. . . At length the long looked for day dawned on us. I received notice to sail on board the Samuel Curling the 19th of April. This notice I got the 10th April, and the road before us required us to move as soon as possible. Then there was writing of letters to absent friends requiring their last visit, or accepting our last farewell, closing and cashing up chests, finishing up the work &c., &c.
All now being ready, we left Vegrie Engine for America all in good health the 13th day of April and took the train at Gore Bridge at 8 o'clock p.m. for Edinburgh where we intended to sleep all night in Grandfather Lishman's. We arrived all safe, and found Grandfather's family all well.
Saturday 14th. Stayed in Grandfather's.
Sunday 15th. Stayed.
Monday 16th. At 12 o'clock noon we took one and all of us a long and last farewell. We took train [-] at one o'clock for Glasgow, where we stayed all Monday night in the house of Elder Thomas Shepherd and we was kindly received and entertained, during our stay in Shepherd's about 8 o'clock in the evening the family was put in great consternation through Joseph. About 7 o'clock at night, Joseph wandered from the door looking at this thing, and another thing, until he loosed his way back and literally wandered. Shepherd and I wandered with my nephew James Smith up and down Glasgow and reported him at the police offices, giving them his description. The mother was in great fear. I myself was in great fear, and as I was drawing near to Shepherds to tell the mother, I had not seen him when I fell on him. How glad I was.
Tuesday 17th. We left Shepherd's and went on board the steamboat at [p.66] the [-] for Liverpool; the fares was six shillings. At two o'clock we sailed. At this moment we took (for ought we know) our last farewell of Scotland the home of our births and the home those that are dear to us by the ties of friendship; and above all the resting place of our beloved and never-to-be-forgotten Catherine. Our passage from Glasgow to Liverpool, so far as weather was concerned was excellent and all of us enjoyed good health. About ten o'clock in the fore noon of Wednesday the 18th we arrived in Liverpool, where we met with Elder W. Heaton the president of the Edinburgh conference who assisted us much in the furtherance of our luggage to the Samuel Curling and also transacted our business at the Liverpool office and performed several acts of his days worthy of our attention and regard. We lodged in the house of Brother Chapman the night of the 18th and by this, we obtained a knowledge that, to lodge in Liverpool was a matter of interest, especially to the Saints, whose purse was poor.
Thursday the 19th. After breakfast the day was devoted in the purchase of articles for the voyage, and provisions, so far as our means would go. And in the afternoon your mother and I went to Dingle Cottage to pay our last visit to your Uncle George Leishman. It was a good distance from where we lodged and this occupied us some time. During our absence the family was left in charge of Jessie McDonald (of whose history you will know hereafter). A band of music came past the lodgings, and William Hinking I suppose he was their Nogrie, got into the crowd and marched on with the band, until he was lost. His cousin James fortunately happened to be at the lodgings, and he set about in search of him with all his might. He reported him to the police and gave the bell man a shilling to make proclamation of him and at length a policeman brought on a horse. We was grieved to hear this affair when we returned from Dingle Cottage, and especially at a time when we was just going on board. On our return we was notified to go on ship board, consequently we collected all our goods and repaired to the Samuel Curling, this was about [p.67] half past eight o'clock on the evening of the 19th. We slept on board.
20th. Friday morning went onshore. Bought provisions and other articles. 11 o'clock noon we was towed out of dock and consequently we bade farewell to Britain's shore the land of kings and queens, dukes & lords, rich bishops, priests, and medical doctors, lawyers and coal kings. We now lay in the Mersey. In the afternoon of this day, we had one week's provisions served out. In the evening a good deal of mirth prevailed in singing &c 9 p.m. went to bed. Family all well.
21st. Served out water. Much difficulty in cooking &c. At one o'clock the ship's company was inspected by the doctor, F. [Franklin] D. Richards and others in authority. One or two of the company was rejected by the surgeon. 8 p.m. prayers & went to bed.
