. . . in the morning of the twelfth of Oct. I took leave of our good brothers and sisters of the Birmingham Conference and we stayed the latter part of the above day in the church office in Liverpool and on the following morning of the Oct. we went on board the steamship British King for Philadelphia. On the same day that we left Queenstown we encountered a terrible storm and the ship labored heavily in a dreadful sea. And we had on board about seven hundred souls about three hundred and seven Latter-day Saints and all things considered we did well and the health of the people was good and we buried one little girl in the sea belonging to our people. We had rather a long passage. We was fourteen day out when we should have been not more then ten. Still we felt thankful for all the mercies of the Lord. We had on board twenty three returning missionaries.
Oct. 13 1886 This day the noble steamship British King left her dock with myself and three hundred and seven Latter-day Saints on board for the above port where we arrived on the 27th Oct all well.
Oct. 14th This day at 10 a.m. we arrived at Queentown and put off the mail and we also put off a demented man that shipped at Liverpool and we soon was out into the open wide sea and we had not cleared the coast of Ireland when we encountered a terrible storm which drove our gallant ship out of her course and the storm lasted for 36 hours and the poor people was very sick and they could not help themselves scarcely to the least thing. And the great waves of the sea would dash all over them and nearly wash off everything on the deck of the ship, and the force of the wind and the waves was so furious that it did clash the great and [p.179] good ship about, just if she was only a cork on the water and yet the ship is said to be four hundred feet long and some say 35 feet longer then that and still she would mount the angry waves much like a duck and sometimes the great waves would dash on and over the ship and the mighty ship would tremble much like a leaf on a tree in a strong wind and [UNCLEAR, POSSIBLY throw] the people, I have pen that can do justice to the scene. Everybody turned into their berths and it is impossible to describe the sickness that prevailed on ship board to a landsman in a storm at sea in this storm. And all through the entire voyage I kept busy waiting on the people and helping both the people in the church and those out for which they seemed to be very thankful and so also I did on crossing the land route and I was so amused sometimes when taking exercise on the ship, and as I would be walking back and forth a number of children belonging to the parents that I would sometimes assist. The children would crowd around me and would put their little hands in mine and walk back and forth and play with and so amuse me so much and some woman that was going with their families was going to join their husbands and could not get up on deck for hot or cold water and a little tea and many a little thing I could help them and the children and in all weather. Every morning I would go down to help them just as though they had been my own children and as we came into our settlements and the and [UNCLEAR] so came to the station where the above families had to get off. We would assist them off the train and kiss the above children and would shake by the hand our brothers and sisters that had traveled with us so far and so would leave them with a hearty God bless them. (I must return to my story by the sea.) [p.180]
Oct. 15th - This day nothing of importance has taken place. The wind and the sea has been very high but all is well. We hold prayers night and mornings together. I mean our president with the 23 missionaries. We had been organize before left the dock by President Wells assisted by the brethren at the Liverpool office and set apart. Brother Greenwood of American Fork as president with Brother Rex of Randolph as first counselor and Brother Edward Hansen as second counselor, Logan. And the 21 missionaries besides as assistants and so in this way had a pleasant time, especially after the above brethren got over the seasickness for nearly everyone suffered more or less so all of the above brethren districts of the people in the ship assigned to them to have the oversight of all the people in such districts, and it was made our duty to have the watch care of the people and to assist them in whatever need they had and we that [had] charge of the districts held prayers night and morning in each district with the people and each one felt it to be our duty to assist the people in all their reasonable needs and this I believe was faithfully done done [SIC] by all the above brethren in all the long travel from Liverpool to Salt Lake City. And so far as I knew I heard no complaint and when any person was sick in the above districts we did all that we could to help and bless the people and when any person wished to be administered to, sometimes several of the brethren would join together according sometimes according to the desires of the affected one's desires. And so certain was the sick that by this means that they would be restored that the ship doctor had but little to do among our brethren and sisters.
Oct. 16th This day we had it very rough and the sea runs mountains high and in a sudden lurch of the ship a door slammed together and caught a sister's arm and broke the bone and mashed the flesh very badly and the sea being so stormy the doctor had and work to reset the bone but after much [p.181] suffering on the part of the poor sister and labor on the part of the doctor, the bone was set and the flesh wound was dressed and she was made as comfortable as could be and doctor did all he could to help her.
This is the 17th Oct. And this the Sabbath and the wind has changed some in our favor and the storm has moderated some and so it is some easier for us for the storm has been very severe and the condition of the people is also improved. But the weather is still too rough to hold meetings on the deck so shall hold meetings below as usual today.
