Friday 18th . I got my things collected together through the night & packed in a box, engaged a cab a little after 4 a.m. and rode to Medbourne Street then to Euston Square. I was up all the night. At 6 1/4 o'clock a.m. I got in a railway car for Liverpool, distance about 210 miles, fare 27/-(twenty seven shillings), luggage 5/-; this left me with only one halfpenny. I arrived at Liverpool in 6 hours from the time that I started. When I arrived at Liverpool I engaged a cab and started for 36 Islington, the office for the "Millennial Star." I was met at the door with Brother Turnball; rode to the slip & back to Islington. In the evening I saw Brother F. [Franklin] D. Richards; he gave me a passage ticket to embark on the Samuel Curling [p. 60] for Boston. I saw several American brethren among whom were Dan Jones, Asa Calkins, John Scott, Israel Evans, Benjamin Ashby, Joseph A. Young, John MacDonald [McDonald], Daniel Daniels, & Charles R. Dana. I slept at night at Brother Chapman's, Great Crop-hall Street with Brother Dan Jones.
Saturday 19th Wrote a letter to E. Harding, Bridgeport, another to G. Derry, London. After some little stay at the "Star" office, I in company with Brother Jones & others proceeded to the pier in cabs: then went abroad the steam tug "Powerful." The tug left the pier about 11 a.m. and steamed towards the ship S. Curling that was at anchor in the Mersey. We were alongside the ship in a few minutes & got on board. The ship S. Curling is a fine vessel of 1898 tons register burthen. There were on board about 702 passengers mostly Welsh, the balance English, Irish, & Scotch. The whole under the presidency of Elder Dan Jones, John [p. 61] Oakley & David Grant.- - The tug towed us down the Mersey; while we were going down the river the passengers were called together, their names called over and some little instruction given. The captain of ship name's Samuel Curling--he took a boat of passengers last year to America of the Latter-day Saints. The "tug" left us after a few hours & the canvas of the ship was spread & we were fairly "out to sea." A council was held in the evening. The ship's company was divided into eleven wards & to each ward, a president. Some regulations were framed, & adopted such as for cleaning the deck, times for prayer & meeting, &c.
Sunday 20th Sailing down the Irish Sea. The passengers were kind to me in lending me some bedding. A meeting was held on the deck in the afternoon. Very little wind.
Monday 21st Weather calm, little wind. Land still in sight. [p. 62]
Tuesday 22nd Arose wind. Arose through the day. Several passengers were seasick in the evening. I was also seasick.
Wednesday 23rd Seasickness increased amongst the passengers.
Thursday 24th Wind still brisk & blowing in the right direction.
Monday 28th A ship in sight.
Tuesday 29th Weather stormy. The ship rolled considerable through the day.
Wednesday 31st Weather very stormy. The American elders met together in the hospital of the ship for prayer. They were: Dan Jones, John McDonald, John Oakley, David Grant, William Butler & myself. We met together to ask the Lord to change the wind and calm the sea. We agreed [p. 63] to fast till we were called together by one of the brethren that had assembled for the purpose of prayer. Elders Dan Jones, John Oakley, & David Grant prayed to the Lord to calm the sea, & change the wind, that we might be wafted on our journey to Boston, & that the passengers might have health.
May, 1856 Thursday 1st The American elders met again in the hospital for prayers. The wind was changed. John McDonald, William Butler & myself prayed. We thanked the Lord that he had changed the wind & that we were progressing on our journey. We also agree to partake of food.
Sunday 4th Meetings were held between decks. The sacrament was [p. 64] administered in the afternoon. Meetings were also held in the evening.
Friday 9th The day was beautiful & fine: fair wind.
Saturday 10th. Weather fine. Wind in the right direction.
Sunday 11th Fine day. In the afternoon Elder D. [Daniel] Jones preached on the subject of plurality of wives. He was plain & pointed in his discourse. The sacrament was administered in the evening between decks. We had preaching in Welsh & English. A council was held in the morning. I was invited to attend. [p. 65]
Monday 12th The ship rolled considerably. The wind was unfavorable.
Tuesday 13th The ship was almost at a stand as regards sailing, till evening, when a fair wind arose.
Wednesday 14th The morning fine; fish in sea, & birds in the air in sight. Distance from Boston about 900 miles. In the evening porpoises played in great numbers near the ship. The ship sailed beautifully.
Thursday 15th The weather was cool, sailing prettily.
Friday 16th Morning fine. Weather almost a calm. Provisions dealt out to the passengers. I was busy [p. 66] serving meat. Health of the company generally good, with some exceptions of "ka-rash". Good feelings exist amongst the passengers except a young man not in the church. The captain of the ship permitted many of the passengers to wash some of their clothes on board.
