Tuesday April 23rd, 1861. The Underwriter containing 618 passengers sailed from Liverpool. All appeared in good health & full of joy (at 5 o'clock p.m.). We passed several small vessels & was in sight of the New Brighton Lighthouse and several mountains scenes on the coast.
The ship was divided into nine wards under the management of the following brethren. Presided over by Elder Milo Andrus who had four counselors Homer Duncan & Charles W. Penrose. Ward presidents Joseph Foster, James Evans, [Edward] Samuel, [William] Halls, [Frederick W.] Blake, [Willet] Harder, Moss, [Henry] Atkins.
24th. I was released from the charge of the Bachelors Ward & appointed clerk to the vessel. Henry Shaw was appointed to succeed me as ward president. Traveled about 90 miles last night.
Thursday 25th April. 155 miles from Liverpool. Very calm, fine morning. Coast of Ireland in sight. Arrangements for cooking made with the presidents of the wards which are likely to promote good order & good feeling. A social party held last night. Had some good songs of comic & sentimental [p. 14] recitations. The captain and his associates seemed entertained. [SENTENCE CROSSED OUT] Engaged tacking the sails today and made about [-] knots an hour. At half past 8 the wards retired to prayer after which many walked on deck & looked with interest upon the effect produced by the rising of the moon, the glistening rays of which played upon the wide expanse of water. The sky was unclouded and spangled with the bright stars. A fine breeze filled the sails & our ship dashed along at a fine rate. [SENTENCE CROSSED OUT] The voices of the Saints had ceased to sing their usual songs of praise & a pleasant calmness prevailed when the music of an accordion handled by the captain broke upon the ear, a group quickly surrounded him to listen to & to be enlivened by his talented efforts. The watch appointed, consisting of the young brethren ordered all below decks.
Friday 26th April. Fine weather. The Irish Coast in sight about [-] miles from [-]. Saw some of the houses. Sailing direct west but little wind. Kept the Irish Coast in sight all day. We were pleasantly engaged. Groups of Saints were to be seen in all directions enjoyably singing, reading, dancing &c. Gloomy & cloudy night. [p. 15]
Saturday 27th. Eight vessels in sight. They lay south of us. One supposed to be the "John Bright" which started out about the same time as us. The sailors upon this vessel are very [-] & unfamiliar with their business. A stiffer breeze this morning. The sails fill out, and the ship rocks, making many complain of headaches; producing sickness among some of the stoutest. 8 of the berths fell down, no injury to any one.
Sunday 28th. The ship rocked pitched to some extent & the wind was direct east. This wind was not powerful in our favor as a side wind - Latitude 49Âº56, Longitude 14.34. Distance 150 miles west 8Âº south. Distance from New York 2600 miles. At 9 a.m. exchanged signals with the English ship, "Laurel" bound westward. At 9:30 a.m. the wards met to prayer and sacrament & remarks were made by several brethren expressive of their faith in God and exhorting all to prayer & good works. I was sick this day twice & felt very weak & unfit for conversation. Meeting on deck at 3 p.m. The Saints in goodly number came up & were instructed by Brothers [Charles W.] Penrose & [Milo] Andrus concerning the gathering. The ineffectual attempts made by our enemies to produce our ruin and the destiny awaiting us if we remain faithful. Brother [Milo] Andrus in speaking [p. 16] concerning the world's ignorance of our worth and that if the agents belonging to this vessel knew our real value they would give us all our passage free. This and other humorous remarks pleased the captain & surgeon who were present who listened with evident pleasure to the whole of the remarks. The Sunday passed away very joyously. Thoughts and talk of friends who doubtless missed us much today from the various meeting places & fireside groups that our presence had dwelt with for years, principally occupied our time. Our vision seemed to eye them and to fancy their doings and then we would hear the cheering sounds fresh from the soul & mouth in the songs of Zion & her future from the companies of singers marching upon deck. We felt then bound westward & with stern minds onward we cried. There is deliverance for us and those we love to come from our intended place of residence. Reluctantly we leave these scenes to go below to sleep. [p. 17]
Monday April 29. Latitude 49Âº26, Longitude 18.05. Distance 139 miles west, 13Âº south. Much motion in the ship & sickness with all its horrid weakening attacks holds conquest over the greatest number of the Saints. Child died belonging to Harriet McLean at past 6 in morning 15 months old.
