Click here to return to the Tutt Library Home Page

George Q. Cannon diary transcription

M. Hamlin Cannon Papers, Ms 0293, Box 1, gift of Mrs. M. Hamlin Cannon, 1978, transcribed by Jennifer Petti, 2004.

(Other Cannon diaries are available from The Church Historian's Press at

Note: Mormon George Q. Cannon was a Counselor to Brigham Young. He wrote this diary in 1888 while imprisoned in a Utah penitentiary for polygamy.


Monday, Sept. 17/88.

The carriage which Bro. C.H. Wilcken had provided (one of the finest barrouches of Grant Bro's. & Co.) and driven by Bro. Charlton Jacobs, and which had carried Bro's. J.S. Richards, Se Grand young, C.H. Wilcken and myself from the Gards House to the Court Room, was accepted by Marshal Dyer to carry me to the Penitentiary. He and my self occupied the hind seat and Bro. Wilcken sat in front of us. Brothers H.B. Clawson and Jas. Jack followed in a buggy. The conversation on the way out was quite free and unrestrained and I enjoyed the ride. The Warden, Arthur Pratt was at Provo. Mr. Jenney and Mr. Doyle, turnkeys, the first outside, the second inside were at their posts, and I was introduced to them. The Marshal showed me through the main building which contains the cells and explained the method of opening and closing them. He spoke about my having my bed in the corridor, which is open and roomy, but thought I had better have a cell in which to keep my things. He assigned me No. 120 on the end of the row on the south and close to the lavatory. I told him and the other officials (including the Warden whom I saw upon his return) that I did not wish them to grant me favors that would embarrass them by calling forth attacks from our enemies. I preferred sleeping in my cell wearing the prison clothing and conforming in other respects to the rules of the prison. I would like the privilege of sending out and receiving manuscript. Thus the marshal said I could do. The brethren and the Marshal then left me. At 12 noon dinner was announced; but as I had considerable manuscript to prepare by the time Bro. Wilcken returned with my bedding, &c., so that my son Abraham might get it, I dispensed with dinner. Bro. Wilcken brought an iron bedstead and a wine and woolen mattrass, but they filled up the cell. By putting the wine mattrass on the floor and making the bed on the floor, I did very well. We had supper at 5 p.m. The brethren brought me a pint of milk. We had oatmeal mush. I was hungry and ate two plateful and enjoyed it. At 6.30 p.m. all the prisoners, except those engaged in special duties, were required to come in the building. There are three tiers of cells, one above another. Those who are in the two lower tiers are soon locked in their cells; but the upper tier where I am is occupied by "trusties" and our cells are not closed till about 8.45p.m. The Warden gave me the privilege of keeping my cell door open if I so wished, a privilege which I accepted. Sights are permitted in the cells-candles-as long as the occupants choose I suppose. There is a large lamp burning all night; it throws light in the cells. At nine o'clock p.m. at three taps of the bell, all conversation and noise must cease. I forgot to mention that, before the cells are closed of a night, a guard passes in front of all the cells and counts the prisoners, who stand at the door of their cells. There are two occupants to a cell as a rule, and as there are 120 cells, 240 prisoners can be accommodated. The cells are iron, 5 feet by 7 feet, and the front, including the door is iron lattice- work. The prisoners sleep on strips of canvass, stretched lengthwise in the cells, one above another and fastened at each end by leather straps. After being slept in, they assume a trough-like form, and are not comfortable the brethren say. A mattrass helps the sleeping very much, as it has a tendency to level up the hammock. Brothers A.N. Hill and his son Samuel and Bro. W.J, [Darkin?] were sentenced to-day and came out to the penitentiary. The first had 50 days and a fine of fifty dollars; the second had 60 days and a fine of [blank space] and the third had fifty days and fifty dollars. Quite a contrast between these sentences and those inflicted by Judge Zane. When these brethren arrived there were loud yells of "fresh fish" heard all over the yard; this being the mode of salutation with which all new arrivals at the penitentiary are received.

I escaped this reception, a fact that was commented upon by the brethren. My arrival created a sensation among the prisoners, especially among the brethren. They gathered around me and were desirous to know all that had occurred. I made full explanations, and while regret was universally expressed at my being in prison all felt that I had done right and the believed good results would follow. Thus is my own desire and hope.

It is two years and six months to the day, since the time I should have appeared in Judge Zane's court and two years and seven months to the day since I was up under $45,000 00/100 bonds.

