Ship Elvira OwenMarch 24th, 1853My dear Father and Mother
We are now close to the bar of the in good health and spirits and I pray will find you the same. Father in [-].
February 13 we sailed out of the dock and anchored in the river and was there all day on the 14th until 12 o'clock. On the 15th we stopped so long in order to be examined by the government officers and we soon (12 o'clock) the steam tug came and dragged us out. Up to this time we had been very busy. I'll assure you but I got on first rate. About 3 o'clock the steamer broke down and we stopped about an hour when another which was sent came up and away we went. Soon after the canvas was spread and we did without the steam and then sickness commenced and lasted 8 or 10 days more or less. I was troubled with it more or less but my wife and child have been first rate. My wife has not thrown up at all but it brought me down very much.
On the 16th, sea weather rough. Ship going about 10 mile an hour. We had come 160 miles. At 9 o'clock on the 16th we got through the Irish Channel in 36 hours. This was first rate.
Thursday 17 we had a brisk wind and a fine day but a sorrowful one to a certain extent, for one of our sailors fell over board and all was done that could be to save him. Boat lowered and 4 men in it [p. 1] but all to no avail, he was lost. They again spread the canvas and away we went. The ship was stopped as well as possible. We held meetings for the first time on deck. This evening was very rough and we got a regular good tossing all night. Cans tumbling, bottles rolling, and one woman in labor. Aunt Betty and Sister Tailor went to assist her. The child was dead and soon thrown overboard. This was the 2nd born on the ship. Just after this our Elizabeth Ann lost her [-] soon after she began to grunt and a fine old man came in my hand and this in the dark for the lamp had gone out and then I had to change my shirt before I had got out of bed. Uncle John had got his porridge on his plates when the ship rocked and upset his porridge 4 or 5 plates and in a while after I got some flour out to make a cake and that got upset and all such like messes on the floor and all the while you would see them throwing up and when you walked you would slip about a yard.
Saturday 19th. Fine but little wind and sailing slow. Today we commenced to shake our bed clothes like carpets. [p. 2] Very little progress made today till evening. The wind came and filled our canvas and away we went at the rate of 10 or 12 miles an hour.
Sunday 20th fine and another child born at 6 o'clock in the morning, a fine girl. This makes 3 in one week; one in the dock. Sunday before we sailed past 10 we held a meeting in the captain's cabin and a fine place it is. In the afternoon the sacrament meeting. This evening the waves beg to come over the bulwarks with a tremendous noise and we were rocked very much, but we were going very fast.
Monday 21st. Strong wind, the waves still came over the bulwarks and the hatchways had to be covered and we were in the dark all day and very little air to be got.
Tuesday it was rather better. The hatchways were opened but now and then the water came over and doused some of us very much. Rose got a good wetting. Towards evening it began to be calm and we had a meeting and the order was that we should have a fine day tomorrow and we were to mop under our births and boxes. I mopped under ours. The day was fine and we shaked our blankets.
Wednesday 23 we held [p. 3] a preaching on deck.
Thursday 24 we had a little more sickness. I was sick the same evening. The wind ceased to blow and we had such a rocking that we never had before. Now and then the water would come through the holes of the bulwarks. It continued all day. Now and then a ham would drop that had worn the band in two with rocking. This day we saw a large black fish.
Friday 25 no wind worth speaking of.
Saturday 26. Fine and warm this day. We had [a] sorrowful scene. Brother Whitworth's child died in a fit about past 8 and about 10 it was lowered in the water. It sank deep in my heart and I often looked on my child and weeped over it, for I brought it home. They prayed over it some. Iron was tied to it to sink it. The wind came about 10 or 11 and we moved slowly along.
Sunday 27 fine. We spoke we spoke [SIC] to a small ship with the trumpet. 2 meetings today on deck going 5 knots.
Monday 28 fine. Going about 5 knots spoke to a ship in longitude 36-00 from California came round Cape Horn bound for London. This day we began to make wagon covers and tents ready for traveling. Tuesday. March 1 fine. Wagon covers and tents on deck and they were very busy at work. Both male and female. A good testimony meeting on deck.
