Monday 22-23 Tuesday. These were two very busy days. President Richards informed me that he had appointed me president of the company of Saints to sail on the Constitution, as the "Resolute" had not arrived in port & he desired me to arrange the passengers in their berths. I met the Scottish as they arrived and conducted [them] to the Constitution. The arranging of the Saints was no small matter. It was a very late hour before I attempted to retire and even then I did not sleep during the whole of the night. In the evening of the twenty-third the Constitution pulled out into the Mersey.
Wednesday 24th. All hands and all things was prepared. The government officers came on board before whom the Saints passed one by one. Not an objection to anyone. This done, President Richards assembled the Saints and addressed them briefly upon the duties and faithfulness that they should diligently observe to insure a safe voyage over the water. He then informed the people that he had selected Elder H. [Harvey] H. [Harris] Cluff to preside over the Saints during the voyage and asked them to manifest their willingness to sustain me in this calling. The vote to sustain me was unanimous. He then presented J. [Joseph] S. Horne and C. P. Liston as my counselors who were sustained by vote. "We promise you a safe voyage beloved Saints, through your faithfulness to and humility before God." The officers and President Richards and elders left the Constitution amidst shouts and waving of handkerchiefs. There was no sorrow hanging upon the countenances of the passengers, the entire company of over four hundred souls.
The Constitution, as I have said, was a substitute for the "Resolute" and was a substitute really unworthy the cognomen. The Constitution had sacrificed the upper deck by fire some years ago and since that event, it had been used as a lumber freighter, & only from the fact that it was the only vessel in port belonging to the company, the "Resolute" failing to arrive on scheduled time. We were not aware of the condition of the vessel or great fear would have frenzied the people and given them such a fright, a stampede might have occurred before sailing. (Note further on what the [p.100] captain says concerning the Constitution. One very important change made inside of the vessel which must have been conducive of the health which was enjoyed by the emigrants. I refer now to the arrangements inside which were entirely new. The sleeping berths were put up with new lumber and as the ship had been freighting lumber there was no bad smell.
At 2 o'clock p.m. the tug pulled us out into the open channel and did not leave us until midnight. I addressed a brief letter to President Richards. On the following day we waltzed first towards Ireland there to Wales, tacking and retacking with scarcely breeze enough to swing us around. Towards evening five stowaways were discovered on board. We effected a complete organization dividing the decks into wards and placing an elder over each ward.
On the 26th the Captain William Hatten awoke me early to write a letter to President Richards if I chose to as a vessel was approaching and he could forward a letter to England. I therefore wrote another short letter to Brother Richards. The five stowaways were put on this vessel and sent back to England. We are still waltzing on the bosom of the quiet deep: but on Saturday the 27th a big breeze waltzed us towards America at about 9 knots per hour, and as the ship began to heave, the passengers began heaving also. The deck was soon minus passengers and huddled below, such of the passengers who had never been on the ocean and experienced seasickness, were frightened and myself and returning elders were frequently called upon to administer to such. Others again were frightened to walk the upper deck for exercise notwithstanding we urged them to do so. The huddling of four hundred people below in the throws of seasickness, produced a nausea to well folk. So when we elders visited the sick below we found it very difficult to keep our stomachs from heaving. Elder Liston especially was unable to retain food on his stomach for eight or ten days, yet strange to say he relished his eat and took a good square meal.
The cooking range was insufficient for such a large body of people. The time for cooking was divided pro rata with the six wards so that each ward would have its time and not interfere with the time of another. Some cooks were more expeditious than others [p.101] were and always ready to let their successor have access to the range at the stated time. Then when the hungry successor failed to get access to the range, loud and unpleasant words followed by imprecations, was the result. One very disagreeable characteristic is brought to the surface more prominently in Latter-day Saints when traveling. If the man or woman is not constantly in the enjoyment of the Holy Spirit, small things irritate and disturb their equilibrium. On the other hand, the man or woman in the full enjoyment of the Spirit of the Lord, would not notice small things or if noticed, he or she would be so imbued with patience that they would be able to maintain equilibrium and brotherly kindness. So when the whole sum of the matter is up, the character of fruit is perceivable and by words and our works are we judged. You cannot gather grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles. We therefore accept the company composed of English, Scotch, Irish, Welsh and Swiss, and will do the best with each possible.
A moderation in the wind about eleven o'clock Sunday the 28th enabled us to hold meeting at the noon hour, which was addressed by myself and Counselor Horne.
