. . . According to advertisement, we were to set sail on the 6th day of Jan.1850 from the Princess Dock, Liverpool, but we were delayed until Thurs. the 10th of Jan.1850.
On the night of Wednesday Jan. 9th before the sail we had a birth of fine boy--the son of William Fairhurst of Liverpool Conference.
On Thurs. 10th we left the dock and got into the River Mersey, and amid the great numbers of spectators of Liverpool, and other places, we lifted up our voices, in praise to God, and singing some of the most appropriate songs of Zion, and every heart rejoiced and every eye seemed glad, at the idea of leaving the Babylonish World, to prepare for the land of the Lord in the West of America.--On this night while we lay in the river, we formed the ship into 6 different wards, and the steerage into 4 wards, the second cabin into two wards, with Jetter Clinton as our president and Milo Androus [Andrus], Harrison Burgess, John Banks, John Haliday [Halliday] and Richard Cook, as counselors,--we had two weddings between George Snow & C. Pinfole and Robert Sharkey and Emma Simmons all of Birmingham Conference.
Fri. the 11th at 8 o'clock the steamer came alongside to tug us down the river and at 10 o'clock weighed anchor and at 11 passed the Black Rock [p.28] and we rode to the great channel with a fair wind.
Sat. 12th a stiff breeze blowing us at the rate of 11 knots an hour till 12 o'clock at night when there arose a squall which took away our sails, and was mad at the idea of carrying our good old Argo with a load of Saints, out of 378 souls on board, there was only 9 or 10 but what was seasick and myself was dreadful bad, but the power of God was made manifest through the ordinance of laying on of hands by President Jetter Clinton, and Milo Androus [Andrus].
Mon. 14th we found on board 2 men and 3 boys and 1 female that was stowed away and our ship looked like a hospital and only 9 or 10 to wait on all the rest.
Tues. 15th this was as rough a day as that of the 12th, we lost more of our sails, and had another stampede and some of the brethren and sisters were thrown out of our berths and tossed from one side of the ship to the other and the boxes, and tins &c. shared the same fate, and though we lay 1300 miles from England, Elder John Haliday [Halliday], caught an English skylark, which we suppose had followed either our ship, or some other but through fatigue and hunger it died the next day.
Thurs. 17th we have seen 5 English and one American vessels but none as large as our own and we have seen a vast number of porpoises floating about our ship--from this time, for the space of 18 days we had contrary winds. [p.29]
Haliday [Halliday] and Richard Cook, had offered up their voices in solemn prayer to God, I would say in the space of an hour God heard and answered our prayers, and we had a dead calm. I would here remark that the captain was much surprised, to find that so much singing of hymns and prayer, and so much love, and harmony &c was among us in all these dangers. Another death the daughter of Jane Brown of Bradford Conference age 30 days.
Sun. 27th --This was a most delightful day among the Saints. Our President Jetter Clinton assisted by Milo Androus, attended to the ordinance of blessing the same child, that was born on the Wednesday night before we set sail. Brother John Embra from Manchester had the misfortune to fall down the hatchway and put out his shoulder and injured his side very much, but was healed by the laying on of hands. Elder Harrison Burgess attended to the sacrament this day.
Feb. 1st Another death the daughter Sister Bond of London age 4 years. The weather now began to change to be in our favor.
Friday the 9th. The death of George Rouse age 35 years, Cheltenham Conference. Caught cold at Liverpool through the rain that fell there.
Sun. 12th . . . .
Tues. 14th A dead calm all the day; we did not travel 10 miles this day.
Thurs. 20th Came in sight of the West India Islands. Their names as follows: Puerto Rico, Cape Rojo, the Rock of St. Juan, Cape Eugene.
Mon. 25th Came in sight of Islands of Cuba, and one point of Jamaica. Hailed a vessel from Portuguese with a load of goods, this captain gave us in - as a load of Saints for the priesthood gathering to Zion.
Wed. 26th Looked up our officers and found 84 including 1 high priest, 5 of the seventies, 37 elders, 28 priests, 6 teachers, and 7 deacons.
Friday March 1st a birth of a child, the name, Margaret Humphreys. The mother is a blind woman but most extraordinary in her gifts. She is from Wallington Macclesfield Conference.
Sat. 2nd A most beautiful day, sailing towards the Gulf of Mexico till the sun set at 7 o'clock, the night dark, though by times the stars shone in [p.32] their countless numbers in the heavens, about 9 o'clock the wind arose, and blew us 9 knots an hour, but though the weather being hot some of the Saints were on the captain's deck, or poop, for cool air, at past 9 o'clock when it seemed as if the Lord had respect for his people, for the heavens seemed to open, and a chain of fire descended on to the earth, as some sort of a token. It took the attention of the Saints and as they stood gazing on the heavens Lo! another star shot forth and to the surprise of all, we found ourselves running aground against the Rocks of the Pine Isles. All hands were called on deck and soon the Saints like brave sailors, hauled at the ropes &c to get ourselves clear from this awful situation, soon was the yardarms squared and on we rode, but through the 2nd mate and his Mrs. Bennet, we found ourselves running into the Cape St. Antonio, on the Isle of Cuba, and the danger was so great that we were obliged to haul out our cable, ready for the last extremity but through the prayers of the Saints, mixed with their works, we once more rode through the waters of the Lord.
Mon. the 3rd - A birth of a boy the son of Joseph Howel lived only 6 hours, was put into a tin box and soldered up till we arrived on land.
Tues. 4th Elder John Banks withdrew himself from the office of counselor, but did not give any particular reason for so doing, and Elder John Haliday [Halliday] was elected in his place. At night the ship [-] hailed us take back a stowed away nigger age 21 a fine young man, run away from the [-] Saxon, a steam packet [-] New Orleans [SIC]. [p.33]
Thurs. 6th We passed the two lighthouses and at 8 o'clock the steam tug came alongside to tug us down the bar, assisted by another we took in tow 4 more ships and on we went for New Orleans. We landed there March 8, 1850 we felt truly thankful that the Lord had preserved us from the dangers of the deep and brought us to the shores of our America. From the time I got to Orleans till the first of June, I spent my time between that city Orleans, and Council Bluffs, fitting me up a team, and preparing for my journey across the plains. I traveled with Captain Aaron Johnson's company. . .[p.34] [MARGIN NOTE ON p.34 We were 8 weeks, crossing the sea.]
. . . I now found myself at home again, after on absence of near3 years. It was a happy meeting. I soon got acquainted with my little daughter, Mary, whom I had never seen, from that time till this day Jan. 1st 1851 have been busily engaged in securing and getting in grain and have not noted each passing day. . . .[p.36] [EXACT ARRIVAL DATE IN SALT LAKE CITY IS NOT GIVEN].
BIB: Burgess, Harrison. Autobiography (Ms 893), pp. 28-29,31-34,36. (CHL)