Monday, August 31, 2009

Boundary Peak

I had a fun and reflective weekend. My brother, Chris, and I climbed Boundary Peak, at 13,143 feet, the highest mountain in Nevada. However, before discussing this weekend, I would like to share a little of a similar trip almost 11 years ago.

My daughter, Rachael, and I were scheduled to go to Nevada to climb Boundary Peak. It was Thursday, October 1, 1998. Thursday afternoon as we were getting ready to go, we got a telephone call and were informed that my brother, Layne, had just died after a long-term battle with esophageal cancer. We thought momentarily about canceling our trip, but then decided to go ahead, there was nothing we were needed for. I actually remember very little about the details of the trip. I believe we tried to go the back way through Dyer, Nevada and had a difficult time finding the trailhead. Then on Friday we drove around, ate breakfast at the Soper's Montgomery Pass Casino, now closed, and went up the Queen Canyon Mine route. We got all the way to Trail Canyon Saddle, and about 100 yards up Peak 12,110, before turning around. There was snow and it was just too slick to go on without the proper equipment.

What I do remember about that trip was the time I spent with Rachael. We laughed and we cried as we talked about Layne and what he was likely doing. He was an outdoorsman and an adventurer and we figured that he approved of the way we chose to spend our next few days after learning of his death. It was one of those precious times in my life when I was one-on-one with my girl. That is what remains with me from that trip 11 years ago. The picture below, I believe, is of Boundary Peak, covered in snow, looking from the Montgomery Pass area.

Rachael at the entrance of the Queen Canyon Mine.

Further up the dirt road, Rachael next to our Jeep, below a nice mountain and very near the trailhead to Boundary Peak.

Rachael and the Jeep at the trailhead.

Rachael and Boundary Peak in the distance. Peak 12,110 is the triangular mountain toward the right side of the massif. Boundary Peak summit is the highest point in the middle of the picture.

Rachael at the beginning of the snowy scree on Peak 12,110. We quit after going a short way up the mountain. It was just too dangerous without the proper gear.

Dial forward almost 11 years. I met my brother, Chris, in Bishop at Bar-B-Q-Bill's for dinner, then we hopped in his truck for the drive up Hwy 6 to Benton and then about 9 miles beyond, just past the California/Nevada border. It was dark and we were looking for a fuel tank with "JR" on it, opposite of which was the unmarked dirt road up Queen Canyon. We saw a large tank to our left, it was dark and could not see if it had "JR" on it, but assumed it did. Then we found a dirt road a short ways beyond and spent a considerable amount of time driving up a very rocky road into a canyon. We were stopped by a small earthen dam in a steep canyon. We were in the wrong place. I re-read the route descriptions and they kept saying the dirt road was opposite the "JR" fuel tank. But there was not a dirt road opposite the tank we'd seen. I suggested we go back out to the road and look some more. When we got out, we turned right and went a short distance further north into Nevada and then found the "JR" tank!

The picture above was taken the next day on the way out (the east side). When Rachael and I were here in 1998, Janie's Ranch was a legal, operating house of prostitution. It is now defunct. Boundary Peak below, as seen from the dirt road (taken the next day). Boundary Peak is just right of center and to its right is Montgomery Peak, a taller mountain, but in California. To the left of Boundary Peak is a view of the ridge line you hike to reach the summit. The much smaller peak to the left of Boundary is Peak 12,110. The perspective from this angle is much different from the perspective from the north side.

A closer view of Boundary Peak.

The dirt road is about 6.2 miles to the Queen Canyon Mine, then another 1.25 miles up to the trailhead which is doable with a four-wheel drive, which Chris's truck has. On our way in we had a young bobcat stop in the middle of the road in the truck headlights, then scamper off to the side. Chris eventually parked his truck in the same place where Rachael and I had parked, right next to the trailhead. Chris set up his truck tent and had a very nice air mattress that fit the bed of the truck. We did not get to sleep until about 1:00 a.m. Morning came quickly. We got up about 5:40 a.m.

As we prepared to get hiking, we spotted a group of 8 wild horses grazing several hills away from us.
I had read there were wild horses in the area from another hiker's blog and hoped we might see some. Nothing like seeing them first thing!

We got off the trail at the very beginning. Chris doubled back and got on it. I recalled that the trail went up a hill and ultimately came back down to the Trail Canyon Saddle. So I kept going to my left, south, around the west side of the hill, hoping to meet the trail in a short distance. However, the terrain kept me contouring in hopes I would find a better way up the steep slope. The route I took did put me in more scenic terrain and I saw some wildlife I would not otherwise have seen. Below, two mule deer.

And even better, a solo wild horse, just disappearing over a ridge. I found it after I heard it whinnying.

The side of the mountain was covered in horse manure and horse tracks. Below, a view of Boundary Peak and Peak 12,110. Trail Canyon Saddle is at the saddle to the right of the picture. From there you go steeply up Peak 12,110 to the saddle a short way down the right side. From there, the trail goes across the back (south) side of Peak 12,110 to the ridge beyond Peak 12,110. From there you follow the ridge all the way up to Boundary Peak.

I got back on the trail about a half mile before Trail Canyon Saddle and reunited with Chris. Chris below, at the saddle, with the face of Peak 12,110 in the background. The trail up through the scree is visible.

Below, Chris a good way up the face of Peak 12,110. Trail Canyon Saddle is below and the mountain we traversed, north to south, to get to the saddle stretches out the length of the picture behind him.

Chris at the saddle below Peak 12,110. The trail, not very visible, runs across the relatively steep face to the sadde on the other side.

I stand at the saddle with Boundary Peak behind me.

From the saddle on the other side, looking back at the saddle and the trail.

From the ridge on the east side of Peak 12,110, looking at the ridge we followed up to Boundary Peak.

Further up the ridge.

Further up the ridge, with the Boundary Peak summit and two rock formations that reminded us of angels.

A closer view of the summit and the angels.

Below, the summit of Montgomery Peak is just visible to the left. The large rock above is the last little knob before the summit.

Looking down a canyon on the northeast side of Boundary Peak.

Near the summit, looking back down the ridgeline we'd just traversed.

Chris at the summit of Boundary Peak. A small red flag honoring the war dead was just above the ammo box summit register. To the left is the ridge line over to Montgomery Peak. The Nevada/California state line bisects the saddle.

From the summit, looking down at the rock angels.

Me, standing at the summit.

Chris had never climbed a mountain like Boundary Peak before and was hit with vertigo. In his words, he had to focus on where he was hiking. If he looked at the steep cliffs or heights, he got dizzy. I think he summed up how he felt about the trip quite nicely to another hiker (who cut his climb short because of his fear of heights) when he said, "I just had a million dollar experience, but I wouldn't give a dime to do it again."

Boundary Peak is relatively short, about an 8 mile roundtrip from the trailhead. But there is over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, most of it from Trail Canyon Saddle up. The west side of Peak 12,110 is very loose scree which can be unnerving and there are some times from the ridges when there are very steep drops into the canyons below. It is primarily a class 2 hike with possibly one or two very short class 3 portions. I appreciated Chris gutting it out and making it to the summit.

It took me about 1 hour and 40 minutes to go about 1 1/2 miles from the trailhead to Trail Canyon Saddle. It would have been much faster if I had stayed on the trail. It took us about an hour from Trail Canyon Saddle to the saddle on Peak 12,110 and from there, about 1 hour 40 minutes to the summit. On the way back down, it took us 45 minutes to get back to the saddle on Peak 12,110, just under half the time. I did not keep track of time the rest of the way out, but it was similarly much faster.

On our way back out on the dirt road, we ran across another group of wild horses, just off the road.

They had several colts.

Then, a short distance away from them, I spotted a wild donkey. It looked like it was trying to stay close, but not too close. A little like an outcast.

It was a beautiful day for a hike. It was also a nice time to reminisce about my experience 11 years earlier with Rachael and to think about my brother Layne. It was appropriate that I could be with my brother Chris.

I sometimes think that life is like a long hike. Much of it is drudgery and hard work. However, it is not so bad when we can do it with family and friends. There are the occasional excitements. In hiking, the beautiful scenery, or seeing a bobcat or wild horses. Then there are the thrills of a nice wind on a hot day with a stunning view from a high peak. The drudgery and hard work are forgotten for a short time and it all seems worthwhile. For me, Boundary Peak is now of bundle of memories that include Rachael, Layne, Chris, a bobcat and some beautiful wild horses. It is also secondarily a state high point and a challenging hike.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ship Sidney: Two Deaths on Board

September 23, 1842 (Friday):

[Levi Richards] Friday 23 All these 24 hours strong gales & squally with rain ends squally with rain. 168 knots. Dead reckoning. Latitude 45.22 Longitude 13.-54.

[Alexander Wright] 23rd my mother some better. Today numbers are sick yet. The wind from the west.

