. . . I was born in the little village of Macsbro, Yorkshire, England on Nov. 6, 1852. My mother's and father's names's were John Eastham and Jane Huntington.
When I was seven years old we moved to the city of Leed's and lived there twelve years. On April 29, 1865, we left England for the United States, on an old sailing vessel called the Belle Wood. We had a nice voyage across the Atlantic. There occurred two deaths, one an old lady and the other a little baby. It was quite sad to see them put into the ocean.
We were four weeks on the water and landed in New York about a [-] after President Lincoln was killed. All the immigrants were unloaded at Castle Garden. We stayed there for two or three days and then started across the continent by rail. We had a short trip on water also, and after a few days were landed bag and baggage on the shore of the Missouri River.
There were six hundred of us with no shelter but a storm cellar. There was not a thing in this cellar and the people made their beds on the dirt floor.
We camped there nine weeks and there was thunderstorms nearly every day. The place was called Wyoming and was six miles north of where Nebraska City is now. Some of the men went to Omaha to buy oxen, cows, and wagons for the company to use. This was [p.10] what took so long. When we were ready to start Mother bought each of us a shaker (a kind of sunbonnet) and mine blew off the first day and was lost. We did not see an Indian on the trip, but one night just as we were going to camp we were told not to, as Indians had made a raid on a Danish camp the night before and had stolen a woman. They shot seven arrows into the husband who was trying to rescue her. This man lived and came on to Salt lake City, but he never saw his wife again. This happened on the Platte River only three miles from Fort Laramie, but the soldiers could not get there in time to do any good.
We arrived in Salt Lake on November 7th. . . . [p.11]
BIB: Kearl, Merlin Eastham, [Autobiographical Sketch], Utah Pioneer Biographies, vol. 17, pp. 10-11. (FHL)