A general record of the organization, transactions, and circumstances of a company of Saints on board the ship Charles Buck crossing from Liverpool to New Orleans under the Presidency of Elders R. [Richard] Ballantyne.
The Saints came on board this ship on the 15th of January 1855. The laying in the Bramley Moor Docks we remained in the dock until the morning of the 17th. By this time the Saints had got their berths arranged their luggage and passed their inspection of government officers [p .1] not one of them was rejected by the doctor all were in good health and spirits to begin their journey. At 10 o'clock the ship let her moorings and was towed out of the dock into the River where she lay waiting for the evening tide. At 8 o'clock P.M. the steam tug came along side of us for the purpose of taking us out to sea. Mr. Smaley [William Smalley] the captain came on board at this time having come down the River with the steam tug. Having got the steam tug fastened to the ship we put to sea with a fair wind [p .2] and a fine night. Not many of the Brethren saw the ship start as we were holding a meeting between the decks at the time, Elder Ballantyne having called on the brethren to meet together to read to them the letter of appointment which he had received from President Richards, appointing him to be the president of the Saints on board this ship and Elders Erick G.M. Hogan and Mark Fletcher as his counselors. The letter was read and gave great satisfaction to all present - it promised a safe and speedy passage across the Atlantic inasmuch as the Saints carry [p .3] out the instructions given them by Elder [Richard] Ballantyne.
Elder Ballantyne spoke to the Brethren of the importance of keeping themselves pure and virtuous and of walking as becometh the Saints of God that the captain and sailors might read our religion by observing our walk and conduct. He exhorted them above all, to use their influence to preserve the virtue of the sisters by counseling them not to associate with the sailors and strangers on board and to protect them in every possible manner that not one of them may be deceived by any means [p .4] while crossing the seas. It was decided that the ship be divided into 4 wards that each ward have a president with his 2 counselors and 2 teachers to hold prayer meetings every morning and evening and to go round among the Saints as circumstances might require to administer to them and build them up in their most holy faith. The following are the names of those appointed for each ward; Ward No. 1 Erick G.M. Hogan president, Stefanus Moss and Hans Lunblad counselors; Rasmus Brun [Brunn] and Lars Nelson [Nilson] teachers.[p .5] Ward No. 2 William West, president, and William H. Sturrock & Thomas. Orr, counselors, etc. Thomas Palmer and Archibald MacFarland [McFarland] teachers. Ward No. 3 Mark Fletcher president. James Mercer, Samuel Mullner, counselors; George Crowley and Joseph Leadbrook [Ladbrook] teachers. Ward No. 4 David Hutchinson, president. Matthew King and William Irvin counselors. Samuel Park and John Todd, teachers.
Council meeting January 20th Elder Hogan opened the meeting by prayer. Elder Ballantyne presided. The council discussed the following subjects; [p .6] keeping guard by night, cleaning out the ship, arranging about the water closets, and the management of the cooking galley. It was unanimously voted that each ward take it in their turn to guard the hatchways by night, cleaning out the ship every morning and that the water closets on the left hand side of the ship be left for the use of the ladies and those on the right side for the gentlemen. The management of the cooking galley was found to be a very difficult subject [p .7] to legislate about and as some of the brethren were getting rather warm on the subject, Elder Ballantyne proposed that we have a special council for the purpose of discussing the subject which thing was readily agreed to. It was proposed and carried that we have 2 meetings on Sundays and 2 testimony meetings during the week. Monday and Thursday evenings were fixed on for this purpose. The council adjourned until Monday the 22nd at 2 p.m.
