Saturday, June 1, 1895 The 94th anniversary of the birth of President Young.
We had a call this morning from Brother Junius F. Wells and my nephew, Geo. M. Cannon, who reached here from home last evening. He has come in company with Col. Donnellan of the Commercial National Bank and Mr. Jones to raise money to push through the Big Cottonwood Electric Power Co.
In the afternoon Brother Wells and his mother and George M. and my wife and myself went on the boat to Coney Island and returned by train, via Long Island City. It was a wonderful relief to get out of the heated city on to the water. The cooling breeze was delightful. The change brought improved feeling to me. I am still in ill health.
Sunday, June 2, 1895 The heat is so dreadfully oppressive that my wife and myself decided to go on to the water again. At 3 p.m. we took the boat to Coney Island again, and returned on the same boat without going ashore. The breeze was cool and refreshing.
Monday, June 3, 1895 The weather still continues hot—the hottest that has been known at this season of the year for upwards of 25 years. The registered thermometer went up to about 100 deg.; but private instruments recorded 105 deg. I think it imprudent to go out to attend to business. It is not necessary at present as Frank is pushing it all he can. He has Dr. Robinson helping him, and Mr. Hendrix, the President of the Union National Bank, has promised him his assistance.
This afternoon about 3 o’clock there was a sudden and most welcome change of temperature. The thermometer dropped 24 deg. It seems to me I never welcomed a change of this kind more gratefully than I did this. Every living man and beast must have rejoiced, for there was danger of prostration and death in all the laborious pursuits of life and in the districts where poverty reigned and people lived in crowded tenement houses.
Tuesday, June 4, 1895 I have been written and telegraphed to by Brother Spencer Clawson, and again by him and Brother C. S. Burton and N. W. Clayton in a joint telegram about a note of the Brigham Young Trust Co. for $25,000 which is due on the 7th inst., as follows:
“Imperative that arrangements be made there immediately to meet loan due June 7th. Please wire answer.”
Brother Clawson had, it appears, applied to Brother J. F. Wells to try and raise the money to meet this note. In accordance with this request, the latter had been applying to parties to get the loan; and yesterday afternoon he told me he thought he could get it from the U.S. Mortgage Co. for 6% if he could make a showing of the Company’s business, or if I could call upon Mr. Young, the President of the Mortgage Co. myself. I was not pleased at this action of Brother Spencer Clawson in putting this into Brother Wells’ hands without consulting me. My name is on the note as the President of the Trust Co. and also as an endorser personally, and I do not want my name hawked about as it had to be if Brother Wells secured this loan. Of course, Brother Wells in doing this was only performing a friendly act, knowing that we needed the money. I went down to the National Park Bank this morning to whom the money is due. The President, Mr. Wright, is in Europe, and Mr. Poor, the Vice President, received me very graciously. He readily consented to renew the loan for six months, and asked me what rate of interest I wanted to give. I replied that I would like it as low as possible; “but”, I said, “you have treated us always so kindly in our dealings that I leave this matter of interest entirely to you, Mr. Poor.” He said, “Well, I must look after the interest of the National Park Bank”, and then, after a moment’s pause, he added, “Well, we’ll let you have it at the old rate.” This was five percent. I was pleased at this, for money draws a higher rate of interest now than it did six months ago, when we secured the loan in the first place. I drew a draft on Spencer Clawson, Treasurer of the Brigham Young Trust Co., for the discount, or interest in advance, $626.71, and signed at [it] as President of that Company. I sent him and Brothers Burton and Clayton the following dispatch:
“Loan renewed on old terms. Have drawn check for discount. Imperative you honor it there.”
After this I called upon L. H. Hopkins at his office on Broadway[.]
My wife and myself visited Gen, J. S. Clarkson and wife at their rooms upstairs in the hotel and spent an hour with them.
Wednesday, June 5, 1895 Frank had important interview today with Mr. Young, President of U.S. Mortgage Co., respecting our affairs. We are to get out full statements respecting our properties.
Called at H. B. Claflin Company’s store with my wife.
