1 April 1900 • Sunday
Sunday, April 1, 1900
It being fast day, I met with the temple workers at the temple this morning, and we had a delightful meeting. I attended the ward meeting in the afternoon.
2 April 1900 • Monday
Monday, April 2, 1900
First Presidency at the office.
We listened to an appeal case to-day entitled Helen Perkins vs. Louisa Coltrin. It had been tried by the Bishop’s Court of West Bountiful, also by the High Council of the Davis Stake, and decided against the plaintiff. We saw no reason to change the decision.
To-day, although not President Snow’s birthday, he being born on the 3rd of April, was celebrated as his birthday by the temple workers at the temple. We partook of lunch there, and afterwards a programme of exercises was carried out. It was a very pleasant occasion. President Snow responded to the words of welcome by Brother Winder, and different brethren were called upon to express their feeling, of which I was one and the last one.
3 April 1900 • Tuesday
Tuesday, April 3, 1900
A delegation from the Board of Trustees of the Latter-day Saints College waited upon the Presidency to-day. They were J. H. Paul, J. C. Cutler and W. B. Dougall, and they brought with them Architect Kletting. They presented a proposition to utilize the Assembly Hall on the temple block for college purposes, and they had a draft suggested by Mr. Kletting showing that at a cost of about $30,000 the building could be added to and changed to accommodate the college and still preserve its use for public worship. I expressed myself in opposition to this proposition; thought this Stake was able to erect a suitable college building without interfering with a place of worship.
4 April 1900 • Wednesday
Wednesday, April 4, 1900
First Presidency at the office. We had a visit from Mr. Fitch, accompanied by Bishop Clawson. He was quite reminiscent in his conversation, he having been intimate with President Young and seemed to be proud of the friendship the President had for him.
5 April 1900 • Thursday
Thursday, April 5, 1900
First Presidency at the office.
The stockholders of Z.C.M.I. met this morning and elected a Board of Directors. There was no change in the Board.
At 11 o’clock we held our usual meeting in the temple. There were present, beside the First Presidency, Apostles Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, M. W. Merrill, A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, A. O. Woodruff and Rudger Clawson.
We listened to an elaborate financial report, very comprehensive and satisfactory. I thought it the most complete of anything I had ever listened to.
President Snow alluded to the vacancy in the Twelve through the death of President Franklin D. Richards, and he invited each of the Apostles to hand in to him a couple of names of persons whom they could recommend to fill the vacancy.
He then brought up another subject, upon which there was a full expression. The following is a report of it taken by Brother George F. Gibbs, our secretary:
[5,112 words of official minutes redacted.]
After this question had been decided, the Council partook of the sacrament. Brother Brigham Young asked the blessing.
We attended a party this evening at the house of Brother Heber J. Grant. The First Presidency and Twelve were present, and we had a very enjoyable time.
6 April 1900 • Friday
Friday, April 6, 1900
General Conference opened at 10 o’clock this morning. President Snow made the opening address, and he was followed by Brothers Brigham Young and F. M. Lyman.
In the afternoon the speakers were, myself, John Henry Smith and George Teasdale.
7 April 1900 • Saturday
Saturday, April 7, 1900
Elders Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor and M. W. Merrill addressed the saints at this morning’s session of the Conference. At the afternoon session the speakers were, Elders A. H. Lund, M. F. Cowley, A. O. Woodruff and President Joseph F. Smith.
A general priesthood meeting was held this evening, at which President Snow, Bishop Preston and myself spoke.
Between meetings President Snow, President Smith and myself met together to consider the selection of a man to be ordained an Apostle, to fill up the quorum of the Twelve. President Snow produced the names that had been handed to him by the brethren of the Twelve. They were as follows:
Joseph S. Wells and A. W. Ivins recommended by Brother Heber J. Grant.
Geo. F. Richards and Joseph S. Wells recommended by Brother John Henry Smith.
Joseph W. McMurrin, J. G. Kimball and Le Roi C. Snow recommended by Brother Rudger Clawson.
