. . . Thursday, April 23. In the afternoon we went on board the large sailing vessel Westmoreland which was destined to land us in Philadelphia, America. We were shown our berths on board, each of which were to accommodate two persons. We remained on board near the land that night.
Friday, April 24. In the forenoon a tender hauled us out into the River Mersey, where we remained at anchor. In the afternoon we were visited on board by Apostles Orson Pratt and Ezra T. Benson and other English brethren, who gladdened us with their presence, and as far as myself is concerned I could not tire by looking at these worthy men of God. When they left us, we on board the ship in our joy cried hurrah repeatedly, and our greeting was responded to by them. In the evening, after some of the Saints had gone to rest, something happened that was of great interest to some of us: My brother Carl and his girl, Ellen, Brother Christensen with his girl Elise, Lauritz Larsen with his girl, Maria, and I with my girl, Karen, were married by Elder John M. Kay, who pronounced each pair man and wife. It was a most significant affair. Hymns were sung and prayers offered, and the ceremonies were done according to the pattern shown in the Doctrine and Covenants. My feelings [p.3] on this occasion were peculiar, and I felt the importance of the position that I had entered. Late in the night we all retired to rest, and we were very happy indeed.
Saturday, April 25. In the morning anchor was weighed and we commenced our voyage with good weather, a favorable wind, and a calm sea, the whole day and night. Our president on board was brother from Zion by the name of Elder [Matthias] Cowley, and three other brethren from Zion, namely Elders [Henry] Lunt, [George W.] Thurston and [Lorenzo D.] Rudd, together with our dear brother Ola N. Liljenquist from Copenhagen, who, owning to his knowledge of the English language was eminently fit to occupy the position he was chosen to fill as a counselor to President Cowley, and truly Brother Liljenquist was a loveable man. He was continuously on the watch for an opportunity of showing his kindness and assistance to his brethren and sisters, for which we ask God to bless him with his family.
Sunday, April 26. The day being beautiful and the wind favorable, a meeting was held on board on the deck, where timely instructions were given, and we all rejoiced.
Monday, April 27. During this day there was scarcely any wind, in consequence of which the ship made slow progress. The weather was beautiful and the air clear.
Tuesday, April 28. It blowed gently the whole day, so that the ship made good progress, but I felt troubled with seasickness, as well as a number of the other passengers.
Wednesday, April 29. In the forenoon we had fine weather, and the rest of the week passed with a good wind and weather; the wind was only a gentle breeze.
Sunday, May 3. We fasted this day, and we intended to hold fast meeting on board but it happened to rain and there was considerable heaving of the ship, which was thrown from side to side by the waves. Everyone on board had all they could do to hold fast, and at times our trunks and other belongings, our water buckets and cups and saucers, and what else we had on board, rolled to and fro causing much alarm and noise.
Monday, May 4. The wind continued to blow hard and the waves rocked the vessel continuously.
Tuesday, May 5. On this day we had good weather, and clear air. Nothing of importance took place this week. We had favorable winds every day and made pretty good progress towards the point of our destination. There was very little sickness among the emigrants, excepting that which was caused by the movements of the vessel. We received instructions and advice from day to day by the brethren who presided over the company. The emigrants were divided into four districts or wards, and each of these had its own president; thus Brother [George W.] Thurston had charge of the first ward, Elder [Lorenzo] Rudd of the second ward, Christian Larsen of the third ward, and Brother Carl C. N. Dorius of the fourth ward. Ever night and morning the Saints in each of the districts were called [p. 4] together for prayer, and on these occasions we enjoyed ourselves like Saints can. General satisfaction prevailed among us, and we were in many ways singularly blessed. The provisions which were distributed every week to each family, consisted of biscuits, potatoes, meat, bacon, flour, rice, peas, tea, sugar, etc., and each one received the food in sufficient quantities. Brother C. [Carl] C. A. Christensen was appointed general commissary. A Sister Goff [Maria Garff] gave birth on Sunday, May 3rd, to a son, who was named after the captain of the ship, namely, Decan Westmoreland Goff [Garff].
Sunday, May 10. The weather was not very favorable, and the sea was somewhat turbulent, owing to which no meeting was held on the deck that day, most of the Saints spending the day on the underdeck.
