Ship William Topscott, June 11, 1860
Dear Brother Jones,--Through the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father, I am once more privileged to communicate with you. We experienced a pretty favorable time clear of the Channel, considering the winds we had to contend with. We have, however, had but poor winds the whole of the voyage to aid us in making a fair passage. It has been raining nearly every day since we left Liverpool; consequently, the Saints have not enjoyed the trip across the Atlantic so much as they would, if it had been finer weather. We have been at sea thirty days, and are now about 250 miles off New York. We have had the winds right ahead the last two days, and have made but little progress. We hope, however, if all goes well, to arrive at New York on Thursday next.
Since our departure from Liverpool, there have been four births, five marriages, and ten deaths on board. The deaths have all occurred among the Scandinavian emigrants, with one exception - namely, Brother Keller's child, from Switzerland.
The small pox made its appearance [p. 459] among the Scandinavian Saints on Sunday, the 3rd of June. There have been nine cases up to the present time. I sincerely trust it will not spread further among the company. I feel satisfied that the Lord has heard and answered the prayers of his people, and that the disease has been checked to a wonderful extent. Those who took the disease are now doing well, and will in the course of a day or so be entirely out of danger.
I presume we shall be detained at New York a day or so; I hope no longer, as our time is precious.
The Saints, as a general thing, have enjoyed good health, with the exception of a little inconvenience from sea sickness, and have manifested a desire to keep the commandments of God.
June 20th. We arrived safely at quarantine on the evening of Friday, the 15th inst. The quarantine doctor came off and informed Captain Bell that, in consequence of the disease being on board, all the passengers would have to be vaccinated, although all the patients were about recovered. On Saturday, the 16th, two doctors came off and vaccinated (with but few exceptions), the whole of the steerage and a portion of the cabin passengers, also the ship's crew. The passengers were all landed with their baggage at Castle Gardens today, and will proceed on their journey West tomorrow evening. The brethren here - namely, brothers Croxhall, Miles, Taylor and Stones, have been exceedingly kind and attentive in making arrangements for this company, and the people feel to bless them for their solicitude for their welfare. I learn from brothers Croxhall and Miles that brother Cannon is still at Florence, and will receive us there. This, I can assure you, is gratifying to the Elders and Saints generally.
Captain Bell has also been very kind and liberal to the people, and has done all in his power to further their interests. He will call at the Office on his return to Liverpool, and I should much like you to make a further acquaintance with him.
I am thankful that the Lord has blessed me and my family with good health, and feel that his mercies will still be extended towards us. Sister W. joins me in affectionate remembrance to you and brothers Gates, Andrus, and Blackburn, - also to all of my old associates in the Office, the good folks in Liverpool, and the Saints generally. The Lord bless and prosper you!
Your friend and brother
Thomas Williams [p. 460]
BIB: Williams, Thomas, The Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 22:29 (July 21, 1860) pp. 459- 460 (CHL)