, I said, for men that were apostates and were fighting the work and denouncing Brigham Young, to say what they did; but for us who were his fellow servants, and who bore testimony to his being a prophet, to do so, I thought it was very improper. I said I have always testified that Brother Brigham was a prophet of the Lord. I did so when he was living; I do so still, and I expect if I gain my exaltation that I shall have to pass by Brother Brigham Young, for he is my file leader. Several of the Twelve seeing us conversing so earnestly drew near and overheard my remarks, among them President Taylor. Brother Pratt said, “I accept your reproof, Brother George Q., and think it right, and shall not be guilty of any such thing again.” In reply to this, I said, “Brother Orson, I have no right to reprove you; you are my senior, and I did not speak to you in that tone; it was merely a request that I had to offer you, and I hope you wont look upon me as giving you a reproof.” At this juncture President Taylor expressed himself to this effect: I think it wrong, brethren, that we should indulge in such remarks in our Councils, and I hope that hereafter we will abstain from anything of this kind. I added to our Council today, I feel that such men, who have been faithful servants of God, are too sacred to be attacked lightly, and especially in a condemnatory manner.
I have omitted to mention that I quoted also a passage from the 7th chap. of John, where he says, “for the Holy Ghost was not yet given”, but which the Prophet Joseph evidently did not believe to be correct, for he translated it, “for the Holy Ghost was promised unto them who believe, after that Jesus was glorified.” Many people have got a wrong idea from that verse in John.
22 February 1895 • Friday
Friday, February 22, 1895 This is the anniversary of George Washington’s birth and is a national holiday. I came to town for a little while and went to the Temple, to the room of the First Presidency, as I have done for one or two mornings now. When I drove back home I found my sister Mary Alice, whose arm has been broken, in a buggy with her son-in-law Isaac Waddell coming to my house. I was very glad indeed to see her, and they stopped and took dinner with us at my wife Carlie’s. My son Abraham and his wife Mamie also took dinner with us. We had a most excellent repast and a delightful visit.
23 February 1895 • Saturday
Saturday, February 23, 1895 I came to the office. Neither President Woodruff nor President Smith was there. I attended to business of different kinds, and dictated my journal and correspondence to Brother Winter.
24 February 1895 • Sunday
Sunday, February 24, 1895 Attended meeting at the Tabernacle. President Woodruff and Apostles John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant were also present. Three young missionaries, recently returned from the Southern States Mission, spoke, viz., Geo. S. McAllister, W. G. Patrick and C. P. Margetts. They described their labors in a most interesting manner. They spoke briefly, but the people listened with rapt attention, as they had a strong testimony to bear. President Woodruff followed in remarks about his labors in the Southern States sixty years ago, and at his request I spoke for 15 mins.
25 February 1895 • Monday
Monday, February 25, 1895 I went to the Temple very early this morning. Afterwards had an interview with Mr. Dooley, at his request. He wanted to make some inquiries about the Bullion-Beck Co. and stated that he was prepared to advance the necessary money for John Beck, if John Beck could be kept anyway under control, and to do for John Beck what Mr. Knox has been doing. I told him that I had left these matters to my son Abraham, and it would be well for him to converse with him, which he said he would do. I then went down to the Bank of the Republic with Abraham and had a meeting with Mr. Knox, Mr. Ryan and P. T. Farnsworth, who had all expressed a wish to see me and whom I desired to see together, as what I had to say to one could cover all that need be said to all. Mr. Geo. A. Lowe was also present; he is vice president of the Bank. The object in seeing me was to endeavor to persuade me against forming any combination with Mr. Bamberger in voting the majority of the stock held by Mr. Bamberger, Mr. Knox and myself as trustees. The evident desire of these parties was that myself and Mr. Knox should go together and form a Board of Directors to suit us. Mr. Knox’s grievance also was that a contract had been entered into between John Beck and himself by which he was, as he supposed, to have the bank account of the Company for 18 months from the date of the contract, which was last September, and now he was informed that a change was to be made, and money had been proffered to him to cover the advances he had made. He stated, however, that in the offering of this money they did not cover all that he was entitled to. He felt very sore over this, and read the contract to show how great a breach of faith it would be to treat him in this manner. I expressed myself to the effect that I thought it was bad treatment under the circumstances, for as he and Mr. Lowe represented, their bank had advanced this money at a time when the credit of John Beck was not so good as it is now, neither was the mine doing as well as it is now. I listened to all they had to say, each of them talking considerably. Mr. Ryan was particularly forward in his remarks concerning what ought to be done and how bad it was that I should not act with Mr. Knox, and intimated that I had been depended upon by Mr. Knox and that he would not have entered into this arrangement had it not been that I was connected with it and would have the voting power. I made a good many explanations as they went along, and then I explained my position. I said at my [Mr.?] Ryan’s instance I had induced P. T. Farnsworth to take his money whether he would or not. Upon inquiry I found that this was not exactly true; but the time was not distant when he would be required to take his money, and therefore I advised him to take it then. This was my exact position. Now I find that Mr. Beck and Mr. Bamberger are determined that they will not have any further dealings with Mr. Knox. They say they are willing to settle with him; but they want a change and somebody else to be the banker. I said, now I have made promises to Mr. Knox that I would do all in my power to sustain him, and I am willing to do so. I cannot force these people to accept Mr. Knox; but I can insist that they shall pay him and satisfy him, that he shall be no loser. I can insist also that Mr. Ryan’s interests shall not be in any manner endangered, neither Mr. Farnsworth’s. But, I said, gentlemen, I am a large owner in that property. Mr. Beck has