Tuesday Sept. 18/88

I slept tolerably well last night; but I was feverish and the weather was warm. At 5 o'clock a.m. the guard came along in front of the cells and tapped at the doors of the "trusties" When they were dressed the doors of the cells were opened and they marched off, Indian file, to their labor. At six o'clock a bell was rung a number of times and we had to arise and dress. In the corner of every cell there is a recess in which a galvanized slop bucket with a cover stands. On the bucket is painted in large figures the number of the cell. Smells from this recess ascend through a ventilating shaft; but I am told that bad odors come up from the lower cells through this shaft into the upper cells unless the iron door is kept closed. This slop pail is for the night use of the occupants of each cell. At 6:30 a.m. the bell taps and every cell door is opened and from each is borne the "dunnigan" as this vessel is called and is carried down outside and emptied. It is then rinsed out and is left in the yard till night. After this the prisoners are left to occupy their time, performing their ablutions, walking, as they please till breakfast time. When the taps of the bell are heard the prisoners march in Indian file into the dining room, where they stand on each side of the table until the bell taps, then they sit down. There are several tables in the room and there are waiters to each. All who do the work are prisoners. Through not understanding the best way I, twice to-day, had to sit among the "toughs" as they are called. This name is applied to all who are committed for other crimes and offences than for violating the Edmunds-Tucker law. I am told there are 22 of these in here, either convicted of murder, or awaiting trail for that crime. There are about 100 "toughs" and to-day about 50 of our people for living with their wives. The "toughs" are a most desperate lot of human beings, and the manner in which the profane the name of Diety is awful to the ears of the Saints.

No knives and forks are permitted to the prisoners. The brethren have improvised knives out of spoon handles and other scraps of metal they have got hold of and made wooden forks. Spoons are permitted. Breakfast this morning consisted of meat swimming in soup gravy in a tin plate, with some small potatoes in their jackets and about two thick slices of bred. Coffee is served to each, and if milk or sugar is used the prisoner must furnish it. I do not drink either coffee or tea. My appetite has increased out here and I enjoyed the meal. Dinner was about as breakfast except that we had a slice of corned beef. At supper, at 5p.m., we had a plate of mush and tea and break. I have ordered milk like the other brethren and Bro. Winslow Farr has helped me to butter at each meal, which as I am not much of a meat eater, I have appreciated.

Wednesday, Sept. 19/88

I enjoyed my sleep better last night than the night previous. After breakfast, which I enjoyed, though break and butter was all I ate; there was meat but I did not eat it; Bro. John Squires shaved me and insisted on cleaning my shoes. I worked at my [Sife?] of Joseph. I also had a good walk in the yard before and after breakfast and conversed with several of the brethren about their cases and their feelings and testimonies. Bro Wilcken and my son Abraham visited me, and brought me a nice vessel for my butter and also some butter, and a stone pitcher for my milk, and some peaches. They also brought a [wine col?] and woolen mattrass better suited, because of being narrower than the bed I have; this latter they took back. I was permitted to converse with them half an hour, but missed my dinner by so doing. I preferred the conversation to the dinner. I was measured this morning by Bro. [Burgon?], one of the prisoners, for my prison suit. In the afternoon, Brother Jon Squires, A.N. Hill and his son Sam H. and myself had a visit from Brothers James Jack and O.P. Arnold. They brought me a small box of cigars for Mr. Doyle, the turnkey, and a bag of grapes for each of us.

When a visitor comes with permission to see a convict the turnkey outside informs the guard on the walls, who shouts the name aloud. This is taken up by the convicts and the whole place resounds with the name of the person desired. If more than one is asked for them all the names are called out. There is a line plainly marked in the yard which is called "the dead line." This must be crossed in the face of a guard on the wall armed with a Winchester rifle. The rule is for the convict, who crosses the dead line to go to the gate, to throw up his had as a signal to the guard on the wall who responds. The inside gate is opened from the outside. When the convict whose name has been called opens that gate, he finds himself between that and the outside gate. They are three or four feet apart. Then the janitor opens the outside gate and the prisoner emerges into the passage way. There is still another gate to pass through; but in the daytime it stands open. In a small wooden building the visitor sits waiting. All the conversation must be in the hearing of a guard. No writing must pass without his examination of it. Nothing is permitted to be carried in without undergoing scrutiny. I am told that I can go outside and read the local daily papers, but they must not be taken inside. Semi-weekly papers or weeklies, are the only one admitted.