January 21st Elder [David] Hutchinson opened the meeting with prayer. Elder Ballantyne addressed the Saints [p .8] for a short time. He said it was a privilege which he had not enjoyed for some time. He had been on the sea before so that it was nothing new to him but he had never crossed the Atlantic under so favorable circumstances as we were doing at the present time. The winds and the waves were in our favor for which blessings we should be thankful to our Heavenly Father. He exhorted the Saints to be faithful that they might have the blessings of health and strength that disease and sickness might have no place among them, [p .9] that the spirit of God might be with them to protect them from every evil thing that might beset their path while journeying up to Zion. He had been in this church for twelve years and he knew by experience that the blessings of God could only be attained by obedience in keeping the commandments of God. He reminded the Saints of the objects they ought to have in view in gathering up to Zion. Namely that the might be able more fully to learn the will of God and do it. He exhorted all the Saints to bear with each other's [-] he exhorted husbands [p .10] especially to be kind to their wives and wives to be subject to their husbands and to assist each other in training up their children in the fear of the Lord that they may prove a blessing to them in time to come. The sacrament was next administered by Elders [Mark] Fletcher and [William] West after which, privilege was given to the Saints to tell their faults to each other, but not a fault was mentioned. All who embraced the privilege granted them to speak bore testimony of the peace and unity that existed and expressed [p .11] it as their opinion that a better company of Saints never left Liverpool for that purpose of gathering to the Sand of Zion. Elder Fletcher dismissed the meeting by prayer. Notice was given that there would be a testimony meeting in the evening. Elder [William] West opened the evening meeting by prayer when many of the Saints present bore testimony of the truth of the work of the last days and much of the spirit of the Lord was [- - -].
At 2 p.m. the council most to consult the [- - - -] for the better regulation of the cooking [-] as some [p .12] of the sisters & brethren were suffering on account of their not being able to get their victuals cooked in due season. There are two cooks in the galley one of them was provided by F.D.[Franklin D.] Richards (he is a Danish Brother by the name of [Anders] Nielson). In order to cook for the Scandinavian Saints as for as he is concerned there have been no complaining the other is an Irishman, not a member of our church. He has agreed with the captain to work his passage to America as passenger cook. There are on board of this ship a number of this man's countrymen with whom it appears he [p .13] is particularly connected and he cooks for them in preference to others and strongly depriving the Saints of their rights. How to get this man to do justice to all parties was the principle difficulty the council had to contend with. Elder Ballantyne cautioned the brethren in council against making too many laws, reminding them that the Prophet Joseph said that as many laws was a curse to any people, and spoke of many inconveniences at sea that we could not remedy. It was proposed and carried that each ward furnish 2 men [p .14] to stand guard at the galley at their turns to see that justice be done to all parties and that the cooks place on the fire the pans and kettles as the guard directs. The following are the names of those who volunteered for that purpose: No. 1 Ward A.G. Sandkrist & Hans [POSSIBLY Jens] Gundersen, Scandinavians. No. 2 Heinz B. [Henry B.][S.] Wardman, Joshua Dixon,[-] Englishmen. No. 3 Ward [Thomas S.] G. Bell, John George Pinder. No. 4 Ward Angus McDonald, Augustus Martin.
After having discussed the above subject Elder R.[Richard] Ballantyne proposed that there be a meeting called for the purpose of ascertaining the feeling of the sisters with respect to their [p .15] associating with the sailors and strangers on board and to counsel them not to go on deck alone after dark. At night at past 7 the sisters being assembled together Elder Ballantyne opened the meeting and explained to them that the object he had in view in calling them together was to learn what their feelings were with regard to associating with the sailors and strangers that are on board this ship. He also told them what were the feelings of the sisters in Zion with respect to men out of the church and in what light they look on the Gentiles who go there with the idea of being permitted to associate with them. [p .16] He showed the sisters that it would be time enough for them to begin to preach to men out of the church when they were more of the priesthood there to officiate and if any of the sailors wished to learn anything about the principles of this church & seemed to be religiously inclined they were just to direct them to some of the elders for any information they want and not to let their feelings be turned towards them by any crafty device of the devil. For the Devil can be religious when it answers his purpose. He counselled them not to go on deck after 9 o'clock at night [p .17] without some one accompanying them to protect them. The sisters agreed to carry out the council given on the above subject. Some of them said that they wanted nothing to do with either the mates sailors or any other men out of the church. They were going up to Zion that they might get husbands from the Lord.
