. . . Plans were made for the time of starting, believe it was sometime in May that everything was in readiness and we at last began our long looked for journey. We took boat from our island Lolland) to Copenhagen and stayed there a few days. There for the first time in my life I had the pleasure of playing with Mormon children. From there we sailed to England via Hamburg, Germany, and landed in Hull, and from there by rail to Liverpool where we boarded the sailboat "Sampa" bound for America. It was tedious journey. Niels Nielsen was presiding elder. He was a missionary returning to Brigham City. During the voyage there was one sad thing happened. One of the sailors fell overboard and drowned. Two of our company died on the way and received a watery grave. I saw the burial take place. After ten long weeks of sailing we reached New York. [p.29] After we had lain at anchor a day or two a physician came to examine the health of the company, which on the whole, was in fair condition with the exception of one man and his son who were quarantined and left in New York. We learned afterward that the man died and a year or so after, the son made his way to Utah.
We experienced a couple of extra bad gales. One night I well remember how the old boat cracked and reeled and women screamed. One day we were all driven down into the hull and the doors locked. My! but how that boat did rock. Tinware jingled and rattled. Many times I had to hold to the bedpost to keep from rolling out of bed on rough nights.
After we landed in New York we proceeded on our journey westward alternately by rail and boat to Florence, Nebraska or thereabouts in that vicinity. I do not remember how long we had been on our way from New York when we were put off in a station for the night. We were aroused early the next morning to board a train. But during that night there was a man of our company stricken with that dreaded disease cholera marbis, and as he was almost dead at the time that [p.30] we boarded the train, his family was not permitted to take him with them so he had to be left to the mercy of strangers and to us in a strange land. It was heart rendering to see and hear the weeping and wailing of his wife and children at the time of parting. This man and his family had been the messmates of my father and family during our journey so I have good reason to remember it. A few days afterward a sequel to the above incident happened.
We were at a certain place, I think it was on the banks of the Missouri River at or near St. Louis or St. Joseph, Missouri. We were awaiting orders to board a boat when a man was suddenly stricken with cholera. I don't think it was over an hour till we got orders to go on the boat. The man continued to grow worse and was not allowed to enter the boat and had to be left there. I saw his wife and children shake hands with him and then she had to be literally dragged away from him and he was left there to the mercy of strangers. We boarded the boat and commenced our journey up the river. No incident of importance happened [p.31] with the exception of occasionally the boat would strand on the sandbar, but they would set the lifting machinery in motion and soon left it off and we would speed on again. I don't know just how long we were on the river till we got to our destination which was somewhere near Florence Nebraska as near as I know.
Our luggage was taken off the boat and we were huddled together on the river bottoms. There was some apprehension as to whether we would have to cross the plains with hand carts or whether the church would have their wagons up on the bench waiting for us. And while the people were talking about it, Niels Nilsen, the presiding elder left the company. I saw him start out and climb the banks of the Missouri River. When he got on top I saw him pause and he stood there and looked around a few moments and finally disappeared. I do not know just how long he was gone but I think not over an hour and it happened that I saw him come down the hill on his way back. He approached us with a smile, bidding us prepare to carry our luggage upon the bank. That the church wagons were there to take us to Utah. [p.32] You can better imagine the joy with which the Saints received that message. After all the weary weeks and months of preparation and travel the church actually sent wagons for us. There sure was joy. We felt like one who had wandered among strangers and had at last reached home sweet home and friends.
After we got our luggage to the wagons we were instructed where and how to place it in the different wagons. And provisions were meted out to us which some of the company sorely needed. As near as I remember we were there three or four days or maybe more before we got started on our journey . . . [p.33]
. . .The same day that we arrived in Salt Lake City, an old time friend of my father met us, and took us out to big Cottonwood, now Holiday. . . .[p.38]
BIB: Nielsen, John. (1858-1948). Autobiography (Mic 159), sec. 1, pp. 29-33, 38. (Utah State Historical Society)