I left my brother William & sister Susan & went to Liverpool on my way to Zion my means low but I accomplished & beginning of Feb. we set sail in the ship Henry Ware. The first night the vessel was on fire. I felt calm. It was soon put out. On the third night while laying on my bed I heard a voice not harsh or rough or loud but it pierced me, calling upon me to pray & claim claim [SIC] the lives of the people. I prayed but oh how dark it appeared to my faith & vision but I prayed on & faith became strong & I claimed the lives of the people for several hours & my prayers were answered truly for in the morn the second mate came down & told us that he never saw a ship in such danger before & not to be [p.17] wrecked for we were driving on a pile of rocks called the smalls on the Welsh Coast & so near that they could see them but the vessel was turned as if by magic & thus the hand of the Lord was for our good.
Many were the scenes on board. I saw a whale & plenty of porpoises & a flying fish. We knew the value of water. I prepared a large quantity of herbs & ministered them in the fear of the Lord & was made a blessing I felt to trust in the Lord & all was well. After 8 weeks & 3 days we arrived in New Orleans on the [-]. Many of the Saints began to throw away their pork crackers &c. I got them to give them to me & I filled many barrels with the same. Long before we landed in New Orleans they wished me to give them back provisions The young man who had charge of the company was engaged with a young sister in courtship when we started on our voyage but soon lighted her & took up with another sister. The first appealed to the captain & he took her in the cabin. The captain the took charge of our provisions & kept the keys of the same & then our provisions came through the mate. Finding that we were now in the hands of the captain I felt to make friends of the captain so I did a deal of painting &c & was the doctor of the sick. The captain opened the medicine chest & gave me full liberty to use what they had. The company were divided & felt to drop the president from having charge. I opposed it & stood by him & kept the Saints as lively as I could. We had upon the whole a good time. I made many friends on the vessel. We had one birth & named the child Henry Ware after the name of the vessel. We were very short of fresh water & would catch all the rain water we could when it rained. Many times the luggage was thrown [p.18] about on account of the storms. It was pleasing to see the first land & land at New Orleans.
After looking about New Orleans I neither found my brother Thomas nor my nephew Edward, so I left with the ship's company for St. Louis. I had not means to pay my fare but helped to unload the ship at the steamer & by promising to help to get in the wood when we stopped & what mean I had I traveled to St. Louis. The Saints were not careful but bought fresh pork & many died on the river. My provisions were chiefly the ship allowance I had saved from the Henry Ware. When one days travel from St. Louis I felt low. The steamer was stopped for the passengers to buy provisions. I had no money to buy & no bread. I prayed & tears started in mine eyes. At the same time I saw at the other end of the boat a lady coming down from the cabin & walked right to me & said I've been wondering whether there might not be some among so many emigrants that was in need. I said I presume that is & do not like to make it known. She walked away. I called to her, she returned. I said "Madam these are my things you can take any thing you please if I can get from you some bread for these children." She said she would divide. She gave me 5 francs I thanked her & the Lord who had inspired her. When we landed the next day I got my goods taken to [-] & had one meal with them & commenced St. Louis with 10 cents. I found St. Louis abounding with Saints & apostates & thought to make a living with making clogs but soon found I could not so I prepared to do any thing I found. The Saints was counseled to stay unless they had 18 months provisions. I felt everything was now in the way of living. [p.19] (I will here name it was very interesting to see the variety of scenes on the banks of the Mississippi River so large, so deep & so swift a current of waters. Large frame houses belonging to plantations a deal of salves working & on our boat many of them. The steamboats looked a strange sight 2 large chimneys & large water wheels & cabins all looked strange & new).
I found it was like commencing life anew & felt the importance of energy & found now was the time to get a general knowledge of trades so that I could do anything in building. Thus the way opened & I worked at Joinerings Brick Laying Plastering Paper Hanging & General Jobbing & I traded in every kind of article & thus I gained an experience valuable
First Thursday after my arrival in St. Louis I went to meeting (for the Saints kept it as a fast day being the first in the month). Brother Biggs said to me if I would go with him I could make 1 dollar per day. So we traveled & bought old bottles, brass, copper, pewter, flint, glass &c & thus got a living. About 4 weeks after there was a great fire which burned several hundred warehouses shops & buildings of all kinds & about 40 large steamboats I assisted to save property but generally the people were stealing. The fire ranged for 2 miles & I assisted to stop it where a family were whose husband was from home.
Next day my brother Thomas & me went to see the ruins & took a job of opening a vault full of valuable drugs & got 5 francs then took a job to dig in the ruins of a building to see if there was [p.20] any barrels of lard not burnt for in the cellar were hundreds of them. So labored till 12 at night to no purpose & then left it till morn. Mr. Sloane the boss said to me in the morn that if we would get out a barrel he would give us 50 dollars & if we got out one not burnt he would give us one hundred dollars. So I took it & then commenced by the wall & in about 2 hours had 3 barrels Mr. Sloane was satisfied he gave me 10 dollars & gave us the job to empty the basement. It paid well but I was sick with the cholera.
About this time the cholera raged heavy in St. Louis. Thousands upon thousands died & a many of the Saints died & my time was engaged in visiting the sick & dying. Hundred of the Saints died. My nephew came up from New Orleans I bought a wagon & I let him take my wagon to the Bluffs & I would follow soon as I could
I would here name that a man from Manchester name of Crompton lived next door to me. His wife & family all died of the cholera & his face showed misery A brother told me he was one of the murderers of Joseph Smith. Suffice it to say that he drank vitriol in mistake for whisky & for 9 days he was burning up. Oh the misery & anguish of that man. Then I found some evidence Brother Hesketh told me that Halfacre was with the Mob Halface having heard that I was told about him told me that he was with the mob & had his gun but when they blacked their faces he thought it was going to far so he went home but Crompton blacked his face & went with them to Carthage. Thus proving he was one of the murderers of Joseph Smith the prophet & Hasketh said he (Hardacre) went home to Crompton's wife. Oh the misery & sorrow that [p.21] follow apostasy is more than can be known only by them who have lost the Spirit of God & fallen into the pit of perdition.
While in St. Louis I worked at joinering, painting, glazing brick, laying & plastering & paper hanging & buying & selling & general trading. My wife was much tempted on account of drinks being cheap. Various were the scenes of apostates yet the power of God was manifest to me for when I was so low with the flux that I could not lay not any form without pain when the elders laid hands upon me & anointed I was restored to ease & could stand [-] & free from pain but 4 months passed before I was strong again. Thus I landed in St. Louis in the year 1849 & lived in 1850 & 1851 & then J. Grant came & preached from the Valley & called upon all the Saints to gather with mule teams, horse & oxen & handcarts & wheel barrows he spoke with power & I felt that I would go if I went with an handcart & I preached to the Saints & exhorted the same & several families made carts but the Lord blessed them & all who prepared carts to cross the plains God blessed them & their way opened to have oxen & wagons & crossed the plains that season. . . [p.22] [END OF EMIGRATION ACCOUNT]
BIB: Miller, Charles Dutton. Reminiscences and diary (Ms 4461), sec. 2, pp. 17-22. Typescript (CHL)