. . . Thursday the 20th. We visited the docks to see the ship Golconda upon which we expected to sail to New Orleans it was a noble craft about 190 feet long.
Friday 21st . I was preparing to go on shipboard.
Saturday 22nd . I took my goos on board. In the evening I went to the officer & received the appointment to the president of the [p. 93] Saints who were to sail on the ship Golconda.
Sunday the 23rd. I went on board & was towed out into the channel of the river where we cast anchor. I remained on board to watch over the Saints & regulate them.
Monday the 24th. The inspector came on board to inspect the passengers. Brother S. [Steven] W. Richards was also present gave into my hands Â£196-9-0 to be laid out for the Saints between New Orleans & the Bluffs. I gave him a receipt for the same. I also receipted 17,000 yards of twilled cotton for wagon covers to be dealt out on the passage but a small part of the cloth was sent on board & was left to be sent by the next ship. I had neglected to say that on Sunday evening I preached on board the ship. [p. 94]
Tuesday the 25. About nine o'clock (a.m.) we weighed anchor & was towed out into the channel where the wind wafted us gently along while I was busily engaged placing & fettering the boxes & setting all things in order. The steamboat left us at half past twelve & we rejoiced that we were on our journey to Zion. A great responsibility is thrown upon me. The Saints are constantly calling upon me for bread, water, tea, sugar &c & I find it necessary to appoint men to attend to their wants & relieve me of some of the burden. They soon became more settled & a good spirit prevailed among the people.
Wednesday the 26th. A great part of the company turned seasick & it is quite distressing to behold them. With all we have [p. 95] a fair wind to waft us out of the Irish Channel which is one of the most dangerous channels there is. Great patience prevails among the Saints. We are now organized so that all things gone well. The captain & crew seem very kind & attentive to our wishes.
Thursday the 27. All things remain about the same as the day before. Fair winds & a heavy sea & many sick.
Friday the 28th. A little better. Wind still fair, not so many sick.
Saturday 29th. Sickness begins to wear off. Wind fair but light. Pass a ship in speaking distance about 5 o'clock. A fine boy born on board. Longitude 15.15 West latitude 40 North.
Sunday 30th. I called the Saints upon the deck & preached unto them. We had a good time. All hearts seemed joyful & happy & free & the spirit rested [p. 96] down upon the people general. Brother C.[Claudius] V. Spencer & A. [Appleton] P. Harmon spoke with much feeling & spirit & the blessing & favor of the Lord was upon us & the winds wafted us gentle along over the waters toward our destined port.
Monday the 31st. A gentle wind but a little off out of our course.
Tuesday the first day of February. A strong wind many seasick good wind sailing directly on our course. Half past eight in the evening a fine boy born on board. All doing well.
Wednesday the 2nd. Fine morning. The spirit of the Saints seem cheered up. I went down below & hunted up the sick & blessed them & ordered them on deck. Wind fair but slight running [p. 97] from five to six knots an hour. In the evening I went in to the steerage & preached to the Saints & we had a first rate good time & the hearts of the Saints were cheered up & made glad. Winds fair running directly on our course.
Thursday the 3. Fair wind sailing gently along. All hearts glad & happy. The favor of the Lord is upon us & round about us. In the evening Elder Harmon & myself preached to the Saints in the second cabin, had a good time. After we had done preaching I married a couple by the name of Francis Peay & Eliza Jane Baker. Dismissed the people by a benediction & retired to rest. Fine wind all night.
Friday 4. Fair wind but not very strong. Some complaint about the conveniences [p. 98] of the ship. In the evening I talked to the Saints. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me & I made them to feel the importance of their situation before God & the good spirit rested down upon them & all was quiet & harmony & good order prevailed on all parts of the ship & my heart was made glad & I rejoiced in the holy one of Israel.
Saturday the 5th. All was peace & prosperity. Wind fair & the ship glides safely along towards our destined port.
Sunday came & all was cheerfulness on board the Golconda. At half past eleven (a.m.) the Saints were called together on the deck & were instructed by Elders [Claudius] Spencer, [Appleton] Harmon, [William] Speakman, & myself & we had a joyful [p. 99] time. The wind fair running eight knots an hour about 30 West longitude, 28 North latitude. The weather mild & pleasant. General health on board the ship among passengers & crew.
