David H. Cannon
partial bio #1
(Handwritten in ink--only the first eight pages--the rest is missing.)
David Henry Cannon, son of George and Ann Quayle Cannon, was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on the 23rd of April 1838. On the 11th of Feb'y 1840 my parents were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Apostle John Taylor and on the 13th of the same mont I was blessed by the same Elder.
On 17th Sept 1842 my parents with their children: vs George Quayle, Mary Alice, Ann, Angus Munn, David Henry, and Leonora took passage for America via New Orleans on the ship, Sidney. My mother died and was buried in the Ocean. The family continued their journey to the then gathering place of the Saints, Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Illinois. My father married Mary White while in Nauvoo. Some months subsequent business took him to St. Louis, where he died on 19th August 1844.
This left 6 of my mother's children without father or mother. Some months after my father's death a daughter was born to my stepmother.
In 1845 Brother Charles Lambert, who had married my sister Mary Alice, was appointed guardian of the 3 youngest of my mother's children, and I went to live with him and my sister. We continued to live in Nauvoo until after the fight in the fall of 1846. When we with the rest of the Saints who were too poor to accompany the Saints who left in the Spring, were driven out, and although but a child, the hardships endured by the people, are still fresh in my mind. We remained on the west side of the Mississippi River until we could get teams to move on. Our houses with their contents and our lands were left to be enjoyed by the people who drove us. We succeeded in getting stock together consisting of 3 yoke of steers and one cow. After our arrival at Winter Quarters, the Indians killed the three yoke of oxen leaving us with one cow.
In the Spring of 1849 we went down into Missouri, in the winter of 1847&8 we returned to Winter Quarters. Bro. Lambert remained at his work in St. Joseph Mo. In the spring of 1848 Bro. Lambert found that it would be impossible for us to continue our journey that years sent for us to return to Missouri, we located about twenty five miles north of St. Joseph, where, by the blessings of the Lord, we accumulated means sufficient to purchase two yoke of oxen and seven cows (the one having died that we brought from Nauvoo) and other supplies for our journey, during this time two children had been born to Bro. Lambert, so that when we resumed our journey in the spring of 1849 there was seven of us in one wagon, with supplies to do us until we could raise more. The journey across the plains was attended with its usual hardships, but by the blessings of the Lord, we were permitted to enter the promised land in the following October.
Although hope was revived in our hearts our hardships were not over, our shoes and our clothes worn and unsuited for winter in a mountain region. It devolved upon my brother, Angus, who was four years my senior and myself to provide wood for the family. I do not care to attempt a description of what we suffered that winter, but will trust that my sons may never have to endure what we went through.
To the credit of Elder Charles Lambert be it said, that he performed the part of a father to the fatherless, and that during all the trials through which we passed. He done the best he could for our comfort. And that he made no distinction between me and his own children.
On the 17th of Feb'y 1850 I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder John White and in 1851 in the same month I was ordained a deacon by Elder John Vance Sen. and went to work in the Deseret News Office as an apprentice to the printing business. President Willard Richards was the Editor of the paper and Horace K. Whitney was the foreman, Brigham H. Young was a compositor, thus I became the first printers devil in Utah territory.
Bro. Lambert being a stonecutter by trade used to quarry his own rock, at which I helped him, and also on his farm as I could get time from the office.
(On 10 of May I was ordained a teacher by Bp Wm S Perkins.) On the 1st of May 1856 President Brigham Young left word at Bro. Lambert's house for me to call at his office the next day. At 12 M I went and to my surprise I found that he wanted me to take a mission to California to join my Bro. George Q. who was then in San Francisco--and to start the next day. I was ordained a priest and set apart for a mission under the hands of Prests Young, Kimball, and Richards, the former being mouth. A blessing was never more fully realized than in my case. I had a yoke of 2 year old steers over Jordan River that I sold for ten dollars where they were. With this money I bought a pair of boots and a hat. As I came out of the store where I made the purchase I met President Young in his carriage. He asked me what I had towards an outfit, I told him. He called the merchant out and told him to let me have 20 dollars worth of goods and charge the same to him. He at the same time told me that there was a company of the Brethren camping at the Hot Springs north of the City, with whom he believed I could go through to Carson Valley. With the 20 dollars thus miraculously provided I purchased 2 blue flannel shirts, 1 calico shirt, a pair of pants and some socks. The next morning as I was about to start from the gate my sister (Mrs. Lambert) slipped a 5 franc piece into my hand and while her tears coursed down her cheeks, she blessed me with a mother's blessing and I was gone.
Bro. Lambert accompanied me as far as the warm springs, neither of us speaking much, both too busy with or own thoughts. When he bade me goodbye, he said the only regret that he had was that he could not fit me out to go better provided for. He wanted me to forgive him if he had ever been unkind to me, which I did freely. I believe the angels witnessed the parting from, what at that time, seemed to be the last friend I had in the world. I want to say that there were hundreds of good Saints in Salt Lake City at that time that were just as poor in this worlds goods as we were.
I continued as I had started on foot, with my wardrobe in a pillowslip, consisting of one pr. of pants, one blue flannel shirt, one calico shirt with a small blue stripe, a large black silk neck handkerchief, such as were worn at that time. A 5 franc piece in my pocket, with over a thousand miles before me and I had never been 40 miles from home alone, before in my life. I found to my great delight that the Prophets words were fulfilled. When I got to the Hot Springs Elder Wm Jennings agreed to take me through to Carson Valley if I wold drive a team for him consisting of 4 yoke of oxen which I did. From this on friends multiplied. When we got to Bear River on the north we were overtaken by President Young and party, who were on their way to Salmon River. The president asked me about the arrangement that I had made with Bro. Jennings. I told him, he said we should both be blessed if we would carry out our contract in good faith, in crossing the deserts to Carson Valley. I found Bro. J. kind to a fault, as also his wife, Mrs. Priscilla Jennings, and I believe that there was not a feeling either unuttered or expressed between us during the trip.
I left Carson Valley on the 1st of July on foot, reached Sacramento on the sixth--worked my passage to San Francisco on the Steamer, J. Bragdon, arriving in the latter place on the eighth, where I was met by my Bro. George Q. and Elders Joseph Bull and Matthew F. Wilkie who had gone to California the previous year. (In August 1856 I was ordained an Elder by George Q.) I went to work in the Western Standard office where I continued until the 1st of October 1857 when I took Steamer...."
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