22nd. I was with others appointed to clean decks. In the forenoon all the ship's company was called up to muster every soul of every family. The company numbered 575 souls, and during our voyage there was two births. Half past nine o'clock forenoon weighed anchor. Taken in tow with a steamer. Weather mild and fine. All hands in good spirits. Family all well. 12 noon, set sails, fair wind. 9 P.m. prayers. Family to bed.
23rd. 6 A.M. A calm. Opposite Hollow-end lighthouse, Ireland. 10 a.m. to prayers. 9 p.m. good breeze and fair. Family well.
24th. Weather fine. 11 a.m. the saints meet on the upper deck in a meeting capacity. The meeting called to order by Elder William Willis. Prayer offered up by Elder J. [Joseph] Perry. And the meeting was addressed by Elder President [Israel] Barlow. Elder Willis read a letter from F. [Franklin] D. Richards giving the Saints the highest encouragement to do right. It gave assurance to the Saints, that if they observed to obey the counsel of their presidents and him who was appointed head of all, even [p.68] Elder Israel Barlow that not one soul would perish by the way but all would arrive in life and come up on the land of Joseph, even the land of America and realize their long hopes and ardent expectations. The words of this letter was literally fulfilled at the close of the meeting Elder [William] Willis sung a melody, the words was his own composing called The Honey Bee. Several instructions was given and arrangements made for our rule of action while on board. 8 p.m. met to prayers. I was appointed to be a teacher for the 5th Ward.
25th. 6 a.m. Clear sun. Fine breeze. 1 p.m. visit the brethren and sisters of 5th Ward. 3 p.m. Elder President Barlow speaks to me of being marshal and to look after the general well being of the Saints.
26th. Family all well with the exception of a little seasickness. 11 a.m. wind soft weather fine. A ship from the Sandwich Islands is in sight. She nears us. Sends a boat. Anxious for to obtain English newspapers. States she had been six months at sea. All hands on board well. 2 p.m. attended a council meeting. the chief authorities present. I was duly appointed by the voice of the council to be marshal. 8 p.m. prayers. To bed. Family well.
27th. 9 a.m. a calm. sun clear. 10 a.m. served out provisions, a portion of all kinds. 5 p.m. finished serving provisions. 8 p.m. to prayer. A calm. All hands well.
28th. 6 a.m. a light breeze. 1 p.m. there vessels in sight. The captain reported our bearings to them which was 110.55 4 p.m. A calm. The ship rolls heavily. 8 p.m. Nos. 2, 3, & 5 Wards meet, and Elders Mabien and [William] Willis read over an epistle from the first presidency on board. The epistle was couched in such words as to draw forth our gratitude and love to God our Father. At the same time we was called upon to hold Sabbath,, the twenty-ninth, as a day of fasting and prayer. A good feeling prevailed. [p.69]
29th. 9 a.m. went to prayers. 10 a.m. assembled in meeting on the upper deck. Addressed by Elders [Israel] Barlow, [John] Robinson and [William] Willis. A good spirit was manifest. The fasting was observed according to counsel. 7 p.m. met in ward and partook the sacrament. Miriam was threatened with croup. Alexander not very well.
30th. 9 a.m. met to prayer. Miriam and Alexander some better. A fine breeze going about 8 miles an hour. 1 p.m. President Israel Barlow have at this moment dropped to me a knowledge of God's dealings with the Saints on board the Samuel Curling. He says he saw in the night season; the vessel going forward and something going before it paving the way and by putting his hands together showed me the figure of the apparatus that went before us. This thing which he saw branched out in spires and fork, and those horns shielded and broke off from us every contrary wind, and opposing influence, and led the way of the Samuel Curling with its precious cargo to the wished-for haven.