Monday, May 11. The wind continued contrary, but otherwise the weather was clear and pleasant.
Tuesday, May 12. The wind was contrary, but the weather fine. During the rest of this week we had pretty good wind, but much rain and cold. A child, one year and three months old, died during the week and its body was assigned to a watery grave, with the usual ceremonies on board. Everybody was filled with the solemnity of the occasion.
Sunday, May 17. According to appointment a conference for the whole company was held in the first ward, Elder Cowley presiding. The respective ward presidents gave their reports about the condition of the Saints, and the president and other brethren spoke in a very edifying and timely way in regard to the Authorities in Zion, and the priesthood generally. As these were mentioned by name, the Saints voted for them unanimously. The day passed away very pleasantly, although a strong wind prevailed, but it blew in the right direction. In the evening we listened to the announcement that another child, 9 months old, had died; the remains being dropped into the watery grave on the 18th in the presence of some of the brethren. The week passed away under favorable weather conditions, and we as we got nearer to America we rejoiced in the hope that we should see land. Our wish in that regard was gratified and on Friday, May 22nd, though the wind was against us, and the ship was obliged to tack, both Friday and Saturday.
Sunday, May 24. The weather was fine, but the wind continued contrary. In the afternoon meeting was held on the lower deck in the different districts.
Monday, May 25. Contrary winds but otherwise good weather. The wind continued to blow against us until Thursday, then we had so much wind that we, in the evening, saw the first lighthouse which stands where the flat land at the mouth of the river, which leads up to Philadelphia. It caused great rejoicing among us, that we had arrived in America. In the evening the pilot came on board.
Friday, May 29. In the forenoon of that day we saw for the first time the shores [p. 5] of America, which caused our hearts to beat with joy. In speaking for myself I must say that I felt better. I was possessed of peculiar feelings as my eyes beheld the land where the most important part of my life's activities should be exhibited and carried out. This day we sailed up the river for some distance, but owing to a little wind, anchor was cast in the evening, and thus we passed the night.
Saturday, May 30. In the afternoon we were towed up the river with a steamboat, and we had land on both sides, which was very interesting, being laid quietly all night.
Sunday, May 31. Whitsuntide. We enjoyed to behold the great city Philadelphia after we had sailed the whole day up through the river, and now to place our feet upon this beautiful country, which on both sides of the river appeared most beautiful. The weather was good though the heat was somewhat oppressive.
Monday, June 1. We had the privilege to step upon the land of America the first time, but we returned to the ship to spend the night.
Tuesday, June 2. In the afternoon the whole company left Philadelphia traveling by rail. We traveled eight day and nights, a distance of about 1500 miles to Iowa City. We passed through many towns and places, and it was certainly enjoyable to ride through this beautiful country, which exhibited fertility and blessings, conveying the idea to us that is was a land blessed by the Lord.
Tuesday, June 9. We arrived in Iowa City in the afternoon, and were at once guided to the camp place about two or three miles and here we raised our tents which were pitched in a circle like fashion, each tent was intended for 18 persons; each family obtained a handcart from the railroad station. Here I saw, among others, Brother Christian Christiansen who had brought me into the Church by baptism and had emigrated to Zion in 1852, and had been sent out from Utah on this mission (two years) to the United States, and he was here to assist in the emigration.
Friday, June 12. In the afternoon we broke up our encampment and commenced our journey westward with our handcarts. . . . [p.6]
After many trials and exertions we arrived in Salt Lake City on Sunday, Sept. 13, 1857, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Our joy was full, when our eyes rested upon the place about which we had with longing had spoken about so many days, even before we left our native lands. While we were traveling thru the streets of the city, my dear father and his wife (he had married after his arrival in the Valley) greeted us. Ho, what joy! They walked with us to the campground and after we had placed our handcarts in order, we followed father to his residence in the south part of the city, namely, I and my wife, Carl and his wife, and her mother and sister. It was joy that cannot be described, for us. . . . [p.7]
BIB: Dorius, Johann F. F., [Journal] in Church Emigration Book (1855-1861) pp. 3-7.