My father had saved quite a sum of money for his old age and I also had quite a little so we decided to emigrate to America where we could be with the body of the Church. My Aunt Sophia, or Suffie we called her, and cousin Maggie were anxious to go with us so we told them we would pay their passage. Uncle William Robinson had not joined the Church. He drank a good deal and he and Aunt Suffie were not living together. He felt very bad and wanted to go with us but had no money. He was a good natured, kind man but father and mother did not like him. His daughter loved him and I felt sorry for him and finally the folks consented and we brought him over. We could not afford to pay his passage so we pulled the feather beds to the front of a bunk and hid the old man under the quilts while the inspector went through. All of us would smuggle food down to him and take him up on deck at night for some fresh air. After he had been in Nauvoo a while he joined the Church but was not robust and died at that place. The folks had to bury him.
Our Scotch neighbors thought we were crazy, and as they knew that we could not take much of our possessions with us we had to sell everything at a great sacrifice. But we wanted to come to Zion and be taught by the prophet of God. We had the spirit of gathering so strongly that Babylon had no claim on us, so on the 7th day of September 1841 we sailed from Liverpool on the Ship Sydney.
Captain Cowan, Levi Richards, President with 180 passengers. Among the number were George Z. Cannon, Angus Cannon and their mother, George D. Watt and family. We had a voyage of eight weeks. It was not a bad trip and we would have enjoyed a lot of it had not mother been ill a lot to the time and a very sad thing happened. The mother of the Cannons died on the ship when in sight of the West India Islands. They were not permitted to land with a body on board so she was consigned to a watery grave. It was a very solemn occasion. At last we were towed up the river to New Orleans and so had a chance to set our feet on terra firma. Our President [p.5] chartered a large steamer which took us up the river 1200 miles to St. Louis. We rented a house for a month as the river up to Nauvoo was frozen over. When our month was up we took a steamer to Alton, twenty-five miles up the river and got employment in a packing house there. They killed 38,000 hogs during the winter. The people there were very friendly and treated us fine. the wages were low but everything was cheap. Flour was $3.00 per barrel, sugar 18 lbs. per $1.00, and everything else in proportion. When the river opened up we started for Nauvoo, a distance of 300 miles. As we approached the landing place to our great joy we saw the Prophet Joseph Smith there to welcome his people who had come so far. We were all so glad to see him and set our feet upon the promised land so to speak. It was the most thrilling experience of my life for I know that he was a Prophet of the Lord. [p.6]
BIB: Crookston, Robert. Autobiography [ca. 1900]. [LDS Church Archives, Ms 8023, pp. 5-6; Acc. #22113] (CHL)