. . . On the 7th I received notification from President George Q. Cannon that I was to sail with Saints on board ship Hudson for New York, U. S. A.
May 10th 1864, I received a list of 100 names of emigrants from Elder W. W. Riter, Geneva Office, Switzerland, to be in London on the 11th, and immediately arrange lodgings for them.
May 11th, met and took the company to their lodgings, and with Brother Riter went to the London office, where we found President Cannon just starting for Liverpool. Brother Riter accompanied him. I returned to Sun Court and took up my quarters there, and entered fully into looking after the welfare of our emigration. I get my trunk and bedding from the place where I have been staying and kept busy early and late to see all was right, occasionally changing foreign money for the people and generally saving from two to three pence per pound for them. Brother Ulrich Farrer assisting, we gt our lists of emigrants, and Brother Mets the Dutch 1st (thirty) all in order.
May 16th - Elder W. W. Riter returned from Liverpool and we get everything arranged for necessaries for the company, Brother T Mets was taken with high fever and was raving for some hours each day and would not be still only when I was by his side. Received many visits from London Saints to see the Saints of our company. A number of friends joined and brought an Enfield rifle which they presented to me, with the fixtures, for which I feel to bless and thank them heartily.
A number of friends joined and while waiting the preparations of the ship to receive the passengers, I took several of the Saints to [-] London meetings. I received letters from home and answered them.
May 18th- I went on board the ship Hudson and met President Cannon with several valley elders.
Wednesday, June 1st, 1884, London desks, ship Hudson, today I received from President George Q. Cannon a ticket of passage and berthed with Thomas O. King in the [-] cabin. Thursday,[p.68]
Thursday [SIC], 2nd- The three or four days last passed I have been so busy that I have not found an opportunity of going on shore to make a few light purchases and say a few adieus to friends, and upon looking up June 3rd, found the tug boat pulling us through the dock gates at 12:30 p.m., and continued onward until three miles below Gravesend, where Captain I. Pratt cast anchor at 5:30 p.m. The government officials came on board and ticket in hand each passed for examination as per regulations, to prevent stowaways. After all had passed the official officers, President Cannon and some of the brethren who were with him left the skip on the tug boat, and returned to London, amid the cheers of those on board. The constant downpour of rain all day long, and the crowded state of the ship's deck, had suggested that it was not best to hold the usual farewell meeting on board, to present the emigrants with the officers proposed for their acceptance, and to receive the general instructions usually gives. The appointments were written with instructions to have them present to the Saints after the ship was under way at the first opportunity. A council of Elders was called and the ship's company divided into fourteen wards; president, John M. Kay; first counselor, George Halliday; second counselor, John L. Smith; assistant counselor, Matthew M. McCune, and Alexander Ross, secretary; James Brown, steward, and Charles Goodwin, captain of guard. President of first ward, William Moss; second ward, John Tuddenham; third ward, Thomas Clifton; fourth ward Timonthy [Timothy] Mets (Dutch ward); fifth ward, Ulrich Ferrer (German ward); sixth ward, James Howard; seventh ward, Samuel Nelson; eighth ward, Thomas C. Patten; ninth ward, Ludwig Motts (German); tenth ward, George Webb; eleventh ward, George Harrison; twelfth ward, William Sanders; thirteenth ward, John H. Miller. Instructions were given necessary to be carried out for the comfort and convenience of all. Captain I. Pratt said to President Kay and council, "Now we are cleared I will do al in my power for your comfort."
Saturday, the 4th- At 3 p.m. the steam tug came along side and towed the Hudson out of the River Tames, while the sailors are busy arranging the canvas, etc., for use. In the forward part of the ship are 160 emigrants not belonging to the Saints, mostly from Ireland,[p.69] whom Captain Pratt by our request had partitioned off to themselves. In the evening the presidents of wards met in council to report, which s to be continued each night until other arrangements are made. All seems to be moving satisfactory and feeling well. The steam tug left us off the town of Margate.
Sunday 5th- At 12:30 p.m. the Saints assembled on desk and an interesting meeting was held, and instructions were given by President Kay and council, when Secretary Ross read the appointments and instructions left by President George Q. Cannon, all of which were voted for without an opposing view. President Kay spoke cheeringly to the Saints, followed by other brethren, all giving counsel for each one to be faithful, humble and prayerful. Captain Pratt expressed his satisfaction at the company and his willingness to do anything he could for our comfort. On favorable days the different chairs meet on deck and pass some time in an singing songs of Zion in English, German and Dutch, which helps to pass the time agreeably.