Thursday, June 6, 1895 I sent the following dispatch in cipher to Presidents Woodruff and Smith through Brother James Jack:
“Necessary we should get complete accurate information Salt Lake & Los Angeles R.R., Saltair and Sugar works. Statements should give full reports legal proceeding, incorporation papers, dates, laws, charters, duration powers, also original cost, values of bonuses, franchises, increase in values, investment details, character of properties, revenues, expenses, profits and prospects. Statements should be made under N. W. Clayton’s direction, as he knows character of inquiry made by possible purchasers. Our proposition is that all three enterprises pay interest on bonds. Substantiate this if facts justify and make good showing as possible. Hurry up statements. Think we will want N. W. Clayton here to make explanations satisfactory; if so he can bring statements. Will wire tomorrow or Saturday.”
Took my wife for a ride on the street cars through the East side of New York, as she had read much in newspapers about its condition and desired to see it.
My cousin William Qualey and wife and George M. Cannon called upon us and took dinner with us.
Received the following dispatch from Abraham:
“Loose wants forty five hundred cash tomorrow. Shall I raise it? Dollar Bullion-Beck dividend payable thirtieth. All well.”
Sent the following reply:
“On strength of information you give concerning dollar dividend, raise him amount asked. When do you go on southern trip? My health improved.”
Received the following telegram from Bishop H. B. Clawson:
“Green telegraphs from Denver urging me to complete organization. Have delayed hoping to hear something that would place matters beyond doubt. How is it?”
Replied through Presidents Woodruff and Smith as follows:
“Clawson wires urging completion telephone organization. Are you still in favor being connected with it? Unless you are quite clear on this, I have strong reasons against acting as President. Talk to Clawson.”
Friday, June 7, 1895 Abraham wired me a dispatch upon the subject of yesterday’s telegrams as follows:
“Paid Loose today amount asked. Start tomorrow on eight days’ trip south.”
I called today upon Mr. Hendrix, President of Union National Bank, and had conversation with him concerning our affairs; and afterwards had somewhat lengthy interview with Mr. Young, President of the United States Mortgage Co. He promised to give us an answer to our application (which was drawn up by Frank in four or five forms, each distinct) today or tomorrow. We called at Mr. Boissevain’s twice and finally succeeded in meeting him; but affairs of the Oregon Short Line were still so unsettled that he could not speak definitely about them.
Received a dispatch from Brother N. W. Clayton, as follows:
“Cannot make more favorable statements than those in Abbot’s application which you have.”
Sent the following in reply:
“Statements in Abbot’s application were generalities. We have passed that point successfully here. What we now must have is written detail of information such as Toll and Barrows visited Utah to procure, as it is desirable to save expense of new examination if possible. N. W. Clayton should come soon as possible bringing papers.”
Saturday, June 8, 1895. We had a call from Mrs. Louise Young Ferguson, a daughter of President Young; also in the evening from Brother J. F. Wells and his mother.
G. H. Jack called upon me today to show me a statuette of the Prophet Joseph which he is modeling. He desired my criticism of it. He is in pinched circumstances and would like to get help to enable him to receive a training in drawing, &C., of which he stands in need. It is he who modeled the oxen we have under the font in the Salt Lake Temple. Our pity went out for him today because of his circumstances; but my pity is greater because of his apparent loss of faith. He was, when I last conversed with him, imbued with socialism, and thought the Socialists were the people and their principles the principles that would regenerate the world.
Received the following dispatch from the Presidency:
“Full information forwarded tomorrow. Think N. W. Clayton should remain here, confer with Egan. Clayton thinks this information will serve better purpose than his presence, as it will cover two years while last two years would show badly and Clayton may be forced crippling this.”
Sunday, June 9,1895 My wife, Frank and myself dined at my cousin William Qualey’s, at Brooklyn, and spent the afternoon there.
Monday, June 10, 1895. Have heard nothing from Mr. Young. Frank called, but could not see him. He saw Mr. Hendrix, who expressed himself to the effect that he thought our matters were in good shape now, and if there were any weak spots in our propositions they were now in hands of those who would discover them.
This is my son Sylvester’s 18th birthday.
Tuesday, June 11, 1895 Frank met Mr. Young this morning; but our propositions were in statu[s] quo awaiting our statements from home, which we hope will be here by Thursday.
I went to Van Tassell & Kearney’s this morning and bargained for a double set of carriage harness and four side saddles and bridles, amounting to $210.
Wrote the following letter to Bishop H. B. Clawson:
I have not replied direct to your telegram to me concerning the Telephone business, as in my telegram to Presidents Woodruff and Smith I requested them to let you know their feelings and decision upon the subject. Not having heard from them anything in reply to my communication, I feel that in common courtesy to you I ought to write to you.
