The Church Historian's Press

October 1896

1 October 1896 • Thursday

Thursday, October 1, 1896.

This is fast day. John M. Cannon came down to my house and took me to the office in his buggy so as to have the opportunity of conversing with me concerning our affairs. James S. Clarkson, to whom the First Presidency gave notes for $100,000, and for which my house and lot was given as security, offers the first five notes of $5000 each to us for $18,000 down. The notes will be due in 18 months. I have seriously considered the matter, and have prayed about it. The Trustee-in-Trust cannot at the present time meet these notes; but I have thought if I could do it in some way it might be an advantage, because when the 18 months expire and the notes become due we may not be in any better position than we are now. I have talked this matter over with John M., and this morning he informed me that there were notes of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co. in the bank that we would have to lift, and he thought if we could get these notes of Clarkson’s they might be substituted for the notes of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co., and we could save the difference between the price he offered and the face of the notes. The bank is willing to do this if the Trustee-in-Trust signature can be obtained as the principal instead of John M. Cannon. The notes now are in John M.’s name. He is making every effort to obtain this $18,000.

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency met with the Apostles, all of whom were present, excepting Moses Thatcher. We had a very interesting session. President Smith was absent at a funeral. President Snow requested President Woodruff and myself to speak if we felt led to do so. President Woodruff desired me to speak, which I did, and he followed.

The question having come up through remarks made by President Snow concerning the debts of the Church and his description of what the Twelve had been talking about connected with Brother Heber J. Grant’s mining project in Oregon, President Woodruff desired me to make a statement concerning our debts. According to President Snow’s statement the brethren thought the Church was in debt all the way from $7 up to $2,000.000. I felt that unless this was corrected it would do great injury; it would have the effect to weaken confidence and leave the First Presidency open to the charge of mismanaging the funds of the Church. I stated our condition as near as I could, explaining what we had done in the Sterling and why we had done it; explaining what we had done with General Clarkson; explaining other matters that we had done, so that the brethren might not ge know pretty nearly the condition we were in. I told them we were not in a bad shape as far as property was concerned, but we were pinched for money. In the course of my remarks I made allusion to the dedicated stock in the Bullion-Beck Co., and said had it not been for two of the Twelve – Brothers Thatcher and Taylor – breaking up that arrangement, we might have been in very good shape as a Church, and our standing financially would have been peerless. I said that in consequence of their example John Beck had demanded his dedicated stock, and I had transferred to him only a few shares lacking 20,000, and handed him $50,000 of money – accumulated dividends on the stock.

Brother John W. Taylor took exceptions to these remarks of mine, and explained his view of what had been done, and said I was looked upon as the cause of this dedicated stock being broken up, as it were. He went on to relate that he and his fellow heirs had endeavored to find out what they could about the Bullion-Beck property, but that from no source could they get any satisfaction. They had spoken to me; had spoken to H. B. Clawson, the Manager; to George Reynolds, the Secretary, and to L. John Nuttall, the President, and could get no satisfaction, and for that reason they had done as they did.

Among other things which I stated was that Franklin S. Richards had come to me when I was in the penitentiary and told me that unless I surrendered that dedicated stock I should be sued, for they were determined to get that from me; that at first I thought I would resist, but afterwards had concluded that I would yield it all up and let them have it.

Brother John W. Taylor disputed this statement; said that Franklin S. Richards had never been sent to me with any such thing, if he had gone. I told him there was no question about his having gone there, for I could easily prove that. Brother Franklin D. Richards arose and said he repudiated any statement that would intimate that his son Franklin would go there without any authority to see me.

We talked considerably about this. I told Brother John W. Taylor that I acquitted him of any desire to do wrong in these matters. Certainly I did not think he had sent Brother Franklin S. Richards to threaten me with a lawsuit. But I told him I thought he had been misguided, and that he was under an influence that had led him to things that he would not do under other circumstances. Before we partook of the sacrament – which we did afterwards – I said to him, Now, if I have hurt your feelings or said anything that you think is not right, I ask you to forgive me. This brought Brother Taylor to his feet, and he spoke very feelingly. He said he felt ashamed to have me ask forgiveness of him, and he then proceeded to relate a dream that he had while in company with my brother David, concerning Moses Thatcher, and from which I gathered that he had been made aware that Moses Thatcher was a dangerous man and was leading him to do things that he ought not to do.

I was very glad that this opportunity was furnished of speaking on this matter, because I think it is right that it should be understood. I have felt for years that the time would come when it would have to be talked about.

2 October 1896 • Friday

Friday, October 2, 1896

My son John Q. came in to see the First Presidency this morning concerning an article for the News which had been put in type and concerning which he had some question as to the propriety of publishing.

Brother F. S. Richards came in about business connected with the Council House corner and the Utah University, and after this business was attended to, and in the presence of Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Apostles Brigham Young and Geo. Teasdale, I interrogated him concerning his visit to me at the penitentiary. He corroborated all that I said, and was very explicit. His recollection and mine concerning this transaction were exactly alike. Brother Brigham Young interrogated him as to who had sent him, and he said several had spoken to him about it, and it was the common talk, and he felt authorized to come up and make that statement to me.

I dictated my journal to Brother Winter.

3 October 1896 • Saturday

Saturday, October 3, 1896.

An arrangement had been made for President Woodruff, myself and Colonel Winder to go to Ogden to-day to view the building of the wooden pipe line. I invited a number of the Twelve to accompany us, but Brothers Lorenzo Snow and Brigham Young were the only ones able to go. My brother David and Brother C. H. Wilcken also accompanied us, as well as Judge Le Grand Young and his wife and daughters. We were met at Ogden with carriages and driven directly up the canyon, Mr. Bannister joining us in a buggy. We had a very interesting view of the building of the pipe line. They have six gangs at work, and each gang is able to build from 120 to 125 ft. each 24 hours. The pipe is 6 ft. in the clear, and is made of beautiful timber, and bound strongly with iron bands, which almost cover the exterior and give it the appearance of a steel pipe. These iron bands are covered with asphaltum paint. We took dinner at Mr. Rhodes’ camp and had an excellent meal; after which we looked through the machine shop and other shops, and also the power house, which is being pushed forward as rapidly as possible. On the whole, the visit was a very satisfactory one and gave all the party an intelligent idea of the character of the work. We are anxious to have it progress as rapidly as possible, so as to relieve us of the necessity of having to construct the line in the bad weather. We returned to the city, reaching there about 3:30. President Woodruff endured the fatigue of the journey remarkably well, and was greatly pleased with what he saw.