Thursday, Sept. 20/88

I walk before and after breakfast in the yard and am joined by some of the brethren, whose conversation I listen to with pleasure. I spent time to-day on my Sife of the Prophet. Bro. Franklin S. Richards was brought out to-day by Bro. C.H. Wilcken. He had a long private conversation with me in the Warden's Office concerning the plots of my enemies. Nelson and C.C. Goodarin of the Tribune had been before the Grand Jury to give testimony(hearsay I suppose) against me with the hope to get me indicted for adultery. The most of my wives had been got out of the way. Bro. Richards desired my views respecting my wife Carlie giving testimony to show she was my legal wife, having been married to me sequent to the death of my wife Elizabeth. He left me till to-morrow to think about it.

Friday, Sept. 21/88

Had another visit from Bro. J. S. Richards and another private conversation with him. I told him to keep Carlie from giving evidence if it could be done without injury to my case; but if it appeared that matters would be worse if her evidence should not be forthcoming then for her to produced and go before the Grand Jury. Bro. C.H. Wikcken came up also. While they were in the yard a photographer, C.E. Johnson, took two photographs of myself, Bro's Richards and Wilcken and two guards, Mr. Jenney and Mr. Hudson.

My sons Frank and Abraham spent half and hour with me. I told them of a plan I had to get up a work in which the judicial proceedings of the courts for the past three years would be set forth. I desired them to take it in hand as soon as convenient after the Sife of the Prophet is completed.

I forgot to mention that at a little before noon to-day the Grand Jury visited the penitentiary. About six or eight of them called upon me- Mr. Simons, Mr. Haines, Mr. Hall, Mr. Parks, Mr. [?], Mr. [?] and one or two whose names I did not get. Brothers N.H. and John Groesbeck visited me today. Worked very hard to-day at the Ms. of my Sife of Joseph.

Saturday, Sept. 22/88

Had a visit from Bro. John N. Young; afterwards another from Brothers C.H. Wilcken, Jas. Sharp and Rodney Badger. They brought me fruit and candy. Warden Pratt invited me out to his office to read the daily papers sent to me. He remarked that anything I wanted in the shape of food TC would be permitted to come in to me.

Sunday, Sept. 23/88

I sponged off with a wet towel this morning in my cell. Our dinner had an addition to-day in the shape of bean soup. Beans in some form are served every Sunday. At 3p.m. there was religious service held a Swedish minister did the preaching. He read his discourse from [Mf.?] I am told it was much better than the average discourse from the ministers, Methodist and Episcopalian, who come here. The subject was the resurrection of the Savior. The singing was by a choir, composed with one exception of our people, and was led by Bro. [Sorenzo?] Waldrom. The organ was played by a colored boy who is sent here for rape.

Monday, Sept. 24/88

My visitors to-day were my Son Abraham, afterwards Bro's Jas. Jack and OP Arnold and then Bro H.B. Clawson. I worked all my spare time at my Sife of the Prophet Joseph. A new order was issued to-day concerning the closing of the cells on the tier where I was. They were closed at 6.45p.m. instead of 8.45p.m Eight of the brethren were released this morning: Hy. G. Boyle of Payson, Wm. Bringhurst of Tokerville, S.G. Higgins of St. George, Bishop Funk of Washington, [blank space] Hamilton of Spanish Fork, [blank space] Lunsford of Provo, John Tanner of St. George and Heprum Church of Panguitch.

Tuesday, Sept. 25/88

Brother C.H. Wilcken and Charles Nibley came to see me to-day. I was kept very busy preparing Ms. for my Sife of the Prophet Joseph. The brethren are all very kind in bringing me articles that I need.

Wednesday, Sept. 26/88

My son Abraham and Bro. Webber came to see me to-day. Prepared Ms. for my Sife of Joseph.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday-Sept. 27-30/88

During these days I have felt very well. My cell has seemed a heavenly place and I feel that angels have been there. I have had visitors each day- Bro's C.H. Wicken, H.B. Clawson, Wm Budge, F.S. Richards, Se Grand Young, my sons Abraham, Frankin, wife and son, and Hugh, Brother Hy. Grow and a Real Estate Agent named Glassman who came with Brother Grow to see my about some disputed land over Jordan, the wife of which is in Pres. B. Young's estate. Bro's J.Jack and O.P. Arnold called to see me. On Sunday I opened a Bible Class at 9 o'clock. There were fully 6 brethren present and a number of the other prisoners. We read the first five chapters of Matthew and then I asked questions concerning what we had read. We opened and closed by singing and prayer. A most delightful spirit prevailed and I felt-and this was the general feeling-that great good would be done by keeping this up.