I cannot write to you as intelligently as probably I could do did I know what decision they have reached respecting engaging in this enterprise. It was because of their expressed wish that I should be the President of the new Co. that I consented to accept the appointment to that position. Their wishes would still influence me, and I would like to do whatever would be their pleasure. Left to myself, however, I would prefer not to be connected with the proposed Company. At no time have I felt any zeal about the project; that is, so far as my individual participation is concerned. In saying this I do not wish to be understood as expressing the feeling that the enterprise is not a worthy one, or that it may not be remunerative. But I have questioned the propriety of my being an active and prominent member of the Co.
After our meeting at which it was decided that we would become active participants in this enterprise, and after our meeting with Mr. Dooley and Judge Marshall, a list of the members of the Bell Telephone Co. came into our hands. From this we learned that the Vice President
of was Major Downey, the President of the Commercial National Bank, with whom we were doing business and from whom we had just received favors in the shape of loans. If it had been our intention to go ahead in the telephone business regardless of everybody else, it certainly would have been imprudent for us to have provoked an antagonism in such a quarter and among the friends connected with the Vice President. This situation appeared to me very grave, and I felt that there were no advantages of sufficient importance offered by the new Co. that could compensate us for the risk we would incur. Besides, there is the other feature to which I attach importance, and which I may present in the form of a question: Is it wise for the First Presidency, or for any one of them, to lead out in a project of this kind which is likely to injure and perhaps ruin capital already invested? Upon this latter point I have things to say that I do not think it prudent to write.
It was in this strain that, after receiving your dispatch, I telegraphed to Presidents Woodruff and Smith and asked them to communicate their conclusion to you. I hope they did so, and I also hope that it has not been a disappointment to you.
I am detained here much longer than I expected I would be when I left home. In fact, I was doubtful then about coming as far East as New York. Since I have been here my health has been very poor, and I was compelled to keep my room several days. The hot weather was also prostrating. I am pleased to say that my health has improved and I feel more like myself again. Carlie has enjoyed very good health and she thrives on her living here, though she is inclined to be homesick and would like to return. We join in love to you and Emily and all the folks. Frank also sends his kind regards.
I am, Your Brother,
(Signed) Geo. Q. Cannon.”
Wednesday, June 12, 1895 My health is not good this morning. Received statements from home in response to my telegram.
Thursday, June 13, 1895 An examination of the papers sent from home is very unsatisfactory. They make a bad showing. The accounts are not kept in a manner to sustain the representations which we have made concerning the properties. Frank has gone through them carefully and has shown me the defects which they contain. At my suggestion he saw Mr. Young to learn, if possible, where he and his colleagues stood on our propositions, for this knowledge would influence our action. I felt today as if I would start home at once to arrange our books there and send down a better showing. The interview with Mr. Young was encouraging.
Sister Hannah Free Wells and my wife and myself went to Brooklyn to see Brother S. W. Richards and those who are with him in this Mission. We found him and his wife and Brother Hudson at their place in Sand Street. Had a very pleasant visit. Brother Richards reports the baptism of a number of new members at Perth Amboy and the prospect of more additions. He and Brother Hudson feel encouraged.