4 October 1896 • Sunday

Sunday, October 4, 1896.

Our Semi Annual General Conference opened this morning at 10 o’clock in the Tabernacle, which was very crowded. The speakers this morning were President Woodruff and President Jos. F. Smith.

In the afternoon the house was so crowded that it was found necessary to have an overflow meeting in the Assembly Hall. President Woodruff desired me to address the conference this afternoon, which I did for about an hour. I had great freedom and enjoyed my own remarks, as I believe the congregation did. Brother Lorenzo Snow followed me, occupying the remainder of the time.

In the evening, at 7 o’clock, a meeting of the Deseret Sunday School Union and all interested in Sunday schools was held in the Tabernacle. The meeting was quite interesting.

5 October 1896 • Monday

Monday, October 5, 1896

The Conference was addressed this morning by Brothers F. D. Richards, Brigham Young and F. M. Lyman.

I had received a letter from N. Tanner, Jr., a copy of which I herewith give:

Ogden, Utah, September 27th, 1895.

President George Q. Cannon,

Salt Lake City.

Dear Brother:

I address you, simply as a member of the Church, interested in all that affects its welfare, and the welfare of its chief officers, upon a subject which it seems to me affects both.

I presume there are none of the saints who do not feel a deep interest in the situation of Apostle Thatcher, nor who would not do anything within their power, to bring about harmony between he and his brethren of the First Presidency and the Twelve, and to place him in a position that they could sustain him as one of the latter quorum. Such are my feelings, and I have accordingly for some time felt impressed to write yourself and President Smith respecting a matter which, it seems to me[,] affects Brother Thatcher and others including yourselves. I refer to your remarks before the priesthood meeting respecting his acceptance of his nomination to office without consulting the proper authorities before doing so.

I am not aware that I knew anything of your differences, if any existed, more than the public generally know, and I am not therefore, in a position to judge between you, even if it were my prerogative to do so. But as to those remarks at the priesthood meeting, they could not, in my judgment, be justified by any offense, if any he may have committed against you. They have affected your prestige among the saints to some extent, - among those who know the law and the reasons for it, while others may take advantage of the example and disregard it for themselves, and for the double purpose of placing yourselves right in the eyes of the saints, and if possible, to open the way for a better understanding and better feelings between you and Apostle Thatcher, I have felt impressed to suggest that it might have a tendency in this direction if you were to make him a suitable expression of regret.

If he did not consult the proper authorities before accepting his nomination, no person well could, in the nature of things, know of the fact except those whose advice he should have sought, and according to the law and the wisdom of heaven as I understand it, his offense should have been made no more public than he himself had made it; if his conduct merited chastisement, he should have been chastened privately, and the public should not have been made aware of his offense, until it became necessary for them to act upon his case. This law is, as I have said, the result of the wisdom of heaven - as no one appreciates more than yourselves, and which constitutes a sufficient reason for its observance. But we all know that the natural and inevitable result of those remarks, at that time and place, and by men of your exalted position, was injury to the reputation of Elder Thatcher, and, in his enfeebled condition, his sensitive nature doubtless felt it very keenly. It would, naturally, and probably did have a tendency to estrange him and keep him away from the company and councils of his brethren, and, especially would this be the case if there had previously been differences between you. If he were otherwise disaffected and in danger, your efforts to reach and reclaim him under the circumstances would be likely to have little effect, no matter how much you might desire to do so.

But Apostle Thatcher, as I have said, is not the only one affected by it. Many of the saints who understand the law and the reasons for it, note with regret that men in your exalted positions should disregard it, and doubtless others will take advantage of the fact and disregard the law themselves. I feel therefore, that no matter what offense, if any he may have committed against you, it can furnish no good reason why you should not rectify your mistake, and that if you could feel to make him a suitable expression of regret, if it does not open up the way for him to take a step towards reconciliation, good must necessarily be the result of your right and proper act.

In thus writing you, President Cannon, I do not sit in judgment between you and Elder Thatcher, as I have no right to do; nor do I convict you of an offense against you him. Yourself and President Smith are self convicted, so to speak; you made those remarks before a body of men, all of whom are supposed to know the law, and it was immediately made public to the world. I simply offer these as friendly suggestions; as the thoughts of one who has always respected and sustained you in your official position, and who expects to do so in the future; but who, at the same time, feels a deep interest in Apostle Thatcher, and who cannot be indifferent to that which, in his humble judgment affects the Church. If I err, it is simply an error of the head, and I trust will be forgiven.

Your Brother,

Nathan Tanner, Jr.

This letter, coming from a man who ought to be intelligent and well-informed, a lawyer by profession, and who seems to speak for others as well as himself, caused many reflections to pass through my mind concerning the condition of feeling among our people respecting our conduct in the Moses Thatcher case. This man is evidently very ignorant of the true facts; but if such misapprehension exists as he entertains concerning the facts, I felt myself that something should be said at this conference concerning this case. So I suggested to President Woodruff that we should have a meeting of the First Presidency and Twelve between the forenoon and afternoon meetings. We went straight from the Conference to the office, and President Woodruff told what I had said to him, and that he felt something should be said. My idea was that the brethren should talk with some degree of directness to the principle involved in the case of Brother Thatcher, that the conference might be instructed upon principle. I did not at the time I suggested the meeting think anything more than this; but after we got together and heard some of the remarks of the brethren, I told them that it was as clear to me as could be that something should be said to the people, explaining the true situation of affairs; that we owed it to the Church and to ourselves that there should be a fuller explanation than had ever yet been given concerning the situation that we were doing the people great injustice, and ourselves too, by not making proper explanations. Before we separated, President Woodruff said that he felt it was his duty to open this matter to the Conference, and there was nothing said as to anyone following him, though I saw that President Snow felt perhaps there was an obligation resting upon him as the President of the Twelve to say something.