Tuesday April 30th. Latitude 48Âº42, Longitude 23Âº52. Distance 233 miles west, 11Âº south. Many confined to their beds, too weak to rise. Some make attempts but stagger feeling as though all the world was in motion around them or as tho they were in the midst of a whirlpool and that they were rapidly ascending & descending. Down they would fall upon a box or the first thing they could get to & hold themselves on. Suddenly you want see them seize hold of a tin bowl or slip pail and heave all they had within, out of them & when that was done they did not appear satisfied with their feat but must again heave, heave, heave, yielding nothing. Oh, this day was one of misery to me. Each day previous I had had the delightful pleasure of seeing my food fly from me, but I had been brave enough to push more down my throat & thus fill up the vacuum produced by the sickness, but this day I could not get inclination to move. Gruel was brought me but it was no sooner reached my lips than back it came. This was a fast day. I could not eat. Thoughts of Dale place--oh, wish that I was there, waited upon by those who dwell there was often expressed. I never in the whole of my life remember feeling so awful bad. All strength seemed to have passed away from me, but such was the fate of many others. [p. 18]
Wednesday May 1st. Latitude 47Âº55, longitude 29.30. Distance 231 miles west 12Âº south. Ventured out of my berth, put my trousers on without bracing them up. Took my coat & vest on my arm & ascended the steps of our foul, damp, stinking crib. I could hardly get out without falling backwards but succeeded in getting to the top where with my hair all rough, my face like death, I bore more the appearance of a madman than of a rational being. The fresh air braced one up. I lay for some time and at last roused energy enough to put my overcoat on. This day I took some gruel which Brother James Evans kindly prepared & a sister gave me 2 roasted potatoes which I quite liked. I laid about deck careless about myself & got cold. About past 7 I stood up on the lee side of the ship. Fred Perris came up. I sent him for James Evans. While he was gone I brought up the whole of my day's food. They led me to bed & James Evans brought me some gruel. I went to sleep without my companion and forgot all about it. Many were very sick today. The deck was crowded with the helpless. Fat & strong men & women had become weak & thin. Some porter or bottled stout was dealt out for the comfort of the very weak & many were [-] by this homely drink. The captain & doctor appeared very ready to oblige & give comforts to the suffering. The weather has been very fine & the ship has been going at a good rate the last two days. We pray God to speed the ship. Give us strength to bear the sickness. [p. 19]
Thursday May 2nd. The captain seems eager to get the decks cleansed, and all the people on the upper deck. The healthy boys are engaged in scraping & brushing up the floors. We have had a storm during the night. A good deal of rain fell & I hear that lightning was seen. The sun now comes forth with smiling grace and the sea seems far calmer. This will afford to many a chance of recruiting their strength for as complaints of sore ribs & weakness are general. May it be a day of healing & comfort to us all and nerve us up for the balance of our journey. Latitude 47Âº32, longitude 33Âº00. Distance 143 miles west go south. At noon the captain permitted the Saints to rest & stretch out their limbs upon the top of his cabin, quite a nice place covered with copper though it is subject to the motion of the vessel more than midships. It is my duty to go into the cabin each day. It bears quite a smart appearance, well furnished with every requisite to promote comfort. I have the favor of writing for two hours each day in this very comfortable place & find the favor very agreeable, especially now sickness has made me so weak. The captain seems a calm, reserved man. He has the gait and air of a gentleman. His advances seen very scarce. He seems at home with himself. His thoughts & business appear to engross the whole of his attention. His lady is equally reserved. I should consider her to be an accomplished woman. She has comforts around [p. 20] her and I should think she knows how to take advantage of them. Her children bear her image but all seem made to move in another circle where refinement prevails ahead of that which we see around us. The lot of some men in this world transcends all that I have ever reached or ever am designed to reach unless
I make more progressive strides & help myself to advantages which exertion alone can furnish to me. The experience of this journey is enough to awaken thoughts in the mind contrary to those we have learned to cherish but life is before us & we must step on fearless of danger & pull away cheerily so that we can mount the rugged hardships & manfully equip ourself with the power to prize independence. There is bliss in the future. We'll trust to be free. Confidence cheers us & happy we'll be.
How is it that men cast off their calm, lamb-like nature & cloth themselves with a "rough, don't care, gruff" exterior? Has their original nature left them? No, 'tis only covered up, but sometimes it appears to be entirely hid, shut out of sight, recklessness prevails. How is this? Their better nature may be thought but little off in their opinion (no show of favor towards men often gives them indifference to their growth. They lose relish for cultivation. Why not then give a full outburst of the spirit of admiration? Why cloak it up?) and so they put on another airs, more popular but truly less valuable & ignoble. [p. 21]
Friday May 3rd. Very calm - ship moving almost imperceptibly through the waters. This calm seems to come most opportunely for the sick. The dull & dejected are looking brighter & are trying to get interested with games of play. Sickness makes us reserved & close mouthed. Nothing better in this world to stop the fast talking from expression. All terrified with Candle Curtain Lectures at night or with a general chatter & wanting to become members of the peace society. Send your wives to sea. If it does not produce a cure it will a temporary one. I'll warrant it. When people are recovering the tongue wags again with freedom. We now begin to hear the din well. May it be exercised to the joy of the company. Another good sign of recovery is seen in the desire of many to finish up their portions of food so that no leaving remains. In fact some feel as though they would like to be plate lickers in gentleman's families.
Position at noon latitude 47Âº13, longitude 33.85. Distance run 27 miles west 45 Âºsouth. The voyage seems to have a good effect upon some faces. They seem puffed out & others look lean & although their mouths water with eagerness to get at food. Men who used to carry clean faces [p. 22] with chin often reaped now appear like young hedgehogs. It would be a good time to give young ladies a chance of relishing the pleasure of a game of Kiss in the Ring. They would feel as though their ruby lips hung on a [-] & we could say nearly as the Lord said to Saul "'Tis hard for thee to kiss [kick] against the pricks."
We had a little dancing today. The young sisters of charity, those who had made themselves ministering angels to the weak, were invited by Brother [Milo] Andrus to prance to the time of the fiddle. Some accepted the chance & gaily moved seemingly rewarded with the notice taken of their acts of kindness. Some were too modest to come forward but their goodness must ever be kept in remembrance by those who had the benefit of their exertions.
Sails all unfurled & pretty well filled last night, just about prayer time, producing but slight motion of the vessel but sending us along at a pleasant rate say 5 or 6 miles an hour.
Saturday May 4. Rather showery. Latitude 46Âº50, longitude 34Âº47. Distance run 59 miles west, 23Âº south. Sails well filled at night traveling very fast. She lays upon her side & cuts her way at a smart rate. The captain appears to take advantage of every wind [p. 23] & does not appear timid at the use of the canvas.