Friday, June 14th, 1895 I am anxious about business. I begin to feel restive. I have never before in my life since grown to manhood, it seems to me, done as little in the same length of time, when I have had business on hand, as since I came to New York this time. Still I feel the time has not been without profit, at least to me personally. I have been able to rest and have not anything to crowd me or force me into action. If I had been at home this would not have been the case. Unless I had stayed at home and called myself a sick man it would have been practically impossible to have rested as I have done here. But I ought to be moving now. We have laid before Mr. Young our propositions, with which, as far as they go, he expresses himself as being satisfied with. But he wants an exhibit of our receipts and expenditures; our current expenses, our assets and liabilities. The statements we have received from home do not give these particulars in a shape that we can show them. They, as they have been sent to me, would do us damage instead of being of benefit to us. We have stated that the Salt Lake & Los Angeles R.R. pays a good dividend on the amount invested in its construction. (While I have not examined the books myself I have been repeatedly told that it paid 12% per annum on its cost.) This would pay $18,000 per annum on its bonds—$300,000 at 6%—and leave a handsome margin for its stockholders[.] I have thought I was only stating the exact truth, therefore, when I have said the railroad was a paying property. But the statements we have received from home do not bear this out. Again, I have stated that the Saltair Beach Co. is also paying property; that is, I have always understood that while, perhaps, it did not pay a dividend on the entire amount at which the property is valued, it did earn more than enough to pay the interest on the bonds; in fact, that the privileges which were sold each season would almost, if not quite, pay this interest—$12,000—without mentioning the income from the bath rooms, &C; this, too, under the competition of the past two years; while now, under the alliance with the Union Pacific, the property is likely to yield better returns. But the statements received do not sustain this view. The Utah Sugar Co. I have also described as earning, in addition to the interest on its bonds, a good dividend for the stockholders. This, I am pleased now to know, is fully sustained by the lucid and comprehensive and fair statement which I received yesterday from Manager Thos. R. Cutler. Respecting all these properties I have felt strong and confident in making these assertions, because I have had every reason to believe them to be true. But from the figures just received I cannot prove them, and I dare not make up figures which an examination of the books will not prove to be correct. Either we have been misinformed concerning the true status of these companies, or the books are not kept so as to show in the true light the actual condition of their affairs. To write home and await returns I feel will be a waste of time, as somebody ought to be there to see that such a showing is drawn up as will satisfy investors either as purchasers or loaners. So I see no other way but for me to return. Yet before coming to this conclusion I urged upon Frank the strength of our case in this, that we knew the companies were in this condition we represented, and that our endorsement of the note as the First Presidency, and by President Woodruff as Trustee-in-Trust, ought to make up for any deficiency in the showing. I asked him to go through all the figures we had and see if we could not make such a showing as would pass examination.
We had a visit from my wife’s brother, Captain Willard Young, who has come east to have a reunion with his classmates, the graduates from West Point of 1875. He dined with us at the Plaza, and afterwards upon his invitation we went together to the Madison Square Theatre to see “Trilby.” It was a thrilling performance, and each one performed excellently; but the play does not teach a single good sentiment that I can recall. I therefore do not approve of it.
Mr. L. C. Hopkins and wife called upon us this afternoon at the hotel, but I was out. He has been very kind to me in every way that he could.
Saturday, June 15, 1895 Frank and I consulted with Mr. Hendrix, President of the National Union Bank, concerning the best action to take about Sugar Bonds, and concluded it better to let them remain as they are at Hartford for the present.
We then called upon G. A. Purbeck & Co. Mr. Purbeck and Mr. Earl were in. He wanted to discuss plans for work through the Utah Co. I did not think this profitable or necessary under present circumstances and excused myself on account of condition of my health. I suggested that Frank should see him next week.
Frank’s further examination of statements from home concerning the companies makes it plain that for us to prepare a satisfactory showing therefrom we shall have to assume many important particulars. This I cannot do. If we affix our names to any paper of this kind it must be one that will bear the closest scrutiny. I have decided therefore to start for home this afternoon. Frank will draw up the particulars of what is needed and forward it to me tomorrow.
At 6 p.m. my wife and self started from New York via Hudson River, New York Central and Michigan Central railroads for Chicago.
Sunday, June 16, 1895 Passed Niagara Falls in the morning and the train was stopped five minutes for passengers to see the glorious sight. At Detroit we took Parlor car to Chicago. A very hot and dusty ride. We reached at 9:05 p.m. and took sleeper on Chicago & Northwestern R.R. which left for the West at 10:30 p.m.
Monday, June 17, 1895 Raining this morning. Weather cooler and more pleasant.
Tuesday, June 18, 1895 Changed a sleeper at Cheyenne for one to Salt Lake City.
Wednesday, June 19, 1895 We reached Salt Lake City about 3 o’clock this morning. Very soon after it was light Brother Wilcken came to the station with the victorine, and Joseph, Willard and Preston came with a team for the baggage. I was happy in finding my family all in the enjoyment of good health.
I went to the office and was glad to meet Presidents Woodruff and Smith, both of whom were looking well; but President Woodruff is afflicted with insomnia. I attended to some business, but did not stay at the office very long.
