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Cannon, George Q. (George Quayle), 1827-1901

 Person

Dates

  • Existence: 1827-1901

Biographical History

George Q. Cannon (1827-1901) worked as the Utah Territory Delegate to the United States House of Representative for several years. He also served as a missionary, mission president, and apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

George Q. Cannon was born in Liverpool, England, on January 11, 1827. He was the oldest child of George and Ann Quayle Cannon. The Cannon family sailed to the United States in 1842 after being converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and baptized by John Taylor, the husband of George's aunt, Leonora Cannon. Shortly after arriving in Nauvoo, Illinois, George Cannon lost both of his parents. He was raised in John and Leonora Taylor's home and worked as a printer's apprentice.

George Cannon moved west to Utah with the Taylor family, arriving in 1847. Soon after their arrival, George served a mission first in California, and then to the Sandwich Islands, where he mastered the Hawaiian language. He later served as mission president over the California/Oregon, Eastern States, and European missions. He was also commissioned by the church to do work on several different newspapers. In addition, George Cannon was ordained an apostle for the Church in 1859.

In 1862, George Cannon was elected to represent the Utah Territory in the United States Congress. He only served one term in this capacity but in 1872 returned to Washington, D.C., as the Utah Delegate to Congress. He remained a prominent figure in Utah's plea for statehood and as a representative for the church to the federal government for ten years. He left his seat in Congress following the Edmunds Act, which limited the rights of Utah's polygamists. George Cannon was forced into seclusion until 1888 when he surrendered himself and consequently served nearly six months imprisonment in the Utah State Penitentiary for cohabitation.

George Cannon's first (and only legal) marriage was to Elizabeth Hoagland Cannon just following his first mission for the church. She bore him eleven children, six of whom reached adulthood. In 1858, George Cannon took his second wife, Sarah Jane Jenne Cannon, who raised seven children, one of which was adopted. His third wife, Eliza L. Tenney Cannon, had three sons. George Cannon married Martha Telle Cannon in 1868, and eventually nine children came of their union. George Cannon's fifth wife, Emily Hoagland Little Cannon, was sister to Elizabeth Hoagland Cannon. Emily was a widow, and Elizabeth encouraged the match due to concern over her sister's welfare. George Cannon and Emily Hoagland had no children together. Caroline Young Croxall Cannon became George Cannon's sixth and last wife nearly three years after Elizabeth's death. She was a daughter of Brigham Young, and George Cannon's only legal wife during the time they were married. George Cannon adopted her five children from a previous marriage, and together they raised four more children. In all, George Cannon reared thirty-five children (seven of which were adopted), but forty-three are sealed to him eternally.

In 1880, George Cannon became the first counselor in the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under John Taylor. He also served as first counselor under the presidencies of Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow before his death in 1901, at age seventy-four.

Found in 58 Collections and/or Records:

Academy Fund Day letter

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: UA 598
Scope and Contents Form letter created by George Q. Cannon and Benjamin Cluff announcing "Academy Fund Day," in order to solicit contributions for the Brigham Young Academy.

William Ajax journals

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 1488
Scope and Contents Contains holographs, photographs, and typescripts of journals, dated July 20 to December 27, 1861, and January 1, 1862 to December 31, 1863. The journals describe Ajax's activities as a missionary for the Mormon Church in England and Wales and include some newspaper clippings, part of which are from the Udgorn Seion, the Mormon publication in Wales. The clippings include British Mormon emigration statistics from 1841-1861. Ajax immigrated to the United States in 1862. Detailed diary entries...

Appointment

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 28
Scope and Contents Handwritten appointment of Elias A. Smith and Jesse W. Fox, Jr. as coexecutors of the estate of Brigham Young in conjunction with George G. Cannon and Brigham Young [Jr.]. The appointment is signed by seven of Brigham Young's wives.

Thomas Beard journals and reminiscence

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 328
Scope and Contents Holograph documents (plus photocopies) which describe Beard's conversion to Mormonism, immigration to Utah, missionary experiences in England, and genealogical and historical information on Thomas Beard and his family. Reminiscence dated 1862.

Book of revelations

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 214
Scope and Contents Includes eight revelations relating to individuals and Mormon doctrine, written in the hand of Annie Taylor Hyde.

Brigham Young correspondence with Church leaders, 1858-1871

 Sub-Series — Box: 15
Identifier: Vault MSS 792 Series 3 Sub-Series 7 Sub-Series 3
Scope and Contents Contains correspondence between Brigham Young and George Q. Cannon, George A. Smith, and Daniel H. Wells. Letters include discussion of the Army's presence in Utah, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and other matters. Materials date between 1858 and 1871.

Bush family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2217
Abstract This collection, containing letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other family correspondence, has been organized into folders by year, starting in 1846 and ending in 1960.

Correspondence

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 1069
Scope and Contents Photocopies of handwritten letters dated 3 Jan. 1882 and 6 Dec. 1883. John T. Caine and George Q. Cannon write of the death of William Henry Hooper in the 1882 letter, and James Sharp writes to Caine about how the activities of the United States Congress might have an impact on Utah in the missive of 1883.

Abraham H. Cannon notebooks

 File — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 4007
Scope and Contents This notebook contains quotes, written in the hand of Abraham H. Cannon and another unidentified writer. The front cover shows the inscription: "Geo. Q. Cannon, Gt. Salt Lake City, Utah Ter., Feb. 8/66." All subsequent writing appears to be written by Abraham H. Cannon. The second to last page reveals new handwriting and records the date as 3 August 1916. Located in the back cover is a certificate of birth for Willard Leslie Cannon, signed by Joseph Fielding Smith, Historian of the Church of...

George Q. Cannon correspondence and record book

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS SC 323
Scope and Contents Two ALS's to "Brother Elias" from Cannon concerning the accounts at a general store in Fillmore, Utah and a handwritten account book from the same store dated April to September, 1858.