March 1899

1 March 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 1, 1899

A very stormy day. We have had very stormy weather of late.

I met with the Union Light & Power Co. at 10 o’clock.

Meeting of Zion’s Savings Bank & Trust Co. at 1 o’clock.

2 March 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, March 2, 1899

Held our usual meeting in the temple. President Snow reported to the Council what he had done in relation to the election of Senator. There was one Apostle present to-day (F. M. Lyman) who was not at our previous meeting, and he bore testimony that it was the right thing to do to elect me to the Senate. We had a full expression of feeling on the part of the brethren. I am glad to see the union that prevails at the present time. It has been a cause of sorrow to me and to others to see how we have been divided in this matter, some of the members of the Twelve favoring one man, and some another. I have myself refrained from saying anything to anybody on politics or any of these questions that have been agitating the public mind. My son Frank being a candidate has restrained me, if nothing else; for I have felt that importance might be attached to what I might say and perhaps be misinterpreted.

3 March 1899 • Friday

Friday, March 3, 1899

Busy at the office.

4 March 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, March 4, 1899

Held a meeting with my sons. Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

5 March 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, March 5, 1899

I went to the temple at 10 o’clock. My wife Martha, daughter Hester and son Brigham accompanied me. It is fast day, and there was a goodly gathering at the temple. A most excellent meeting was held. A great many bore testimony and give their experience, I among the number.

In the afternoon attended sacrament meeting at the ward, which was also a testimony meeting.

While eating dinner my sons Frank, Angus and Hugh came to visit me. Frank asked the liberty of talking about business. He stated that he had been talking to the boys about going into business to try and make a living. He had had an offer to take charge of a company at Chicago; they had offered him $15,000 a year; but he did not want to leave the city. Journalism was the thing he was best acquainted with; but there was no opening for that in the city. He did not wish to hire to his friends who are mineowners, it not being his taste, and then he did not wish to put himself in the position of being a hireling to the men who are now his friends, and who, while he occupied his present position, respected him, but if he went into their employ the situation would be changed entirely for him. He thought that money might be made by going into mining ventures, and he described what might be done. I listened very patiently till he got through. He said he did not want to go into anything of this kind without my approval, and he would like me, or our family association, to take part in this. He wished his two brothers to go in with him.

I then commenced to tell him my situation, and that personally I was not in a position to enter into speculations of any kind. Of course, if the family association did anything about it, I would have to be responsible and would have to advance means, which I could not do, because I wanted to get out of debt. The Lord had impressed me very plainly that I must get out of debt, and I was making every exertion in that direction that I could.

We had quite a full talk, and the boys left. I afterwards sent for Angus to come over, and he gave me some more particulars about this proposition, and what I heard from him satisfied me still more that it was something I should not enter into. I said to Angus that if there had to be one or two alternatives taken - that they would do this independently and separate from the rest of us and our present plans, or for us to go in with them and let them still continue with us - I preferred accepting the first proposition, viz., to release them from all obligations and to leave them entirely free to make what they pleased, or, if they lost, to be the losers, and not involve the family association in their transactions. I felt very sorry to have them separate from us in this way, but if they thought that would be a good thing I had no objections after telling them plainly what my feelings were. I said that my aim was to do business on a different basis to that - not speculate at all, but to develop in some form industries that would contribute to the support of the entire family. I was commencing with agriculture and sheep, and hoped to go on broadening our plans until every one should derive some profit and advantage from the plans we were laying.

6 March 1899 • Monday

Monday, March 6, 1899

We were very much pleased to-day to meet with President Joseph F. Smith, who returned yesterday from his visit to the Sandwich Islands. He was the picture of health, and said he never felt better in his life. He had enjoyed the trip immensely, and brought me greetings from the saints. The greater portion, however, of those whom I knew had passed away. He left his daughter on the Islands. He brought his wife back somewhat improved in health. President Snow and myself had a long conversation with him concerning the affairs of the Church.

7 March 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 7, 1899

The First Presidency had a long interview to-day with Brother Brigham Young, Bishop Preston and Professor Kerr, of the Brigham Young College. They reported the condition of the College as being very straitened for means, and they were told to see what they could do themselves and then report.

