. . . Brother Niels Christian Christensen of Nielstrup, Jutland, Denmark who crossed the Atlantic as a passenger in the William Tapscott, gives the following account of the journey from Denmark to Florence, Nebraska:
Friday, April 27, 1860 - We sailed from Randers on board the steamer "Yden" at three o'clock in the afternoon. In getting out of Randers fjord the little steamer stuck in the sand and we were thus delayed an hour. But at last it got afloat and steered out on the Kattegat.
Saturday, April 28 - The weather was fine. We passed Elsinor (Helsingor) early in the morning and arrived in Copenhagen at 8:15 p.m. Quarters were secured for us at Jagtveien, No. 35, Norrebro, Copenhagen.
Sunday, April 29 - We attended meetings in Copenhagen where we remained a few days.
Wednesday, May 2 - We went on board the steamer "Pauline" and sailed from Copenhagen at 1:45 p.m. for Grimsby, England. The wind blew quite hard and there was considerable heaving on the part of the vessel during the night.
Thursday, May 3 - We passed Skagen at 5:30 p.m. after which we directed our course toward England. Owing to a disturbed sea the vessel continued heaving and a number of the passengers suffered from seasickness.
Friday, May 4 - We continued our voyage toward England.
Saturday, May 5 - Early in the forenoon, notwithstanding the cloudy weather, the shores of England came in sight and at one thirty p.m. anchor was cast off Grimsby, but owing to low water we did not land until 4 p.m. After landing we were lodged in a large house built especially for the accommodation of emigrants where everything was quite comfortable. We had warm water and other conveniences. The distance between Copenhagen and Grimsby, the way we sailed, was about 600 miles.
Sunday, May 6 - We left Grimsby in the morning for Liverpool where we arrived the same day enjoying our journey through the beautiful and green England. On our arrival at Liverpool we obtained lodging in Hotel Commercial for the night. We had to pay liberally for our keep at this hotel.
Monday, May 7 - After spending several hours taking in the sights of Liverpool we went on board the ship William Tapscott [p.3] and spent the first night on board.
Tuesday, May 8 - The weather was somewhat stormy in the morning but later in the day we had sunshine. In the middle of the forenoon a little steamer hauled the William Tapscott out in the river Mersey where anchor was cast.
Wednesday, May 9 - The weather was beautiful. Provisions were delivered to the emigrants for the first time. The last emigrants who were to cross the Atlantic on the ship this trip came on board. They were English emigrants mostly. Our baggage was also brought on board and a number of passengers who were not Latter-day Saints.
Thursday, May 10 - We had our first experience in cooking our provisions on board. Everything on board was made ready for sailing. A slight rain fell in the evening.
Friday, May 11 - Anchor was lifted at 1 o'clock p.m. and we commenced our voyage for America. At 3:45 p.m. we lost sight of Liverpool, passed a lighthouse, and found ourselves way out in the Irish Channel. Our leaders divided the emigrants into districts, I being appointed to preside over District No. 7.
Saturday, May 12 - The weather was stormy and foggy and as the wind continued somewhat contrary, the little steamer continued to pull us toward the open sea. No land was in sight anywhere until toward evening when the coast of Ireland was visible. The tender left us about twelve o'clock midnight.
Sunday, May 13 - The weather was clear and beautiful but the wind contrary. In the evening we were becalmed.
Monday, May 14 - The weather was somewhat stormy and foggy. A little child was born among the English emigrants during the night.
Tuesday, May 15 - A number of the emigrants suffered with seasickness. In the afternoon we witnessed thousands of porpoises jump about in the sea. Some of them jumped as high as three feet over the surface of the water. One of the ship sails split asunder.
Wednesday, May 16 - We experienced quite a storm with rain.
Thursday, May 17 - The stormy weather continued in the forenoon but in the afternoon it cleared up and we had beautiful sunshine.
Friday, May 18 - We met a large ship bound for England. We again saw a number of porpoises tumble about in the sea near the ship. A child was born during the night.
Saturday, May 19 - We saw another ship bound for England. All the children on board who had not already been vaccinated had to undergo that [p.4] operation under the hand of the ship's doctor.
Sunday, May 20 - The weather was pleasant and no wind. Nearly all who had suffered more or less with seasickness felt better. A meeting was held in the afternoon and also in the evening. We were instructed to meet for prayer at the beating of the drum morning and evening.
