Mouth of the Mississippi, Feb. 19, 1855.President F. [Franklin] D. Richards.
Dear Sir--The vessel lying very still this afternoon, I seat myself to commence a letter, which I suppose will be time enough to close when we are ready to leave New Orleans.
I feel to rejoice in the goodness of our Heavenly Father, to thing how quick we have been brought to this place, and the Saints rejoice with me. Yesterday, about [p.270] noon, we cast anchor here under a heavy wind from the northeast, and it is astonishingly cold for this part of the world. We have had but one rough day on the whole voyage, and that was last Sunday, when we were near the island of Abaco. Neither have we suffered from heat at anytime. There has been some sickness amongst us, especially diarrhea and its opposite, which you know is often caused by imprudence. Twelve have died, mostly very old folks or little children, which were sick before we started; none of those who were helped from the Fund. [Perpetual Emigration Fund] The provisions were very good.
My two counselors, and the other brethren which were appointed or chosen, have done well. We have had much satisfaction in our meetings, both Sundays and week evenings, and the Spirit of the Lord has been poured out upon the brethren in a goodly degree. I could not avoid speaking well of our captain [Captain Mills], for he has been uncommonly kind, condescending, and well-disposed toward us; and while I think of my great reason to be thankful, I will thank you and the brethren around you for all your kindness, and all your toilsome labors for our sakes.
It looks doubtful whether we shall be towed from here today, and I will drop my pen till another time.
I am sorry that I did not get the letter in the post-office at New Orleans, but I hope you will forgive me, considering my busy times. It is difficult to write while the boat is in motion. It is now the 27th, and we are above Natchez. We have had four deaths since we left the bar. There is no epidemic or catching sickness among us. I think our sick ones are mending, with the exception of one child. It is good for us it is as cold as it is. Brother Snow's instructions were, not to take too many on one boat. We left 50 in charge of one of my counselors on another boat. Brother McGaw had the two boats engaged when we arrived. I with the remainder am on board the "Oceana," Captain Miller, and I never met with better treatment in any vessel.
May the Lord bless you and preserve you is the desire of your unworthy brother and obedient servant,
P. O. Hanson.
N.B.--The Saints thank you for the extra provisions. My love to the brethren in the Office. [p.271]
BIB: Hanson, P[eter] O[lsen], [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 17:17. (April 28, 1855) pp. 270-71. (CHL)