8 March 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 8, 1899

President Snow and myself had another interview with Bishop Heber Bennion and Brother Horace Cummings, and it was decided that Brother Bennion should introduce my name to-day as a candidate for the Senate. This he did, and secured 13 votes only. The Democrats did not take hold of it as we had been led to expect they would.

9 March 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, March 9, 1899

The balloting for Senator must cease at midnight to-night. There is considerable excitement over the presentation of my name as a candidate. If our brethren unite and do as they have led President Snow to expect they will, I can be elected; but one thing is very apparent - their hearts are not in the matter. They are bound to McCune. To use an expression used by Judge King in conversation to-day, McCune has debauched some of them by placing them under obligations to him. Nothing I have seen for some time more clearly illustrates the impropriety of men accepting gifts and favors from other men, especially under the circumstances which surround the legislature. Many of the members of this body have allowed themselves to receive favors of various kinds, such as going to the theatre, partaking of dinners, etc., etc., at the expense of A. W. McCune, and this has placed them in a very improper position for men of their station.

I had a long conversation with Judge King, one of the candidates for the Senate. He had had a conversation with President Snow. President Snow told me that he wanted to talk with me, and he said to me that he hoped I would give it to him straight. No one was present at our conversation but ourselves. He started out by stating that he thought my candidacy and election would be an injury to the Church, and went on and gave his arguments, to which I listened very patiently till he got through. I then took them up seriatum and explained wherein I differed in my estimate as to the effect my election would have on the country and on the State. I cleared up every point, so much so that he had to admit that if I were a Democrat he thought I would be the most suitable candidate in the State. This he said in response to a question which I asked him after we had talked a long time. I said, You need not answer it, Judge, unless you wish to; but after hearing all my reasons and my description of my position, can you object to my candidacy on any other ground than that I am a Republican? To this he made the above reply, and added, If you were not a Republican, I would think that you were the most suitable man; but I am a very strong partisan, and I prefer, of course, that a Democrat should be elected. I think he felt and admitted that my election would be a good thing for the State; but his objection was that I was not a Democrat. He made some very cutting allusions to the influence that had been at work, and the manner in which Mr. McCune had secured the aid of so many of the legislature. They had been literally debauched, and he characterized his whole proceeding as being nothing less than bribery. He spoke in scathing terms of Moses Thatcher. He accused him of being guilty of the basest duplicity and deceit. He said he had come to him in the beginning professing to be friendly, and that he desired his election. He obtained from him all his secrets about what he intended to do, and then went over to McCune. He had done the same thing with Judge Powers; and, said he, I am fully satisfied that the authorities did the proper thing in expelling him from the quorum of the Twelve.

At 6:30 I met a number of members of the legislature who wished to talk with me. There were Heber Bennion, Harden Bennion, Abel John Evans, I. K. Wright, Wm. D. O’Neil, M. W. Mansfield, M. Larsen, J. Q. McQuarrie, L. H. Redd and Horace Cummings. The latter came in just as the interview closed. All these men have been spoken to by President Snow, excepting I. K. Wright, and he had been spoken to by Brother Brigham Young and others of the brethren. Abel John Evans described how painful it was to him to do this that President Snow had declared to be the will of the Lord. It was apparent to me from this conversation that while these brethren might vote for me, their hearts were not in the work. They preferred to vote for McCune, and they thought a hard thing was asked of them. I told them that as far as I was concerned they must eliminate me from the matter sufficiently to think that it was not my affair. If they rejected me and refused to vote for me, they did nothing injurious to me as an individual, and it would not cause me one moment’s unpleasant thought. It was the Lord, and it was for them to judge whether they could obey the Lord or not. I should feel far worse for them if they did not vote for me than for myself, because it was a serious thing for a prophet of the Lord to tell men what the will of the Lord was, especially men who professed to be His servants, and then they refuse to obey that voice.

I had a talk with Bishop Jasper Robertson before I met with these brethren, and explained the situation to him, and my views concerning the silver question, etc.; and he described how hard it was for him to do this thing; but he said that after 11 o’clock to-night he would vote for me. Of course, this was with the understanding on his part, I suppose, that McCune might be elected before that time.