Monday the 7th. Fair wind & pleasant weather.
Tuesday the 8th. Everything favorable. Fair wind in the evening. The Saints assembled in the steerage & I addressed them. Brother Spencer made some remarks after I had concluded & a very good Spirit was manifest. About twelve o'clock at night a young child died which was born a few days before.
Wednesday the 9th. Fair wind, sailing finely. My health not very good. About 5 (p.m.) the deceased child was lowered in the sea. The weather very warm nearly within the tropics. [p. 100]
The 10th. Fair wind floating gently along quite warm. I feel rather weak & feeble. I had forgot to say that on Tuesday last we past within speaking distance to a ship which bore the name West London. She was sailing North.
Friday the 11th. Sailing gently along, quite warm.
Saturday. About the same. My health not very good able to dance a little for exercise.
Sunday the 13th. Fair day light wind but fair. Half past eleven (a.m.) we assembled on deck to hear preaching. Elders Rostron [Richard Rostrow], Spencer, & myself & others spoke & we had a very good meeting. In the evening I preached in the steerage, Elder Spencer in the second cabin & A. [Appleton] P. Harmon in the fore part of the steerage.
Monday [p. 101] the 14th. We crossed a ship a little to our right. We anticipate coming close to her but the wind has ceased to blow. We are almost becalmed, very hot. My health not very good. In the evening I went on deck & danced a little.
Tuesday the 15th. The ship scarcely moves at all. Very hot. My health still poor. I walked out upon the poop deck where I was met by all the sailors who through their foreman presented a complaint against some of the Saints in consequence of a bad girl on board. I talked to them & they went off very quiet. I told them that I would see that all things were right as far as I could. The Saints are amusing themselves some in one way & some in another. Some sewing [p. 102] some playing checkers &c, &c. A dull time to be in the middle of the ocean, without wind while our bosoms are full of anxiety to behold our friends who are far, far away but time will bring all things aright. The day passed on until evening when I ordered the Saints below to hear preaching. My health being very poor, I called upon Brother Harmon to preach. I however went down. The Saints seemed rather unwilling to assemble; chose rather to saunter upon the deck. We had been very much prospered thus far & in the day of their prosperity they had forgotten the Lord & become slothful in attending to their duties & consequently begun to find fault [p. 103] one with the other. The night before I told them if they did not do better not many hours would pass over their heads before there would be a reverse of fortune & the hand of the Lord would be against us. Just as we were about to commence meeting it was observed that a few clouds were rising. It had the appearance of wind & a little rain. Brother Harmon had scarcely begun preaching before there came a tremendous crash & every mast belonging to the ship was broken off in a moment & all was calm again in the sky, but the Saints many of them were struck with terror & begun to start for the deck. I ordered them all to stay where they were & not one of them should be [p. 104] hurt. I immediately placed a guard at the hatch with orders to let no one pass while Elder Harmon went on with his sermon. The poor Irish who were in the bow of the ship & only separated by a board partition had always avoided us much, now spent the time in bragging & singing much to our amusement. When I came to speak I reminded the Saints of what had been said to them & told them so far as the captain was consented I was very sorry, but so for as the Saints were concerned I was heartily glad of the accident for when I speak in the name of the Lord I like to see him fulfil his words. They saw their situation of things & their spirits for the time was humbled. [p. 105] While I spoke the Spirit of the Lord rested down upon me & my heart was full of rejoicing & my mind was as calm as the summer morning & the Saints saw & felt it. After meeting was dismissed we went on deck & it was a perfect wreck. The master of the ship, Captain Kerr, felt bad but I felt that the hand of the Lord was in it. All the crew worked all night hauling in the ropes & sails which hung dangling in the water. It being a very calm night & the day following, they were able to save most of the rigging.
Thursday the 17th. The carpenters went to work & framed a top main mast.
Friday the 18th. They raised it to its place but little wind & the sea was quite calm although the [p. 106] ship rocked considerable.