Sunday May 5th. A very fine morning. The Saints engaged at ward meetings - sacrament, singing & testimonies. Position at noon - latitude 45Âº11, longitude 38
Âº05. Distance run 170 miles west 36Âº south. New York is distant 1600 miles west 10Âº south. Liverpool - 1500 east 20Âº north. At 3 o'clock the Saints assembled on deck and listened to some excellent remarks from Elder Milo Andrus. God's attributes in which his kind nature was particularly dwelt upon. The principle of liberty what it is in the world, in England, what it should be, the progressive stages for the virtuous and active student of the truth - men's destiny. God's greatness, the triumph of the right will end their government of the weak & ignorant. The future--all was ably & clearly elucidated. The captain & mates acted kindly in fixing up forms for the accommodation of the people and showed much respectful feeling in keeping quiet & listening to the speaker. At night the winds filled the sails & we went gaily along. [p. 24]
Monday, May 6. A strong breeze & the roughest sea we have as yet seen. Several fell about very much & had to hold to fixings to prevent falling. A crowd huddled together would very often be favored with a good drenching. The waters would dash upon the side & run over producing quite a deluge on deck. Then the utmost confusion would take place. The folks would run helter skelter & the motion of the ship would send them to lee side with a rush or cause them in their hurry to fall sternward over each other. Although several falls took place no serious accident occurred. All seemed to bear these little affairs with good feelings & merriments. But with the exception of about half dozen all descended below & remained up viewing the battle of the waves, their varied colors, ceaseless motion, their sudden break into glittering foam. While looking intently at it the winds howled and blew furiously against me. I clung to a rope when suddenly I felt the tidings of an intended spew reach my mouth. I turned round and ran to the lee side but before I reached it my rump kissed the deck. It was a bouncer. I quickly got up, done my business by the side of the ship and then turned round to join in the laugh of the captain & a few others who witnessed my antics. I kept up feeling chilled through could not eat any food & continually threw up bile as green as grass from my stomach. A small vessel passed today bound for Liverpool. She was tossed about [p. 25] very much. Our position noon latitude 44Âº05, longitude 42Âº43. Distance 207 miles west, 18Âº south. James Evans brought one some gruel to my berth which was the only thing I enjoyed during this day.
Tuesday May 7th. Much calmer. One or two vessels in sight. I was again sick this morning. Had some stew potatoes & rice pudding for dinner. This bears a tasty sound but when the stomach heaves at the choicest dainty it is not so tasty after all. I enjoyed a bit of rice & care for nothing more. We passed the "Aberdeen" - she had been out 15 days and had started from Land's End bound for New York. Brother [Milo] Andrus sick and weak like many of us. Position at noon latitude 43Âº42, longitude 45Âº03. Distance runs 103 miles west, 13Âºsouth.
Wednesday May 8th. A calm, making but slow progress - air rather cool. At about 5:30 a.m. an announcement was made by some of the boys in the ward that a ship was alongside. Several jumped out of bed dressed & ran up to see this new object of motion. I was among the number and was pleased to see [-] from our ship passing over the wave to the stranger which stood proudly erect a short distance from us. After receiving some papers they started coming towards us again. They soon arrived and stated the name of the vessel. "Henry Sheldon" from New York, had been today out. The papers contained [p. 26] new from America. They were dated the 19th & 20th April entitled New York Herald & World. Every column seems teeming with excitement about the outbreaks and warlike movements of the North & South. The troops passing through Baltimore on their way to the capitol, Washington were fired upon by the people & had paving stones thrown at them. The troops returned the fire and several were killed on either side. Brother [Milo] Andrus very sick & confined to bed. He appears to be troubled with Erysipelas. Position latitude 42Âº32, longitude 45Âº50. Distance 78 miles west, 64Âºsouth.
Thursday - May 9th. A dense fog greeted the eye as soon as I rose. The ship bell was making its tolls like a church bell to prevent ship from driving too near to us. This fog produces chilly feelings. We want an extra coat to keep warmth within us. Not many on deck. Most are seeking recreative games below. I was engaged today in writing up a form full of the names & particulars of the passengers viz age, where born, No. of packages, country of allegiance & occupation. This is for the captain's use as he has to give the information to the custom house at New York. Position at noon latitude 42Âº10, longitude 48Âº13. Distance 108 miles west, 12Âº south. I have enjoyed my food more today than I have for many days previous through the steady motion of the vessel, I presume. But a slight motion took place at night & I became again sick. I took some gruel & retired to the ward. I was called upon to speak & make some remarks which pleased the boys. I then jumped into bed & had a good sleep. [p. 27]
Friday May 10th. Still very foggy. Bell tolling yet. We are sailing along very calmly but little motion of the vessel felt. Position at noon latitude 43Âº44, longitude 50Âº24. Distance run 133 miles west, 45Âº north or a northwest course. Reckoning that the longitude at New York is 73Âº, the distance longitude to travel is 23Âº or 1012 miles allowing 44 miles to a degree longitude. Brother Homer Duncan made some very sensible remarks in the Bachelor's Ward this evening. I after this meeting went to the middle decks & was amused for about an hour with the songs & recitations of the group assembled. I gave them the poem of "Absalom" by N.P. Willis which seemed much appreciated. Went to bed after a good feed of rice.
Saturday May 11th. The fog has nearly passed away this morning. Since yesterday evening we have been traveling southwest & I suppose the farther we get away from the Banks of Newfoundland the brighter the weather will become. Noon quite fine. The trumpet which was last night need as a substitute for the bell has ceased to annoy us with its blasts. I laid in bed last night listening to its fine attractive echo's until the hour of 12. Then I dozed off thinking of the ragmen who go about blowing trumpets to create excitement among the juveniles to muster up rags, bottles &c for which they give them some tempting banner of tarnished paper or flying wheel. I did not envy the poor devil who would have to stand [p. 28] in the middle of the fog to fire trumpet flourishes to the roaring waves and their occupants. Position at noon latitude 45Âº03, longitude 52Âº00. Distance run 77 miles west, 24Âºsouth. I was better this day than I have been all the voyage. Found some biscuit in my bag which I relished much. The folks in Gooch Street, Birmingham laughed at the poor nature of them when they saw them before I started, but I relished them as much as my choice dainty. Heard some good remarks from Charley [Charles] Turner, subject on mutual support.