As soon as the Conference was opened in the afternoon, President Woodruff arose, and after making some preliminary remarks concerning evil influences and the power they had over men, he entered upon the case of Moses Thatcher, and stated with great clearness and with unusual force many of the circumstances which had led up to the present condition. He told the people that Moses Thatcher had not been in fellowship with his brethren since the death of President Taylor.

The congregation listened breathlessly to what he had to say, because it is undoubtedly a subject of great interest to the members of the Church. He was followed by President Snow, who also spoke with more than ordinary clearness and power. His testimony was the same as President Woodruff’s. The Twelve were then called upon to speak, if any of them felt impressed to do so. Elders John Henry Smith, Brigham Young, H. J. Grant, Geo. Teasdale, of the Twelve, bore testimony to what had been said. President Jos. F. Smith made the closing remarks. All the brethren were united in their testimony concerning the conduct and spirit which Moses Thatcher had manifested. All the brethren of the Twelve who did not speak felt as those who did.

I cannot describe the feeling of relief which this meeting gave to me. I am sure that no explanations were ever made to the Church which were more united and which gave greater light to the minds of the people than did those made at this meeting. I have been aware for a long time that the First Presidency, and particularly myself, were made to occupy a false position through the slanderous reports and misrepresentations which were circulated among the people. I have learned with sorrow that Brother Thatcher and his friends had industriously circulated the impression that all the difficulties he had were due to personal difficulties with me, which is utterly false. President Jos. F. Smith also has been supposed to have feelings against Brother Thatcher. The supposition has been concerning President Woodruff that he was influenced by his counselors. Another impression that has prevailed is that all this difficulty with Brother Thatcher was due to his refusal to sign the Declaration at our last conference. For these reasons, especially that the people might not be deceived any longer, I was very thankful that the Lord led President Woodruff and the rest of the brethren to speak as they did. I sincerely trust that Brother Thatcher will see the necessity of repenting and making things right with his brethren. It is a dreadful thing for one of the Twelve Apostles to lose his standing; it fills the whole Church with sorrow.

There was a concert in the Tabernacle this evening, which I attended and enjoyed very much. It was given by the Tabernacle Choir.

6 October 1896 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 6, 1896

Brothers John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill and A. H. Lund occupied the time this forenoon.

We had another meeting of the Council in relation to political matters. I laid before the brethren some letters which I had received upon this subject, and the matter was left to the First Presidency to take such steps as they might deem proper.

This led to interviews between us and William Budge, of Bear Lake, Brother Osmond and his two counselors, of Star Valley, and Orson Smith, of Cache Valley.

After the authorities were put this afternoon to the Conference by President Jos. F. Smith, President Woodruff desired me to address the congregation, which I did for about 40 mins. and enjoyed my own remarks.

Brother Elias S. Kimball, President of the Southern States Mission, and Brother William Gardner, who has just returned from presiding over the Australasian Mission, occupied the remainder of the time and spoke very instructively.

The Conference adjourned for six months.

At 7 o’clock in the evening there was a general Priesthood meeting. President Woodruff was too fatigued to come, and I presided. We had an interesting meeting. The speakers were, Bishop Preston, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and myself.

7 October 1896 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 7, 1896

This morning, at 10 o’clock, there was a meeting in the Assembly Hall of all the presiding authorities of the Church, and much instruction was given, the speakers being President Snow, President Woodruff, President Smith and myself.

I attended the funeral of Sister Jennings’ granddaughter, the daughter of Brother John E. Carlisle and Mary Jennings. President Jos. F. Smith made the opening remarks, and I followed and had excellent freedom.

8 October 1896 • Thursday

Thursday, October 8, 1896

At 11 o’clock the First Presidency and Twelve met in the Temple as usual. There were present of the Twelve, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, Geo. Teasdale, Heber J. Grant and A. H. Lund. President Snow was so busy in the Temple that he could not attend. We did a great deal of business at this meeting. A successor was selected for President Geo. C. Naegle of the Swiss and German Mission, in the person of Elder Peter Lautensock. It was decided to enquire concerning the circumstances of Elder Ephraim Nye, of Ogden, who, it was thought, would make a suitable successor for Elder H. S. Tanner, President of the California Mission. A motion was also made by President Jos. F. Smith that Elder John W. Taylor, of the Apostles, be appointed to establish a mission in Denver, and select such Elders as were suitable, to labor there. It was decided also, on motion of Brother F. M. Lyman, that Charles S. Anderson, of Grantsville, be appointed to take the position of President of the St. Joseph Stake, instead of Brother Christopher Layton.

The question of the Gardo House came up. It has for some time been occupied by Colonel Trumbo. There was considerable discussion about this, and upon my motion, President Jos. F. Smith was appointed to take the matter in hand and to have under his direction the Presiding Bishops, in order that possession of the house might be obtained by the Trustee-in-Trust as soon as convenient. After the appointment had been made, Brother John Henry Smith and myself made remarks concerning Colonel Trumbo and his efficiency. I stated that while I did not approve of many things in his character, and certainly not in his aspiration to be Senator, yet I could not, in justice to myself and in accordance with my sense of honor, keep silent concerning his labors in our behalf. He had done more to dissipate prejudice than any man I knew, and he seemed to have extraordinary power to reach leading men, and he had spent considerable means in doing this and long periods of time. I did not want us to lose sight of this. There were many that were very much prejudiced against him, and my idea was that Brother Joseph F. Smith, knowing these facts, would keep down any feeling there might be of prejudice on the part of some against him. I feared Bishop Preston entertained strong prejudices upon this subject. I did not think him a truthful man, but the good he had done should not be forgotten.