September 24, 1842 (Saturday):

[Levi Richards] Saturday 24 All these 24 hours strong & squally with a very rough sea, ends with strong gales & squally with rain all prudent sail set. 140 [knots]. Dead reckoning. Latitude 43.27. Longitude 15.-30.

[Alexander Wright] 24th had a strong breeze from the west and a good many sick still.

[Joseph Smith [1]] Ship Medford sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans with 214 Saints.

September 25, 1842 (Sunday):

[Levi Richards] Sunday 25 First part of these 24 hours strong gales & squally. At 2 p.m. took in top gallant sail. At 5 took one reef in the main mizzen topsail. Heavy sea running at 7. Reefed the main sails. Last part more moderate. Ends with all drawing sail set. 158 [knots]. Latitude 40.52. Longitude 17.51.

[Alexander Wright] 25th a fine day and sickness nearly disappeared. I got some cayenne pepper from Elder Richards to my mother as she was very bad in a dysentery and I gave her some consecrated oil. This being Sabbath the meeting was opened by Elder Richerds [Richards] and Elder Grenhon [Greenhow] preached forenoon and Elder Watt in the afternoon. We have had a good day of it.

September 26, 1842 (Monday):

[Levi Richards] Monday 26 All these 24 hour pleasant gales & clear weather. 161 [knots]. Latitude 38.48. Longitude 20.-26

[Alexander Wright] 26 This is the finest day we have had and sickness is almost disappeared.

September 27, 1842 (Tuesday):

[Levi Richards] Tuesday Sept. 27 All these 24 hours gentle gales & pleasant weather. Ends with all drawing sails set. 100 [knots]. Latitude 37.47. Longitude 22. 07.

September 28, 1842 (Wednesday):

[Levi Richards] Wednesday 28 These 24 hours begins with light winds & pleasant. Middle part, the same. Last part, gentle gales & passing clouds. 97 [knots] Latitude 36.48. Longitude 23.45.

[Alexander Wright] 28 We had strong breeze today. My mother gets better.

[Joseph Smith [2]] Ship Henry sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans with 157 Saints.

September 29, 1842 (Thursday):

[Levi Richards] Thursday 29 Commenced with strong breeze & cloudy weather. Middle part variable winds & rain. At daylight saw St. Mary's Island, bearing by compass northeast. Ends with gentle gales & pleasant. Near St. Mary's took a [-] departure. Latitude 36.20 Longitude 25.36. 132 knots. Calm 3 hours.

[Alexander Wright] 29 Calm this morning and St. Mary Island in sight in the afternoon. A fine breeze.

September 30, 1842 (Friday):

[Levi Richards] Friday 30 All these 24 hours pleasant gales & passing clouds. 181 [knots] Latitude 34.21. Longitude 28.00.

[Alexander Wright] 30 We passed a ship this morning. Had a fine breeze and mother got better.

October 1, 1842 (Saturday):

[Levi Richards] Saturday Oct. 1 Commenced with gentle breezes from the north & pleasant weather. Middle part squally with rain. Ends with light air from the eastward warm & sultry. 118 [knots] Latitude 32.56. Longitude 29.41.

[Alexander Wright] October 1st it is calm and the ship lies to the south.

October 2, 1842 (Sunday):

[Levi Richards] Sunday 2 For the first & middle part of these 24 hours light airs & calm. At 2 a.m. a light breeze from the westward too in stand sails - ends with moderate gales & pleasant. 89 [knots]. Calm 10 hours. Latitude 32.16 Longitude 31.25.

[Alexander Wright] 2nd Being Sabbath Elder William R. Mlelenin [McLean] the forenoon. In the afternoon with we sacrament was administered by Elder Greenhow and Watt then, Elder Levi Richards spoke of the Missouri persecution and exhorted the Saints to be faithful. I followed him and bore testimony to what he had said, and in the evening Elders Greenhow and Watt. In the evening mother is well now.

October 3, 1842 (Monday):

[Levi Richards] Monday 3 All these 24 gentle gales & clear weather. At 4 a.m. wind began to howl to the northward. Ends with all drawing sail set. 103 [knots]. Latitude 30.48. Longitude 32.26.

[Alexander Wright] 3rd Was a fine day. The captain killed a pig and made a present of some pork to the passengers. We passed another ship and Elder Key [Kay] preached in the afternoon. Elder Wright opened the meeting for him and Elder Greenhow spoke after him.

October 4, 1842 (Tuesday):

[Levi Richards] Tuesday Oct. 4 First part of these 24 hours gentle breeze & pleasant. Middle part light airs & calms. Last part gentle gales & squally with rain. Ends pleasant all drawing sail set. 72 [knots]. Calm 1 hour. Latitude 27.56. Longitude 32.26.

[George Cannon] This is Tuesday, the 4th of October-- a delightful day; the wind is fair and the vessel going about five knots. I am sitting in the stern of the vessel. On each side of the deck are laid some spars, on which and on the vessel’s sides--not too high up-- are seated men, women and children, the younger children scrambling about the deck, while my poor old woman is lying on the hatch under the boat still very ill and unable to hold her head up for any length of time. This is the only drawback to my pleasure, as all the rest of us are well.

[David H. Cannon [3]] David, age 4, recalled that he was a "hard case" on board the ship. On one occasion when he misbehaved and his father threatened to bring the captain to settle with him, he retorted, "Bring him on!"

[Alexander Wright] 4th In the forenoon we had some rain. In the afternoon and elder [Watts] gave a lecture on phrenology, another is getting start now.

October 5, 1842 (Wednesday):

[Levi Richards] Wednesday 5 All these 24 hours light wind & pleasant, so ends with all drawing sails set. 99 [knots]. Latitude 28.16. Longitude 33.54.

[Alexander Wright] 5th Was a calm and very warm and Elder G.D. Watts gave another lecture on phrenology.

October 6, 1842 (Thursday):

[Levi Richards] Thursday 6 This 24 hours commenced with moderate gales, weather clear. Middle & last part light & variable winds. Saw 3 sails running to the north & eastward. Latitude 27.59. Longitude 33.34.

[Alexander Wright] 6th A calm and 3 ships in sight. We sighted [-] with her. It was very warm and the captain put up a sail overhead to keep the sun off us. Elder Kay preached and Elder Harison [Richard Harrison] followed him.

October 7, 1842 (Friday):

[Levi Richards] Friday 7 Commenced with light airs, & pleasant weather. At 4 p.m. calm, middle & last part light. Moderate gales & pleasant. Saw 4 sails running north & eastward. Ends with all drawing sails set by the wind. 60 [knots]. Calm 5 hours. Latitude 28.05 Longitude 35. 04.

[Alexander Wright] 7th Had a good breeze ahead and passed 5 ships.

October 8, 1842 (Saturday):

[Levi Richards] Saturday 8 Commenced with gentle breezes, pleasant weather. Middle part squally with rain. Ends with fresh breezes & short chopped sea. 21 [knots]. Latitude 27.10. Longitude 35.04.

[George Cannon] Saturday, 8th of October--Up to this time nothing of consequence occurred on board. My poor Ann still continues very sick and is getting weaker every day. This morning a child of Brother John Yates’ died, a fine little boy [Robert] three years old. This afternoon we committed his little body to the deep. Brother [John] Greenhow addressed us in a very impressive manner on the occasion, and was listened to by the whole on board with the most marked attention.

[Alexander Wright] 8th It was squally and a good many sick awhile [-]. Brother John Yets [Yates] died early this morning and was committed to a watery grave in the afternoon. Elder Greenhow officiated on the occasion and all the passengers and crew was present the scene was so calm. [-] 2 vessels in this morning.

October 9, 1842 (Sunday):

[Levi Richards] Sunday 9 Commences with fresh breezes & clear weather with heavy head sea. Last part strong breezes from the northeast & squally with rain storms ends. 100 [knots]. Latitude 27.43. Longitude 36.34.

[Alexander Wright] 9th Elder Greenhow preached this aft evening on the Book of Mormon. A strong breeze from northeast and some more sick. It being Sabbath but two met in the forepart to have meeting.

October 10, 1842 (Monday):

[Levi Richards] Monday 10 Commenced with strong breezes, squally with rain. Middle & last part, prosperous gales, & pleasant weather. 188 [knots]. Latitude 25.29. Longitude 39.04.

[Alexander Wright] 10th Fair wind all met in the evening Elder Greenhow preached.

October 11, 1842 (Tuesday):

[Levi Richards] Tuesday Oct. 11 Commenced with gentle breezes & pleasant weather. Middle & last part moderate gales & pleasant. So ends this 24 hours all drawing sails set. 108 [knots] Latitude 24.36. Longitude 40.48.

[Alexander Wright] 11th A fine day and Elder Richards preached in the afternoon.

October 12, 1842 (Wednesday):

[Levi Richards] Wednesday 12 All these 24 hours moderate gales & pleasant. Ends with all drawing sails set. 107 [knots]. Latitude 23.43. Longitude 42.36.