January 26th at a general testimony meeting this evening an evil spirit attempted to palm itself upon the Saints through the medium of one of the brethren. Elder Ballantyne was there presiding over the meeting and he rebuked the spirit in the name of Jesus [p .18] to which the Saints responded Amen.
He gave some excellent instruction on the subject of evil influence and showed the Saints that the best of them were liable to be deceived by them and that it did not prove our brother to be a bad man or living in wickedness because our evil spirit had taken possession of him and manifested itself through him this evening.
January 27th I have to record an unfortunate circumstance which happened this morning about 1/4 to 8 o'clock. A little boy belonging to one of the brethren was leaning over the Larboard side of the ship and while in that [p .19] position he got entangled in a rope, which was connected to one of the sails and was thrown over board by it. His father was standing close by and gave the alarm when some of the sailors flew to the boats, others to the ropes with the intention of stopping the ship and towing a boat in order to save the little fellow from a watery grave but the boats were all lashed down and the ship was going at the rate of 8 or 10 miles per hour. Besides there was a heavy sea running at the time which would have made it almost impossible for the boat to have got near him before the [p .20] spirit had left its body and gone to a better place. The captain came on deck and before the sailors had got the boat untied gave orders for the ship to pursue her course. The name of the boy was George Grimmet [Grinnett] aged 7 years, the son of John and Sarah Grimmet from the [-] Branch of the Birmingham Conference.
Sunday January 28th. The Saints held divine service between the decks at the center hatchway. Elder Ballantyne was rather weak and unable to speak much but he felt that it was his duty to say something for the comfort of those [p .21] who had been caused to mourn by unexpectedly losing their little boy in a manner that but few of the Saints have ever experienced while crossing the mighty deep. He brought forward the cases of David, Job and many others of the ancients as well as modern servants of the Lord, to show how they tempered their feeling by the principles they believed when troubles came upon them which were similar in their nature, to this which has befallen Brother and Sister Grimmett [Grinnett]. He counselled the Saints against going on the forecastle and to be very careful and keep their children from the sides of the bulwarks [p .22] and other parts of the ship where there was any danger.
February 3rd. There was a council meeting convened today for the purpose of settling some differences which had risen between Elder Ballantyne and Elder King - The council was opened with prayer by Elder [William] West & Elder Ballantyne presided. Elder Ballantyne having removed Elder King's boy in order to accommodate a sister that was sick some differences afterwards arose between Elder King's wife and the sister that had been removed. Elder Ballantyne happened to be going through at the time and was using his influence to reconcile the parties when Elder King [p .23] came up and got rather warm about the matter and charged Elder Ballantyne with acting with partiality in wanting the boy removed. Elder Ballantyne said he did not bring the case before the council because Brother King had offended him personally but because the case involved an important principle in the Kingdom of God and if such things were allowed to pass unnoticed they would lead to anarchy and confusion Elder [Mark] Fletcher bore testimony to the statement of Elder Ballantyne. Elder [Eric] Hogan and several of the brethren spoke of their feelings with regard to the case all agreeing in their sentiments that [p .24] President Ballantyne had acted right and that Brother King had done wrong in saying what he had. Brother King acknowledged his error and asked forgiveness. The council unanimously forgave him and expressed themselves that they believed him to be a good man and that he would not have said what he had if he had kept his temper. Elder [Mark] Fletcher spoke about the cleaning out of the ship. He thought it would be much better if each family were to clean their own berths instead of each ward cleaning out the whole ship in their turns. Several of the brethren were of the same opinion. Elder [p .25] Ballantyne said he was afraid that if the responsibility fell upon so many that none of them would feel themselves bound to do it. It was proposed and carried that the president of each ward be responsible for the cleanliness of his own ward. The council was dismissed by prayer from Elder MackFarland [McFarland].