Sunday May 12th. Damp and cold weather. I rose up eager to get at breakfast, felt hungry and had to satisfy my hunger on cakes made from biscuit dust & flour. They were very heavy as they were not cooked properly, however they eat with more relish than the hard biscuit. The tea I had taken quite a distaste for, and gruel has become quite a staple which to feed upon. I have not cared for any meat yet, but at dinner time the remains of pea soup & boiled ham & pork went down quite [-]. Many eat fat pork & beef now with the air of ploughboys. The Scotch enjoy their food very much & have done so nearly all the voyage. We are surrounded with a good number of the Saints from Birmingham, wife & Mary; Fosters; Alldridges; Darks'; Prices'; Bridges & a young host of others are closely fixed. All appear well & are enjoying themselves well as can be expected according [p. 29] to circumstances. This morning meetings held in the various wards. Sacrament administered & testimonies borne by the brethren. Richard Poulton, son of William & Eliza Poulton was blessed by [Richard] Alldridge. Position at noon latitude 42Âº37, longitude 54Âº28. Distance 111 miles west, 13Âºsouth. New York is distance 900 miles west & 8Âºsouth - We are moving very steadily along direct west, and about 5 miles an hour. A vessel was in the distance today bound southeast and doubtless going to Liverpool. At 3 o'clock p.m. in consequence of the cold. Meetings were held below decks - one in the middle of ship first deck, which I attended. Brothers [Joseph] Silver, [Richard] Alldridge, [Thomas] Wallace & Teasdale delivered short speeches principally upon the allowance of privileges & the exercise of the sense of right possessed by each person. The progress & growth of this work &c. All were interested & the meeting was commenced & finished in 1 hour. Another meeting was carried on at the same time in the lowest deck. Brother [Charles] Penrose was speaker & gave directions & instructions to all how to act through their journey to Zion. Good feelings prevails on board throughout - but occasionally a little [p. 30] show of bad feeling is made by some of the impatient at the cooking galley. I saw an illustration of this a few days since a brother had been to the galley & had been prevented from placing his saucepan of gruel upon the fire. He came full of passion & complaint to Brother [Charles] Penrose & declared that he would "punch the cook's head." We laughed at him & he awakening to a sense of this weakness said "I have the hardest thing in the world to keep my temper." We have the privilege of baking & cooking dinners every alternate day so that we have to cook enough to last 2 days. Slept very comfortably. In fact, I ave been exceedingly comfortable in bedding. I started from Birmingham with no bed & got the favor of laying with a young chap who had a good flock bed. I was through short means afraid that the purchase of bedding would deprive me of every half penny I had, but it turned out quite favorably for me. What I shall do the remainder of the journey I know not, but I have every confidence in him who has so kindly provided for my wants up till now. [p. 31]
Monday May 13th. Ship moving at a good pace. If she continues thus we shall be at New York in a few days. Died this morning at 9 a.m.: Janet Gillespie, daughter to Alexander & Mary Gillespie, aged 18 months. Latitude 41Âº27, longitude 59Âº00 south. Distance run 214 miles west, 19Âºsouth. Took pea soup again for dinner today had quite a satisfactory meal. The provisions are very good and now our hunger is coming to us again with fresh force. Everything except the meat & biscuit goes down with relish. We hear very frequently the wish expressed to see land or a cook shop. I have often thought of the last feast of steaks & onions I had in Birmingham or of the stewed rabbit & baked potatoes I had in Liverpool & of the capital tea I took in New Brighton Lands & have wished I could take a sudden spring to those spots of regalement - but we hope soon to be released from ship experience. I could not be a sailor with any pleasure. Nothing could I think be a worse punishment to me. I am weaker & thinner then when I came on board but perhaps I may be benefitted by the voyage. I have been sick nearly every day except the last 2 or 3 days. While I am writing I hear the rats squeaking & rushing about among the tins. I am told that bags & stuffs have been eaten or torn about by them & food has been [p. 32] well gnawed & messed about by them.
The following brethren who have been out in the ministry are on their way to Zion:
Charles W .Penrose
William G. Cromar
Edward W. Tullidge
William Yates [POSSIBLY: George Yates]
Joseph Stanford [POSSIBLY: Joseph Stanhouse]
Edward Samuels [Samuel]
Willes [Willet] Harder
Richard L. Mills
F. [Frederick] W. Blake
Tuesday May 14th. Running very fast. Leaning over on her side she is speedily pushing her way through the waves. Engaged today writing out particulars of passengers for Brother [Milo] Andrus. Enjoyed my dinner very much. It consisted of meat & peas & biscuit pudding. While writing this day in the captain's cabin I was seized with the symptoms of sickness and rose up to rush out for the ship's side - but missed the stairs & tumbled on the deck - strained very much & brought up a little blood. Went to my berth & slept. I am informed that the girls who have for sometime been very [p. 3
3] fond of going to the galley where the cook's help is in the habit of enticing them were disturbed last night in the midst of their courting by the sailors. The captain learned that the girls were in the galley & ordered the sailors to go & disturb them. The lights were first seized & put out & two or three packs of water was thrown over the girls & the cook. The girls screamed & ran away. The cook was afterwards struck by the 2nd mate and had his eyes banged up. In this disfigured state he was reduced in position, and placed among the common sailors. Position at noon latitude 40Âº57, longitude 62Âº00. Distance run 129 miles west, 12Âºsouth. New York is distant 540 miles west, 3Âºsouth. I have been bound in my bowels for sometime, but I have taken pills & they have operated beneficially.
Brother [Milo] Andrus came out yesterday for the first time since his attack of sickness. His mouth is tied up and he appears very weak. Weighed our luggage yesterday and find about 430 pounds among 5 of us. This is satisfactory & there is every chance of our luggage going through without any reduction.
