. . . The spirit of gathering soon came to the Giles Family. They made sacrifices in the sole of their property. Their personal belongings were sold at auction. My mother, Kezia, then 13 years old, seeing the family books piled high on the table ready to go under the hammer looked wistfully at them, then quietly walked to the table, picked out two or three volumes that were especially dear to her, one being a "Child's life of Columbus," looked at the auctioneer, then at her mother. Seeing no remonstrance she took her place in the family group, and her beloved books were carried to America.
On March 4, 1854, they bade farewell to Old England and turned their faces Zionward. They took passage on the ship Old England.
Sister Betsy and her husband, Brother George and wife had preceded them by a year. Little sister Ann, age seven was left buried in England. Before leaving, the parents went to visit and say goodbye to mother's sister, living a few miles distant. Thomas the oldest son was to make final preparations, and get the family on board. The parents were to join them at the wharf just in time to sail. For some reason however, Old England set sail slightly before schedule Alas, the parents had not arrived. Panic [p. 6] reigned in the hearts of the family. When could they see their parents again? Their passage was paid, they must go. Just before sailing Thomas arranged to follow on the next vessel "John M. Wood."
Many years later we read in Thomas' Journal - "Kezia cried all day." Naturally she would, and who could blame her. She was going to a far off country, father and mother were left behind, Oh what would she do? Where to? Yes, there was unmistakable mothers paisley shawl. A ladder was lowered, and father and mother were taken on board. The parents and Kezia at 85 said "I remember exactly how my mother looked as the big boat neared the ship. The colors of her paisley shawl, is it, gently fluttered in the breeze, and how my heart leaped for joy as I recognized her, I remember it as plainly as if it happened yesterday."
Some few things stand out in her memory of the ocean voyage. A terrific storm threatened the ship, and gave them a fright that lingered always in her memory. A feeling of alarm was felt even by the sailors. A shark followed the ship for three days. The sailors said it was a sign of death, but no one died on the voyage. A petrified hand was taken from the ocean. There were forbidding icebergs in the vicinity of Newfoundland.
After six weeks voyage they landed in New Orleans. A tug boat towed them through the mouth of the Mississippi River.
They were soon in port in New Orleans, and stopped for the first time on American soil.
While there they witnessed a Negro auction sale. It brought tears to Kezia's eyes when she saw children taken from their parents and given to rough traders. The storm at sea did not seem [p. 7] nearly so terrible as that auction sale, with human lives and happiness at stake.
They sailed up the Mississippi to St. Louis, and saw where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers joined. Before reaching St. Louis they were quarantine don an island several days for some contagious disease. Sister Mary took the disease, but recovered. A Sister Shepherd died. Mary's mother told her she had better perk up when she saw the inspectors coming, or they would not be allowed to continue on their journey. Mary did her best.
Kezia always liked to tell of the beautiful island covered with flowers.
The sailed up the river in a steam boat. Beautiful plantations could be seen along the banks. Negroes were working in the orange groves.
One night they had a collision with another boat. Their own sails were broken. The reached St. Louis on May 11, 1854. Kezia and Mary remained with their sister Betsy and her husband. Thomas Rasband, who had been in St. Louis since emigrating the year before. The rest of the family went on to Quincy, Illinois and from there to Burlington. Thomas Rasband was working for a Mr. Dudley, who was quite well to do. The girls worked for a few months for Mr. Dudley, who was quite well to do, then joined their parents in Burlington. The second spring the reunited family traveled 300 miles across the state of Iowa to Council Bluffs.
About the 1st of June 1856 the family with many others began their toilsome journey across the plains. The captain of their one, Captain Merrill, was a splendid man. [p. 8]
Having made the trip several times, he was well acquainted with the route, which made it easy in the selection of camp sites, and watering places. . . . [p. 9]
. . . They arrived in Salt Lake City Aug. 16, 1856, remained there a few days, then moved to Provo. . . .[p. 10]
BIB: Higbee, Emma Isabelle Carroll. Life of Kezia Giles Carroll. (MS 4530 1), pp. 6-10. (CHL)