February 4th. The Saints held a meeting on deck this morning for the purpose of preaching the gospel to the captain, sailors, strangers and in fact to the whole city if they had chosen to assemble together within the range of the brethren's voices but they did not seem [p .26] inclined to come and hear the gospel of the Son of God which was preached in plainness by Elders [Mark] Fletcher & [David] Hutchinson. There is no doubt but the mates & captain heard all that was said and they were all the time about the cabin. As for the sailors they did not come very far from the forecastle and the meeting being close to the cabin they could not hear very well. Those of the sailors who were off watch had gone to bed and were very much displeased that those praying Mormons as they term us, should be allowed to have the bell ring at such a rate as to awaken them out of their sleep. [p .27] For be it known that the captain had given orders to have the bell rung so that every one in the city might know what was about to take place. As for the strangers who are most of them Catholics they followed the example of the sailors and kept too far off to hear anything that was being preached. They appear to have got enough of Mormonism already for the brethren have been discussing with them almost every night since they came to live among us and although there are some among them who are very clever in bringing forth arguments calculated [p .28] to overthrow the arguments of sectarians in general they found that they did not apply to Mormonism and they appear to be tired if not actually afraid of meeting the Brethren in discussion.
Saturday February 10th. We came in sight of the Cape De Verd Islands about 12 o'clock today. It was very cheering to us all to have a view of land once more, it being over 3 weeks since we lost sight of the Welsh Mountains.
Sunday February 11th. The Saints assembled on deck at 1/2 10 a.m. to see the body of a child which died about 2 o'clock this morning, committed to the watery element.[p .29] Elder Ballantyne made a prayer and discourse suitable to the occasion. The position of the ship at this time was Latitude 17.30 North Long 26.52 West at 2 p.m. The Saints assembled as customary at the center hatchway in the tween decks to partake of the sacrament.
Council meeting Saturday February 17th. Elder [Mark] Fletcher opened the meeting with prayer. Elder Ballantyne presided. The presidents of the various wards represented the Saints under their charge in good standing, with one exception, and that was the case of a Sister belonging to No. 2 Ward. This Sister [p .30] had become rather too familiar with the first mate and the teachers being constantly on the look out to see that nothing unbecoming or unrighteous be practiced on deck, she wished to be from under this jurisdiction as will be seen from the following letter from her to President Ballantyne:
I am very sorry to have put you to so much trouble. I did not know that I was not able to take care of myself. I cannot go to the stairs head but there are men sent after me. That, I will not stand so you may cut me off as I do [p .31] not want to put these men to any more trouble as I am capable of taking care of myself. That has been my wish for some time.
Elder Ballantyne said he had seen Sister Kirkpatrick since receiving the above letter and he had tried all that he could to get her to alter her course but he had failed to make the least impression on her mind. She seemed determined to be cut from the church although she owned she was rejecting the gospel and the only plan of salvation by so doing. Therefore it was his mind that she [p .32] have the desire of her heart. Elder [Mark] Fletcher said it grieved him very much when he saw Sister Kirkpatrick keeping company with the First Mate. When Elder Ballantyne first spoke to him about her he felt that it would be best to bear with her for a short time to see how things would turn out but he now felt like cutting her off that she might feel her true position. Elder [PROBABLY Thomas] Orr said he knew the girl and had expected better things of her for she had seen & heard enough to have known better therefore it was his mind that she be cut off from the church. Elder Ballantyne called [p .33] on all who were in favor of cutting her off from the church to manifest the same by raising the right hand. Carried unanimously. The council was dismissed with prayer from Elder Hogan from February 17th to the 3rd of March no business came before the council for their consideration. All things have gone on as peaceable and with as much union as could be expected under the circumstances. The Saints have continued to hold their meetings on deck and in other parts of the ship & have been built up in their holy faith by the discourses & instructions of [p .34] President Ballantyne. The presidents of wards and others of the priesthood and but few have strayed from the path of truth and righteousness but today there was a case brought before the council. The following are the minutes of the same council meeting 3rd March Elder West opened the meeting with prayer. . . .
