. . . Left Liverpool with a company of 578 emigrating Saints on board the Samuel Curling, 19 April 1855.
Elder Israel Barlow was appointed president, but as he was an invalid. I was appointed secretary and requested to act under his counsel as though the whole responsibility was mine.
Two children were born, a boy & girl, during the passage across the Atlantic Ocean.
Every movement among the passengers was conducted in the most orderly manner under the control of seven presidents of wards, assisted by their counselors, and a day marshall and two assistants and a night marshal and assistants. Every movement and change was regulated [p. 44A] by bugle signals - George Bourne was signalman. - It was like a piece of clockwork, and all on board were pleased and astonished. Everything planned by myself, and sanctioned by the president and council.
The officers of the ship said that they had never seen any company of emigrants so easily and effectively managed.
The chief officer said that they had to stand with clubs to keep the other people in awe when they served out water & rations, and on one occasion they had to keep them without water for two days as a punishment, while there was no organization among the ordinary emigrants, and the ship's officer had to do all the work themselves. No wonder they were so pleased with our system of management. [p. 44B] Arrived at New York May 20th after a very splendid passage and were received by Elder John Taylor, who treated the leading elders to an oyster supper at Willis' restaurant.
Many compliments were lavished upon us through our being in such excellent conditions, by the press of the city - this being the first Mormon emigrating ship coming at this port. Our next move was on board a steamer to Amboy, and from there by rail through the Allegheny Mountains to Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati to St. Louis by river steamer; and then by another steamer to Atchison and by wagon a few miles to Mormon Grove, the camp of the emigrating Saints. We remained in camp. [p. 45A] for ten weeks.
Waiting for supplies of wagons, ox teams and provisions. During the progress up the rivers many died of Cholera both young and old. My health was excellent and my labors excessive. I was debated to act as captain of te in the trains under the charge of Milo Andrus, who was a terrible bully and tyrant and very much disliked by all. . . . [p. 45B]
. . . Arrived in Salt Lake City on Saturday 11 o'clock a.m., 20th Oct. 1855. . . . [p. 46B]
BIB: Willes, William, 1814-1890. Journals and reminiscences, 1851-1885. [LDS Church Archives, Ms 1523, pp. 44-46; Acc. #18884]. (CHL)