. . . Early in life I left home to make my own living which I did until I left England. The years preceding this time I lived in London and vicinity. My future prospects were very bright so naturally I wished to remain there, but I could not still the urge of the spirit to go to Zion.
My sister, Jemima, and I decided to leave with the company going in the summer of 1864. We gave up our positions, visited our friends and went on board the sailing ship Hudson, June 3rd. This parting was a very sad one, and I shall never forget it. Of the dear ones we left behind, I have seen but one, my brother George, who visited me here some years ago. The voyage from London to New York was a long and tedious one lasting 47 days. The ship carried 1,100 passengers, 1,000 being Mormons from England and other European countries. The company was organized into fourteen  wards, with a teacher for each. Prayer was held on deck night and morning with meetings on Sunday and during the week. Professor George Careless was a passenger. He organized a choir which had plenty of time to practice, so became quite proficient. The ship's officers enjoyed the singing very much, so the captain gave us permission to practice in his cabin. Due to the crowded condition of the ship, there was much sickness and death. An epidemic of measles broke out among the children. Unlike the great passenger ships of the present day, we were given our rations and made our own arrangements for cooking and serving our meals. Most of the cooking and serving was done in the large ship galley, in charge of George Harrison and Edward White, who were the ship's cooks. Our rations consisted of tea, sugar, oatmeal, rice, split peas, potatoes, salt pork, salt beef and hard biscuits. We were given plenty. I saved some, which I brought with me to Salt Lake where tea was $10.00 a pound and sugar $1.00 a pound.
On shipboard I, with Dorcas Debenham, acted as nurses, helping many who were sick, as I had brought some medicine and provisions with me. The weather was fine, we were caught in but one storm which was not a severe one. With all flags flying we sailed up New York Bay and landed at Castle Garden on July 20th. In the afternoon we went on board a steamer as deck passengers for Albany. The boat was crowded. We had to find places for our luggage and a place to stand or lie down as we might choose. We were fortunate in finding a place to lie down on some bales of cotton. While daylight lasted we enjoyed the scenery up the Hudson very much. Next morning a steward showed us through the steamer. It certainly was a fine boat. We arrived in Albany the next morning and went ashore. Soon after noon we went on board a passenger train of 21 coaches and left for the west.
This was a pleasant ride across the central part of New York State, a hilly, rolling country with many wooded districts. Just before reaching Buffalo we had engine trouble and were delayed several hours. Some of the men left the train and got us some bread and some apples.[p.107] At Buffalo we changed trains. On account of the Civil War the railway equipment was depleted so we now had poor cars, some of them being cattle cars. From here we went into Canada. In passing through this country we ran into a forest fire. Trees were blazing on both sides of us so we were badly frightened. We had a narrow escape from a collision, some cars got loose but no one was hurt. We crossed Lake Huron, changed to another train and on to Chicago. On this train we had good cars again so enjoyed the ride as we passed through some beautiful country.
We arrived in Chicago on July 24th. This was Sunday and we remained here until the following day. Some army officers came on board our train to search for deserters and made some trouble. We were offered $14.00 in currency for one pound of English money. The trip from Chicago to Quincy, Ill., was a pleasant one. We arrived there on July 26th. We crossed the Mississippi River and had to walk from the landing to the railway station over a very rough road. We had to stay for two days waiting for a train. A heavy storm came up; there was not room for all in the station so we had a most miserable time. Some of us went down to the river where some men tried to drown us. They were very bitter against the Mormons. The second night we had to sleep on the damp ground. Two children died with the measles. On July 28th we started, going but a short distance. The bridge over a creek had been torn out, a result of the war. We had to wade the shallow creek and wait overnight for another train, which proved to be a train of open cattle cars. Not very comfortable riding with no seats and the cinders falling on us all the time. One car took fire. Alexander Ross crawled over the cars to the engine. The train was stopped and the burning car cut off. There were three sections to our train. One went over an embankment, one jumped the track, but we were all protected and arrived safely at St. Joseph, Mo., tired, worn out and dirty. We had to wash and wash to find our fresh English complexion. On July 31st we went on board a river steamer for a trip up the Missouri River. We were deck passengers again, and when a storm came up we got wet. All the water to drink was taken from the muddy river, so nearly everyone got sick; I had my share. As the weather was extremely hot we were afraid of cholera. When we landed at Florence on Aug. 2nd, Brother Bentley gave me a big dose of pain killer. I thought it was a real killer and felt like I would burn up. We camped here and helped get the equipment ready for the trip across the plains. . . .[p.108]
. . . Of the original company of 1,000 almost 100 died on the way. On Nov. 2nd we arrived in Salt Lake, cold tired, footsore, and weary, but happy for it was the land of Zion for us. Glad to get where we could rest once more. I went to live at the home of W. S. Godbe, a house and a home and a bed once more. [p.109]
BIB: Webb, Mary Ann Ward, "The History of Mary Ann Ward Webb and Her Diary of the Journey to Utah (1864)," in Robert R. King and Kay Atkinson King, Mary Ann Webb: Her Life and Ancestry (McLean, Virginia: America Society for Genealogy and Family History, 1996) pp. 107,109. (L)