At 2 p.m. we all had to repair to the dining room to attend religious services. Professor Talmage and Bro. C.H. Wilcken and two other brethren and three sisters had come from the City to hold meeting. The singing was very delightful and caused the tears to come to my eyes. Brother Talmage delivered an interesting discourse.

Monday, Oct. 1/88

My sons Franklin and Abraham came out and had a private interview with me this morning, this privilege having been granted by the Marshal. I gave them my ideas concerning the book which I wished to have published. My son David came out with them. We were very glad to meet. Bro. C.H. Wilcken also came out as usual. He brought two boxes of grapes which I had Bishop Winslow Farr and Bro. John Squires divide among the brethren.

Tuesday, Oct. 2/88

I wrote topics TC for the Juvenile Instructor this morning. I had many visitors in the afternoon who kept me outside the walls till close on to supper time. Brothers Jas. Jack and O.P. Arnold, Jr., Bishop H.B. Clawson, my son Abraham, my brother David and my brother Angus' wife Amanda and Brother W.W. Riter. I learned that Bro. John Squires has been pardoned by President Cleveland. My brother David surrendered to the deputy. Marshal McGeary, had been tried before Commissioner Jordan at Silver Reef-there were five witnesses in the case-and he had been acquitted. This was good news. My conversation with Brother Riter was private. He was desirous to get my views upon certain public questions.

Wednesday, Oct. 3/88

It rained last night and quite heavily a part of to-day. Brother manning of Hooperville was released to-day. It is very gratifying to be told as I have been a number of times that my coming here has been productive of good in the improved feeling there Is manifest on every hand. My coming has been a comfort to the brethren here. There has been so much talk to concession and Brother Caine's speech in Congress, to the effect that "polygamy is a dead issue," that some of the brethren scarcely knew what to think. My coming here has had a good effect on this account, if upon no other, it proves that the leading men are willing to suffer but not to concede. Brother Joseph Thurber, who has been here longer than any of the brethren-21 months-says last Sunday was the best Sabbath he has seen in the penitentiary. Others remarked the same.

Thursday and Friday, Oct. 4 & 5/88

These are visiting days. At 9 o'clock three bells are rung and we all had to go into the prison, so that we would be at our cells when called. The visitors have two hours during which they can come in the forenoon and two hours in the afternoon. Each visitor or party of visitors can only remain half and hour. The interviews take place in the dining room and there is more liberty allowed than upon other occasions; that is the guards did not stand and listen to all that was said. Brother Arthur Stayner spent half and hour with me on each of these days conversing upon the manufacture of sugar. On Thursday the was followed by Bro. Geo. Stringfellow whose kindness in calling so often in 1878 to see Brothers Brigham Young, A. Carrington and myself when imprisoned for contempt of Court by Judge Boreman, I shall not forget. At the close of my talking with him, Bro C.H. Wilcken came with Sister Roueche, also Bro's. John Morgan and M.J. Cowley. I enjoyed this visit and told Brother Morgan I wished the Sunday School Union or particularly Brother Gen. Goddard and he would procure us an Organ for our Sunday School and worship in the Penitentiary. I was called to-day as one of the pump police. Their duties are to pump water with a force pump out of the well in the yard to the cisterns in the top of the building. There are six assigned to this duty each day and they are kept busy. Bro. Mark Burgess proffered to do my share of pumping. Several others did also. I felt much obliged to them and accepted him as a substitute with the expectation of paying him.

Saturday, Oct. 6/88

I had a call from Bro. JS Townsend of Payson and arranged to have articles, illustrated on Botany written by him for the Juvenile Instructor. Bro. C.H. Wilcken also made me a visit as usual. Bishop H.B. Clawson called and had private conversation, by permission, with me. Our California friends desired an option of two years on our stock (75,000 shares) at the rate of $400,000 for the whole. I dislike to give so long an option, though I am favorable to their having and option.