And he said, if the Saints observe and do the counsels and perform the covenants which they agreed to do, they shall be blessed in all good things accordingly, Amen. 8 p.m. assembled to prayers. Blowing strong breeze. 4 p.m. William in coming down the ladder his feet slipped at the top and down he came headfirst. I saw him fall. He was lifted by Elder [William] Willis quite dead to all appearance. To those [-] who held him, I cried for them to lay their hands on his head. They did so and oh! how happy was your Mother and I when he began to quiver and come to life. Your Mother [-]!!! You received a severe blow betwixt the right ear and eye and [-] the lump rose about the size of an egg. We put you to bed, and in two days or so you recovered well. Thanks be to God.
May - 10 a.m. met to prayers [---] health is [p.70] improving. William is doing well. 1 p.m. all hands air bed and bedding. 2 p.m. fine strong breeze. Health of all the Saints is well. 7 p.m. according to previous arrangements a tent of canvas was cut out, sewed and prepared by the Brethren and Sisters, on board the Samuel Curling. The tent sewed and framed, was adjusted on the quarter deck by the assistance of an oar and pole. All hands was called up to look on and pass through the canvas house of ancient and notable antiquity. Thus assembled, President Israel Barlow desired that the special authority accompanied by lady tentmakers should pass through the erected tent in sacred procession in order to hallow the present tent and commemorate the ancient and modern wandering of the people of God. Thus all things being prepared, the procession was formed in the following order. President Israel Barlow to walk in front with his counselors then the seven Presidents each with their respective counselors and in rear of them secretary William Willis was to form in line bearing on each arm a lady tentmaker and then all the other lady and gentlemen tentmakers to follow in order. The procession formed and the spectators arranged the marshal Elder D. [David] Moffat was instructed to proclaim to the procession - when ordered, to march! To march singing the hymn of "Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah." The command being given "March!" The procession moved off in grand and sublime order, each president linked in by his associates, and the song acting simultaneous with the movement thereof. The marshal led the way, proceeded through the tent, followed by the honorable train, which marched through three successive times. At this moment, a scene of unusual novelty and vanity was exhibited by the sailors of the ship. But at the same time, done through no evil intention, the sailors proceeded to form a procession which they did in their own way, after their own order. One fellow with a red [p.71] shirt mounted and seated himself steadily on the shoulders of two of his comrades, in connection with his red shirt, he had on a hat that would puzzle a philosopher to describe its shape, in his hand he carried a pole, and an old bass rug on it for a flag - the others who followed bore in their hands poles, oars &c. - so they all appeared like the old English bailiffs in their Halbarts of office. The scene was so imposing that a few of the Saints was led to countenance their vanity by loud laughing and other vain symptoms. Elder Barlow was somewhat surprised at their feeling, and being interested on the occasion reproved them with a degree of sharpness, which restored order and solemnity to the waiting audience. Order being restored the marshal was commanded to call upon the procession with all the saints to repeat the song "Praise to the Man" &c. All hands standing, at the close of which P. E. [Israel] Barlow called the tent - "one of the tents of Israel, made on board of the Samuel Curling." This closed one of the most imposing and interesting processions recorded in the History of Emigrating Saints. 8 p.m. Prayers. Family about well. fair and strong breeze.
2nd May. 1 p.m. 5th Ward met to prayer and bearing testimony a full meeting and much good felt by presence of Elder Barlow who addressed the Saints at some length. 8 p.m. to bed.
3rd. 10 a.m. prayers. Wind soft. 12 a.m Breeze springing up. 8 p.m. 3 & 4th Wards joined for prayer and testimony bearing. A good meeting was held, 8 p.m. the other wards to prayers.
4th Fresh wind and fair. 10 a.m. getting up provisions. [p.72] 4 p.m. getting very sick and vomiting. 6 p.m. went to bed. 10 p.m. strong gale and heavy sea running. The Mother, Jessie and Joseph are sick.
5th. Wind fallen. Family still sick. 8 p.m. to prayers. Blows fresh.
