"FIFTY-FOURTH COMPANY. -- Ellen Maria, 378 souls. Thursday, February 2nd, 1851, three hundred and seventy-eight Latter-day Saints, under the presidency of Elder George D. Watt, embarked on board the Ellen Maria at Liverpool, but on account of diverse winds the ship anchored in the river Mersey until Saturday morning, February 2nd, when she put to sea before a fair breeze and in delightful weather. Apostle Orson Pratt
, who terminated a most useful and important mission to Great Britain, returned to America with his family on board this ship. After a voyage of sixty three days, the Ellen Maria arrived in New Orleans on the sixth of April. She had experienced a strong gale of wind on the fifth of February, but it abated on the sixth, and in a few days afterwards the Saints had become accustomed to sea life, and were free from sickness. On the eleventh the ship cleared the Irish Sea. The remainder of the voyage was as pleasant as sea voyages generally are. Meeting were held every Sabbath, and also on different occasions during the week, at which Apostle Pratt and other elders addressed the Saints and strangers present on the principles of the gospel. Three marriages, four births and five deaths occurred on board as follows:
Marriages: February 9th, James Stratten to Frances Clark, both of Cambridge; February 22nd, Elder Edward Williams, of Carmarthenshire, to Ann Morgans, of Cwinbach; March 21st, James Turnbull, of Linlithgo, to Mary Mickle, of Port Glasgow.
Births: March 9th, Emily Robbins gave birth to a son; March 28th, Sister Wild to a daughter named Ellen Maria Martha; April 2nd, Sarah Lane to a daughter; April 9th, A
. Entwistle to a son named Alexander Scott.
Deaths: February 11th, Sarah, daughter of R. and S. Preece, aged six months, February 16th, Ann, aged eleven weeks, daughter of J. and E. Toone; March 8th, George, aged two years and eight months, son of G. and S. Spizer; March 24th, Marintha Althera, aged fifteen months, daughter of Apostle Orson and Sarah M. Pratt; April 14th, Elizabeth Shelley, aged fifty-five years.
April 9th, most of the company left New Orleans for St. Louis, Missouri, on the Alexander Scott, one of the largest boats on the Mississippi River, and arrived in St. Louis on the sixteenth. A sad accident occurred going up the river in the case of Sister Shelley, aged fifty-five years, wife of James Shelley, from Worcester Conference, who, in attempting to draw a bucket of water from the stream while the boat was running at the rate of ten miles an hour, was suddenly drawn into the water by the force of that mighty current. She floated for a moment and then sank to rise no more. The engines were stopped immediately and a boat manned and sent in search of her, but it was unsuccessful in obtaining the body.
In the Frontier Guardian of May 30th, 1851, the following notice appears:
'The Robert Campbell (a steamboat) arrived on Wednesday the twenty-first (May) at Kanesville, with a large company of Saints from England, Scotland, etc., under the watchcare and direction of Elder George D. Watt, our able phonographic writer and lecturer. A goodly number of both companies (referring to the Olympus Company also,) are destined for the valley of the Great Salt Lake this season, and the balance will remain in this and surrounding counties of western Iowa, for the time being to raise wheat, corn, potatoes, * * * All the Saints who have got this far on their journey, seem to be anxious to get to the end of it; but the weather being so very unfavorable for the last ten days, they are compelled to lie on their oars a short time, much against their will.' Millennial Star, Vol. XII, pages 58, 200."
Cont., 13:7 (May 1892), p. 328-29
"February. Sun. 2.  -- The ship Ellen Maria sailed from Liverpool, England, with 378 Saints on board, under George D. Watt's direction. Apostle Orson Pratt and family also returned with that company. The ship arrived at New Orleans April 6th."