Saturday 17th This morning I kept school, assisted by Brothers Evens [Evans] and [Isaac] Green. The boys were assembled held on the lower deck in the forward part of the ship. The instructions were spelling, mental arithmetic, & questions in geography & history. I called the boys together by the request of Brother [Daniel] Jones. I have taught the boys several times since we left Liverpool. Weather quite calm. Ship almost still. Many of the Saints washed [p .67] their clothes. The decks were covered with clothes or rather many lines were fixed & covered with them.
Sunday 18th Morning fine. A meeting was held on deck in the afternoon. A ship passed us during meeting, going westward. Sacrament meeting in the evening. A good wind at night.
Monday 19th A good wind, weather foggy.
Tuesday 20th The ship was laying to this morning. Weather cold & foggy. The captain caught 4 codfish.
Wednesday 21st About noon Cape Cod was in sight; we were south of the cape. Head wind all day [p. 68]. We bore off from Cape Cod. The ship was put on the other tack that we might if possible round the Cape. Several vessels in sight.
Thursday 22nd About noon Cape Ann was in sight. The pilots came on board in the afternoon. The people felt good in seeing land.
Friday 23rd A steam tug came alongside & towed our ship named "Enoch Train." The ship anchored in Boston Bay till inspectors came on board. We experienced no difficulty with the inspectors. We arrived at Constitution Wharf about 2 p.m. In company with several of the Saints, I strolled around the city. Elder N. H. Fels came on board today as the ship got into port. [p. 69]
Saturday 24th I was busy in making boxes as they were hauled up the hatchway. In the evening I went to the Boston & Worcester Railway Station with luggage & saw it all packed up in a pile. The brethren that were with me did not get on the ship till about 10 p.m.
Sunday 25th I was guarding the ship from 3 to 6 a.m. Brother [Daniel] Jones preached to strangers & Saints on the deck of the ship in the morning. I visited Bunker Hill monument in the afternoon with some of the Saints. I was guarding the ship from 6 to 9 p.m. Brother [Daniel] Jones preached to a large audience of Saints & strangers in the evening.
Monday 26th I was quite unwell this morning. The passengers were up early preparing to leave the ship. [p. 70] After much difficulty in weighing our luggage, we got into the cars & wagons that were ready to take us on our journey.
Tuesday 27th The cars were waiting for some trains to pass us. After a little traveling we arrived opposite Albany. We took our luggage from the cars & crossed the Hudson River by steamboats. We got into cars again at Albany & were going on our way for Buffalo. James Ferguson met us at Albany.
Wednesday 28th Early in the morning we arrived at Buffalo. Changed cars there & were on our way for Cleveland.
Thursday 29th When we awoke in the morning we were at Cleveland. We changed cars there for Toledo [p .71] During our stay at Cleveland a severe rainstorm came on. James Ferguson left our company for Iowa City. After a few hours travel we come to Toledo. Changed cars at Toledo for Chicago.
Friday 30th During the day Lake Michigan was in sight. Brother John Perry's [Parry's] little boy died in the car- he was about [-] months old, he died about [-] p.m. I composed the following lines of poetry to Brigham Bernard Perry's [Parry's] parents. Brigham was a pretty little boy. I had tossed him in my arms several time on the ship Samuel Curling. The mother watched over him, during his illness with a devotion that I admired: directly at his death during the motion of the cars I commenced & wrote [p .72]:
Weep not for him that's dead & gone
Because his spirit's fled:
Its gone into a better place
His body's with the dead.
Although the plantyn barch is gone
You'll have him soon again:
The meeting will be great indeed;
With you he will remain.
His mortal form it will be changed
From sickness unto health;
You'll have your Brigham back again
With him, eternal wealth.
Sweet little boy- he'll come again
This earth will be his home-
You'll clasp him in your arms again;
On Zion's shore he'll roam.
Dear friends, I sympathize with you
The trial is reality
But Jesus will restore your child
We arrived at Chicago late in the evening. The child was buried [p .73] at Chicago. Slept in the cars all night.
Saturday 31st Our company left the cars in the morning & stayed on a small green plot of ground till the afternoon; when we took the cars for Rock Island. Arrived at Rock Island about 11 p.m. I saw the Mississippi River.
June 1856, Sunday 1st The weather was warm. Many of our company bathed in the Mississippi River. Two Irishmen made a difficulty, because we were not willing to let them pass through the cars. One of the Irishmen tore a piece from the shoulder of my coat. Captain [Daniel] Jones kicked one of them because he would stand on the car. The cars were guarded by many of our men [p .74] during the night. We had to stay at Rock Island over Sunday because the Mississippi Railroad Bridge was broken & we were not allowed to travel on Sunday.