Of the Democratic brethren who have been seen the following voted for me; Heber Bennion, Abel John Evans, Horace Cummings, L. H. Redd, B. H. Greenwood, Marinus Larsen, Jasper Robertson, John G. McQuarrie and M. W. Mansfield; and these changed their votes from time to time, but they voted one or more times for me. Those who failed to vote for me were, Wm. D. O’Neil, I. K. Wright, A. O. Smoot, John E. Betts, O. F. Whitney, R. K. Thomas, Harden Bennion, S. W. Stewart, John Fisher, John Parry. All these men had been seen by President Snow and had been told in the most positive manner that the Lord had made it manifest to him that I should be elected to the Senate. He had talked with everyone but John E. Betts and John Parry. Betts had been seen by M. F. Cowley and told the same thing, as also had John Parry. Had these ten men obeyed the will of the Lord, my election would have been secured by one majority. Brother Shurtliff has said that a number of other men would have voted for me if it had come that near, or if the whole of these votes had been cast. I would not for all I am worth in the world, or ever expect to be, be in such a position as these men have placed themselves in. They have not only refused to obey the voice of the Lord, but they have gone whining around, crying and telling other people what a trial it was and how hard it was for them to do this, and have betrayed President Snow, until it is well understood by many Gentiles that President Snow has had interviews with them. How such men can justify themselves I cannot understand. It is the spirit of apostasy; for any man that has the true spirit of the Gospel would not be guilty of betraying his brethren. He may differ from them, and his views may not be in harmony with theirs, but he will not go to the enemies of the Church or to his brethren and betray them, - which some of these men have done undoubtedly. There is not room to question this. I have a number of times denied that it was possible that our brethren would do such a thing, but I have become convinced that some have betrayed this.

10 March 1899 • Friday

Friday, March 10, 1899

I learned this morning that the balloting in the legislature resulted in a failure to elect a Senator. I am not disappointed for myself, but I am disappointed in my brethren of the legislature. It is as President Snow has remarked, party has a stronger hold upon many of them than their religion and its obligations. Although in one sense President Snow and all of us are disappointed, yet, as President Snow expressed himself to-day, we have done all in our power; we have not been guilty of any neglect, and we have nothing to regret. I feel that I may be exposed to ridicule and to some censure, but I can bear that very well; for I have done nothing but what I felt to be the will of the Lord.

11 March 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, March 11, 1899

Dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter, and was busy arranging my dedicated stock account, with the view to transferring the stock to President Snow as soon as I can get arrangements made.

12 March 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, March 12, 1899

I went to the Salt Lake Stake Conference this morning at the Tabernacle. I spoke a short time in the forenoon, and at greater length in the afternoon. There was a very good spirit in the conference.

This is the anniversary of my son Abraham’s birth. Had he lived, he would have been 40 years old to-day. His son, Abraham H., Jr., dined with us, this being his birthday also.

Attended sacrament meeting in the ward this evening.

13 March 1899 • Monday

Monday, March 13, 1899

Attended Stake Conference to-day. I spoke on the education of the young.

President Smith and myself presented to President Snow a proposition made by Mr. Bamberger for the Church to take a number of secured notes of the Bullion-Beck, which draw 8% interest, and which Mr. Cunningham proposes through him to take Church bonds for at 6%. It was arranged that Mr. Bamberger himself should come and make further explanations to President Snow.

14 March 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 14, 1899

At 9:30 there was a meeting of the Brigham Young Trust Co., at which considerable business was done.

Brother Horace Cummings called. He has been very steadfast since President Snow explained to him the situation and the mind of the Spirit concerning the election of Senator. He came and informed us that he had been called out of bed to attend a caucus, and there was an effort going to be made to elect Mr. McCune. It proved a failure, however. An attempt has been made to blame my candidacy for his defeat, but it is not clear to my mind that this is the case. There have been members from the very beginning who have been determined to defeat him, and no amount of persuasion or pressure has been sufficient to bring them over to his side. He has been very near election, but the necessary votes have been beyond his reach, so determined has been the opposition to him right in his own party.