Sunday, Oct. 7/88

The new organ came out yesterday afternoon, and the Warden, Mr. Arthur Pratt, gave me the privilege of holding Sunday School in the dining room. The officials are very kind and accommodating our people are surprised at the favors granted. Contrary to usual custom the floor of the dining room was washed last evening instead of this morning, so that it might be ready for us. Including myself there were 81/present at school this morning. I divided them into four classes and gave one to Bishop Winslow Farr, to F.C. Boyer, and Sam H. Hill and to myself. I spent about 45 minutes explaining what we had read. Mr. Putnam of the Episcopal Church came out to hold services in the afternoon. He went through the forms, reading prayers, and responses were made by a lady and young man whom he brought with him. His discourse was a very weak effort.

Monday, Oct. 8/88

Had calls today from Fayette Granger and his sister Mrs. Sarah M. Kimball, from Bro. Whitehead and son, from Bro. Ostler and daughter of [Nephi?] from Bro A. Stayner and son, from Bro. O.P. Arnold, my cousin Joseph J. Taylor and Bro C.H. Wilcken.

Tuesday, Oct. 9/88

Beautiful weather, almost too fine for the season. Had calls from Bro. Silas S. and Jesse N. Smith, my son Abraham, Brothers Jas. Jack, O.P. Arnold Jr., Geo. Goddard and J.B. Maibrew.

Wednesday, Oct. 10/88

Bro. C. H. Wilcken brought out a wagon load of my children to-day. I was greatly pleased to see them though sorry to find that Read had been and still is quite sick, suffering from fever. There were [Seuris?], Rose Annie, Emily, Brigham, Read, Joseph, Sylvester, Preston, Carl and Mary and Ether Davey. William also came out and brought with him Emma Wilcken, Bro. H.B. Clawson also came out and had a private interview with me. Since Bro. John Squires' departure, he having been pardoned, I have been shaved in the barber's shop in the yard, in which two of the convicts do the shaving. I am to pay them so much a month according o the number of times which they shave me. They[…] my razors, soap, Tc. I get a bath once a week. The man who keeps the bath rooms in order is quite accommodating and lets me bathe when the rush is over. Shaving and bathing at regular times are compulsory. If these rules and the cleaning of the cells were not strictly enforced the condition of affairs in the prison would soon be unbearable; for some of the prisoners would soon become filthy.

Thursday, Oct. 11/88

Bro. Webb of Richmond, Cache valley, went out this morning, his sentence being served out. Bro. Miles of Smithfield goes out in the morning. Joy and blessing go with them. Twelve of the brethren came in on Tuesday evening from Judge Judd's court at Provo. Their names are: Bishop J.P.R. Johnson of Provo; Sars Swenson of [Moroni?]; Anderson of Sehi; [6 empty lines]

I had a very pleasant visit with Bro. Will A. Dougall and his wife, Maria; the latter a daughter of Pres. B. Young. She brought me a beautiful bouquet, which I afterwards gave to typhoid patient, Stoddard of Hooperville. My son Frank called and I had an interesting conversation with him concerning the book I wish written and published concerning the administration of the Edmunds=Tucker law. Afterwards had private conversations with Bro. F.S. Richards and C.H. Wilcken. The latter brought me private word from Jason Mack (oia no o Josepa Kamika) concerning na olelo a me na hana a Moke, oia no Kekahi o Ka poe uniKumamalua. Ua Kawoha o Josepa ia Kale e hai mai iau na Ku e o Moke ia'u, me he mea la he enemi oia ia'u. Na olelo o Moke ia w. Woodruff he would sue me for dishonesty if I were free in the matter of the pooled stock. He mea Kupa naka Keia ia'u. Na Ke Akua a hoomalama a e hoopakele mai ia'u. Aa ikes ke Akua ia'u; a wa Keoia I Kuu naau; a Ke Kahea aKu uu ia ia e Kokue oia ia'u. Ua mau Ke Kue o Moke ia'u; a no Ke aha? Aole au r hana ins ia ia. I appeal to the Lord to defend and save me.

I wrenched my knee this morning in bed-the knee that I sprained some years ago and that I hurt when I fell off the train-and I suffer pain in it when I walk.

