. . . We were booked to leave London on the sailing ship Hudson June 1, 1864. It was a severe trial that we had to leave secretly, not letting our folks know we were going. We found consolation in the scripture which says, "He that will not forsake father and mother, houses and lands, for My sake, is not worthy of Me." We boarded the ship but for some reason were delayed two days. During this time, 900 Saints were happy singing songs of Zion.
My father and a Mr. Pardoe heard the news of our leaving for Utah, and came to prevent us, following us down the Thames to the English Channel in a tug boat. We had too big a start, so they gave up the chase. I had one more year to complete an apprenticeship with Mr. Pardoe. I fully expected father to come to Utah, but he died in England, December, 1864.
Food rations were given on board, though it was not very palatable, and we had to cook our food ourselves, which was quite a problem. After a few weeks at sea, measles broke out among the children, and many deaths occurred, the bodies being consigned to a watery grave at sea. A storm came up which tore away part of the ship's rigging. When about one week from New York, a Confederate man of war (gun boat) "The Georgia" halted us as the Civil War was in progress. After satisfying themselves our ship was not a prize, we were permitted to go. After six weeks we arrived in New York.
After inspection by custom officials we were directed to railroad cars to convey us to the Frontiers. It was very slow, for bridges and railroad tracks were torn out by Confederate armies, and freight had to be carried across rivers and creeks where train crews awaited to convey us to our destination. At St. Joe, we were placed on a Missouri River boat which carried us to Wyoming, Nebraska, an outfitting point for the journey across the plains. For two weeks we lived in a little brush shelter awaiting preparations for the journey over the plains, loading of wagons, with freight of 900 people being tedious and slow. It required 120 wagons with from two to four yoke of cattle. . . .[p.170]
BIB: Symons, Charles William, [Autobiography], IN The Whitaker Family in England and America, comp. by Wilford W. Whitaker, Jr., and Erma Whitaker Sorensen (privately printed), 1980, p. 170. (CHL)