. . . There were some fish followed us like a set of day [UNCLEAR] running after us. I think they were sawfish. They would weigh about 100 pounds. Company on that night. The pots smashed on the deck. Tins were rolling up and down the deck with thumps and smashing I never witnessed. The ship fair rolled up and down like a tamber [UNCLEAR] wheel. My mind were at home. Not that I were not much feared.
On the 5th, 1881 I began to vomit a little and I should have been much better and I done rather more. I do not feel so well. I can tell you I feel the want of my good wife and children. They would [p.1] have been a comfort to me at many times. I have no one to speak to and gave me some nice thing to eat which would suit my stomach. When I think of you lumps raise in throat as big as bricks. Today I had to cut my shirt lap off through some nasty fellow messing the seat off pretty. [UNCLEAR] My work is hardly ever done. In the morning I have to be up at past 5 and get my breakfast at 7. Then I have about 100 persons to serve with coffee. Then I have 6 bedrooms to sweep out into the dining room to sweep up and then I have my cans to wash up. Then [p.2] the lamps to trim and to get ready for night. Then I have to go to the stores for my butter. This I have to do before I get my breakfast. I then have myself to wash and by this is all done the dinner bell is ringing for dinner and then I am running about for 1 hour more with pea soup or rice soup, then potatoes. And then I have tables to clean and each room to sweep again and floor to sweep again and all my cans and dishes to wash up again. Then I can spend about an hour on board watching and hear the sea roll and roar or lay me down or sit me down to write a bit. If I was [p.3] to start this journey again, I should not work my pass [passage]. While I was on deck today I saw some fish fly straight out of the water into the air. They had wings on and they look like a swallow. There were some smaller like a bat flying about the ship.
Sept. 6, 1881 - I feel rather better. Is a fine day. Last night we had a meeting in my room. I was called up to take part in the blessing of some oil for the anointing of the sick which we have plenty of them. Meeting was opened. Singing and prayer. We sung "Israel Awake". Then one of the elders spoke to us a little. I had [p.4] not my hymnbook while I forget the hymns we sung but they caused my heart to overflow as they were hymns which we used to sing at home. It caused my mind to reflect upon the times we have had home. Now my wife and children, live your religion for though there's nothing between me and eternity but a few planks and some iron I feel and know that this is the work of the God of Abraham and there is no other God to worship which and if we do right to him he will bless us with his spirit and he will cause our heart to rejoice whether it be on the land or the [p.5] sea. My heart does rejoice at this time and if my father were to call me now to meet him I feel that I could do so knowing that I had a much to obey him and keep its commandments. While I am writing this journal there is a meeting begun and opened with prayer and singing, "Now Let us Rejoice in the Day of Salvation". The ship seemed to bow its noble head to the tune and to every word. After prayer sung "Do What is Right Let the Consequence Follow". Closed with singing on page 213 which I could, like you, sing in your meeting. Ask Brother John Wilson to grant me this request for I feel that I can hear you singing. [p.6] Not that I want to be at Lindle Hill, but I want to be at home in Zion with my grand family by my side. I say there is no relation like my own family. I say also that if our relation will not obey the gospel let them meet Father with their disobedience and he will deal right with them as they deserve. I feel while I am winning my way from them to Zion I have left the gospel with them and I feel satisfied that I have done my duty to them and my duty to God. Knowing this I feel to leave them in the hand of Father tonight while I sit on deck with Dan Green by my side. We were looking at the [p.7] moon as it shone so nice and bright on the waters and seeing the waves dance with their silvery edges in the moonlight. The seven and eight and one bells rang while we sat there. That would be from past 9 to past 10 o'clock by your time. And we were talking about home today.
7th of September - I have enjoyed better health and got my work done rather sooner than usual. Therefore, I spent more time on deck and sat watching some sharks jump in and out of the water. They can jump a long way and they go 2 or 3 together and they look like dinner dogs. I heard that there were 13 hundred people on board [p.8] of this ship. We have a grand day today. We are going northwest. We are going about 350 miles in 24 hour. There's dancing on deck all day through. We had meeting today in my room. It is about the driest place on board. It was opened, singing on page 43, then prayer, then singing on page 143, then the president of this company spoke to us a little time. Then one of the other elders spoke to us, then we sung on page 266, then had prayers. We have to have a meeting each day in my room. My dear wife, children that we used to think that none could enjoy themselves [-] but I tell you that we have to learn [p.9] to enjoy ourselves yet. Before we can come up to the foreigners on this ship that can shame us out and out we shall have set in a corner out of the way. Tonight the wind is very strong and we are likely to get a shaking. We have had a grand voyage up to this time.