Jesse N. Smith and E. S. Kimball recommended by Brother Brigham Young.
Le Roi C. Snow recommended by Brother John W. Taylor.
None of these names seemed to strike President Snow or us. He then told us that the name of Brother Reed Smoot had been in his mind a good deal, and asked us what we thought. I expressed myself quite freely on the subject: that I thought him a most excellent man, but I would want to talk with him on some things before he should be appointed. I thought he was inclined to be worldly-minded and disposed to devote his strength in that direction. There was another point also that I wished to speak to him about. I said, however, that if President Snow would nominate Reed Smoot I was sure we could vote for him. He did so, and we voted for him to be an Apostle.
There has been considerable, I might say anxiety, in my family as to who was going to be the new Apostle, and I have been questioned a number of times on the subject. Riding home today, I had my wives Martha and Caroline with me, and after we got started I said, Well, it’s over. They wanted to know what. I said a new Apostle has been selected. They both enquired who it was. Ah! I said, whom do you say it is? Some conversation ensued. I said nothing, however, that would give the least clue to who it was, and without any suggestion in any form my wife Caroline spoke up and said, Reed Smoot. I was very much astonished. I did not tell her, however, whether she guessed correctly or not. After Brother Smoot’s name was presented to the Conference, she remarked, “I think I am a good deal of a prophet.” “Well,” I said, “I don’t know whether you are a prophetess or not; but you certainly are the daughter of a prophet.” I was quite struck with this incident.
8 April 1900 • Sunday
Sunday, April 8, 1900
Conference convened at 10 o’clock. The tabernacle was full. Brother Rudger Clawson spoke, followed by President Joseph F. Smith. Then Elder W. H. Smart, President of the Eastern States Mission, and Elder E. H. Nye, President of the California Mission, were called upon, and each made a few remarks.
President Snow invited the Twelve up to the office, and I had, at his request, got Brother Smoot there without attracting any special notice. None of the Twelve up to this time had heard of the selection of Brother Smoot, neither had he himself. When President Snow announced it there was a look of great surprise and relief came over the faces of the Twelve. Brother Smoot was invited in, and I interrogated him on the points I had upon my mind. He had intimated at one time in a conversation that he would like to be relieved from the duties of his priesthood as Counselor in the Presidency of the Utah Stake, and I wanted to know of him now how deep that feeling was, and if the duties of the priesthood were not agreeable to him. I also spoke to him about his financial business, and that he must not be so engrossed in these matters. President Snow also spoke to him, and President Smith, quite plainly on this subject. He satisfied the Council by his remarks.
In the afternoon meeting I presented the authorities of the Church, including the name of Reed Smoot to fill the vacancy in the quorum of the Twelve.
This evening there was a meeting of Sunday school workers in the Tabernacle, and we had a very interesting meeting.
9 April 1900 • Monday
Monday, April 9, 1900
At 10 o’clock a priesthood meeting was held in the Assembly Hall, and President Snow and the rest of us spoke very plainly to the brethren.
President Snow invited the Twelve up to the office, and we ordained Brother Reed Smoot to the office of an Apostle. President Snow was mouth. President Smith and Apostles Taylor and Merrill were not present.
President Snow and myself had a call from Judge Hart to talk over some legal business.
10 April 1900 • Tuesday
Tuesday, April 10, 1900
Meeting of the Utah Light & Power Co.
My grandson, George Q. Cannon, has been selected to go with the expedition which Brother B. Cluff, Jr. is getting up under the auspices of the Brigham Young Academy, for the purpose of exploring Book of Mormon lands. He came to the office this morning, accompanied by his father, my son John Q., and Presidents Snow, Smith and myself and Elders Brigham Young, F. M. Lyman, J. H. Smith and H. J. Grant laid our hands upon him, ordained him an Elder, and set him apart for this mission, I being mouth. I felt very much gratified to have the brethren lay their hands upon his head.