Thursday, June 20, 1895 This morning I gave Presidents Woodruff and Smith (Brothers Clayton and Jack were also present) a report of my labors and our prospects. Presidents Woodruff and Smith expressed themselves as well satisfied with my labors. President Woodruff is in a bad condition today for want of sleep. It is our regular meeting day at the Temple, but as President Snow, F. D. Richards, John W. Taylor and A.H. Cannon had come to the office to see about the meeting it was decided to not go to the Temple in view of President Woodruff’s condition. He felt and looked very badly, and for a man of his age his condition was very serious. He desired to be administered to by us and selected Brother Joseph F. Smith to anoint and me to be mouth in the laying on of hands. It has been seldom in my life that I felt as I did on this occasion. I was filled with the Spirit and my heart appeared to melt within me. I had the spirit of prophecy, and I was led to make many promises and to say many comforting things to President Woodruff. I believe all of us felt the influence of the Spirit and I am sure he felt the benefit of our administration, for he was much better. Oh! there is nothing like the Spirit of the Lord to fill the soul with peace, comfort and joy; and I felt to glorify the Lord, for I was comforted and made joyous by its heavenly influence. President Woodruff when we bowed in prayer, as is our custom at Thursday meetings, called upon me to offer the prayer, and I was so filled I could not refrain from weeping; the power of God rested upon me.
Friday, June 21, 1895 Went at noon to Westover with Brother Wilcken. Was pleased with the appearance of the place.
Saturday, June 22, 1895 President Woodruff was at the office this morning. I have urged him to go off and take a rest. It has seemed to me that a visit to the western coast, either San Francisco or Portland, would do him good and induce sleep. He likes the suggestion and thinks of going to Portland. He wants me to go with him; but I do not see how I can go in the position that business is in now. He had asked Brother Clayton to go in case I cannot go.
Permission was given
today <yesterday> for the Tabernacle to be used by our Welsh brethren comprising the Cambrian Society of Utah, for the holding of an Eisteddfod on the afternoon and evening of the day before next general conference and the first night of conference. The Tabernacle Choir is to take part also.
At 5 p.m. an excursion was taken to Saltair in honor of Mr. Meyer. A car load of prominent people were invited by Abraham. Col. Clayton had a nice luncheon prepared, of which all partook heartily. I was placed at the head of the table, with Mr. Meyer and Mayor Baskin on my right, and Governor West and ex-Delegate J. L. Rawlins on my left. Ex-United States Marshal Ireland. who showed himself such a poltroon when I was arrested, was in the crowd of people at the resort today and he passed the table where I sat. What must have been his reflections in seeing the change—he unnoticed and despised by many who knew him and his former prisoner, whom he treated so wrongfully, honored and apparently esteemed! Myself and wife Caroline went into the lake for a bath in company with Governor West, Mr. Meyer, Mr. Bacon and Sister Clayton.
Sunday, June 23, 1895 Attended meeting in the Tabernacle in the afternoon. It was very hot. Elders B. Goddard and C. Seegmiller, the former from the New Zealand Mission and the latter from the southern States Mission, were called to speak, which they did in an interesting manner. I followed, and though somewhat hoarse, I felt very well and the congregation appeared interested.
Myself and wife Caroline took dinner with Mr. Meyer, my brother Angus and wife, Brother Clayton and wife, and my daughter Mary Alice and her husband, at Abraham’s. Brother Joseph Daynes and Brother Clive and his 6[-]year-old son gave us fine music on the piano and violin.
Monday, June 24, 1895 The First Presidency had a meeting this morning with Brother H. B. Clawson on the subject of engaging in the Telephone business under the Standard Telephone Co. I told my objections to our having anything to do with it, but I said to Presidents Woodruff and Smith that if they desired to take part in it, or if they wished me to do so as President or in any other capacity, it would be acceptable to me. Presidents Woodruff and Smith, after I had laid my views before them, expressed themselves as averse to connecting themselves with the new telephone company. Brother Clawson has been anxious to have us connect ourselves with this organization; but this conversation settles the matter.
After this I had an interview with Judge McNally, the Probate Judge, who came up to explain to me about the action that had been taken in relation to the settlement of President Brigham Young’s estate. He had assumed that as executors we had never been discharged and had proposed to take action that had created excitement and the newspapers had taken it up and the community had been much agitated about it. He apologized to me and said he was to blame, for he had afterwards discovered that we had been discharged upwards of fifteen years before.
