Cannon, George Q.
Rare autograph of the early Mormon leader, chief political strategist under 4 Church presidents, Utah Territoial Delegate to Congress 1872-82, lost his seat and jailed for polygamy
Autograph ID: 6983
Condition: Very good, very slight smear to â€œGâ€
Description: “(1827-1901) English-born early member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints (Mormon, or LDS Church), served in the First Presidency under Church presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow. He was the Church's chief political strategist, dubbed "the Mormon premier" and "the Mormon Richelieu” by the press. He was a 5-time Territorial Delegate to Congress 1873-82. His aunt married future Mormon apostle John Taylor and was baptized 1836; in 1840, Taylor came to Liverpool and the entire Cannon family was baptized, George then 13. In 1842, the family went to Nauvoo, Ill., George living with the Taylors. In June 1844, Taylor was seriously wounded at the Carthage jail where Joseph Smith and others were killed. In 1846, Taylor went to England to organize Church affairs and when Taylor returned they went to Salt Lake, arriving in 1847. In 1849, Cannon was asked by Brigham Young to be a missionary in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) where he served for 4 years, converting many Native Hawaiians, incl. Jonatana Napela who aided Cannon in translating the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian. Returning to Utah Territory, he married and aided apostle Parley P. Pratt in publishing a California newspaper. Cannon became president of the Church's Oregon and California Mission 1856-58. Returning to Utah in 1857 he was commissioned Lieut. General in the Nauvoo Legion in the Utah War, after which he became president of the Church's Eastern States Mission. Pratt’s 1857 murder led to a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, filled when Brigham Young called Cannon to the apostleship, ordained Aug. 26, 1860, at 33 called to preside over the Church's European Mission. He was sent by Young in 1862 to Washington to assist in the Church's promotion of Utah Territory's bid for statehood. He was managing editor of the Deseret News 1867-74, published daily under his direction. In 1866, he began a magazine for young adult Mormons, “The Juvenile Instructor” which he owned and published to his death. On April 8, 1873, Cannon became a member of the Church's First Presidency when he was called as First Counselor by Brigham Young. He was elected non-voting delegate for Utah Territory in Congress in 1872, remaining to 1882 when his seat was declared vacant under the Edmunds Act which terminated many civil and political rights for Utah's Mormon polygamists. On Feb. 25, 1882, the House refused Cannon his seat because of his involvement in polygamy. The Edmunds Act, signed into law March 23, 1882, reinforced the 1862 Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act by declaring polygamy a felony, revoking polygamists' right to vote and making them ineligible from holding political office. Cannon was married to 6 women and often publicly justified polygamy even after the Supreme Court upheld its ban in Reynolds v. US (1879). Cannon and other Church leaders went "underground" as fugitives from US authorities. In Sept. 1888, he surrendered, pleaded guilty to violating the Edmunds Act, and served nearly 6 months in Utah's federal prison, pardoned in 1894 by President Cleveland. He died April 12, 1901; had he lived a few months longer, he would have become President of the LDS Church as Lorenzo Snow died on Oct. 10. At BYU football games, the ROTC celebrates touchdowns with a cannon named "George Q" to honor him.
4 ¼ x 5 ¼ large frameable clipped signature from an autograph album page, adds "Salt Lake City,/Utah". No place but likely ca. 1878 while Utah Territorial Delegate; VERY SCARCE signature!”