October, 1842 my parents, myself and two young brothers, Joseph and Henry, aged four and two years, left our home for Liverpool, to sail with the company of Saints leaving that month for America. In the ship Emerald, under the direction of Parley P. Pratt, I was appointed secretary of the company and had charge of dealing out the provisions.We had a stormy passage and were ten weeks on the ocean. My mother met with an accident. In her hurry to escape a storm she fell down a hatchway and fractured her thigh. She was attended to carefully by Sisters Pratt and Olive Frost, and administered to by Elder Pratt. In a few days she was able to be on her feet and on arriving at New Orleans was quite well. We took the steamboat "Goddess of Liberty" to St. Louis. Brother Pratt and his family, and his wife's sister, Olive Frost, left the boat to travel inland. Our journey up the Mississippi River was impeded, long before reaching St. Louis, with floating ice, which came within very little of preventing us reaching there, but after nine or ten days we were safely landed. We remained in St. Louis the balance of the winter. I got a situation in a store with a Mr. Severson. My parents finding an old friend whom they had assisted in London to emigrate previously, too shelter with them for awhile. Early in April 1843, Lorenzo Snow with a company of Saints, came to St. Louis on a light draft boat, and the river being just freed of ice they were able to continue their journey on to Nauvoo. We made arrangements and followed them as soon as possible. On reaching Nauvoo, my parents in connection with Samuel Smith, bought five acres of land about four or five miles south of Brother Abraham Hunsaker. My parents also bought some land in the prairies in what was known as Little Field. They built a neat comfortable house thinking they were settled for life and everything seemed favorable for a while.
We attended Sabbath meetings at Nauvoo and frequently heard the Prophet Joseph smith and Sidney Rigdon with others of the Apostles and leaders address the Saints. Nauvoo was flourishing, although the Saints were generally poor. They were exerting themselves to the utmost to build the temple. [p.1]
BIB: Watkins, Williams Lampard. Autobiographical sketch (formerly in Msd 2050), p. 1. (CHL)