Off Holyhead, ship William Tapscott, May 14th, 1862Editor of Millennial Star
Dear Brother,--The following are the leading particulars of what has, up to time of writing, transpired on the good ship William Tapscott, since leaving the dock basin:
After the usual business of clearance, medical examination, &c., a meeting was held on board on the afternoon of the 13th instant, when Presidents Lyman, Rich, and Cannon addressed the Saints on various matters of interest pertaining to their passage over the broad waters of the Atlantic, and their duties towards themselves, each other, and the Lord, whose divine blessing and protecting care they invoked on behalf of all who determined to "do right."
The following appointments were then made, and accepted by the Saints with uplifted hands: Elder William Gibson, as president of the ship's company; Elders John Clark and F. [Francis] M. Lyman as his Counselors. In the evening a marriage took place on board between Elder Israel Bale, of Cheltenham Conference, aged 26, and Emma Goddard, of Leicestershire, age 21.
About noon today (14th) about an hour after we had set sail, Presidents Lyman, Rich, and Cannon passed us in the steamer "Kangaroo," on their way to New York, when a valedictory exchange of waving of hats, etc., took place between us.
In the afternoon, a meeting of the elders on board was held, when the ship was divided into 19 wards, and the following brethren appointed to preside over them - No. 1, H. Whittal; 2, C. [Charles] R. Jones,; 3, J. [Joseph] R. Morgan; 4, W. [William] Dallin; 5, I. [Israel] Bale; 6, S. [Samuel] Hargraves; 7, J. [James] H. Harrison; 8, J. Huntington; 9 W. [Walter] Price; 10, W. [William] Woodhead; 11, W. [William] Probert; 12, S. [Samuel] Brooksbank [Brookbank]; 13, G. [George] Pope; 14, T. [Thomas] Memmott; 15, J. [James] Hibbert [Hibberd]; 16, J. Godfrey; 17, T. [Thomas] W. Rees; 18, W. [William] Cooper; 19, C. [Charles] C. Tester. Captain of the guard, T. [Thomas] Liez. Various arrangements were then entered into for the proper regulation and comfort of the Saints in the different wards. The following are the more prominent items: Each ward president to keep a list of [p.348] the names, &c., of all the emigrants under his charge, whose comfort and general well being he shall make it his special business to promote. Prayers in each ward every morning at 9 o'clock, and every evening at 8. Whatever article may be lost or found by any of the emigrants on board, the same to be reported to the president of their respective ward, who will take measures to restore it to the owner, if possible. No private lights to be allowed below deck, except by special permission of the captain. The emigrants of each ward to arrange their cooking, etc., together, in rotation, instead of indiscriminately. The president of each ward to keep a judicious check upon the conduct of all emigrants under his watch care, &c., &c.
Up to the moment of the departure of the pilot boat, the Saints and their officers are in the enjoyment of good health and spirits, and all is well with us. That it may remain so, and that all may safely and happily reach their longed for destination, is the earnest prayer of your brother and fellow servant in the good cause of Zion,
William Gibson, president,H. Whittall, clerk . [p.349]
BIB: Gibson, William and Whittal, H., [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 24:22, (May 31, 1862) pp. 348-49 (CHL)