Monday 2nd Early in the morning our company were preparing to cross the Mississippi River. We go on the ferry boat "Davenport" & was soon in the State of Iowa at the town of Davenport. After some little delay, we were safely placed in the cars & on our way to Iowa City. Arrived at Iowa City about 2 p.m. Several of the brethren were at the railroad depot waiting our arrival. Elders W. Walker, C.G. Webb & J.A. Hunt, brethren that crossed the plains in 1852 in the same company that I did were at the railroad. [p. 75] I drove a team from the depot to the camp of the Saints, about two miles west of Iowa City. Our company arrived at the camp about 6 p.m. I received kind welcome from Brother Daniel Spencer, president of the camp. A good feeling existed in the hearts of the Saints that were in camp previous to our arrival. Our company swelled the number of the camp to about 1,400 souls. I slept in Brother Bell's tent. The following named elders were in camp: James Ferguson, Daniel Tyler, C.G. Webb , E. Bunker, E. Ellsworth, D.D. McArthur, S. W. Crandell, T. Leonard. B.W. Hodgetts, J. France, J.D.T. McAllister, D. Spencer, W. Walker, & J.A. Hunt. These brethren were returning elders to Utah. The brethren were full of business fitting up handcarts for the journey across the plains. [p .76]
Tuesday 3rd I went with Brother Bunker to the woods to chop logs for "handcart" timber 6 miles distance from camp. The day was hot. When I returned to camp in the evening Brother Tyler informed me, I was appointed clerk to the camp.
Wednesday 4th Weather warm. I was writing the camp journal. A child died in camp named John Williams. In the evening a meeting was held in camp. Brothers Tyler & Spencer welcomed our company (that crossed the sea on the ship Samuel Curling) to the camp of the Saints.
Thursday 5th I was busy writing the camp journal. The camp were busy preparing for the plains.[p .77]
Friday 6th A child died in camp named Joseph Evans. A meeting was held in the evening. Elders Ellsworth, Spencer, & Ferguson addressed the Saints. Brother McAllister sang the "Handcart" song. The band played a few lively tunes.
Saturday 7th A child in the camp named Jane Ramsey. The first handcart company, Captain E. Ellsworth moved their tents & formed a separate company.
Sunday 8th Meetings were held in the morning & afternoon. Elders D. Tyler, D. [Daniel] Jones, T. Thomas, J.D.T McAllister to preached. I went to Iowa City in the evening to take letters to the post-office. When I returned to camp I attended meeting the 1st handcart companies. The band played some tunes in [p. 78] camp, as a kind of a farewell.
Monday 9th The camp were busy. The 1st handcart company rolled out of camp in the afternoon, for their journey across the State of Iowa. Meeting held in the evening. David Grant was appointed captain of the guard. Brothers Tyler, Ferguson & Grant preached.
Tuesday 10th Catherine James died in the camp aged 57 years. I informed a gentleman some particulars of our camp that he desired for the "press." Meeting held in the evening. Brothers Tyler, Grant & myself preached.
Wednesday 11th The 2nd handcart company, Captain D.D. McArthur, rolled out of camp for their journey across the State of Iowa. The company left in fine spirits about 11 a.m. [p. 79]
Thursday 12th Brother Spencer left camp for St. Louis. The day was very windy-several tents were blown down.
Friday 13th A child died named John Lewis. Late at night P. Birmingham & T. Lucas came to camp-they left D.D. McArthur's company with their families: they felt the journey was too much.
Saturday 14th James Ferguson son left camp to learn the true position of the handcart companies. P. Birmingham & T. Lucas with their families returned to D.D. McArthur's company. These brethren left their company a little disaffected: after some counsel from Brothers Ferguson and McAllister they agreed to return & join McArthur's company. They did not [p. 80] like to stay in camp. They, therefore, went to Iowa City & stayed till a conveyance was engaged to take them to their company. The day was quite windy.
Sunday 15th Morning fine. 10 a.m. attended meeting. Brother C.G. Webb & myself preached. Brother Tyler bore testimony to what we said. Afternoon's meeting: Elders G. W. Davis & E. Bunker preached. In the evening the Saints met & received some good instruction from various brethren.
