Saturday, June 13, 1868--The emigrating Saints, 630 in number, went on board the steamship "Hansia" at Copenhagen, Denmark, which sailed for England. Previous to sailing President Carl Widerborg came on board and named me as leader for the company. I was accepted by unanimous vote. A number of police officers, the emigration agent, and several of the brethren accompanied us to Elsinore. Owing to the large company on board we were very much crowded for room.
Sunday, 14--We passed Laeso and Skagen and the last we saw of Denmark [p.7] was the Hanstholm Lighthouse.
Monday, 15--We arrived safely at Hull, landed and went by train to Liverpool, where we arrived about midnight and were taken to several hotels by the brethren from the mission office in Liverpool.
Tuesday, 16--Accompanied President Widerborg to the mission office at 42 Islington and attended to business for the emigrating Saints.
Wednesday, 17--Visited the emigrating Saints who were stopping at seven different hotels. Some were comfortably located, while others were dissatisfied because they had had next to nothing to eat. I assisted in making them more comfortable, and then visited the ship Emerald Isle which is to take us across the Atlantic Ocean, and had a conversation with the captain.
Thursday, 18--Assisted the other brethren to change money and otherwise prepare for the voyage.
Friday, 19--The emigrating Saints went to the wharf where the Emerald Isle was lying, in the morning, but as the carpenters had not completed their labors in making temporary berths for the passengers, these were compelled to wait until past noon, when they were ushered on board in great haste. It was a most unpleasant sight to witness the poor emigrants treated like brutes by the sailors and others, and it certainly was a wonder that none was hurt. About 250 emigrating Saints from the British Isles also boarded the same ship. A tug boat towed us out into the river, where we cast anchor for the night.
Saturday, 20--President Franklin D. Richards and Elders William B. Preston and Charles W. Penrose, from the Liverpool office, came on board and a meeting was held, on which occasion the vessel was blessed and dedicated to bring the Saints safely across the mighty deep. President Richards gave me instructions as the leader of the company, and James Smith was chosen as my first and John Fagerberg as my second counselors. Elders Peter Hansen of Hyrum, and a Brother Parks were called to act as stewards and Hans Petersen [Hans Pederson] appointed clerk of the company. The visiting brethren then addressed the Saints under the influence of the Spirit of God and every heart was touched by the words uttered and the pleasant influence which pervaded the assembly. As the brethren left us to go ashore, we gave them several ringing cheers. Soon afterwards the anchor was weighed and a small steamer tugged us out into the open sea. I was very busy assisting the Saints in finding their baggage, which was scattered all over the ship, and showing the Saints their berths and getting [p.8] them settled down. Thus I succeeded in bringing some little order out of chaos. I also appointed guards to protect the Saints against the sailors, who seemed to take delight in annoying and insulting us in every way possible. . . .
Elder Jensen continues his journal as follows:
Sunday, June 21--We held three meetings during the day in different parts of the ship (Emerald Isle) and divided the company into 13 wards, each with a presiding elder. A sailor fell overboard, but as he was a good swimmer he was rescued by a passing steamer. In the evening I performed the marriage ceremony for two couples.
Monday, 22--Beating against a contrary wind, we saw the hills of Wales and Ireland. Together with the brethren, who assisted me, I was very busy in perfecting the organization of the company and getting the Saints satisfactorily divided into their respective wards. We gave numbers for drawing water, provisions and cooking, administered to the sick and supplied them with medicine and little wine.
Tuesday, 23--We commenced to distribute provisions among the people, but as this was something new and novel in the experience of the emigrating Saints, it took us nearly all day to complete the distribution. I held a meeting with the teachers, giving them instructions about the cooking and divided the kitchen between the English and Scandinavians. [p.9]
Wednesday, 24--I settled up financial matters with the people and conversed considerably with the captain, the doctor and the mate.
Thursday, 25--The experiment was made with the distilling machine which should change the salt sea water into fresh water, but the trial proved unsuccessful, as the man who had been assigned the task of running the machine was incapable. Consequently, Elder Smith consulted with the captain, and it was decided that the ship should touch at Queenstown, Ireland, to take fresh water on board.
Friday, 26--We anchored in the outer harbor of Queenstown and the captain went ashore. A large number of traders came out to us from ashore in boats from whom we bought bread and other things that we needed. In the afternoon both the English and Scandinavians danced on the deck.
