George Q. Cannon family correspondence

George Q. Cannon family correspondence

Dates: 1872-1902, bulk 1872-1882, bulk 1872-1882

This collection includes correspondence between George Q. Cannon, Martha Telle Cannon, and other various authors between 1872 and 1902. The bulk of the letters, however, are from George Q. Cannon to Martha Telle Cannon during his time as Utah Territory Delegate to the United States House of Representatives. The letters include information regarding home and family affairs, Martha Telle Cannon's family history, matters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reports of missionary work, and political issues in Washington, D.C. Letters are written from Washington, D.C., and various cities in Utah and the eastern United States. Within the correspondence, there are seven letters that are incomplete. In addition, one letter is a duplicate; the other copy was sent to Sarah A. Telle King, Martha Telle Cannon's half-sister.

  • Extent: 1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
  • Creator: Cannon, George Q. (George Quayle), 1827-1901. -- Cannon, Martha Telle, 1846-1928
  • Call Number: MSS 7426
  • Repository: L. Tom Perry Special Collections; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts; 1130 Harold B. Lee Library; Brigham Young University; Provo, Utah 84606;
  • Access Restrictions: Open for public research.
Languages and Scripts
Arranged in three series: I. George Q. and Martha Telle Cannon correspondence, 1872-1891. II. Martha Telle Cannon correspondence, 1880-1902. III. George Q. Cannon correspondence, 1880.
Conditions of Use
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from George Q. Cannon family correspondence must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.
Preferred Citation
Initial citation: MSS 7426; George Q. Cannon family correspondence; 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscript Collections; L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Following citations: MSS 7426, LTPSC.
Custodial History
Donated by Ida Mae Smith Cannon.
Acquisition Information
Donated; Ida Mae Smith Cannon; 2009.
Other Finding Aids
More detailed finding aid available in repository upon request.
Subject Terms
Cannon, George Q. (George Quayle), 1827-1901--Correspondence; Cannon, Martha Telle, 1846-1928--Correspondence; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--Apostles--Correspondence; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--History--19th century--Sources; United States. Congress. House--History--Sources; Mormon families--History--Sources; Politics, Government, and Law; Territorial Government; Utah--History--19th century--Sources
Genre / Form
Processing Information
Processed; Audrey Ann Spainhower; 2009.
Appraisal Information
Gives an understanding of George Q. Cannon's experience in Washington, D.C. as a Utah Territory Delegate and the immense amount of pressure he was under as a father, husband, Apostle for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and politician. Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy 5.VII, August 2007).
Finding Aid ID Number
Finding Aid Title
Cannon (George Q.) family correspondence
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Audrey Ann Spainhower, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator
Finding Aid Creator
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2010-10-08T09:32-0600
Finding Aid Language
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.
Biographical Info:

Biographical History

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

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, 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.

Biographical History

Martha Telle Cannon (1846-1928) was the wife of Mormon apostle George Q. Cannon.

Martha Telle Cannon was born May 28, 1846, to Amelia Ann Rogers and Josiah Lewis Telle in Saint Louis, Missouri. Following the death of her parents, Martha was adopted by George and Hester A. Beebe, the latter being the sister of Amelia Ann Rogers. She lived with her adoptive parents in Polk City, Iowa, and moved west to Utah with them in 1960. The Beebe family returned to Iowa a short while later. In 1866, after graduating from the University of Iowa, Martha Cannon came back to Utah as a school teacher.

Martha Telle was married to George Q. Cannon in 1868. She was his fourth wife. The couple raised nine children: Hester and Amelia (twins), Lewis, Brigham, Willard, Grace, Radcliffe, Espey, and Collins. Martha passed away on February 5, 1928.

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Ryan Lee
Curator - 19th Century Western & Mormon Manuscripts