The history of my life when I started from England on the 14th of March and 15 when I bid my friends and relation all farewell & so was at a meeting at Farnham in surrey Old England and on the 21st at do. [MEANING Farnham] having instructions for my journey by Brother Hanham, Brother Moss, and Brother Philips, and Brother Yates and biding the Saints all farewell for a time to join us to the Land of Promise some day when the Lord sees fit .
Mar. 23. Started for Reading from Aldershot & biding my brother and brothers and sisters goodbye for a time.
Mar. 24. Started from from [SIC] Reading for Liverpool the same day having a beautiful view of the country as we were going along. One place took out attention very much. Was the Welch mountains over Clad which snow and many other things to [-] to mention for I have only a brief sketch of things that I saw. It was very wet when we arrived at Liverpool quite safe and then we had to proceed to get lodgings for a night or two and the rain still falling fast which made it rather unpleasant but we bore it with contentment. We succeeded in getting lodgings after going to two houses at S' Robert Temperence Otell Button street, Liverpool. There was several Saints at the place besides us that came from the Farnham Branch.
There was a conference on the 25 of March in the meeting room of Liverpool. We went to the afternoon and evening meeting and we enjoyed ourselves very much in the society of so many saints of which we had not bee accustom to.
On Monday the 26th of March we went on board the Underwriter for to sail for New York but we did not start till Friday the 30 of March and then we proceeded on our journey. It was pleasant going down the river. We had a pleasant morning for starting but it came on a little rough. I got up at 12 o'clock at night and saw the Isle of Man. There was a little sickness in the night - but I have not found anything of it myself yet. We passed Ireland about 7 o'clock Saturday morning.
Mar 31 we saw an island near Belfast. We saw 3 birds much like Bore hens near Belfast in the sea. 20 minutes past 8 o'clock passing Cooper Island. 12 o'clock p.m. passing [p.38] the rocks in the North part of Ireland. In the afternoon rather a gale with wet.
Sunday morning beautiful sun shining but the wind very rough and keep tacking the ship very much and a gale and many sick this morning. I am well myself. Holfred Thomas and Sarah and I am sick myself today and all four of us. And we are not making any progress on our journey. Up to April 2 Mar at 12 a.m. we are making a little progress. We can see the hills of Scotland the very high ones covered with snow. We are now in the Atlantic. A beautiful, sunshining day. It was blowing a heavy gale in the afternoon. It split the top sails. We are all sick still.
Up to the 3 of April, Tues., the wind was very still and the sea going over the ship at times. I had to hold on to the ship this morning. We had great headway. I had a job to keep to the fire in the galley. I lost half of my cooking as it was doing.
Wed. April 4 a beautiful day. The ship a going at a rapid rate. The saints all getting better of seasickness.
Thurs. April 5th a beautiful morning. The saints rejoicing on the deck with hymns of praise.
Fri. April 6. Winds and the sea very rough. rather inclined for wet. 3 o'clock Saturday morning on watch till 6 o'clock. The sea still very rough. Everything in the ship rolling about. I had a fall in the night and bruise my nose and forehead.
April 7, April 8 the sea still very rough. A brig passed us this morning. I had another fall and bruised my knee.
Monday April 9 Beautiful morning but rather rough in the afternoon but going on at a rapid rate. Here is very few sick but it split the front sail. It was rather dark in the morning but the sea calm and the ship going on sickly. The wind came on about 11 a.m. and tore the sails to rags and overturn everything in the cooking galley. I did manage to save our dinner of rice but I was oblige to hold to the post of the door while I eat my dinner but a great many had to go without the rice pie and puddings &c.
Wed. April 11. Beautiful morning. The Saints all on deck this morning taking fresh air but it came up rough in the afternoon and the rain came down the hatchways making many wet through.
Thurs. April 12. Beautiful morning and everything appears beautiful around us [p.41] and it's pleasant on the deck but it came on rough in the afternoon. I enjoyed my health first rate and I had plenty of work to do serving out stores and provisions for the Saints on the ship. Beautiful having been better today then on any day on shipboard but it comes very rough in the night and everything was swamp with water. I had a job to keep my hat on and I went down to my berth and found our cans untied and I looking for them. I wounded my head 9 o'clock a.m. and crush between the luggage and in the room of the ship the berths all fell down and a great many was oblige to sit up all night.
Fri. April 13 still very rough and wet. A ship seen by me [and] a great many on deck at a quarter past 10 o'clock bound for New York and 3 more I saw, 2 I say myself. In the afternoon windy but fine.