Saturday, 27--The emigration inspector came on board to examine both ship and passengers; they subjected the captain and myself to considerable interrogation. When they returned, the captain, the doctor, Brother Smith, and I accompanied them; while ashore we also made a quick visit to Cork. Returning to Queenstown we dined in a large hotel, bought several articles for the emigrants and went on board in the evening, bringing with us a large quantity of water.
Sunday, 28--More water was brought on board, and we held a meeting on the after deck, at which Elder Smith spoke English, Elder Fagerberg Swedish, and I both Danish and English. Later we held four meetings on the lower decks and administered the sacrament. Soon after that, anchor was weighed and a tug boat hauled us out into the open sea; this gave me an opportunity to write a few lines to President Franklin D. Richards, informing him that the English steward had left us, and also three of the crew, namely, the third mate, the boatswain and a sailor.
Monday 29--I accompanied the doctor visiting the sick, who were given medicine. We administered to a number of sick persons, and commenced to organize choirs, both among the English and Scandinavians. We also started schools in which the English were to teach the Scandinavians to read and speak the English language.
Tuesday, 30--We again distributed provisions among the emigrants, which this time was more expeditiously done than before. Quite a number of the passengers suffered with stomach disorders, and about a dozen children were down with the measles. [p.10]
Wednesday, July 1--A child belonging to Brother Jens N. Christensen from Aalborg, Denmark, died with brain fever. We made a rude coffin, held a large meeting, at which we spoke both English and Danish, and then slid the body of the little child into the sea. This was the first death on board.
Thursday, 2--we made arrangements with the mate to have washing done twice a week and to have the clothes hung up to dry, after which I visited the sick, accompanied by the doctor.
Friday, 3--Conversed freely with captain about the rights and privileges of the passengers, as both the sailors and officers treated the emigrants roughly and uncivil. It came to harsh words between us, as I stood up for the rights of the people, exhibited my papers, and demanded that our people should be humanely treated and also have the portion of the water due them. I succeeded in getting some concessions, though the captain was hard to move.
Saturday, 4--Met in council with brethren of the presidency and the Steward, at which we discussed the best methods for cleanliness and the general comfort of the people, after which I accompanied the doctor in his visits among the sick. We counted 51, who were sick with the measles. In the afternoon the English Saints gave a concert in commemoration of the American independence.
Sunday, 5--We held meeting on the deck and preached on the first principles of the gospel. I appointed two men to keep order on the deck and two to look after lost property and restore it to the proper owners.
Monday, 6--A Swedish child died with measles early in the morning; the parents were overcome with grief, as it was their only child. We had three barrels of English beer brought up from the hold, which was distributed among the sick. A number of the bottles were broken, owing to the fomentation and strength of the beer.
Tuesday, 7--We held funeral services over the remains of the dead child, Elder Fagerberg officiated and preached the funeral sermon. The wind blew heavily from the northwest and many of the Saints were seasick. We met a large frigate from New York and exchanged signals with her.
Wednesday, 8--We again distributed provisions to the people, and I visited the sick. The measles are spreading rapidly; I secured medicine for the sick and we administered to a number of them. [p.11]
Thursday, 9--The weather was good, and it rained part of the day. The measles among the children seemed to abate some; we administered to several who got better. We passed a vessel from London, bound for new York, with passengers.
Friday, 10--Calm weather and rain prevailed this day. We hunted in the hold and found the soup cans, intended for the sick, and condensed milk for the children, which we immediately distributed. This gladdened the hearts of the sufferers. During the night another child died with the measles; the parents were from Slagelse, on Sjaelland, Denmark.
Saturday, 11--We held funeral services on the deck over the remains of the dead child. The mate acted in a very ungallant manner, and disturbed our peace without cause. It rained, but the wind was light. A sister by the name of Nielsen, from Sjaelland, Denmark, died in the afternoon with lung disease. We laid her on a board and brought her up in the machine room.
Sunday, 12--We sang and prayed on the deck, then committed the body of our dead sister to the waves, after which we held meetings at four places on the ship, two on each deck. Elder Smith and I preached in two and Elders Gaferberg [Fagerberg] and Peter Hansen in the other two. I spoke both English and Danish. We also administered the sacrament. After the meetings we sang hymns and visited the sick, many of whom seemed to be improving.
