We set sail for the United States, February 15, 1853, on the sailing vessel Elvira Owen. Our journey across the ocean was fairly smooth. The saddest accident being the loss of one sailor, who fell from the rigging and was lost in the sea.
We arrived in New Orleans, March 31, from where we went by steamboat up the Mississippi River, stopping at St. [p.8] Louis one month. I think it was here where father bought two cows, fresh in milk. A butcher bought the calves. Taking the cows with us we continued up the river to a place called Keokuk, which is across the river from Carthage.
It was at Keokuk where we received our oxen and wagon, and was on our way across Iowa in Claudius V. Spencer's Company. We worked our cows in the swing, making three yoke altogether. The cows never failed to do their share, besides giving us a good supply of milk, which we appreciated very much.
Soon, after starting our overland journey, our captain began complaining about some being overloaded. We were referred to as being among the number. Father then sacrificed a valuable set of tools, realizing only five dollars for them. Then to satisfy the captain, my mother's stove had to go. Our team was young and not well broke, so father was advised to trade one yoke of them to a friend of the captain for an old yoke and pay five dollars difference, which he did. A few day later one of the old oxen got in a mud hole during the noon hour, and stayed there. The father sold the other for twenty dollars, and allowed the train to go on and leave us.
A few days later, Brother Cyrus H. Wheelock came along with his train. When he saw father he asked him what he was doing there. After a little explanation he exclaimed, "If Brother Wheelock gets into the Valley Brother Belliston shall if he want to go." We appreciated his kindness, and hitched up the oxen (black ones named Peter and Michael) and the cows (Prim and Rose). We were soon on our journey again. . . .
. . . We arrived, safely, in Salt Lake City on October 6, 1853, and drove to the public square. There we soon found some kind friends, Brother and Sister William Reeves. They were two of our English acquaintances. They kindly invited us to their home. . . . [p.9]
BIB: Belliston, James Thomas, [Autobiography], IN Belliston: James Thomas Belliston and Louisa Miller, Their Forbearers and Descendants, comp. by Lester H. Belliston (privately printed, 1976) pp. 8-9. (CHL)