[Alexander Wright] 12th A fine day and Elder Greenhow spoke on the fulfillment of prophecies which caused some discussion to take place between him and Mr. Brunt a [-] in principle. The [-] got route and insisted that he would not trouble him any more.

October 13, 1842 (Thursday):

[Levi Richards] Thursday 13 All these 24 hours, light winds & pleasant weather. 90 [knots]. Latitude 22.10 Longitude 44.06.

[George Cannon] On Thursday, the 13th, a fine young sailor fell from the foreyard on deck. He was taken up insensible and died next morning and was committed to the deep the afternoon of the same day. His name was George Hill, belonging to the state of Maine, U. S.

During the whole of this time my dear Ann continues very and is still getting weaker. There is not a drop of wine or porter in the vessel, and she wishes very much for a little porter or ale. This day I learned for the first time that there was some porter on board, belonging to the cargo in the lower hold. The captain got some of it taken up to his cabin, and from that time I have got as much as I wanted for my wife. When she got the porter I was in hopes that she would retain strength until we got to land; but it was ordained other ways. We had performed the first half of our voyage in less than three weeks, but from that time it has been a series of calms with a light breeze, sometimes in our face. My heart used to die or sink within me along with the breeze. "Are we far from New Orleans that I may get some grapes and wine?" as my dear Ann’s constant inquiry when I came down off deck, as she is too weak to be taken on deck herself. I endeavored to speak words of comfort to her, while I had no prospect of her ever seeing the land of Joseph in this life. Dear Ann, the next wine thou shalt get will be pure in the Kingdom of Heaven! She talked of her death as of a sleep, told me not to lament her, that if she lived to reach the Mississippi she must be buried on land, if not, the great deep must receive her poor body that is shrunk to a mere skeleton.

I will not attempt to describe the nights in particular which I have passed while watching by the side of one of the best wives that ever man was blest with--to see the grim tyrant approaching slowly but steadily to his victim; yet with all her sufferings no complaint ever escaped her, but the words, "Dear George, what am I to do?" These words are never to be forgotten by me while I have memory. O God, how mysterious are thy ways! Teach me resignation to thy will!

[Alexander Wright] 13th Was a fine day and in the afternoon one of the sailors fell from the fore yard and never spoke again although he lived for ten hours.

October 14, 1842 (Friday):

[Levi Richards] Friday 14 All these 24 hours gentle breezes & clear weather. At 3 ½ p.m hiked ship & when in the act of setting the fore topmost sail the sail caught the boom iron on the fore yard. Called for a hand to go up and clean the sail. George H. Hill started up, he being the nearest & in trying to walk out on the yard, he fell to the deck. He never spoke after - lived 17 hours. Everything being done for his relief but all to no purpose. At the close of the day committed his remains to to [SIC] [the] deep. 101 [knots]. Latitude 22.47. Longitude 46.02.

[Alexander Wright] 14th We had a fair wind today and the flag was put half yard high and at ten the bell tolled and the corpse was [-] into a piece of canvas and a quantity of stones put to his feet. Elder Greenhow was called to officiate, as he did in the usual order and he was committed to his watery grave. The flag was then hoisted to the top of the spanker until 12 o'clock then it was taken down and the seamen then went to work as usual. Afterwards the passengers assembled and Elder Greenhow spoke on the resurrection and the privilege of those that had not the privilege of obeying it in this state of existence that all would have the privilege. There was some further discussion between Mr. Brunt and Elder Greenhow.

October 15, 1842 (Saturday):

[Levi Richards] Saturday 15 Commenced with gentle gales & pleasant weather. Middle & last part the same, these 24 thus ended. 113 [knots]. Latitude 22.49. Longitude 48.05.

[Alexander Wright] 15th A fine day and the wind fair. In the evening Elder G. D. Watt spoke and showed that the sects of the day could not help the state that they were now in. He also spoke on the gifts of the spirit and showed that there was many false spirits and showed that the Saints might be deceived by the false spirits and showed that we had not as yet got that power that the ancients that the authority that we had received did not authorize us (the elders) to go forth and say to the sick [-] and it shall all be so or to command the waves or the wind and now that it would be so or to the blind receive your sight that we had not that authority conferred on us as fore. [-] born and continued to blow through the night.

October 16, 1842 (Sunday):

[Levi Richards] Sunday Oct 16 Commenced with gentle breezes & clear weather ends the same with all drawing sail set. 130 [knots]. Latitude 23.06. Longitude 50.27.

[Alexander Wright] Oct. 16 this being Sabbath and a fine day we had 3 meetings on deck. In the forenoon Elder Watts spoke on the same subject as he did last night and made it more clear and in the afternoon Elder Pareson [Harrison] ended the meeting and gave it up to be occupied by the Saints when I and a number of others bore testimony and in the evening Elders Richards and Pareson [Harrison] spoke.

October 17, 1842 (Monday):

[Levi Richards] Monday 17 All these 24 hours gentle gales & pleasant weather. Ends the same with all drawing sail set. 106 [knots]. Latitude 23.18. Longitude 52.23.

[Alexander Wright] 17th Was a fine day and very warm and in the evening Elder Benson preached.


[1] History of the Church, Vol 5, page 165.

[2] History of the Church, Vol. 5, page 165.

[3] CFHT, p. 240.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Leaving Liverpool on the Sidney: Ann Cannon is Sick

The next few blogposts will follow George Cannon, the Immigrant, and his family from Liverpool to Nauvoo, Illinois. The Immigrant and his family sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans on the ship Sidney with other LDS converts. Others on the voyage also left extant journals. For the most part, the following entries will list a particular date and then give the journal entries from the various participants in their own words. Occasionally there are retrospective accounts by participants, or comments by Joseph Smith or others about applicable events and they are also put in where relevant.

September 3, 1842 (Tuesday):

[George Cannon [1]] Liverpool, September 3, 1842--Gave notice to my employer that I was leaving his employ that day. He had previous to this offered me five shillings a week more wages, telling me that it was quite absurd to think of more distress coming on this country--that things were beginning to look brighter, and in a short time would be (as he termed it) alright. Finding that I was determined by the help of God to go, he acknowledged that my testimony and his own observation had led him to conclusions which made him tremble, and he begged of me to write to him when I got to Nauvoo the truth, and he would place confidence in my account, and he thought he could induce about forty of his relatives to join him in emigrating to Nauvoo, and they are pretty rich in worldly substance (he has no prejudice against the doctrine.) Now the petty trials commence in every shape. All our friends know that we will bitterly repent leaving England and a constant employ. We can get nothing for our furniture--our friends who are so anxious about us will buy none of it, not even the clock or drawers which belonged to the family.

[Ann Cannon Woodbury [2]] My mother had a presentiment that she would die on the sea. Father wanted to go by New York, but she said she had a brother and two sisters there and they would keep her children if she was gone and she wanted them to go to the body of the church. Her folks were so opposed to Mormonism they would never let them go.

[Robert Crookston [3]] My father had saved quite a sum of money for his old age and I also had quite a little so we decided to emigrate to America where we could be with the body of the Church. My Aunt Sophia, or Suffie we called her, and cousin Maggie were anxious to go with us so we told them we would pay their passage. Uncle William Robinson had not joined the Church. He drank a good deal and he and Aunt Suffie were not living together. He felt very bad and wanted to go with us but had no money. He was a good natured, kind man but father and mother did not like him. His daughter loved him and I felt sorry for him and finally the folks consented and we brought him over. We could not afford to pay his passage so we pulled the feather beds to the front of a bunk and hid the old man under the quilts while the inspector went through. All of us would smuggle food down to him and take him up on deck at night for some fresh air. After he had been in Nauvoo a while he joined the Church but was not robust and died at that place. The folks had to bury him. Our Scotch neighbors thought we were crazy, and as they knew that we could not take much of our possessions with us we had to sell everything at a great sacrifice. But we wanted to come to Zion and be taught by the prophet of God. We had the spirit of gathering so strongly that Babylon had no claim on us…

September 13, 1842 (Tuesday):

[Alexander Wright [4]] We landed at Liverpool on the 13 at 1 o’clock and anchored in the river as the tied was in. I went ashore in a small boat and went to Mary Bruit and Feildens of so to see where the ship was and I met Mr. Pratt [5] as I went up and learned that the ship lay in Waterloo Dock and her name was the Sidney of Boston commanded by Captain Cowen. I then went to her and found Brother Hiram Clark there given out the berths and I took by our berths on the larboard side Numbers 37, 38, 39, 40 and 42. I then went down and the boat had got up to the wharf and we hired a carter to take our luggage to the ship for 6 shillings and we sleeped aboard of the Sidney on 13th of Sept. and we lodged there until we started and provided ourselves with such things as we wanted. We bought straw for our beds at 1/8 per stone and we got boiled water and room to eat our meat in a cook house for 1 ½ each we was not allowed fire on board until the ship sailed as no fire is allowed within the docks at Liverpool.