18th This day the weather and the sea is moderate and we are doing well but toward the afternoon a little girl named Anney Prise [Anne Price] is been suddenly taken in a fit and I was called with some other brethren to administer to her and we hastened to help her but by the time we arrived the doctor and the steward was before us and they were doing all they could to restore her. But alas little Anney Prise had ceased to breathe and soon the doctor stated that she was dead and it was so sudden none of us was seriously willing to believe that the vital spark had flown. But it was too true and the fact was made known to the captain and he ordered the arrangements to be made for the funeral, so I met the president in the doctor's cabin and he told me that the captain wished the child to be buried this same evening and it is now five o'clock p.m. and I told the president I did not wish to bury her until tomorrow, but I found that the girl that only a few hours before was playing around had to be the same night in the bottom of the old ocean, the same night. So then I went down and felt to see if her little heart had indeed ceased to beat. [p.182] So I found the little body being prepared for its last home, the bottom of the ocean. So I opened her little undergarment and felt over the region of the heart but it had ceased to pulsate forever but she was still warm so we arranged with Sisters Steevestons [PROBABLY, Stevenson] and Lunt to prepare a shroud for her and be sure and see the last moment to be sure and see again the last thing they did that the child was dead and they told me that she was dead. So after the shroud was prepared then two sailors sewed her up into some sail cloth and inside they put some iron so that the body would sink the more rapidly. So I arranged for two of our young men to bore the body upon deck and by this time all other matters was in order and some boards had been prepared and the corpse was laid on the board and the American flag was spread over the body. During divine service and Elder Steveston [Stevenson] afer singing and prayer, spoke for some time and after he had concluded then another prayer and after the last prayer then six young men all belonging to the church lifted the boards up onto the gunwale of the ship. The flag being removed, then the young men tipped up the end of the boards on which the body rested and there was a splash in the water and the body of little Anney Prise [Anne Price] that a few short hours before was playing on the deck was speeding its way down into the dark caverns of the Atlantic Ocean. I estimated the water where we buried that little body to be about one mile deep as we were out from Ireland nearly one thousand miles. It was about 8 o'clock p.m. when the body was buried, so it was dark so we had lanterns to give us light. Nearly all the people in the ship was out to see the funeral the [p.183] the [SIC] captain and the officers the saloon passengers and the sailors. The president wished me to help the poor stricken mother up on deck and assist her on the deck while the services was going on. This I did and I had a chair for her to sit in as close to her dead child as I could have. I did sympathize with the poor mother. How sad she must have felt when she heard her poor dead child splash on that dark windy night and her husband thousands of miles distant in the valley of Utah. Well I helped her down to her berth and spoke some comforting words to her and then left for her for own stateroom. [UNCLEAR] I often called to see her and I think she bore it her sorrow better then I should, had I been called upon to have had one of my little ones buried in the stormy Atlantic Ocean.
19th This day all things seems to be moving along all well. The sea and wind is all in our favor and we daily [ask] the Lord to give us a safe and prosperous passage across the restless Atlantic Ocean.
20th This day the wind and the sea is scarcely as favorable as yesterday. Still we are well and all things tend to show that we shall have a rather long passage but safe over the sea. Still, the health of the people is good and we have plenty of wood so we feel grateful to the Lord for all his mercies to us. Although we are on the broad Atlantic and nearly everyday we see steamships going to Europe, although they are at quite at a distance, still it is pleasant to see there is somebody in the wide world besides the people on the English King [UNCLEAR, PROBABLY MEANING English Kingdom]
21st This day the wind and sea is in our favor and and [SIC] the health of the people is fair and this is such a great blessing, especially where there is so many people crowded into such a small space for after all, although the ship is long, still it is such a large number of people to eat and sleep and all this to do in [p.184] such a place and the dirt and waste from so many people from day to day that has to be cleaned up every day from the decks is a large amount. And the decks is cleansed and fumigated every day by the officers and the men belonging to the ship and when the weather will permit the people has to be on the decks so they at the same time have the fresh air.
22nd This day the wind and sea is not so favorable. Still we [have] so much to be thankful for that have no room to complain. And as the people is healthy and our good ship is strong and the engines and all the machinery is strong and in fine condition how can any person reasonably complain? And I believe all the Latter-day Saints on board of the British King is thankful to the Lord for all of his mercies to us.
23th This day the wind and sea is more favorable then it has been since we left England and the health of the people is good. And so we begin [to] think some in regard to the end of our sea travel and the people begin to count after awhile of meeting their dear ones that have preceded them and so life seem to begin to have new charms for them.
