Minutes of a general church meeting held Saturday morning April 14th 1855. Called to order by President Edward Stevenson, a hymn was then sung, and prayer by Elder Lamoreaux.
President Daniel Spencer then addressed the Saints, and gave them much valuable instruction upon the duties that would dissolve upon them while crossing the sea, after which the following prepositions were presented to the meeting and carried unanimously:
1st. That Elder Edward Stevenson be sustained as president of this company, according to the appointment of President Franklin D. Richards. [p.1]
2nd. That Elder Lamoreaux, Jeremy Mills & Slack [Stack] act as his counselors.
3rd. That elders Sutherland, Burton, Elliot St. George, William Davies, Davies, & David Jeremy act as presidents of the seven wards.
4th. That Elder Martin Slack [Stack] act as secretary.
5th. That William G. Mills act as historian.
The meeting was then addressed by the following brethren.
President Spencer said avoid all murmuring and do not complain; you have more food than the law allows and by using wisdom you will have sufficient to sustain you. Have not hardness one with another, [p.2] but let union prevail and confide in God, and then you shall cross the sea without one death. May God bless you, Amen.
Elder G. Grant said he did not expect to speak but was willing to say a little. Many things had been said that would do you good if obeyed. This is a kingdom of order therefore commence right here. A great many of your things will be turned over so look after you porridge and tin wear &c. A contented mind is a continual feast. Learn to govern yourselves, you have had plenty of gospel preached, now practice what you have been taught. The man that minds his own business get through easy. May God bless you, Amen. [p.3]
Elder Wheelock said: "It was my fortune to go with the first company seven years ago. We began to feel the Lord worked wonders. Mind your own business and that is to comply with the counsels of the Lord. I know what is in the way. The Saints are apt to get their feelings mixed. If you rightly consider it, this is the best part of it, you have a chance to sin but if you do not tarnish yourselves there is not one here but may go to the house of the Lord. There are many temptations between here and Zion. Do not commit adultery and lead the sisters away. Let that man wither and parish. That will do it, may God bless you. Amen.
The meeting was also addressed by [p.4] Elders Kimball, Ferguson, Jones, Webb and President Stevenson, who gave many valuable instruction to the Saints, after which the meeting was closed in place by singing and prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council Meeting Saturday afternoon, April 14th. Officers president: 1 seventy, 2 high priests, 7 elders and 2 priests. President Stevenson expressed his feelings and wished for an efficient organization to preserve peace and union during the voyage.
A hymn was then sung and prayer by Elder W. G. Mills. President Stevenson said the first business was to divide the ship into [p.5] seven parts. He then called upon the brethren to speak and to suggest their views.
Elder Lamoreaux said a complete organization would secure happiness. The first thing to secure happiness would be to separate the [-] and Welsh Saints. Our success depends upon the union of this council and very man should seek to know Brother Stevenson's mind upon any subject. Let one jar or discord [- -] this council and it will press through the ship.
The following propositions were then [-] and carried unanimously.
1st. That the four cabins be known as the First Ward.
2nd. That the steerage be divided into [p.6] 6 wards.
3rd. That Elder Samuel Burt take the presidency of the 1st Ward.
4th. That priest James Elliot take the presidency of the 2nd Ward.
5th. The priest Richard E. Davies take the presidency of the 3rd Ward.
6th. That Elder Edward Sutherland take the presidency of the 4th Ward.
7th. That Elder Frances De St. George take the presidency of the 5th Ward.
8th. That Elder William Davies take the presidency of the 6th Ward.
9th. That Elder David Jeremy take the presidency of the 7th Ward.
10th. That Elders Jeremy, Mills , Slack [Stack] and Sutherland act as committee to divide the ship into wards.
11th. That the company be called the [p.7] Chimborazo Emigrating Conference.
12th. That this council adjourn sine die.
Meeting closed with prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
At a general church meeting held Sunday afternoon April 15th 1855 it was motioned and carried that each ward cleanse and cook the first in turn and every ward in its proper order beginning with No. 1 Ward. Edward Stephenson [Stevenson], president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting April 16th 1855. Officers present, seventies 1, high priests 2, elders 9, priests 2. [p.8] Opened by prayer by Elder Jeremy. President Stevenson gave some instruction to the presidents of the wards, relative to the duties devolving upon them in reference to instructing the Saints in their respective wards and seeing that each one attend to them practically. After which he introduced the following changes:
1st. Motioned that in consequence of Richard E. Davies only holding the lesser priesthood that he be honorably released from the presidency of the 3rd Ward, carries unanimously.
2nd. Moved and carried unanimously that James Elliot be released honorably from the presidency of the 2nd Ward in consequence of [p.9] of [SIC] him only holding the lesser priesthood.
3rd. That Elder Charles G. Shill take the presidency of the 3rd Ward. Carried unanimously.
