New York, July 20, 1863.President Cannon.
Dear Brother,--We take great pleasure in reporting to you our safe arrival here on the 19th instant, after a passage of forty-nine days, which, on the whole, although rather long, has been a very pleasant one, we having had but few days' hard blowing. From the time we left Liverpool till we reached the Banks of Newfoundland we experienced a constant succession of head winds, but the weather was mostly fine, the captain having taken the southerly course by way of the Western Isles. On reaching the Banks, we had dead calms, heavy fogs and light head winds, making it very cold, damp and disagreeable on deck. On the 26th ultimo an iceberg hove in sight and created quite a curiosity among those on board, another was also seen on the following morning. The wind continued to head us up to the 13th instant, when a favorable breeze arose, which continued until we reached port.
On the whole, the Saints got over their seasickness very readily, but few remaining sick beyond the first week we were out, and those few were kept so more from weak constitutions and standing complaints than from seasickness. Some of the more strong and hearty were not afflicted at all.
We are sorry to have to report the outbreak of measles among the children, through which we have had to regret the loss of twelve. On the night of the 14th instant, one of the ship's boys carelessly got overboard, being at the time playing among the chains on the outside of the bow of the ship, which was traveling at the time at the rate of eight miles an hour; the ship was put about, a boat was got out and every exertion made to save him, but darkness speedily coming on, nothing was seen of him; a buoy was thrown him as he passed the stern of the ship, but whether he got it or not we cannot say. This accident created quite a consternation on board; for a time every mother thought it was her own boy.
To somewhat counterbalance the number of deaths, we have had six births; also two marriages on the 2nd, between James Berry and Mary Yates and John Yates and Mary Berry, of Liverpool Conference.
On Sundays, June 14, July 5 and 12, the weather being favorable - which has not been the case on the other Sabbaths during our voyage - meetings were held on deck, at which Brother Stuart instructed the Saints relative to their duties on ship-board and the necessity of embodying the principles of truth and holiness in their every-day intercourse with each other. Although each ward was called together night and morning for prayers, at which we occasionally met with the Saints and spoke to them relative to their condition, yet they seemed to enjoy the Sabbath meetings very much and to appreciate and practically apply the instructions given. Peace, and joy at the privilege of gathering, have existed with the Saints all the time. Contention and strife had no abiding with us; we had not one difficulty or dispute to settle, for each seemed to bear with [p.557] his neighbor and strove to overcome evil with good, realizing that they could not have everything as convenient and comfortable on board a ship as they had at their former homes, and the result was, that though we were so crowded together, many happy times were spent on board the Cynosure, and the songs of Zion were sung with a heartfelt gratitude to the Lord for the deliverance he had thus far worked for us all.
The highest eulogium is due to Captain Williams for his kind, affable and gentlemanly manner towards us all on board, - from ourselves to the crying infant in its mother's lap, who wanted something softer and sweeter than hard biscuit to cut its little teeth with. To the sick he has been very kind, supplying them, in many instances, from his own table, although ample provisions were made for them by yourself. His generosity and disposition to oblige will long be remembered by all the Saints on board. The other officers of the ship, also, treated us all very gentlemanly.
Quincy, July 28, 1863.
We are sorry to say that, owing to press of business, we were not able to finish this letter in New York. We landed at Castle Garden on the afternoon of the 21st instant, and left there on the following morning for the railway station in Thirty-second-Street, where we had to remain until 2 a.m. on the morning of the 23rd, on account of a bridge on the Hudson River line having been damaged by a squall of wind which arose on the morning of the 22nd. We reached Albany about 3 p.m. on the 23rd, and remained there until 12:30 noon of the 24th, when we left for the Suspension Bridge, arriving there at noon on the 25th, where we were immediately transferred to other cars and were speedily wending our way to New Windsor. We reached that place at 7 a.m. on the morning of the 26th; crossed the river in a ferry steamer to Detroit, and took cars at 11 a.m. for Chicago, where we arrived about 9 a.m. on the 27th, and immediately left, without transferring the luggage - which we have had to do at every other point - for Quincy, where we arrived about 10 a.m. this morning and leave in the course of an hour or two for St. Joseph.
The Amazon company is about 24 hours ahead of us; on coming through Canada a quantity of their luggage was burnt, but was made good by the Great Western Railway Company.
In all our journeying a good share of patience prevails in our midst, and all appear satisfied and contented.
With kind love to all the brethren, yourself and all the Saints of our acquaintances, we remain, your brethren,
D. M. Stuart.J. S. Gleason.W. G. Smith.W. H. Perkes, clerk.[p.558]
BIB: Stuart, David M. [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star. 25:35 (August 29, 1863), pp. 557-558. (CHL)