Ship American Congress, May 26, 1866.President B. [Brigham] Young, Junior.
Dear Brother, - By the kindness of the pilot, we are enabled to send you a few lines to inform you of our proceedings since you left us on Wednesday the 23rd instant. On the evening of the same day we held meeting, at which suitable instructions were given by Elders N. H. Felt and J. [John] Nicholson.
On the 24th, we were only able to reach Gravesend, during which time we organized the ship company into seven wards, and placed a president over each as follows: - 1st, G. E. [p.365] Grove; 2nd, W. [William] Smith; 3rd, W. [William] B. Childs [Child]; 4th, A. [Adam] McGill; 5th, J. [John] Grier; 6th, G. Campbell, and 7th, W. Pinney.
On the 25th, we were prevented from proceeding further than Sheerness, on account of a strong head wind. The wind being more favorable, we again resumed our journey at 4 a.m. this morning, and are now, 4 p.m., under full sail. Two-thirds of the people are seasick; but we are happy to inform you that, with this exception, a more joyous, happy, and united band of Saints, it has never been our experience to associate with. All are willing to receive the instructions and counsels of those placed over them, the best of feeling prevails on board, every one appears satisfied, and discontent is unknown in our happy company. Thus far we have realized the promises made to us by yourself. You probably remember that several were very unwell when they came on board, among whom was Brother John Smith, who was obliged to be conveyed in a cab, also Sister Wakefield, whom, we are happy to say, have wonderfully improved.
Continuing in the course we have pursued up to the present, our united faith is, that every blessing you promised will be enjoyed by us, that our Heavenly Father will bless us, heaven will smile upon us, that we shall enjoy much of the Spirit of God, and be favored with a prosperous journey.
We ourselves are at present quite free from seasickness.
The captain and officers are very kind and obliging, and seem very willing to do all they can for the comfort and well-being of the people.
With love to yourself and the brethren in the office, and fervent desire for your happiness, we remain, dear brother, yours in the gospel,
John Nicholson, president,J. K. Whitney,John Rider, counselors,Joseph Andrews, clerk.
P.S.--Sunday, 27th, 1 p.m.--The pilot not having yet left, we hasten to inform you that, the weather being fine, at 10 a.m. we all assembled together on the upper deck, and enjoyed a most excellent meeting, the Spirit of the Lord being copiously poured out upon us. The countenances of all present seemed to beam with joy and gladness. Addresses were delivered by Elders [John] Nicholson and [John] Rider, which were listened to, with apparent interest and attention, by the captain and saloon passengers, as well as by the Saints. We propose holding another meeting at 2 o'clock.
We are happy to inform you that we have already been commended for our cleanliness and good order by the captain. Peace and union prevail. We all feel well, with the exception of those who are seasick, and anticipate some glorious times together. [p.366]
BIB: Nicholson, John, et. al., [Letter] Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 28:23 (June 9, 1866) pp. 365-66. (CHL)