March 8th at past 10 a.m. the Saints met in the capacity of conference. Elder Ballantyne presided and gave much good instructions to the Saints with respect to the manner of regulating their diet, conduct &c. On arriving at New Orleans and in going to St. Louis. The conference adjourned at 1 past M. [PROBABLY MEANING midday] until 6 p.m. conference met according to adjournment to transact business and receive further instructions conference again adjourned to past 10 the following day. [UNCLEAR]
March 9th. Conference met at past 10 & continued together until 1 p.m. A motion was carried [p .38] by the unanimous vote of the Saints that a subscription be entered into for the purpose of giving to Elder Ballantyne a testimonial of their affection and esteem for the kind attention he has paid to their temporal as well as spiritual interests during the voyage and that 6 men be appointed to carry into effect the above proposition. The following are the names of the men who were appointed by the conference for this purpose. Mark Fletcher, E.G.M. Hogan, William. West, David Hutchinson, William McFarland, George. Speight [SPEICHT]. Conference adjourned [p .39] until 7 o'clock p.m. Conference met at the time appointed, when the names of the various authorities of the church were presented to the Saints according to the usual method and were [UNCLEAR PROBABLY sustained] unanimously. The following is the representation of the conference: 2 high priest, 25 elders, 16 priests, 16 teachers, 4 deacons, 225 members, 3 excommunicated, 4 dead, 1 baptized, 91 unbaptized children, one of the 3 cut off belonged to the Scandinavians, who composed No. 1 Ward and was cut off by them for disobedience and unbelief. His name is A.G. Landkrist. At 9 o'clock p.m. the Conference was dismissed by prayer from Elder Sturwick [Sturrock]. [p.40] The following are the names of those who have been married during the voyage:
Mark Fletcher born in Faskin, Scotland aged 28 years to Mary Cook born in [-] Lincolnshire England aged 22 years on the 14th of January 1855. Elder Richard Ballantyne officiated.
Anton Christensen aged 24 born Normask Ribe Amt Lylland Denmark to Caroline Nilson aged 19 born in Nougent Ellang Lylland Denmark.
Anders Christensen aged 21 born in Romark Lylland Denmark to Grethe Christensen [p.41] aged 24 born in Norr Voorcin Lylland Denmark on the 18th of January Elder Hogan officiated.
Robert Nish born in Holytown Parish of Bothwell County Lanmark Scotland aged 18 years Agness Wilson born in Newarthill Parish of Bothwell County of Lanmark aged 18 years.
Joseph Moon born in Burrowash Derbyshire England aged 20 Emma Cook born on Burrowash Derbyshire England on the 22nd Elder Ballantyne officiated.
Samuel Stanton born in Leadbury Herefordshire England aged 24 Maria Bayliss born in Leadbury [p.42] Herefordshire England, aged 23 years on the 24th of January 1855. Elder Fletcher officiated. [p.42]
The following are the names of those who have died on the voyage:
Samuel Hartley the son of Charles and Eliza Hartley died on the 11th of February aged 1 year and four months old.
Ellen Aitkin daughter of William and Jane Aitkin died on the 13th of February aged 1 year & 4 months.
Charles Buck Sutton the son of Josiah and Dinah Sutton. This child was born on the 19th of February and died 2 weeks after. [p.43]
Sarah Autosen aged 57 years died on the morning of the 14th of March and was buried at the Balize at the mouth of the Mississippi.
John Eccleston aged 28 years. This man was drowned on the night of the 16th by walking overboard indirectly after the Saints had got on board the steam boat Michigan in order to pursue their journey to St. Louis.
Ann Hutchinson aged 1 year & 8 months the daughter of David & Sarah Hutchinson died on the night of the 16th . It was entered on Captain Allamy Plantation on the left bank of the river. [p.44]
Thomas Sutton the son of Josiah & Dinah Sutton died on the night of the 21st and was buried on the right bank of the river.
Kenna [UNCLEAR; POSSIBLY Kerena] oss the daughter of Stephanes and Davidsine Moss died on the morning of the 26th aged 6 years. Was buried on the right bank of the river a few miles below Chester.
Christine Nels Christensen the daughter of Nels and Engel Christensen. This child died on the morning of the 26 and was buried on the right side of the river St. Jinerr. [p.45][END OF ACCOUNT]
BIB: Richard Ballantyne Emigrating Company. Journal. pp.1-45 (CHL)