September 16, 1842 (Friday):

[Levi Richards [6]] 1842-Ship Sidney lying in the port of Liverpool.
Friday Sept. 16 M. [morning] commenced with fresh breezes from the southward cloudy sky. At 4 p.m. hauled down to the dock gates.

September 17, 1842 (Saturday):

[Levi Richards] Saturday 17 At 9 a.m. hauled through the gates down the pier head. At 10, set the fore & mizen topsail, & dropped off into the river, & called over the passengers’ names & found three secreted & sent them onshore & proceeded down the river - at 11 the wind to the west, northwest. Weather looking very bad & rainy, returned up the river again some 10 miles.

[George Cannon] My wife’s brother did not come to see us off. Well, this shows how deeply they have our happiness in view! Saturday morning about nine o’clock. 17th of September, 1842, we [7] hauled out of the Waterloo Dock on board the ship Sidney. Captain Cowan, and were towed by a steamer past the light ship (the wind being about northeast and very light).

[Alexander Wright] On Saturday 17th of Sept. we [8] went through the docks and started about 9 o'clock with 180 passengers for New Orleans. We sailed for a few miles but the wind died and the tide took us back so that we had to anchor opposite Liverpool until the turn of the [tied] did rise.

[John Greenhow [9]] In Liverpool the work has been going on steadily, since the time you [John Taylor] left, and the hearers both numerous and respectable. At the time you left I believe the Liverpool Conference numbered about two hundred and fifty; and when I left, in September last, over seven hundred. We have had peace and good order throughout, and have had but seldom indeed to resort of cutting off. The last twelve weeks of my presidency over the Liverpool Conference we baptized ninety eight.

[Robert Crookston] …on the 7th day of September 1841 we [10] sailed from Liverpool on the Ship Sydney. Captain Cowan, Levi Richards, President with 180 passengers. Among the number were George Z. Cannon, Angus Cannon and their mother, George D. Watt and family.

[Joseph Smith [11]] Ship Sydney sailed from Liverpool for New Orleans with 180 Saints.

September 18, 1842 (Sunday):

[Levi Richards] Sunday 18 Commenced with strong breezes from the west northwest & rainy. At 1 ½ p.m. came to in the river, 2 miles below Liverpool. Middle part moderate & pleasant. At 10 a.m. hove up anchor, took steam & towed down the river ending with light breeze from the north.

[George Cannon] On Sunday, the 18th, we all left Liverpool in good spirits, and nothing caused me so much regret as leaving so many of the Saints behind, anxious to go but without the means to do so.

[Alexander Wright] Morning 18. When we got a steam tug to take us down the river. I standed to prayer the first night by the directions of Elders [John] Greenhow and [George D.] Watt. The wind was favorable today.

September 19, 1842 (Monday):

[Levi Richards] Monday 19 Commenced with light from the north & pleasant. At 2 p.m. steamboat left us 14 miles from town, set all sail by the wind. At 4 set fore topsail & topgallant stud sail. At 8 p.m. the light on point lines bore by compass west, southwest 10 miles. At 10 saw Skariee Light, bearing by compass west. At 12 it bore southwest ½ west 7 miles. First the wind hauled south, southeast. Cloudy weather, Holyhead Light, been southwest at 3 ½ it bore east by north 2 south. At 8, Bordsey Light, bore southeast 12 miles. At 11 a.m. tacked ship to west southeast ending with gentle gales & passing clouds.

[Alexander Wright] Sep 19. We had a fair wind today so that we had to bet and it was counseled that it would be the best order to have prayers at the main hatch when the weather would permit. There was some sickness but not much in our family.

September 20, 1842 (Tuesday):

[Levi Richards] Tuesday Sept. 20 Commenced with moderate gales & rainy. At 4 p.m. passed Bordsey Island Lighthouse, bore by compass southeast by north, tacked ship to the west, northwest. At 1 a.m. tacked ship to south, southwest. Moderate gales & cloudy. At 4 to west, northwest at 6 to southwest…Flattering winds, ends with moderate breezes & cloudy all sail set by the wind.

[Alexander Wright] 20 wind was more favorable. The greater part of the passengers were sick and my mother was bad with a dysentery.

September 21, 1842 (Wednesday):

[Levi Richards] Wednesday 21 Commenced with fresh gales & cloudy & frequent squalls of rain. At 2 ½ p.m. saw St. David's Head, bearing by compass southeast of west bearing head sea at 8 p.m. At 6 the head bore southeast by east, at 7 the Smalls Light bore by compass south by east from which took departure 8 miles distant. Middle part strong breeze & heavy head sea. At 2 a.m. got the anchors on bow & secured them. At 4 put one reef in the fore & mizen topsail, and furled the topgallant sails, spanker & spencer. At 11 set the reef from the mizen topsail. Ends with fresh breeze & heavy cross sea. From noon 20th to noon 21st 142 knots. Latitude 50.-16. Longitude 7.-57.

[Alexander Wright] 21 we had a strong breeze today and all our people were sick but W. [William] Donald and Robert Wright. We lost sight of land today.

September 22, 1842 (Thursday):

[Levi Richards] Thursday 22 All these 24 hours strong gales & squally. Saw an English man of war steering up the channel & one brig. Ends with strong breezes & passing clouds. 207 knots. Latitude 47.-28. Longitude 11.-11.

[Alexander Wright] 22nd we had a fair wind today and the most of the passengers were still sick.

[George Cannon] We are now launched on the bosom of the mighty deep, and sea-sickness had made the passengers for the most part very ill. My dear Ann is dreadfully affected with this nauseous sickness, perhaps more so on account of her pregnancy. In how may ways and shapes are we tried! Not a morsel of food or drink will remain on her stomach--the moment she lifts her head she is sick almost to death. Yet I have never heard one complaint from her on her own account, but regret at not being able to assist me in the care of the children. Her stomach seems to have changed its functions, and this is the tenth day without anything passing through her.

And how am I all this time! Well in body, but if depending on my own strength I should be in despair. But thanks be to our Heavenly Father, he has removed a fear from my mind which has preyed on it for years. Many years since I dreamed a dream which time or circumstance has never been able entirely to remove. I was impressed with a conviction that my wife should die while in a state of pregnancy. This was before I thought of marrying. Many would think this preceded from imbecility of mind or superstition; but my dreams (those I mean which made a deep impression on my memory) have been fulfilled so plainly that I never could doubt but that God sent them for some good purpose. I have never seen my wife pregnant without this fear of her death, and always felt thankful to God in a twofold sense when this critical time was past. She was aware of this feeling of mine, and it was a trial of our faith to cross the sea while she was in this state. But thoughts of undertaking the voyage in the spring when the weather was so cold, and with an infant of two or three months old, was in her estimation worse; and both of us feeling, while in England, that we were away from home and could not rest satisfies, although worldly circumstances favored us, still our hearts were in Zion and with our children, however persecuted, calumniated and belied.

While racking my mind and considering and devising what more I could do for my Ann-- I had given her consecrated oil, castor oil, pills, salt water, etc., had the hands of the elders laid on her, still she continued in the same state and I feared that inflammation would take place. Sister [Harriet] Chandler had no apparatus for administering an injection. I applied to Brother [Levi] Richards, who got all that was requisite of the captain, and this was the means under the hand of God of removing one fear from my bosom, and causing me to rest in peace that night--the first for many nights and days. Leonora and David have had no sickness and are less trouble than I expected, but George, Mary Alice, Anny and Angus have all been very sick, particularly George and Anny.

Perhaps a more agreeable ship’s company, both of the Saints and seamen, never crossed the Atlantic. The captain and officers are kind and humane men and so far from disputes or hard feelings that the sailors say they never saw a family who agreed better: and they wonder how a company of people who were many of them strangers to each other can bear and forbear in the manner they do. One of the sailors, an intelligent man, told me that he had been in the passenger line of shipping for years and never saw anything like it: in general the captain kept his distance and did not allow of freedoms from the passengers: but here he allowed them every indulgence, took pleasure in having the children round him on the quarter-deck and would play with them as if they were his own. May the Lord bless him for his kindness!


[1] George Cannon Journal (privately printed by John Q. Cannon in 1927), referred to hereafter as “[George Cannon]” unless otherwise specifically stated.

[2] Ann Cannon was the third child of George and Ann Cannon (she later married Orin Nelson Woodbury). Ann’s hand-written journals were preserved and are included, in summary form, in Cannon Family Historical Treasury (George Cannon Family Association, 1967), hereafter referred to as “CFHT.” This segment was on page 161. Later references to Ann Woodbury Cannon’s journal in the CFHT, pages 161 to 162, shall be referred to as “[Ann Cannon Woodbury]”, unless otherwise specifically indicated.

