. . . My father & mother was of a religious nature, they of the Church of England. I can recollect there were no preachers near where we lived so mother would have us gather together on Sundays and read a few verses in the Bible and she would tell us stories about Abraham and his descendants, especially Joseph that was sold into Egypt and how they was persecuted and how the Lord raised up Moses for their deliverance. She always taught her children to pray. It always seemed interesting to hear them stories and I have never forgot them. So things went until 1858. We heard that a peculiar people or sect had come to Port Elizabeth and a terrible people they were, making converts, and in a short time, who should come up to our place, but that particular friend of my father's, John Stock, and another man by the name of John Wesley. They were [p. 6] Mormon elders and after a thorough examination, my father's family all joined the church; and although he had no idea of emigrating when he joined the church, he soon began to make preparations to emigrate to Utah. And if my memory serves me right, we started in March 22, 1860. There were about 50 or 60 persons in the company. We sailed on an old wooden vessel called Alacrity. We had not been sailing long before something began to happen. We began to be sick and sick we surely were, but in a few days we began to recover and our appetites could hardly be satisfied. We were hungry all the time. The first place we called in was Cape Town. Here we took on some more passengers and I could see the fortification works my father had worked on after coming from England about fourteen years before.
We were crossing the ocean now on an old sailing ship called the Alacrity. Our next port was the Isle of Saint Helena, the place Napoleon was banished by the British government after being captured by the British government. There he lived until his death. We could see the fort from where we were in the harbor. Some of the passengers went ashore and some more were taken on board while laying in the harbor. We could see fishermen catching fish. They would take a handful of minis (very small fish) and throw them into the water close to the boat, and the fish would come right up to the boat to get the minis and the men would soon fill a boat. The water seemed to [be] alive. There were so many fish. It was there a great many coconuts were raised. The morning we sighted the island my youngest sister was born. There we took on a few people. [p.7]
It took us about 75 days to make the trip from Port Elizabeth to Boston. The old vessel was a wooden one with sails and when the wind was from behind, all was well. We made good headway, but when the wind was from in front of us, we made very slow progress. And once we were in a gale for 3 or 4 days and we drifted a long way out of our way. It was a long tedious journey for the old folk, but the youngest did not care so much, for there was something new to be seen all the time. Different kinds of water animals and birds; and every little while, the lookout would holler "Ship ahoy" and we could see a small speck on the water. And as time went on the speck would go larger and larger, until at last there was a great big ship sometimes close to us. Thus the time was spent until we reached Boston. Well, we are now in Boston and probably need something out of the stores. Well, the first thing was to change from English to American money and I recollect how awkward it was at first. You ask how much for this, he would say 4 bits. We did not know how much that was, but after a while, we began to catch on. We stayed in Boston for a few days and wander around the town. And after seeing the sights, we now start our journey across the American continent. We start by railroad from Boston and, by the way, railroads of them days are different from the railroads of today. They were not so efficient, not so large, and not so comfortable, and sometimes we had to wait for hours to make connections. But we kept going on until we struck a town on the Mississippi River. I forgot the name, Anable [PROBABLY, Hannibal]. I think here the boat laid for an hour or two and I recollect a thing that happened close beside us. There lay another boat and a man was cleaning [p.8] the paddle wheels and he seemed to know we were Mormons and of all the cursing you ever heard that man was doing it. When all at once he slipped off the wheel and into the river and everything was quiet. When we pulled out, they were dragging the river to try and find him. We now went down the Mississippi River to the mouth of the Missouri River, then up the Missouri River some distance, then rail, and so we kept on until we came to St. Joseph on the Missouri River. Here we took the boat to Florence, the outfitting place of the Latter-day Saint emigrants. Here we rested for some time allowing time for more emigrants to arrive, enough to form a company large enough to be safe against Indians and for the emigrants to gather their outfits such as wagons, cattle, horse, cows, &c. By this time some of our company began to run short of money, so much so, that some could not proceed further without assistance. So my father having some money, he assisted those that were in need, some 5 or 6 families. Well, the time finally came for us to start so we were organized with William Budge as president, and a man by the name of Nephi Johnson as guide and captain. [p.9]
. . .[We] finally arrived on the 5th day of Oct. 1860. We camped on the lot where now stands the City & County Building Salt Lake City stands. The next day we went to Conference and heard that great man President Brigham Young and other good men whom we had never heard before. After Conference my father bought a place in the 6th Ward. [p.11]
BIB: Bodily, Robert. Journal (Ms 8620 reel 2 #4) (Typescript), pp. 6-9, 11. (CHL)