. . . Sunday Jan. 23rd. Left our lodgings in Liverpool where we had been very comfortable and also very kindly treated by the people who showed every kind attention to my affliction and in company with my dearly beloved son & husband. Came on Elder Gates, [UNCLEAR POSSIBLY Long], Elizabeth, [-]. [p.9] Board the ship Golconda which had moved out of the dock [-] caught her crossing over the bridges and I was most affectionately received by all the Saints and Brother Nefshin [UNCLEAR POSSIBLY Neslen] & oldest son assisted in seeing me onto the ship where I met to my surprise Elders Harmon, Carmichael & various others who very sympathized & manifested every kind attention for my good. I was immediately placed in my berth in bed and was as comfortable as I could be everything being arranged as far as possible for my comfort and my heart. I swelled with gratitude to my Father in Heaven for all his great goodness & mercy unto me. In the afternoon my beloved Jack left us to attend a meeting [p.10] in Liverpool (as well as to see Brother Samuel R. on various business) accompanied by Elders Gates, Harrison [UNCLEAR POSSIBLY Harmon] and various brethren and returned about 11 o'clock all in good spirits stating that the steamer would be alongside on the morrow. My dearest Jack slept on board with my dear husband. The Golconda is a fine large ship with between 3 & 400 Saints on board. The captain very kindly interested himself in seeing me safely on board & showed me very marked attention as to my comfort &c &c as well as the mate & various of the crew who have continued their kindness the whole of the voyage in every kind attention [p.11] they could show me, repeatedly inquiring after my health &c [-] and here I must not forget the extreme kindness of the captain & steward who repeatedly brought me hot bread - soup that they [-]. Indeed all kindness has been manifested towards me.
Monday Jan. 24th The inspector from government came on board with the medical inspector. I passed him well. He only saying I must have suffered much in coming thus far and wished me a safe voyage. There was a general search for stowaways at 3 o'clock but found none. We drew our rations for the week & water for the day. Elder Daniel Spencer & President Richards came with the government officers. [p.12] Brother D. Spencer came to see me and blessed me in the name of the Lord & trust I should have a safe voyage & go in safety to the land of Zion, then bid us farewell. Brother Richards came & saw all arrangements complete for my comfort & expressed himself perfectly satisfied with our provisions & that Brother Maiben had settled all according to our wishes & after showing me the likeness of his wife & children blessed me in the name of the God of Israel and then bid me adieu with deep feelings on both sides. I can but still cherish the kindly feelings I have experienced from all the various brethren &c. &c. [p.13] Well now I am called to say I had to part with my dearest boy & son & Brother J.B. Maiben. The God of Israel bless him and watch over him during his prolonged stay in old Babylon as little did I think it is [-] to leave my native shore. He left in company with Elder Gates after blessing both me & my ever dear husband & committed us unto the care of our Father in Heaven & we shall ever remember his kindness and watchfulness & anxiety for our welfare & comfort [-] the with a choice blessings of the God of Israel rest upon him now & even prosper him 1000 fold for all his affection to us, in 10,000 ways & we long for the period we shall meet again. [p.14] He bid us farewell and left in company with various who were going on shore for the last time. We parted in as good spirits as we could all muster [- -] each not wishing to distress the other although we were all heartbroken to part with our beloved Isaac for indeed he was & is still. On Elder Gate's return he brought with him for me from my beloved Jack Lyons Poetry, the Harp of Zion, the Star [Millennial Star] for the week - and Orson Spencer's Pamphlet. With a very affectionate parting note written at the office in [-] St. prior to starting for the train for London and the Lord reward him for all his affection & I will [-] prayer on his [p.15] behalf, and prosper him in all his undertaking & give him favor in the eyes of all the gentiles &c &c. After all was settled with the government officers and they had left in company with President Richards, Spencer &c &c and as we waited to sail the next tide, Brother Harmon married a brother and sister. And Brother Spriggs had subscription raised to upset him, being his wife who was dead on shore & was obliged to left [leave] to be interred by Brother Richards & Spencer. Mrs. Spriggs returned to the ship with his 4 motherless children at 3 o'clock many trying with his infant son 6 weeks old. He came when the steamer came along to tug us out of the river - this ends our story in the River Mersey. [p.16]