6th. A gale. 12 a.m. increasing gale. 3 p.m. strong gale. Reefing topsails. The mother Jessie & Joseph still sick. 4 p.m. crossing the banks of Newfoundland. Very thick fog. 8 p.m. met to prayers and partook the sacrament. Strong gale from the south.
7th. Wind fallen. Heavy sea rolling. Jessie & Joseph sick. 4 p.m. an iceberg in sight. five or six miles to the leeward. Its appearance in the water is like a chalk hill. It is an object of much interest. 8 p.m. me to prayers. Blows hard.
8th. 6 a.m. blows hard. Sea rolls heavily. Another iceberg to the windward larger than the one last evening. 9 a.m. another iceberg in sight of considerable dimensions. Very cold. All the family considerable well. 8 p.m. very cold. Met to prayers. Wind right ahead.
9th. 8 a.m. right wind, and increasing. 12 noon thick fog. 7 p.m. thick fog and a strong breeze. Reefing topsails. 8 p.m. met to prayers. A good meeting.
10th. 8 a.m. thick fog. strong breeze. 8 p.m. thick fog. Strong breeze. Passing over the great Bank of Newfoundland. Met to prayers.
11th. 10 a.m. a calm. very thick fog. met in ward to prayers. family all well (thanks be to God in heaven). [p.73] 3 p.m. A calm. All hands fishing for codfish on the Newfoundland Banks. About a dozen of cod was caught by the line and hook. 9 p.m. Met to prayers. A strong breeze.
12th. 10 a.m. Met to prayers. Strong breeze, dead ahead. 11 a.m. Serving out provisions. family about well. 4 p.m. I got seasick and shortly after went to bed for the night.
13th. 9 a.m. met to prayers. Better from seasickness. 11 a.m. general meeting on the upper deck. The meeting addressed by Elders Barlow, Robinson, Maiben, Bramwell, and Willis. Good instruction, and edification was given. Weather good, family all well. 7 p.m. fair strong breeze. Met to sacrament meeting. After bread and wine, the meeting was addressed by Elders [Joseph] Perry and [William] Willis. A good spirit prevailed.
14th. 2 a.m. Fair wind. Ship rolling heavily. 10 met to prayers.
15th. 4 a.m. Reefing topsails strong wind. Thunder and lightning. The lightning was more vivid at this time, than before I had experienced. About 600 miles from New York. 10 a.m. Met to prayers. Elder Watson from Scotland, has a child taken with the smallpox. A deep feeling felt through it. 8 p.m. met to prayers. Family all well.
16th. 10 a.m. a thick fog. A stiff head wind. Went to prayers. 11 a.m. a steamer passing alongside. Eleven days from England going to New York, passengers on board of her. She did not desire to communicate. 4 p.m. A boy seized with an evil spirit. 10 p.m. Laid hands on him.
17th. 10 a.m. Met to prayers. The boy not [p.74] improved yet. The weather foggy.
18th. 10 a.m. Fair wind. The boy still worse. Serving out provisions. 6 p.m. a calm on St. Georges Channel. The captain and brethren are fishing for cod and some good cod are taken. Dancing is going on by the brethren and sisters. The fiddle playing. All hands in good health.
