. . . We left Glasgow on the 12 of February 1848 and sailed to Liverpool. We stayed in Liverpool seven days then stayed in the ship two days; then we were towed into the river and we stayed there two days; the river is called Mersey. Liverpool is built on the side of it. I did not see it all so as to give a description of it. Its harbor is six miles long, constantly filled with ships from every country of the world.
We sailed the river on the 22 of February. I got sick the first day. We were driven back twice into the channel. The third time we got through it into a channel called Gorges Channel. We got through it into the Bay of Biscay [p.5] then a storm arose which listed 12 hours and drove us back within the sight of the Irish Lighthouse on Cape Clair, an island.
When the storm was over we sailed away with the wind ahead, all the time since we left Liverpool. It is rough sailing the Bay of Biscay. When we were eight days out, after the storm we met a Dutch ship; which had been in the storm. They hoisted up their colors to show they were in distress. Their masts were all taken away. Some of the men were hurt. They told us they had seen four other ships in as bad shape as themselves.
Its name was "William the Second" and it was loaded with coffee and sugar. They told us they had throned over board 400 barrels of coffee to lighten the ship. They did not need any meat or drink, they had plenty of both. They just wanted a sheet of sail or cloth which we gave them and they went away and we went away also.
The passage was pleasant all the way after that. Nothing happened to us worth while to mention but near Vantugue [PROBABLY, Antigua] an old man died and his body was buried in the sea. Next morning we saw Vantugue [PROBABLY, Antigua] one of the West Indian Islands. Then we came to Mt. Serattle [PROBABLY, Mountserrat] a high mountain. Then we saw Jemokia [Jamaica]. It is 1000 miles from Mt. Serattle. Then we came to the gulf of Mexico. It is 1000 miles south of the Mississippi.
We sailed these 2000 miles very quick then we seen the land of America. We were all overjoyed to see the land of our destination. We were all pleased with the scenery coming into New Orleans. I would have had something to say to my two children were they alive to let them know how we took care of them and how we toiled to keep them clean. They were young, both of them that they might honor us for our protection. As a father and mother we were kind to them and they were dear to us. Before we leave the history of the passage over the sea, I want to say a few words about the captain and the crew.
The captain was a fine man. He was good to the Saints and was kind to the sick. Sometimes he treated them to some of his brandy and gave them every privilege on deck and in the cabins. The crew was also kind and treated the Saints with respect and would do anything in their power for them. The captain's name was Captain McKinzie. [McKenzie]
We went up the river in a boat called "Mameluke" to St. Louis. We were in good health all the time except little Janet was sick on the river. We thought she would die but she recovered on our landing.
We stayed in St. Louis ten days then we started up river to Council Bluffs, we were on the Missouri for ten days.
We stayed at the Bluffs five months then I came down to Missouri to work for some men. I was away three months when Christine came down to me with the luggage and the two children. I was at this time in Alton and was doing well. [p.6]
I was glad to see her. We moved to the Governors Coal Digging. I followed this trade for eighteen years and to this day I am tired of it. I say so!
It was here my two children died Mary and Janet. We have the ache and the fever five months both Christina and myself. Also we have one born, her name is Anne Smith Davidson. She is our fifth born to us. Four of the five are dead February 16, 1850.
On the 6 of May 1850 I left Governors Coal Diggings to come to the Great Salt Lake. I came up the Missouri River in a steam boat called "Pocahontas" to Council Bluffs, then traveled by land to the Great Salt Lake. The distance traveled by land to the Great Salt Lake is 1500 miles. . . . [p.7]
BIB: Davidson, William. Reminiscences, pp.5-7. (CHL)