Tuesday 25th about 9 o'clock the tug steamer "Sampson" took us in tow and at past 10 left us in the Irish Channel. The wind was mild but quite favorable and the Golconda spread her sails to the breeze and moved steadily through the water with but very little motion. On the pilot leaving us we sent letters by it to our beloved by saying farewell and expressing our affection. &c &c &c for all his kindness and goodness to us & expressed to him the satisfaction of President Richards on all that had been done &c &c &c My dear husband and myself wrote to him as well as various others sent letters to their friends. [p.17] Towards evening the wind increased a little. We emerged from the smoky atmosphere of the Mersey and as we entered St. George's Channel we felt the motion of the ship was beginning to affect us considerably and several of the brethren & sisters were seasick - but I am glad to say it did not affect me nor my dear husband nor have either of us suffered any inconvenience all the voyage of any account. During the day the ship was put under organization for cleanliness and good order of the passengers. Elder Jacob Gates was appointed president by President Richards of the ship & was accepted by the Saints on board with all good feelings. [p.18] And they voted to sustain him and his counselors Elders A.M. Harmon and C.V. Spencer. John Carmichael was appointed captain of the guard with instructions to keep 2 men on watch at a time during the [watch] each night - and Brother William Rostrow was appointed to give out the weekly provisions. The passengers were divided into 7 divisions and a captain over each division whose duty was to see cleanliness observed and to call their respective appointments together for prayers at both night and morning. Each division to take their turn in drawing their rations for the week and water daily & cooking &c &c. [p.19]
Wed. 26th Several showers. The sea rather rough, many of the passengers seasick. The ship sails well. Passed a large ship under full sail - lost the last glimpse of land about 2 p.m. which was one of the rough bray's of Padder's Land. Wind fresh and our yards nearly square.
Thurs. 27th - The wind fresh this hour. Yards square. The ship rolls very bad - many of the passengers seasick. The cook has nothing to do. Elder Gates quite sick and Elizabeth very bad indeed. Met one ship, hoisted colors. She was going towards Liverpool.
Friday 28th - Wind just right. Many of the passengers a little better. We are now past the Bay of Biscay having passed it yesterday or in the night. The ship rolls very bad & people are falling down. Several of the seasick sisters have been assisted on the deck today. The sun shines bright and looks quite pleasant although during the [UNCLEAR]
Sat. 29 - Passed a ship last night and this afternoon spoke to a Dutch barque. The wind very light. The ship not running more than 4 miles an hour. The seasick passengers have been out on deck. The ship has rolled very heavy. At sunset the wind shifted to the west but still very light and this afternoon Sister Anthony from the Cardiff Conference gave birth to a fine boy.
Sun. 30th. At daylight the ship was running 6 miles an hour but a little out of her course - very little motion in the ship. At 4 o'clock the wind calmed and at 10 o'clock [p.21] we were not running more than 4 knots an hour. 2 ships in sight. The day warm, the sun shining very beautifully. At 11 o'clock the Saints met on the quarter-deck. Meeting opened by singing & prayer when Elder Gates spoke followed by Elder C.V. Spencer and Elder Harmon on subjects to make the Saints to guard against disease - to stimulate them to good works to faithfulness - brotherly love and kindness to each other. The Saints were cheerful & lively. A good spirit. At 2 o'clock the wind blew an 8 knot breeze. Passed another barque. 2 more sails in sight. Ship was steady. At 7 p.m. 3 meetings were held in different parts of the ship. Elder Gates spoke in our part followed [p.22] by Elder Harmon. The Saints in good spirit. I felt comforted, it being the first time I had heard preaching for 3 years and the first time I had heard an American preach. I was glad & made to rejoice in the Lord who had been good to me.
Mon. 31st Wind changeable. I was very ill and the captain kindly sent me a broiled steak and rice [UNCLEAR, POSSIBLY: pudding] The weekly rations opened. In the afternoon 4 points out of our due course - breeze fresh.
