In 1849, George Q. Cannon began his first known journal documenting his journey to the California gold mines. Fifty years later, his last known journal recounts his final trip to California in hopes of finding a healthier climate. The intervening journals—for a combined total of 52 notebooks, blank books, typescripts, and published day planners—offer an extensive (some might say overwhelming) record of this prominent leader of the LDS Church. This morning, the Church Historian’s Press published the final installment of the Cannon journals, offering a tremendous source for nineteenth-century Mormon history from one of its most influential members and leaders. (Website here and e-book here)
It is anyone’s guess as to how many presentations, articles, and books will use, as evidence, the content of these journals. But coming in at more than 2.5 million words, I’m confident this historical source will be cited for years to come.
Here at the Juvenile Instructor, we will be publishing a series of posts from differing scholars to address the Cannon journals. They will address the volumes generally and specifically—all offering examples of how the journals can be used as evidence for various topics in Mormon history.