[3] Robert Crookston Autobiography, 1900 (LDS Church Archives), referred to hereafter as “[Robert Crookston]”.

[4] Journal of Alexander Wright (LDS Church Archives), referred to hereafter as “ [Alexander Wright]”.

[5] “Between the middle of September and my own embarkation in October, I chartered three vessels for New Orleans, and filled them with the emigrating Saints, viz: The ‘Sidney,’ with one hundred and eighty souls; the ‘Medford,’ with two hundred and fourteen souls; and the ‘Henry,’ with one hundred and fifty-seven. I next chartered the ‘Emerald,’ on which I placed about two hundred and fifty passengers, including myself and family.” Parley P Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt: Revised and Enhanced Edition, edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor (Deseret Book Company, 2000) (hereafter “Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt”). Pratt was president of the British Mission. Hiram Clark was in charge of emigration for the church out of Liverpool.

[6] Levi Richards Emigrating Company Journal (LDS Church Archives), referred to hereafter as “ [Levi Richards]”. The passenger list includes Levi Richards, age 40 (born in 1802), a “minister of the Gospel.”

[7] The passenger list has 8 Cannons, including George Cannon, Sen. (the author of the journal), age 45 (born in 1797 [he was actually 47, born December 3, 1794]), a joiner; Ann Cannon (his wife), age 42 (born in 1800 [she was actually 44, born August 26, 1798]); and their six children: George Cannon, Jun., age 15 (born in 1827 [January 11, 1827]); Mary Alice Cannon, age 13 (born in 1829 [she was actually born December 9, 1828]); Ann Cannon, age 10 (born in 1832 [January 28, 1832]); Agnes [Angus] Munn Cannon, age 6 (born in 1836 [he was actually 8, born May 17, 1834]); David Henry Cannon, age 4 (born in 1838 [April 23, 1838]); and Leonora Cannon, age 1 (born in 1841 [she was actually 2, born September 11, 1840]). George, Jun. adopted the middle name “Quayle” later, in the goldfields of California, to distinguish himself from another George Cannon also in the goldfields.

[8] The passenger list has 8 Wrights, including William Wright, age 62 (born in 1780), a farmer; Ann Wright (his wife), age 62 (born in 1780); and their six children: Alexander Wright (a son and the author of the journal), age 37 (born in 1805), a farmer; James Wright (a son), age 30 (born in 1812), a farmer; John Wright (a son), age 22 (born in 1820), a carpenter; Robert Wright (a son), age 20 (born in 1822), a carpenter; Mary Wright (a daughter), age 18 (born in 1824); and Ann Wright (a daughter), age 17 (born in 1825).

[9] Letter from John Greenhow to John Taylor (published in Times and Seasons on February 1, 1843, pages 91-92), referred to hereafter as “ [John Greenhow]”. The passenger list has 6 Greenhows, including John Greenhow (the author of the letter), age 33 (born in 1809) a printer; Jane Greenhow (his wife), age 33 (born in 1809); and their four daughters: Eliza Greenhow, age 13 (born in 1829); Sarah Greenhow, age 11 (born in 1831); Jane Greenhow, age 9 (born in 1833); and Mary Greenhow, age 6 (born in 1836)

[10] The passenger list includes James Crookston, Sen., age 62 (born in 1780), a collier; Mary Crookston (his wife), age 62 (born in 1780); and their two children: Robert Crookston (the son and author of the autobiography), age 22 (born in 1820), a collier; and James Crookston, Jun., age 20 (born 1822), a collier.

[11] History of the Church, Vol. 5, page 164

Friday, August 28, 2009

Liverpool: 1840 to 1842

I have not been able to find many references to George Cannon or his family for the next few years, but there are lots of activities going on in Liverpool that they were aware of and involved in. Brigham Young was a regular visitor and many ships of LDS converts left England for the U.S. from Liverpool.

On October 30, 1840, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball spent the day in Liverpool before leaving the next day for Harden. [1] Several days later, on November 2nd, Brigham Young found Levi Richards, Lorenzo Snow, J. Blakeslee and James Burnham in Manchester. They had just arrived from the United States on a mission. [2] Six days later, on November 8th, Brigham Young “organized the priesthood in Manchester to meet every Sabbath morning, and distribute themselves throughout the different parts of the city to preach in the streets. In this way they occupied about forty preaching stations, at each one of which the congregation were notified of our regular meetings in the Carpenter’s Hall.” This was the way John Taylor had organized the priesthood holders to do missionary work in Liverpool. [3]

John Taylor returned from the Isle of Man on November 16, 1840 and again made Liverpool his headquarters. Joseph Fielding, among others, went to the Isle of Man to take his place and preach. The remainder of Taylor’s time in England was spent mostly in Liverpool. [4]

On December 29, 1840, Brigham Young went from Manchester to Liverpool to pay the printer an installment of money for the printing of the Book of Mormon. John Taylor was not available to do so as he had gone to Harden. Young remained in Liverpool to attend a conference, also attended by Parley P. Pratt and John Taylor, on Friday, January 1, 1841. Young noted that the “work of God was reported to be progressing favorably in the region round about, and also in Wales and Ireland.” The next day, Pratt, Taylor and Young left for Preston. [5]

On Thursday, January 14th, Young traveled from Manchester to Liverpool and preached in the Music Hall in the evening. He stayed in Liverpool for more than a month. On Sunday the 17th, Young preached twice in the Music Hall. [6] On January 18, 1841, Young and Willard Richards started an index to the English edition of the Book of Mormon. Young preached in the Music Hall on Wednesday, the 20th, and completed the index to the Book of Mormon on Thursday the 21st. The index “was immediately put in type, and finished the printing of the first English edition of 5,000 copies.” Young preached at Brother Green’s that evening. [7] On Sunday, January 24th, Brigham Young preached in the Music Hall twice, on election and reprobation. He had just completed an article on that topic with Willard Richards for the Millennial Star. [8] On February 3rd, Brigham Young “delivered [another] lecture in the Music Hall.” [9]

Fourth ship of LDS converts leaves Liverpool:

On February 6, 1841, Brigham Young, Willard Richards and John Taylor met at Richard Harrison’s [10] to organize the fourth company of emigrants to America. Organizing the migration was complex. They had to contract for ships, purchase provisions and negotiate contracts to allow the Saints to travel at the cheapest available cost. Each company of emigrants was organized as a church unit and a presidency was set apart for each. For the company of Saints on the ship Sheffield, Hiram Clark was chosen as president. The Sheffield left Liverpool the next day, with 235 Saints, bound for New Orleans. [11]

On February 11, 1841, Brigham Young “met in counsel with Willard Richards and John Taylor, and set apart the presidency over the ship Echo, Daniel Browett, president.” The Echo sailed from Liverpool on February 16th with 109 members. Young left Liverpool on the 20th for Harden. [12]

On February 24th, Brigham Young returned to Liverpool from Harden. The next day, he attended a blessing and meeting at Brother D[u]mville’s where Patriarch Melling officiated. The next day Young departed for Manchester. [13]

Apostle Orson Hyde and George J. Adams arrived by ship in Liverpool on March 3, 1841, after a passage of 18 days from New York. That same evening they found John Taylor and Willard Richards [14] and stayed with them for two days, perhaps at the Cannon’s home, before going on to Preston. [15]

On March 11, 1841, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball went from Manchester to Liverpool where they met with Willard Richards and John Taylor to organize a company of Saints to emigrate to America. Thomas Smith and William Moss were appointed to take charge of the 54 members on the ship Alesto, bound for New Orleans. [16] The next day, Brigham Young attended to the members about ready to sail for America and attended a “blessing-meeting” at William C. Mitchell’s home. Two days later, Young attended another “blessing-meeting” at Brother D[u]mville’s. Two days later, on the 17th, the ship Echo sailed from Liverpool. Young left Liverpool with Reuben Hedlock for Harden. [17]

John Taylor was back in Liverpool by March 23, 1841, having baptized 12 people in Douglas, Isle of Man, on March 17th. [18]

Brigham Young returned to Liverpool on March 23rd and stayed until April 1st. For three days, March 25 to 27, he and Willard Richards were witnesses at the Liverpool post office in the case of “The Queen v. Joseph Holloway,” involving failure of the post office to deliver timely mail. He and Willard Richards also attended the Liverpool Conference on March 31st. [19]

By the time of general conference of the British Mission, on April 15, 1841, at Carpenter’s Hall in Manchester, there were 190 members in Liverpool, 90 members in the Isle of Man and 35 members in Ireland. There were 5,814 members in the British Isles, not including about 800 that had emigrated to the United States during the year, and branches had been formed in most of the principal towns in Great Britain. Among those listed as presidents of conferences were G. D. Watt of the Edinburgh Conference, Levi Richards of the Garmay Conference and J. Greenhow of the Liverpool Conference (which included the churches in Liverpool, the Isle of Man and Wales, including Overton, Harding and Ellesmere). These men would all be leaders of the Saints upon the ship Sidney, when the Cannon family emigrated to the United States in September 1842. 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon and a hymn book had been printed and the Millennial Star was being published monthly. Parley P. Pratt replaced Brigham Young as president of the British Mission and Levi Richards and Lorenzo Snow were sustained as his counselors. Pratt was also to continue to publish the Millenial Star. [20] Amos Fielding was appointed agent of the Church to superintend the fitting out of the companies of emigrants from Liverpool. [21]