Saturday the 19. They raised a sail upon the new mast & the wind increased a little & we ran along about 4 knots per hour. Things now begin to look a little more favorable. All hearts seemed quite cheerful again. Most of the week past my health has been very poor hardly able to set up for a great portion of the time.
Sunday the 20th. Came fair wind but light running very slow. Eleven (a.m.) the Saints were called together as usual to listen to instruction. We assembled upon the main deck. Elder Harmon first addressed the people. I then arose & spoke for sometime & the Saints & many of the ship's crew listened with great attention & we had a good meeting [p. 107] & a very good feeling prevailed. Elder [Claudius V.] Spencer made a few very good remarks & I dismissed the people for the day it being very hot.
Monday the 21. But very little wind. The repairing of the ship still going on.
Tuesday the 22nd. The wind begins to blow & we are going on very well. My health is very poor. Wind blew all night well.
Wednesday the 23rd. Wind fair, raining finely. A small schooner passes within speaking distance bound for St. Thomas inquired for her longitude. We gave it to them. Several ships were seen crossing our path in different direction.
Thursday the 24. Wind fair running 5 knots per hour. In the evening held a meeting. I gave some instruction.
Friday the 25th. Wind fair running 4 or 5 knots an hour very warm. Health poor. [p. 108] One month today since we left Liverpool & I have scarcely seen a well day in the whole passage. About one o'clock (p.m.) we discovered land for the first time. It does one good to see land. Once more we are passing between two of the West India Islands (it is very warm here in latitude 17, longitude 60) Antigua & Guadalupe, Mount Serrat [Montserrat] lay in front & seem to rise of the sea as a mountain.
Saturday the 26th. Fair wind. Several Islands lay at a distance on our right one of which is Puerto Rico.
Sunday the 27th. Fair wind running at the rate of nine & ten knots an hour. We held our meetings on Sunday as usual & a very good spirit prevailed. I feel rather sickly all day. [p. 109] Towards evening it turned rather showery & rained some during the night & the wind blew & the ship moved broadly over the waters at the rate of 10 & 12 knots an hour. The sea was rather rough & I felt a little sick as I lay in my hammock above the open deck with a small boat over me to keep the rain from falling upon me.
Monday the 28th & last day of February. The wind still continues to blow & we are running 8 & 10 knots an hour. Some seasickness yet all hearts are cheerful for the prosperity that attends us. We are getting along side of St. Domingo in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. If the wind continues to blow we shall soon be in the Gulf of Mexico. We are all anxious to get onshore once [p. 110] more for it is a perfect prison to be confined on board a ship for six or seven weeks & were it not for the gospel sake I would never cross the Atlantic. No one knows but myself what I have suffered in crossing the Atlantic twice from New Orleans to Liverpool. Yet the Lord has kindly preserved me through all the dangers of the mighty deep & given me great prosperity in all my labors & administration & blessed be his most holy name.
Tuesday the first day of March. Still sailing rapidly over the waters. Several ships in sight. A spirit of cheerfulness sits upon every brow as we near the shores of America & all hearts fervently pray for speed & prosperity to attend [p. 111] us on our voyage to New Orleans. In the evening the Saints were addressed by different individuals.
Wednesday the 2nd day of March was spent as usual on shipboard in a calm. We are along side the Island of Jamaica, a beautiful prospects it presents. Scarcely any wind running from 2 to 5 knots per hour.
Thursday the 3rd. Still in plain view of Jamaica & we fancy that we see the houses & plantations. In the evening I gave out that I would hold a meeting for the benefit of the sailors at half past six (p.m.). We were assembled upon the main deck surrounded by the Saints & the sailors. After singing & prayer I addressed them upon the first principles of [p. 112] the gospel while the best attention was paid both by the Saints & the ship's crew & I spoke with much pleasure, believing that it will result in much good to the sailors who seemed much pleased with the remarks made.
Friday the 4th. Scarcely any wind. Fair weather & very hot in longitude 78 or 9, latitude 18 North. The day passes off as usual.
Saturday the 5th. Warm fair wind but not very strong.