I had my brothers Angus and David, Angus’ wife, David’s daughter and son, and my three sisters to dinner with myself and family this evening, and we had an enjoyable time together.

9 October 1896 • Friday

Friday, October 9, 1896.

Brother William Gardner gave us a call, and President Woodruff and myself had a long conversation with him concerning the situation of affairs in the Australasian Mission.

We find ourselves in a very bad condition for money to meet claims upon us. Brother H. H. Cluff was in to-day in relation to the expenses of the Iosepa Colony, and we could not meet his demands, only in part.

A short meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co. was held this afternoon.

This evening my son Hugh invited myself and his mother and my brother Angus and his wife, my brother David and daughter, and my three sisters to take dinner with him and his wife. They live in a part of Brother Wilcken’s house. Brother Wilcken is suffering very much from pains which prevent him from walking. It is something of the nature of rheumatism.

On Wednesday last, in conversation with Brother Geo. F. Gibbs, he related to me an expression that Brother Moses Thatcher had made concerning President Taylor during the latter’s lifetime that shocked me very much. He said President Taylor had attempted to speak to the Conference and had exhibited very little power and but little of the Spirit; he seemed to be unwell. After the meeting, Moses Thatcher had said in his hearing, speaking about what President Taylor had said, that it was the “drivel of an old man”. I do not know that I ever heard of an expression made by a Latter-day Saint concerning another that shocked me as this did. It seemed so contemptuous and vicious. One would think that respect for age, for a venerable man like President Taylor was, aside from the Priesthood, would restrain a man from giving utterance to such an expression; but when this venerable man was the President of the Church, and the man who made the remark was an Apostle of that Church, it seems almost infamous. It is [no] wonder that he has got into the dark.

10 October 1896 • Saturday

Saturday, October 10, 1896

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter this morning.

11 October 1896 • Sunday

Sunday, October 11, 1896

At the request of Brother George Stringfellow, I went to Draper to-day to attend the funeral of Hannah Stringfellow Rawlins, a sister of Brother George and a wife of Bishop Jos. S. Rawlins. I have known this family since my mission to England upwards of thirty-five years ago. This deceased sister was a woman that has borne a very high reputation. The family were very desirous that I should attend the funeral, because of the high esteem, as they said, in which she held me. I had contribute to her emigration from England. Brother Geo. G. Bywater accompanied me from the city. The services were held at 1 o’clock in the meeting house. There was a large attendance of people. The congregation was addressed by Bishop Allen, Brothers Geo. G. Bywater, Jos. E. Taylor, [blank] and myself.

I returned in the evening to the city.

12 October 1896 • Monday

Monday, October 12, 1896

The First Presidency had an interview to-day with my son Frank and Brothers Clayton and Jack concerning the apportionment of bonds, etc., in companies in which we are interested.

We learn to-day, through letter from Brother Orson Smith, that Moses Thatcher has addressed meetings on three occasions in Cache Valley, which we consider very improper under the circumstances. Brother Smith writes that his style of talk is calculated to do injury and to mislead the people.

13 October 1896 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 13, 1896

President Smith, Bishop Winder and myself spent the day at Ogden attending to business connected with the Pioneer Power Co. We returned on the 2:10 train.

After my return to the city, I had an interview with Senator Redfield Proctor, of Vermont, at the Knutsford Hotel. We spent upwards of an hour in conversation. He brought me a letter from Mr. Hanna, Chairman of the Republican National Committee. We had a very full and free conversation upon the situation here. He has been sent out to this State by the leading men of the Republican party to look into affairs and see what could be done here. I was quite impressed with the situation as he described it and the importance of our position and influence at the present crisis. Senator Proctor is a warm friend of ours and always has spoken kindly of us, and I am disposed, from his representation, to do anything I can in furtherance of his views concerning the proper use of our influence.

14 October 1896 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 14, 1896.

We had conversation to-day with John Q. Cannon concerning the political tone to be maintained in the Deseret News.

Brother N. C. Edlefsen came down from Logan by appointment to-day, to see us in relation to matters which he had brought to our attention concerning financial matters in Logan Temple. He made a statement to us to the effect that $44,400 had been collected by offerings at the Temple, and the suspicion has been created that there had been some misappropriation of these funds on the part of Brother M. W. Merrill, the President of the Temple. I have felt for a long time that something should be done to vindicate Brother Merrill from this charge which has been hanging over him so long without his knowledge, and which if not true is a terrible injustice to him, and if it be true, it ought to be known. Brother Edlefsen gave us the particulars of it, and has the proofs to sustain the statement of what has been donated.

This covers several years. We had appointed a committee to investigate this matter, but after hearing Brother Edlefsen, we thought it better to confine the examination to the First Presidency

15 October 1896 • Thursday

Thursday, October 15, 1896

I attended a meeting of the Sugar Co. this morning at 9 o’clock. Afterwards attended a meeting of the Salt Lake & Los Angeles Ry., and another meeting of the Grass Creek Terminal Railway Co .

While we were in the last meeting Senator Proctor was announced, and the First Presidency spent quite a long time in conversation with him. This was one of the most interesting conversations I ever took part in. It reminded me very much of what I had heard the Elders talk about and what I myself had talked about concerning the future of Zion. He showed to us the importance of our position and the influence that we had, and how it might be used for the salvation of the country. He appealed to us very strongly to aid the Republican party in carrying out their plans for the preservation of stable government, and said that it was the universal wish of leading men of the Republican party and of many leading Democrats that I should be a candidate for the Senate of the United States; that the whole country had confidence in me, and the feeling was a general one, and he had come out to this country authorized to say this, and sent for the this purpose; that there was no man in the country that could do the good I could now if I could be elected. He described the influence this would give to us as a people, and said everything he could, assuring us that we should receive the fullest consideration in every direction. This, to me, seemed like a fulfillment of prophecy, and I felt quite impressed by his remarks. Presidents Woodruff and Smith also were impressed. President Woodruff said we would do everything we could to help him. He seemed very desirous that I should express myself in regard to being a candidate, and I finally told him that I was willing to be and to do everything in my power to save the country and to benefit our own State and people. He seemed overjoyed when I made this announcement, and he told me afterwards that the interview he had with us was the most delightful one he ever had in his life.

