Leonora Taylor

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Leonora Taylor (Cannon)

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Peel, Isle of Man
Death: December 9, 1868 (72)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City,Salt Lake,UT
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Captain George Cannon and Leonora Callister
Wife of John Taylor, President, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Mother of Joseph James Taylor; George John Taylor; Leonora Agnes Taylor and Mary Ann Taylor
Sister of George Cannon; Thomas Cannon; Ann Cannon; John Cannon; Elinor Cannon and 2 others

Occupation: Marriage: 28 January 1833 ,Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About Leonora Taylor

While his spiritual life was deepening and broadening, he encountered a second powerful influence—Leonora Cannon. Also a devout Methodist, she had felt prompted to come to Canada because of a dream. In Toronto she began attending Methodist services. Her class leader, John Taylor, was soon her suitor, but she refused his first offer of marriage, perhaps because she was ten years his senior. Prompted by another dream, however, she accepted his second proposal and they were married 29 January 1833.

SOURCE: "The John Taylor Family" by Richard L. Jensen. lds.org

The following information about Leonora Cannon Taylor is from a 14-page article entitled "Mormon Women on the 1846 Iowa Trail" by Bettie McKenzie: Leonora Cannon Taylor was the wife of the Mormon leader John Taylor. Taylor, along with Parley Pratt, spent much of 1846 and 1846 on missions to England. Leonora Cannon Taylor crossed the Mississippi on February 15 with the pioneer company and started from Sugar Creed on March 2. She included references to some of the camp life as well as the misery when she wrote her memoirs.

Her diary comments of the first weeks note the snow, the rain, and more snow until April 1, when she finally wrote "a warm day." During the next month, the company struggled through mud, and the carriage broke down. The horses were bitten by snakes, and more and more rain fell during April as they slogged along, sometimes making seven or eight miles a day. Finally on May 8, Leonora wrote: "A fine moonlight night, a violin playing and a dance by General Rich's tent. This place is called Garden Grove and lovely place it is." She had sprained her knee getting out of the carriage at Garden Grove, and her leg pained her so much during the next two weeks that she was sick with the pain and tried many remedies for it as the company continued to travel.

By June 8, Leonora was able to write about the prairie, "excellent road...covered with beautifull flowers." Again, on June 11, she wrote: Country is really lovely, gently rolling and (divided) in long ridges and those on each side and marked like quarters of an orange, they appear like little channels to convey the water into the long ones and those into large and deeper all covered with rich grass and lovely flowers, every few miles there is a creek and a little grove of trees.

These comments were made before the company reached the Nishnabotna and the Indian village, so the events probably took place in Adair and Cass Counties.

On June 17, she reached the Bluffs and enjoyed the delights of wild strawberries. According to her diary, "the children came to know if they might go for strawberries and S.Y. Family, M.S. and Annie went and brought us back some delightful berries." Later, "the strawberries were more plentiful there than any place I ever say. They gathered them by bushels."

On June 20, she says: "The girls went to a concert at the trading village number of the bretheren went down and the band went with them. We had a very pleasant time indeed. About seventy persons dined in Major Marshals. They had quite a dance there. Was a number of half-breed squaws dressed very well indeed. Had some songs from Br. Kay and a deal of music. Upon the whole we spent a very pleasant day."

In July, she also says, "still music, volunteering, dancing every evening."

After the pleasant spring and summer interlude for Leonora Taylor, the season at Winter Quarters when her husband was gone proved harsh; and she struggled to get a house, a stove, and food supplies. Many were sick, and she wrote of friends who died. She noted she had a family of fifteen to provide for while her husband was away. Amidst the reporting of "the Caker, stolen cattle and horses that were shot," by quarreling Indians, she also was able to let the children go to dancing school and to attend "preaching" and fellowship meetings.

In June 1847 her husband was home; and together they left Winter Quarters and started their journey to Utah. Taylor and Parley Pratt had been sent on a mission to England in July 1846. They arrived at Winter Quarters in April 1847, just as Brigham Young was preparing for the final part of the westward journey.

Biographical Sketch

Leonora Cannon was born in the town of Peel, Isle of Man, Oct. 6, 1796. She was the eldest daughter of Capt. George Cannon and Leonora Callister.

She was a beautiful child, both in mind and person, and was brought up very tenderly. She was left fatherless when only thirteen years of age. After her father's death, her mother, having more room in her house than she required rented part of it furnished to an English family named Furnible.

Mrs.Furnible was a daughter of Lady Manering. Miss Furnible and Leonora became very fast friends and when the family went out to London Lady Manering insisted upon Leonora's accompanying her granddaughter, which Mrs. Cannon finally consented to. While there she was treated as one of the family and spent years of her youth in London, mingling with the best of society. She was presented at Court by Lady Manering at the same time as was her granddaughter. Miss Furnible.

Leonora was well educated and very attractive, her mind being stored with good and useful knowledge. She was a great reader, very witty and enjoyed a good joke. She was always religiously inclined. When quite young she depended on the Lord to direct her in all her movements. She became a Methodist when quite young and was very sincere. She had a very beautiful head of naturally curly hair.