11 April 1900 • Wednesday
Wednesday, April 11, 1900
I went to Provo this morning to attend a meeting of the Grand Central Mining Co., and returned in the afternoon, and was met at the depot by my wife. We rode together to Brother John McDonald’s, where we had been invited to his birthday dinner. The time was delightfully spent, as it always is at his house. They are very hospitable people, and make everyone feel perfectly at home. There is no stiffness about these gatherings of theirs.
12 April 1900 • Thursday
Thursday, April 12, 1900
The Council met to-day in the temple at 11 o’clock. President Snow did not dress, and I took the lead in the circle. We attended to a good many business items.
I was busily engaged doing various things, preparing for my journey to Houston, Texas, where the Trans-Mississippi Congress is to be held, and where I am going at the request of President Snow and the Directors of Z.C.M.I.. I shall leave to-morrow at 2:20 in company with a number of brethren.
We listened this afternoon to a very urgent plea by Spencer Clawson for the endorsement of the Church for $100,000, which he wished to obtain in order to enable him to pursue his business. He is owing the Church $40,000, and he is exceedingly anxious that this should be paid, and sees no better way of paying it than to resume his old business as a merchant, at which he feels he would be very successful, as he was in former days. He was accompanied by his brother Rudger and by Brother Heber J. Grant. President Snow took the matter under advisement.
13 April 1900 • Friday
Friday, April 13, 1900
Dictated my journal this morning to Brother Winter, and attended to some other business preparatory to leaving.
In accordance with the expressed wish of President Snow, I took my departure this morning, for the Trans-Mississippi Congress to be held at Houston, Texas. Our party consisted of Brother John Henry Smith and daughter Sarah, Brother George Romney and wife Maggie, Brother John R. Barnes, wife and daughter, Brother John R. Murdock and wife, P. A. Neilson, daughter and son, Seymour B. Young and wife, Lewis W. Shurtliff of Ogden, James R. Miller, Lycurgus Johnson of Uintah, Jesse Knight of Provo, and myself and wife Carlie. The weather was very pleasant, and we spent a very pleasant day.
14 April 1900 • Saturday
Saturday, April 14, 1900.
We are passing through the mountains this morning and they are covered with snow. The elevation effects my breath very much. We stopped at Pueblo three hours and changed cars. We took the Colorado and southern here. It rained very hard during the day, and we were much detained.by a wreck. At Pueblo we were joined by the Colorado delegation of the Trans-Mississippi Congress, the leader of whom was [blank] Finn, Esquire, a lawyer of Cripple Creek, and this delegation was very anxious that we should vote for Cripple Creek as the place for holding the next congress.
15 April 1900 • Sunday
Sunday, April 15, 1900.
A gentleman by the name of Woodward of Denver, requested that services should be held. Brothers S. B. Young and John Henry Smith addressed the people who gathered in from other cars to hear them.
16 April 1900 • Monday
Monday, April 16, 1900.
We passed through Fort Worth in the night and proceeded to Houston, which place we reached about ten o’clock. We put up at the Capitol Hotel and secured a very good room with bath-room attached. We were received very cordially, and the ladies were especially warm in their expressions of welcome to the ladies. I met here, among the ladies who are on the reception committee, a Mistress Christian, and upon inquiry, found that her husband’s people were from the Isle of Mann, and no doubt were distant relatives of mine. She took a great interest in us, as did her husband. She is a very charming woman.
17 April 1900 • Tuesday
Tuesday, April 17, 1900.
The Trans-Mississippi Congress met at the Auditorium at ten o’clock this morning. There were cards printed in large letters showing each delegation where it was to be seated. Utah’s place was in the front. The congress was called to order by Governor Stannard of Missouri, who was president of the last congress. He called upon a Presbyterian minister to offer prayer. The mayor of the city then made an address of welcome, followed by [blank] Ewing who delivered a most eloquent address of welcome. He is a very young man, but gifted as an orator. The response on behalf of the congress was made by Mr. Whitmore of St. Louis, and was very well delivered. President Stannard also made remarks. At two P. M. the afternoon session commenced, and a very able paper was read by Mr. Pitkin of Louisiana. Other papers were also read.