At our usual meeting in the Temple this morning we described to the brethren what had occurred, and all the brethren present were in favor of my being a candidate for the Senate, and all hoped I would be elected. There were present, beside the First Presidency, President Snow, F. D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant.

The case of Brother Moses Thatcher was brought up, and the following notice was framed to be published, and a copy was sent to him at his residence:


To the officers and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

It having been reported to us that Brother Moses Thatcher has on three different occasions recently addressed congregations of the Saints at Logan, Cache Valley, this therefore is to notify you that by action of the Council of First Presidency and Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the name of Moses Thatcher was not presented at the General Conference of April and October, 1896, to be sustained in his office as an Apostle; and that this action of the authorities suspended him from exercising any of the functions of the Priesthood, that is, from preaching the Gospel or administering in any of the ordinances thereof, until he, by making satisfactory amends to his fellow-servants, should be restored to their fellowship and that of the Church.

Wilford Woodruff,

George Q. Cannon,

Joseph F. Smith,

First Presidency.2

Before we were met in the Temple we were informed that it was his intention to come to the Temple meeting. We felt that this would be very inappropriate; that he had no right there until he had settled matters with his quorum, and word was sent to the janitor of the Temple that he must not be admitted. He came there and expected to be admitted; but was told that he could not be. He wanted to know by what authority he was kept out; that it was all prejudice; that he had been cruelly wronged, and that it was a pretty hard thing that a man who had subscribed as many thousand dollars as he had for the Temple should be kept out.

This attempt of his to enter the Temple and to join in meeting with the council, under the circumstances, either exhibits a great deal of effrontery on his part or a misconception of his relationship to his brethren. He has been summoned several times to meet with them to answer complaints made against him, but no meeting has yet been held. The last request that was made of him by his quorum was that he must make things right with the First Presidency. This he has never done. Had he done so, there might have been a patching up of affairs. But now his whole conduct comes up for examination, and the spirit which he has manifested through the last few years becomes more and more plain to his fellow servants.

16 October 1896 • Friday

Friday, October 16, 1896

At 7:40 this morning myself and wife Caroline went to Provo to attend the celebration of Founder’s Day, it being twenty-one years ago to-day since President Young made the charter of the Brigham Young Academy at Provo. There has been a general desire that the day should be celebrated, and I had been requested to deliver an address on the occasion. We were met at the depot by the Faculty and students of the Academy. President Woodruff was also there in a carriage, he having come down yesterday. We entered the carriages and were driven through the town, the young men and women of the Academy walking in procession ahead of us. We went through the principal streets of the city down as far as the site of the building which was presented by President Young to the Academy, which was afterwards burnt down. We then countermarched back to the Tabernacle. When we reached the corner of the Tabernacle Square we alighted from our carriages and walked through two files of students to the Tabernacle, where all assembled and a programme was carried out. There was singing, prayer, a recitation, my address, a few words from Prof. Karl G. Maeser, and some remarks from President Woodruff. From there we were taken in carriages to the Academy building, and we partook of an excellent banquet which had been prepared by Sister Susa Y. Gates and her class in Domestic Economy. The meal was an excellent one, and all enjoyed it very much. After this, there were exercises by the pupils, and all the visitors had an opportunity of seeing how the Academy was conducted. We were then dismissed.

Myself and wife stopped at Brother & Sister Holbrook.

At 7 o’clock we met again in the Academy, and a reception was given to all the students. President Woodruff was not able to be present, being fatigued with the labors of the day. All the visitors from Salt Lake sat in such a position that the students could come in and shake hands with them. Myself and wife were the first, and Brother Cluff stood and introduced them to us, and we introduced them to our right hand neighbor, and thus they went through the whole, every student having an opportunity to shake hands with all who had come to visit them. They appeared to enjoy this very much.

This day has been a most interesting one, and I have enjoyed it exceedingly.

17 October 1896 • Saturday

Saturday, October 17, 1896.

The quarterly conference of the Utah Stake opened this morning in the Tabernacle at 10 o’clock. President Woodruff was not in attendance, he having gone home. Prest. Edward Partridge, Brothers Brigham Young and Heber J. Grant of the Apostles, and Prest. Reed Smoot spoke this morning.

In the afternoon Prest. David John and myself addressed the congregation. I enjoyed considerable freedom in my remarks.

Myself and wife and Brother Brigham Young returned to Salt Lake City.

18 October 1896 • Sunday

Sunday, October 18, 1896

I left on the 8 o’clock train this morning to attend conference at Ogden. Presidents Woodruff and Smith were also along. We were met at the depot with carriages by Brother Joseph Peery, a son of Brother D. H. Peery, who took us to his father’s house – a palatial mansion, probably the largest and finest residence in the State of Utah, which Brother Peery has built on a fine corner lot. Brother Peery has been anxious for some time that we should be his guests, and he and Sister Peery received us with much kindness. We were shown through the house, which is built in the most substantial manner, and is very elegant.

We met at the Tabernacle at 10 o’clock. This building has been completely renovated and a good deal of it has been re-constructed, though the old walls and roof were found very substantial. It is now a very elegant building inside. There has been added to it about 20 ft. at the west and for the purpose of accommodating the choir. The building was crowded so that hundreds had to go away. President Woodruff spoke for about half an hour, and then requested me to speak, which I did for an hour, and had considerable freedom.

We took dinner at Brother Peery’s, and there was a large company of brethren and sisters there who had been invited to dinner.

In the afternoon President Lorenzo Snow addressed the congregation, and President Jos. F. Smith then spoke for about 70 mins. and delivered one of the most powerful discourses I ever heard from him.

