On board "West Wind," St. Joseph, Missouri, July 2, 1864.President Cannon.
Dear Brother,--We take great pleasure in resuming the report of our journey for your information. We wrote you a long, but we trust not a tedious letter concerning our passage across the sea, which embraced a record of the most important events connected therewith. As we informed you therein, we arrived in New York Bay on the evening of Wednesday, the 22nd ultimate, making the passage over the sea one of thirty-two days, which, at this season of the year, may be considered an unusually short one. We were unable to disembark that evening and next day, in consequence of there being upwards of one thousand emigrants in advance of us, who, of course, occupied Castle Garden. We, therefore, could not get the Saints landed before Friday morning. On Thursday evening Elders Joseph A. Young, Brigham Young, Junior and Paul A. Schettler, went on board the ship and addressed the Saints. They, together with Elder [William C.] Staines, expressed their satisfaction with the manner in which things had been conducted on the voyage, with the pre-arrangement of the business connected with the landing of the people and their further journey toward Wyoming. They also expressed the joy and pleasure they experienced at seeing so goodly a company blessed with general health and good feelings. Notwithstanding the fact that brothers J. [Joseph] A. Young and Staines had received no communication respecting the business of this company or list of passengers, (which accident, doubtless, occurred through detention at sea of the mail steamer), we were able to settle everything with but little difficulty. There was but one obstacle that we foresaw would interfere with our immediate departure from New York, and that was, the examination of the passengers' baggage, which we anticipated would be diligently overhauled by the officers. Doubtless through the heavy demands on the United States' Government for the continued support of the expensive war now being waged upon this continent, a strict and rigid system of searching in emigrants' luggage for contraband articles, is enforced; the officers charge for almost everything beside what individuals are clothed with. This obstacle, however, was removed, and we succeeded in having everything landed without any serious difficulty arising therefrom, and particularly without the people being detained in New York more than twelve hours. We left New York in the afternoon for Albany, by the magnificent steamboat "St. John," where we arrived early on the following morning. The organization of the company remained, at Brother Joseph A. Young's desire, as it originally stood. After staying a few hours at Albany, the company took cars for St. Joseph, and on Sunday morning reached Rochester, New York, where we were detained until 2 o'clock in the afternoon, through an accident to the luggage-train locomotive which was in our rear. Nothing unusual occurred after reaching that point until our arrival here. We would remark, however, that we received from the superintendents and other officials, at the various stations, [p.524] the best of treatment. At Buffalo in consequence of our detention at Rochester, we were presented with a large quantity of biscuit and cheese by the superintendent, which were distributed among the Saints. Agin, at Port Huron, we were kindly furnished with a large supply of bread and cheese, which were also distributed among those who were needy, of whom, it may be observed, there were a large proportion with this company. These supplies were at the time very acceptable, for we have often been bewildered how to act and where to obtain funds to procure food for the many who depended mainly upon us for their support. Very few indeed have had more than enough to take them to Wyoming. Frequently we have had to go, while on our railroad journey, from carriage to carriage, taking up collections fro those who were completely destitute of funds and food. If our brethren and sister knew, before they started, the requirements of the journey, and how essential it is to have means, they would exert every energy and dispense with every trifling and unnecessary thing which they, in their simplicity and folly, deem proper to take, in order to provide themselves with what they want, and not have to depend upon those who have been more frugal and wise with their means, and upon those who have sufficient responsibility devolving upon them without that of having to feed the people. Many, when they landed at new York, had no means whatever to procure food with, and they at once leaned upon those who were in charge, and expected to be supplied with all they wanted. We would consider it advisable, under the circumstances, for those who intend starting on this journey to preserve their means until necessity requires them to use what they have, when they can do so judiciously and with much more satisfaction than otherwise. Were it not for the liberality of those among us, and those whom we have referred to above, we would have required a great stretch of faith to procure food--such faith as is not often found exercised upon this infidel earth. AS it is, the blessings of the Lord have been upon us; his providence has met us under every ill-favored circumstance and supplied our wants. To no other power but the power of the Almighty can be ascribed our prosperity and success.
We reached St. Joseph last night, and occupied a large shed-room attached to the warehouses of the Steampacket Company. Every able-bodied man was stationed as a guard, so that clear around the building there was a strong guard watching the safety and property of those who slept. Some of the saints preferred sleeping in the open-air, in consequence of the intense heat, which is such as many--especially from the old country--never experienced before. Around these again was also stationed a strong guard. We are now sailing up the Missouri River, having started at half-past ten o'clock this morning, and we expect to reach Wyoming tomorrow night.
We will here state that we were met at Chicago by Elder Parley P. Pratt, who left the company with which he sailed from Liverpool, on arriving in the states, to visit his wife's relations. He accompanied us to Wyoming. Elder bull, while escorting a small party from Palmyra in advance of the company, had the pleasure of meeting with our representative, Judge Kinney, who was on his way home from Washington, together with Elders W. S. Godbe and F. A. H. Mitchell. These gentlemen voluntarily subscribed fifty dollars toward helping the poor alluded to above, which at the time (for Brother Bull was without any means to procure food for the company in his care), was very acceptable.
Wyoming, N. T., July 7.
The company landed at Wyoming on the evening of the 3rd instant. All who left England with this company, with one or two exceptions, together with a few who joined us at New York, arrived here safely. No deaths have occurred since we last wrote to you. The people are now preparing for their overland journey, and are divided into companies for that purpose. Captain Rollins will take about 300 of them, and Captain Warren most if not all of the rest. The Saints have commenced amp life already. Some are sleeping in wagons, others under tents, and others, again, with nothing [p.525] but the sky to cover them. This change in their mode of life, however, has its novelty and its pleasures. A few only express themselves dissatisfied with the change, and because of the inconveniences they have been subjected to, consider that the work of God here and on the journey hither, is not the same glorious work which they labored to promote in those lands whence they came. The change in this case, nevertheless, has done for the Work what has failed to be done heretofore--namely, to sever from the midst of the Saints the faint-hearted and hypocritical. The first train this season left here on the 28th ult, under Captain Murdock , and the next, independent, on the 29th, under Captain J. D. Chase. The third train, with about 400 Danish Saints, under Captain Preston, has moved out about four miles, and will soon start for the plains. Captain Rollins' company will leave in a day or two. There is considerable fitting out this season by merchants, and a great deal of merchandise and machinery will be taken on the Great Salt Lake City.
We pray the Lord to bless you and all who are abroad laboring for Zion's welfare. Your brethren,
Thomas E. Jeremy, PresidentJoseph Bull, CounselorG. G. Bywater, CounselorJohn C. Graham, Clerk [p.526]
BIB: Jeremy, T[homas] E[vans] [Letter] Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 26:33 (August 13, 1864) pp. 524-526. (CHL)