Later that day, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith and Levi Richards left Manchester for Liverpool. They attended a “tea party” at the Music Hall where 200 Saints “were seated at table together.” Wilford Woodruff noted, “The Saints have rented this hall for their meetings. It will seat about 2,000. This is the first time I have visited Liverpool since I first landed. It gave me peculiar feelings to sit down with 200 Saints in this place thinking that when we first landed that [there] was not one in the city but ourselves. After tea we were introduced to this intelligent body of Saints & the quorum of the Twelve addressed them in few words, after which we were dismissed.” George A. Smith and Wilford Woodruff stayed at Brother Harringtons at the top of Gunville Street. [22]

Sunday, April 18, 1841, Brigham Young “met with the Saints in Liverpool, and the Twelve occupied the day in preaching and bearing testimony to the people.” Wilford Woodruff noted that he “Preached to about 200 saints & some of the world in the music Hall in bold st. Liverpool in the morning. In the afternoon the Twelve bore testimony of the work of God. We communed with the Saints in the evening.” The next day, the 19th, the Twelve got their “baggage on board, intending to draw out into the river, but the wind being unfavorable,” they “remained on shore.” [23]

April 20, 1841, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith and Willard Richards boarded the ship Rochester, bound for New York with 130 Saints. Young noted, “We gave the parting hand to Elders [Orson] Hyde and P[arley P.] Pratt, and a multitude of Saints who stood upon the dock to see us start. We drew out into the river Mersey, and cast anchor in sight of Liverpool, where we spent the day and night…It truly seemed a miracle to look upon the contrast between our landing and departing from Liverpool. We landed in the spring of 1840, as strangers in a strange land and penniless, but through the mercy of God we have gained many friends, established churches in almost every noted town and city in the kingdom of Great Britain, baptized between seven and eight thousand, printed 5,000 Books of Mormon, 3,000 Hymn Books, 2,500 volumes of the Millennial Star, and 50,000 tracts…” [24] The second installment of Heber C. Kimball’s prophecy to Parley P. Pratt had been fulfilled: John Taylor and Joseph Fielding, particularly, and other converts from Canada had played a significant role in the spreading of the gospel to England.

There is about a five month gap where I have no record of activity. Then on September 21, 1841, the ship Tyrian left Liverpool bound for New Orleans with 207 Saints under the direction of Joseph Fielding. [25] William C. Mitchell, of Liverpool, and his family, who were brought into the Church by Fielding and Taylor, were passengers. Hundreds of people watched the ship leave, waiving hats and handkerchiefs as a farewell. [26] Surely the Cannon family was there to see their friend and frequent house-guest off.

George J. Adams arrived in Liverpool on October 30, 1841. The next day, Sunday, he preached in the Music Hall twice to an overflowing crowd of over two thousand people. In his evening talk, he gave the reasons he had renounced Methodism. He stayed in Liverpool until December 31st, giving a farewell lecture to a completely full Music Hall. [27]

Many converts leave Liverpool by ship:

On November 8, 1841, the 1,200 ton ship Chaos left Liverpool with 170 Saints bound for New Orleans under the direction of Patriarch Peter Melling. [28]

On January 12, 1842, the ship Tremont left Liverpool with 143 passengers, mostly Saints, bound for New Orleans. The cost averaged from 3 pounds, 15 schillings, to 4 pounds, including provisions. [29]

On February 5, 1842, the ship Hope left Liverpool with 270 Saints, under the direction of James Burnham, bound for New Orleans. [30]

On February 20, 1842, the ship John Cummins left Liverpool with 200 Saints bound for New Orleans. [31]

On February 27, 1842, George J. Adams preached three times to overflowing congregations in Liverpool. He had left Liverpool on the ship Mersey on December 31st with 200 passengers under Captain Rae. They had a gale and head winds for weeks, culminating in a tempest beginning on February 6th. The ship was damaged and their provisions were almost exhausted. Adams stated: “It was made known to me in a night vision …that we could not reach New York at that time but would be compelled to return to Liverpool for some wise end and purpose, and although many expected to meet a watery grave, I told them if they returned to Liverpool not one of them should perish; but if they persisted in going to New York they would be wrecked and many lives would be lost. Finally…the Captain concluded to take my counsel and turn the ship towards England. At this time we had only about ten day’s provisions, allowing about one meal per day, and that chiefly oatmeal and water; some of the water that we were compelled to drink had dead putrid rats in it…In just eleven days…we landed safe in Liverpool precisely as I had told them we should; we landed on the 25th of February.” The ship’s arrival created great excitement in Liverpool. Captain Rae and many of the ship passengers attended the sermon and Adams remained in Liverpool another three weeks. Some of the passengers on the Mersey were baptized. [32]

On March 12, 1842, the ship Hanover, under the direction of Amos Fielding, left Liverpool for New Orleans with 200 Saints. Fielding intends to come back to Liverpool in September to resume his job as agent. [33]

A General Conference was held in the New Corn Exchange in Manchester on May 15, 1842. The Liverpool Conference was represented by John Greenhow and had 570 members in the branches of Liverpool, Warrington, Newton, St. Helens, Isle of Man, Wales, and York. G. D. Watt represented the Edinburgh Conference with 271 members in branches in Edinburgh, Wemysa and Stirling. There were 7,514 members in Great Britain. John Greenhow addressed the conference, talking about his experience with the Methodists and later with Aikin and Matthews as an elder in the Aitkenites (sp?). While with the Aikenites he felt that something was wanting, the same results did not follow from believing and obeying the word as in the primitive churches. [34]

In a letter to John Taylor, from William Rowley of Liverpool, dated June 1842, Rowley states, “A great many of the Saints intend coming [to Nauvoo] in the fall; Harrison, Gree[n]how, Boyd, Hall, Dumville, and others, and especially your own friends, brother Cannon will come, I expect, the very first ship that sails in September.” [35]


[1] MHBY, p. __.

[2] MHBY, p. __.

[3] MHBY, p. __; Apostles in Great Britain, p. __.

[4] Apostles in Great Britain, p. __.

[5] MHBY, p. __.

[6] MHBY, p. __.

[7] MHBY, p. __.

[8] MHBY, p. __.

[9] MHBY, p. __.

[10] On June 6, 1845, in Nauvoo, John Taylor spoke at the funeral of the only child of Richard Harrison. In his journal he noted that he had formerly boarded with the Harrison’s in Liverpool. “The John Taylor Nauvoo Journal,” BYU Studies, Vol. 23, No. 2 - Spring 1983.

[11] MHBY, p. __; Apostles in the British Isles, p. 234.

[12] MHBY, p. __.

[13] MHBY, p. __.

[14] Willard Richards was Joseph Smith’s personal secretary from December 1842 to the end of his life in June 1844. He kept Joseph’s journal. He “virtually shadowed Joseph for the last year and a half of his life” and “wrote more about him than anyone.” Since Joseph wrote so little about himself, “we must rely on images filtered through the eyes of people who knew him” and much of that is through the filter of Willard Richards. Bushman, pp. 482-483.

[15] Parley P. Pratt, editor and publisher The Latter-Day Saints Millenial Star, Volume 1 (W. Shackleton & Son Ducie-Place: Manchester, England), Letter from Orson Hyde to Pratt, dated April 13, 1841, pp. 307-308; Letter from George J. Adams, dated April 21, 1842, Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 16, p. 826.

[16] MHBY, p. __.

[17] MHBY, p.__.

[18] Apostles in Great Britain, p. 211.

[19] MHBY, p. __.

[20] Orson Pratt, pp. 128-129, 132-133, citing the official minutes of the conference and an Epistle of the Twelve written to the European Saints in Times and Seasons 3:895-896; The Kingdom, p. 76; Roberts, p. 96__; Paul Thomas Smith, p. 41; and Pratt, pp. 270-271__.

[21] British Emigration, p. 403.

[22] MHBY, p. __; Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 2, 1841-1845, p. 89.

[23] MHBY, p. __; Woodruff’s Journal, p. 92.

[24] MHBY, p. __. Orson Hyde was set apart for a mission to Jerusalem. He arrived in Jerusalem on October 21, 1841 and dedicated the land for the gathering of Judah, at the Mount of Olives, on October 24, 1841. Bushman, p. 408.

[25] Joseph Fielding arrived in Nauvoo in November 1841 and stayed there until the general exodus in 1846. He arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1848 and settled in Mill Creek where he resided until his death on December 19, 1863. LDS Bio, Vol. 2, Joseph Fielding.

