Ship Hudson, off Isle of Wight,June 8, 1864
Dear Brother,--Knowing your desire to learn of the welfare of the Saints entrusted to our charge, we take this opportunity, through the kindness of the pilot, of forwarding to you an account of our proceedings since we saw you last at Gravesend.
After the vessel had passed the Government officers, and had effected a clearance for the voyage, and you, with the brethren, had proceeded to the shore, we had an interview with Captain Pratt, who said that he would do all that lay in his power for the comfort and benefit of the Saints; and, as there were a considerable number of emigrants on board who were not of our persuasion of faith, he was quite willing to make any necessary alterations for our mutual convenience. We then proceeded to organize the Saints on board into wards, appointing, as officers, the following elders: Ward, No.1, William Moss; No. 2, John Tuddenham; No. 3, Thomas Clifton; No. 4, Timothy Mets; No. 5, Ulrich Rarrer; No. 6, Joseph Howard; No. 7, Samuel Neslen,; No.8 Thomas C. Patten; No. 9, Ludwig Wolf; No. 10, George Webb; No. 11, George Harrison; No. 12, William Sanders; No. 13. Thomas O. King; No. 14, John H. Miller; Steward, James Brown; captain of the guard, Charles Goodwin. Necessary instructions were given to the Saints of each ward by the brethren, and the ready response given by the people to all that was advanced by them, evinced their appreciation of the counsels given.
On Saturday, the 4th instant, at 3 a.m., the steamtug took us in tow, and we proceeded down the river. Foreseeing that, unless regulations were entered into, there would be difficulties in the way of cooking, we spoke to Captain Pratt upon the subject, and he kindly placed the galley entirely at our disposal for the use of the Saints. The steamtug left us off Margate, a beautiful seaport town and fashionable watering place. The day being beautifully clear, we had some splendid views of the different watering places along the coast. During the night it was so calm that we progressed but about nine miles. Next day, being Sunday, we held divine service on board, when some excellent instructions were given to the assembled Saints, and we enjoyed ourselves in partaking of the genial flow of the Spirit of God. Elder John L. Smith also spoke to the Saints from the Continent, in the German language, and they rejoiced with us in the truth. This being our first meeting on board ship, the devotional feeling and associations were fully appreciated by the people. The singing sounded very sweetly to the ear and gladsome to the heart. Captain Pratt and several other officers of the ship attended. Good order and attention was paid by all.
The winds have mostly been light and variable since we left London, and yesterday there was a heavy fog, with but little wind. A French sister, baptized in London by Brother Bertrand, was confirmed, and as infant was blessed also. Although the day was heavy and cloudy, it was a day of enjoyment, the Saints singing in harmony, making the vessel alive with agreeable and enlivening strains of music.
We are now, Wednesday the 8th , off the Isle of Wight. The pilot leaves us here to proceed upon our voyage for the future without his assistance. All the Saints on board are tolerably well, and extremely thankful for their deliverance from Babylon; and we hope to progress favorably, under the blessing of the Almighty, on our journey Zionward.
Praying for your health and happiness, and for the progress of the cause of truth and of God, we remain your brethren in the gospel covenant,
John M. Kay,George Halliday,John L. Smith,Matthew M'CuneAlexander Ross, Clerk.
Off Darmouth, Friday, June 10th. Having an opportunity to send you a line by a fisherman, we embrace it.[p.414] We have been contending with head winds and fogs since our last, which we hope you have received. A great many have been sea-sick, and a few are yet sick among us; but, thank the Lord, we are as a company as well and as happy as can be reasonably expected.
Praying the Lord to bless you, I remain your brother,
John M. Kay[p.415]
BIB: Kay, John M., et. Al., [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 26:26 (June 25, 1864) pp. 414-15. (CHL)