15 March 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 15, 1899

There was a meeting of the Utah Sugar Co. this morning.

Attended a meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.

Mr. Bamberger came to-day and had a long interview with President Snow in relation to exchanging Church bonds for notes of the Bullion-Beck. President Snow said he would think about it. He afterwards spoke to President Smith and myself. President Smith was freer in expressing himself concerning it than I was. I have felt reluctant to say much about financially [financial] matters to President Snow, as I wish to take to heart that which he said concerning my financial ability.

16 March 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, March 16, 1899

The First Presidency had an interview this morning with Brothers Penrose and Whitney, of the Deseret News, in which they mentioned that it was proposed by the Improvement Era, the organ of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, to publish a Supplement to their magazine of 16 pages of Church history, and they thought that this properly belonged to the Church to do. Considerable conversation was had on the subject.

Afterwards, when we met in the temple at the Council the business was brought up again by President Snow, and it was there decided for the Church to publish the Church history, and to issue it in volumes, as the brethren felt that it was proper that this should be done by the Church and not by any organization. There were present: The First Presidency, President F. D. Richards, B. Young, F. M. Lyman, John H. Smith, Geo. Teasdale , M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley and Rudger Clawson. Brother Merrill was mouth in prayer.

17 March 1899 • Friday

Friday, March 17, 1899

Mr. Bamberger called to-day and had an interview with the First Presidency.

18 March 1899 • Sunday

Saturday, March 18, 1899

A large number of letters had accumulated asking appropriations for meeting houses, etc., and the First Presidency took them up to-day, in company with Bishop Preston, and made such disposition of the letters as seemed best.

Mayor Clark called to see us in relation to the appointment of Arthur Pratt as Chief of Police. There is a great deal of feeling on this subject and considerable opposition manifested to him. It is felt, however, that his appointment would be productive of more good than his rejection. Mayor Clark is very much in favor of him, and desires what influence he can get to secure his confirmation by the Council.

19 March 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, March 19, 1899

President Jos. F. Smith, John Henry Smith, Andrew Jenson, Arthur Winter and myself went up to East Bountiful to attend the Davis Stake Conference. There was a fine gathering of people, the weather being quite pleasant. President Hess made a report of the condition of the Stake, and he was followed by President Smith; then Brother John Henry Smith spoke.

We all took dinner at Bishop Stoker’s.

In the afternoon the authorities were presented, and Brother Teasdale addressed the conference for about half an hour, after which I spoke. I had excellent liberty and enjoyed my own remarks.

Brother John Henry Smith stopped to attend a meeting of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, and the rest of us returned to Salt Lake City.

20 March 1899 • Monday

Monday, March 20, 1899

A very stormy morning, but President Smith and wife and two little boys, myself and Brother Teasdale went to Bountiful again. We were greatly pleased to see so good an attendance at the Conference. We found Bother John W. Taylor there. Brother John Henry Smith had gone home this morning. Brother Teasdale and President Smith spoke, and I made a few remarks afterwards.

In the afternoon Brother John W. Taylor addressed the conference, and I occupied the remainder of the time. I enjoyed this meeting very much. I spoke on the political situation - a subject that has not been talked of in public by any of the authorities; but I felt led to speak upon it, and had excellent liberty.

We had dinner again at Brother Stoker’s.

Returned home after the conference.

21 March 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 21, 1899

Bishop Robert Morris was seen to-day in relation to the confirmation of Arthur Pratt as Chief of Police. Brother Morris is one of the City Council, and his vote is likely to be the one vote that is needed to confirm him.

We had a visit from Sisters E. B. Wells and Susa Young Gates, who brought to our attention a letter written by Madame Mountford, stating a plan she had in mind of establishing a school in Palestine for the instruction of Mohammedan girls, and she wished the women of our Zion to do something to carry out this project. The sisters also brought to our attention the situation of Inez Knight, a daughter of Jesse Knight, who is now in London as a missionary, and proposing that she should join the International Council of Women as a patron, and spoke of the advantages that would accrue from this to our people. Her father has ample means and is willing to pay for her fees, and also to furnish her with suitable attire to mingle with the ladies in the great metropolis of Great Britain. It was thought proper for her to become a patron, if it was as the sisters described it to be.

