(From the "New York Tribune.")
. . . The Valley of the Salt Lake is being rapidly peopled with Mormon immigrants from all quarters of the habitable globe, and the work of propagating the principles of this singular sect is now systematically carried on by elders and missionaries in almost every civilized as well as semi-savage country. These men labor with a zeal untiring, a devotion that knows no limit, suffering hunger and thirst, privation, insult, and contempt, for the advancement of the faith they preach and profess. The great object sought to be attained by the Mormons is the establishment of a mighty theocracy in the Valley of the Salt Lake, where they may enjoy, without fear of molestation, the free exercise of their religious and social opinions. To this end the most strenuous efforts have been made to promote immigration to Utah, not only from the United States and Europe, but even from remote Asia and Africa. In every seaport of any consequence in this country and in Europe, emigration agents are located to give information to the inquiring, and to aid those who desire to go to Utah, and arrange for their safe and speedy transportation to that distant country. All along the line of travel, too, other agents are in waiting with the necessary supplies for the journey, and under the auspices of Mormonism the great land voyage across the plains is now almost as safe as a journey from New York to Albany.
The faithful of the fold of Latter-day Saints, whose poverty prevents their undertaking the journey, are forwarded at the expense of the "Perpetual Emigrating Fund." Wealthy men among the sect support this fund by their contributions, and those who are sent out at its expense mortgage a certain portion of the proceeds of their labor after arriving in the happy Valley to repay the cost-thus the fund is made perpetual. The season for emigrating is between November and April; this season the Liverpool agency have sent off over 3,600 immigrants, of whom above 1,100 were sent at the expense of the fund. Heretofore these immigrants have usually entered this country through the Southern ports, avoiding New York altogether; but it would seem that the aversion is wearing off. Yesterday the packet ship Samuel Curling brought to New York 570 of these immigrants, and the ship "William Stetson" is on the way hither with 293 more. We believe there are still other vessels now due here laden with Mormons.
From a visit to the Samuel Curling we are enabled to lay some interesting facts before the readers of the Tribune respecting the order and management of the voyage. A large majority of the passengers are of the poorer classes of British peasantry, Ireland contributing but a small proportion, who are sent out to Utah at the expense of the Emigrating Fund. They are mainly in families, only a few single men and women were on board. The married people were of all ages from tender [p.421] 18 to hale 80, and appear to enjoy good health and spirits. The vessel was the cleanest emigrant ship we have ever seen; notwithstanding the large number of her passengers, order, cleanliness, and comfort prevailed on all hands, the between decks were as sweet and well ventilated as the cabin, and the orlopdeck was as white as scrubbing brush and holystone could make it. It would be well if the packet-ships that ply between this port and Liverpool were to imitate the system of management that prevailed on board this ship. The passengers were under the Presidency of Elder Israel Barlow and two counselors, Elders Perry and Robinson. The company was divided into seven wards, each superintended by a president and two counselors, who together attended to the affairs of the ward, such as cooking, drawing water, morning and evening worship, looking after the sick, setting the watch, and in short, directing the affairs, temporal and spiritual, of the people committed to their care.
These sub-presidents and counselors received their orders from the executive head of the expedition, President [Israel] Barlow and his counselors. The routine of daily duty was somewhat as follows - At 4 a.m. the men told off in rotation the night previous commenced cleaning the wards, at 5 o'clock morning worship, at 5 1/2 cooking commenced, the stewards of each ward being allowed the use of the galley for half an hour, and priority of use being assigned to the wards in rotation every day. At another stated time water was served out. Dinner cooking commenced at 11, and tea at 5. At 8 o'clock, evening worship was celebrated, and then the lights were put out and the night watch set. The duty of the latter was to guard against visits from the sailors, or indiscretions of any kind among the brethren. All of these duties were discharged with military precision at the summons of the bugle; for instance, the call to prayers was "Rosa May," and the night watch was set to the tune of "The Soldier's Tear". As far as we could learn, comfort, cleanliness, good humor, and good health prevailed throughout the voyage. The Saints will set out for Utah by way of St. Louis as soon as possible. Wagons, teams, and tents are now waiting for them on the Missouri River, and they expect to reach the Promised Land in September or October next. . . . [p.422]
BIB: "Mormon Immigration [news report]," Latter-day Saints Millennial Star 17:27 (July 7, 1855) pp. 421-22. (CHL)