Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
George Q. Cannon George Q. (Quayle) Cannon

1827 - 1901
  • Born 1827 Liverpool, England
  • Baptized about 1840
  • Practiced plural marriage; five wives
  • Ordained Apostle, and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve 1860
  • Counselor to Brigham Young 1873
  • Assistant Counselor to Brigham Young 1874-77
  • First Counselor to John Taylor 1880-1887
  • First Counselor to Wilford Woodruff 1889-1898
  • First Counselor to Lorenzo Snow 1898-1901
  • Died 1901 Monterey, California

  President George Q Cannon was born in 1827 in Liverpool, England the eldest child of George Cannon and his wife Ann Quayle Cannon. His father became aware of the Gospel when his sister, Leonora Cannon, with her husband and future president of the church, John Taylor, was baptized by Parley P. Pratt in 1836. Four years later, John Taylor, while on a mission in England, converted the Cannon family George Q. was thirteen and he was baptized at the same time. Two years later The family left Liverpool and sailed for America. George's mother died during their voyage, leaving her six children and a widowed husband to reach Nauvoo, Illinois, without her. Arriving in Nauvoo in the spring of 1843, George lived with John and Leonara Taylor's family. Soon thereafter, George began work as a printer's apprentice for his uncle in the publishing office of the Times and  Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor.  George watched over the affairs of the printing business while his uncle recovered from wounds he received at the Carthage Jail when the Prophet and Hyrum were murdered. Two years after the family's arrival in Nauvoo, George's father also died.

    George Cannon accompanied the Taylors to Winter Quarters in 1846, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in October 1847. In 1849 he served a Mission to California and from there to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) where he served for four years. Almost immediately upon his return to Utah, he was sent out again, this time he was to assist Parley P. Pratt in a newspaper venture. Arriving in California, he found Elder Pratt preparing to depart. Elder Pratt took the fortuitous meeting as an opportunity to set Elder Cannon apart as President of the California and Oregon Mission. While thus engaged Elder Cannon published the first edition of the Book of Mormon in the Hawaiian language. He returned to Utah on hearing of preparations for war in Utah. He was commissioned a lieutenant general in the Nauvoo Legion.

   With the successful conclusion of the Utah War he was called to preside over the Eastern States Mission. At the murder of Elder Parley P. Pratt, he was ordained an Apostle by President Brigham Young, entering the Quorum of the Twelve at the age of 33. A call to preside over the European Mission was cut short by his election to Congress and the need for pressing Utah's bid for statehood. He sailed immediately for the States and went to Washington, DC. At the adjournment of the 1862 congressional session, he returned to Europe for two years to continue his assignment as presiding authority. The autumn of his life was tarnished by Federal persecution of Church members who practiced plural marriage. George Q. and his five wives were harassed by federal agents and in 1885 they were forced to go into seclusion. In 1888 he surrendered himself to authorities and served six months for cohabitation. In 1873, President Young called him to serve as a Counselor to the First Presidency. From that time until the time of his death, he served in the First Presidency, serving as Counselor to an unprecedented four Presidents of the Church; Brigham Young, John Taylor , Wilford Woodruff and Lorenzo Snow. All this time he was getting seniority in the Quorum of the Twelve and was (next to President Snow, of course) the senior Apostle on earth at the time of his death.

    For greater insight into the life of this remarkable man, the gentlereader is referred to the Official George Q. Cannon Family History Collection. This site contains photographs, documents, PAF Pedigree files, and news and information on current family events.

   2005 Church Almanac, p.80
   Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, multiple citations.

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