Wednesday May 15th. The wind of yesterday has passed away & we move with but little motion of the ship. Latitude 41Âº26, longitude 63Âº46. Distance run 81 miles west, 21Âºnorth. This day engaged writing in the captain's cabin. I am far better today in health & hope soon to perfectly recover my strength. A social party held tonight in mid-deck. I went down after prayers in our ward [p. 34] & listened to songs & recitations. I gave 2 which contributed to the merriment of the party. The sky tonight presents a lovely appearance. The clear atmosphere here allows us to get an extensive view of the heavens. We can see distinctively from the zenith to the horizon.
May 16th Thursday - A very calm and warm day. Latitude 40Âº53, longitude 64Âº34. Distance 47 miles west, 45Âºsouth. Engaged in getting up a program for a party intended to be held on deck. Brother [Milo] Andrus was among us yesterday. He appears to be getting better fast. About 3 o'clock we assembled upon deck & had the pleasure of listening to Scotch & English sing & recite. We had more of the comic element in this party than I have as yet seen. I cannot say that I admire so much of it. A few sentimental pieces are when mixed up with it very acceptable - I cannot see us some do that these sentimental pieces are only just suitable to fill up. There is something upon which minds can feed in the [-] tactical pieces or essays of some of our [-] of the church.
Last night I gazed with much delight & wonder upon the magnificent scene which the setting sun presented. A range of clouds looking like immense forests of trees were extended in a long line on the borders of the horizon. The declining sun was behind these clouds & produced a golden hue on the ridges. They appeared capped with gold & the edges which came down to the waters were tinged with variegated hues of yellow, pink, white & these of the brightest description. [p. 35] In the distance the shades of grotesque figures, grand designs of castles, of mountain peaks, of immense forts, could be distinguished in the volumes of cloud which ran in connection with the [-] scene but which was certainly not so far away as to escape the reflection of its rays.
From this grand majestic picture in the heavens, I turned round & witnessed a most revolting scene. The captain's cook had made a preparation of gruel for a goat which has been in a very sick state on board & under the superintendence of another goat. The doctor, while the cook was giving the food the captain came up & after some complaint & talk on both sides in French, the captain struck the cook, the cook returned the blow, and a fight ensued. The second mate came up & with his usual fighting spirit he assisted the captain. The cook fell & was kicked about the head & face by the second mate & struck with his fist also his helpless state until he was quite disfigured. It was one of the most brutal sights I ever saw. The poor fellow jumped up the mast & said "sacra Amerique." He seemed much excited but showed out a courageous & manly spirit.
I certainly have seen more lynch law, more fighting & brutal work by the mates & captain towards the men of this ship than I ever expected to see. American liberty & fraternity is at a very low ebb when the men of education & refinement, those who doubtless mix in the 1st class society descend [p. 36] to the mean, despicable unmanly deed which these men of authority have exposed.
This morning I was much amused by Brother [Charles] Penrose coming on deck and announcing the birth of a young rat in his shoe. Quite an illustrious & novel addition to his family.
May 17th Friday - A heavy swell of the waters. Many feeling queer about the head & several sick again. We are sailing in the wrong direction to get to our journey's end in a great hurry. Our position at noon latitude 40Âº02, longitude 66Âº06. Distance run 87 miles west, 36Âº south. New York distant 362 miles west, 4Âºnorth. This evening the ward presidents met together and engaged in prayer for fair winds. Brother [Milo] Andrus was with us & made some remarks about the influence of the elders & their power of intercession with heaven, the existence of might in the hands when uplifted &c. At 6 p.m. exchanged signals with ship "Daring" bound eastward. [p. 37]
Saturday May 18th - Have had a good deal of rocking during the night but we have been sailing down south rather too much to result in a speedy conveyance to New York. Latitude 38Âº47, longitude 68Âº05. Distance run 119 miles west, 39Âºsouth. New York bears west, northwest 292 miles.
May 19th. Sunday morning dawns upon us again & the Saints are astir & in groups upon deck enjoying the fine pure breezes which comes refreshingly amid the warm sunshine. The old custom of extra clean & gay dress is adopted & everybody seems in preparation for the sacred business of the day. The ship has had an extra clean up & has as smart an appearance as the rest of us. Meetings called for & a general rush below decks takes place. Here the ordinary business of a testimony sacrament meeting are attended to.
In the young men's ward (the ward to which I belong) a little scene of interest occurred. Brother [John] Skerry from Utah expressed his sentiments concerning the show of opposition against his expressions sometime ago. After he had done speaking Brother [Homer] Duncan rose & replied in a very sensible way to all. He said we had an excellent meeting. [p. 38]
Immediately after these meetings the upper deck was again crowded with a shock of the Saints. Numbers were looking over the side of the ship at the fish which darted up through the water. We were not near enough to discover what they were. Some said porpoises, shark &c, &c. A pretty bird flies about here called by some the "Petal." It is about the size of the English starling, only very prettily marked with white after the style of the swallow.
At 3 o'clock the Saints crowded up together closely to listen to the teaching of Brother's Duncan & Penrose. A good lively feeling prevailed & a warm zeal seemed to shine through the features of all, to carry out the practical portion of the brethren's teaching. Considering our circumstances the general good feeling tells forcibly the fact that God's divine spirit lives among us--making us reconciled with our lot & warming up our hearts with friendship towards each other. I am very much gratified in seeing the faces of quite a host of old pals & fellow laborers. Their faces put me in remembrance of old times, of former fields of laboring. [p. 39] Our position at noon latitude 38Âº22, and longitude 69Âº30. Distance run 71 miles west, 21Âºsouth. New York is distant 245 miles west, 31Âº north.
In the evening about 8 o'clock an important meeting was held in No. 1 Ward to celebrate the nuptials of our friend & past anticipated brother's-in-law, John [-] Hinton aged 21 and Emma Spendlove aged 19. The nature of this meeting caused a general tither of laughing & fun among the young and the old were not free from merry feeling the recollections of the past. The similar position they were in flashed across their memory & produced pleasant thoughts. Brother [Milo] Andrus pronounced them man & wife after getting their praise from them.
