New Orleans, March 9th, 1844.
Dearly Beloved Brethren, - I now take the opportunity of writing to inform you of our safe arrival in this port. We came in on the 7th, at seven o'clock in the morning; we should have been in sooner, but for having to stop at the bar for a considerable time to wait for a steamer, and we had also a calm in the bay; but I believe that no people that ever crossed the Atlantic ever had a more prosperous voyage than the Lord has favored us with. The captain and crew declare they never experienced such a passage before; but such a captain and crew for kindness I believe could scarcely be met with; his liberality exceeds all that ever came under our notice; indeed, I am at a loss for words to express the respect he has manifested to all.
The cabin and its provisions have been at the service of all who stood in need of them, and the captain has with his own hand ministered unto the necessities of all that required it. Our prayer as a people is, that God our Eternal Father may bless him with eyes to see, and a heart to believe the principles of eternal truth, and reward him abundantly for the favors we have received from him. I hope if you ever see him again, that you will thank him for his kindness to us. But although we have had much cause for rejoicing, yet we have also had our sorrows. We have had two deaths; the first was the wife of Elder James Jones, of Alfrick. She died on the 19th of February, and was buried in the sea on the morning of the 20th, off the island of Port Rico. She died happily. During her sickness, the captain manifested the greatest sympathy, and expressed himself as feeling for her husband as though he were his own brother; but it was not in word only but in deed - he had her removed into his cabin, and there she died; nor has he shown less humanity to the sorrowful widower and children. The other death was the youngest child of Sister Greenhalgh, which died on Monday last.
We had regular meetings for prayer morning and evening, and three times each Lord's day, administering the sacrament in the afternoon. The Saints generally have shown a willingness to give heed to counsel from myself and brothers Hall and Cuerden; and have been very well satisfied with their journey and the ship's stores provided by you, for which they wish to return you their thanks.
We have this morning the steamer alongside of us, and intend getting our luggage on board to day. I assure you we rejoiced exceedingly at the sight of the steamer, which was the "Maid of Iowa," and at the thoughts of going up in a vessel belonging the church, and commanded by an elder of the church, Brother D.[Daniel] Jones.
I must now conclude, and pray God the Eternal Father to preserve and bless you, and believe me to be your affectionate brother in the Lord.
William Kay.P.S. Brothers Hall, Cuerden, Jones, and all faithful Saints desire to remembered to you, and desire an interest in your prayers.
To Reuben Hedlock and Company, 36, Chapel Street, Liverpool. [p.202]
BIB: Kay, William, [Letter] Latter-day Saints Millennial Star 4:12 (April 1844) p. 202. (CHL)