Lorenzo Snow, Jul 19, 1900

-- Jul 19, 1900
At 11 o'clock the council meeting of the Presidency and the Apostles was held in the Temple. There were present: Presidents George Q. Cannon and Joseph F. Smith, Brigham Young [Jr.], F[rancis]. M. Lyman, John Henry Smith, George Teasdale, Heber J. Grant, John W. Taylor, Anthon H. Lund, Matthias F. Cowley, Rudger Clawson and Reed Smoot. ... Brother Grant now referred to the correspondence read at this council from Pres[ident]. Andrew Kimball, and said Brother Taylor and himself learned that Brother Kimball had entered into a private contract with the railroad people which he could not carry out, and that the people of his stake were under no obligation whatever to help him carry his burden. He was advised to get out of it as soon as possible. They learned that the contractors were advancing means to pay his men as he was not making enough to meet his payroll; and they believed the railroad people were too smart for Brother Kimball; that they were making him believe that the honor of the whole Mormon people was at stake in his failure to carry out the contract he had entered into, which they believed was a one- sided affair. At first the contract was made in the name of Phillips and Kimball, but Phillips threw it up as soon as he saw a mistake had been made, and it would have ruined him to have gone on with it. These brethren felt that Brother Kimball should have done as Brother Phillips did, but instead of doing that he obligated himself to carry out the contract himself, and he was now paying dearly for his experience. Brother Grant said that after talking with Brother Kimball and showing him that his people were in no way bound, morally or any other way to stand by him in his undertaking, he had to admit that this was the fact, although loath to do so. He still felt, to use his own language, that he was entitled to their moral support. Brother Grant now drew the attention of the council to the great responsibility the Church was assuming, either directly or indirectly, in allowing the B[righam]. Y[oung]. Academy Expedition to go on according to the program mapped out by its leader, Brother [Benjamin] Cluff. From what he had seen and heard he freely and frankly stated that the expedition ought to be disbanded. His reasons for this were these: In the first place he thought it was a big mistake in the Church allowing Brother Cluff to carry out his expedition ideas under Church auspices, as the members of the expedition were of the opinion that in responding to the request of Brother Cluff to join the expedition that they were doing nothing more nor less than performing missionary duties. The Expedition consisted of a crowd of young men without experience, and it was not at all unlikely that when they got into Mexico they would have their horses and baggage stolen from them, and perhaps get into worse trouble. Speaking of the morals of the expedition he said that their behavior at Thatcher was unbecoming; and as evidence of Brother Cluff's poor judgment Brother Grant said he invited Bro[ther]. Mosiah Hancock, a man well on to seventy years, to accompany the expedition believing that they might find some new plates as a result of their explorations. Brother Grant could not help but believe that they would be in jeopardy of their lives and belongings while traveling in Mexico. He heard that in nearly every settlement Brother Cluff had invited some one or more to accompany the expedition, and it was generally understood that it was a church affair. If this be so, the speaker felt that some experienced man or men should go with them. He verily believed that if they were allowed to go on they would never reach to the place of their destination, and that the Church would be put to great expense to bring them home again. If they were allowed to go on he believed the number should be reduced, and he also had reason to believe that some of the boys would be pleased to be released. He believed also it was a grave and serious mistake, and that lives would be lost unless something were done to either reduce or disband the expedition. ... Brother Young suggested that Brother J. H. Ward receive the usual amount allowed him to help in the publication of the German paper, the "Beobachter." He had received $30. a month for the past six months in addition to a special appropriation, and Brother Young thought he was worthy of more. It was the sense of the council that Brother Ward be allowed what he had asked for, namely, the special appropriation of $10. a month be continued with the addition of what he was already receiving, making in all $40. a month. ... President Cannon sent word to President [Lorenzo] Snow, at his residence, Beehive House, that he and President Smith would like to confer with him in regard to the Brigham Young Academy expedition when he should be able to meet with them. President Snow has been confined to the house for some time on account of poor health. Attended meeting in Temple. One of twelve asked what are the limits of authority of the 12 in the stakes. I answered, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Pres[idents]. [George Q.] Cannon [and] [Joseph F.] Smith came in soon after 11 a.m. Bro[ther]. H[eber]. J. Grant reported on his visit to Mexico and commented severely on the [Benjamin] Cluff expedition to South America said his company of men with two or three exceptions are babies. Voted to submit question to Presidency and if deemed advisable which we were united in, will order them to change to water route. Feeling is strong in south that these inexperienced weaklings will fall easy prey to bandits, lose their horses and some of them their lives if the loose manner of conducting the party is continued. I want a Captain to guard the scientific members while they do their duty. Others reported. (1)

-- Jul 20, 1900; Friday
President [Lorenzo] Snow came in the office today long enough to confer with his counselors in relation to the subject of the B[righam]. Y[oung]. Academy exploration expedition. Elder Brigham Young [Jr.] was also present. After hearing the substance of Elder Heber J. Grant's report, President Snow stated that he felt that something should be done in the matter, and the names of the brethren were canvassed with a view to selecting the most suitable person to go to Juarez where the Expedition will be in a few days. Nothing was done, however, but it was understood that they would talk the matter over further before deciding.

About four o'clock in the afternoon Elder Brigham Young informed President Cannon that he was about to leave tonight to fill an appointment to the San Luis [Colorado/New Mexico] Stake,

but that he did not feel free to leave without so informing President Snow as his name had been mentioned in the meeting held this morning in connection with others as one who might be asked to go to Mexico for the purpose of carrying out the wishes of the Presidency in regard to the expedition. President Cannon sent Brother George F. Gibbs in to the Beehive House to see President Snow and inform him of Brother Young's intended departure, whereupon President Snow asked President Cannon to come in and confer with him on the subject. The result of the interview was that Brother Young might go ahead and keep his appointment, as it was likely that President Joseph F. Smith would be selected to go to Juarez on the Expedition matter.

A telegram was sent to Brother A[nthony]. W. Ivins inquiring the whereabouts of the exploring party, and informing him that President Snow desired to communicate with Brother [Benjamin] Cluff.

In the forenoon President Snow stated to President Cannon that he contemplated placing someone in temporary charge of the Historian's Office, and mentioned Anthon H. Lund for that place. President Cannon agreed with the idea that someone should be placed in charge of the Historian's Office for the present, but doubted the wisdom of tying up one of the Apostles when other suitable persons might be found to do that work, until a permanent historian could be chosen. President Snow coincided with this view. (2)

1 - Journal History; Brigham Young Jr., Diary
2 - First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes

LDS History Chronology: Lorenzo Snow

Mormon History Timeline: the life of Lorenzo Snow


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