January 6, 1851. I left Manchester for Liverpool with my wife, four children, Janet, Annie David & William, my wife sister, Mary & a poor sister who had been staying with us for sometime & whom we took because she was homeless & could help my wife on the voyage. Her name was Mary Scott & she came to us destitute & friendless. We arrived at Liverpool & went on board the ship the same day.
January 8. I received the following certificate from Brothers Pratt & Richards:
15 Wetton Street Liverpool January 8, 1851To the Company of Latter-day Saints sailing to New Orleans on board the George W. Bourne
This is to certify that Elder William Gibson is appointed to preside over you in connection with Elders Thomas Margetts & William Booth who will act as his counselors. We trust you will give diligent heed to their counsels & instructions in all things & we request the Saints individually to be diligent on carrying out any plans they may devise for your benefit & in conclusion we exhort you to be humble & prayerful during your voyage & the Lord will be profitious to you & protect you during your journey.
Orson PrattF.D. RichardsPresidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Great Britain
March 19. The ship lay in the river a few days. Then sailed & after leaving England had a prosperous voyage & arrived at New Orleans March 19, 1851. I engaged a fine steamer the "Concordia" to take us up to St. Louis where we arrived on March 28, 1851. . . The following is a copy of a certificate given to me by the Saints on board the George W. Bourne. The original I have in my possession.
Given by the unanimous vote of the Saints on board the George W. Bourne 16 March, 1851.
We have great pleasure in presenting Elder William Gibson of our esteem for him as our president. We have found him a wise & judicious counselor a man of God & we testify that he has proven himself a blessing to all who have adhered to his counsel. His conduct has been straight forward, honorable & gentlemanly. It is our fervent prayer to our Heavenly Father that he & his family may be preserved through all the scenes of this life & that they may be ultimately blessed in the Celestial Kingdom of our God.
Signed in behalf of the company on board
Thomas MargettsJohn Bates, CounselorsDavid O. Calder, Secretary
March 19. Arrived at New Orleans March 28 arrived at St. Louis . . . [p.103]
. . . May 1850. I started with the Saints from St. Louis. Brother David O. Calder, his mother & family & I took the steamboat up the river to Keokuk opposite Nauvoo & from our camp we could see the ruins of the temple. We stopped here several days & during that time a number crossed the river to see Nauvoo but I was so busying packing my wagon & many more for our journey that I to my regret could not go forth there. There was some 65 wagons in the company & Elder Moses Clawson was our captain. He was returning from a mission to England. I was assigned with the stopping places for food & water. We took the old Mormon route from Nauvoo through Iowa to Council Bluffs. I was going to say it was a very bad road but there was not road at all that had to be made & bridges built as we came along. We came to Council Bluffs. . . . [p.112]
. . . Sept.15. We arrived in Salt Lake City the middle of this month & camped in the square. . . . [p.113]
BIB: Gibson, William. Journals (Ms 901), vol. 1, pp. 102-103; 112-113. (CHL)