Monday 16th James Ferguson returned to camp in the afternoon. He gave good reports of the handcarts companies. Brothers Birmingham & Lucas with their families had rejoined their company. [p. 81]
Tuesday 17th Weather fine. Bishop Tyler was around to collect $25.00 the expenses of James Ferguson & other folks that returned. I gave one dollar. George D. Grant came to camp with 16 mules. I went to Iowa City, post office. Brother Giles played a few tunes on his harp in Brother Spencer's tent.
Wednesday 18th I went to the post office to Iowa City. Brothers Erastus Snow & Daniel Spencer came into camp about 10 p.m. They were both from St. Louis. Brother Snow left the Valley on the [-] of April. The Saints had had a severe time in the Valley the last winter.
Thursday 19th I went to Iowa City on business for the Church. A meeting was held in camp in the evening. Brother E. [Erastus] Snow & [p. 82] Daniel Spencer addressed the Saints. Edward Bunker was appointed captain of the 3rd handcart company. D. Grant, captain of the 1st hundred: G.W. Davis, captain of the 2nd hundred: John Perry [Parry], captain of the 3rd hundred of Captain Bunker's company. The 3rd handcart company were mostly from Wales & crossed the sea on the ship Samuel Curling. Brothers Bunker & Tyler spoke a short time after the company was organized. Brother David Grant came into camp during the meeting. He had been hunting for some mules that had strayed during the day. Brother Grant being appointed to go with the 3rd company, & the mules not being found, Brother Spencer desired me to go & hunt for them. A boy named Larz Peter Adolphsen & myself started to hunt for the mules 10 in number about 11 p.m. We rode all night on mules. During the [p. 83] night we found two of the mules.
Friday 20th During the night we had ridden about 18 miles. Not seeing any mules tracks on the road I determined to turn back towards camp. The mules that we had found being obstinate, we had to keep going toward Warsonville. Arriving at some houses, where there were corrals we got the animals in one of them & fed them. After the mules were fed & we had taken breakfast & were ready to start for camp, the other eight mules came on the road where we were. We fed the mules & breakfasted at Mr. Warson's. I paid him one dollar ($1.00) for expenses. We drove the mules towards camp. They went very well for about one mile, then they were obstinate. After many fruitless attempts to drive the mules to camp I concluded to get them into a corral & send to camp for help. [p. 84] I got the mules into Mr. Young's corral about 3 miles from Warsonville. I then sent the boy Peter to camp. During the day two of the mules jumped over the fence, but I got them in to corral again. In the evening Brothers Hodgetts & Davis came to my assistance. We tied several of the mules up to the fence at night.
Saturday 21st Early in the morning we arose, saddled our mules, breakfasted, & I paid Mr. Young two dollars ($2.00) for expenses then we started for camp. Arrived at camp about 10 a.m. after riding about 20 miles. When I arrived at camp I found the 3rd handcart company encamped by themselves. I bathed in the river & washed myself, as I had sweated considerably. [p. 85] A meeting was held in the 3rd cart company's corral in the evening.
Sunday 22nd Brother McAllister & I went to Iowa City railroad depot to administer to three sick children. After attending to the ordinances for the sick we went into Iowa City & attended a Presbyterian & Methodist meeting. Presbyterian & Methodist, this same cause had both to meet in the State House. The Presbyterian preached addressed the meeting in the morning. I attended meeting in camp in the afternoon; Brother E. [Erastus] Snow preached. I paid into G.D. Grant's hands in the presences of J.D.T. McAllister the sum of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) to purchase me a No. 3 Charter Oak cooking stove at St. Louis & to forward it to Florence, Nebraska. [p. 86] I attended to the burying of a child in the evening. A meeting was held in the 3rd cart company's corral. Brother [Daniel] Jones preached in the Welsh language. Several mules strayed from camp.
Monday 23rd Brothers E. [Erastus] Snow & G.D. Grant left camp for St. Louis early in the morning. Today I commenced to make oxbows. In the afternoon I went to Iowa City.
Tuesday 24th A heavy wind came in the afternoon. I was steaming & bending oxbows through the day. I went to Iowa City Railroad in the evening to see if a company of Saints had arrived; they had not. [p. 87]
Wednesday 25th I was busy making wagon bows & oxbows. The 3rd handcart company rolled on their way for the Valley. They left camp in fine spirits. The company numbered about [-] souls, 3 wagons, 6 yokes of cattle, & four mules. Brother Bunker, the captain of the company, had a wagon in this company of his own besides the wagons of the company. William Walker brought news to camp that a company of Saints were at Rock Island & would be in camp tomorrow.