given to me come to me and said, our interests are identical; why cannot they be operated together and have a board of directors that will represent the property, instead of having men who have no interest in the property only that which they have in the money they have loaned? I said my desire has been always to operate with Mr. Beck, if he would permit me to do so. He now proffers to do so. Of course, you say he is treacherous, cannot be relied upon, and that as soon as he gets a chance he will throw me; that all he is now courting for me is that I have this power in my hands. All this may be true; but it is clear to me that the property will be in a better condition by being represented on the Board than it will be not to be represented. According to the plan that is proposed, upwards of 90% of the stock would be represented on the Board, and I feel it is clearly to my interest, if I can do so without breaking any pledges or doing anything that would be viewed as dishonorable, to make an alliance of this kind. A great deal of the trouble that has arisen in the past is because that there was a majority and a minority interest in the property, I having been viewed as occupying the minority position. It is proposed now that this shall cease, and that the Board shall be constituted according to the desires of myself as well as Mr. Beck; that we will try and act in concert. I put this strongly before them, and they seemed to be impressed with it; and no doubt if they had not private interests to serve they would all have agreed that it was only right that I should do so.
After this interview. I came up and saw my son John Q. at the Deseret News Office and told him what had occurred, and asked his view about it. He thought it was clear that I ought to work with John Beck under circumstances.
I afterwards submitted the same question to Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Brother Heber J. Grant (the latter happened to be in the office), and their feeling was that it was clearly to my interest to keep friends with Beck and to carry out this arrangement now pending. It is clear to me that if I drive him away there is danger of his falling into other hands and he be used by them to suit their own purposes and my interests be sacrificed.
Brother H. H. Cluff called in and we had conversation with him and the Presiding Bishops concerning the best manner of handling the products of Iosepa. I took the ground that the Presiding Bishops should take the products and handle them for that Colony[.] Brother Cluff said that he did not think they would require more than 25% in money and merchandise for their products, and that they would not be hard on the Church. The First Presidency felt that the pork and other things of this character could be sold to avantage [advantage] and help the poor of the house of Israel. Bishop Preston seemed to take a different view of the matter at first, but seeing it was our wishes, he acceded to it.
26 February 1895 • Tuesday
Tuesday, February 26, 1895. Had a meeting of the Sugar Company.
An appropriation was made for sheep to be sent by the Presiding Bishopric to Brother Cluff at Iosepa for the use of that Colony.
We had a meeting of Cannon, Grant & Co.
Le Grand Young called to see me.
My wives Sarah Jane, Eliza, Martha and Caroline took dinner with me, and we had a very enjoyable evening together. I have designed for us to dine together at least once a week, so that I can know of their condition and we can exchange views on family matters.
27 February 1895 • Wednesday
Wednesday, February 27, 1895 At the Temple as usual this morning.
Afterwards had an interview with a married sister who told me a sad tale about being overcome by a man not in the Church, and by whom she was pregnant. She had told me some ten years ago that her husband was not capable of being a father, and this man that has got her in this condition was a man that she naturally disliked, but he caught her at a time when she could not or did not resist, and although they only associated together once she became pregnant. [17 words redacted relating to description of sexual act.] She had confessed her sin to her husband. He is a very good man and has forgiven her; but she desired to know from me, as I was familiar with her previous history, what her condition was. I felt deep pity for her, and I told her that the Lord would forgive her. She said she had not partaken of the sacrament since this occurred, and she wanted to know with tears in her eyes whether she could be permitted to eat the sacrament. I told her she could. She described the tortures she has suffered in her feelings. I pitied her very much, because I think a woman who has a husband who cannot perform his duty as a husband, and having a great desire for children, is in a condition where she is greatly exposed.
28 February 1895 • Thursday
Thursday, February 28, 1895 I had an interview this morning at the office with Brother Andrew Sorenson Hyrup. I gave him all the comfort I could.
The Council of the First Presidency and Twelve met at the Temple. I am suffering from something like la grippe and I did not think it prudent to clothe in my robes. Beside the First Presidency, there were present, President Snow, F. D. Richards, Moses Thatcher, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith, H. J. Grant, and A.H. Cannon. Brother Thatcher opened by prayer, and Abraham H. Cannon was mouth in the circle.
I dictated letters to Brother Winter.