Last week I had noted here that Canada’s first Prime Minister John A. MacDonald had written the Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston, in response to a letter received from Salt Lake City regarding Mormons.
Well after thinking about where the original letter is and feeling I was going to have to contact the LDS Church history library to find anything I was pretty sure it would take a while. Then this morning as I was paging through Charles Card’s Canadian journal I found mention of the letter and BY Card had reproduced the letter in photocopy form. It is finds like that which just make my day.
Unfortunately upon reading the letter it is actually from Card and not from Salt Lake. So it was not what I was looking for but another piece to the puzzle.
It appears the reason Card is involved is that the Governor General was in Fort MacLeod, about 40 miles north of Cardston on October 12, 1889. The LDS singing group were able to sing for the Governor General and the hope was that Card would be able to meet with the head of the government of Canada. As it turned out the Mormon contingent was too late as Lord Stanley went to bed.
However on the next day they did meet after attending church in MacLeod. In an informal setting they met briefly and then on the Monday they met in a formal setting as Card presented Lord Stanley with his letter.
In looking at the letter it is a pretty strong appeal.
To the Imperial Majesty of Queen Victoria, of whom not a few of us rejoice to be the native subjects, to Her who, as we fondly hope, is soon to be the Queen of us all.
It is pretty obvious where the Church appears to be going in this letter. Keeping in mind the Edmund-Tucker act was already enacted claiming church property and even more stringent laws were about to take place. The pressure on the leaders of the church to give up the practice of Polygamy was enormous. So in one sense you can see they are considering other options.
The letter continues with a rather unique idea.
Our prophet Joseph hath Discerned that all of the Kingdoms of this world, the Brittish Principalities, by reason of their high integrity and their judicial purity will be the last to fall;
This concept of Britain as the last bastion of civilization is used I would assume to try and complement the government. I suspect that the government probably took it in a spirit of sarcasm.
It also appears that my search will continue for a letter from Salt Lake.