. . . Feb. 3rd 53 My ever remembered friend & brother - I am seated on the deck of the Golconda going at the rate of 8 knots an hour, the wind, the wind kindly wafting us to our desired haven, which it has continued to do with a slight variation ever since we came on board. We came on board on Saturday Jan 22nd and prepared our berths and stowed away some of our "goods & chattels" then returned to our hotel "The Temperance." At 4 o'clock p.m. had tea &c &c and then went into the town and bought a watch for Tom Owen, and a beautiful piano, which was to be packed in [-] and a wooden case overall - and boarded on the Golconda for 35 guineas - which was done accordingly on the following Monday. On the Sunday we went to meeting in the morning and partook of the sacrament [The captain and sailors &c &c ] hearing the inscription "Holiness to the Lord" enjoyed the services much. Thomas & I felt worn and tired - home and dined, and in the afternoon wrote letters - as one to you containing a sovereign, which I hope you received. In the evening we again attended meeting - and heard Elder Spencer & others, with President Richards, returned to our lodgings, Elder Lang accompanying us. Brother Richards supped with us and before he left prayed with us.
Monday 24th They all accompanied us on board the steamer to board the Golconda lying out in the river. Oh! Brother Sarkins! That never to be forgotten day!! Truly my memory will be immortal on the events of that day. Elder Daniel Spencer stayed with us till about 4 o'clock p.m. when he left on the steamer - he seemed to feel the parting very much, and so did we all - for myself I had heard so much [p. 2] of parting of late that my heart felt it could hear no more. I loved Elder Spencer with those feelings that are the best our nature produces. I entirely esteemed & respected him, and hence you will judge hard my sensitive heart as the steamer moved off from our vessel, but enough --he went -- and I retired to our cabin feeling more alone than ever. [-] I have repented of taking this voyage. It was in love heed their! [UNCLEAR] But no - with all my trials I have never yet repented - but truly feel all is well - "All is well". In the evening we bid goodbye to dear Brother Lang and President Samuel Richards - how well I remember bidding the latter goodbye, he was kind and affect. (melted). We slept on board that night but did not sail till the next day when a steamer came to take us off 10 miles. We set sail about 12 o'clock on Tuesday 25th 1853 wind fair - and away went our gallant vessel 8 knots an hour. I enjoyed the set off very much, but yet I thought of those we left behind. About evening we were all down seasick - and oh! such a night of misery! All were wretchedly ill & continued so for some days. The ship rolled very much which increased the illness yet still the wind kept the vessel right on her course. The captain said there had not a vessel left Europe for the last 4 months that has been so favored as ours for which thanks be to God! We have been brought very low by seasickness. You would hardly know me I am so reduced - but today I feel something better--more like myself, and we have had a nice dinner which has done us all good. Bertha and Louisa too are much reduced, Mr. King has borne it well. He has been but little sick, and has borne the great changes like a Briton! We are now 13 or 1400 miles on our way to New Orleans. I shall write again soon, and so get ready to post as soon as I get to New Orleans. Ever thy friend H. [Hannah] T.[Tapfield] K.[King]
Deck Golconda - Valentines Day - 1853 - My friend, 3 weeks ago today we came on board! We are now above 3000 miles on our way to New Orleans. We are all well though at times we feel debilitated. We have had a fine wind going 8 knots an hour till within the last 3 days, when we are well-nigh becalmed. Today we do not move above 1 knots an hour! Which makes us anxious but all is well. The weather is lovely, and we are on deck some reading - some talking - myself writing. I feel I have your prayers and this often comforts me. Often I think perhaps dear Brother S is praying for me and my heart feels cheered at the thought. Often when the rolling of the ship prevents me sleeping - I think of you & pray for you - and my prayers are ever that you may continue humble and faithful &c, &c.
7th March - 53 - Dear friend - again I sit on deck to add to my journal letter. The very day after I finished my last to you a storm in the evening carried off our topmasts. It was a perfect tornado and we passed an awful night and day with the rolling of the vessel & seasickness in consequence - but all things pass - and a calm entered during which time we got our masts repaired and God has blessed us every day and every night - and we have not lost a person of all those who came from Liverpool with us. The captain says it has been a remarkable passage and excepting the storm above named, it has been like a summer trip. There has been good order - and a good spirit on board. There are some spirits who would grumble were they in Heaven and with Jesus himself. We are just now entering the Gulf of Mexico and if the same wind continues, we shall be in New Orleans in 2 days or so, thank God! Yes, we have indeed been blessed throughout this voyage - not that we have not had [p. 3] our trials - for we have, and great ones. Yet I feel to say all is right. We are in the Lord's school from which I have no desire to play truant. Mr. King's health is first rate & he has borne all like a Briton! I must have warm for our arrival in New Orleans - I am the same Sister King as you knew me.
March 22 - Yesterday after waiting 10 days at the bar 2 splendid steamers came and tugged us over the bar - in grand style- and took us six miles up the river and there left us - and here we are again up the river and there left us - and here we are again waiting. Last night a heavy thunder storm broke over us - but we felt as serene in our wooden house, as though we had been in a castle on Terra Firma. Truly we have realized that the Spirit of our God is everywhere - that its sweet influences are around those who love him, and desire to do his righteous will! The lightning was magnificent. We were all secure in our little cabins though the elements were raging around us - and as I lay awake the other morning I heard the different bells ring the hour of four - and it sounded so peculiar - yet sweet in my ears - Alone on the wide deep ocean! As Ever Sincere Friend, H.[Hannah] T.[Tapfield] King. . . . [p. 4] [NO ENTRANCE INTO THE VALLEY INDICATED]
BIB: King, Hannah Tapfield. Autobiography, (Ms 1573), fd. 5, pp. 2-4; Acc. #2276. (CHL)