Friday, Oct. 12/88

Had conversation with Mr. Doyle the Turnkey on our principles and bore testimony to him concerning their divine origin. Had a visit from Brothers John Henry Smith and Heber J. Grant. A number of ladies came from town and they were taken through the prison by the Warden. They were accompanied by Brother Charles Bruton. Sister Julia Burton, his wife, brought me a very elegant bouquet. The hoped by coming out in this way they would get the privilege of seeing me and they did; for the Warden gave us the privilege of conversing. They were Sister Susan Snively Young, one of President B. Young's wives, Sister Andrew Moffit of [Manti?]; Sisters Nettie Young Snell, and Nabbie Young Clawson, Julia Young Burton and Birdie Clawson. They expressed great pleasure at meeting me. Bro. Sam H. Hill received the sad news of the death of one of his sons, 11 years old, of dyptheria. He was permitted to go to the funeral services accompanied by a deputy marshal. Bishops Hamilton and P.G. Taylor, the former of Mill Creek Ward, and the latter of Harrisville, were committed to the Penitentiary this afternoon.

Saturday, Oct. 13/88 to Friday Oct. 19/1888

The time has passes pleasantly during these days, the weather has been generally fine and I have written Editorial thoughts and Topics of the Times. Bishops E.F. Sheets of the 8th Ward, Salt Lake City, and Bishop J.P.R. Johnson and [blank space] have come to the Penitentiary. Last evening (Thursday) Dr. O.C.[Ormsby?] and [blank space] Nokes and John Irvine were committed to the Prison. On Sunday I held Bible class and was called out to see Brothers F.S. Richards, S. Thurman came to explain his management of the cases of the brethren at Provo with which I had told Bro. F.S. Richards the brethren who had been sentence there were much dissatisfied. Brothers [Dunsenberry?] and King came to see me about political matters. My Putnam preached on Sunday and did better than before. He passed my cell where I stood with several others and he came to me and asked how I was and said I was looking very well. I do not know how he knew me. I have had visitors every day. Brother C.H. Wilcken, my Sons Abraham, who brought Willard, Grace, and Brigham; he also came himself the next day, accompanied by Bro. W.C. Spence. Brother Winder called upon me twice. Bro. F.S. Richards called again on Tuesday and Bro. Se. Grand Young the evening previous. David and Mary Alice called on Wednesday and Frank and Hugh on Thursday and Brothers James Jac and James Cushing on Friday. I gave Mary Alice and order on my son Abraham for $20 each quarter of the year. This is the interest of $1,000 which now that she is 21 years of age, I desire her to have. Her birthday was the 16th inst.

Bro. C.H. Wilcken called upon me on Friday, the 19th, and brought two trout and a lot of wild ducks for me. He gave the Warden fish and ducks also. I desired to leave mine outside for the guards or to be cooked for the sick or the aged; but the Warden urged me to have them taken in and have the cooked. I had the cooks divide them with the guards and themselves and others whom they thought suitable. I had a piece of fish myself and small piece of duck.

Saturday, Oct. 20/88

Brother John Sharp, and Bro. C.H. Wilcken and Bro. A. Strayner called on me today.

Sunday, Oct. 21/88

S.S. Hills, W.S. Burton and G.G. Bywater called upon me, Bro. S.H. Hill and Bishop T.R. Cutler this morning just before the close of Bible class. This class is very interesting to me. There were nearly one hundred present this morning. In the afternoon Mr. And Mrs. Archibald (Methodists) held meeting. She is a very sweet singer. He preached the vest, so I am told, he ever did. He praised men who had backbone and who stood up for the right; and said the nearer men lived to God the more they would be opposed. Dr. Shipp has been very attentive to me in rubbing my knee and it has much improved.

Monday, Oct. 22/88

Brothers W.J. Jenkins and Tovey were released this morning. This is the second term of imprisonment both have served.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Oct. 23-25, 1888

I have had calls from Bro. C.H. Wilcken who brought Bro. W.J. Phillips, who has just returned from a mission, on Thursday; called again on Wednesday; Bro. F.S. Richards on Wednesday; Brothers Jack and O.P. Arnold, Jr. and my son Abraham on Thursday. On Wednesday, I was for the first time since I have been in prison spoken to authoritatively by any on of the guards. A set of rules has been recently drawn up and printed and hung up for the prisoners to observe. Among them is one to effect that a prisoner must take off his hat when he enters a room where the guards are. I was called outside to the round house to meet Brother Wilcken. I entered and sat down, as had been the practice previously with out taking off my cap. Brother Joseph Thurber did the same, he having been called out at the same time to see Bro. N.V. Jones. One of the guards, who has been brought from the city to take the place of one who is sick, and whose name is [blank space] Bush punched Bro. Thurber with his cane and told him to take off his cap; then he turned to me and told me to do the same, and directed my attention to the rules which were hanging up. I did so without any remark; but the manner of the man stirred up Bro. Wilcken and when he saw him prepared to sit down and listen to our conversation he stepped out to Mr. Hudson and requested the privilege of speaking to me alone, he having an order from the Marshal to have this privilege whenever he desired it. Mr. Hudson came in and told me to walk over to the Warden's office where we could converse alone. […] is this Mr. Bush who had Bro. N.V. Jones put in the sweatbox when he was here for some trifling cause. Several of the prisoners have felt, since he has been here at this time, that he is harsh.