I returned to the city this evening, as I felt that I ought to be there to-morrow to see what arrangements are being made to carry out our intentions concerning myself being a candidate for the United States Senate. I feel that there is no time to lose, as there is only about two weeks till election. President Woodruff thought he would stay all night and be in Ogden to-morrow[.] President Smith returned with me to the city.

19 October 1896 • Monday

Monday, October 19, 1896

Busy through the day with interviews with different brethren.

Had a long talk with Brother Elias S. Kimball concerning affairs in the Southern States Mission.

20 October 1896 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 20, 1896.

The First Presidency had two interviews to-day with Brother Wm. Budge, and met also with Brothers Budge, Penrose and Nicholson.

We had an interview with Colonel Trumbo concerning the Gardo House. He is evidently anxious to retain possession of it, and makes the statement that he would not have expended the means which he has upon it if he had not thought he would only keep it a year.

I had a meeting with several of the brethren who are interested in the Deseret land business. I have expended a great deal of means at that place, and it appears now as though it might all go to waste unless some vigorous measures are taken.

21 October 1896 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 21, 1896

At 8 o’clock this morning the City Council of Salt Lake City and a number of leading citizens, beside Presidents Smith and myself of the Pioneer Electric Power Company, went to Ogden upon the invitation of the City Council and the Pioneer Co. of Ogden, in order to inspect what is being done. The day was spent in visiting the works in the canyon, as far up as the site of the Dam, and the machine shops. Great interest was shown by the visitors, and they were all deeply impressed with the mammoth character of the work. We had an unfortunate accident as we were coming down. There is a tramway built on the side of the mountain by which articles necessary for the construction of the line near that point are hoisted up by horse power and windlass and wire rope. It is very steep. Mr. Bannister thought the visitors would like to go up there and examine the tunnel. He asked me if I would not like to go. I said if I went there I should go by proxy, and I had a son that I thought would go in my stead, referring to my son John Q. The first load went up and came back safely. The second load, among whom was the only woman in the party (a reporter for the Ogden Press), went up and upon returning that man that [had] charge of the break [brake] let the car go down a little faster than he should have done and upon attempting to stop it (at least, this is the theory) the bar with which he regulated the brake broke, and the car came down with fearful velocity. I was sitting in the carriage immediately in front of it, and everyone looking at it was appalled, for it seemed as though all on the car would be dashed to pieces; but the car, seemingly by a miracle, kept the track and stopped when it reached the level. In doing so, however, it threw a young man by the name of Clem. Schramm off, and he fell between the girders into the river. My son John Q. had been sitting in the place that Mr. Schramm occupied just before they started, but concluded he would get further forward in the car, and Schramm said, he wanted to sit there. John was struck by something in the back and injured, and one of the City Council of Ogden had his ankle wrenched. All were very much shaken up and were pale with fright; for it seemed as though their destruction was inevitable. Upon examination of the young man Schramm it was supposed that some of his ribs were broken and his spine perhaps injured. This marred the pleasure of the occasion. A very fine dinner was prepared for the party in the tent of Rhodes Brothers, and all enjoyed themselves very much. Wine was furnished very freely for all who would drink it, and a number of speeches were delivered. Judge Judd was particularly strong in his expressions of praise of the work and of the men who had the nerve to do it – referring to the First Presidency. In fact, all who spoke commented on the grandeur of the conception and the nerve which the men had who had attempted it. After this we returned to Ogden and had an exhibition of the First Department.

We reached Salt Lake City at 7:30.

22 October 1896 • Thursday

Thursday, October 22, 1896

At 8:30 this morning I met with the Board of Directors of Geo. Q. Cannon & Sons Co.

The First Presidency this morning had an interview with Brother M. F. Cowley. We made explanations to him concerning the political situation and suggested to him the line of policy that he should pursue.

At 11 O’clock the First Presidency met in the Temple with President Lorenzo Show, Franklin D. Richards, Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, Geo. Teasdale and Heber J. Grant. The first business was the reading of a letter which had been received by President Snow from Moses Thatcher, in which he asked for specific charges to be made in writing, that he might answer them. The letter was quite lengthy, and, as was remarked by the brethren, was intended to be a defense of his course, and was in their opinion written with a view to publication should it be necessary. President Jos. F. Smith characterized it as being full of false piety. It was very pious and was well calculated by its honeyed style to deceive the unwary. The impression made upon the brethren generally was that it was hypocritical. After considerable conversation, it was suggested that Brother Snow, in answering it, should merely acknowledge its receipt, and as it was dated on the 16th and the discourses of the brethren concerning Brother Thatcher had been published on the 19th, to say in regard to the charges that they would be found in those discourses. In my own feelings I was not favorably impressed with the idea of inviting him to meet with the Twelve, and several of the brethren were of the same opinion. They thought they had waited upon him long enough, and now let him, if he valued his standing, wait upon them and show some interest in trying to make things right. I said if I were to say anything about meeting with him, it would be to the effect that whenever he wanted a meeting no doubt one could be arranged. I am glad to see the spirit that is manifested by the brethren in relation to this case. There has been too much of a feeling to handle him, so to speak, with kid gloves. Of course, that which he has done to me has prevented me from saying much, for I did not want to expose myself to be misinterpreted. President Snow, in opening his remarks, dwelt on the manner in which I had been treated by Brother Thatcher, and he thought Brother Thatcher should be made to see how necessary it was that he should obtain my forgiveness for the manner in which he had treated me. He dwelt at some length on this, as did President Woodruff also. In my remarks I said I hoped that this would not be pressed. I was willing to let that be buried, and I had prayed the Lord that I might be delivered from being brought in personal contact with Brother Moses Thatcher, and that if anything arose in his case, that it might be between the other brethren and himself, and not between me and him, and I knew the Lord had answered my prayer. I said I did have feelings upon one matter that I thought would have to be explained before I could be satisfied. His organ, the Logan Journal, which he is said to be a part proprietor of and to have influence with, has attacked me very bitterly and has charged me with aiming to destroy him, because he was an obstacle in the way of my ambition. I said I did have feelings against him for allowing such a publication to be made in the town where he lived without his saying one word about it, leaving the impression by his silence that these charges were believed by him. He certainly could have said or done something to have checked the false and malicious articles which have appeared in the Journal concerning myself. On this point I did have feelings, and I thought he would have to make explanations of a satisfactory character before I could feel to fellowship him. But the old affairs were passed, and if I could avoid reviving them it would be pleasing to me. Brother Thatcher is a man of great ability, and is very astute. This request for specific charges is in keeping with his character and past conduct. Certainly a man that had the Spirit of the Lord and of the Apostleship would see, without any specific charges, that his first duty, if he valued his standing, would be to come to his brethren - in other words, come to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. But this is not his spirit. It would be difficult to make specific charges to cover all his conduct, though a great many could be made; but the difficulty is, his whole life for some time past has been devoid of the spirit of the Gospel. No later than since Conference he had an interview with Anthony W. Ivins, who is now the President of the Mexican Mission, and in his conversation he made Anthony Ivins believe, so Heber J. Grant informed us, that Moses had not been rightly treated, and that he had cause for complaint. When a man like Anthony Ivins can be deceived in this way, one can imagine how men of less experience and knowledge can be misled by his smooth tongue. If his spirit were a good one, and his brethren had done him wrong and had a misapprehension of his conduct, it ought to make him the more eager to endeavor to get them to understand him as he is. Brother Lyman stated it to-day when he said, if Moses Thatcher was right, then the First Presidency and the rest of the Twelve were all wrong, and if they were right he was wrong.

