In late 1859, Utah and the Mormon church were trying to return to conditions as they were prior to the disruptions of the Utah War. The full effects of the disruptive “move south” were not yet entirely realized or reconciled, and the citizens were trying to adjust to a new political situation in which the Mormons were no longer in control of any of the appointive government offices in the territory. The Church leaders were attempting to strengthen their organization to cope with the problems arising from the large number of non-Mormons suddenly forced upon them in the form of an army and the numerous camp followers associated with the armed forces.
These were the conditions President Brigham Young alluded to when he wrote to his special emissary to the eastern United States, George Q. Cannon. Of special interest is President Young’s statement that Cannon had just been named an Apostle in the Church hierarchy, but that there would not be a public announcement of this action because of Cannon’s special assignments in Washington and the eastern states.