President George Q. Cannon.
Dear Brother,--As the tug will soon leave us, before its doing so I hasten to send you a few lines to inform you of our well doing. We left the Mersey this morning about five o'clock, in charge of a pilot, who left us about 7:30. We now have a light, fair breeze, and the captain says he will not keep the tug over an hour longer.
The people are all feeling fine; a good, contented, quiet spirit prevails in their midst, and the songs of Zion and Israel are reverberating from stem to stern of the ship. Grumblers and discontented ones do not appear to have embarked on this vessel, such is the spirit of unity amongst them. They do not seem to fear seasickness, but look forward to it as a natural consequence which they will endeavor to endure with fortitude and forbearance one to another. Your remarks and instructions to them at the organization on Friday last seem to have sunk deep into their hearts, and they are already practicing the same. Yesterday, after you left us, was spent in counseling [p.398] and instructing them relative to little matters which they found themselves at a loss to proceed in, and in the evening we went round the ship and organized the people into six wards, the first to be presided over by Elder William H. Pitts, the second by Elder James Watson, the third by Elder Edward Cliff, the fourth, or bachelors' hall, by Elder Lewis Bowen, the fifth by Elder William Hopwood, the sixth by Elder John Gibbs, with from two to four teachers in each ward, and have desired them to see that prayers are held in each ward at eight a.m. and eight p.m. each day, that cleanliness and good order predominate, and that no iniquity of any nature exists in their several wards.
The above named brethren are one with the Presidency of this vessel, and I know will do their utmost for the salvation of the people, and I believe in selecting them we have selected those whom the Lord wants and desires to take charge. We will just mention that Brother Robert Patrick is captain of the guard, and is the right man in the right place. The captain and other officers have as yet done all they could for the convenience and well doing of the Saints on board, and I am sure will still do so. I think, Brother Cannon, with the blessing of the Lord, and his Spirit imparted to us that we may have wisdom to direct everything in a right manner and faith to control the elements in our favor, that we shall have a safe and pleasant passage over the trackless ocean, and I trust that we may be able to reach New York without iniquity being found in our midst, that thereby we may have greater claims on the blessings of the Almighty.
Your brethren in the gospel,
David M. Stuart, president.W. H. Perkes, clerk.[p.399]
BIB: Stuart, David M. [Letter] Latter-day Saints' Millennial
Star 25:25 (June 20, 1863), p. 398-399. (CHL)