Monday, 13--This was our washday, and the first mate acted ugly and brutal towards our people. He cut the strings and threw the clothes down on the deck. And just as I was passing with the doctor he (the mate) grabbed Sister Sanders (from Grenaa, Denmark,) in the breast which caused her to scream. I seized him and pulled him away from her with main force and upbraided him for his brutality. While held the mate a number of the sailors and many of our people gathered around; also the captain. I reminded the captain of his promises to me in Liverpool to the effect that he would permit me to settle any difficulty that might arise between the crew and the emigrants and that the sailors should not be permitted to abuse the Saints. Incidentally I also remarked that if the ship's officers and crew did not treat the emigrants right and humanely there were experienced sailors enough among them to manipulated the ship and bring it [p.12] safely to New York. The captain then called the mate into the cabin and gave him a tongue lashing; he afterwards kept him three days in confinement. It rained hard during the day.
Tuesday, 14--We again distributed provisions. Our effects were successful, but it took most of the day to complete our task. We also visited the sick. The wind was favorable and we made eight knots an hour.
Wednesday, 15--We had a contrary wind. There was dancing on the deck, and the mate, who was at liberty again was angry, especially with the captain, and sent a lot of water out on the deck, in order to annoy the Saints.
Thursday, 16--We held a meeting on the deck, in which Brother Barlow spoke in English and I translated; afterwards I spoke both Danish and English, endeavoring to teach the people about proper deportment and sociability. Later in the evening I went up and had a conversation with the first mate. I succeeded in softening his feelings towards us, but he was angry with the captain and put the blame on him. I then went on the middle deck, where one of the English brethren died with erysipelas. We laid him out and brought him into the machine room.
Friday, 17--We held funeral services on the deck over the remains of our dead brother before they were consigned to the deep; the old brother left a wife to mourn his death. We had contrary wind and saw a large vessel en route for New York.
Saturday, 18--Two children died with measles; we held a meeting and then buried the little ones in the sea. The wind was good. I compared tickets with the captain's list, and found that there were 24 more tickets than names in the book.
Sunday, 19--The weather was stormy and many of the passengers were sick. A child form Randers, Denmark, died; we held meeting on deck; the English sang, and I spoke both in English and Danish, and then the body of the dead child was entrusted to the waves. Contrary wind. The sailors now behaved a little better toward our people than they had done before.
Monday, 20--We secured from the hold some bullion soup, wine and brandy for the sick and weak, and distributed the same among those who needed it; and as we began to fear scarcity of water, we made out a list by which we could distribute the water sparingly.
Tuesday, 21--We again distributed provisions to all the passengers visited the sick and gave some of them wine. A child died with measles, [p.13] and we buried it in the evening, after holding a little meeting or funeral exercises. During the day we saw a number of vessels.
Wednesday, 22--We had contrary wind, and our course in consequence was northward. Owing to icebergs in our immediate vicinity, the weather was also cold. A child belonging to Jorgen Karlsen, of Valdsted, Jutland, Denmark, died with measles. Prior to its burial in a water grave we held a meeting on deck. In the afternoon we held another meeting on deck with the English Saints. We also held three meetings on the lower decks for the Danish Saints; all the meetings were good and gave encouragement to the Saints. A Danish woman gave birth to a large and beautiful child, and everything connected with the event came off successfully; a Swedish sister fell in a fit and another sister fell down the stairs and fainted; we administered to her and she recovered.
Thursday, 23--We had good wind, and saw a large iceberg; also several vessels. The captain gave us chicken soup for the sick, and we held a meeting with Scandinavians, at which Elder Fagerberg and I preached.
Friday, 24--A number of sick persons were moved from the lower deck to better places in the fore part of the vessel; I administered to a number of them. The English Saints entertained us with singing and telling anecdotes. We were now on the banks of Newfoundland with 35 fathoms of water. The weather was fine.
Saturday, 25--Good wind. We saw eight fishing smacks and three larger vessels, at anchor. We encountered a tempest and rain, during which one of our sails was torn and Brother Peter Christiansen, from Vendsyssel, Denmark, broke his leg through the ship's anchor sliding on to him. Others of the Saints had narrow escapes from being hurt.
Sunday, 26--The storm continued, though scarcely so severe as on the first day, but the sea was very rough; the wind tore one of the larger sails, blowing portions of it into the sea. We buried two Danish children who had died the previous night; one belonged to Brother Jens [Carl] Osterman [Ostermann], from Grenaa, and the other to a widow from Sjaelland, Denmark. Still another Danish child died the same day.
Monday, 27--Rain and contrary wind. We buried the dead child. The doctor and captain insisted on amputating Brother Christiansen's broken limb, but I objected, and so it was bandaged instead. We distributed special food and drink among the people, in order to alleviate their [p.14] sufferings and cheer them, but a great number of the Saints felt downhearted and discouraged, and some fainted through weakness. During the violent heaving of the vessel a number of beds or berths fell down with people, boxes and valises that were in them, and everything of a moveable nature that could possibly get loose, was tossed about in the ship.
