. . . As time wore on I formed the acquaintance of Miss Elizabeth Gentry, the oldest daughter of Brother Samuel Gentry, who was then president of the Maldon Branch, and everything was being prepared to leave England the coming spring of 1862. As the spring opened, our emigration agent at Liverpool sent notices to all the Saints when ships would leave for New York with the Saints. So, I made arrangement to leave on the old ship William Tapscott on the 13th day of May 1862.
I left Mr. Blarall's employ in March and got everything in readiness. I made bags for our clothes with heavy canvas such as I had on board ship, and painted them. After making all ready it was understood that I did not wish to be married till after I arrived in the Valley. Brother F. [Francis] M. Lyman, counselor in all these matters, he was then on his first mission, his counsel was carried out. Miss Gentry, in company with her father and myself, made a visit to London visiting as many of our friends as we could conveniently reach. We also visited my father and mother and relatives in Kent, after which we left London for Liverpool in company with a number of Saints who were going on the ship William Tapscott. On arriving at Liverpool we were soon hustled on board and bedding and all kinds of tin were for our use was served out to us as per arrangement. [p.103] We did not in those days have fine cabins to cross the sea in. We had to do our own cooking. I had the following persons placed in my mess to look after: Brother Jenkins, Sister [Mary A.] Coalbear [Coolbear], Sister Filer. These three were quite old people. Then Sister Rose Livermore, Sister Martha Filer, and Sister Elizabeth Gentry also Ben Guiver and David Coolbear. We were just 6 weeks from Liverpool to New York. During the time some of them were often sick. I undertook to make a fine sea pie for Whit Sunday. I fixed the potatoes and meat, put into the boiler, several layers of dough between and seasoned it up all fine and took it up to the galley, placed it on the big range to cook. It was rough weather and the sea run high. It was a difficult matter to keep the boiler on the range so I made it fast so that the rolling and the pitching of the ship could not throw it off. Dinnertime came. Down I went with the pie. The plates we placed all around the boiler on the deck. All were expecting to have a rare dish of pie. I came out with a big ladle and unfortunately it was not cooked enough. It came out with potatoes and meat all mixed in with half-cooked stringy dough. It had such an effect on their stomachs that it turned them to vomiting so instead of a rare treat of pie it was a spell of sickness. We soon arrived at Castle Garden and next day were on board the train bound to the west and on account of the war we had many changes. On arriving at Quincy we had to change into a train of cattle cars and the car I got in was a car that hogs had been shipped in. Everything was dry. The dust from the hogs' excrement was something very unpleasant. We could smell and taste hogs for two or three days afterwards. We arrived [p.105] at St. Joseph on the 4th of July and stayed overnight in a large warehouse. Everything was in great excitement. Reports of war and celebrating the 4th of July caused all kinds of comment. On the 5th we embarked on board a large river steamer. Her crew consisted of big negroes very much uncultivated. Finally we arrived at old Winter Quarters or Florence not far from where the city of Omaha now stands. They ran the boat alongside of a big bank. It was in the middle of the night and very dark. Our luggage was all pitched out in a very rough manner into a clump of willows, so we laid around as best we could on the luggage till the peep of day. After it got light everybody was hunting for their luggage. After a while Brother Joseph A. Young came to us and spoke kind and encouraging words to us, telling us the teams would soon arrive to take us and our things to a nice camping place. In a short time down came the wagons. Everything was soon loaded up and taken to the campground. Tents were served out, so many persons to one tent. As we began to pitch our tents, quite a wind sprung up and in a very short time it turned into a terrific thunderstorm and a cloudburst. Two persons were struck dead by the terrible lightning - one a brother from the London Conference and a young man from the Valley who came down to drive team for the poor emigrants. Two or three others were badly injured. One of them, a Miss Kemp, who became the wife of John Eddings, who run a brewery for years on the state road about 4 miles south of the city.
I remember I had been appointed captain of the guard and I [p.107] assisted a good many who were half-drowned up to the church store. After two or three days we got straightened out and began to feel quite happy in the tents of Israel. I remember a call was made to all who had any money by Brother Young to hand it to him to assist in the fitting out. I had a little less than one pound sterling which I handed into him. During the storm, Brother Young was down at the landing. The cattle stampeded and he was run over and hurt quite badly. [A brother came to me one day by the name of Copper and made me an offer to take me and my betrothed to Salt lake City if I would help him to fit out and drive one of his teams across the plains, also agreeing to haul our luggage in the bargain. I gladly accepted of this offer as I would not then be indebted to the Perpetual Emigration Fund.] So I went to see Brother Young about it. He thought it a good chance so he refunded me the money I had given in to him. I commenced to assist Brother Cooper at once, as he wished to pull out to good feed as soon as possible, and then drop in to Captain J. S. Brown's Independent Train. . . . [p.109][NOTE: HE ARRIVED IN THE SALT LAKE VALLEY IN OCTOBER OF 1862 AND SETTLED IN SPRINGDALE. [p.119-123]
BIB: Wood, William. Autobiography (Ms 8894), pp.103, 105, 107, 109, and 119-23. (CHL)