Sunday the 6th. Pleasant fair wind. Held a meeting as usual. Had a good time. Towards evening the wind increased & we run well all night.
Monday the 7th. Sailing at the rate of 8 knots per hour two o'clock just entering the Gulf of Mexico. The sea rather [p. 113] rough. Feel somewhat sick but cheered up with the hope of soon getting onshore.
Thursday the 8th. Fair wind running at the rate of 8 knots per hour. Sick all day. About noon held a counsel to settle a little matter among some of the Saints. We are about 300 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Wednesday the ninth of March 1853. Ten o'clock (a.m.) on board of the Golconda 150 miles from the mouth of Mississippi River. I am forty-two years old today & the second birthday that I have spent on the Atlantic in crossing to England & back to America. My health is good with the exception of seasickness. Last night a young child died which is the first that we have lost out of 321 Saints & 120 Irish & about 30 of the [p. 114] belonging to the ship making in all 471 souls we have now been on board 43 days. We have had a good passage although I have not seen a well day since I left Liverpool.
Thursday the 10th. Sailing gently along led a meeting in the evening, Elder A.M. Harmon preached.
Friday the 11th. Sailing slowly. Begin to look out for land. All anxious. Rather foggy can't see far. About 4 (p.m.) we rung our bell & was answered by someone at a distance but we saw no one because of the fog. A short time after we discovered 6 or 8 ships anchored at a short distance. We were drifted by the current a short distance toward the other ships when we cast anchor a short distance [p. 115] from land the fog continued so that we were obliged to lay over for the night. We could hear a steamboat at a distance, but could not see it. All heart are cheered up. I spent the evening with the Captain in company with Elders A.M. Harmon & C.V. Spencer. The best feeling prevailed. The captain brought on his wine & biscuit & we exchanged compliments over a glass of wine.
Saturday the 12th. Fair day but very foggy. Lay at anchor in the evening. I spent the evening with Captain Kerr & played at whist for amusement.
Sunday the 13th. 3 o'clock (p.m.) we held a meeting. I preached. I had good liberty & the people gave great attention & gave me many [p. 116] expressions of satisfaction. It was a kind of farewell discourse.
Monday the 14th. The day passed off as usual. Reading, writing, & playing &c.
Tuesday the 15th. I overhauled one of my chests & aired the clothing.
Wednesday the 16th. The captain launched a boat & we went to seek a steamer to tow us over the land bar but to no success & returned to the ship again to await with patience until deliverance comes.
Thursday the 17th. Went from one end of the ship to the other looking anxiously for a steamboat to come & tow us up the river to New Orleans but we looked to no purpose & the day passed off heavenly. At night there was some little disturbance [p. 117] among the passengers in the steerage & Brother Harmon was called upon to go quiet them.
Friday the 18th. The captain ordered the boat to be lowered & Elder C.V. Spencer & myself with the captain but [put] out with 5 sailors in search of a steamboat to tow us up the river. We run alongside of a steamer & was towed up to the telegraphic station. On returning we fell in with one of the agents who agreed to send for us the next morning after which we returned to the ship with our spirits some what cheered up because of the promise which obtained.
Saturday the 19th. We still lay at anchor & no boat came to take us away. At an early our in the morning the ship [p. 118] "Jersey" from Liverpool with emigrants & cast anchor close beside of us. They were Saints. The same day they were towed into the mouth of the river while we were left having laid there already nine days. There appears to be something wrong in the case.
Sunday the 20th. Came & passed off & no one came to take us away. In the evening Brothers Harmon & Spencer held a meeting. I did not attend. My health not being very good.
Monday the 21st. A boat came alongside early in the morning & promised to come in the afternoon & take us over the bar. Accordingly he & another came & towed us over the bar into the mouth of the river where we cast anchor for the night. The boat brought us some potatoes which we purchased for our [p. 119] provision had become very short having already been 57 days from Liverpool. The potatoes & being towed over the bar cheered up our spirits & we spent the evening merrily.
