New York, August 3, 1868President F.[Franklin] D. Richards.
Dear Brother,--I have delayed writing till the present, hoping to be able to give you some information relative to the Constitution and Emerald Isle, but as I shall leave here tomorrow evening, I will no longer defer.
We arrived at the quarantine on the evening of the 27th ultimo, and landed at Castle Garden on the 28th at noon. We had a very pleasant voyage, just such an one as ensured health and comfort to the passengers. Had the weather been clear and fine, the people would have been uncomfortable, but every day after leaving Queenstown we had rain and strong winds, which rendered the atmosphere cool and pleasant. A large number of the Saints were seasick, but that would do them good; other than seasickness there was enjoyed universal good health. No births, marriages, or deaths. Plenty of food and drink, and all who were not sea-sick had nothing else to do besides enjoying [p.588] themselves, only to assist the seasick ones, and dispose of their bread and dinner. Meetings were held on board as often as circumstances would permit, and all assembled in their respective wards for prayer, night and morning. The captain
, on the first Sunday out, had the episcopal service in the cabin, but on the second Sunday declined. We had conversed with him some on the authority necessary to administer in the things of God; and whether he concluded he had no authority from God to officiate in his name or not as the reason of his failure to hold that service, I do not know. I believe him to be a very honest man in religious matters. Previous to landing we presented to him the following testimonial:
Off Sandy Hook, July 27, 1868.
Gentlemen,--Thankful to almighty God for his blessings and protection extended to us and the company of Latter-day Saints on board, and not forgetting those from whom many of these blessings are immediately received, we tender to you, and each of you, on behalf of ourselves and the Saints under our care, our sincere thanks for the spirit of kindness manifested in all your administrations towards ourselves and them; for the promptness with which their necessities have been met an their wants supplied, and for the constant effort to promote their general welfare.
Wishing you peace and prosperity,
We are, gentlemen, respectfully,
William B. PrestonAurelius MinerMoses Thatcher
To the captain and officers of the S.S. Colorado.
All things worked nicely in passing the luggage at the custom house. The Saints were detained only about one hour, and then all went to the Hudson River Railroad Station, where they remained all night, settling for the remainder of their passage; and on the following day, about five o'clock p.m., all being comfortably seated in the carriages, the bell rang, whistle blew, and away they went towards Albany, feeling that they were satisfied with the water, and thankful that they were on their way to Zion. No information as yet from the "Constitution" or "Emerald Isle;"--neither can it be reasonably expected; for, during all the time we were at sea, we had strong westerly winds which were of no advantage to us, and could not possibly be to sailing vessels. It has taken all sailing vessels about 45 days to reach here that left soon after the "John Bright," which vessel had very fair winds;--but we are looking for the vessels every day. The weather is very warm here, but not so severe as a short time since, when, in one day, 46 persons and 100 horses died from sunstroke.
I have had the pleasure of meeting with many friends since I arrived in this city, some from Salt Lake, and some from all parts of the United States. On Friday I was pleased to meet our mutual friend, honorable W. H. Hooper, at the St. Nicholas. He looked as though his labors had been great, which has, indeed, been the case. He informed me that, on final action of the contested election case, the vote in his favor is unanimous. Thus, again, have the enemies of God's people met with degraded defeat. He also informed me that he had secured the extension of the pre-emption laws to Utah; the establishment of a surveyor office and land office; and Brother L. S. Hill's appointment of the office of receiver. This looks as though justice was at length going to be meted out to long ill-treated Utah. All we ask is our rights under the government, and though the granting of these may be long delayed, we bide our time. Brother Hooper left on Friday evening for Chicago, en route for home. Safe trip to him and plenty of rest, for he needs it.
Brother Preston went on with the Colorado company, as their president. Brother Thatcher remains here, and will remain for a week yet. I shall leave at 8 o'clock tomorrow evening for Cleveland, via the Allan Town and Pittsburgh Railroad, make a short visit at my father's, and then continue my journey home as fast as steam and mail coach can take me.
All the brethren here, Brothers Clawson, Staines, &c., join me in kind love to you, and all the brethren with you. Yours in the gospel,
A. Miner. [p.589]
BIB: Miner, A. [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star. 30:37 (September 12, 1868), pp. 588-589. (CHL)