We had an interview with Mr. John Ellerthorpe, of the London Telegraph.

I had an interview with Arthur Pratt, the City Marshal, who desired my aid and influence to have at least one Latter-day Saint appointed on the Police and Fire Board, who would not be his enemy and the enemy of Chief Devine of the Fire Department.

I also had an interview with the divorced wife of Theodore Curtis, Jr. She is a daughter of Brother & Sister Shipp and sister to Dr. M. B. Shipp.

23 October 1896 • Friday

Friday, October 23, 1896

I remained in the house all day confined to my bed most of the time. I had a visit from Dr. A. C. Young.

24 October 1896 • Saturday

Saturday, October 24, 1896

I remained home. Brother Arthur Winter came down and I dictated to him my journal and correspondence and articles for the Juvenile Instructor.

I sent the following dispatch to Senator Shoup:

“Two vacancies on Fire and Police Board. We ask for appointment of John Clark. It is due to us. Can you urge Clark’s appointment on Mayor. Public policy demands it. Immediate action needed.”

A similar dispatch was also sent to my son Frank.

25 October 1896 • Sunday

Sunday, October 25, 1896

I have been confined to my house all day, in consequence of an operation.

26 October 1896 • Monday

Monday, October 26, 1896

I had a call this morning, before I arose, from President Woodruff, who appeared anxious to know what my ailment was. I explained it to him, and afterwards arose and dressed and went to the office, and attended to considerable business.

The First Presidency had a long conversation on the political situation with Brother Steele, President of Bingham Stake, and Brother H. S. Woolley. There were present also Brothers Brigham Young and Anthon H. Lund, of the Twelve, and W. W. Cluff, Prest. of Summit Stake, and John W. Hess, Prest. of Davis Stake, and William Paxman, Prest. of Juab Stake. The explanations which were made to the brethren were received excellently, and they all felt that it was the will of the Lord that I should go to the Senate, if the people would sustain the proposition. The reason this expression was called out was because of my testifying that I knew this was the will of the Lord. President Woodruff stated it before, and I now stated it. Whether I should go or not, this I knew was His will; and yet it was a position that I myself had no desire to fill, only as it might be according to the Lord’s mind and will.

Geo. M. Cannon came on behalf of Zion’s Savings Bank to get consent to sell the Beehive House, which the Bank owns, to John Beck. Presidents Woodruff and Smith both expressed themselves willing to have it sold to him.

27 October 1896 • Tuesday

Tuesday, October 27, 1896.

A dispatch was received this morning from the Sterling mine, informing Hugh J. Cannon, the Secy. of the Company, that Thomas Gillespie, who has had charge of the property down there, had been shot. Who the assassin was or what the provocation was is not known; but it is supposed that it [was] some enemies of the Company. It is sad news to all of us. There seems to be misfortune attend this property.

28 October 1896 • Wednesday

Wednesday, October 28, 1896.

We had a call to-day from Gov. McConnell, of Idaho, who came to show us the fraud that was being attempted in the form of a ballot that was being got up in Idaho. He desired us to bring it to the attention of our people, so that they might not be deceived. He said our means of reaching our people was much better than any he had at his control.

We had a meeting of the stockholders of the Literary & Scientific Association.

This morning, before coming to the office, I had a meeting with several members of the Deseret Sunday School Union and the meeting was attended with happy results. Misunderstandings had prevailed, of which I had been ignorant, concerning business between the Sunday School Union and the Juvenile Office. We had some plain but good talk, and separated feeling much pleased with each other and thankful to the Lord.

29 October 1896 • Thursday

Thursday, October 29, 1896

There is quite a little excitement, we hear, in Idaho concerning what is alleged to be Church interference in politics up there. The fact is, the Silver Republicans have had everything their own way, and as soon as anything is said that conflicts in the least with their plans they raise a row. They are quite willing to use the names of the First Presidency and the Church influence as long as it is on their side, but whenever they see any disposition to bring before the people the other side, they are ready to howl. They have used my name very freely in connection with the Senatorship of Senator Dubois, and without my authority.

The usual meeting was held in the Temple this morning. There were present, beside the First Presidency, President Snow, F. D. Richards, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and H. J. Grant. We did some little business.

Sisters Zina Young, Elmina Taylor, Maria Y. Dougall and [blank] Freeze met with the First Presidency this afternoon and we made full explanations to them of the political situation. We wanted them to understand as leading women in the community something concerning the situation.