During the time of our severest experience when the waves dashed furiously against the ship and occasionally over the upper deck sweeping everything off not made fast. We were in the midst of a cyclone, so the captain said, the fury of which passed around us. This was fortunate for us, as our frail vessel could not endure the full force of a cyclone. As it was water came in the side of the ship by force of the waves, so that bedding of the passengers was made wet and remained so until the weather permitted putting them out to dry. After the storm subsided, we the elders, worked diligently to keep clean below by washing and fumigating from day to day. By the sanitary vigilance which we preserved kept the health of the passengers was kept [UNCLEAR] in very good condition during the entire voyage. One very important arrangement which we adopted by special permission of the captain was to keep the passengers on deck until bedtime. The nights were very delightful and sitting on deck enabled friends to visit and count their suffering over or sing songs that enlivened and cheered our souls. It can be said of a truth that the Saints had very [few] regrets in making [p.102] their journey to Zion.
The services of the ship doctor was only called upon once during the entire voyage, that was to see a child. The mother of the child became alarmed and desired the doctor to see the sick child. I had to lead the doctor below as he was unable to walk the deck alone. The doctor Mr. Johnson gave certain prescriptions and after I returned him to his room on the upper deck, I repaired to the sick child, the mother in tears. I said, "Sister, do you wish to follow the advice of the doctor?" She said "No!" Then said I, "What would you like done for the child?" "I desire the Elders to administer to my child." "That," said I, "is the very thing I have desired you to ask for, but I wished you to be satisfied as to a doctor, by him visiting you." I called the elders and we administered to the child and the next morning the child was quite well.
The doctor entered a complaint to the captain, because I did not deal out to him one quart of beer and a pint of wine daily, which amount he said he must have. The captain said the beer, wine, and brandy were in the possession of Mr. Cluff, and can only be given out to sick emigrants. The doctor also complained because he was not called upon to visit the sick. "Doctor" said Captain Hatten, "these people are Mormons and don't believe in doctors, but of course the government compels us to have a doctor on board, hence you are here, and unless Mr. Cluff requests your services you are not to go among the people."
The monotony of the voyage in calm weather was sometimes broken by shoals of porpoise which were very diverting in their swimming all in one direction, which was evident as they shoot out of the water and then plunge into the water all headed one way. It might be termed a "stampede" for the whole surface of the sea was in commotion for a long distance.
The two incidents that I am about to relate were with the carpenter and captain, and the captain and first and second mate. The carpenter got angry with a pig, which the captain intended for fresh meat before the voyage was over, and threw it into the sea, and when the captain discovered it struggling for life, he started with his vocabulary of swearing and never stopped until he reached the end of all applicable adjectives and our Captain Hatten was certainly an expert at swearing if the term be proper in this case. [p.103] The row in the other incident began with the first and second mate, which culminated in the second mate drawing a knife to stab the first mate which however was prevented, but the captain's ire was again in fever heat, and repetition of swearing was indulged in. The captain was better versed in the use of profanity than any other part of the English language. The result of the fracas was the confinement of the second mate in chains. The faults of the captain were somewhat mitigated in our feelings by the feeling of kindness which he showed toward us and our people. He granted to us the "freedom of the ship" so to speak and when any of the elders who were sick, especially C. P. Liston, he would have the steward prepare something extra from his own table. The cabin passengers who ate with the captain were, the first and second mate, the doctor and myself.
The 4 of July was only recognized by the captain sending up fire rockets and the loading of a large barrel with combustibles and touching fire to it and lowering it down which was seen burning for a long time after the lowering. Songs, toasts and cheers whiled away the evening to the amusement of the passengers and at a late hour all retired to get a few hours sleep.
As we advanced towards the promised land, the captain grew more familiar and confiding with me so that he imposed, (implied) confidence in me. He confidentially told me of the unsafe ship Constitution; that it was unseaworthy and no emigrant but Mormons would venture to cross the sea in such a ship. "I tell you Mr. Cluff, I will not attempt to take this ship back to England," said he.
No greater danger to navigators is met within this track of the ocean than the iceberg especially in the vicinity of Newfoundland banks. On the 21 of July we passed a huge iceberg three miles in length and probably four miles long. The coldness in the vicinity of this mountain of ice made one feel that he was within the fridged zone.
I now copy my letter of appointment from President Richards as I failed to insert it in its legitimate place in the journal.
42 Islington, Liverpool June 23 1868 [p.104]To the Latter-day Saints on board the ship Constitution.Beloved Brethren and Sisters:
This certifies that Elder Harvey H. Cluff has been appointed to preside over you during your passage hence to New York and Elders Joseph Horne and C. P. Liston, his counselors to assist him in all the duties of the presidency.