19th. 8 a.m. a calm. All hands fishing for cod. A cod carried away my line and hook. Several of the brethren have caught some good fish. The boy whereof I have spoken of is still bad - and is in possession of a very bad spirit by the things he exhibit. 1 p.m. Counseled his mother to go to the president of the ward to which she belonged and request him to attend to her son's case. She did so. Called on to accompany president Israel Barlow, Elders [Joseph] Perry, [Moses] Thirston [Thurston], [William] Willis, and Shanks. Kneeled down and Elder [Israel] Barlow offered up prayer to the most high for his blessing to accompany our administrations, after which Elder Perry anointed the afflicted boy, Joseph Robinson, in the name of the Lord Jesus and then we laid our hands on him, and Elder [Israel] Barlow rebuked the spirit of the evil one in the name of the Lord, and he was immediately delivered and restored to sanity of mind. Elder [Israel] Barlow desired me to provide some good singers. Them I soon found and a song of praise to the Lord was given in the words: "How firm a foundation ye Saints of the Lord." The brethren and sisters felt well. I say glory to the Lord. 8 p.m. a collection was taken up by all the Saints to renumerate Brother Lillie [Charles Lilley] the cook in the galley for his useful services - and also to suit some wise purpose in behalf of the Saints when they arrive at New York. About seven pounds sterling was collected. [p.75]
20th. 9 a.m. Met to prayers. 1 p.m. Strong gale. Reefing topsails. Passing a small schooner. 6 p.m. Strong gale and thick fog. Miriam not so well. 7 p.m. Prayers, sacrament administered.
21st. Land in sight, Long Island. Wind light, and ahead, 11:30 a.m. this moment a pilot have come on board. Jessie have come to me, and said, Father, we are not far away now and by some unaccountable influence my eyes filled with tears.
I cannot but relate a circumstance that President [Israel] Barlow have this morning related to me in my account of the 18th. I there state that dancing is going on. This dancing begun without permission from the legal head. It so happened that Elder [Joseph] Perry first counselor to Elder P. [Israel] Barlow and secretary [William] Willis was among the first to join in this innocent amusement. Nevertheless that night Elder [Israel] Barlow dreamed he saw Elder [Joseph] Perry desirous of blessing his brethren and sisters; and strove to do so with all his mind.
But at this moment a voice came forth from behind the president saying, let Elder [Joseph] Perry repent before he can have what he asketh for. This goeth to show how careful we ought to be in all things, even to the song and the dance.
22nd. 2 a.m. The high lands of America in sight. I see a lighthouse by its light. It has two lights, one is standing, and the other is revolving. 9 a.m. nearing New York. The scene at this moment is grand and imposing. The houses is clean, light, and cheerful, indeed it is beautiful beyond anything I have yet seen. 10 a.m. Here we are drawing near to anchor. The spacious [p.76] River Eff. [UNCLEAR] (as I am told) filled with steamboats of every description, plying in haste. Here lieth ships of all dimensions. All is bustle and activity. The anchor of the Samuel Curling is let go!!! We are all safely landed in New York, America this 22nd day of May 1855. Glory and blessing be unto the Lord for evermore, Amen.
19th Aug. 1855
I will let you understand that our coming forth to the land of America was for the purpose of serving God and to be the more enabled to go forth to the bosom of the Church that is in the valley of the mountains. When this will be completed I do not know. Our first taking up house was in Cumbola the employers name was William Agard and his manager below ground was William Westwood - both of these men - I count both civil and obliging. From the day I went to work I have been on day's wages. When I began to work which was the 30th day of May the wage was 8 dollars a week but the reduction has since taken place and at this day the wage is 8 dollars. Since I came I have been cast off work often through bad air - but as sharp nights will set in soon, some improvement will take place on the air.
I may also mention that your cousin James Smith came with us from Scotland to America and Jessie McDonald, the latter came to be married to your cousin William Wilson which he did reluctantly on the 2nd of July 1855. They were married by one McLory in the house where they lodged but since the have taken up house next door to us.
I may also mention, before we got to Cambola I needed the assistance of the authorities of the Mormon church, and others along with me, the amount on my part would be about 12 dollar. I would not have required anyone's help had I retained my own money but I was called upon to part with it in the following manner.