4th. That Elder Alfred Atkinson take the presidency of the 2nd Ward. Carried unanimously.
5th. That a vote of thanks be given to Brother Elliot and Davies for the efficient services rendered during their presidency. Carried unanimously. The meeting closed in peace. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting, April 18th 1855. past 10 o'clock a.m. Opened by singing and prayer. Officers present: seventies 1, high priest 2, elders 2. [p.10] President Stevenson said I thought it was wisdom for us to meet together to make some alterations for the benefit of the Saints. The Lord knows my heart that it is to do good to all that are on board this ship. When have 7 presidents organized and all are satisfied, but we want more help. When we meet together our words wasn't carrying to them, but they are not sufficient to carry them out; therefore we want more officers to assist them. When a storm arises we with the Saints to pray instead of being in confusion. I wish to hear you speak upon this subject.
The brethren expressed their feelings to the effect that the presidents of the wards select their own officers for [p.11] visiting &c. in their respective wards. Closed by prayer. Meeting adjourned for half an hour.
Reassembled at 10 minutes past 1 o'clock p.m. Opened by prayer.
President Stevenson saidâ€”"My feelings are these, that the presidents of the ward call all the officers to assist them in the discharge of their duties that all iniquity be kept down, and that they be presented before the meetings of their respective wards.
The following motions were then made and carried unanimously:
1st. That all the priesthood on board act in concert with the presidents of the wards as special constables under their counsel and direction to carry out the instruction of this [p.12] council.
2nd. That the head of every mess have a ticket from this council with name, number, No. of persons and No. of ward written up on it and that be present it when drawing his rations.
3rd. That no person have water unless the ticket be given to the president of the ward or some person that he may appoint.
4th. That Elder Edward Sutherland be released from the presidency of the 4th Ward, and that he be appointed as sergeant of the guard.
5th. That a vote of thanks be given to Elder Sutherland for his diligent labors while presiding over the 4th Ward.
6th. That Elder Richard Tresseder take the presidency of the 4th Ward. [p.13]
Love and union existed throughout the council and much of the Spirit of the Lord rested down upon us. The meeting closed by prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting, Wednesday April 25th 1855. Officers present: seventies 1, high priests 2, elders 1. Opened by singing and prayer by Elder Charles Shill.
President Stevenson said I am happy to meet with you that we may devise plans for our comfort. There are some difficulties, but we must not allow them to mar our peace. The Lord has been well pleased with us and angels have watched over us. There is [p.14] one thing convinces me that sickness is abating. The cooking galley is getting filled again.
Elders Lamoreaux, Jeremy, Mills and Slack [Stack] gave some excellent instructions to the brethren showing the necessity of order and the regulations adopted being carried out, that sickness might abate and that we may draw down the blessings and approbation of heaven upon us.
The following motion was then made and carried unanimously: that the president of each ward select men to attend to the cleansing of his own ward every morning.
Brother George Prior was then called before the council. [He was] charged with breaking the rules of the ship in the cooking galley and for insulting the captain of the [p.15] ship. The charge was proven against him. President Stevenson gave him a severe reprimanding and decided that he make confession before this council and before the captain and promise that he never do so again. The council sanctioned this decision, but Brother Prior refused to comply. The council then gave him time until the next council meeting and if he then refused to proceed further against him. The meeting then closed by prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting, Thursday, May 3rd 1855. Officers present: seventies 1, high priest 2, elders 3. Opened by singing and prayer by Elder Martin Slack [Stack]. [p.16]
President Stevenson said brethren of the council I am happy to meet with you. It is our duty to meet together that we may know each others feelings and that we may keep down iniquity. We are and shall be blessed with doing what the Lord requires.
Brother George Prior then appeared before the council and made confession of his sin and promised to do better in the future. It was then motioned and carried unanimously that Brother George Prior be forgiven. After some further instructions from Brother Stevenson, the council adjourned till 4 o'clock. Closed by prayer.
Reassembled at 4 o'clock. Opened by prayer. President Stevenson gave [p.17] many instructions to the brethren. And as mesmerism had been introduced to a few of the sister by the captain of the ship, he wished the brethren to assist him in putting it down, for he felt determined by the help of God to put down all iniquity that might appear in our midst. Meeting closed by prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting, Friday, May 4th 1855. Officer present: seventies 1, high priests 2, elders 10. Opened by singing and prayer by Elder Thomas Jeremy. President Stevenson saidâ€”beloved brethren of the council and presidents of the wards, I have called you together [p.18] to hear of the standing and welfare of your wards, to know whether any iniquity is existing among you. I know it is good to meet together to counsel and to adopt those measures that will be for the good of the Saints. We cannot meet so often as I would like because we have no convenient place to meet in. I can say that we have been blessed and prospered, and since we lifted up our hands to fast and pray we have had fair winds and the Lord has blessed us and inasmuch as we are united we claim the promises and blessings of the Lord.