Monday, May 21 - The wind was light and the weather clear. We organized ourselves into seven districts. A school for the purpose of teaching the Scandinavian emigrants English was commenced today.
Tuesday, May 22 - Another session of the English school was held in the 7th district. The weather was fair.
Wednesday, May 23 - The weather was good and the wind favorable but in the afternoon quite a wind arose which continued all night.
Thursday, May 24 - A crossbar on the foremast broke but no accident happened otherwise.
Friday, May 25 - The weather was fair and we continued our course towards America.
Saturday, May 26 - The weather continued good and the wind fair.
Sunday, May 27, Easter Sunday - Mads Poulsen's mother-in-law from Copenhagen died at two o'clock p.m. Her remains were buried in the sea about four hours later. The lady was 82 years old and had been a member of the church for seven years. Her remains were sewn into a piece of sail of canvas and a weight tied to her feet before her remains were resigned to the watery grave. Elders William Budge and Carl Widerborg gave short and comforting speeches on the occasion.
Monday, May 28 - The weather was fine and the wind favorable. A Danish sister, [Maren Christensen, age 35, wife of Jens Christensen from Aalborg Conference, Denmark] who had been sick since we commenced our voyage, died at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and was buried at sea in the evening. Elder Widerborg preached her funeral sermon.
Tuesday, May 29 - The weather was warm and pleasant all day.
Wednesday, May 39 - The day was somewhat stormy and foggy and there was but little wind. [Christian Rasmussen, five years old, from Aarhus Conference, Denmark,] died at 7:45 in the morning and was buried the same day.
Thursday, May 31 - The weather was fine and the wind favorable. We passed two sailing vessels.
Friday, June 1 - The weather was cloudy, somewhat stormy, but the wind was favorable.
Saturday, June 2 - With favorable wind we continued our voyage.
Sunday, June 3 - Meeting was held at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. [p.5] Quite a thunderstorm visited the ship in the afternoon. [Niels Peter Frederiksen, a four year old son of Peter Frederiksen, from Ljalland, Denmark, died.] Smallpox appeared on board, seven persons being attacked by that malady. Hans C. Heiselt and [Larsine] Larsen from Vendsyssel were married.
Monday, June 4 - The day was cloudy and only a little wind.
Tuesday, June 5 - A cross bar belonging to the [main mast] broke and one of the sails fell into the water but was nevertheless saved.
Wednesday, June 6 - The wind was favorable and we continued our course toward America. Several sailing vessels were seen. A boy, Peter Petersen, from Aalborg, Denmark died in the night.
Thursday, June 7 - The wind continued favorable. A number of vessels were seen in different direction. [Anton Petersen, a two year old son of Peter Petersen, from Aalborg, died in the] afternoon and was buried at sea.
Friday, June 8 - The weather was foggy in the morning but cleared up later in the day.
Saturday, June 9 - Considerable rain fell in the forenoon. The wind being favorable we held to our course toward America.
Sunday, June 10 - The weather was stormy in the forenoon. A child, [Elise Marie, one year old daughter of Jens Christensen,] died between eleven and 12 in the forenoon and was buried at sea in the evening. The child was from Vendsyssel Conference, [Denmark]. The mother of which had already died during the voyage. This makes six deaths among the Scandinavians up-to-date. Two large sharks followed the ship during the day. The storm abated during the following night.
Monday, June 11 - The wife of Ingvart [Ingvards] Hansen gave birth to a son about four o'clock in the morning. [The child was named William Bell after the ship and captain.] The wind blew from southwest most of the day and the ship had to beat against this wind. A Swedish child [Hannah, 1 year old daughter of Hakon Nilsson, from Skane Conference] died during the night.
Tuesday, June 12 - The weather was fine and the wind more favorable.
Wednesday, June 13 - The weather continued fair but the wind was contrary. A number of smallpox patients were still suffering.
Thursday, June 14 - The weather was fair. In the morning we saw land on the leeward and at 11 a.m. we took pilot on board.
Friday, June 15 - The weather was good but too little wind to make much progress. A tender met us at 10 o'clock a.m. which brought us to the place of quarantine where anchor was cast in the evening. Sailing along the land on our right caused much rejoicing among the passengers. It was the shores of Long Island.