[26] Andrew Jenson, Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City), William Cook Mitchell (hereafter “LDS Bio”); Millennial Star, Vol. 2, No. 6 (October 1841), p. 94.

[27] Letter from George J. Adams, dated April 21, 1842, Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, No. 16, p. 826 (hereafter “Adams Letter”).

[28] Millennial Star, Vol. 2., No. 6, p. 105; Times and Seasons, Vol 3, No. 7, pp. 682-683.

[29] Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Vol 4, p.516.

[30] History of the Church, Vol. 4, p. 514.

[31] Andrew Jenson, Church Chronology: A Record of Important Events Pertaining to the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1914 – hereafter “Church Chronology”)

[32] Adams Letter. George J. Adams was baptized into the church after hearing Heber C. Kimball preach in February 1840. On June 7, 1844, Joseph and Hyrum Smith ordained Adams as an apostle, particularly as a special witness to the people of Russia. He was to travel to Russia with Orson Hyde as a missionary. Before they could leave, Joseph Smith was killed and the church was in an uproar. On April 10, 1845, Adams was excommunicated for proposing that Joseph Smith III lead the church under the guidance of William Smith. Adams was later a counselor to James J. Strang of the Strangites. He founded a Church of the Messiah in 1861 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and established an unsuccessful colony in Palestine in 1866. He later sought membership in the Reorganized LDS Church in 1878 and was denied membership. (George J. Adams,; D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Signature Books, Salt Lake City: 1994), p. 534).

[33] Millennial Star, Vol. 2, No. 11, p. 176; Church Chronology.

[34] Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, Vol. 3, No. 2 (June 1842), pp. 28-29.

[35] “Letter from William Rowley,” Times and Seasons, Vol. 3 No. 22 (September 15, 1842), p. 925.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Letter from George Cannon to Leonora Cannon Taylor

Brigham Young in Liverpool:

Brigham Young returned to Liverpool on Monday, June 22nd, to work on the printing of the Book of Mormon. He stayed until Friday the 26th, when he left for Manchester to finish the collection of hymns and prepare the index. [1]

George Q. Cannon works for the railroad:

The Immigrant’s son, George Q., quit school to work for the Liverpool & Manchester Railroad to help the family save funds to emigrate to America. [2]

Joseph Fielding released and Brigham Young sustained as president of British Mission:

On July 6, 1840, conference was held at Carpenters Hall in Manchester. Joseph Fielding and his counselors were released from the British Mission presidency and Brigham Young became president. The new hymn book was also approved. The mission had 41 branches and 2,513 members. [3]

On July 10, 1840, Parley P. Pratt was in Liverpool getting ready to go to New York. He had received a letter from his family telling him they were sick with scarlet fever. The Quorum of the Twelve approved his traveling to New York to get them and bring them back to England. In his absence, Brigham Young took over as editor of the Millennial Star. [4]

John Taylor to Ireland and Scotland:

In July, Taylor rented the Music Hall on Bold Street, a large hall capable of seating 1,500 people. Pending the availability of the hall, Taylor left Liverpool on July 27, 1840, with two others to preach the gospel for the first time in Ireland. He arrived in Warrenpoint, County Down, then spent time preaching in Newry, Lisburn and Belfast. On August 6th, he left Belfast by ship for Glasgow, Scotland, where he worked with Reuben Hedlock and Hiram Clark for a few days, also visiting a small branch in Paisley, before returning to Liverpool. In Liverpool he gave several lectures in the Music Hall where the branch now met. He wrote to Leonora, “I purpose going in a few days to the Isle of Man & E[lder Hiram] Clark is going with me…” [5]

Second ship of LDS converts leave Liverpool:

Saturday evening, September 5th, Brigham Young and Willard Richards traveled from Manchester to Liverpool to organize the second company of Saints to emigrate to America. Theodore Turley was chosen to preside, with six counselors. [6] William Clayton, originally intending to stay in England as a missionary while his family emigrated, obtained permission from Brigham Young and John Taylor to accompany the group at the last minute, after his mother-in-law created a stir. [7] Sunday, September 6, 1840, Brigham Young preached in Liverpool to the local members who were joined by the company of Saints about ready to emigrate. [8] On Tuesday, September 8, 1840, the ship North America sailed from Liverpool with 200 Saints, bound for New York. William Clayton stated that they left the dock about 8:00 a.m., in the “[p]resence of many spectators,” attached to a steamer that pulled them out to sea. Brigham Young, Willard Richards and John Taylor accompanied them and returned to Liverpool on the steamer. Young and Richards went back to Manchester on September 10th. [9]

On September 11, 1840, Ann Cannon gave birth to a baby daughter they named Leonora, after George’s mother and sister. [10]

John Taylor to the Isle of Man:

On September 16, 1840, John Taylor, Hiram Clark and William C. Mitchell (one of the first converts in Liverpool), left for Douglas, on the Isle of Man. Taylor rented the Wellington Market Hall in Douglas, the largest public hall on the Isle of Man, capable of seating a thousand people. There he delivered sermons to large audiences. A Reverend Thomas Hamilton challenged Taylor to a public discussion and they debated in the Market Hall before a capacity crowd. This was reported in the Manx Liberal, a local newspaper. The Reverend Robert Heys, a Wesleyan Methodist minister gave three addresses against the Church that were published in newspapers and reproduced in pamphlets. Taylor had planned to attend the general conference in Manchester on October 6th, but wrote and excused himself because of the controversy he was involved in on the island. On October 6th, Taylor wrote Brigham Young, “I have from 200 to 800 people hearing me at my meetings & a great many friends…” [11]

Taylor wrote three tracts in response to the Heys publications, but could not get them published because of a lack of funds. “[H]e had implicit faith that the Lord would always provide for his needs. He went into a private room, knelt in prayer, and told the Lord exactly how much he needed to pay the debt for the pamphlets published in defense of the Lord’s cause. A few minutes later a knock came at the door. It was a young man, a stranger, bearing an envelope. The youth handed it to Elder Taylor and left. Inside was some money and a note which read, ‘The labourer is worthy of his hire.’ The note was unsigned. Shortly afterward a poor fish vendor came to the house and offered a few coins to assist in preaching the gospel. At first, Elder Taylor refused her offer, but she insisted that the Lord would bless her all the more and that she would be happy if he would accept the money. He was delighted to find that her money and the funds received in the envelope provided exactly the amount needed to pay the printers.” Taylor also wrote several lengthy articles in the Manx Sun and Manx Liberal newspapers, replying to misrepresentations written by a Dr. J. Curran as well as lectures attacking LDS beliefs written by Reverend Samuel Haining. Taylor continued to preach nightly at the Wellington Market Hall. [12]

Third ship of LDS converts leaves Liverpool:

On October 15, 1840, a group of Scottish members was the third company of converts to emigrate to America. They left Liverpool with 50 immigrants on the ship Isaac Newton bound for New Orleans under the direction of Samuel Mulliner and Alexander Wright. [13]

Letter from the Immigrant to his sister, Leonora Cannon Taylor:

On October 15, 1840, with additions dated October 25 and November 4, George Cannon wrote to his sister, Leonora Cannon Taylor, a letter as follows:

“I bless the Lord that I ever saw your husbands face, and I now see plainly our dear mothers prayers ha[ve] not only been answered for you, but extended to me and my family, thro[ugh] you[. F]or if my dear brother [John Taylor] had not come to live with me (so much have I preached against the various sects and parties warring against each other[,]) I should never I fear have embraced the Gospel in its fullness[. A]s it was, I tried to consider it another new sect added to the number that wrest the word of God to their own purposes[. B]ut faith comes by hearing, and of his infinite mercy he showed me that I was poor and miserable and blind. Ann was a believer from the first time of her hearing their testimony. We entered by the door into the sheepfold and George, Mary Alice, and poor Anny ha[ve] been baptized since. You will be tired my dear sister with so much of myself and family, but I am a wonder to myself and see the hand of the Lord so visible in all that has happened to me these last four years, that I cannot help telling you of it. I left off drink at that time and have drank nothing stronger than coffee since. This was principally on my childrens account, as I knew example was better than precept and with all my faults I loved my children. I was happy in all, affectionate wife, promising children, health, plenty of work, and always a pound to spare, but still there was a want of something what made me very low spirited at times. I strove to pray and to return God thanks for the mercies, particularly after some escape from danger of myself or family. In the month of September last my poor John died of a brain fever. Dear Nora I shall never forget that boy-‑he was three years and a half old, the countenance of [our] Brother John, particularly about the mouth, but his eyes were black[,] but such a boy. Well I shall see him yet, my hard heart was softened with the death of this child[. W]hen Brother Taylor came to Liverpool I was humbled before the Lord and sincerely desirous to lead a new life. We had the words whereby I might be saved and tho[ugh] slow of belief at first, and not seeing the necessity of Baptism[,] yet God of his infinite mercy opened my eyes.