Feb. 1st wind changed so that we were running 9 knots an hour on our course. One sail in sight. The motion quicker than usual. The effect on many of the passengers, a relapse of seasickness. Sister Morley gave birth to a fine boy (Benjamin Orson Morley), parents from the Nottinghamshire Conference. [p.23] I was still quite ill. The captain sent me some roast beef for dinner.
Wed. 2nd Wind fair but moderate. We are now 1200 miles from Liverpool, passed the Azores Islands today but too far to the east to see them. At 7 o'clock p.m. the Saints met in the forepart of the steerage. The meeting opened by prayer by Elder Speakman. Elder Gates and Elder Harmon spoke and a good feeling with the Saints. Elders Gates and Harmon went round the Saints to administer to the sick and blessed them and asked the Lord to heal them. Closed the day with prayer, praise and thanksgiving.
Thurs. 3rd A beautiful morning with a 7 knot breeze - now in the trade winds. [p.24] Wind increased to 10 knots. Breeze and the sea so smooth that we experienced no inconveniences from the motion of the ship. We had a meeting in the cabin. Elder Harmon spoke first and was followed by Elder Gates after which Elder Gates married Francis Peay to Eliza Barker [Baker]. There was a general good feeling among the Saints. There was a meeting held in the steerage at the same time.
Fri. 4th Nothing particular transpired. The wind fair with an 8 knot breeze on our course.
Sat. 5th nothing particular. Sea smooth wind as usual continues on our course west by south, half south. [p.25]
Sun. 6th During the night we were running at the rate of 11 knots an hour. At sunrise slackened a little but at 10 o'clock increased again. Motion of the ship moderate. Yards square. One of the Irish emigrants was this evening detected stealing a piece of the ship beef 14 pounds. Complaint was made by the crew to the captain who sentenced him to be lashed to the rigging. The sailors put him on the cross tree and lashed him to the mizzen mast where he remained from 10 o'clock till after dark. At 11 o'clock a.m. the Saints met on the quarter-deck and were addressed by Elders C.V. Spencer and Harmon where a general feeling of rejoicing prevailed the whole and at [p.26] 7 o'clock p.m. the Saints met in 4 different places on the ship and held meetings and were usually addressed by Elders Gates, Harmon, C.V. Spencer, Carmichael, Rostrow, Speakman and finished the day with prayer and praise.
Mon. 7th - The day fine. 2 hour west of Greenwich time. All well on board, merry on the quarter-deck and all happy.
Tues. 8th Run 11 knots through the night and through the day. The captain spoke to the barque "Irish - London" homeward bound "England." Saw sea weed floating for several hours.
9th morning 9 & 10 knots an hour through the night & through the day. At 3 o'clock Sister Anthony's infant son, which was born January 30th, died with the thrush and at 2 o'clock p.m. was consigned to the deep in a fine coffin with a weight fastened to it but it proved too light to sink it and we sailed away having it floating.
Thurs. 10th Sailed busily during the night. A sail in sight this morning. Occasional squalls through the day but only short & very light. The Saints met at 7 o'clock in 3 divisions. Elder Gates & Harmon addressed those in our part.
Fri. 11th Run at the rate of 13 knots some part of the night, more moderate this morning. The sea smooth very little motion to the ship. 2 large fish were seen called "Grampus Whale." They followed the ship several miles. Very frequently came to the [p.28] surface of the water and Elder C.V. Spencer fired at one of them and wounded it when they all suddenly disappeared. We saw several flying fish. They are small & nearly white and will fly in the air several yards at a time. After dark some little unpleasantness took place between our watch and the Irish emigrants but was settled by the interference of the mate. We are soon in a warm climate. The passengers all in their summer costume. The wind light, but favorable; but light pleasant storms pass over us occasionally and wash our decks with [-].
Sat. 12 Running 5 knots an hour. 2 large fish following the ship and several flying fish. [p.29] The sun intensely hot. I sail in sight of the head of the ship.
Sun. 13th - Running today 4 knots an hour. I was got up today and was carried onto the quarter-deck. Was very greatly frightened, so much as to call out & disturbed the service which was been held, and the Saints were addressed by Elders Rostrow, Spencer, Harmon & Gates. I enjoyed myself very much till I was brought back and again I was much terrified. In the evening the Saints met in their several divisions and were addressed by Elders Gates, Harmon and in our department we were notified by Elders C.V. Spencer and A. Stayner on the subject of faith, endurance, & patience. The sail still in sight and another small schooner.