Sat. April 14. Beautiful day and a great many Saints on deck and 2 marriages with good instructions for the Saints and singing and rejoicing between 2 or 3 o'clock in the afternoon and in the evening the priesthood meeting with good sound doctrine and good instructions with singing and great preparations for Sunday.
April 15. Beautiful morning and everything look joyful around us. At 3 o'clock in the afternoon a meeting held on deck by Brother Ross and 2 & 3 more brethren gave us good instructions and all were joyful around us with singing and praise and prayer. And in the evening we had sacrament meeting in wards among the brethren. At 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. a sacrament meeting with the sisters with good instructions and bearing testimony and Brother Ross preaching.
Mon. April 16. Rather damp morning with a good wind in our favor. A ship seen at 10 o'clock a.m. A child died about 5 or 6 months old at 12 to about 1 o'clock a.m. Buried at 10 minutes past 7 o'clock in the evening in the sea.
Tues. April 17. Beautiful morning. Many on deck today with dancing and signing songs and recitations. I saw some beautiful shoals of fish about 11 o'clock and about 6 o'clock p.m. one ship and a fishing smack and in the evening a concert in the Virgin Palace.
Wed. April 18. 6 a.m. 2 ships I saw and about 7 a.m. a little snow a beautiful sunshining morning. A sister from Switzerland died last night about 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. I wrote part of a letter for home today. Swiss sister was buried at a quarter to 4 o'clock. Very calm this day. A vessel seen at 6 o'clock a long distance off. That sister was about 55 years old. A squall in the evening which upset us all. [p.43]
April 19. Very rough this morning but the ship gone ahead. I work today serving provisions. A Swiss Brother died about half past 5 o'clock at the age 87 years, 2 vessels open this day--one by me. Singing and music in the evening.
Fri. April 20. A beautiful morning being very calm. A ship seen in the afternoon. The Swiss brother was buried at half past 3 o'clock. At 6 p.m. I saw a ship and some large fishes or dolphins.
April 21. Rather rough this morning with a fog but the ship is going ahead. I am busy today and in the evening singing and rejoicing with songs.
Sun. April 22. Rather cold and damp wind. Sunday morning still holding very cold. During the day a meeting was held in the afternoon in which many testimonies were born and great rejoicing with songs and praise. In the evening a good meeting with good instructions to all.
Mon. April 23. Fine morning and with dancing and singing on the deck and in the evening singing with recitations. Myself on watch 11 o'clock till 12 o'clock and the stars shining beautiful.
Tues. April 24. A beautiful morning and a great many on deck today. Myself not very well today. Beautiful evening with new moon and starlight and many on deck to see a steam vessel at 1/2 past 9 o'clock.
Wed. April 25. A beautiful and the sun very warm through the day. A testimony meeting in the evening with good instructions.
Thurs. April 26. Fine morning but rather inclined to be wet. A vessel seen and the flags wave. Hoisted the flag for America and 5 other small ones and then the American flag again. That cheered us all up and a great many came on deck to us. I wrote another part of my letter yesterday. In the evening after this we had a meeting of instructions and singing.
Fri. April 27. A beautiful morning and fine through the day. A vessel seen this afternoon and a testimony meeting at 1/4 past 3 o'clock in the afternoon and fine through the day. A concert in the Bachelor's Hall at half past 8 o'clock in the evening.
April 28. A beautiful morning and a many on deck today and a vessel see this morning. Fine throughout the day but the vessel going slowly. A sister had a fit in the evening for about an hour. Many on deck till late I enjoyed myself very much and &c.
Sunday April 29. A beautiful morning and a fair wind and porpoises seen in the water. This morning a meeting on deck at 11 o'clock. [p.45] and the afternoon at 3 o'clock a priesthood meeting. A pilot boat came to us at 1/4 past 5 o'clock and took one man on board. A beautiful evening and many walking on deck in the cold of the evening.
April 30. A beautiful morning. Saw land about 11 to 12 o'clock and another vessel in view about the same time. 2 more vessels seen and the land look very natural to us which made us think of home and the day was beautiful. Days was fair up to this time we having a meeting on the day by Brother Ross. He gave us instructions for Florence and then we were to see the beautiful lighthouse and the shores of America.
May 1. Rather damp morning and everyone busy packing up their luggage ready for landing. We got on board the tug at 12 o'clock for New York and landed at Castle Garden between 1 and 2 o'clock. We all felt cheerful to think we are on land again the end of the ship journey to New York to Castle Garden and to Florence. We have to give our names &c at the office in the Garden. We do all appreciate the bread again after having none so long. We had a walk in New York and it was very muddy in the town but there was some beautiful buildings. We have got to learn to understand the American money & coins. We had to all sleep in the Castle Garden on the floor except a few that went out in the town to sleep which was very hard to sleep on the floor &c.