On the 8th, we came across a pilot beat upon which our pilot, Mr. Peshby left us. I had considerable conversation with him and find him a gentleman without the stiff formalities usually put on. Numbers of the passengers wrote letters to friends left behind. Some are beginning to feel the effects of the waves and some think they are pretty sick. All seem ready and willing to assist one another. At noon on the 12th, all who could get out met on the poop deck and addressed by President Kay and council, directing all to be kind and assist all who were poorly and out for fresh air, and especially for all to keep as clean as possible. Many items were touched upon adulated to keep feelings of peace and union and to remember to serve the Lord truly whether sick or well. On June 13th we passed Land's End, the English Channel, 320 miles in length, ends at this point. We now enter on the broad Atlantic Ocean.
John L. Smith [p.270]
Voyage of the Ship Hudson
June 16th, 1864, Onboard the ship Hudson. An Elderly man of emigrants of the [-] part of the ship fifty-four years of age. William Fitzgerald, from Limerick, Ireland, died of hear disease at one a.m. About six p.m. many of the Saints and others gathered on the larboard side to witness a burial at sea. Under the direction of the first mate. Mr. Charles H. Knight, the body was brought to midship lying on a plank, having been sown up in canvas and a weight sufficient to sink it attached to the feet. One of the sons of the deceased read the burial service in conformity with the church of Rome, and the remains were launched into the ocean by raising one end of the plank, until the body slid feet foremost into the deep blue sea and quickly disappear.
Many passengers, having lost all appetite for eating, felt truly thankful for a bowl of soup made from preserved meats that had been on a voyage to the Arctic regions; twenty-five gallons were made and distributed by Captain Pratt's direction. It was much appreciated by all.
June 17th, through the kindness of Captain Pratt twenty-eight gallons of that strengthening soup were distributed. June 20th. T. Mets of Rotterdam has been very sick with a fever for some days since coming on board, is now improving. June 23rd- A son of Brother and Sister Kaemerlin [Kamerlin], aged one year, two months and twenty-one days, in the third ward, died of inflamation of the bowels. At 8:30 p.m. the body was committed to the waves. I conducted the ceremonies in German. Captain Pratt, President Kay and others extended their sympathy to the parents. They returned their hear-felt thanks, all of which I translated. Sunday 26th, at eleven a.m. meeting on the dock; the presidency gave instructions and much good advice. Monday 27th, sister Elizabeth Reiser (of the ninth ward), aged forty years two months, died suddenly of disease of the heart. She was born in Canten Zurich, Switzerland; leaves a husband on board but no children. She died a faithful Latter-Day-Saint of four years standing. The burial took place at 6:30 p.m.[p.71] London [Longitude] 27-30: I officiating
June 29th- President J. M. Kay's wife visits the sick below deck and ministers to them in her motherly way, which causes many to rejoice and bless her. June 30th Captain Pratt, Mr. Massey, part owner of the Hudson, and President Kay visited every ward and find all in better condition than expected. They gave the German and Dutch wards the premium as being in the best condition. At council in the evening the report was that all were improving. Sunday, July 3rd, meeting on deck as usual. Much improvements among the entire company. Much advice given. Another child of the German ward died, and the service was held under my direction. Brother Ferrer spoke comfortingly to the parents. The body was committed to the waves at 3:30 p.m. London [Longitude] 29-45 West.
Wednesday, July 6th, Brother Ulrich Winklers' wife, from Zell, Canton, Zurich, Switzerland, gave birth to a son at one a.m. Both doing well. At council in the evening several cases of measles were reported. Today the ship was thoroughly sprinkled with tar oil as a renovator. July 8th, A confederate steamer passed to leeward very slowly. She was watched very closely, as her movement seemed very suspicious. Tuesday, 12- Deaths: Emily Frances Kellin, from Cheltanham, England, age one year, two months and twenty-five days, buried at 6:30 p.m. President J. M. Kay officiated. John Ulrich Winkler, of convulsions, age six days buried at 12 noon; London [Longitude] 55-30 south. Ellen W. Clifton age done year five months, buried at 8:30 a.m. London [Longitude] 56-1 west. At 10:30 p.m. we came near running aboard a vessel, missing her by only a close shave. We feel that the Lord is watchful over His own.
Wednesday, 13- Deaths: Bastian DeKeyser age three years, one month and four days, Holland; buried at 8:52 p.m. T. Mats officiated. Thursday, 14, Margret Papworth from Cambridgeshire, England died of measles, age one year, four months, and one day, buried at 8:30 p.m. Below deck all was sprinkled with lime and tar oil.
Monday, July 18th- At 4:30 a.m. the pilot came on board, bringing newspapers.[p.72] In the afternoon I went to the German wards below deck and gave them instructions how to proceed, when the officers came on board and made all arrangements about money to be changed. Tuesday, 19th, A steam tug took the ship Hudson in tow at 7 a.m. and we anchored off Castle Gardens at 3:30 p.m. W. C. Stainers came on board at 5:30 p.m. He addressed our council meeting and stayed on board for the night. Wednesday, 20th, - P. A. Schettler came o boar early- A lighter came alongside and Saints with luggage went on board the steamer. "St. John" at five p.m. and started for Albany, 150 miles up to the Hudson River at 6 p.m.
