. . . I was born February 22, 1838, in Bloomsbury Square, London, England.
I am the daughter of William and Mary Anne Syer White. My father died when I was about five years old. I was taught to pray when very young, also to be honest, truthful, and kind.
In 1854 we heard the gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was then sixteen years old. My brother Barnard and myself were baptized on the 22nd day of May 1854; my mother, sister Eliza and brother a short time before. We were anxious to emigrate to where we could enjoy our religion more freely. As soon as our circumstances would permit my dear mother made all arrangements for the journey.
We left London on the 22nd of May 1856. Arriving in Liverpool that night and on the 24th day of May sailed on the good ship Horizon, bound for Boston Harbor under the presidency of Edward Martin and Jesse Haven. We had a pleasant voyage with the exception of one storm. We had three deaths and three weddings. We had 856 passengers on board, all of the Mormon faith. We had our meetings on Sundays and sometimes through the week also singing and dancing. Each passenger was allowed so much rations which consisted of hard sailor's biscuits made of very coarse flour, so hard we could scarcely break them, salt pork and beef, rice and split peas. We had a large cookhouse on deck and cooks. We had so much water allowed each person, but it was very poor.
When the sea was calm we could occupy our time in reading, sewing, and taking our walk on deck. Also listening to the sailors singing while they were pumping the water out from the bottom of the ship. They never worked without singing, so they could all pull together. Then it was a grand sight to see the sun go down. We were all thankful when the captain told us we would soon see land. We arrived in Boston Harbor June 20, being just five weeks on the sea. Some of the passengers had to stay to earn means to go the rest of the journey. We then had to travel by train 1500 miles from Boston to Iowa City which was a very unpleasant journey. We were put in cars that had no seats and we had to sit on our trunks and baggage with no room to lie down at night.
When we completed our journey to Iowa City, we were informed that we would have to walk four miles to our camping ground. All felt delighted to have the privilege of a pleasant walk. We all started, about 500 of us, with our bedding. We had not gone far before it began to thunder and lighten and the rain poured. The roads became very muddy and slippery. The day was far advanced and it was late in the evening before we arrived at the camp. We all got very wet. The boys soon got our tent up so we were fixed for the night, although very wet. We camped there until September.
The handcart company started ahead of us. We started on our journey across the plains on the 3rd of September . . . .[p.187]
. . . When we got to the top of the mountain the men took off their hats and we waved our handkerchiefs. They then pointed out Salt Lake City and I could not believe it was for it looked to me like a patch of sage brush covered with snow. I could not believe it until we got nearly to it. We arrived in Salt Lake City just at sundown on the 30th day of November 1856. The last handcart come in on the afternoon of that day. Bishop Hunter came to the wagon. "Well," he said, "Brother Brown, I thought you were to bring the sick and the old folks." He said, "I have." "Well it does not look like it when we look at those girls." He smiled and found the rest under the cover. . . . [p.189]
BIB: Steward, Elizabeth White, Autobiography, IN Barnard White Family Book, ed. By Ruth Johnson and Glen F. Harding (privately printed, 1967) p. 187,89. (CHL)