30 October 1896 • Friday

Friday, October 30, 1896

I was detained at home till 2 o’clock, waiting for Dr. A. C. Young. He has been sick, and got out of bed to come and see me.

When I reached the office President Woodruff brought to my attention dispatches which he had received from Idaho and answers which he had prepared. I had heard from Lewis M. Cannon a statement concerning what had been done in the Bear Lake Stake. It appears that Brother Budge has stated that it was the wish of the Church authorities that the people should vote for McKinley and not Bryan, and they had arranged for a number of brethren to make a house-to-house canvass to induce the Latter-day Saints to vote in this way. It was decided by the First Presidency that they would endeavor to talk with Brother Budge before answering any telegrams. We sat by Brother Dougall while he telegraphed to Brother Budge. Brother Budge sat by the operator in Paris and answered our dispatches. It is evident from his replies that the statements made are true. We spent some time telegraphing backward and forward. President Smith and myself remained at this till after 7 o’clock. Brother Budge desired us in our answers to the messages we had received to endorse what he had done, or at least to endorse his statements that the authorities of the Church were in favor of McKinley. I had received a dispatch from the Chairman of the Democratic Committee up there, and I desired to answer it, because I thought it could be answered very pointedly, and I framed a dispatch which Presidents Woodruff and Smith and Brother John Henry Smith thought was very appropriate. In that I stated that neither my associates nor myself had ever advised anyone as to how they should vote on the national ticket. I sent a copy of this to Brother Budge to see how it would suit him for me to make such a reply. His reply was to the effect that if that were sent it would undo all that he had been doing and would compel him to apologize. Finally, I framed the following dispatch:

“To C. Wallantine,

Chairman Dem. Com.,

Paris, Idaho.

Your dispatch prompted inquiry of leading men in Bear Lake as to what had been said or done. We learn they have told people it would not be consistent for them to vote for Bryan because they thought his programme revolutionary. They claim they have given this only as advice as other ministers of religious bodies have done who have the same objections and that no point was made against Democrats or Republicans as such, and they explained further than [that] in doing this they but voiced the sentiment of leading Church authorities who as individuals had explained their own views to them on that subject.

Geo. Q. Cannon.”

The difficulty in this business is that Brother Budge has used our names in this without authority. None of us have ever said a word to any person concerning the national ticket, that is, to induce anyone to vote for any man, for the reason that we considered Idaho and Utah as committed to Bryan, and so far committed that it would be useless to attempt to make any change, however much we might desire Bryan to be defeated. What we have wanted in Idaho has been for our people not to commit themselves by pledges to any candidate for the United States Senate. Unfortunately, however, we do not know of any candidates for the legislature who have not committed themselves to Fred T. Dubois. We do not think, under the circumstances, that he is a proper man to be elected to the United States Senate. Senator Proctor made this plain to us, that it is of the utmost importance, at least for the Republican party, and, as he puts it, for the preservation of the country, that the Senator to be elected from Idaho and also from Utah should be men that will vote for protection and for the raising of revenue, without connecting these measures and making them dependent upon the enactment of free silver legislation. In other words, that nothing will be done to make all legislation dependent upon the enactment of laws in favor of free silver, which is the present attitude of what is called the Silver Republicans. Mathias F. Cowley told us the other day that it was the programme of Dubois to either have free silver legislation or to stop all other acts of legislation. This is revolutionary. I promised Senator Dubois some time ago, after hearing a statement from several Senators as to what he had done towards the admission of Utah – and among them, by the way, was Senator Proctor – that I would make known to our friends in Idaho what I had been told concerning his action in the admission of Utah, and that I would do what I could to assist him, though I disclaimed having any influence or exerting any influence in Idaho. When Senator Proctor was here I mentioned to him the interview that I had had with him in which he had urged Dubois’ election, and his reply was, “What I said to you was in favor of Dubois, the Republican, not Dubois the Populist and Bryan Democrat.” I said, “Then, I suppose, if that view be taken of it, I am absolved from any promise I may have made to him”, to which he assented. This is the view I had taken of the situation. I did not promise Senator Dubois to follow him in any vagaries that he might indulge in, and especially where he came out and joined a new party and sought to do injury to the Republican party. We feel that there is a great responsibility resting upon us as leaders of the people, and we should be conservative and use our influence in favor of conservatism, and not do anything that would have the appearance of favoring anything of a revolutionary character.

31 October 1896 • Saturday

Saturday, October 31, 1896

I was awakened this morning at 5:30 for the purpose of going to Ogden to meet Senator Redfield Proctor, but through a misapprehension of mine I missed the train. The train that I should have gone on leaves the city at 7 o’clock, and I was under the impression it was the 8 o’clock train that made the connection. When I learned this it was too late to reach that train. I telegraphed to Senator Proctor expressing my deep regret at the mishap, and asking him where a letter would reach him.

I did not go to the office to-day, but Brother Arthur Winter came down and I dictated to him.

The following dispatch was received from Senator Dubois:

“Presidents Wilford Woodruff, Geo. Q. Cannon, Jos. F. Smith,

President Budge and other leading Mormons are stating in public meetings specially called for the purpose that the first presidency has sent instructions through President Budge for the Mormon people to vote against Wm. J. Bryan and myself. I am denying this. Their statements must either be affirmed or denied by you in most positive and prompt manner in order to avoid most serious complications now and in the future. Wire answer here.”

The following reply was sent, signed by Geo. F. Gibbs as Secretary:

“Senator Fred T. Dubois,


Prests. Woodruff and Cannon absent from the city, will not return till Monday night. Prest. Cannon received and answered last night telegram from Paris containing similar charges. Before answering, however, he learned direct from Paris that Budge had only exercised what he claimed a right to advise his people in a general way as other ministers are reported to have done; that he, Budge, had also by way of emphasizing his own views told his people that he was also expressing those of leading church authorities with whom he had personally conversed on issues of campaign. I may add that similar complaints are made against persons working in your behalf in Fremont county, but President Woodruff has not felt called upon to reply to one-sided stories.”

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October 1896, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed June 19, 2024