Since writing the foregoing the Warden(Mr. Arthur Pratt) has spoken to me concerning Mr. Bush's remark to me and hoped I would not notice it. He had sent him back to town, because he thought him unsuitable to be here.

Friday, Oct.26 to Tuesday Oct. 30th. I have had three visits from Bro. C.H. Wilcken, two from Bro. Clawson, one from Bro's J.Jack, J. Cushing, F.A. Hammond (on Monday) W.H. Thearman (Monday) Frank Armstrong (Saturday) Jas. Sharp (Friday) A.M. Wells (Friday) B.Y. Hampton(Friday) My sons Frank and Sylvester (Friday) and William and Sewis. (Monday) The Marshal had an interview with me on Friday and another on Monday. The weather is delightful. Had a good time in Bible class on Sunday. No preacher came from town. Bishop Geo. Halliday and Bro. Henry [Nebeker?] and came to prison Saturday evening.

Tuesday, Oct. 30/88

Brothers F.D. Richards and F.S. Richards came to see me about Receiver's compensation and affairs of Deserek News Co. Brothers Jas.Jack and O.P. Arnold and C.H. Wilcken called upon me.

I had calls through the week from my daughter Mary Alice and sons Abraham, David, Preston and Carl. Bro. Wilcken came every day. Brothers W.B. Clawson, O.F. Whitney Willard Young, --- Buchanan, [A.O. Smooth?] and C.S. Burton and J.C. Cutler, Sister [Pixton?], my sister Mary Alice, my nephew Frank Woodbury, and on Sunday, Nov. 4/88 bro's S.P. [Teasdel?], Knott and Barton and John T. Caine with whom I had a long conversation in the Warden's parlor. Brothers E.J. Sheets, J.P.R. Johnson, John Irvine, T.R. Cutler and myself sent a letter to Provo Manufacturing Co. concerning the levying of assessments on stock. We thought it [impolitie?] Sunday School on Sunday, Nov. 4/88. A.N. Hill and W.J. Parkin were released on Monday, Nov.5/88 Bro. Turner of Wes Jordan, Tuesday Nov. 6/88. Bishop A.A. Kimball came in Saturday evening, Nov. 3/88. Eight months his sentence for adultery. His health is very poor. An act of inhumanity sending him here.

Sunday afternoon, Nov. 4/88

J.A. Mitchell came out, with quartet who sang beautifully and preached to us. Had delightful [rain?] last week.