24th This day all seems to be well. The wind and sea is all in our favor and still all is well. The ever faithful machinery keeps moving on our constant motion night and day and at every stroke of the piston it reverberate throughout the long voyage as we in this fast age call 10 or 12 days from Liverpool to Philadelphia or New York. For the first time I crossed the sea in the year 1850 in the ship "Argo" from Liverpool to New Orleans with one thousand Latter-day Saints on board. It took then nearly three months to make the passage and then two weeks by river travel to St. Louis and then two weeks up the Missouri River to the fitting out point and then two weeks more to get ready for to cross the great plains and then nearly three months on the plains between the Missouri River and Salt Lake City. Now the people accomplish the same distance from Liverpool to Salt Lake City in or about seventeen days and now we think the time is so long.[p.185]
25th This day is fine and the sea is smooth and [-] well and we are fast nearing our sea voyage to all appearance and the people is all well and the sister that had her arm broken seems happy and the people is a [-] and some is dressing up some and it look as if we may tomorrow be in dock and after so and nothing but ships and water in view that we expect to see land tomorrow morning if all is well. This evening for the first time since we left our dock in Liverpool the engine is stopped and the pilot is come on board and now the [-] engine is moving again so we feel safer that pilot is on board as he understand the channel better. It is now dark and the people begin to sing for joy that they are so near the end of the sea's voyage.
26 Oct. This day all is well on board steamship British King and the passengers all [-] with reasonable prospects that on tomorrow we expect to be in our dock if all continue well. And truly we have to be thankful for, for in the great storm we encountered off the Irish Coast was much more serious to some ships that was in that same then it was to us. This we learned on our arrival in port and I with the brethren, the missionaries as well as all the Latter-day Saints on board feel very thankful to the Lord for all His mercies that have been over us and ship while we were crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
27th Early this day we saw the capes of the Delaware and now we are ascending the noble river of the same name, the Delaware River, and the boisterous ocean is left behind us for this once more and oh, how many times I have crossed it. I entered this same port about thirty five years ago in a packet ship for Liverpool that was a sailing ship in those days. My wife was then with me and the captain thought we had better take provisions for 21 days but a long rough passage [p.186] of forty days and we had nearly all perished with hunger. Still we arrived then all safe as well as this time. And what changes in sea travel as well as land travel since then. Well the ship is in her dock and we are preparing to go on shore. We shall have our baggage examined by custom house officers and the commissioners as is detaining our people on a technical quibble the officers of the government is determined to give our people all the trouble they can but now it is late in the evening. But now here comes the people at last. And now here is a hurry to arrange matters so that we can take the Baltimore train. So now we are going on board the train as above toward home by the way of Baltimore.
28th At one o'clock a.m. we arrive in Baltimore and we go on board the train for Chicago and all seem well and having no one with me so I muse myself helping the passengers on board the train for I have more pleasure in assisting the people then being idle as it were.
29th This morning on board the train bound for Chicago and all is well. This train is a special train chartered for our people, the Latter-day Saints. It contain some 9 coaches besides the engine and it is first class in every case. So at noon the people I have in one car the sight of they wish me to go out to buy for them food and milk. And the general rule on most trains is to stop 20 minutes for dinner but in our train they stopped ten so I not knowing that fact as I was out buying food for the people the train left me at Cumberland Station. So when I arrived with the provisions the train had left and there I was but it so happened that another train was at the station and it too was a fast special so the conductor telegraphed ahead for our train to stay in the evening and his train would have me on board his train. So my train waited for me and so I joined my train [p.187] that same evening and oh what a shout and clapping of hands greeted me as I entered our own train with provisions for the people.
30th This day at noon we entered the city of Chicago all well and here we change trains for Omaha and after some delay of a few hours we in the afternoon take the train for the above city, all well.
Oct. 31th At noon we arrive at Omaha all well. Then once more we change train for the great overland journey of over one thousand miles to the city of Ogden, Utah at which city we arrive all safe. And what changes has taken place since I crossed those plains in the year 1854 thirty-two years ago then with ox teams from the Missouri River it took me three months to do what it was done this last time less then three days so it is nearly everything in those last times revelation and change is brought about so fast and so great that it about all that the mind can [do] is to keep up with the changes.
Nov. 1st 1886 So this day our train arrived in Ogden City as above stated and so the great change is here made some of the people go north some south and some stay in this city [-] to where the peoples' friends reside. I have have [SIC] been so interested in helping my brethren and sisters I had almost forgot myself until looking around I saw my daughter Mrs. L. M. Richards and I was still busy helping the people yet while on the train at the above station, she my daughter ran along and kissed me and invited me to her house so I recollected that as there was an indictment out against me in Salt Lake City for living with my plural wife and family so being this situated I concluded to go to my daughter and rest for a short time and it was well. . . . [p.188]
BIB: Dunford, George. Reminiscences and journal (Ms 1722), pp. 179-88. (CHL)