Tuesday, 28--I was taken sick with fever, diarrhea, and severe pains in the stomach. The doctor and captain made another attempt to amputate Brother Christiansen's broken limb, but he protested so earnestly that they gave it up.
Wednesday, 29--My sickness continued. Elder James Smith and Hans Petersen [POSSIBLY: Hans Pedersen] visited the sick. The weather was better and the wind favorable.
Thursday, 30--Two children died and were buried in the sea. One of them belonged to Johannes Olsen from Vendsyssel, Denmark. I began to recover from my sickness, but several of the Saints on the lower deck were seized with fever.
Friday, 31--I was better, but Brother Peter Hansen was seized with the same sickness that I had suffered with.
Saturday, Aug. 1--A child belonging to Knud Christensen, from Aalborg, Conference, Denmark, died and was buried at sea. I was still very weak from the effect of my sickness.
Sunday, 2--Heavy wind. Another child belonging to Brother Osterman died and was consigned to a watery grave; the family was from Aarhus Conference, Denmark. Another child belong to Brother Nebel of Copenhagen Conference, Denmark, died and was buried in the sea.
Monday, 3--An English sister, 54 years old, and another of Brother [Johan] Nebel's children died and were buried in the ocean. I was gradually getting better, though still weak, but I was overwhelmed with sadness because of the suffering and deaths among my people.
Tuesday, 4--Three children died and were buried at sea. One of them belonged to Hedvig D. Hahl, [POSSIBLY, Dahl] another to Henrik Hansen and the third to Niels Christofferson; the two latter were from Oernes Conference, Denmark. I had by this time regained my health and held two meetings with the Saints on the deck.
Wednesday, 5--I visited the sick, improvised a new hospital on board to which we removed a number of the sick. By actual count we found that 150 of the surviving passengers were sick. The cause of this terrible [p.15] condition was mainly this, that the water had spoiled and had become impure. Sickness had also in the first place been brought on board at Liverpool.
Thursday, 6--A little girl belonging to Brother Osterman [Ostermann] died and was buried in the sea. We held a meeting on the deck. The wind was favorable, though it rained considerable during the day, and it was also foggy off and on. We made an inventory of the company's baggage and counted 1,118 pieces.
Friday, 7--Six of our children (One English and five Scandinavian) died and were buried in the sea. We held services as usual before the burial and I spoke first to the English and afterwards to the Danish Saints. I could scarcely control my feelings on this sad occasion; the innermost feelings of my heart were touched, and there was scarcely a dry eye in the assembly. We all felt our situation most keenly; our losses and sufferings seemed to be greater than we could bear; for there were still many sick nigh unto death among us. In the afternoon we held a general meeting for the Scandinavians and we spoke plainly to them concerning the situation on board and how carful they ought to be after landing, with their food and water. Later, I held a council with the ward presidents and gave them the necessary instructions. Toward evening we took pilot on board, which cheered up the drooping spirits in part, though we were still 300 miles from our destination.
Saturday, 8--Good weather prevailed; but we had contrary wind. The sick in the hospitals were improving; an English sister gave birth to a daughter. The Emerald Isle is a three master frigate with three decks; the captains's name is Gillespie, that of the first mate Check, and of the second mate McFarlind; the doctor's name is Creeg. The whole roster of sailors numbered 36, nearly all bad and ill tempered fellows. We had a captain by the name of Kerby along as a cabin passenger. The officers were continually quarreling among themselves.
Sunday, 9--We held general meeting on the deck. I blessed the English child born on board; it was named Emerald after the ship; after this I married Peter Nielsen, from Sjaelland, Denmark, to a sister from Hjorring Denmark, after which we preached first in English and afterwards in Danish. The first mate disturbed us, as he was angry, and quarreled with the captain while we held our meeting, and the sailors assisted in annoying us [p.16] all they could. Our people felt the insult keenly, particularly the English Saints, who came near defending their rights with force. The wind was favorable all day.
Monday, 10--A child belonging to a Brother Thorsen [Thoresen] died and was buried in the sea. The weather was now warm, and the wind insufficient to give us speed. The fever spread among the passengers and two more children died.
