. . . When we parted I bid farewell to my parents, sisters, and brothers, and other dear friends. I boarded a ship and sailed to Copenhagen. It was a pleasant day. We were many on board the ship. The people prepared for the journey to Zion on April 18, 1857. I left Copenhagen.
The 19th of April we passed Skagerrak [Skageract]. Though the sea was wrath and showed its great strength, slashing and foaming on the ship without mercy, the ship was steaming and puffing with all its might to battle against the uncontrollable waves, and glided triumphantly over the dreary and risky elements. I kept my eyes continually on the coast of Denmark until it got beyond my view. No longer could I see the land that gave me birth, so good bye to dear Denmark where my cradle once stood, where my Mother lived who took care of me when I could not myself. I nursed her breast, in her bosom I rested and slept my infant hours away. She watched over me when I was sick and when I first my breath. God knows if I ever shall see Denmark again, or see my dear friends anymore.
I arrived at Grimsby, England the 22nd of April. We were four days on the journey. It was rather rough to be called a pleasure trip. When we left Copenhagen everybody was dressed in their best to bid goodbye to their friends. While the ocean was calm and still everybody felt happy for they were leaving Babylon, singing the songs of Zion. But a very few of the company had ever been on the water before. Everything went on smooth until we got on the North Sea, then the sea and the waves did roar and beat on the ship and almost everybody became very seasick. There was groaning in every direction. Order was give for everyone under deck. There was nothing but the floor to lay on, and it was very crowded. It was a pitiful sight to see, and it would not have been endured very long. I did not gt sick because I had been on water before. I had more than I could do to help others. When we landed we needed a good cleaning up. We were a hard looking set. We went by rail to Liverpool. There we boarded a large sail ship April 25 and for twenty-nine days we were tossed about on the Atlantic Ocean. We had a lucky journey. We had our [p.4] beds all around on the ship under deck. At first it was awkward. One time as we were eating soup a big breaker dashed on the ship so it turned almost on one side. Soup, boxes, people, and the whole business upset which made a terrible racket, and about the same thing happened when the ship went back. We soon learned to tie our things fast, and have something to hold to when the ocean was high. I suppose the steam ships they have now go more steady because they cut three or four waves at a time. I often thought how pleasant it was on land where we could eat and sleep in peace without so much rocking. There was a boy born on the ship, and was named after the ship Westmoreland. There were a few deaths. To me it seemed strange to see a person tied to a board with a rock tied to it, and after a little ceremony, shoved out into the ocean. Our food was not very good as many of us could not eat the hard crackers. I ate no bread on the whole journey, but there were some barrels of raw cracked peas. We could go and eat all we wished to, but they would not agree with our stomachs very well. By the blessings of God we landed safely at Philadelphia in America. Then we traveled by rail for nine days until we reached Iowa City.
After a few days we received our handcarts which we were to pull about fifteen hundred miles, over hills and valleys, and dry deserts. . . . [p.5]
. . . by the help of God, I did make the trip. And I always have and always will give him the honor, praise, and thanks for it. For weeks and months we pitched our tents on the wild prairies. There were thousands of wishes and prayers as well as dreams that we might endure the hardships and reach Zion where we hoped better days were in store for us, until we at length pitched our tents on Salt Lake City Square September 13, 1857. Our handcart journey took eighty-five days. . . . [p.6]
BIB: Christensen, Lars Christian. A short sketch of my life (formerly in Msd 2050), (typescript), (Ms 5831) pp. 4-6. (CHL)