Tuesday Nov. 6/88 to Wednesday, Nov. 21, 1888

During this period I have had the usual visitors. Bro S.H. Hill and Frank Boyer and Fred Yates went out. As I expect to have a list of all I do not notice those who come in, as I do not always get the name. Bro. S.H. Hill came up and visited us. On Tuesday and Thursday I sat for my portrait with the brethren. They formed different groups and each group desired me to sit with them. Thursday was a very chill day and I was kept out most of the time with my head uncovered, for about two hours, sitting before the Camera. The result was I took a very heavy cold. Bro. C.R. Savage, accompanied by May Wells the first day, and Bro. Ottinger, Jr., the second day, was the photographer. On Tuesday, the 20th I was surprised by receiving a visit from Hon. Geo. A. Halsey of New Jersey, who had come out to the Pen. to see me. We had served together in Congress. He was accompanied by a party of prominent gentlemen to whom I was introduced. Mr. Halsey said he had been much interested in watching my case and therefore desired to see me after inquiring as to my treatment and how I bore my confinement he asked me what I would do when I go out. This he said pressed upon him. This led to an animated conversation on the situation, in which several took part, particularly, Senator Fish of Ind. (?) a bright young man. I described how necessary it was that we should have clearly defined what we could do with our families and what we could not do without violating law. In conclusion Mr. Halsey said when you get free you have influence, come East and get these matters arranged. I told him I might call upon him to help. He said he was not in Congress, but he would do what he could. The party manifested kind feelings. On the same day I met and had conversation with Major Strong and Mr. petty of the Dept. Of Justice who came here to inspect the prison. I have had an interview with Bro. John T. Caine and several interviews with Bro. F.S. Richards in which I have urged attention to a number of points, principal of which is to get some ruling, if possible, to define what men can do for their wives and children without being open to arrest when they emerge from the Pen; and also to do everything possible to prevent indictments and convictions for adultery, especially to have a count for unlawful cohabitation and a count for adultery cover the same time. This I view as another form of segregation and punishing twice for the same offence. Bro. Joseph J. Smith sends me word concerning the feelings o Moke a me Ka Bihopa no Ka mine. Me he mea la a man enemi lawa idu, o Moke particularly. A letter from S. John Nuttall, through on a different subject confirms Ka olelo a Josepa. Kupaia naka ia'u Ke Ku e o Moke ia'u. Na Ke Akua e nana mai ia maua, a nana no e hoohewa a I ole ia, e hoopono, e like me Ka maua hana. Ua hoochaia au e Kanahana a e Kana mau olelo; a wa Kau maka no hoi. Aka, Ke pule mau nei au I Ke Akua e hoopakele mai ia'u a e hoolana. Kila mai ia'u, i haule ole au.

I find it difficult to get down to writing much in prison. The atmosphere is not favorable to it, besides the brethren keep me well occupied relating to me their circumstances, asking counsel, asking questions concerning doctrine, Tc. In addition I am called out often to see visitors and this occupies considerable time.

Thursday, Nov. 29/88
Was taken in the evening by [blank space] to Bro. Woodruffs where I met Pres. W., Bro. Jos. J Smith and Mr. Alex Badlam, Jr. spent two and a half hours with them. [Must describe this meeting hereafter.] At 9p.m. [blank space] called for me and took me back. Bishop H.B. Clawson remained at the Warden's while I was gone. On Saturday the Warden was kind enough to take me down to my house on the river to see my son Read who I was told was dying. I had a brief visit, with the Warden's permission, with my folks and my sister-in-law, Jane [Simmonds?] Read is very low. I felt well in administering to him. I took dinner at my wife Elizabeth's late residence-the best meal I have had in eleven weeks.

On Dec. 3/88 Bro. Woodruff wrote me concerning accusations which were made before the council by Elder Moses Thatcher concerning myself(see his letter and all the correspondence on the subject)

This has been a cause of great reflection and sorrow to me. I have never injured this man to my knowledge in thought, word or deed, and yet he attacks and pursues me with an animosity which I cannot account for. I feel to pray for him that the Lord will show him the wrong he is doing me, and to show me also my faults and the causes in me for his feeling and speaking as he does concerning me. Bro. Clawson has brought Bro. Geo. Reynolds out to see me twice that I might be able to get full information concerning the affairs of the B.B & C Co's affairs and be prepared to defend myself. I desired also to have Bro. Reynolds who is the Sec. And Treas. Of the Co., get a correct idea of how the dedicated stock should be arranged, as his views about it were vague. On Sunday Dec. 9 I saw Bro. T.E. Taylor and explained the B.B. and C Co's affairs to him; also on Monday, Dec.10/88 I saw Bro. John W. Taylor and wife and explained my action and the position of Pres. Taylor's interest in the Co. to them. I desire the family to understand the true position. If my information is correct Bro. Moses Thatcher has endeavored to have Gen. J. Taylor and others of the family join him in his feelings this attacks upon me. Bro. F.S. Richards has seen me twice or three times on the account of Pres. T. & heirs & intimated that a lawsuit against was imminent from them.

Wednesday, Dec. 12/88

I write the above. I had two or three visits from Bro. John T. Caine before he left for his post at Washington. I have had many calls from various parties. Had a call this morning from Marshal Dryer and Warden Pratt. They accompanied Mr. [blank space] one of the clerks of the House of Rep's at Washington. Had a pleasant interview. The Marshal informs me that Apostle Syman has surrendered this morning and asks till Jan. 12 to appear.


Top of Page
Click here to return to CC Home Page
Manuscript Collections
Special Collections Home
maintained by Special Collections; last revised, 2-2018, jr .