Tuesday the 22. The day passed off as usual until three o'clock in the afternoon when a boat was lowered & I got into it & was carried on board the steamer "Oliva" bound to New Orleans & left the ship with her passengers behind. We moved up the river slowly until after bedtime when she came to an anchor. The wind & current both against us. To find myself going up the Mississippi after having escaped the perils of the ocean my heart was filled with gratitude. I bowed before the Lord [p. 120] & returned thanks & retired to bed after having partaken a good supper. I arose in the morning early & walked out on deck. It was a fine morning. We were still lying at anchor. About nine (a.m.) we hoisted anchor went on. There were two sailing ships in company being towed up the river. One from Newport in Wales & the other from California who had rounded Cape Horn. We conversed freely upon different subjects & passed off the time pleasantly.
Wednesday the 23. The wind shifted into the southeast & we fired up Leghested [UNCLEAR] our anchor & went on but very slowly but pleasantly.
Thursday the 24th. We still moved on. Meantime the ship Golconda had passed me on her way up the [p. 121] river & arrived at New Orleans Thursday night & I arrived Friday morning at five o'clock (a.m.) & immediately went in search of Elder Brown our agent. I found him & took breakfast after which we went in search of the ship which we found without much trouble meeting some of the Saints who had just left her. The Saints expressed great joy in again beholding my face. They seemed more than ever to appreciate my counsel & favor. We were visited by several of the Saints who lived in New Orleans. After the usual greeting Elders Brown, Spencer & myself went in search of a steamboat to take us to St. Louis. There was but two [p. 122] in town & only one which was large enough to take my whole company & he asked us too high a price & we made no contract & returned to our ship.
Saturday the 26th. We met at Mr. Fisher's in company with the captain of the "Illinois" steamer to negotiate upon the terms of carrying us up the river to St. Louis. We could not agree & parted after a short time. The captain returned & consented to our proposals but it set in & rained & we concluded not to close the bargain. During my absence in town the ship moved up the river which caused me much searching & traveling before I could find it & it was nearly ten at night [p. 123] before I got aboard.
Sunday the 27th. Early in the morning I sent for the agent & we went & closed the contract & in the evening I & some 15 others who took cabin passage came on board the same night. The steamer "Illinois" is a large boat of 800 tons burden, well calculated for the convenience of passengers & it was a great relief to get off an English sailing ship onto an American steamer after being on board from Liverpool to New Orleans 60 days & living on the poorest fare. But thanks be to my Heavenly Father who has preserved me through it all. I wish the Saints were all on board but they will come tomorrow [p. 124] & then we are off all in good spirits. I will now close for the night.
Monday the 28th. I went on board the ship Golconda to wait for the job boat to come & have our goods inspected & passed from the ship to the steamer. The custom house officer came on board & our boxes begun pass the inspection. I invited him into the cabin & called for a bottle of wine & he set & enjoyed himself while our goods were removed from the ship & never opened a box & all passed off first rate. We got our things on board the steamer before dark & then came the task of setting of the berths which was very difficult for there was not sufficient for them all. Some had to lie on boxes. [p. 125] Consequently some faultfinding. However after a while we got them quiet & about 10 o'clock (p.m.) the boat lost her cables & moved up the river & I retired to rest.
Tuesday the 29th. The sun rose most beautifully & my heart was full of rejoicing to think that I was moving towards my home in the mountains after an absence of nearly 4 years.
In the afternoon on Tuesday the 29th the boat called at a plantation to take on freight which gave us an opportunity of a fine walk onshore which was a real blessing after being so long confined on water. After the boat got underway the captain sent his men & overhauled our boxes, removing them from the center to the front of the berths so they could scarcely get into [p. 126] them at all & ordered lot of sugar hogsheads to be rolled into the after part & set up endwise ways for the Saints to lie upon which would make it very inconvenient. They come to me & I forbid it & told the captain to send his there & replace to boxes & wait until morning which he did.
Wednesday the 30th. In the morning I went into the steerage to look after the welfare of the passengers & found them quite dissatisfied at the idea of having a lot of freight piled upon them & their boxes put down in the hole of the boat. I finally told the captain & his men that I would not allow one hogshead to be rolled into the place & if they did it they would do it upon their peril & he immediately gave it up & I ordered the boxes to be arranged [p. 127] so as to better accommodate the people & all things passed on very well. In the afternoon of the same day the passengers were all called upon the hurricane [deck] [UPPER DECK OF STEAMSHIP] to pay their fare which passed off very well.
