. . . March 26th In good health, and spirits. We pay our lodgings and go on board our ship. We are much crowded and found it difficult to get our goods on board in good time owing to the throng.
March 27th We found our noble vessel safely anchored in the River Mersey where we continued until next morning accompanied by many of the prominent elders, of our church, from the various conferences of England, Scotland, Wales, and Germany.
March 28th The steam tug made her appearance and made fast alongside of us. We passed up the English Channel with cheerful hearts. President Pratt left with the tug when it returned the same day with loud cheers by the Saints.
March 29th Seasickness came on slowly and continued to increase when rain came on and made it disagreeable on deck.
March 30th We are suffering with saltwater colds and the sea is rough. The sickness at the worst yet there are enough well to take care of the sick. Ships and small crafts are seen all around us.
March 31st The sickness continues most severe. Little or no rest. I am very sick. It seems as though my nervous system is shaken with a saltwater cold. [p.169] The sea is very rough. No rest at night. My stomach rejects food all the time.
April 1st I feel wretched in the extreme. I am very weak. The sea continues boisterous. A ship is seen to the right and another to the left of us. Prayers are attended to by our chaplain, morning and evening.
April 2nd The sickness begin to abate quite fast. We are making good headway. Some of our sick are conveyed up on deck to enjoy the fresh air. Some are very weak. The weather is stormy at intervals making it disagreeable. Today my health is much improved.
April 3rd The sickness continue to abate, and the Saints begin to enjoy themselves in some degree.
April 4th The provisions was delivered out today. We are sailing slow and through the night we almost encountered a calm. Our vessel lounges about in the sea.
April 5th Quite a strong breeze sprang up we are making good headway, the wind favorable all day.
April 6th Sailing at the rate of 10 miles an hour. Quite a number are suffering with dizziness in their heads.
April 7th Some continue sick medical aid is needed. Great vigilance is observed by the Saints in regard to cleanliness. An aged man very sick.
April 8th The aged brother continues sick and also a young child and a Mrs. Jenkens [Jenkins], the effects of her confinement. She has been delirious and suffered much. She is not a member of our church.
April 9th The aged brother is brought upon deck to enjoy the fresh air. I perceived he was dying and I remarked to a person that stood near me. The day passed the Saints appear to enjoy themselves.
April 10th The aged brother is dead and his remains cast into the sea with a bag [p.170] of sand tied to his feet. His funeral was solemnized by the official duty of Elder [Charles K.] Dana.
April 11th We approached the banks of Newfoundland. The weather became damp and fog increased. Some of the weaker sex made too free with the sailors. They are watched closely by the elders.
April 12th The small child is dead and consigned to a watery grave. Elder Martin officiated. The fog continue and a lookout is placed in the forecastle. He blows a horn at short intervals, to warn all approaching vessel and thereby prevent a collision. Preaching morning and evening.
April 13th The fog clears away and towards evening the breeze slackens to nearly a calm. Considerable difficulty to keep some unruly girls of the upper deck. They want to accompany with the sailors.
April 14th Quite a calm. At nine o'clock, however, a breeze sprang up and we glide along cheerily. The weather is getting much warmer. Some appearance of Spring.
April 15th Weather much the same as yesterday. Quite a number of sick. We are evidently approaching some land as we discover quantities of seaweed adrift. I am not well. I shall be glad when we get to shore.
April 16th Stormy during the day. Again the wind slacken and our ship rolls and lounges about and the tin pans and slop pails continually upset.
April 17th Mrs. Jenkens [Jenkins] is dead and cast into the sea. She leaves four small children.
April 18th A calm disagreeable and hard to stand on deck. That evening a breeze sprang up and we sail at the rate of seven miles an hour. My health is much better.
April 19th We have a fair wind but very cold. We are near land. The sea gulls began to appear and the sailors are getting out the large cable preparatory to casting anchor. We had public worship today. [p.171]
April 20th We passed Cape Cod. The lighthouses are in sight of both sides of us as we sail up Boston Bay, and we were soon safely anchored inside of Boston City, then inspector came on board when a storm came in snowing and blowing terrific.
April 21st The storm continue. Our ship drift quite a distance dragging her anchors. At 4 o'clock storm slacken. The ground is covered in snow. I think I never saw a worse storm.
April 22nd The ship is towed in and made fast to the pier. We are glad to have the privilege to go onshore. Elder John Taylor arrived from New York. The necessary arrangements being made, we prepared to abandon the ship, next day.
April 23rd All busy, the cars are come for our baggage. We hasten to the station, we leave by an emigrant train direct Iowa City. We pass Albany, Buffalo, Toledo, and Chicago, and arrive at Rock Island in the Mississippi River. Myself and a few others took passage on board the "Metropolitan" steamboat bound for St. Louis, Missouri. The main of our company went to Iowa City, thence to Utah. My party arrived at St. Louis May 3rd. I found business matters rather dull and mechanics just beginning to work. I made my temporary stay with Robert Mongomery [Montgomery]. This man is a bootmaker by trade and learned the business with my father, when I was a schoolboy. His parents was poor and he grew up to manhood without an education, and when he became familiar with me and listened to my reading he expressed a desire to learn to read. I felt to sympathize with him and proposed at once to be his teacher. I put him through his studies at odd times and he made wonderful progress in short time, so much so that many people were astonished and I was proud of my pupil and he was thankful for his tuition. Child as I was at that time. . . [p.172]
. . . and now today the same man is one of the finest boot makers in St. Louis and own a fine residence in North St. Louis. He bade me welcome to his home where I received every mark of kindness that could be desire during my short stay with him which was until the 20th of the month, when business opened up effectually and I went to work, in my line of business and had steady employment; and a few weeks afterwards I purchased a bale of goods for the sustenance of my family and sent them by James A. Little's train of merchandise bound for Utah which all arrived safe. . . [p.176]
. . . Thank God for all his goodness, and his protecting care over his honest and much abused people. We arrive at home, Salt Lake City, Sunday, July 11, 1858. I found my house deserted, the windows were boarded up, and my house encompassed about with weeds; and wild sunflowers. There [p.185] were a few currents that have ripened and a few peas fit to gather. . . . [p.186]
BIB: Palmer, James. Reminiscences (Ms 1752), pp. 169-72,176,185-86. (CHL)