Monday May 20th. The rain coming down in torrents causing us to seek below decks. The hatchways all closed down producing an unpleasant close warmth. Many complaining of headaches &c through the absence of pure air. Latitude 29Âº07, longitude 71Âº24. Distance run 100 miles west, 27Âºnorth. Distance to New York 145 miles, 34Âº north. Sea very rough. Tins flying about & slops upset & their contents running in liquid streams along the floor. Took a cake to my berth and put it beneath my pillow as I could not eat it, but little food worth eating. [p. 40]
May 21st Tuesday. The ship moving on at a good rate in a northwesterly course. Many at the front part of her noticing distant steamers from which the smoke issued. It was amusing to hear them pronounce the smoke as land, mountains &c. Their speculations only ended in smoke. While looking out a pilot boat came darting smartly over water. The pilot came on board. He looked a regular "Yankee" began to give his orders about the rigging as soon as he came on board. The people look smart & joyful at the prospect of soon landing. One of the sailor fell from a topsail & was evidently much shook--no bones broken. The doctor stripped the man. Very little wind but the prospect of a speedy release from ship life pleases all of us. [p. 41]
Wednesday 22nd May. At 5 o'clock & before reports of trees fine [-] were shouted out. All berths soon emptied & their late occupants on deck noting with admiring eyes the forts, gardens, shipping, fine prospects all round. One of the most magnificent sights I ever beheld. The great "Eastern" in view. She seems to surpass in size the largest vessel on the river yet many are leviathan structures on & far exceed in size the general English steamers. Batteries of stone mounted with cannon are in view. Some are in course of erection. Saw a horse & chaise from our ship this morning. Quite a new sight to our optics. All seems life & bustle again. The dull monotony of the past fades away into scenes of active life, nature looks gay & grand and all the appearances around are welcomely hailed by the Saints. The doctor came on board this morning & all passed his inspection. He praised our general appearance & management & added that he never saw a company bearing such signs of good health. Captain, lady and the ship doctor with his son started away by steamboat. Castle Garden are in view with its round house. All are anxious to go off board but are busy packing up &c.
The hour arrived for the crowd of Saints & stock of luggage to be removed from the ship & it became my unfortunate lot to stay on board while the large vessel [p. 42] was drawn towards shore. Handkerchiefs & hats were waving & loud hurrahs were heard sounding over the waters competing with those engaged in the national cause. (They were frequently making the air echo with the power of their voices). Cook, I, & an unlucky chap who came up on deck too late to jump off had to had them to retire to the stories below. I stayed at the wish of Brother [Milo] Andrus & had I merely done as he expected & as I thought, it would have been very agreeable but alas man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward. I worked hard with the fore said two men until about 9 o'clock at night. Then I felt completely used up, tired & [-]. About this time a boat came up alongside. We bartered with him for fare across to shore. After a short ride & the payment of 75 cents we landed. I felt lively & gave a run cheerily shouted & walked to the Castle or round house for emigrants - where seated in every direction & laying out in full length were the late company of the Underwriter. Many were evidently absent among their friends & at good lodging houses. I went out again & took some bread & butter & wine. [p. 43] Returned & slept 2 hours. Then wrote to Annie. Felt very tired at 5 o'clock.
Thursday May 23rd. Went at this hour with several others out of this den & took breakfast, returned & greeted a number of old friends. Towards 9 p.m. we all got on the luggage car which was attended with the tug. Started to New Jersey & had our luggage weighed. Some paid heavily for extra weight. After this process had been gone through & another of a saving nature also namely the selection of 31 & hands who had short & some no means at all, to go to Florence. Started away to the Railway Station. Here my task was a puzzling one--the reckoning of cash [exchange of American & English amounts]. I labored at a list until I finished it but the fatigue of this day seemed to send the very essence of my life from me. About the hour of 10 a.m. - train started from New York. I previously received the [p. 44] packet of railway tickets, still remaining the clerk of the company. I had the favor of staying in the caboose & the tickets were constantly exposed and punched with a steel punch. I felt tired this night but too tired to sleep.
Friday May 24. We continued our traveling all this day, constantly changing our conductor. 5 conductors with their caboose became connected with the train during our journey to Dunkirk, a distance of 446 miles. It is customary on this line for the conductors to ride certain distances rest & on the following day return to the place he started from. I consider this a very good plan as he can get familiar with the line & does not become wearied with too much traveling. The conductors are very gentlemanly in their behavior. I have had conversations with several of them & answered their inquiries & objections. We changed trains on Saturday at Dunkirk & started [p. 45] to Cleveland 250 miles farther on the road. It was amusing to notice the great desire which some respectable dressed men evinced to enter the carriages. I had to give orders for them to depart as they were only trying to get all the prizes they could conveniently deprive us of. The food which I bought did not do me much good or I did not feel to relish it. I was still very weak from the effects of my voyage. The bread we bought was poor light stuff & we could almost blow it away. I told several of the bakers that they ought to go to England & get a lesson at bread making. [p. 46]
[PAGE 47 IS A BLANK PAGE]
Sunday 26th May - Arrived at Cleveland station at 30 past 4. Changed carriages for persons only. Started to Toledo at 9 a.m. & arrived about 4 p.m. Luggage changed. Started to Chicago at 7:45 p.m. arrived at Chicago at 1 o'clock noon on Tuesday 28th.
[Tuesday 28th] All were busy shopping & ordered aboard by the hour of 6 p.m. Started to Quincy. Got in about 1 noon. We are now remaining in the cars or first class coaches. A spirit of friendship has shown itself by all the people. The boys have frequently conversed in a friendly way with many. We are now waiting for the propeller to cross the River Mississippi. Brother [Milo] Andrus came to us & announced that we should be permitted to remain all night in the [p. 48] coaches and I appointed guards to each. Went & slept from 12 o'clock until about 7 Wednesday morning.