Mon. 14th Speed 2 knots an hour. Sea smooth as glass and the sun intensely hot. Awnings were fixed on the quarter-deck.
Tues. 15th Nearly still this hour. At 10 o'clock a little breeze. At 2 o'clock the wind began to blow from the south and we run a north tack until 5 o'clock when the aspect of the sky bid fair for a storm and we tacked for the south. Had a light squall at 6 o'clock. The Saints had a meeting in the steerage at 7 o'clock when Elder Harmon began to speak and in 2 minutes a squall came on the top royals and all below were full set. The top gallant sails were [p.31] taken in. A little black cloud was seen by the captain to the windward but it was as small as not to excite his caution except to order his men to stand by the halyards - ready to let go - The squall came. The canvas swelled, the ship creaked yielding to the force. She cut strings the water like a steamer. The squall forced harder - the fore top mast gave way and seemingly in one simultaneous crash the main topmast and the mizzen also came down with a tremendous crash!!!! Rendering useless 16 sails leaving none but the mast sail, foresail, and spanker. We rolled - the squall passed and we were nearly motionless. I felt perfectly calm the whole of the hurricane & so did my dear husband, [p.32] but some of the Saints shrieked out tremendously - particularly those in the steerage, but on being told by the watch at the gang way "That nothing was the matter only the masts were carried away" they proceeded with their meeting. The moon shone bright. The captain & crew worked all night securing the sails and rigging which hung in a confused mass over the bow of the ship together with the broken masts.
Wed. 16th. We had a stiff north wind. The sea began to get rough and for want of our upper sails, the ship rolled considerably. Many of the passengers were seasick but I was not much affected except my hands were quite sore with clinging to the side of my berth [p.33] to prevent falling out but Elder Harmon brought a piece of [-] and fixed me in so that I could not fall out. The crew were very busy all day taking in from the sides of the ship the sails, tackle, yards, spars &c, &c- which were hanging in the water over the side of the ship.
Thurs. 17th The crew were all day busy clearing away the rubbish occasioned by the breakdown and in making a new main topmast assisted by the passengers and none worked harder than Elder Harmon. Sister Kemnish gave birth to a fine daughter (gave her the name of Eliza "Golconda" from Portsmouth Conference). At 10 o'clock this morning - the Saints met in all the divisions of the ship and were addressed by the various [p.34] elders on board. The ship rolled very bad.
Fri. 18th Wind light. The day fine. The captain & crew raised the main topmast. Elder Gates very sick and ill. Elder Harmon assisted in putting up the main topmast.
Sat. 19th Nearly a calm. The crew raised the main topsail and yard and prepared to set the fore topmast. The seasick passengers rather better. Elder Gates still bad.
Sun. 20th The Saints met on the main deck for worship at 11 o'clock a.m. and were addressed by Elder Harmon followed by short addresses by Elders C.V. Spencer & Gates on the subject of faith that [p.35] it is destined to lead us and the effect it would have on our temporal enjoyment. And the services were adjourned in consequence of the intense heat of the day being very little breeze.
Mon. 21st The crew raised the fore topmast. Saw a ship apparently in a crippled state the mizzen mast gone and her main topmast.
Tues. 22nd A calm this morning. The ship refuses to mind the helmsman. Dolphins playing round the ship - part of the [-] bathed in the sea. Crew got up the fore topsail - set 3 stud sails - got a good breeze in the afternoon and a heavy shower at night. [p.36]
Wed. 23rd. Had a good breeze. The captain spoke to a schooner bound to [-]. The crew raised the mizzen topmast. Sister Webb gave birth to a sonâ€”names him Ziba "Golconda" Webbâ€”Cambridgeshire.
Thurs. 24th. Running 6 knots an hour. Saw 2 sails in the distance. The weather very hot and our water very warm and tastes bad. Do not feel so well as I should like. Can eat nothing but gruel & rice. At 8 o'clock p.m. the Saints me in our cabin and had a testimony meeting and the [-] told them of the [-] of rain etc, etc.