Thursday the 31st. All things remain as usual on steamboats. I had look after the passengers order some provisions dealt out &c, &c. In the evening those of the Saints who were with me in the cabin got together in the ladies cabin & had a sing which was quite interesting. The night before three ladies got around the table who professed to have power to cause Spirit rappings & by their magic to make the table jump. But they tried their skill to no affect & finally concluded that there was someone in the room which the spirit objected to & consequently would not come & gave it up & I retired to rest. [p. 128]
Friday the first day of April 1853. Fine weather 500 miles from New Orleans in good spirits & tolerable health. No sickness on board. Lost but one of our number since we left Liverpool out of 321 passengers.
Saturday the 2nd. As usual we are moving slowly up the river in the afternoon. We passed the mouth of the Arkansas River, stopped to put off some freight & had a fine promenade onshore in the evening we had music & dancing. All passed off well.
Sunday the 3rd. I was solicited by nearly gentlemen on board to preach a discourse expressive of our doctrine to which I consented & at two o'clock (p.m.) I took the chair & called the people to order. A very strong feeling had got up against us in consequence of some apostates who were on board [p. 129] & when the people came together it was with an idle curiosity expecting to hear something that would be laughable. But when I arose the Spirit of the Mighty God of Jacob rested down upon me & I had great liberty in speaking & I held them in perfect silence as though they riveted to the spot & I spoke in great plainness & I believe that many of them were confounded for the power of God rested down upon me. At the close I bore testimony that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God at which some took offense but they had no power to do any harm & the affect was generally good. There were some few who found fault & to such I remarked that if they could preach a better discourse to go at it & I would listen to them as they had done to me but no one dare make the attempt & I was told by one of the first gentleman [p. 130] on board that there was a general satisfaction among the passengers & one man told me secretly that he was ready at anytime to be baptized.
Monday the 4th. In the morning we passed the others. The boat stopped a few moments to put out freight & two of our brethren were left. The weather is cool & rainy. My health not very good.
Tuesday the 5. Moving very slow.
Wednesday the 6. I bought some provision for the Saints on board.
Thursday the 7. I paid fifty dollars for extra luggage.
Friday the 8th. 4 o'clock in the morning passed the quarantine & landed at St. Louis just at sunrise all right. I immediately went to see the agent, H.S. Eldredge, who had engaged a steamer to take the Saints on to Keokuk. In the evening we shipped near [p. 131] 200. Many of the Saints in St. Louis came on board to see me. In the evening I went home with Brother John G. Wilson & stayed all night for the first time that I had stayed onshore from the time that I left England, the 25 of January.
Saturday the 9th. I spent in assisting the Saints in getting away & took up my lodging at Brother Hindley's on the corner of Pine & Fifth Street.
Sunday the 10th. I went to meeting at Concert Hall to hear Elder Orson Pratt lecture. In the afternoon I was called upon to speak. In evening O. [Orson] Pratt spoke again to a crowded congregation. Monday & Tuesday I spent in buying & shipping goods to Council Bluffs on board the "Hindoo."
Wednesday the 13th. I spent in running round town & purchasing some few articles.
Thursday [p. 132] the 14th. The same & also Friday & Saturday.
Sunday the 17th. I went to meeting at the Concert Hall & Elder C.V. Spencer preached, in the afternoon Elder Orson Pratt. At the close of the meeting I learned that my sister Cynthia was in St. Louis & I went & found her. After tea she walked to meeting with me. I was called upon to speak. I accepted & spoke to an attentive congregation.
Monday & Tuesday I spent in town.
Wednesday the 20th. Between four & five I took the packet in company with Elders I. C. Height & Vincent Shurtliff for Keokuk. [p. 133] [END OF JOURNAL]
BIB: Gates, Jacob. Journals, (Ms 1501) vol. 5, pp. 93-133; Acc. #18786. (CHL)