Mother's sister and her husband were in the United States and wanted us to emigrate and make our home with them. We boarded a coastwise steamer and went to Liverpool. There we disembarked and took a trans-Atlantic liner for the ocean voyage. I think it was the Colorado. As soon as we were under way, I began to wonder what was making the ship go. I thought I could find out if I looked over the side of the vessel, but my mother would not let me. When we walked the deck it was with my hand in hers. I puzzled over the motive power of that ship for a long time. At length I concluded that there must be something down in the water in front that was pulling it, but still Mother would not let me investigate.
One bright moonlit night, when Mother and Bob were fast asleep, I sneaked out of bed and went on deck in my nightgown. The moon was full and about four hours above the west horizon. Like a ghost, I sped to the front of the vessel; but leaning over as far as I could, the point where the ship struck the water was invisible . Then I saw a pole about ten inches in diameter that extended from the front out over the water at about a thirty degree angle. I thought if I were out on that I [p.87] could see under the steamer. I mounted the pole and worked myself forward until I was about ten feet from the body of the ship.
There for the first time in my adventure, fear struck me, so I lay down on the pole and reached my arms and legs around it as far as they could go. I was in a precarious position. If I dropped it would be into the Atlantic Ocean, which was probably more than a mile deep, and be whirled under that mighty steamer. I could not turn around and I was afraid to creep for the ship, going backward. All this while the vessel plunged forward, with awful speed and at the same time swung from side to side like a mighty pendulum.
I was getting the greatest shock of my nine years of life and was beginning to think I could not hold on much longer when I heard a commotion on deck and Mother's voice saying, "Willie my boy, where are you?" I could not answer. At length a sailor spied me on my perch. He said, "Hang on little boy, don't try to come back. I will get you in a minute." He walked on that pole right out to me. I don't know how he did it, but I think there must have been a rope above his head he was holding to. When he got a good hold of the nape of my nightgown he pulled me to my feet and after he had shaken me said, " You little son-of-a-gun," only the word he said was much worse than gun. In a few minutes I was in Mother's arms and that awful adventure was over.
We had a successful trip across the ocean and landed at Castle Garden, New York, about the last of August, 1868. While looking around in the new world, we spied a fruit stand. Mother said, "Look at those American apples, aren't they pretty?" She bought a big one and divided it, giving each a third. We took a bite and that was enough. We threw it away. It was years after that before I could eat a tomato.
We entrained at Castle Garden for Ogden, Utah, and crossed the plains without an unusual incident, and arrived in Ogden early in September. Aunt Janet and the hired man were there to meet us. They had a linchpin wagon, a part of which was a high box with two spring seats on it, as a means of conveyance. We mounted this vehicle, started an eighteen-mile journey in a northerly direction and arrived at Three Mile Creek, where uncle's farm was located, that same evening. The threshers were there, so a feast was prepared for us and we settled down well pleased with the change from the old to the new world. . . . [p.88]
BIB: Anthony, William. [Autobiography], Our Pioneer Heritage, comp. By Kate B. Carter, vol. 12, (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1969), pp. 87-88. (CHL)