Friday, May 28, 2010

John Morgan attends the G. A. R., Grand Army of the Republic, Parade in Washington DC, September 20, 1892.

This picture of D. W. Hamilton is from the John Hamilton Morgan picture collection at the Marriott Library, Special Collection, University of Utah. He is John Morgan's uncle. From John Hamilton Morgan's journal, also in the Marriott Library collection:

[Salt Lake City]
September 1
Met at Bennett’s office on the political situation. Afterwards at the President’s office. Met the First Council at 12 m. and arranged a circular letter to the Seventies. Held a short session. During the day it was decided that Willey L. Brown and myself should go east at once and try to arrange our political affairs. Went to the lake with the children. Met [probably Charles W.] Bennett, [Willey L.] Brown, and [unknown] Smith and arranged details of trip East.

Note: On September 15 John Morgan arrived in Washington DC. His journal entries might be script for “Who was Who” to see and lobby in Washington DC at that time. He stayed there and worked for “Utah and the West” through October 7, 1892.

September 18
In company with brother S. F. [probably Spencer] Clawson, walked out through the city. In my room most of the p.m. In the evening attended Baptist Church and heard a lot of stuff.
September 19At the Rigg’s house met uncle Dave Hamilton, here attending G. A. R. [Grand Army of the Republic] Reunion. He came up and had dinner with me. Met a number of old acquaintances.
September 20Watched the G. A. R. parade, 80,000 veteran soldiers in line starting at 9:30 a.m. It took until after 6 p.m. for them to pass a given point. It was a grand display and one doubtless that will never be witnessed again. The day was a very fine one and with bands of music and soldierly tread, 80,000 veterans marched up Penn. Avenue where very many of them marched twenty-seven years ago. The most pitiable sight was to see so many of the old fellows under liquor in the evening. A magnificent display of fireworks during the evening.
September 21
Rained nearly all day and very disagreeable. With uncle most of the day. He left for home in the p.m. President Harrison with his sick wife came to the city this morning. Met General Minty on the street, Talked Utah matters with General Alger. Called on the Attorney General and got a list of applicants for the U. S. Marshal office.

This Spring I noticed a new G. A. R. marker
in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.

This is a picture of the reverse side,
and names the donors.

It's near Main Street in the same block as
John Morgan's gravestone,
which is to the right and further east in this picture.

Charles W. Bennett is named Lawyer; Republican politician, who came to Salt Lake City in 1871, in John Henry Smith's online diaries.
Spencer Clawson is identified as Merchant, Politician, Capitalist, in Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah.


  1. What an interesting life John Morgan led. Thank you for posting his diary. It is so interesting. Are you thinking of publishing his diary? I don't recall if you've mentioned if you know who owns the original, if it still exists.

  2. This post was really a good idea, especially on Memorial Day weekend. He did lead an interesting life. Thanks for "digging" these things out of his journal

  3. A friend with insight and knowledge of the GAR wrote: By this time, the GAR was just about the most powerful organization in the country, rivaling even Congress in some respects, so it's interesting that JM went/was sent to Washington then. EVERYbody would have been there, so it would have been a good time for him to pull any strings he had to help the church.

  4. Thank you Amy and Flora Lee for your comments.

    I too find John Morgan’s journal extremely interesting. I’m grateful to his son, Nicholas Groesbeck Morgan, Sr., who preserved it, at a time when it otherwise would have been thrown out. According to his granddaughter, my dear new found cousin Karen, Nicholas spent years gathering his father’s writings, and studying his life and times. Unable to complete the volume of history he envisioned writing himself, he employed Arthur Richardson to complete the project, "The Life and Ministry of John Morgan; For a Wise and Glorious Purpose."

    Upon his passing, his library was passed to his daughter, Marjorie. She continued the family’s research, and at the appropriate time donated her father’s collection, and the copy he’d made of John Morgan’s journals to the Marriott Library. So descendants and historians could access it.

    Cousin Karen now has her grandfather Nick’s (NGM, Sr.) remaining library. Sadly, a copy of John Morgan’s journal wasn’t made before it was donated to the Marriott. She has neither the originals, nor a copy. She does, however, have a vast knowledge of the family, and is locating, identifying, and preserving the remaining books and papers in her possession.