18 April 1900 • Wednesday
Wednesday, April 18, 1900.
The committee who had the nomination of officers, made a report to-day. Mr. Pitkin was chosen president of the congress for two years. There were four vice-presidents at large chosen, of which I was one. John Henry Smith was made vice-president for Utah, and L. W. Shurtliff and John C. Cutler were made members of the executive committee. There had been committees of the ladies of Houston appointed to receive the members and the ladies they brought with them, and there was a reception held this evening at the Capitol Hotel, which was very crowded. There seemed to be quite an interest taken by the people of Houston in making everybody welcome. Mrs. Christian, a bright sprightly lady, was one of the reception committee. In the evening we listened to a lecture by General John B. Gordon, Ex-senator of the United States from Georgia, and a distinguished Confederate general. His lecture was exceedingly interesting, and was delivered in a most telling style. Some of his descriptions were of so painfully vivid a character, it drew tears from many an eye. I felt that I would not want to listen to such descriptions again.
19 April 1900 • Thursday
Thursday, April 19, 1900.
The congress moved to Turner’s Hall today. It appeared to be better adapted for our purpose than the larger Auditorium. The newly elected president of the congress was attacked with sickness and could not take part in the proceedings. Ex-Governor Bradford L. Prince of New Mexico presided during the morning, and I was in the chair in the afternoon. I also presented a resolution in favor of government aid being given to the sugar industry, and made some remarks upon the subject. Dr. S. B. Young read a paper on the resources and future development of Utah. Cripple Creek was selected as the place of the meeting of the congress. New Orleans was the only other place mentioned, but the feeling was so strongly in favor of Cripple Creek that New Orleans withdrew. I occupied the chair during the discussion, which was very animated.
20 April 1900 • Friday
Friday, April 20, 1900.
There were some very able speeches made today. Governor Francis of Missouri addressed the congress in favor of an exposition being held at St. Louis to commemorate the Louisiana Purchase. I seconded the resolution. Congress adjourned at five P. M., having adopted twenty-seven resolutions. There were 365 delegates present at this congress. I didn’t keep any minutes, and write what I have written from memory. I may say however, that we from Utah, have been treated with great courtesy. We have been more noticed than any other delegation, and personally, I have had great attention and respect shown to me. Hundreds have either introduced themselves or been introduced to me. They seemed very desirous to know me. The disposition which has been shown to honor us, has been very gratifying to us, and we have felt that the Lord has been with us and given us favor in the eyes of the people.
21 April 1900 • Saturday
Saturday, April 21, 1900.
This is the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto. It was this battle that achieved the independence of Texas. A very strong Mexican force largely out-numbering the Americans, fought a battle, Santa Anna being the leader on the Mexican side, and Sam Houston on the Texas side. The Americans gained a great victory.
Arrangements had been made to take the members of the Trans-Mississippi Congress to Galveston by way of La Port. The people of Houston were very desirous that the members of the congress should see the Bayou which they were desirous to have opened more fully for navigation, than it now is. Steam-boats can come up the Bayou from the Gulf to within six miles of the city, and a party of about four hundred persons took the train this morning to the point where they could take the Steam-boat[.] We were surprised at the width of the Bayou, and the ease with <which> it can be navigated. We passed the battle field of San Jacinto, and a Judge Kittrel of Houston, gave a very interesting description of the battle, and many incidents connected with the early settlement of Texas. The Bayou winds into the Gulf. We landed at La Port and were hospitably entertained by the citizens who had prepared a meal for the guests. A gentleman by the name of J. S. Ewell whose home is at Bay Ridge, La Port, and who is said to have the best team in La Port, was selected to take charge of myself and wife. He accompanied us from Houston, and we found his team awaiting us at the landing place at La Port. He made our visit to La Port very interesting by taking us around and showing us points of interest. He was a former resident of Hancock County, Ill.