Fri. 25th. Sea quite smooth. At 11 o'clock the lookout from the masthead cried out "Land," which caused a thrill of joy to run through the whole on board. [p.37] At 12 o'clock the Island of Aniqua was seen with the naked eye and at 3 p.m. the Island of Guadeloupe south of us and we neared Aniqua running 4 knots an hour. In the evening a breeze spring up which sent us along 9 miles an hour. In the afternoon saw a schooner.
Sat. 26th. 9 knot breeze continues. Island of Montserrat and Guadeloupe were far astern of us and nearly out-of-sight.
Sun. 27th. Saints met on the main deck and were addressed by Elders Speakman, Die [Robert Dye], Harris and Elder Gates at 11 o'clock, and at 3 o'clock p.n. met again and were addressed by Elder Harmon on the subject of the healing power and was followed by Elder Spencer. Running 10 knots an hour. [- - - - - - - - - - - ] [p.38]
Mon 28th. Moving 12 knots an hour. The sea is very rough and some of the passengers seasick. Elder Gates not well.
March 1st a 10 knot breeze 2 sail in sight on a brig off to the windward. We run past her. The other a ship before us. We neared her but she bore off to windward and another crossed us close to our stern. Wind fell to 8 knots. Saints much better.
Wed. 2 A 6 knot breeze. Saw several ships - one a brigantine crossed just before us in full sail. At 4 p.m. we were in sight of the Island of Jamaica and at dark could see a revolving light at one of its ports.
Thurs. 3rd 2 knots an hour. Sea [p.39] smooth. Nearly a calm. Running along between the Islands of Cuba and Jamaica the coast of Jamaica presents a bold, rugged appearance with a succession of hills. At noon a white house could be seen. 3 ships were running with usâ€”a little to our right. Cuba not in sight. At dark the breeze rose. Spoke to a schooner. Her captain inquired the course to an adjacent island. A meeting was called on the deck for the benefit of the sailors. Elder Gates preached and they were very attentive and expressed themselves greatly pleased. They have learned many of our hymns & songs and frequently sing the songs when they are [-] ship - and sing about the deck. "We will go to the Valley ! Yes, we will! Yes we will!!! [p.40]
Fri. 4th The weather extremely hot - almost a calm. Elder Gates and Harmon told us this was the day the United States President takes his seat - and called down the favor of Heaven upon him that he might favor the poor Mormons &c., &c., &c.
Sat. 5th The weather still very hot and calm. We lost sight of the Island of Jamaica.
Sun. 6th The weather being fine and calm. I was enabled to [get] dressed and got up and mingled with the Saints in a meeting held on the main deck at past 11 a.m. and we were addressed by Elders Rostrow, Harris and Matliess [Matless] and I was greatly edified & comforted and rejoiced in all the good. Elder Harmon blessed the infant son of Brother Webb [Ziba Golconda Webb] [p.41] I heard and instruction I received; indeed my spirit greatly rejoiced in the Lord. I was enabled to remain up and mingle again with the Saints again on the main deck at past 3 p.m. when we were addressed by Elders C.V. Spencer and A.M. Harmon and indeed a good feeling prevailed amongst the Saints and my own spirit exceedingly rejoiced and my joy seemed full - and my dear husband greatly rejoiced with me and we only longed for our dear Jack and my dear brother Ben to complete the joy. Well, we will wait a little longer and then we can rejoice altogether.
Mon. 7th About 2 o'clock p.m. we entered the Gulf of Mexico and when [p.42] the captain announced this, there was a simultaneous thrill of joy through the whole; particularly the American brethren. We had a very fine passage down the Caribbean Sea - and now 500 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River. The wind shifted from the mouth just as our ship headed that way. Had we have been any sooner we should have had a head wind. Thus have we been watched over and had a good passage.
Tues. 8th A fine hot day with an 8 knot breeze.