22 March 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 22, 1899

Held our usual meeting of the executive committee of the Union Light & Power Co.

23 March 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, March 23, 1899

I visited Provo to-day to attend a meeting of the stockholders of the Grand Central Mining Co., and also a meeting of the Brigham Young Academy. My wife Carlie accompanied me, and we dined with her Brother Carlos and family.

Sister Holbrook was safely delivered of a daughter yesterday.

24 March 1899 • Friday

Friday, March 24, 1899

Busy with various matters.

25 March 1899 • Saturday

Saturday, March 25, 1899

Busy at the office, and dictated my journal to Brother Arthur Winter.

26 March 1899 • Sunday

Sunday, March 26, 1899

I felt quite unwell this morning, and as the snow was very deep on the ground and the roads almost impassable, I thought I would remain quietly at home, which I did, but attended the evening meeting in the ward and partook of the sacrament. Two home missionaries addressed the saints.

27 March 1899 • Monday

Monday, March 27, 1899

Brother C. O. Card was in the office to-day talking with us about his duties and the duties of M. D. Hammond in relation to the execution of the contract in Canada. Brother Hammond had written to the effect that the receipt of the payment from the Alberta Irrigation Co., he thought, should be in one hand, because if the land and the cash were separated there would have to be two offices, etc. We decided that Brother Hammond should receive the cash and the land payment, but that Brother Card should arrange about the settlement of the people on their lands.

28 March 1899 • Tuesday

Tuesday, March 28, 1899

Busy at the office all day.

29 March 1899 • Wednesday

Wednesday, March 29, 1899

Attended meeting of the Union Light Power Co. at 10 o’clock. Bishop Winder and myself were the only ones present of the committee.

Brother Heber J. Grant brought to the office the John Claflin note for $250,000. This was money borrowed some years ago when we were in a very straight place, and for which we paid him $50,000 bonus. This note has cost us a great deal of trouble, and we were very glad to see it all taken up.

30 March 1899 • Thursday

Thursday, March 30, 1899

I attended a meeting of the Utah Sugar Co. this morning.

At 11 o’clock the usual Council meeting was held in the temple. Brother Lyman was mouth in prayer.

At 3 o’clock we had an adjourned meeting of the Sugar Co., which lasted quite late and prevented me from attending the meeting of the Sunday School Union Board.

31 March 1899 • Friday

Friday, March 31, 1899

An invitation had been extended by the Presidency of the Utah Stake and the Principal of the Brigham Young Academy to President Snow to spend his birthday at Provo. He was not able to do this, but promised to go to Provo to-day. The Twelve were invited to accompany him, and six of them did so. There was a meeting of the priesthood and the male members of the Church in the College Hall, at which several hundred young men were present. They were addressed by President Snow. At the same time the ladies of the company (of whom Sister Snow was one) held meeting with the young ladies of the school in another room. At about 11 o’clock the company broke up and went through the building, watching the various classes at work. At 12 lunch was served – a very excellent one, which had been prepared by my daughter-in-law, Lilian. We enjoyed it, and listened to a number of songs. This occupied till about 1:30. A recess was then taken. We met in the College hall at 2 o’clock. After singing, prayer and singing, I delivered and address which occupied about 23 mins. I felt very free in talking. All the classes, from that of 1900 to 1904, including the commercial department, delivered their sentiments through a representative. I never listened to so many young men express themselves so well and so touchingly as these did. I had difficulty in suppressing my emotions. As President of the Academy, I was required to preside in all these meetings and to announce what would be done. All the sentiments delivered were in honor of President Snow, and he followed in some remarks, after which we had singing and then dismissed, President Joseph F. Smith making the closing prayer.

We returned on the 4:10 train, after having spent a most delightful day. The spirit of peace and love prevailed, and I think President Snow was deeply impressed with the proceedings and the honor shown him.

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March 1899, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 24, 2024