May 29th. Went to breakfast & enjoyed steak & potatoes, hot rolls &c. Everything went down well & for 20 cents a head - paid the bill $1.50. All ordered upon the steamboat & after some little confusion in the storing of the luggage & the seating of the people the bell sent forth a peal & puff, puff, puff went the engine, sending us onward up the river on the borders of which the green trees were thickly studded. The vessel bears the name of the "Black Hawk." I never had an idea that the steamer were fixed up in half so smart a style as they are. Brother [Milo] Andrus got me conveyed over this and the state rooms were carpeted & fitted up with furniture as good as any gentleman's parlor. Bedding, conveniences for cooking, perambulating &c all in first class condition & well arranged. We were 20 running from Quincy to Hannibal. It is considered about 20 miles. Our landing & changing from the boat to the coaches again took but a very short time. Had a good run some portion of the journey, but we were rocked very much when we were pressing through Breckenridge a spot where during [p. 49] the day the secession flag had been torn down. We came in contact with a tier of wood which had by the rebels been placed upon the line. We dashed on right over it & I presume it had got completely smashed. Arrived at the hour of 12 midnight & remained sleeping in the carriages.
Thursday Morning May 30th. Many about daybreak were seen wending their way to the market places of St. Joseph. I started among the crowd going & met men & women laden with bread & all the dainty things necessary to supply their wants.
Luggage removed from the cars to the boat "Omaha." A little excitement prevailed here through the disguise of a negro boy belonging to Brother Talbot. An excited fellow walked up & caught hold of the lad & pulled up his veil. I protested against his conduct & nearly got into difficulties. Slept on the shed by the river side. [p. 50]
Friday May 31st - Started away from St. Joseph about 4:30 a.m. The rain came down at a terrible rate. All the way up the river we found the river hard to navigate occasionally running onto sandbanks & having to dodge the pieces of wood or snags which abound in the River Missouri. The journey up the river is about 250 miles. At about 9 p.m. when darkness sent its gloom over the water & the boat could make no further headway we steered by the side of a forest of young trees. The boys got ashore quickly. Crack! crack! went the wood by muscle force. Some were holding branches while one was heaving away at them with a sword. Soon a large campfire was raised & a large company soon surrounded it. All slept on board. One sister sick. I was engaged cooking some chickens in a tin pot on the fiery pile of wood. Enjoyed some broth. A number of men from the other boat (there was one stationed near us) came & joined those of our boat. They seemed interested with the appearance of the girls & we had to keep a watchful eye over them. This night I had but little sleep. [p. 51]
Saturday June 1st. At 4 this morning our boat moved on. The country around looks very romantic. Some views are very pretty. We are now passing through a country where the half breed Indians ramble about in indolence & ignorance. Stopped at Nebraska City to take in wood. A few American vehicles came down on the bank of the river. One or two ladies dressed in the best style American fashion came down & viewed us. Our girls look at their dresses & senseless bonnets with humorous expressions. The rain came down this night in as rapid manner as I can remember. All were advised to move from the sides of the boat & the ladies were invited to take seats in the long stateroom. At the hour of 10 many laid down & slept until 4 a.m.
Sunday June 2nd. Boat again in motion at 4 o'clock this morning. About 9 o'clock came to Platt's mouth where we had our first sight of Indians. They were a poor degraded looking lot scarcely any clothing upon them. Bow & arrow slung over their shoulders, they came down to the boat side but went back again. They indeed look a poor degraded dirty looking lot. Passed Omaha this afternoon. This place is within 6 miles of Florence the place we have all hoped to see for so long. We are now within sight of Florence & when everyone is anxiously & joyously anticipating a speedy deliverance from the boat life, a rumor producing a check to light feelings [p. 52] was communicated in gloomy words around--a brother is dead below. Off I darted to see him. He was stretched out in death. His body could not sustain the fatiguing trials of the journey. While on shipboard he was a victim to constant sickness. He has at last yielded to death's embrace for rest. He bore the name of Patrick Parkin, aged 50 died at 5:30 o'clock p.m. came from Sunderland, England. Calamities don't come alone is said. Some part of our engine has broken & must undergo repair before we proceed farther. After an hour's delay we proceeded on our way & got to Florence about 8 o'clock. A host were onshore prepared to greet old friends. I was engaged with the clerk in counting the children & we made up a number of 468. 7 more then the number of tickets I had on hand. The captain was satisfied with the report. Luggage was moved to shore. Darkness came on quickly & nearly all had to be left on the ground. Wagons came down & men & women were conveyed to hotels (at least such they were called.) Ten of us, amongst the number, Brother [Milo] Andrus, were fixed together under a tent. My overcoat left behind & lost - a great misfortune.
June 3, Monday. Rose about 4 o'clock. Busy in handling luggage. Just in the midst of our business down comes the rain enough to deluge us. Some stood with umbrellas, some rushing to tents, others continuing to stand & sort luggage. The luggage got very wet [p. 53]. I trudged up town to the stores. Bought some bacon & eggs for our pantry. Searched in all directions for a baker's shop but found but one that without any bread. Got the luggage up to Brother Lotes house. Brother [Milo] Andrus's tent was erected and the luggage was removed to Florence Hotel. I slept there with Sisters Clark & others. I found myself tired but in the middle of the night down came the rain & our house could not withstand the force of it. We were nearly drowned with rain - I cheered the folks up as well as I could & slept as I could till morning.
June 4th. Went down to the church store. Saw Brother Jakes. He engaged me as his clerk. I wrote accounts up this morning with him & took dinner. At 2 o'clock we had a meeting out in the open space near Brother Jake's tent. Subject, the poverty of the people & appointment of bishop's to look after the poor. I here met with Brother Harding & went to his hour to tea. Had a long conversation about old times & our recent experience. Slept at Florence Hotel. Fine night.