You are exhorted beloved Saints to receive these brethren in the capacity to which they are appointed and receive their counsels with joy and gladness that you may have peace and blessings during your passage over the ocean and confidence to grow in all that exalts the righteous in the estimation of our God and secure to you his constant favor and protection. Especially I exhort you to avoid the least shadow of discord on account of speaking different languages, realizing that all are equally the children of God who keep his commandments. One and all of the Saints on board are particularly requested to aid in preserving cleanliness and good order, that health and happiness may reign predominant among you; remember your prayers at the appointed time, that the Lord may not forget you when you most need his arm outstretched for protection.
Your brother in the gospelF. [Franklin] D. Richards
To furnish a change of program from the monotony which has prevailed for some time past, the 24th of July came along reminding us of the arrival of the pioneers in the valley of the mountains, the place to which we are bound and in honor of the day, the captain hoisted flags and at night illuminated the ship. We held a meeting on deck and C. P. Liston acted as orator of the day. Speeches, songs, recitations, toasts entertained the audience for two hours. The captain gave a toast in honor of Apostle O. [Orson] Pratt with whom he had crossed the Atlantic Ocean twice. He spoke very highly of the Apostle. The captain got up a fine dinner and invited the returning missionaries: Joseph S. Horne, C. P. Liston, John Hoagland, Hiram T. Spencer, George Burridge, Nephi Fawcett, and David Dunn to dine.
The following are the names of the company of Saints which I [p.105] presided over crossing the sea and through the states: [THESE NAMES ARE LISTED ON PAGES 106-108 AND ARE INCLUDED IN THE PASSENGER LISTS].
. . . It was on the 3rd day of August when the pilot from New York came on board 12:30 o'clock p.m. We were delighted in the fact that we were near land yet we could not see it. The pilot reported that the Emerald Isle [arrived], which sailed four days before the Constitution in which we are sailing. The 4th day of August was a joyful day for it was on that day that the land of America was sighted, a sight long desired by all on the Constitution. We all felt that no regrets would occur with any of the passengers in removing from the Constitution to land, and for land transportation as a change from the sea voyage.
How can we feel grateful enough to our Heavenly Father for the blessings which he has so graciously bestowed upon the passengers of the Constitution. Considering the kind of ship, the crowded passengers into a corral as it were, and the leakage of the old tub, makes our preservation still more to be thankful for. While it is true we had some sickness, yet the perseverance of the elders in watching their wards and looking after health of the people, administering to the afflicted and giving comfort to the despondent and cheering up the downcast. Thus we arrived in the port of New York without losing a single passenger and without any contagion, and four days ahead of the ship Emerald Isle which was considered a good seaworthy vessel. I think Dr. Johnson was the most feeble man on board the Constitution. He remained on his bed [p.108] most of the time, under the influence of opium. He will not crave in the future permission to be a doctor on a ship with Mormon emigrants.
Sunday Aug. 5 late in the evening the Constitution cast anchor off from Castle Garden, New York. I went ashore with the captain hoping to meet H. B. Clawson, the church shipping agent, but failing to find him, I put up at a hotel near where the captain stayed with a friend. I felt disappointed in not meeting with Elder Clawson and in the morning, I hastened to the ship. From the shore I reached the ship by canoe for which I paid fifty cents. The tugboat was there taking on the luggage of the passengers to transport to the Castle Garden, for inspection by the government revenue officers. Here is the first trial that emigrants encounter on land. Every box, trunk, and grip is torn open and their contents hauled out to find if possible contraband goods. Usually Mormon emigrants are not possessed of goods liable to confiscation, if however an emigrant suspects he is liable and he may if he is up to the "tip" business, induce the office to look at his trunk with one eye shut, if he opens it at all. When the officers were through their investigation, the luggage and emigrants were reshipped on the tugboat and taken up the Hudson to the railroad station. Here the luggage and emigrants were booked for the west.
Aug. 7th 2 o'clock p.m., the train pulled out following up the Hudson River. I remained at the Church shipping office to finish up some business with the agent Clawson. Business finished, I jumped aboard the express train and stopped at the first station after passing our emigrant train and waited until our train came up and I joined my company joyfully. The following morning we researched Albany, capital of the State of New York where we remained until noon. As I held the ticket for the entire company, the railroad agent called me to his office and said he wanted to count the company and would go through the train just [as] it was ready to pull out and he desired me to go through with him. This gave me an opportunity of saying to the friend I could depend upon to remain outside and especially see that all the emigrants were inside. Agent Clawson gave me [to] remember that it was possible that some poor person might join us while we were passing through [p.109] the states. Such had occurred with other trains carrying our people and if you have any board the train and join the company you might get along with railroad officials the best you can. I passed through the cars with the agent and counted every person and when finished, we had the exact number as I had tickets call for and yet there were six men outside showing evidently that six persons had joined us since leaving New York.
