“Saturday, August 26. The steamship “City of Rome” sailed from Glasgow, Scotland with 22 Latter-day Saints (11 emigrating British Saints, 5 returning missionaries and 6 returning visitors Mrs.P [Priscilla] P [Paul] Jennings, Miss Jennings, Mrs. Naomi Saunders, Mrs. A [BLANK SPACE] M. Knight, Mrs W. McCune, and Mrs. E [BLANK SPACE] H. Deuel. The returning missionaries were David O. Mckay, Joseph D. Holler, Robert Anderson, Lettia Dewey Campbell (and infant) and Phillip S. Maycock. (Orig Doc.) This company, in crossing the ocean, had a most dangerous collision with an ice-berg, about which Elder David O McKay in a letter written on board the ‘City of Rome’ and dated Sept.1, 1899, gives the following graphic description:
“‘Last evening about six o’clock we were sailing along at a good rate of speed through quite a dense fog, when suddenly all on board were terrified by the violent stoppage of the ship and a terrible crash. The jar threw passengers against the walls or on the floor. Dishes were hurled in a broken heap. My heart seemed to jump to my throat as all the horrors of a ship-wreck rushed before me. With a cry, ‘We’re on the rocks,’ I rushed on deck. We had collided with an iceberg, huge pieces of which we could now see floating in the seething waters around us. Providentially for us, the Captains saw the floating obstacle in time to have the engines reversed before the boat ran in collision. Much credit is due to Captain Young for his prompt action.
An inspection showed that the vessel was uninjured. She stood the shock bravely, and in a few hours we were slowly moving along again. But oh, the terror depicted on the countenances of many of the passengers; and not alone among the women either. Strong robust men turned deathly pale as they sensed the probable peril were in. The nervous state of the women was pitiful in the extreme; yet, to their credit be it said, under the circumstances they controlled their actions very wisely.
All around, the water was in commotion; and , in its turbulence, seemed to be eager to swallow everything in one angry seething whirlpool. Every moment of the vessel, every noise on board seemed to produce an omnious feeling confirming one’s fears of disaster. It is at such critical moment as these that one fully appreciates the comforting prophetic assurance, ‘You shall go in peace, and return in safety,’ spoken by a servant of God. The experience was truly a dreadful one, and one never to be forgotten.’”[BMMH,1899].