June 5th. Started out. Soon was not wanted by Brother Jakes, so went to the store and bought a hat. Went on & met Brothers Silver and Stanford. We determined to pay a visit to the camps. Started & took wrong path. Got lost in a good, but after some trouble found the camp, a few wagons only were to be seen. I talked with the boys-the wagon owners. Took milk & turned back. Took tea & spent the evening with Brother Stanford. [p. 54]
June 6th. Down by the riverside, endorsed 11 orders for wagons &c. Went to the store. Supplied chains & boards & then went to dine at Brother Jakes.
June 7th. [-] engaged in dealing out wagons & endorsing orders. Brother Talbet invited me to dine with him & I accepted his kind proposal. Went to Jakes & took tea. Moved to a new abode by the riverside.
June 8th. (Saturday) Went to the riverside. Recovered bills of landing from Brother Jakes. Went upon the "Omaha" boat. Searched for any lost coat, alas in vain. Engaged the most of this day in landing. [-] & helping to put together the various parts of wagons.
June 9th. Sunday. At 2:30 the Saints are mustering for the meeting which takes place on the grass at the back of the church store. Brothers Andrus, Jakes, & Martindale entertained us with a good speech each. We had lively time. I learn today that I am standing on the spot where the Saints camped when driven. This place was called Winter Quarters. 500 men were selected from the camp & sent to Mexico, to the wars, from this very place. It is sacred to the memory of many who laid down their persecuted bodies to rest. Milo was as usual particularly interesting. [p. 55]
June 10th. Monday. Wagon covers dealt out. Brother Spencer came home.
June 11th. Visited the bowery. Saw Milo Andrus. Told me about the cattle. That he wanted me to clerk for him on the morrow.
June 12th. Sister Clark & Ann Mitchell going to place today at Council Bluffs. Brother Milo started away to buy cattle &c. I overhauled to papers from N. V. Jones from Bingham. Begin to see the business arrangements better. Much of the stock sent from New York from N. V. Jones & each book Jakes & Jones are making in purchase for the emigr. [UNCLEAR]
June 13th. (Thursday) Owing the past night & up to the hour of 8 we have had a fearful storm & tempest. The lightning & rain & heavy wind shook, illuminated & [-] our house very much but produced no damage. At Jakes house by 10. Sat & read sometime. Nothing stirring and demanding my labor.
June 14th. Friday. Weighing boxes at the store. Busy with Jakes at packing &c. Brother Andrus came home this evening with a herd of cows. 39 cows, 21 calves & 2 oxen. I went down to the grazing spot & got the boys to drive them up to Carol. After this the boat "Sunshine" came in and I started to see if any congements had arrived for us. None arrived. About 30 in [-] of Saints landed. They principally came from Pittsburgh & St. Louis. We berthed them in the wagons for the night. I went [SENTENCE WAS NOT COMPLETED] [p. 56]
[â€”] from June 14th on to 17th I drew out on an agreement for cattle.
18th. Wrote a letter to N. V. Jones for Brother Jakes. [THERE IS SOME MORE WRITING ON THIS PAGE, BUT IT HAS BEEN CROSSED OUT BY THE AUTHOR]. [p. 57]
June 19th. Left the clerkship under Jakes and was seceded by George Teasdale. I felt pleased to get set free so that I might rest & get braced up for the journey. I find myself very weak now. I am 12 pounds lighter than when in England. The voyage weakened me & my journey by cars & boat to this place gave me no chance of resting. Responsibilities upon me all the journey & while here as well & constant working upon men running in all directions on errands, increased my weakness. I want rest & must take proper care of myself or I shall be free from flesh entirely presently.
June 20th. From this date I took rest and fed up, grew stronger & happier. Continued to reside in our cottage by the river side, a most pleasant place but infested with snakes. I had the agreeable treat of lodging with one, one night. In the morning I found the rascal curled up on the bed clothes. I gave him a greeting with a stick which resulted in his death. I was his last [-].
About the 27th Sister Emma Bloomfield, Mary Isom & others came to lodge at our cottage. They came on the "Omaha" boat with about 900 or 1000 people. The boat was crowded to excess & was dangerous to travel upon. Sister Emma became as a mother to us & we began to fare better than we had done through her knowledge of cooking & willingness to oblige. [p. 58] Mary Isom went to live at Jacob Jakes house. I tried to get hired to go to Utah by the and the Telegraph Company under the management of [-] Creighton, and I went to Omaha with 5 of the boys, but received no encouragement from him although he took our names. He wanted experienced teamsters & of course we would not lie to pass as such as it would have resulted unfavorably. [-] when we made the start homeward. The man Creighton had sought for 12 men & had applied to Milo Andrus for them. Milo advised me to get the names of men. I included my own. But as no definite arrangement was made, the affair broke through & most of the men were detained of the chance of going. The bishop came to me & asked if I would go in the first company to Zion. I consented to go & I was berthed in Alldridges crowd.
On the 30th of June I took my luggage down to the weighing machines & passed it at the weight. I had fixed up 23 pounds in Howard's bags. We laid down in our tents near the bowery & enjoyed rest on this night. Many incidents occurred of [-] but I was busy & neglected [-] down a good deal. [p. 59]
July 1st. Moved out for Florence & camped on the usual camping ground. Brother Ira Elldridge is our captain and seems a good fatherly man. We enjoyed ourselves in singing and reading . Slept in tent. Am getting quite accustomed to this life & began to like it. Wrote to Brother [-] and Annie Erans. . . . [p. 60]
. . . Friday Sept. 13th. Started with Hirst [â€”] and all from Kimball's ranch [-] city of Salt Lake. Arrived at 3 o'clock p.m. . . . [p. 89]
BIB: Blake, F.W. Diary, 1861 Apr-Dec. pp.14-60,89. (CHL)