From La Port we took train to Galveston, and there embarked on steamboats which took the party for a ride on the bay. We went out about nine miles and had a very good opportunity of seeing the jetties. A Mr. Wallace showed me and my wife great attention on the Steamboat, and pointed out various objects of interest. He is a wholesale merchant here. We returned from Galvaston to Houston by rail. It is worthy of mention here in this connection, that Mr. Ewell told me in the most positive manner that he knew that Joseph Smith of the Re-Organized Church and
a lawyer Edmonds of Vermont, drew up what is known as the Edmonds Law, under the operations of which we suffered so much. He affirmed in the most positive manner that he knew this to be true.
Brother John R. Murdock and wife made up their minds to return to Utah. Brother Murdock had his pocket picked and lost in the vicinity of $200.00 and a draft for $900.00. He took steps however to stop payment on the draft. This made him and his wife feel that they ought to return. Doctor S. B. Young and his wife, Jesse Knight, Lycurgus Johnson, L.W. Shurtliff, and P. A. Nielson and daughter and grandson, all left for home at ten P. M. Brother John R. Barnes also had his pocket picked and lost his railroad tickets, and he and his wife and daughter determined to return the next day. At 11-15 P. M. Brother George Romney and wife, John Henry Smith and daughter, Brothers James R. Miller and John C. Cutler, and myself and wife, took passage on a Pullman sleeper for the City of Mexico. This was an excursion that had been arranged for by the Houston Post. The excursion was for ten days, and we were to have the use of a sleeper during our absence to save sleeper expences. A dining car also accompanied the excursion, and we were to have meals for ten days which were to cost us $25.00 apiece. Brother George Romney and Brother John C. Cutler insisted on paying the fare of myself and wife to the City of Mexico. I protested against this but they insisted upon doing it. I may say here, that though I yielded on the start, I was determined that I should only look upon what they did as a loan, and that I should repay them as soon as I could, for I would have felt very embarrassed to have been spending money and feeling that it was their money. Besides my condition of health required that I should have a drawing-room, and this was an expense far beyond that which they incurred for themselves, and which would have made me feel unpleasant to have occupied at their cost. My trip therefore for myself and wife including the drawing-room, was $130.00, and $50.00 for our board, $180.00 altogether. Before we reached home I told Brother Romney and Brother Cutler what my feelings were, and said that though I hadn’t the money to repay them then, I should do so at the first opportunity. I appreciated their kindness and liberality in helping me in this way, and would esteem it, even if I paid them back, as though they had given me the amount.
22 April 1900 • Sunday
Sunday, April 22, 1900.
We found ourselves in San Antonio this morning in the midst of a violent storm of rain. <I>t poured down in torrents. From here we proceeded to Eagle Pass, being considerably behind time. We crossed the Rio Grande and stopped for some time at the town called Profirio Diaz. Before going into Mexico we exchanged our American money for Mexican, receiving in exchange $2.10 for every American dollar. There is a Custom House here and our baggage had to be examined. We passed through without the least difficulty.
23 April 1900 • Monday
Monday, April 23, 1900.
We were very much behind time and we lost more time through the day. In the evening our progress was entirely stopped by a delayed freight train. The scenery after crossing into Mexico, assumes an entirely different aspect. The country presents an entirely different aspect to Texas. The Cactus grows extensively and to a great height. The land is a land of desolation. The villages that we see are inhabited by Mexicans who have the appearance of Lamanites. Their houses in many places, are mere hovels. Roofs are not built on them as we see but are flat and covered with material to make them water tight. The people are dressed in civilized fashion, although the style is different to ours. The peculiarity in their dress is the enormous hats which the men wear. They seem to take great pride in their hats. They are high and wide, and seem well adapted generally, to keep out the rays of the sun. Some of the hats are said to cost fifty dollars a piece.
24 April 1900 • Tuesday
Tuesday, April 24, 1900.