May 2. Uncomfortable through the day and I went out in the town in the morning. The town was very wet through the day and I got every wet myself and in the afternoon a shifting luggage and I got very warm and I felt rather ill. We started for Albany at 6 o'clock in the evening and traveled all night. I slept very well considering it was on the luggage. I woke up early in the morning May 3 we had a beautiful ride up the river we to Albany at about 1/2 past 7 o'clock it was pleasant coming up the river to Albany is a very nice looking place. We started from Albany at 1/2 past 12 o'clock we came 70 miles and we had refreshments stopping again at 1/2 past 6 o'clock and took refreshments. We all partook of rest till morning arriving at Rochester at 1/2 past 5 o'clock. May 4. A beautiful town and then we proceeded on to Buffalo [p.47] and cross the suspension bridge to get to Buffalo. There we could see the Niagara Waterfall. The ice going down the river in flakes. The sun is very hot in the place we sat down on the green seward. We have 5 hours here. I went and bought 3 pints of milk in Buffalo and I had a good at the house that I went to see the cooking stove. The woman told me that it was 16 dollars and the utensils for cooking. And the bake their own bread and the woman showed me some of their bread and they grow their own hops around their dooryard. Started from Buffalo at 1/2 past 4 o'clock in the afternoon having had a rest.
May 5. We arrived at Windsor in America at 8 o'clock in the morning after traveling all night. We are now going to the train bound for Detroit. We went to a hotel to get dinner and I lost a pocket knife I brought from London. Crossing Detroit at 4 o'clock in the morning.
May 6 Sunday having to stop in the place all day. Very warm. Brother Oliver preach to the people on the platform of the depot at Chicago. To Toledo arriving at Peoria at 7 o'clock.
May 7. Arrived at Galesburg at 9 o'clock. Stop to change some of the carriages and to get some provisions. Start from Quincy at 3 o'clock for Hannibal and St. Joseph. This is the Mississippi River [Missouri River]. We arrived at St. Joseph from Hannibal about 1/2 past 10 o'clock.
May 8. Started again for Florence at 1/4 past 11 o'clock. After we got about one hour half our journey we had to stop because it was low water and some of us went onshore and I had a good look around. We went and had a good look at a log hut. (I got a [-] pail of eggs for 10 cents.) It was newly erected and the people living in it and there was plenty of grapevines on the land. We stopped at night after going a little farther and started going again.
May 9 about 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning. Stopping at a landing place about 7 o'clock a.m. at a store to get some molasses and soap and sugar. Stopping a few minutes too long I got left. I had to run and walk about 12 or 14 miles but I got to the boat at the next stopping place but I lost my molasses and got [-] all over through going through the wood and brush. It was very rough and sandy and very hot crossing a sand bar but I caught up with the boat on the next landing. I had a good rest when I got on the boat again and the captain gave me a glass of brandy and I went and laid down on the bunks and rested awhile.
The next day [p.49], May 10, we went and filled on milk. In the morning we had to go and shove the boat. We had to walk awhile. Some of the Brethren caught 2 or 3 mice besides we saw lots of birds and rabbits. It was a beautiful walk being so many of us together which made it pleasant to us. We got on the boat after capsize of 3 or 3 hours. There was 17 left behind but we took them up some distance up the river. We went on a little farther and stopped at a place to get provisions for breakfast. We stopped 3/4 of an hour and then proceeded on our journey. We then stop for the night.
May 11 we were delayed on our journey owing to the shallow water. We all landed again and walked to Council Bluffs about night and in the morning got on again. Then started again at this place and we recuted [UNCLEAR] ourselves with provisions again at this place. Eggs were very cheap at this place 10 cents for 15 eggs. Platsmith was the next place we arrived at but stop but a few minutes and then we went on to Council Bluffs. This is a landing place at a flat level land and not a house near it but a shed for putting in goods. When the land here we stopped but a few minutes to put passengers and luggage that arrive here at 9 o'clock in the evening and landed the luggage but the passengers stayed on the vessel till morning. . . . [p.51]
. . . Arrived in Florence May 12 1860.
June 6, 1860. Captain of company â€” Daniel Robinson. Captain to each 10 handcarts. George Fasor of your 10. . . . [p.54]
BIB: Harrison, Henry James. Diary, 1860 Mar-Jul. Ms 1472, pp.38,41,43,45,47,49,51,54; Acc. #18058] (CHL)