. . . I think this was the happiest time of my childhood. My parents were busy getting ready to go to Utah. They had money enough to bring their large family, ten of us, to America.
We were so excited. Mother had been told what kind of clothes to make for us to travel in. They sold the bakery and furniture, and at last we got started. We went by train to Liverpool where we were to take the ship. I could see it a long way from the shore. We left Liverpool near the last of June, 1871. They took us in a small boat to the ship. I think they called it the Wyoming. Here we were to stay for ten days. [p.2]
We were steerage passengers. The missionaries were cabin passengers. One of them would bring us a cake or a walnut. We thought that was fine.
My youngest sister and I were always together. I was fair with light hair and blue eyes. She had dark eyes and hair. We thought the food was very poor. I was seasick for a few days. It seemed strange to look around and see nothing but water. One morning we went on deck we could hardly see each other as the fog was so thick and they kept the foghorn going all the time. They were afraid of being hit or of hitting some other ship. It was several days like that. One morning we went on deck. The fog had passed away and the sea was like blue glass and we could see New York.
Before we could leave the ship we had to line up and be vaccinated. Someone had the smallpox on the ship. We landed on what they called Castle Garden, but I did not see a castle nor a garden. It was just a big wooden shed with a roof across it and we stayed there two or three days. Mother was afraid to let us go away. We might get lost. We landed on the 4th of July. It was the first time I saw firecrackers. The thing that appealed to me was the way the little girls dressed. They wore high top shoes. They looked wonderful to me. There were fruit stands there on which were the first peaches, apricots, and tomatoes I had ever seen. My brother saw the tomatoes and bought some. He took one bite and spit it out and gave me the rest. I thought it was like poison. It was many years before I learned to like tomatoes. We stayed for several days sleeping on the floor in Castle Garden. I suppose those who had money went to hotels but we had plenty of company, all nationalities. But we didn't care. We were going to Zion to be with the people of God and mingle with the prophets of God and his people.
We left New York and started for the West. We were not like the emigrants who had to walk all the way. I think we were about ten days on the train. We arrived in Salt Lake City about the 20th of July. It was in the evening after dark. I remember passing on South Temple and looking down Main Street. They had boardwalks and a small ditch on each side of the street with water running down it. They had lamp posts with lamps lit up all the way down the street. One of the missionaries, Milford Bard Shipp, took us to his home for a day or two until we could get located some place. The next day some friends of father's and mother's named Smith came to see us and said they had a house we could live in as long as we wanted it. There was a log room and a lumber room, so we moved in. . . . [p.3]
BIB: Bates, Charlotte Ann Hillstead. The life of Charlotte Ann Bates (Ms 11320), pp. 2-3. (CHL).