excerpt – Waiting for World’s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff

The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff1890

May 19 The Supreme Court of the United States Decided to day Against the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints. They Decided to Escheat all the Church Property Real & Personal. This is turning the Last [key] that will seal the Condemnation of this Nation.

Aug 27 We road to the City of Joseph occupied By the Saints from the Islands. We visited the field & springs. 27 Mil[e]s.

28 We held a Meeting with Saints. We had a procession of the people. I headed the procession followed by G Q Cannon J F Smith followed by all the people. The Native women from the Islands were all Dressed in beautiful white. One waggon Driven By Frank Knowlton loaded with Sage Brush & Indians representing Utah as it was. Another waggon Driven with wheat Corn oats & Barley & fruits representing Utah as it is. We marched around the flag pole in the City plot then down to the bowery whare we had a feast. The Meats were Cooks as the Kan[ackers?] Cook it on the Islands in a hole in the ground.

After our Dinner we Assembled together and had an oration Delive[re]d by one of the Natives. He was a powerfull Orator. W Woodruff then addressed them which was interpeted by J F Smith who also addressed them near one hour. When He Closed W Woodruff Dedicated the Land & place with all its Contents in the English Language. Then Joseph F Smith Dedicated it in the Hawaiion Language after which Wm. King Dismissed the Assembly. It was a Day long to be remembered by these Natives. In fact it was a vary interesting day to me.

[September] 5 We arived at Sacramento at 9 oclok And at Sanfrancisco at 2 oclock. We arived Just Before the great Celebration. Nearly Every Hotels & Rooms in the City was Engaged But Isaac Trumbo had Engaged 3 Bedrooms & a parlor in the 3d Story of the Palace Hotel for the use of a Committee But He appropriated it for our use which gave us vary Comfortable quarters but we found we Could not do any business untill the Celebration was over.

9 . . . This was the day of the great Celebration of the pioneers of Sanfrancisco and the admission of Calafornia …. At the Close of the procession some 10,000 people gathered in the Street North of the palace Hotel to see two men & a Lady Step out of the 7 Story window & let themselves down to the ground on a small fire Escape rope. The Lady stoped on my window Sill in the 3d Story. I offered her a place in the room but she went to the ground in safety.

12 I visited the Chronicle Building with Col Isaac Trumbull 11 Stories High. We went to the top on an Elevator. We had a View of the whole City. I wrote to Emma. I had an interview with Judge Estee, and G Q Cannon had an interview with Mr Livingston. We attended Theater in the Evening.

16 We had an interview with W W Stow A N Town & Cread Haymor. We also Met Mr Henry Bigalow Editor of the Examinor. We attended the Theater in the Evening.

17 We Met Mr Filmore M S Woods & A Badlam. We visited Col Isaac Trumbo’s New House. The ground upon which it Stands & the House & furnishing will Cost $50,000 The furnishing $20,000. It is a home well finished. I wrote Emma & went to the Theater in the Evening.

18 We visited A Badlam House. Mrs Badlam Entertained us vary Kindly. We spent 14 days at the Palace Hotel at $15 dollars a day for our Company. We paid the Bill $210.

21 We arived at Ogden at 9 oclock & Salt Lake City at 11.30. I rode to the farm & found my family well. I travelled During the Journey 1,910 Miles.

24 I met with 3 of the Twelve & my Councillors upon an important Subject.

25 I have arived at a point in the History of my life as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints whare I am under the necessity of acting for the Temporal Salvation of the Church. The United State[s] Governmet has taken a Stand & passed Laws to destroy the Latter day Saints upon the Subjet of polygamy or Patriarchal order of Marriage. And after Praying to the Lord & feeling inspired by his spirit I have issued the following Proclamation which is sustained by My Councillors and the 12 Apostles:

Sept 25 1890
Official Declaration
To whom it may Concern

Press dispatches having been sent for Political purposes from Salt Lake City which have been widely published to the Effect that the Utah Commission in their resent report to the secretary of the interior allege that plural marriages are Still being solemnized and that forty or more such marriages have been contracted in Utah since last June or during the past year, also that in public discourses the Leaders of the Church have taught Encourged and urged the Continuance of the practice of Polygamy I therefore as president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do hereby in the most solemn manner declare that these charges are fals. We are not teaching polygamy or plural marriage nor permitting any person to Enter into the practice and I deny that Either forty or any other number of Plural marriages have during that Period been Solemnized in our temples or in any place in the territory. One Case has been reportd in which the parties alleged that the marriage was performed in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City in the Spring of 1889, But I have not been able to learn who performed the cerimony. What Ever was done in the matter was without my knowledge. In consequence of this alleged occurance the Endowment [House] was taken down by my instruction without Delay.

Inasmuch as laws have been Enacted by congress forbidding plural marriages which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of the last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise. There is nothing in my teachings to the Church or those of my Associates during the time specified which Can reasonably be construed to inculcate or Encourage polygamy and when any Elder of the Church has used language which appeared to Convey such teaching he has been promptly reproved. And I now publicly declair that my advice to the Latter Day Saints is to refrain from Contracting any Marriage forbidden by the Law of the land. Wilford Woodruff president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Oct 6 Conference Met at 10 oclock. Prayer By A O Smoot. The Authorities of the Church presented & sustained. The articles of faith was read & Accepted by all of the people. Then W Woodruff manifesto was read and accepted by a vote of the whole Conference which Act Created a sensation throughout the whole United States.