[taken from Chapter 9 Manx Worthies, A.W.Moore, 1901]
late President of the Mormons, and their representative in Congress for many years, emigrated to Canada with his father. Three years later he went to the State of Illinois, and embraced the Mormon faith. The following account of him is taken from an article on Mormonism contributed to the " Contemporary Review " by the late Rev. H. R. Haweis, in January, 1894 .*" John Quayle Cannon is certainly . . one of the ablest, if not the ablest, of the Mormon rulers. In Congress they used to call him 'smooth-bore Cannon' on account of his singularly persuasive manner, and a certain quiet, stately, and restrained eloquence, which seemed to deprecate rather than silence opposition. He is never hurried into a rash adjective or an extreme statement, and his severe composure, and at times almost pathetic seriousness, make his conversation as impressive as it is charming." When plural marriage was declared illegal, he called his wives together and explained the law to them. " They were now free, I said; to depart, and to marry if they chose ; but I was morally bound to provide for them if they did not do so. We had lived long and happily together; I could never suffer them to want and I should still provide for the education and maintenance of my dear children and wives. They all replied they accepted the sacrifice imposed, but they would not leave me unless compelled to do so. It was hard, very hard-a terrible rending of family ties all round; but I had to decide what I would do. My first wife was dead. I would henceforth have no wife-there should be no jealousy-and I now live apart with the children of my first wife. But we could not break up the family social circle, and I try for the sake of all to keep it together. I built a large room. Every morning the ladies with their children meet me there as usual for reading of the Bible and prayer. We dine in the same hall. Each mother sits at a table with her own children, and that it may not be said that I sit down with my 'wives' to dine, I have a table set apart for me with the children of my first wife." We may mention that JOHN CANNON was succeeded as delegate to Congress from Utah by JOHN CAINE, a native of Kirk Michael.
* see also "Travel and Talk." Vol. I., pp. 250-5 and 299-300; by the same author.
[note Moore is very very confused here - most is inaccurate, so far I have not found the source on which it is based though I think he conflated John Taylor (who did emigrate to Canada with his father and George Q. Cannon who emigrated to USA as a child with his parents, though his mother died on the voyage, after the family converted ] - the following is taken from H. Howe Bancroft History of Utah 1540-1886 (vol XXVI of The Works of Hubert Howe Bancroft) San Francisco: 1889 p434; see also R H. Kinvig
George Q. Cannon, a native of Liverpool, England, was trained in the mormon faith, his parents having been converted in 1839, when he was twelve years of age, through the preaching of John Taylor, who some time before had married his father's sister. A short time before the assassination of Joseph [Smith] the family arrived at Nauvoo, where George found employment as a printer in the office of the Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor. In 1847 he set out for S. L. City with Parley Pratt's companies, and for two years was engaged in farming, house-building, and other labor incidental to new settlements. In the autumn of 1849 he went to California in company with Chas C. Rich, and there worked in the gold mines until the summer of 1850, when he was sent on a mission to the Sandwich Islands. On arriving at Honolulu he began to study the Hawaiian language, which he mastered in six weeks, then travelled and preached among the natives, organizing several branches of the church. In 1854 he returned to Salt Lake City, and the following year went as a missionary to California, where he established and edited a paper called the Western Standard. When news arrived of the Utah war, he again returned to the valley, and during the exodus of 1858 took charge of the press and printing materials of the Deseret News, which were conveyed to Fillmore City. In October 1859 he was chosen an apostle to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Parley Pratt, and was afterward appointed president of the European mission. In 1862 he was ordered to Washington to support the claims of Utah to admission as a state, of which more later. After adjournment of congress he repaired to England, where he labored until August 1864, 13,000 converts being forwarded to Zion during this period. Being then summoned home, he was elected a member of the legislative Council, and was for three years private secretary to Brigham Young. In 1867 he became editor and publisher of the Deseret News, which was then a semi-weekly paper, and started the Deseret Evening News, which was issued daily, his connection with the latter continuing until the autumn of 1872, when he was chosen delegate to congress. In 1880 Mr Cannon was appointed councillor to President John Taylor
See also N. Crowe The Cannon Family of Eary ne Gowin, Kirk Michael IoM Fam Hist Soc Journal vol 3 #4 1981 pp 66/74
A brief (but unsatisfactory) biography is given in Gospel Truth Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon ed. J. L. Newquist Salt Lake City: Zion's Book Store 1957.