During the forenoon we succeeded in getting past the wreck, but we had lost upwards of twentyfour hours. We passed into the torrid zone today. The heat however, has not been oppressive to us during any of the time that we have been on the train. We reached the city of Zacatacas about 6:15 in the afternoon. The scenery around here is very fine, and it is reputed to be a very wealthy place, there being several silver mines and smelters in the vicinity. The city contains about 75,000 people, and with the flat roofs of the houses and the walls, it has the appearance of some of the pictures I have seen of sights in Palestine. There is one feature which I think somewhat remarkable, and that is the extensive walls that are erected everywhere. The cities are walled and the dwelling houses are built as though they were forts. Very few windows being on the outside, they face a square on the inside.
25 April 1900 • Wednesday
Wednesday, April 25, 1900.
Early this forenoon we left the main line of the railway and took the line to Guanaguata, a distance of sixteen miles. Here, to see the sights of this beautiful and noted place, we had to take street cars. The charge for making the round trip was fifty cents a piece. This day is one of the most interesting days that I have spent for many years. The streetcars, drawn by mules, travelled at a good pace and we went up almost like a canyon, part of the way, to a town where we stopped and looked at the various objects of interest, among which we were very much surprised to find an opera house of magnificent dimensions, one of the largest probably on the continent. It is a beautiful building, but the street in which it stands is not more than thirty feet wide. Beautiful residences line the thoroughfare which is very narrow. On every hand there were evidences of wealth, in the construction and adornment of the houses, in the beautiful gardens, in the magnificent water works, and in all the surroundings.
I saw more donkeys or burros today than I think I ever saw, all at one time. There were thousands of them going to and from the mines, carrying loads of every kind up to the mines, and mules bringing down ore and other materials from the mines and the vicinity. These little animals carry enormous loads, and are of necessity used at this place, and in fact all over Mexico, as far as we saw it, for the purpose of transportation. Wheeled vehicles could not be used to any extent in this place, and the donkey becomes a most useful beast of burden. After our return from the street car ride there were scores of donkeys huddled together at the point of the road where all were invited to take a trip to the Caticombs. These Caticombs contain the skeletons of the dead which have been exhumed after they have lain in the grave seven years[.] They are taken out of the ground and placed in these Caticombs, and there <is> said to be at least 50,000 skeletons there. In the Caticombs also, there [are] bodies in niches in the wall, preserved and looking like mummies. A great many of our party rode donkeys up to the Caticombs. My wife preferred to walk up and back. I felt considerably fatigued with the journey of the day and I remained until they returned, not caring to go to a place of this character. I have always had a dislike to sights of this kind, and preferred not seeing it.
26 April 1900 • Thursday
Thursday[,] April 26, 1900.
We arrived at 6 A.M. at the city of Mexico. We spent the former part of the day in riding around the city. We engaged a colored man who was well recommended to us and who could speak Spanish, to accompany us as a guide. He had been here 8 [to] 9 years and had been a sleeping car porter but was now a cook in the family of General Frisby of California, who resides here. With the aid of this guide we had pointed out to us the chief places of interest in and around the city. I was not able to do much walking and we hired carriages from time to time to take us to the various places of interest. Among other trips that we took today, was a visit to the castle of Chapultapec, and the drive through the grounds was one of the finest I ever took. There were Cypress trees there that would measure upwards of forty feet in diameter, and their age was placed at upwards of 2,000 years. Their immense size made them grand looking trees. We also drove from Chapultapec out to the residences of the rich Mexicans. Their grounds which were very extensive and very beautiful, were enclosed by high walls. This is a characteristic of Mexico, so far as we have seen it. The residences are said to be very elegantly and magnificiently furnished. There are many houses built in the American style which compare very favorably with the finest residences in New York, but the great majority of the residences can only be entered through massive doors or gateways into an inner court. The windows all look inward, and there are very few windows on the outside, and these that are are very frequently enclosed in bars like bank windows or prison windows. The result is, that no fair view can be had of the residences. Inside the squares which the wall encloses, there are beautiful gardens and fountains, but the impression that I received in looking at this style of building, was that the inhabitants made their residences secure against thieves and burgulars. They had the appearance of forts.