Thursday 26th I was steaming & bending wagon bows in the morning. A heavy hailstorm & rainstorm came on in the afternoon. The tents I was in blowed down. I was drenched to the skin with rain. Many of the tents in camp were blown down [p. 88] & the emigrants generally in camp got a soaking. A company of Saints arrived at Iowa City. Elders J.G. Willie, M. Atwood, M. Glough, N.T. Porter & J. Chislett were among the number that I knew. I went from camp to the railroad depot to see the Saints that had come by the cars. The roads were very muddy. Some fifty Saints came in camp in the evening. The night was very wet.
Friday 27th I was fixing bows on handcarts. The emigrants came to camp from Iowa City. I was dispatched from camp about 5 p.m. on a mule & drove a yoke of cattle to Brother Bunker's company 11 miles distant from camp. Had some difficulty in driving the cattle. Lost my hat in the woods in leading [p. 89] the cattle. Arrived at Brother Bunker's camp about 10 p.m. Found the company in good spirits.
Saturday 28th I rode about four miles on the road to see how the handcarts went. The Saints were in fine spirits. I bid the company goodbye & returned to camp, having rode about 20 miles. Elder J. Van Cott had arrived in camp with more than 400 head of cattle. It rained considerably in the afternoon. Some tents were blown down.
Sunday 29th Attended meeting twice through the day. James G. Willie & J.A. Hunt preached in the morning. Dan Jones preached in the afternoon. Weather fine. A good feeling prevailed in camp. [p. 90]
Monday 30th George Brazier & myself were sent to hunt cattle that were lost from J. Van Cott's herd. Three Indians accompanied us . We rode mules & went about 3 miles south of Washington distance about 33 miles.
July 1856, Tuesday 1st passed through Brighton, Fairfield, Libertyville, & Pleasant Plains hunted cattle on the road. Heard of three head in different persons charge. Rode to Iowaville on the Des Moines River, distance traveled today about 42 miles.
Wednesday 2nd The Indians left us & went on south. We returned towards camp. Found one steer about 6 miles from Iowaville at Mr. Parson's. Drove about 16 miles. The roads were very muddy.[p. 91]
Thursday 3rd Mornings wet. Found another steer, had much trouble in hunting it in the bushes. Drove to Skunk River about 12 miles. Hunted for a heifer; found her at Skunk River.
Friday 4th After much difficulty I secured the heifer by a lariat being assisted by some men. Ferried Skunk River: passed through Washington; stayed over night at the "Twelve Mile House." Traveled about 24 miles.
Saturday 5th Rolled into camp. About 14 miles we traveled this morning. I gave in the bill of expenses to James Ferguson for board, &c on the cattle hunt, twelve dollars & thirty cents ($12.30). I received word from Brother Ferguson that I was to place myself under the charge of James G. Willie when I was [p. 92] ready to.
Sunday 6th I attended meeting & was edified.
From the 6th to the [-] I was advising the Thornton's company of Saints to get ready for the plains.
Saturday 12th I was busy through the day. In the evening I attended meetings. Good instruction was given by Elder's Spencer & Ferguson. The 4th handcart company was organized- James G. Willie was appointed captain of the whole company. Miller Atwood was appointed captain of the 1st hundred; L. Savage, captain of the 2nd hundred: myself, captain of the 3rd hundred; John Chislett, captain of the 4th hundred; Ahmanson captain of the 5th hundred. [p. 93] Edward Martin was appointed captain of the 5th hundred; Daniel Tyler was appointed to assist Brother Martin. Jesse Haven was appointed captain of the 6th handcart company. These captains of companies had captains of hundreds appointed. Dan Jones was appointed captain of the wagon company. John A. Hunt was appointed captain of the 1st 50 wagons; W.B. Hodgetts, captain of the 2nd 50 wagons.
Sunday 13th The day was fine. Meetings were held. I attended. A good feeling prevailed. A meeting was held in the evening in the 4th handcart companies camp. Brothers Willie, Atwood, & Savage addressed the meeting.
Monday 14th Busy preparing to start. [p. 94]
Tuesday 15th I drove the mule team to town in the afternoon. The 4th handcart company pulled up stakes & encamped in a fresh place.
Wednesday 16th Our handcart company made a start. . . . [p. 95]
. . . November 1856 Sunday 9th Crossed the Little Mountain, passed Captain Smoots train, and got into the Valley where the sun was shining brightly. F.[Franklin] D. & S.W. Richards came to meet us on the bench near the mouth of the canyon. We formed according to our hundreds & rolled into the city, when we arrived at the Council House. The bishops of the several wards took the people to their wards & they were comfortably provided for. I stayed at W.H. Kimball's. . . . [p. 128]
BIB: Woodward, William. Journal (Ms 8306 Reel 4 #2e). pp. 60-95, 128. (CHL).