130 years ago today - Mar 11, 1893 • Saturday

[George Q. Cannon]
I went into the President's room, and was met very cordially by President Cleveland ... I said that I could assure him, as a representative of the Mormon people, that there was every disposition on their part to conform to the law and to give no trouble in any form to the administration. I said, however, there was a peculiar condition of affairs existing there. It was not an easy thing for men and women who have been united as they supposed for time and all eternity, and have had families, to throw off all obligations, and for the men to cast aside their wives and their children; but, I said, as the law had been construed in Utah, a man could not visit a plural wife without exposing himself to the charge of unlawful cohabitation. Men had been sent to prison merely for visiting the houses of their families. He replied that that was a very bad condition and very wrong. I said there was a certai disposition on the part of a certain clique, who desired to prevent the admission of Utah as a State and to keep up the old fight and animosities, to make trouble with cases of this kind, and have men arrested under the pretext that they were guilty of unlawful cohabitation. I said that all we asked was that we should be treated as other men, and that the law should be applied to us in the same way that it was applied to others; but we thought it wrong to single us out and apply the law to us expressly, when others were exposed to it as much as we. ... In making these remarks he responded affirmatively, and spoke very highly of us as a people, and also later stated that he would bear in mind what I said, and that he accepted my statement as authoritative concerning the disposition of the people. He asked me if we had done pretty well under President Harrison's administration. I told him, yes, we had [gotten?] along very well; and then he referred to Judge Zane and asked about him. I said that while he was on the bench he had been exceedingly harsh and severe in his decisions upon cases that had been brought before him, yet after the Manifesto was issued he accepted it as sincere and had changed his attitude entirely. ... Our conversation lasted about 15 or 20 minutes, and we were alone until a few minutes before the conclusion, when the whole of those who had been in waiting in the other room were ushered in. The President shook hands very cordially with me when we parted...

[The Journal of George Q. Cannon, Church Historian's Press, https://churchhistorianspress.org/george-q-cannon]

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