8th 1881 - Had a very windy night. We have rolled up and down in our bunks like as many eggs. Still is as windy as I have ever seen on the earth. We are not on the earth now. My dear family, you feel more precious to me than you ever did for I feel the more need of you. The sea is very nice seeing. There is so much wind. [p.10] We have had a storm of wind and rain. This afternoon had a meeting in my room. Brother Jack spoke to us for a short while. We sung "How Beauteous Are Their Feet" to open with. I was on deck too at 6 bells and the sunset in west. It was glorious to behold. It was like fire on the water. We are going about northwest with north wind. Saw a ship pass us. That makes 4 since we started.
Friday 9th, 1881 - A grand morning. Clear blue sky. 2 more ships has passed us this morning fine green waters going about west. A very cold wind. A calm sea. Traveling well. My dear wife, ill this morning, not seasick. But though [p.11] my meat beyin' too strong, there is beef and potatoes to every meal. [UNCLEAR] I never have been right seasick but though my meat been too strong. The chief steward wants me to go to the doctor but I shall be worst before. I have my work to do, and would have to do it if it took 2 men to carry me about. I can hardly abide to work about this morning. I would stay in old England a bit longer before I would work my passage again. I could do the work cheerful enough were I but well but I am not. Therefore it feels hard to me. We expected to be in the Newfoundland sometime today. We got to Newfoundland [p.12] and had fish to dinner today. Had meeting at 3 o'clock again. Sung on pages 107, 57, 166. Had a good meeting. When I was at home it got to be a drudge to meet together 2 nights in a week but I tell you there is nothing the like meeting with a sincere heart to worship God or it gives strength to the mind and knowledge to the understanding. It gives light and intelligence unto us and prepares us for the kingdom of God. We are to have a prayer meeting in the morning at half past seven. I have had some gruel to supper yesterday.
10th, 1881 - We have had fine day. Calm sea [-] by Newfoundland. This morning I saw the [p.13] "Nevada" pass at a quarter to 4 o'clock this morning. I been ill all last night but rather better tonight. My complaint is in the bowels. Can hardly walk about. Going west with a west wind until 6 o'clock tonight. Then the wind changed to northeast with rain. We are in full sail tonight. We had meeting today at 3 o'clock p.m. Sung my favorite on page 390. Brother Jackson & Brother Jack spoke to us.
Sept. 11th - A fine day & a calm day and sea.
Sept. 12 - A fine day & a calm day and sea. On the we were looking for land and saw the first lights on the land called the Long Island at half past seven o'clock p.m. We sailed on & got into [p.14] the river between New York and New Jersey and anchored there at 12 o'clock. Been nine days and 9 hours. It has been the quickest passage the Wyoming has made. I expect that is because there were a right man in the boat.
Sept. 13th - Stayed in the river till about 8 o'clock, then sailed up into the docks, then got out into the covered dockyard. Then waited for our boxes, been got out of the Wyoming, then opened our boxes and a man looked our boxes. Then we fastened them up again and took them into another boat, then sailed on to Castle Garden. Got there about 20 minutes past 12 o'clock a.m. As we had to stay in Castle Garden all night me and another man went out into the Gardens which [p.15] nicer than any place I have ever saw and you say so when you come. It is amusing when you have seen nothing but water for so long. We had to sleep on the floor all night.
Sept. 14th - Got up at half past 4 o'clock and I washed and went out with Dan Green into New York City to buy some bread and butter. I gave 8 cent for a loaf of bread and 8 cents for a half pound of butter. We saw some of the best fruit I have seen in my life. There were some apples as big [as] our Jonathan's head and some oranges as big and pear were grand and peaches and grapes grow outside. Potatoes as big as my foot nearly but they know how to sell them. Bread and butter and cheese is like it is in England and they are very good too. Milk [p.16] is good but dear. It is from 3 pence penny to 5 pence per quart. At 12 o'clock a.m. we got on the boat to go over the river to New Jersey from Castle to get on the train cars. Started from New Jersey to Salt Lake at 3 o'clock p.m. Had fine for about a half hour. Then we had a stop.
