. . . On the 25th of April 1860 we set out for our journey to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake - me and my wife, my son, Marrianne [Maria] Rupp, Anna Mueller [Muller], Father [Ulrich] Hirschi, Johann Hirschi, Judith Hirschi and Sister Naef [Katherina Naf]. We first went to Basel where we were placed under the leadership of Johann Keller, emigration agent for J. Barbe and Company in Basel. From Basel we went over Mannheim and Arnhem to Rotterdam and from there by boat (1 days) to Hull, England. There we took the train for Liverpool. Mr. Hammerstein, a hotelkeeper, was waiting for us at the railway station. We're taken care of fairly well but inasmuch as the company was too large not all of us could be cared for.
On the 5th of May Brother Woodard and five more persons arrived, they having made the trip over France.
On the 7th our trunks were taken to the steamer William Tapscott.
On the 8th we ourselves had to go on board of this boat which now became our "home" for several weeks. The big steamer was drawn down the river by a smaller boat, but we didn't go on sea before the 11th when the government had investigated the boat. Then seasickness set in.
On the 13th several of our company were attacked by it, among them my wife. [p.4]
On the 14th and 15th the weather was very stormy, especially at night, even so much so that everything hung against the wall dropped to the floor.
On the 15th we saw quite a number of fishes jumping high above the surface of the sea. This, we were told, was an indication of a new storm, it soon came to pass.
Before long the sick passengers, including my own folks, began to recover. This made me glad because during their illness I had to be everything: housemaid, servant, cook etc., I being the only one of my family who was able to walk around. Father [John] Keller and myself, Brother Alder and his family, Father Staufer [Stauffer] and Brother [Johan] Buehler [Buhler] were about the only ones of the whole Swiss colony who were more or less spared from seasickness.
On the 17th the sick could be seen going on deck again. During those days a German woman by name of Elisabeth Wilken [Wilcken], mother of two children which were with her, had been especially hard afflicted. Mrs. Wilken was alone with her children, her husband being already in Salt Lake City for a number of years, and he is still there.
On the 18th the Swiss brethren held a priesthood meeting. President Budge, first counselor to Brother Kalkin, was also present. President Budge announced that Brother [John] Keller had been called to preside over the Swiss Saints and that he was at liberty to chose two counselors. He suggested that he would like to have Brother Alder and myself as his assistants. This was approved and the entire presidency was unanimously sustained by the Swiss Saints. The same day Brother Jacob Fischer [Fisher] and Sister Elisabeth Siegrist [Elizabeth Signst] were married by President Keller from Weinfelden in the presence of the Swiss members.
On Sunday the 20th we held two meetings. Sermons were given in the English, the Danish and the Swiss language. This was the first quiet day since we were on board.
On the 27th a Scandianian woman died, 82 years of age.
On the 28th a 35 years old woman passed away. Shortly afterwards a 4 years old boy and a little later a baby of 1 year died.
On the 14th of June the pilot came on board and was received with great rejoicing, for we were told that now we were not very far from the coast. He took the lead of the ship.
On the 15th of June a small boat came to tug ours to Staten Island.
On June the 16th the doctor came on board and all passengers had to go through a physical examination. As there were some cases of smallpox, it was decided that we all would have to be vaccinated. This was done and on the same day those who had the smallpox were taken to a hospital in New York; among them there were 6 Scandinavians and a Swiss by name of Johann Stucky [Stucki] from Bern.
On the 17th a little boy of Brother Christian Staufer [Stauffer] from Bern died.
On the 18th my own boy Henri, 16 months and 2 days old passed away.
On the 19th the little boy of Johann Keller died. All three were buried in Staten Island. I felt very sorry over losing my boy, but was willing to recognize the hands of the Lord in it.
The same day the doctor came back, saying that in the afternoon we would be in New York; this however was not the case.
Early in the morning of the 20th a small steamboat arrived with the customs officials. We didn't have to open one single piece of our luggage. At two o'clock in the afternoon we were already at the Castle Garden. [p.5] My wife and I stayed over night at the Hotel Badischer Hof, where they used to charge 1 dollar per person, but I had to pay three dollars. We had to pay for every hundred weight excess of weight. Even if that was only a few pounds we were charge for another hundred weight. We left three Swiss families in New York.
On the 21st we went to Albany where we arrived in the morning of the 22nd. From there we took the train for the Niagara Falls. These are wonderful to look on. Then we went to Jefferson. Here we had to cross a river which took us about five minutes. After that we had to take the train to go to Quincy. There again we had to take the steamboat. Small pox increased rapidly and four of the Swiss Saints were sick.
We arrived at Brookfield where we stopped for half an hour. As we were Mormons we couldn't get anything to eat. While in the train, Sister Keller gave birth to a child.
On the 28th we arrived at St. Joseph, where we remained one day. On account of the smallpox we had to leave here family Keller, Sister [Barbara] Theurer and Sister Staufer [Stauffer], the captain of the boat not being willing to take them along.
In the morning of July 1st, at 3 o'clock, we reached Florence. Brother Heinrich Fischer from ZÃ¼rich died on the way and was buried in Florence. In Florence houses were assigned to us, so that we didn't have to wait long for a living place.
On the 8th of July the handcarts started, along with 10 ox wagons.
On the 7th we had to draw lots for the wagons. I got No. 1. . . [p.6]
. . . On October the 5th we arrived in Salt Lake City. I rented an apartment from Bishop Vaab for 5 dollars (at Main Street) (18th Ward). . . . [p.7]
BIB: Reiser, Heinrich. Autobiography, (formerly in Msd 2050), pp. 4-7 (A) (Ms 8233)