After leaving my father's house, my greatest ambition was to go to Zion, and a brother by the name of Andrew Garner, who was an underlooker at Samuel Stocks Colliery gave me a situation which brought me in two shillings and sixpence a day ($15.00 a month) and with economy, in five years I was able to dress well, pay all my expenses and save money to emigrate myself independently all the way to Salt Lake City.
The trip both on sea and land I enjoyed very much, but a wide sea voyage makes us conscious of being cast loose from the secure anchorage of settled life and sent adrift upon a doubtful world. It interposes a gulf not merely imaginary but real between us and our homes--a gulf subject to tempest and fear and uncertainty, and rendering distance palpable and return precarious. Such, at least was the case with myself. As I saw the blue line of my native land fade away like a cloud on the horizon, it seemed I had closed one volume of the world and its concerns, and had time for meditation before opening another. That land, too, vanishing from my view, which claimed all most dear to me in life--what vicissitudes might occur in it? What change might take place in me before I should visit again, who can tell when he sets forth to wander whether he may be driven by the uncertain currents of existence, or when he may return, or whether it may ever be to revisit the scenes of his childhood. I said that at sea, all is vacancy. I should correct the expression. To one given to daydreaming and fond of losing himself in reveries, a sea [p.181] voyage is full of subjects for meditation, but then, there are the wonders of the sea and of the air, and rather tend to abstract the mind from worldly themes. I delighted to loll over the quarter-railing or to climb to the main top on a calm day and muse for hours on the tranquil bosom of a summer sea, to gaze upon the piles of golden clouds just peeping above the horizon, fancy them some fairy realms and people them with a creation of my own; to watch the gentle undulating billows rolling their silver volumes as if to die away on those happy shores. There was a delicious sensation of mingled security and awe with which I looked down from my giddy heights at the monsters of the deep at their uncouth gambols.
Shoals of porpoises tumbling about the bow of the ship, the grumpus slowly heaving his huge form above the surface, or the ravenous shark darting like a scepter through the blue waters. My imagination would conjure up all that I heard or read of the watery world beneath me; of the finny herds that roam its fathomless valleys, of the shapeless monsters that lurk among the very foundations of the earth, and of the wild phantoms that swell the tales of fishermen and sailors. Sometimes a distant sail gliding along the edge of the ocean would be another idle speculation. How interesting this fragment of a world hastening to join the great mass of existence. What a glorious moment human invention; as in manner triumphed over wind and wave has brought the ends of the world into communication, has established an interchange of blessings pouring into the sterile regions of the North all the luxuries of the South; has diffused the light of knowledge and the charities of cultivated life and has thus bound together the scattered portions of the human race between which nature seems to have thrown an insurmountable barrier.
In America. The name of the ship was the Underwriter named by Captain Roberts, and a very fine gentleman he was. We left the dock at Liverpool on March 30, 1860 and arrived at the port of New York on the first of May. We stopped at Castle Garden a day or two, then took the boat at evening on the Hudson River for Albany, sailing all night, and therefore missing the beautiful scenery on its banks. From Albany took the train for the West, but I have lost my diary I kept of the route which makes it impossible for me to give a detail of the journey. The only thing of note I remember was the Suspension Bridge and the Niagara Falls which are certainly grand and majestic. I also remember the cities of Quincy, Detroit, Chicago, and St. Joseph. At the last named place, took the boat on the Missouri River for Florence, Nebraska, being about 100 miles west of St. Joseph. . . . [p.182]
BIB: Taylor, Stanley, [Autobiography], Our Pioneer Heritage, Comp. by Kate B. Carter, vol. 17 (Salt Lake City: Daughter of Utah Pioneers, 1974) pp. 181-82.