After she became a Methodist, thinking curls sinful, she covenanted with the Lord that henceforth she would never wear them, and she never did. After her mother's death she went to reside in England, with her sister, Mrs. Vail. Later she became an inmate of Governor Smeltz's family, residing in Castle Rushen, Castletown, Isle of Man. Here she met with many distinguished persons from England, among them Mr, Mason, secretary to Lord Ayhner, Governor-General of Canada. Mr. Mason was about to take his wife with him to that country, and wished to find a lady to go with them, as a companion for her. He applied to the governor to recommend some one suitable. The governor did so, saying he did not know of any one more so than Miss Cannon. When this was proposed to her she said she could not think of such a thing, but upon being urged, she made it a matter of prayer. She was in the habit, when about to take any important step, of inquiring of the Lord, asking Him to direct her to a suitable passage in the Bible for an answer. On opening her book the twelfth chapter of Genesis presented itself in force. She read what the Lord said to Abraham, "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from thy father's house, into a land that I will shew thee." This decided her and she left home and kindred in May, 1832.

After reaching Canada, she became associated with the Methodist Church, through which she became acquainted with her future husband, John Taylor, who was her class leader. His first proposal of marriage was rejected, but afterwards, through a dream in which she saw herself associated with him, she was convinced that he would be her husband. So when he renewed his proposal, he was accepted. Refined by nature and education, gentle and lady-like in manner, witty, intelligent, possessed of deep religious sentiments, and withal remarkable for the beauty of her person she was a fit companion for John Taylor, to whom she was married Jan. 28, 1833, in the city of Toronto. Here the Gospel found them in 1836. Here also her two eldest children were born, George J. and Mary Ann. She was baptized in company with her husband, May 9, 1836, by Parley P. Pratt.

She bore up bravely through all the trials and troubles she was called upon to endure. While traveling through Indiana they had to leave their carriage in the sloughs. Her husband put her and her little daughter on one horse and he and the little son rode the other to the nearest settlement. This was only a few days before their youngest son was born. Here the Lord made manifest His power in her behalf. After being in extreme peril at the birth of her two former children she was wonderfully blessed and was able to be out with her babe in two weeks and they continued their journey to Missouri where she suffered much in common with the Saints, being often without food for herself and family. But the Lord sustained her. and when ordered to give up her home and leave it, she did so cheerfully. After reaching Illinois, they stopped for awhile in Quincy, and then went to Montrose, opposite Nauvoo, in Iowa. Her husband having previously been called on a mission to England, he obtained one room in a miserable log barrack for his family, and then started on his mission, leaving his wife sick in bed with fever. Here I will state what she says about it: "He dedicated his wife and family to the care of the Lord, and blessed them in His name. At the thought of the hardships they had endured, of the uncertainty of their continuing in the house they then occupied, and that only a solitary room, the prevalence of diseases, the poverty of the brethren, their insecurity from mobs, together with the uncertainty of what might take place during his absence, produced feelings of no easy character. These solicitations, paternal and conjugal, were enhanced also by the time and distance that was to separate us. The thought of going forth at the command of the God of Israel to revisit my native land, to unfold the principles of eternal truth and make known the things God had revealed for the salvation of the world overcame every other feeling."

Leonora had three small children to provide and care for, the eldest. George J., being only six years old. would take a bucket, and go sit by the well until some one would come by and fill it for him. Then he would take his sick mother a drink.

After being restored to health and strength she worked bravely on, caring for her family. On the father's return he found her sick near unto death. After her recovery they moved across the river to Nauvoo.

It was soon after this that the order of plural marriage was revealed to them. It was a great trial to her, but she knew it was true, and has often testified to me of its truthfulness. She also told me that Sister Emma Smith told her that she had received a testimony of the truthfulness of plural marriage.

In 1842 she gave birth to another daughter, who died in 1843. She also lost one of her fingers while her babe was sick. This was at the time that her husband was entering the order of plural marriage. I do not wonder at her being tried, yet I have heard her give some of the best counsel to those tried in that order. She possessed the rare faculty of adapting herself to all classes of people and hence made many friends. To me she was all that was beautiful, and I loved her as my mother.

-Written by Mary Alice Cannon Lambert

In 1857 the Relief Society women of the 14th ward in Salt Lake City made an album quilt to be raffled off to help earn funds for their charitable contributions. Below is an image of the quilt block that she made.



  • The Young Woman's Journal, Volume 19, pg. 345-347
  • The Salt Lake City 14th Ward Album Quilt, 1857, by Carol Holindrake Nielson
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Leonora Taylor's Timeline

September 5, 1796
Peel, Isle of Man
October 6, 1796
Kirk German, Isle Of Man, England
October 6, 1796
May 9, 1836
Age 39
June 8, 1838
Age 41
Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana, United States
December 10, 1845
Age 49
December 9, 1868
Age 72
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
April 19, 1916
Age 72