Sept. 15th, 1881 - Call up at half past 3 o'clock to guard our carriage while the others sleep. We got to Philadelphia at 1 o'clock this morning which is about 85 from New York. It is very interesting to look at the creation of this country, where the settlements are, and the garden is in full go. The fruits such as apples and pears and peaches and grapes the trees are loaded with them and they look grand on the trees. I saw some cucumbers this morning out of doors [p.17] growing. They were over 2 foot long. I seen too a many black men and tell Frances I have seen three black women. They did laugh when we passed them. When we passed we were 2 hundred miles from New York. We have passed Mount Union and many other great and grand mountains. They was filled with trees. The sunflowers grow wild in this part of the country. We have passed a many large ironworks on the way. We have passed as many large towns. Most of the houses are made of wood. Most of them are [-]. They are something like [-] station. Half past 8 o'clock we are passed 238 Philadelphia at place called Altoona [Pennsylvania]. We had 3 engines on [p.18] until we got to Greeson, [UNCL
EAR] a distance of 248 coming from Altoona to Greensburg is run around the mountains and at the top nearly there is a long tunnel. When we got through we lost 2 of the engines we then run a many mile downhill. We reached Pittsburgh, a distance of 354 mile, at 9 o'clock. Stayed there till 11:30.
Sept. 16 - A rainy morning. Arrived at Chicago at 15 minutes past 9 o'clock. Been 990 miles from New York. We have passed through a many grand scenes this day over plains and through dense forests and by great mountains. On the whole it has been interesting seeing. We have passed through many grand cities and bigger stations than any I have in England.
Sept. 17th - A fine morning. We have got [-] at a quarter past 3 p.m. We have run [p.19] through a fine level country. We had seen a hundred of pigs, some black, some black and white, some black and yellow like a cat. You never saw such little fat pigs as they are run about in the fields, many dozen together. Now my dear family, I came to see you on Thursday night but I did not come in to see you. You were all in bed. There has been something wrong among you and I have told you a many times that I should know about it. Be good my dear family for you are dear to me more than you think. I been to buy in today as it is market day. [p.20] Had to change here. Arrived at Council Bluffs tonight at 15 minutes past 12.
Sept. 18th - Been stayed there till 4 o'clock this morning when left for Omaha. We are now on the plains. If the depth of the earth has anything to do with growing celery, this is the place for we have gone through a cutting this morning which is 6 yards deep which was all earth. I have seen grass this morning which is a yard high. I could just see the back of the cows which was among it. A fine morning. We are running very well. We are about a thousand miles from our journeys end. It is a quarter past eight o'clock which is about half past one o'clock by your time. I am thinking about your meeting. It feels as if I could like to be with you for I am here stuck in a corner by myself. All are strangers to me. Time would pass better if I had a mate. [p.21] Some might say why is there not Brother Stokes that could be thy mate? Well, I know all about that. He has another mate and only 2 sits in one seat. I have had a seat to myself all the way on the railway yet I am on guard tonight from 9 o'clock to 12. 2 persons tried to get in at one place but I was at the door and at my post. It is grand to be ready when duty calls. Had I been asleep like the five foolish virgins we might have been plundered and lost our things. Well, my dear family, be always ready when you are called by those who are placed over you. Sept. 18th Cold this morning. We are many miles on the plains. We have been stopped this morning through a bullock standing [- - -] in [p.22] the road and breaking them to bits blocking the way. As can see for many miles and not a house to be seen. Do not think we have above 3 trees for this last 500 miles. We have passed a many thousands cows and horses and sheep.
Sept. 19th - Got to the mining camp this morning about half past 7 o'clock and saw the miners go to their work with lamps on the front of their caps. Fine morning. Getting near the end of journey, only about 320 miles off. Saw a many wood houses and digout houses. . . [ABRUPT END OF DIARY] [p.23]
BIB: Pyrah, Jonathan. Diary, pp. 1-23. (CHL)