Wed. 2 very wet all day.
Thur. 3 wind pretty strong and the ship rocked very much. Brother Whitworth's porridge tumbled on the flour and about 2 pounds of [-] and in a bit Sister Whitworth tumbled on the flour and I and my wife held to our berth and in a bit she came and [a] wish bowl after her. By this time the smallpox broke out and an hospital was made on-deck and 5 went in for a start. We are now in the mouth of the river and I must cut it short.
Wednesday March 23 we have been 5 weeks from the day and a day [p. 4] we sailed out of the River Mersey.
Feb. 15th we have got through very well. Our Elizabeth Ann has done first rate and she is a first rate eater, nothing comes wrong for her and she has slept very well. We have had 4 ship lamps burning all night, a privilege which very few have in fact we have had a first rate captain. We cannot give him too much praise. We expect it to be in enabled to get her some milk in a day or two from this and her mother has been greatly blessed with health. In short, we have been blessed more than we expected for which we feel to thank God and give him the praise. One morning we dowsed our Elizabeth Ann with salt water. On deck the passengers take to her very much. We are very happy so far on, but we should be happy if you were here. With respect to [-], Roseilla got through very well. We have all clean at present. We do not expect to go on shore at New Orleans. We are now becalmed a few miles from the bar of the river and we can see the steamers playing to and fro a great distance from us. Joseph W. Young, L. Midgley, [p. 5] J. Pickton are our leaders and they have acted like men of God for our welfare with regard to giving up our [-] at Liverpool it is all false. I never heard a word about it and we expect to have something returned for our child. If you come come [SIC] in the first cabin the fare is 14 Â£ a head and according to Stephen Lee's words in Ashton can set a table out as well as they have in the cabin. It is cheaper for those who have money for you have nothing to provide our zinc cans and plates are not good for use. Our bottles rums and our plates are not good for the fire, blocked tin is the best for everything in my opinion excepting water bottles and those should be strong at the bottom. This letter as been wrote among the busy bustle of children and men and whomever going backward and forward so you will excuse my blunders and things that you would think I might have wrote but I shall write again as soon as possible.
Receive our love to you and give the same to Charles and wife and don't forget Ann. [p. 6]
We feel your kindness better than we can express it. My dear father and mother receive our kind love and believe me when I say that we have not as yet felt to regret at the step we have taken but on the other hand we feel to rejoice. Cheer up, the God of Heaven wilt protect us. My love to Anna, Amy, and Sarah [-] Thomas and Bridget and [-] give my love to Henry Whitaker and his wife and to all my old weavers and in particular those who took so much interest in our welfare and all the twisters and Mr. John Bathy and tell him my patterns are right at present and to the overlooking please read it our love instead of my love & Brooks Bank.
Our love to Ann Twedy and Brother Joseph Brammar and his wife, John and his wife and tell Joseph if he wants in my sport he must come on board on emigrant ship and sorrow to these letter are going to post by J. W. Young. [p. 7]
The next letter I write will be to my father but as soon as you have read this you must let them have it and so when they have one. A few lines from my wife in parting.
As on the raging deep I gazed
I often though of you
And would exclaim in accents mild
That what you said was true
That I had left a father kind
And mother dear to me
And sisters to whose actions proven
That they were kind to me
This little [-] for us
And we kiss her for you
Elizabeth Ann and you must kiss Emma Jane for us. We have had a first rate time of it. We saw the Isle of St. Domingo on the 11th of March in a few days after we saw the isle of Cuba and we had a pleasant sight of it. 4 births, one still born 3 deaths of our own company and 1 sailor fell over board. 3 marriages no more [-] our affectionate son and daughter. W. Clough and wife, Luke Branmar, to lack of [-] Ann air and a lock of [-]. [p. 8]
BIB: Clough, William, Letter, March 24, 1853, in Letters, 1853 (Special Collections & Manuscripts, Vault MSS 265), pp.1-8. (Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)