I, Maren Jensen, was born January 28, 1846, in Hjorring, Denmark. My father was a miller by trade, also a millwright, and his work kept home from him most of the time and the cares of home and children were left for mother, everything to attend to both indoors and out, but we were always happy. When I was five years old, my parents joined the Mormon Church. Then persecution began. The mob was very cruel to the Saints, and when we had meetings on Sunday, they would gather around the house, and as soon as meeting closed, they would take the brethren and treat them very cruelly. Many parents did not feel that they could endure such treatment longer, so they sold their homes and all their household goods and prepared to emigrate in the year of 1852. In November we left our home and went to Copenhagen. On the fifth of December the same year, we sailed for England with the first company of Mormon Emigrants that emigrated from Scandinavia.
We landed safely in Hull. We then prepared to sail for America. We sailed on a sailing vessel, which travels much slower than a steamship. We were on the Atlantic eleven weeks and three days, and had very little to eat. They gave each of us a tin plate, tin cup, and a spoon when we started and we kept them as our own. Then a man came around with two large pails, one in each hand, and gave us our rations. Every other day we had split peas boiled without seasoning, and often burnt at that. The next day we had barley prepared for food, and boiled the same way. The grown [p.48] people had one cup each day, us children half a cup. Then we had what they called sea-biscuits. They were as large as a small saucer and were made of shorts or some course meal of some kind, and so hard we could only gnaw them, but we were glad to get the one each for the grown-ups and the one-half for children.
We had no water except what was carried on the ship, and they used to haul it up, out of the bottom of the ship every morning, and we could have only so much a day. I was seven years old at this time--the oldest child in the family and I used to take the little tin pail and get our allotment for the day. We never sat down to a table while on board the ship.
Then one day a steamboat came and took us on board and we soon landed in St. Louis, Missouri. The day we got on that boat, I went to the kitchen door. Then is when I saw the first negro woman, and she gave me a slice of white bread and a piece of roast beef, and a piece of pickled beet. I never tasted anything so good. I ran to mother and gave her some of it, and she enjoyed it too. While in St. Louis, we had better food. . . .
. . . On the twenty-ninth of September, we arrived in Salt Lake City. . . . [p.49]
BIB: Norton, Maren Jensen Cutler, [Autobiographical Sketch] IN Ancestry and Descendants of Mads Christian Jensen, 1600-1960, comp. By Kathryn S. Jensen (privately printed) pp. 48-49. (CHL)