The ship's company was in two parts, one part the Valley [p.77] and the other part for such places in the states as they could find employment. At our arrival at New York many of the Brethren had not a cent to bless them. Elder John Taylor sought of me to advance what I could in order help the brethren out of their difficulty. I gave to a Brother Robert Murdock three dollars, and on our way from New York to Philadelphia Elder Robinson second counselor to President [Israel] Barlow borrowed from me an English sovereign in gold which he would return to me on our arrival at Philadelphia after our coming there I only saw Robinson once and he merely spoke about it. That was all I ever got. I have said enough on these matters so here I end it. And now about the last thing I will write about our voyage from Scotland to America is the organization of the authorities on board the Samuel Curling. It may one day be profitable unto you.
President was Elder Israel Barlow.
Counselors, Elders [Joseph] Perry and Robinson.
Secretary, Elder William Willis.
Marshal, Elder David Moffat.
Captain of the guard, Brother McFall John McFaulds].
Presiding deck orderly. Elder [George] Burridge.
Names of the Presidents of Wards:
1st Ward Elders Maiben apt. sect's.
2nd " " " Westwood
3rd " " " Bramwell
4th " " " [Joseph] Booth
5th " " " [Matthew] Rowan
6th " " " [Moses] Thurston
7th " " " Hatfle
Even so Amen.
David Moffat. [p.78][THE ACCOUNT OF THE JOURNEY BY LAND IS MISSING. THIS JOURNAL ABRUPTLY ENDS HERE, YET TWO POEMS FOLLOW WHICH DEAL WITH THE IMMIGRATION TO ZION.]
The following song I composed a few days before leaving Scotland and sent to Milton Atwood, and other two Brethren, 19th March, 1855.
I'm away! I'm away, over the wide spreading sea
To the land of the brave, to the land of the free,
To the land of the light, to the land of the truth,
To the land of our Joseph, a prophet in youth,
To the land where the gospel first dawned on our day.
Ship, spread out thy canvas and bear me away!
I'm away! I'm away, for to see and to know
The things which our prophet has told us below;
And build up a kingdom, that now is begun
High up in the mountains for father, and son,
Who died without hearing the truth of this day.
Ship, spread out thy canvas and bear me away!
I'm away! I'm away, where the husband and wife
United to be one in the region of life;
Where his love and the joy of the life giving pair,
Can only be known by the righteous that's there,
Where the Lord in his mercy his wisdom display.
Ship, spread out thy canvas and bear me away!
I'm away! I'm away, where the sire and the son,
In the course of their God have unitedly run
Where the priest and the prophet, the matron and maid
For the sake of religion the ransom have paid
To where they departed from temples of clay
Ship, spread out thy canvas and bear me away!
I'm away! I'm away, and I bid you adieu
O' Elders of Israel be faithful and true! [p.79]
And pluck not the daises that grows over the green
Full fresh in my country, and blossoms unseen.
And for thy deliverance for ever I'll pray.
Ship, spread out thy canvas and Bring them away!
(David Moffat) [p.80]
. . .The following line was written on board the Samuel Curling. Upon hearing and seeing Elder William Willis secretary address the Saints of the 5th Ward of the sisters going to the captain's cabin &c and improper things.
30th April 1855.
O Willis the Champion! the herald of truth,
How sweetly the gospel flows out of thy mouth,
Thy bold manly figure strikes terror and awe,
To the hearts of the forward, who keep not the law.
Thy voice is like thunder that thrills through the ear
And fills the deceitful with quaking and fear.
And the glance of thine eye, like the lightning that dart
Through light, and through darkness, it reacheth the heart.
Thy mission is needful! Come, sisters, arise!
And dash the damnation aside from your eyes
And go not to cabin; to ward, nor to room
And move not your canvas until you are home.
I hail thee! My Willis! My brother and friend,
And I pray to Jehovah, his spirit to send,
To keep thee and bless thee the whole journey through
So now, my dear brother, I bid thee Adieu!
David Moffat Marshall. [p.88]
BIB: Moffat, David Kay, 1811-1885. Writings 1850-1861. [LDS Church Archives, Ms 7467, pp. 66-80, 88; Acc. #2053] (CHL)