Wed. 9th A fine hot day with 5 knot breeze. All are rejoicing they are so near to the end of the long voyage. The sailors are pumping out the fresh water to lighten the [p.43] ship that we may more easily get over the bar. Many on board are washing but the way the Saints are washed & look is quite amusing. All are in high glee at the prospect of beholding land which is expected to be in the morning. Last night between 1 and 2 o'clock an infant child of Brother Spriggs died. Its mother died at Liverpool the day we embarked.
Thurs. 10th Sailing about 2 knots an hour. This is rather dull work especially as we are so near the shore. In the evening the wind increased a little. At past 4 o'clock the Saints and crew met for worship on the main deck and were addressed by Elder Harmon. Elder Gates was sick & [-].
Fri. 11 An 8 knot breeze. All are looking out for land. At 11 o'clock we got into shallow water. The weather foggy but exceedingly warm and sultry. A heavy dew fell last night. The great anxiety prevailing the Saints to see the American shore greatly increases. But at 4 o'clock we were in a dense fog - so much so that the ship bell was rung every five minutes and was soon answered by what we found to be another ship laying at anchor. Shortly our lookout at masthead cried out "A ship at starboard quarter, than other at starboard bow, then other at lee beam. In a short time the wind blew hard enough to settle the fog - until the topmast and [p.45] rigging of 10 ships were to be seen and the lighthouse appeared as though it was rising out of the mist. The scenery was indeed grand beyond anything I had ever seen. The passengers & crew shouted for joy [-] 3 times - at the sight of land although it was very slightly to be seen and did not appear very interesting. At 5 o'clock we cast anchor at the mouth of the Mississippi River in company with from 50 to 100 ships which were waiting to be tugged up the river. In the evening a steamer was seen, the bell was rung. The captain shot a sky rocket but neither was answered in consequence of the intense fog - and heavy dew falling like rain. [p.46]
Sun. 12th The fog still thick and the dew falling fast so that nothing can be seen scarcely. The bulwarks of our own ship and we are waiting anxiously for a tugboat to come to get us up the river on our way to New Orleans.
March 13 Sunday in the afternoon a meeting was held on the deck - Elder Spencer opened by prayer. Elder Gates occupied all the time and spoke much to the edification of the Saints & all present on the resurrection and second coming of Christ - and as Elder Harmon was dismissing the meeting a pilot came on board and the Saints were truly delighted to see him. He is a real Yankee in appearance. [p.47] In the evening a meeting was held in the after 2 cabin. Elder Harmon & Elder C.V. Spencer with various others addressed the meeting.
Mar. 14 Monday- Raining. We weighed anchor and set sail about breakfast time and anchored again about noon. Weather very dirty. We are surrounded by a large number of ships of various sizes, shapes, kinds and from different nations. No chance of being moved tonight.
Mar. 15 Tuesday - Fine morning [-] cold - wind high. Nothing extraordinary has happened today. All have been anxiously watching the movements of tug steamers on account of the shallowness of the water. All the small vessels are taken first ours being about the largest ship here. [We] of course, stand a very poor chance [p.48] of being moved. A meeting was held in the cabin below when the Saints were highly interested and amused.
Mar. 16th Wednesday - Fine weather. Little or no wind. Captain Kerr and pilot accompanied by Elders Gates and Spencer put off in a boat and went to try and use their influence to engage a steamboat to come and assist us over the bar. The only success they met with was one of the boats would come after they had taken some 4 or 6 vessels over - but we hope to get over tonight or else tomorrow morning. Some vessels have been here over a month. When we compare our situation with theirs we feel content yet we should rather be moving towards Zion in the [p.49] west. The Saints generally are enjoying good health and spirits.
Mar. 17th Thursday. Much joy all day. No signs of a move off yet. The water is very bad and very small quantity of it remaining. We shall soon be obliged to use the water alongside of the vessel.
Mar. 18th Friday - Beautiful morning. Very cold. We are compelled to use the river water as the ship water is very bad and if it were drunk no doubt many would be very ill and sick. Wrote to the Valley this morning - but am very ill myself although my heart rejoices and feels glad and grateful to the Lord for all his great kindness to me and my dear husband whose health is very good and is in good spirits and enjoying himself very much. [p.50] [ABRUPT END OF DIARY]
BIB: Bray, Selina Rayson. Diary, (Ms 929), pp. 9-50. (CHL)