New York City, Sept. 25, 1888.President George Teasdale.
Dear Brother,--You, and the relatives and friends of the company of Saints who left Liverpool per S. S. Wisconsin on the 15th instant, will be anxious to know what kind of a voyage we made; so we take this opportunity of informing you.
In general the weather was very good; we had a fair wind most of the voyage, which enabled us to make unusually good time. There is one thing, however, which we all have against that wind, and that is, it disturbed the waters, causing the ship to toss about so much that it occasioned considerable seasickness among us; but [p.700] we soon got over it, and met each other with a kindly smile, and sang the songs of Zion, and rejoiced that we were on our journey to the valleys of the mountains.
On Sept. 20th, Sister Sarah Lowe, of the Bury Branch, Manchester Conference, tripped and fell, dislocating her shoulder bone. The ship doctor set the bone, and Sister Lowe, though a little sore, suffers comparative little and is getting along very nicely.
Every morning and night we had prayers, and the Lord has led us safely over the mighty deep, has preserved us from harm and accident, has blessed us with the spirit of forbearance, of peace, and of love.
We had a concert in a room which was kindly tendered us by the captain, and had a most enjoyable time.
On Sunday, the 23rd we held a meeting. The Spirit of the Lord rested in rich abundance alike upon the speakers and hearers, and we had a time of rejoicing.
We were the recipients of many courtesies from the captain and officers of the ship; they spared no trouble to make our voyage a safe and a pleasant one; and, in recognition of their kind and thoughtful treatment, we gave them a written testimonial.
We arrived safely at New York this morning at eleven o'clock, and met Mr. Gibson, who stated that he feared some trouble at Castle Garden, a fear which proved to be only too well grounded.
On arriving at Castle Garden it soon became evident that the commissioners were determined to detain as many of our people as possible. The detention was seemingly as premeditated as it was malicious. The Saints all underwent a most rigid examination, the result being that 23 were detained. Subsequently, however, three of the number were released. Following is the list of those detained, with the reasons for their detention appended. Their destinations and to whom they were going is also given: -
Christine Patterson, [Christina Patherson] for having with her two of her daughter's children, the mother being in England; Sister Patterson [Patherson] was bound for Schofield, where she has a husband and son. Franz Holzer (or Lietz), [Frantz Lietz] for having no legal guardian; he was going to Brother P. F. Goss, in Salt Lake City. Hermine von Leenman [Hermina can Lawen] came without her husband, with three children, and was detained on the ground of liability to become a public charge; she was going to Ogden, to Brother Henry Krumpermann's. Ellen Tomlinson, for having no legal guardian; she has grandparents and several aunts in Ogden, whither she was going. George Cornford, for having no legal guardian; he was going to his sister in Brigham City. Nicolas [Nicholaus] Egli and family (wife [Anna] and four children [Fritz, Johan, Rosa, Sina]), for having two imbecile sons; he was bound for Montpelier, Idaho, where he has three sons, all doing well. Elizabeth Sillitoe, for having no legal guardian; she was going to Montpelier, Idaho, where her mother resides. Maria Dykstra was going to Brother Henry Krumpermann, in Ogden; this girl was counted as one of the Leenman children, and was held for not having a legal guardian. John [Johan] Reichman (his right name is Gustav), for having no legal guardian; he was going to Salt Lake to Sister Eva Wieland.
We cannot quote the words of the law, but understand its provisions to be that no person liable to become a public charge, no imbecile, no person bringing along illegitimate children, nor no child without a legal guardian shall be permitted to land. It appears a legal guardian is one duly appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction, and is recognized as such only on production of the proper legal papers.
The officials at Castle Garden were very bitter, and would allow none of us to offer any explanations nor to say a single word. On their affidavits the collector ordered that the persons designated be detained. The collector would not go back of the affidavits, and refused either to see or hear Mr. Underhill, Mr. Gibson, or any of us. We were simply powerless to do anything.
September 27th - We could not possibly get off with the steamer on the 25th, so waited over a day. We deferred writing this letter till today, so as to give you full particulars of everything in relation to the company. [p.701]
We earnestly hope that all of them will soon be released, and allowed to proceed on their journey. -
With kind regards we remain your brethren in Christ,
William G. Phillips, President,G. [Greshom] B. Wells, Secretary. [p.702][Our readers have already been apprized that all the parties alluded to who were detained, were subsequently released and allowed to proceed on their journey to Utah. - Ed.]
BIB: Phillips, William G. and Wells, G. B. [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 50:44, (Oct 29, 1888) pp. 700-02. (CHL)