In order to have order in the cars during our journey we appointed one elder to each car as we had done on shipboard. The duty of these brethren was to keep track of their number of passengers, keep things tidy in the cars and have prayer night and morning and avoid contention. I was again informed that the company would be counted at the Suspension Bridge passing over the line into Canadian dominion and therefore I took the opportunity of being left at Rochester and after the train had gone, I informed the railroad agent that I was left and that I had the ticket for the entire company and he requested the agent at the Bridge to let the company pass. I boarded a freight train to the bridge and got on the express train Sunday evening and next morning overtook the company at Detroit, as it was just ready to pass back into the United States. Here the people had a little time to provide themselves with a few necessaries in the food line. We leave Detroit about 10 o'clock a.m. and arrive in Chicago the following morning. From Chicago to Omaha we only had 3 passenger cars, the other cars to make sufficient for the company were box cars. I experienced the greatest difficulty in pacifying the people. The three passenger cars were not capacity for the women and children and of course single men rushed into and filled them. The only inducement I could offer was "All ye single and able bodied men and boys come with me and let the women and children and aged occupy the passenger cars, we will have [a] jolly time together." It was very galling for them to give up cushioned seats and go into old box cars. It was a trying time and a most ridiculous requirement from the officials of the railroad. I had the headache, backache, side ache, bellyache, leg ache, feet ache, and conscience ache, but we arrived in Omaha without anything worse than the aches [p.110].
It was in the morning of August 13th when we arrived in Omaha and in the evening of the same day when we pulled out. We were on a grass plot near where the train was to stand. I should [UNCLEAR, PROBABLY stood] about one hundred yards away. Before the people were allowed to board the train the agent came to me and said, "I want to count your people before the train starts," "Yes sir said I. How do you propose to do it?" "We will [place] several men about half way between the people and the cars and count them as they pass to the tram." Well if the agent had known what the people had endured coming from Chicago to Omaha, he would never [have] adopted that mode of counting. I was never so amused on the whole trip from Liverpool to that place. There were six passenger [cars] trained up in full view of the people. Six cars for nearly five hundred five hundred emigrants. I said to the people as instructed by the agent, "You must not go to the train until the agent gives the word." Everyone with his food basket, grif [UNCLEAR] and parcel was ready and when the word was given, you never saw a greater stampede of people than occurred upon that occasion. Counting the people was as difficult as it would have been to count a herd of cattle in a stampede. Why the agents had to get out of the way or be trampled down, and they did get away uttering and muttering imprecations, oaths and threats, but the stampede continued until all were in the cars. The agent concluded to telegraph to a station ahead and instruct an agent to count the people while the train was in motion. I concluded we reached the climax and that the fourteen person [UNCLEAR] who swelled our number would certainly be caught. I did not feel responsible for the presence of these people on the train and therefore I had no right to put them off. The train pulled out from the Omaha Station at 7 o'clock p.m. It taxed our our [SIC] most patient energy for two hours to get the people quieted down and reconciled to their crowded condition. One disagreeable incident occurred which marred our peace. Elder Spencer and Brother Neil got into a disputation which resulted in a fight and as Spencer struck Neil he fell back, his elbow striking a young lady in the breast which caused her to faint. I succeeded in restoring quiet and repentance effected between the two assailants and we move on without any trouble worth mentioning and arrive in Benton which was on the 16th of August. Benton is the terminus of the railroad. Here the wagon company of Captain Gillispie from [p.111] Utah was waiting our arrival. We were taken by Captain [John] Gillispie out to his camping grounds where we remained in camp until the arrival of the luggage of the emigrants. We received the goods and on the 23rd we started out crossing over an unbroken country . . . [p.112]
. . . We had two deaths at Hardie Station in Parley's Canyon. That made four deaths in the company during the journey from Liverpool to Salt Lake City. From Hardie Station, I walked to Salt Lake City in advance of the company. This was September 15th 1868. . . . [p.113]
BIB: Cluff, Harvey Harris, Autobiography and Journals (Ms 1687, vol. 1, pp.100-5,108-13. (CHL)