I had a lengthy conversation with a Mr. [blank] Stanton, a civil engineer, and Brother Robert C. Lund and my son Abraham. Mr. Stanton had a dazzling proposition connected with the building of a railroad to San Diego, Cal. His proposition is to get the Japanese Government to establish a steamship line between Japan and the United States. The Government, he assured us, is anxious to do this. It has plenty of ships and a full treasury, but San Francisco has already a line with railroad connections; so has Vancouver, and San Diego is the only port which has no line of steamships. Its proximity to Mexico would be a great accommodation to Japan, as it feels very friendly to Mexico. Mr. Stanton thinks it very likely that Japan might be induced to invest in the railroad and to make a connection that would give her people access to our country. He entered into many details that are not necessary for me to make note of here, but which were dwelt upon in true “promoter’s” style. His plan is a grand one if it could be successfully carried out, and would make a splendid connection for us.
When I had finished with Mr. Stanton, I had an interview with Mr. Burley of the Union Pacific respecting our attitude on the question of the Receivership for the Oregon Short Line and the articles in the Deseret News. He thought perhaps we had feelings against Mr. Bancroft; but I said to him that if a Receiver was appointed and we could have any choice Mr. Bancroft would receive it in preference to Mr. Egan. We then conversed upon President Woodruff’s proposed trip to the coast and the arrangements that should be made for him and the rest of us.
I had a long conversation with Brother Le Grand Young concerning railroad matters and he made a number of suggestions.
At 4:30 p.m. my wife Caroline had a party of friends at dinner to do honor to Mr. Meyer. President Woodruff’s health did not permit him to be there; but President Smith and wife, Brother N. W. Clayton and wife, my son John Q. and wife and Abraham and three wives and my daughter Adah were there. We had an excellen[t] dinner, and my children with the piano, the guitars and mandolins gave us an excellent musical entertainment. My daughter Rosannah and my son John Q.’s wife gave us recitations, and Emily and Carol each sung, and Grace and Vera gave us a duet. Brother Clayton gave us a performance on the piano, as also my twins—Hester & Amelia—a duet. The evening was delightfully spent and all appeared to enjoy it.
Tuesday, June 25, 1895 President Woodruff did not come to the office this morning.
Had a meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. and declared a semi-annual dividend of 6%.
President Smith, Abraham and myself had an interview with C. E. Loose concerning the Sterling property. We had thought of engaging him to go down and examine that property and give us his views, he being a miner of experience, concerning its value and the best manner of working it; but having heard, since we sent for him, that Brother Jerry Langford is coming here, we concluded to not ask him to go at present.
Attended to considerable business, and at 4:50 p.m. left the city in company with President
s Woodruff and wife and five of their family, and President Smith & wife for Portland, Oregon. The object of this trip is the benefit of President Woodruff’s health. His sleeplessness is so continuous that something must be done to relieve him, and I have recommended him to go to sea level for a rest and with the hope that he will sleep better. I desired to be excused from going with him, as I have been away so much of late and there is so much to do at the office; but he was desirous I should go, so I consented. Brother Clayton secured Mr. Bancroft’s private car for our use; but as its sleeping accommodations are only sufficient for seven and President Woodruff desired to take some of his family I proposed that they should occupy the car, and President Smith and wife and myself and wife would ride in the regular sleeper. Mr. Bancroft, however, arranged for us all to eat in the private car[.]
Abraham and Mr. Meyer accompanied me to Ogden.
Wednesday, June 26, 1895 Had a delightful sleep last night. President Woodruff slept the beginning of the night, but was wakeful the remainder. We changed our sleeper at Glen’s Falls. Our meals are excellently served. The road is dusty.
Thursday, June 27, 1895 A day never to be forgotten by Latter-day Saints—the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Prophet and Patriarch, Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
We were behind time nearly two hours this morning and this gave us all an opportunity of seeing the scenery on the Columbia river.
We were met at the Portland depot by Mr. C. E. Brown, U.P. Dist. Passenger Agent, at this point, who placed himself at our service and was very kind to me personally. He tried to get us transportation to Tacoma, but the relations between the Union Pacific and the Northern Pacific are not cordial and transportation could not be secured for us. If we had not let the private car go back so early we could have gone in it, as Mr. Baxter, who is in general charge of the U.P. affairs at Portland, and who is now at Tacoma, telegraphed to Mr. Brown that he had arranged for the transportation of the car.
This day has been very hot, though our rooms in the Portland (the hotel at which we stop) are very pleasant. Those occupied by my wife and myself give us a fine view of the City with Mount Hood, one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, in the front. The landlord, Mr. Bowers, and indeed all the hotel people, treated us very kindly. I had a number of calls from prominent men who had known me—ex-Senator Corbett and ex-Representative George among the number.