Thursday, 21st- Arrived at Albany at five a.m. The steamer, having 1400 souls on the lower deck, was uncomfortably crowded and there were poor chances for sleeping. The luggage was taken to the railroad station and weighed 65 tons. The people went aboard a train consisting of twenty-four ears and started for Buffalo at one p.m. 260 miles.
Friday, 22nd.- Arrived at Buffalo at three p.m. Crossed the end of Lake Erie, per steamer, luggage was transferred to the cars of the Grand Trunk Railway and all start for Port Haron at eight p.m., 240 miles. Saturday, 23rd- Arrived at Port Haron on the River St. Claire at twelve noon. We crossed the river per steam ferry and changed to the cars of the Central Michigan railroad and started at five p.m. for Chicago, twenty-six miles. The track ran through a forest much of which was a fire, and the highwind carried the flames and make uncomfortably near our train. Sunday 24th- Arrived at Chicago at five p.m. Staid on train all night. Monday, July 25th- Left Chicago at [-] a.m. per Illinois Central railroad for Quincy on the Mississippi River. The changing of cars, one of which took place at midnight, on this line is a regular nuisance. Tuesday 26th- At daylight, while the engine was taking in water at Celchester I saw by the fence cousin Lucy, the Prophet's youngest sister and her husband Arthur Milken, and ran across the road and passed a few words with them. They were glad to see me. On reaching Plymouth, I enquired of the station keeper and learned that my brother-[p.73]in-law, A. D. Cleveland, who formerly lived there, had moved to Iowa.
Wednesday, 27th- We arrived at Quincy at twelve noon. At six p.m. we ferried the Mississippi river. Here we received a dispatch that Salt River Bridge and Shelbina Station to the Hannibal and St. Joseph railroad had been burned by guerillas and we had to camp in the woods near the station.
Thursday, 28th- Three trains were got in readiness and we reached the vicinity of the burned bridge at noon. We left the train ad forded Salt River and camped in the woods. Our luggage had to be conveyed across the river three-fourths of a mile, mostly on men's backs, as only three wagons were obtainable for the heavier packages. I had charge of reloading the cars with the Germans. Friday, 29th- At three p.m. all were loaded into the trains of cattle cars composed of trucks of all kinds. These were started at short intervals. The country shows unsettled this portion is by the armed men soon and the blackened logs of burned buildings en route, and the armed men sent to protect the railroad line.
Saturday, 30th- We all arrived at St. Joseph, Missouri, the last train at three p.m. the roughest railroad ride I ever experienced. The last train brought in two children who had died on the rout. Sunday, 31st- After much delay, trouble and bother we left St. Joseph per steamer "Colorado" at three p.m. for Wyoming [Nebraska] with wagons and the foreign Saints. The boat had on board much merchandise and freight for intermediate stations. J. A. Young, J. W. Young and P. A. Schettler in the company.
Tuesday, August 2nd- we arrived at Wyoming at 2 p.m., where I found letters from home. Steamer J. F. Lacy with the English Saints arrived at 5 p.m. We moved to camp-ground, a short distance from the outfitting office, and all went to work with a will in fitting up wagons. I bought provisions for the independent company's wagons. J. Beck offered to take my trunk in his wagon, which offer I accepted. Sunday, at 11 p.m. I was taken sick with vomiting and diarrhea, which continued until noon of the next day, with severe cramps during which time I lost forty five pounds in weight. I called on the brethren to come and administer to me. As they [p.74] entered the tent in which I lay, I saw them hesitate and look at each other, upon which I said; "Brethren, you have no need to look at each other in that way, or to think under what tree or upon what spot of ground I am to be laid. I tell you I am going home, if I go on feet. I will not lie in Wyoming soil, for Brigham promised me I should return safely home. I have done nothing to forfeit the promise, and I am going home." The brethren then laid hands upon me, and though their voices trembled, I received the promised blessing, and with the kind nursing of Brother Timothy Metz [Mets] and the German brethren, assisted by the Dutch and German sisters, I grew stronger each day, I pray God to bless the sisters who were so untiring in their exertions in my behalf. . . .[p.75]
Wednesday 19th- Mr. Brenley drove to Bishop Hardy's and took breakfasts and then drove to the Historian Office, where I met my brother George A. at the gate. He accompanied me to President Young's office who welcomed me warmly and said; 'Now you return home all right; go and see you family, they are all aright.". . .[p.76]
BIB: Smith, John L., Journal (Ms 8620) (typescript) pp. 68-76.