Commencing April 29, 1856.--A journal kept from Port Glasgow to the Great Salt Lake City in America. We started from Port Glasgow at half past six o'clock in the evening for Greenock in order to get the boat for Liverpool which we got and sailed from Greenock about half past eight o'clock the same evening. We had a very fine passage nearly. My wife was a little sick so was both the children but none with me.
We arrived in Liverpool the following day, April 30, at half past two o'clock, and we took our lodging in the New York Hotel and had some tea for which we had to pay 1/6 per head. We afterwards went to rise at five o'clock to look after the luggage which was lying in the steam boat all night, and we brought it to the ship the same day. We entered the ship and got our birth and our beds made up and slept in the vessel that night.
May the 2nd.--The ship was taken out of the dock at seven in the morning. Nothing particular transpired this day. We lay in the river all that day.
Sunday morning the fourth of May at four o'clock we started for sea. We had a good meeting in the forenoon up on deck. We had some good instructions from Brother Willie on obedience and cleanliness. He is the President over all the Saints in the ship and is very kind in looking after the Saints that are sick.
Monday the 5th we had fair winds and we sailed very fast all day. On account of high wind and the rocking of the vessel, there was good deal of sickness. We were spoken to by another ship. When two days at sea we have seen several other vessels at a distance. I may mention that we had a birth on Friday night. [p.61]
Tuesday the 6th wind and sickness much of the day.
Wednesday the 7th sickness greatly abated. This night there was one death of an old woman from the Cheltham Conference in England, age 75 years.
Thursday the 8th most of all the Saints is able to be on deck as the sickness is leaving them very fast and as there is not much wind. The old woman that died yesterday was buried in the water at ten o'clock, and another death took place this day. She was a Danish girl, age 7 years. She died at two o'clock p.m., reported to be the fever. She was buried in the water at three o'clock p.m. same day. We had another birth on Wednesday the 7th, being the second we have had on board as yet.
Friday the 9th and Saturday the 10th the wind was rather contrary which caused the vessel to rock very much. Two ships seen on both of these days.
Sunday the 11th the wind more favorable and the day being fine, we were called up on deck. We had a first rate meeting. We were addressed by Brother Attwood and Brother Miller. After the meeting the Captain of the ship stated that we were one thousand miles from Liverpool.
Monday the 12th, all well and fair winds. Tuesday the 13th fair winds--another ship seen this morning, and the day being fine, we were all called up on deck and had another good meeting on which occasion we got the sacrament and some good instructions and in the evening the captain invited all the Saints to come on deck which we all did to see some sky rockets set off which had a very fine appearance.
Wednesday the 14th all well--a steamer seen at distance.
Thursday the 15th the day being fine, there was a great number of us on deck and at the same time there was one of the sailors up aloft working with a spare spick--some of them are made of iron but this one was wood. He happened to let it fall, and it came down on my wife's hand, but did no great damage. However, the first mate seeing it came over and struck the sailor several blows on the face to the infusion of blood. On the same night the Captain requested all to come on deck to see some rockets he was going to set up which had a very fine appearance in the water.
On Sunday the 18th being a fine day we [had] a good meeting on the deck.
Monday the 19th all well--a better wind.
Tuesday the 20th all well and in the afternoon a small open boat was seen at a distance from which the ship was steered and in coming to it we found it almost filled with water with no person in it, and she was split in the stern. We are now supposed to be on the banks of Newfoundland, and on the same afternoon saw a large ice barge [p.62] [iceberg] but a good distance off. This same night the ship went on fire in one of the cooking houses on deck, but by good management it got out.
Wednesday the 21st all well. A ship spoken. She came within a hundred yards of us. This afternoon to [two] of the sailors had a good fight. This night we had another birth, being the third one we have had on board.
Thursday the 22nd all well. On this night or rather on the morning of Friday the 23rd about three o'clock it began to blow very hard and continued to increase until it blew a complete gale and continued on till Monday morning about five o'clock when afterward it cleared up a fine day with not so much wind as would blow out a candle. Yesterday we saw another ship in the gale like ourself, but we only could see her now and again when she was on the top of the wave. During the gale the water stove in the glap window that was in the hatchway and came down where we were in the lower deck in torrents until it went over our shoes and with the rocking of the ship it would carry with it pots, pans, kettles, and waterpots with great furry, but was moving about such as heavy chests, trunks, boxes, etc., which we had to lash up tight or have our legs broken. There was one Brother the name of Laird thrown up against a chest and got his leg out of joint but got it put in the next day and is getting better very fast.
This day, Monday the 26th, being very fine, all the women were called up on the deck and heard a good sermon while the men stayed down below and cleaned out the ship.
Tuesday the 27th all well.
Wednesday the 28th all well and a fair wind. There was another death tonight. It was a child belonging to a sister from Shropeshire Conference in England. He was about one year old. This is the third one since we left Liverpool.
Thursday the 29th. The morning fine and all well. We have seen this day four large bergs of ice. Two of them seen in the forenoon and two in the afternoon. There was an accident happened this afternoon to a boy belonging to a Danish sister. He fell down the hatchway from the upper deck down to the lower one--a distance of 20 feet. He was severely injured on the head but it is thought that he will recover. We had another wedding this night. A brother an a sister from England. It was Brother Willie that married them. Brother Findley was married on Sunday the fourth, also by Brother Willie.
Friday the 30th, very misty--so much so that the ship bell has to be kept ringing all day.
Saturday the 31st very misty still but cleared away in the afternoon that we could see a great distance.
June 1, Sunday, the day being fine, we were all up on deck and [p.63] heard a good sermon from Brother Willie and Atwook and in the afternoon we came in sight of those two large barges of ice.
Monday the 2nd a fine day and fair wind. The boy that fell down the hatchway died today about eleven o'clock a.m. and was buried in the water at three o'clock p.m. the same day.
Tuesday the 2nd [should be 3rd] contrary wind and in the afternoon the mist came in so they had to keep the ship bell constantly ringing.
Wednesday the 3rd [should be 4th] the mist of yesterday has cleared away with a better wind. Thursday all well with the exception of one death--a girl from England age ten years.
Friday the 6th a fair wind, and the Captain of the ship thinks we will be in sight of New York tomorrow. We had another death this morning, aged three years, this being the seventh we have had on board of ship. [p.64]
BIB: McPhail, Archibald. "Archibald McPhail Comes to Zion" IN Voices From the Past: Diaries, Journals and Autobiographies, comp. by Campus Education Week Program (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1980) pp. 61-64.