After dinner Presidents Woodruff and Smith and myself and our wives took a drive in a wagonette, and we saw Portland’s best residences and its heights. The balcony of the hotel was illuminated with electric lights and Chinese lanterns in the evening and a fine band discoursed music until 10 o’clock in the evening, and refreshments were served to the guests of the hotel.
Friday, June 28, 1895 I had a call this morning from Mr. Montgomery, a very wealthy resident of Portland whose acquaintance I made in Washington. He appeared disappointed at my leaving so soon.
Mr. Brown met us at the depot and offered to go with us to Victoria, but I declined with thanks as putting him to unnecessary trouble. He is very kind. We left Portland for Tacoma at 11 a.m. and after a somewhat hot and dusty ride reached Tacoma at 5 p.m. A note which I brought from Mr. Montgomery secured us good rooms; mine was very good.
Saturday, June 29, 1895 We embarked on the City of Kingston at 8 o’clock this morning for Victoria. The Sound was as smooth as a mill pond all the way, though there was quite a cold breeze[.] We stopped at Seattle for about 10 minutes, also at Port Townsend. We reached Victoria about 4 p.m. Our trunks and satchels were examined by the Custom House officers and we took carriages—that is, Presidents Woodruff, Smith and myself and our wives—to the Driard House: the rest of the party put up at the Victoria, a cheaper house. While at Port Townsend the agent of an opposition line of steamers to Alaska, by the name of Peabody was told by one of the officers of the boat that we had been talking of going to Alaska, and he came on board to set forth the advantages of going there by his line. The first steamer would sail on July 10th and occupy 14 days in the trip. It was a smaller vessel than those of the other line, but was seaworthy, offered as good sleeping quarters and as good table board, and the charge for the round trip was $40—less than one half the charge of the other line. On the way to Victoria, after this interview, the proposition of going to Alaska was discussed and President Woodruff was decidedly in favor of going there, as all the rest were, particularly his family. I had no objections to offer, but I feel uneasy concerning our business affairs. This detracts from the pleasure and enjoyment I otherwise would have. In talking over the proposed trip with my wife I was struck with the pleasure it would give our girls to join us in this voyage, and after reflecting upon the subject, upon our arrival at the hotel I sat down and wrote to my son Abraham to send Hester, Rosannah, Emily and Carol and Lewis to this point, upon receipt of a telegram from me, with money enough to bear their expenses. I also wrote to Brother W. C. Spence to secure them transportation to this place on the best terms in his power. As I had written a long letter to Brother Clayton last evening from Tacoma on the subject of securing transportation for the private car from San Francisco, as we proposed to go there, and thus save the necessity of President Woodruff returning by steamboat from San Francisco to Portland, this change in our plans compelled me to write him informing him of our present intentions and that it would not be necessary to do anything about what I had mentioned in my letter of last night.
The Driard is a fine, well-kept house, with a good table and fine beds.
A dispatch was sent in my name to Mr. Peabody at Port Townsend to come here to arrange about our trip to Alaska.
Sunday, June 30, 1895 A raining, dull day. It cleared up in the afternoon, and President Smith and myself and our wives rode out to Oak Bay on the street cars.
Mr. Peabody came up from Port Townsend and we had a lengthy conversation with him concerning the voyage, and he was paid $440 by us for our passages. There are 12 persons from Portland who have engaged passages, and these with our party of 11 and my five children, for whom he promises to reserve berths, will make all the upper deck passengers he can take on the Willapa—pronounced Wil-la-paw. He says the table will be supplied with the best the market affords, and he will do everything in his power to make the trip all that we can desire. He desires our custom, as he expects next year, when they will have a larger and more attractive steamer, to visit Salt Lake City and secure excursionists. He will travel with us 800 miles, that is, to Juno. He assures us that there is no danger of seasickness, excepting in one place crossing the strait, which will occupy four hours.
I sent the following telegram to Brother James Jack:
“Decided to sail from Victoria for Alaska July 10th. President’s health improved. Tell Abraham send Lewis, Hester, Rosannah, Emily and Carol not later than Thursday the fourth, to join us at Victoria for trip. Have Spence secure transportation best terms. Letters to Abraham, Spence and Carol give particulars. How are families, including Beebe’s? Send dispatches and mail here. Inform me immediately if children will come.”