We visited the Cathedral today. This is a very magnificient building and dates back early to the conquest. It occupies the site of the Aztec Temple. Additions have been made to it from time to time until now it is a massive and very extensive building. Its grandeur impresses the visitor, and vast sums of money have undoubtedly been expended upon it.
27 April 1900 • Friday
Friday, April 27, 1900.
At ten o’clock I procured a carriage and, accompanied by Brother John Henry Smith, paid a visit to our American Ambassador, Hon. Powell Clayton. He received us very kindly, and upon expressing our wish to have an interview with President Diaz, expressed his regret that the marriage of the daughter of the minister of State, Senor Mariscal, might interfere with an interview of this kind, as the Secretary of State was engaged in the marriage festivities. He would however, do what he could to secure us an interview. He was six years in the senate when I was in the House, and we were well acquainted. I showed him some attentions when he visited Salt Lake and had secured for him, an interview with President Brigham Young which he remembered, and he spoke of the pleasure which he had while there, and in response to my expressing a very strong wish to see President Diaz, he said he ought to repay my kindness to him, while in our city, by securing this interview with the President of the Mexican Republic. While we were visiting the Ambassador, our party including Sister Cannon, went to see the Floating Gardens. After their return Mrs. Cannon and myself took a carriage, and with our guide, visited a number of places of interest. Upon our return to the cars, we found that a messenger had come from the Ambassadors informing us that the president would grant us an interview. I regretted very much that I was not there to see the messenger, because I should have inquired who was to introduce us and where the introduction was to take place. Failing to know this, Brother Smith and myself went to the Embassy to try and learn these points, but no one whom we could find could give us the necessary information. I was greatly mortified at this for I had counted very much on seeing President Diaz.
28 April 1900 • Saturday
Saturday, April 28, 1900.
I had promised the Ambassador that our party would call upon him and pay their respects, but the manager of the excursion had arranged to go out and occupy the day, going and returning, and visit a valley which translated from the Spanish, means “Cow’s Horn”. They had a very pleasant day, but I felt it my duty to call upon the Ambassador, and did so. He received me very kindly, and when I explained to him the reason we had not kept the appointment with the President, he regretted with me, the miscarriage. When he saw how much I felt the disappointment, he suggested that I write a letter to the President, and he would also write one to him. I returned to the car and wrote a letter to President Diaz, a copy of which will appear in my journal a few days later.
Our guide took us out this afternoon on quite a long ride in the suburbs, where we saw the century plant cultivated. The Mexicans have a drink which is a common beverage of the country, which is called Pulque, and which is made from this plant. The people drink but little water here, but drink great quantities of this Pulque. It is said to be very excellent for the Kidneys, and stories are told of the cures which its use has effected. It is said to be intoxicating if drunk in large quantities, but I drank it several times and failed to discover the slightest exhilaration from it. To be intoxicating, I think it must be prepared differently from that which is commonly drunk.
29 April 1900 • Sunday
Sunday, April 29, 1900.
We went out on the street car this morning to Guadaulupe, a very sacred shrine. I could not climb the hill to the spot where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to an Indian, which made the place holy, and a place where miracles were wrought. There is a well which is called holy, where she is said to have stepped. It bubbles up and boils, and is said to be mineral water. Thousands of pilgrims come there and fill their bottles at this well, as the water is said to have miraculous effects in curing diseases. In the afternoon we went to a Bull Fight, and saw five bulls in the ring. We only stopped long enough to see the fourth killed. I was desirous of seeing the manner in which this was effected, as I had heard a great deal about the skill of the Matadors. The fourth bull was killed instantly. We did not stop to see what became of the fifth. Several horses were dragged and gored, and several horsemen had narrow escapes. The sight is one I would not have the least curiousity to see again. I think it is brutal in the extreme.
This evening at 7:30 we took our departure from the City of Mexico, and turned our faces homeward. We came very near having a wreck on our dining-car this evening, which scared some terribly while we were at dinner.
30 April 1900 • Monday
Monday, April 30, 1900:
Our ride today was subject to fewer interruptions than we met in coming to the City of Mexico, but still we lost time.