Under this caption a Philadelphia paper has this to say concerning our last company of emigrants:
"This company is the fifth that has been sent over this year, but the first that has landed in Philadelphia. Heretofore New York has been made the landing place, but the recent action of the Commissioners of Emigration in that city in returning to England four of the last colony sent over, and the greater convenience of the port of Philadelphia for the shipment to the West of the Mormon converts, have induced those having in charge the sending of colonies to this country to select Philadelphia as a port of landing.
The Mormon emigrants were in charge of J. [Joshua] G. Greenwood, of American Fork, Utah, a missionary who has been engaged in the work of proselyting among the English and Welsh for the past two years, assisted by missionaries William Rex, of Randolph, and Edward Hanson, of Logan, Utah, and twenty other missionaries who have been working for the same period throughout Europe.
The colony boarded the vessel at Liverpool on October 13th, and the voyage was uneventful, except for a two days' gale, which struck the vessel on the 14th about one hundred miles out of Queenstown. But one of the passengers died, a child, who was carried off by convulsions and was buried at sea.
One hundred and three of the converts were Scandinavians, and over 307 were from England, Scotland and Wales.
As soon as the British King was docked this morning, Oct. 27, she was boarded by John J. S. Rodgers, the agent of the Commissioners of Emigration, and Cadwalader Biddle, a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Public Charities, and ex-officio member of the Emigration Board. These gentlemen were there for the necessary but important duty of inspecting the passengers and to see that none who might become public charges should be allowed to land. Their first duty was to pass those who were not connected with the Mormon colony. That was done without detaining a single individual, every one of them being beyond the danger of becoming public charges. The Mormon question, however, seemed to stick in the throats of the gentlemen, and there was a hitch even on the missionaries, one of them being held back for a while by Messrs. Rodgers and Biddle, but he was subsequently passed because he claimed American citizenship. The passages of the entire colony were paid as far as Baltimore, and their receipts were held by Agent Hart, of the Mormon Emigration Board, and in the inspection all those who could show that their passage from Baltimore to their western destination had been provided for, and who could show further that when arrived there they would be able to earn their own living, were passed. All of them were able to satisfy Mr. Biddle and Mr. Rodgers on that point and were allowed to pass from the after steerage and go on land.
The inspection showed the deep and abiding faith of these people in their ability to make a living in their new homes, for few of them could show a more weighty purse than two or three dollars, the majority of them having in ready cash between sixty cents and three dollars.
Most of these emigrants are people of family, and there were a large number of children with them; there were also a number of healthy-looking red-cheeked English girls, who seemed to enjoy the excitement of landing in a strange country, and who seemed to look forward to bright and happy homes in the great West.
It was impossible to induce them to speak on the subject of their religion, and they professed that the question of polygamy was one of very slight importance to them.
Before they were examined by the agent of the Emigration Commission the whole number of Mormon emigrants were kept crowded in the after steerage, and though packed together like sardines they took things good- [p.734] naturedly and chatted and laughed, several of the lighter hearted children even joining in a Mormon hymn.
The officers of the vessel all united in declaring that they were the most orderly set of people ever carried over by the British King and they seemed to be perfectly under the control of the missionaries who accompanied them. Every day they had religious services with singing and preaching." [p.735]
BIB: "Landing Mormons," Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 48:46 (November 15, 1886) pp. 734-35. (CHL)