(Oct. 25) Dear Leonora, I…just read your letter which came by the postman…Your dear husband is in the Isle of Man with Br. Clarke. They went there the 16th of September[. H]e is well and doing well. Bro. Clarke came to conference b[ut] Bro. Taylor could not come, as he had to answer some of their pious men. He says the harvest is ripe there and they have only to put in the sickle. Bro. T[aylor] has sent me some Manx papers. I have forwarded two to you of different dates. One to Bro. Joseph, one to B. S[idney] Rigdon…I cannot get your letters sent to Brother [Taylor] until Monday, as the packet only sails twice a week, and I received them a few hours too late. Dear Sister I am grieved to hear you have been ill and your dear little ones. I have felt a great deal for your situation and I know that nothing but the Lords work could keep your husband from you, but I have a belief that I shall see you yet in this life. Bro. T[aylor] had wished in one of his letters from the Island that I would write to you, as he was so occupied he had not a moment to spare. He says I find Mr. A. Clarke is a Methodist, Miss Brannan I have not called on. I find it here as in other places, those that are very pious do not need anything. He has a room over the market in Douglas that will hold one thousand people and has only to give out a meeting to have it filled. He has all kinds…hearing him[,] big and little, friends and foes, Holy people and ungodly[. Y]ou will see by the papers that he has many to oppose him[,] but truth will stand without propping, and they all go to the ground. There has been a good many baptized and many [are] at the edge of the water. Dear Sister I know this will give you pleasure.

Nov. 4th I have just received a line from Bro. Taylor. It is only a line saying that he is well, and three newspapers which I forwarded (to you, Bro. Joseph Smith and Bro. Sidney Rigdon) I think by this time some of the Methodists begin to find their craft in danger. Miss Brannan had sent to Br. T[aylor] for two books she lent you and he has brought them for her, so you may guess how she feels. There never was such an excitement in the Island before. The people begin to have their eyes and ears opened to the truth and wonder they did not see these things before. He has not mentioned receiving your letters and I waited expecting some news or word to send you. Perhaps I may get some before I send this. Dear Sister you are anxious to have all the news about us. In the first place Bro. T[aylor] is comfortable in the Island [of Man] and has a comfortable little sitting room and bedroom with a Mr. Cowill, and he says he has many warm friends there. [Our] Sister Elinor [14] is in service in St. Georges Square. She has two children in Stafford[shire], and one [child] by the second husband, three years old. He is at nurse, she is well and will have another husband before long or I am mistaken. I have had a letter from [our brother] David and one from [our brother] John last March. They were both well when they wrote. David [15] is in Sidney[, Australia] and doing well. John [16] is in Port Philip[, Australia] and he is getting a small vessel built between himself and a carpenter. Poor John is going to make a fortune directly. He always counts the chickens before they are hatched. He wishes we were out there with him. Joiners wages is 14 shillings a day. We have six children living. George 14 years next 11th Jan. Mary Alice 12 years 9th Dec. next. Ann 9 years 28th of Jan. next, Angus 6 years 17th May last. John born 3rd March 1836 and died 13th Sept. 1839. David born 23rd April 1838, Unkle calls him the Squinter beg. [17] He squints badly poor fellow, and Leonora, born 11 Sept. 1840. A fine little baby. We are all well at present and I am going to make winkers to put on Davids eyes to cure him of squinting. Mary Alice learned him to squint after he was 9 months old…I have just heard of Mr. Ratcliffs [18] death, he was deacon, class leader and a popular man in Liverpool and had three or four hundred [pounds] a year for different offices he held in Bible societies and other religious institutions. You had called on him and preached the Gospel to him. He did not deny anything but said these are tremendous conclusions. Then we must be all wrong. Bro T[aylor] said he did not condemn anyone, it was the everlasting Gospel he preached. Miss Brannan came to Liverpool. She did not come to our house, but sent for Bro. T[aylor] to Mr. Ratcliffs. They had a long discourse in presence of Mr. R[atcliffs.] [W]hen about to leave them [Brother Taylor] asked Miss B[rannan] if he should call on her in the Island [of Man] as he meant to visit it. She said if he preached like other men she would be happy to see him, but she hoped he would not come to the Island to preach what he preached to her. She told Henry Gills wife…that she cried and prayed greatly to the Lord that he might show [Brother Taylor] the error of his ways…I have just received 5th Nov. another line from Bro. Taylor[. H]e has got your letters and will be here the beginning of next week and will write you a letter himself. Dear Sister you may expect a number of the saints from Liverpool in spring. If it is the Lords will I am ready to go any time, and I have as much money as will take me there and perhaps a little to spare. You have never mentioned what sort of a country it is or how people are employed there, how land is sold, whether it is a good fishing or fowling country. Write me a letter soon as you receive this, Ann and the children send their kind love to you and their little cousins. I remain your loving

Brother George Cannon” [19]


[1] MHBY, p. __.

[2] Later reports described George Q.’s work as a clerk in a counting house of a “shipping office.” This was probably referring to the fact that most of the freight carried by the railroad was either destined for or carried from ships and he worked at the Liverpool terminal. Bitton, pp. 37-38; Paul Thomas Smith, p. 38.

[3] Manchester Mormons, p. 166, n. 172.

[4] Manchester Mormons, p. 167 and n. 174.

[5] Paul Thomas Smith, pp. 39-40; Roberts, pp. 79-81__.

[6] MHBY, p. __.

[7] Manchester Mormons, p. 171.

[8] MHBY, p. __.

[9] MHBY, p. __; British Emigration, p. 403; Manchester Mormons, p. 172.

[10] CFHT, p. 273.

[11] Paul Thomas Smith, p. 40; Roberts, pp. 81-83__.

[12] Paul Thomas Smith, p. 41; Roberts, p. 95__.

[13] British Emigration, p. 403; Samuel Mulliner Journal, The Contributor, vol. 12, no. 12 (October 1891), p. 442 (HDL), Mormon Immigration Index. Mulliner and Alexander Wright were the first LDS missionaries to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow on December 19, 1839. They were eventually joined by Orson Pratt and Reuben Hedlock. Century of Mormonism, p. 75.

[14] Elinor married Benjamin Tabner of Liverpool and had two children. After the death of her first and second husband and children, she moved to Utah. (CFHT, p. 20). In a letter to Leonora Taylor, dated January 30, 1840 (the “January 1840 Letter”), John Taylor states that “Your Sister Elleoners Husband is dead & 2 Children. The first Husband friends keep one since his death. Elleoner is well. I have seen her two or three times.” Apostles in the British Isles, p. __. A Family Group Record indicates Elinor (or Elinore) died on May 20, 1885 at Salt Lake City, Utah. There is nothing additional on her in the record. See Their mother, Leonora Callister Cannon, died previously on June 30, 1832 in Kirk German, Isle of Man, at age 56. Their brother, Thomas Cannon, also died previously on December 10, 1823, at the age of 19.

[15] David immigrated to Australia and was living in Sydney. (CFHT, p. 20). In the January 1840 Letter, John Taylor told Leonora that John is with David in Sidney. I have seen one of his letters & some of David’s. John Laments Leaving England without seeing you.” Apostles in Great Britain, p. __. The Family Group Record indicates David died in Australia, but gives no date. See

[16] John moved to Australia and located in Port Philip. He became part owner in a small vessel and tried to persuade Immigrant George to join him there. (CFHT, pp. 19-20). In the January 1840 Letter, John Taylor told Leonora that he has seen “some of David’s [letters]…David is steady & expects to return with something that will do him good in a few years.” Apostles in Great Britain, p. __. The Family Group Record indicates John died in Australia, but gives no date. See

[17] “Beg” is the Manx word for little so “Squinter beg” would mean “little squinter.”

[18] Mr. Radcliff was the agent for the Bible Society and superintendent of the School of Arts. (Roberts, p. 73__)

[19] This letter is located on the George Q. Cannon Family website at and in CFHT, pp. 38-39. George ended up helping several others financially who fell short of the full amount for the voyage to America. There were several reasons for the delay in leaving for America: (1) Leonora was still an infant and not too healthy; (2) Emigration was not pushed as hard for those in the sea ports as for those in the interior, as the Elders wanted some stalwart residents to remain to give assistance and encouragement to their fellow Saints who halted temporarily before going on board ship; and (3) There was opposition of family and friends. Someone visited John Cannon at Cooilshellagh, Isle of Man, in 1881 and he remarked how great a pity it was that the Captain's son had been induced to desert his fatherland and go off to the "wilderness of America." Another cousin in Douglas stated "Poor George, he made a great mistake when he emigrated, leaving a comfortable home, good employment and loving friends to go out among the wild red Indians - too bad, yes, it was really too bad." CFHT, pp. 39-40.