I, with my brother, sister and her husband, started from Torreberga to Malmo, a port town. Father hitched up the team and took us there to board a steamer, bidding us goodbye, knowing we would never see each other again. On the 19th of November 1854, we set sail from Copenhagen to join other Saints leaving there on the 24th. We left on the steamer, "Cambria." There were over three hundred in number. We reached Frederickshaven, a seaport on the east coast of Gothland, where we embarked with 143 more passengers on the morning of November 24th, bound for Liverpool, England. Our prospects were fair until about 2 o'clock next morning, when the wind turned Southwest and blew so heavy, our captain deemed it necessary to turn back and seek the nearest harbor in Norway, a port called Mandal.
Here we lay until December 7th, witnessing tempestuous storms day and night. When the captain thought he would venture a start, the wind commenced blowing from the southwest. The waves looked like mountains sweeping over the vessel and bouncing it like a plaything. We turned back hoping to reach Mandal but had to go to Frerickshaven again where we landed December 9th and stayed until December 20th, almost a month from the time we had left previously. The prospects looked good and we set sail again. The ship set sail again, but on the night of the 22nd, we returned again. The ship had almost been stripped of its rigging and creaked like it was breaking asunder. On December 24th, we steered for Hull and on to Liverpool. There was considerable sickness among the passengers and some had very little to drink. Although the cook was kind and distributed water among us. We rested in Liverpool several days and on the 11th of January 1855, went on board a sailing ship bound for New Orleans, North America.
Everything went well until the 11th of February when we encountered a tremendous storm that stripped the ship of all its sails but the next morning all was calm and we could see the West India Islands where natives swam out and gave us fish. Some of the passengers had very little to eat in the month we had been sailing. We arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River on February 18th, where we cast anchor until a river steamer came to tow us up to New Orleans where we landed the 23rd of February 1855.
The next day we boarded a riverboat bound for St. Louis where we arrived March 7th.
Having spent all my money and some I had borrowed, I had to seek employment, but was advised by our president not to stay in the South but to push on Westward. We took passage on a riverboat going to Fort Leavenworth in Indian territory now the state of Kansas. From there, we traveled by wagon to Fort Riley and on to Omaho [Omaha], arriving there July 18, 1855. My brother got a chance to go on to Utah. He promised to take me with him but I had no money and he had very little left. I had become acquainted with [p.1] another Swedish girl Ellen Johnson, and she was anxious to go also. My brother talked it over with President Frank Wolley and it was arranged for Ellen and I to go with the company headed for Utah. We were to do the cooking and other jobs that we could do. My brother payed a little money and we put what belongings we owned on a hand cart, which we pushed and pulled. We had very few chances to ride. My brother fell in love with Ellen and later on she became his wife. We left Omaho [Omaha] about August 5th and arrived in Atckinson, three days later. Leaving the following day for Fort Kearny where we arrived September 27th, leaving for Fort Laramie the following day and arrived September 27th, continuing our journey up the Platt and arrived at Fort Bridger October 27th.
Our teams were worn out and the entire company weary of travel. Supplies were almost gone. We had seen some Indians along the way who were not hostile. It was important to cross the Rockies before winter snows, so we lest Bridger October 31st but it wasn't long before we were traveling in 3 feet of snow, as an early winter fell upon us. We were compelled to leave camp on the very tops of the Rocky Mountains. The teams were without feed. They were tied to the trees and the men made huge fires to keep us and the animals warm as ti was bitter wold. The next day the sun was shining and we started downhill and through canyons where a little feed could be found. We were met by a company from Salt Lake with feed for the cattle and some provisions for the company. We arrived in Salt Lake November 18th, 1855, one year after leaving my native Sweden. . . . [p.2]
BIB: McKenna, Emily Christensen. Brief sketch of my mother's life (Ms 2735), fd. 276, pp.1- 2. Acc. #31958. (CHL)