The presidents of the wards were then called upon to report the standing of the Saints under their charge.
No. 1 Ward, Elder Sam Burt [p.19] said the Saints are in good health generally. Only one case of sickness. All feel well and willing to obey counsel.
No. 2 Ward, Elder Alfred Atkinson said a good feeling prevails. The Spirit of God is poured out upon us and the health of the Saints is improving.
No. 3 Ward, Elder Charles G. Shill said I feel good to represent No. 3 Ward in good condition. All are well in health. The Spirit of God prevails. The officers visit from berth to berth, the Saints are good.
No. 4 Ward, Elder Richard Tresseder said in reference to No. 4 Ward I deem it a privilege to preside over such a good set of people. [p.20] Cleansing is well attended to. All are desirous of doing what is right. Health of the Saints good.
No. 5 Ward, Elder Frances De St. George said a good spirit is prevailing throughout the ward, they attend well to cleansing and health is improving.
No. 6 Ward, Elder William Davies said the Saints are in good standing, well in health. We had good meetings and all feels well.
No. 7 Ward, Elder David Jeremy said the elders feel well and are willing to carry out the council that are given them. Said everything is better than they had imagined. We have good meetings are all feel well in health. [p.21]
Elder Edward Sutherland the sergeant of the guard said a ready willingness is manifested by the brethren to do their duty. Everything is satisfactory and praiseworthy.
President Stevenson gave many instructions to the council and much of the Spirit of God was enjoyed. The meeting closed by prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting, May 10th 1855. Officers present: seventies 1, high priests 2, elders 10. Opened by singing and prayer by Elder Andrew L. Lamoreaux.
President Stevenson said brethren of the council and presidents of the [p.22] wards, I am happy to meet you under so favorable circumstances. I can see the Lord is dealing out blessings to us. I feel well satisfied with the Saints on board and I want to feel so. When we arrive [in] Philadelphia I want to report that none have been cut off. Some things are not so very agreeable, but what can we expect considering the different nations we have come from.
The presidents of the wards were then called upon to report the standing of the Saints.
No. 1 Ward, Elder Burt said beloved president and brethren, I feel pleased with this privilege of representing my Saints. Love and unison exists among them. Every attention is paid [p.23] to cleanliness. All feel to do their duty and there is no obstacle present.
No. 2 Ward Ward [SIC], Elder Atkinson said beloved brethren, the Saints are generally united and all things have gone well. All are willing to do as they are counseled. They have a good spirit, none are sick.
No. 3 Ward. Elder Shill said I am happy to represent the affairs of my ward. There is a better spirit amongst us than we have had. The brethren did not feel well about the poop deck but I got them together and showed them their folly and littleness and they have felt better since. There is no complaints about the provisions. The health of the Saints is good. Every man is willing to discharge his duty.
No. 4 Ward, Elder Tresseder said I [p.24] feel it a privilege to represent No. 4 Ward. The Saints are in good standing, no sickness. They are on hand to do anything.
No. 5 Ward, Elder St. George said beloved brethren a good spirit prevails. They attend to cleansing every morning. Some are a little weak, but they are on the recovery. All are willing to obey counsel.
No. 6 Ward, Elder Davies said beloved president and brethren, the Saints are generally united and getting along well. No trouble in the cooking galley.
No. 7 Ward, Elder David Jeremy said beloved brethren, the Saints all feel well. [They] are willing to do anything. [They] are agreeable in the galley. They attend [p.25] to cleansing every morning. Good meetings night and morning.
Elder Sutherland, sergeant of the guard said as a general thing all the brethren take a pleasure in attending to those duties. One complaint last night. A pair of boots was lost. With that exception the accounts are good.
President Stevenson and his counselors gave many instructions to the council, after which the meeting closed in peace by prayer. Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary.
Council meeting, Tuesday morning, May 22nd 1855. Officer present: seventies 1, high priests 2, elders 2. [p.26] Opened by prayer. President Stevenson said beloved brethren we are now in port and we want in understanding to assist among the Saints. I want to give you some instructions to give to the presidents of the wards. The counsels given by us have done them good. May sharpers will be a broad when we came to shore and I wish the Saints to hold inter course with them. I am responsible for the conduct of this people. Thank God we are in port. The power of God is with me and I know it. We must act in wisdom and that is as God wishes us to act. Be sure and have the Spirit of God yourselves and be one with me. I will beg [p.27] difference to the man that presides over me. [-] and counsel with one if you want to do anything. My God bless you in the name of Jesus Christ. After further instructions from Elder Stevenson the meeting closed by prayer. [p.28] Elder Edward Stevenson, president. Martin Slack [Stack], secretary
BIB: Chimborazo Emigrating Conference. Journal. (Ms 4806, bx 11, fds. 2-3 reels 10-11.) pp. 1-28. (CHL)