Saturday, June 16 - The weather was beautiful. Three doctors came on board and all passengers were vaccinated which had not formerly [p.6] had undergone that operation. A child among the Swiss emigrants died during the night.
Sunday, June 17 - The weather was fine. The child which had died during the previous night was taken on shore and buried. Three doctors came on board during the day to ascertain the condition on board. Another child among the Swiss emigrants died in the night.
Monday, June 18 - In the morning several doctors came on board. The child which died the previous night was brought on shore and buried in the afternoon.
Tuesday, June 19 - The morning was foggy. A shower accompanied by thunder and lighting visited us in the forenoon. The rain was also heavy. Another child belonging to the Swiss emigrants died in the forenoon. A new case of smallpox was discovered and we were not permitted to land.
Wednesday, June 20 - A tender came out to us which took us on board and brought us to Castle Garden, New York where we landed at 1:15 p.m. Here we found some preparations made for our reception and we were pleased to find ourselves possessed with more room than we had enjoyed on board for so many weeks.
Thursday, June 21 - The weather was fine. Our baggage was weighed and we were brought on board a steamer "Isaac Newton"and about noon we commenced our voyage up the Hudson River and arrived at Albany at 9 o'clock in the evening.
Friday, June 22 - The weather was fine. About 11 a.m. we were somewhat comfortably placed in the railroad cars ready to commence our long railroad journey to the west. We left Albany at 12:30 p.m. and enjoyed our ride on terra firma.
Saturday, June 23 - The weather continued fine. We arrived at Niagara Falls at 10 o'clock a.m. and left the place at 5:30 p.m. We passed over the [Niagara] River on the suspension bridge. Brother Lovendahl and Brother Christensen took a walk up to the falls about 2 miles from the station. We enjoyed the grand scenery very much.
Sunday, June 24 - Continuing our journey we came to a river where we stopped until 7 o'clock p.m. Crossing the river we again entered a railway train and continued the journey at 10:45 p.m.
Monday, June 25 - We traveled over extensive plains or flat country on our way to Chicago where we arrived in the afternoon. We left that city again about noon. [p.7]
Tuesday, June 26 - After an interesting journey through Illinois we arrived at Quincy at 11:30 a.m. Here we stopped until 4:30 p.m. when we boarded a river steamer which brought us across the Mississippi River to Hannibal, Missouri where we arrived at 6 o'clock p.m. Here we were given quarters in a large storehouse.
Wednesday, June 27 - Early in the morning we boarded the railway cars at Hannibal and commenced our journey through Missouri. Soon after starting, the engine left the track with four baggage wagons which all tipped over and were greatly damaged. The goods were brought on board other wagons. This delayed us till 5 o'clock in the afternoon but soon afterwards another accident happened to the engine causing another delay. The railroad journey through Missouri was indeed a rough experience for us.
Thursday, June 28 - Between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning we arrived at St. Joseph where we remained until 10 o'clock when we went on board a river steamer and continued our journey up the Missouri River. A child among the Swedish emigrants died after being sick for some time.
Friday, June 29 - We continued our voyage up the Missouri River and experienced during the day a heavy storm accompanied by thunder and lightning. We were very uncomfortable on board this vessel which was overcrowded with passengers. We continued our voyage up the river. A Swedish child died and was buried on shore in the evening.
Saturday, June 30 - Continuing our voyage we arrived at Nebraska City at 8 o'clock a.m. An English sister remained here. The same day in the afternoon a Danish and a Swedish woman was left at one of the stopping places on the river and in order to reach the ship which stopped to take them on board again, they had to run the long distance. One of the Swiss passengers died at 11:45 a.m. We arrived at Florence, Nebraska and by 2 o'clock in the afternoon all had landed safely.
Sunday, July 1 - In the forenoon our baggage was hauled up to the village of Florence where we were lodged in some small huts which had been vacated by former inhabitants and where we had to pay a small sum in house rent. Here, Brother Christensen was taken sick and suffered for several days. We remained in Florence about two week. [p.8] [END OF VOYAGE ACCOUNT. NO RECORD OVERLAND TRAVEL TO SLC.]
BIB: Christiansen, Niels Christian, Diary, IN Manuscript History of the Scandinavian Mission, May 2, 1860, p. 3-8 (LR 9332, ser. 2, reel 6). (CHL).