Tuesday, 11--To our great joy and delight we saw land in the morning, and later a tug boat met us to take us in. This inspired the passengers with life and new hope. We buried the two children who had died the previous day in the sea. I made a visit through the ship in the interest of cleanliness and wrote letters. We passed Sandy Hook, soon after which the doctor and quarantine officers came on board. Upwards of 30 of our sick passengers were take on shore in a steamer and placed in hospital. The first mate who got mad and picked a quarrel with the captain was arrested and confined to his own room.
Wednesday, 12--Doctor and officers again boarded the ship and examined the passengers, to ascertain if there was any contagious diseases on board. The doctor took eight persons with him to shore and placed them in the hospital. I also landed with him, and then took a steamer for New York, where I found Elder Hiram B. Clawson, the emigration agent, William C. Staines and Heber John Richards, to whom I gave a report of my company, and I took lodging at a hotel.
Thursday, 13--I went to the bank with drafts and drew $26,777.25 in greenbacks and $1,000 in gold, after which I took passage on a steamer back to the quarantine landing, whence a boat took me to the Emerald Isle. Soon after I came on board anchor was lifted and a tug boat took the vessel in to the city wharf. Here I landed together with the captain and the doctor and put up at the Stevens Hotel.
Friday, 14--I went to Castle Garden and received the emigrants who were landed from the Emerald Isle. After passing through the general routine at the landing offices, we boarded two steamboats which took us a couple of miles up the river to a large shed by the railway station, where we commenced to weigh the baggage and make other preparations for the overland journey. [p.17]
Saturday, 15--We continued the weighing of goods. A child died and was sent into the town for burial. It was a very busy day for us, and we used a railroad car for an office, where four of the brethren assisted me with the business affairs of the company. In the evening the train left with the emigrants for the west. I remained behind to finish the business together with Brother Scholdebrand [John Skolderand].
Sunday, 16--Worked hard at my office in the railway car.
Monday, 17--We left New York by rail and traveled to Suspension Bridge.
Tuesday, 18--We continued the journey to Detroit, Michigan, and provisioned the company of the road; stopped in Detroit three hours.
Wednesday, 19--I arrived in Chicago in the morning, and worked there on the accounts until the company came along in the afternoon; I then got the Scandinavians in better cars, they having rode in the poorest cars all the way from New York. We continued to journey and crossed the Mississippi River.
Thursday, 20--We arrived in Council Bluffs in the evening and camped in the open air.
Friday, 21-- Brother A. Larsen from Omaha came to us in the morning and helped us to cross the river on a steamer, and also showed us the way to the station, where Sister Kjar died. It cost us much trouble to get the Saints in the crowd ed cars, as these were poor and uncomfortable. Some of the Saints were left to come with the next train.
Saturday, 22--We continued the journey from Omaha westward. Assisted by Brother Scholdebrand I was busy with the accounts.
Sunday, 23--We crossed North Platte river. A Sister Hansen gave birth to a child (a girl) in the cars.
Monday, 24--We traveled through the Black Hills and passed through Laramie City. Some of the saints were very sick on account of the heat and the ride.
CAMPED ON THE NORTH PLATTE
Tuesday, 25--We arrived at Benton, the terminus of the railroad, where we met two companies of Church teams, about 100 teams altogether. We traveled with these teams about seven miles and camped on the North Platte; during the night we had to sleep the best we could without our baggage.
Wednesday, 26--Teams went back to Benton after our baggage. After they returned, we all got very busy with washing our clothes, raising [p.18] tents, etc.
Thursday, 27--I was busy with accounts, and all were busy making ready for the journey with the Church teams.
Friday, 28--Accompanied by Captain John G. Holman I went to Benton to make purchases for the company.
Saturday, 29--I again went to Benton and bought goods for $400. On my return to the camp I opened store in a wagon and distributed such provisions to the saints as they needed for the journey over the mountains. Four persons who had died were buried this day.
Sunday, 30--We loaded the wagons and held a meeting in the evening. The instructions from President Brigham Young were read, and the company was organized. I was appointed chaplain of the company that went with Captain Holman's train. There were about 60 wagons, with 12 persons to each wagon. Church Agent Pyper gave instructions to the company.
Monday, 31--Accompanied by Brother Carl C. Asmussen I went to Benton and bought some medicine which we thought might be useful for the sick on the journey. We also bought guns and ammunition and other things for a number of the brethren.
Tuesday, September 1--We commenced our journey in the wilderness. I traveled free with the Brothers Christensen, on condition that I should help them on the journey. . . .[p.19]
Friday, 25--We arrived safe and well in Salt Lake City. . . ." [p.21]
BIB: Journal History, September 25, 1868, pp. 7-19,21 (CHL) Journal of Hans Jensen Hals.