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Abraham H. Cannon diaries

Identifier: Vault MSS 62

Scope and Contents

Nineteen volumes of diaries kept by Abraham H. Cannon from 1879 to 1895. Abraham begins his diary when he leaves his family in Utah to serve a three-year mission to Europe for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He writes of his life as a missionary in England and Germany, his return to farm life, and details of his daily life, such as the birth of children, his duties in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his occupation, and current world events. Includes details of his frequent attendance at the theater in Salt Lake City, his incarceration for practicing plural marriage in 1886, his marriage to his third wife Mary, the Church's manifesto on polygamy, the dedication of the Salt Lake City temple, and Church meetings regarding topics such as polygamy and Utah statehood. Diaries are handwritten from 1879 to 1891, and typed from 1892 to 1895.

Also includes photocopies of journals with an introduction about Cannon written by Terrell Dougan, dated approximately 1969.


  • 1879-1895
  • approximately 1969


Conditions Governing Access

Originals restricted; Photocopies available for public use.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to use material from this collection must be obtained from Reference Services at

Biographical / Historical

Abraham Hoagland Cannon was born on March 12, 1859, to George Q. Cannon and Elizabeth Hoagland in Salt Lake City, Utah. As a youth, Cannon received a thorough education, graduating from Deseret University and studying the carpenter's and architect's trades. He also worked for a time on the Deseret News. On October 16, 1878, he married Sarah Ann Jenkins, and on October 15, 1879, he married Wilhelmina M. Cannon, his first cousin. Shortly before this second marriage, in October of 1879, Cannon was called on a mission to Europe for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He first went to England, then to Switzerland and Germany, and returned home to Salt Lake City in June of 1882.

On October 9, 1882, Cannon was called as one of the first seven presidents of the Seventies. During this time, he owned several bookstores and held managerial positions in several companies, including in the State Bank of Utah and in the Juvenile Instructor. He also wrote several books and articles throughout his life. During the government persecution of polygamists in the 1880s, Cannon helped hide his father, George Q. Cannon, and other apostles so they would not be charged. He himself was convicted of unlawful cohabitation on March 17, 1886, and served six months in the state penitentiary. On January 11, 1887, he married his step-sister Mary E. Croxall in Mexico, where polygamy was still legal.

Cannon was ordained a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on October 7, 1889, and soon after became the general manager of the Deseret News. Later he became the editor and publisher for the Contributor.

Abraham H. Cannon died unexpectedly of meningitis on July 19, 1896, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was thirty-seven years old.


6 boxes (3 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Other Finding Aids

File-level inventory available.

Custodial History

Donated by the Cannon family in 1978.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Cannon family; December 1978.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Existence and Location of Copies

Photocopies of originals available in boxes 4-6.

Related Materials

Index to the journal of Abraham Hoagland Cannon (1859-96).

Processing Information

Processed; Chelsea McNeil; July 2020. Migrated inventory from xml finding aid.

Processing Information

Processed; Kate Ashman and Karen Glenn; June 2021; Added scope notes for diaries and standardized finding aid.

Register of Abraham H. Cannon diaries
Jennifer Kim
2011 September 21
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States