It was in the evening of December 16th 1853, that I and my daughter Doris traveled with the coachman Denn from Schleswig to Rendsburg, and from there by train to Hamburg. After having attended to my business in that city, I traveled on the 19th to Oldesloe and Reinfeld to bid farewell to my relatives and friends.
22nd. I returned to Hamburg, and traveled on the 23rd with the Mormon missionary and several Mormons from Holstein and Hamburg to Elmshorn. Here I met with my wife and children and close to 300 Mormons from Schleswig, Denmark and Sweden. Everybody had had to pay their own traveling expenses to Elmshorn. From here our further transportation was handled by Morris & Co’s office in Hamburg, the fare for adults from Glückstadt to New Orleans was 38 prussian tahler, and 32 tahler for children. From Elmshorn we went by train to Glückstadt, and the same day went on board the English steamer, “Quine Dhe Scotland,” Here we found our hopes sadly shattered. We had imagined the we were to travel on a ship which was fitted out to carry emigrants; but had to content ourselves with boarding a freighter, and we were not treated much better than ordinary freight or ballast. We were all lying along with our luggage in a room down below, and had to creep and crawl over to one side of the ship. Many families were completely separated from one another, and it was impossible to think of sleeping. A Dane, 82 years old, died today. [p.2]
24th. We set out to sea. One hardly saw a smiling face any longer, and we were in a sad position. Hot food or warm drinks were unobtainable; most of the passengers were seasick, and those who were not sick could become so from listening to the moaning and weeping of the sick ones. The ship had been loaded with coal, and we were all as black as Negroes from the coal dust. We remained in this disconsolate position for 3 days and 2 nights. During this time we had no stormy weather, but the wind was continually against us, and towards evening on the 27th we arrived in Hull. We spent the night at our usual place on shipboard. A child of Danish parents, 4 weeks old, died today.
27th. We obtained orders to make ourselves ready for continuing the journey. As we and our luggage had already been examined by the control, we were taken to the railway station at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Our luggage remained on board, and was to come on the next train. We were not satisfied with this arrangement; but wanted to take our things with us. We began to quarrel with the agents; but had to yield to force and leave Hull without our luggage. I did not see anything of Hull beyond the streets through which we went to reach the railway station. The railway station itself was beautiful and imposing. The harbor was likewise very beautiful. We left for Liverpool on a special train at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, and came through the towns [p.3] of Howden, Selby, Normington, Brandford, Leeds, Hudbersfild, Manchester and Bolton to Liverpool. But as it became dark at an early hour, I saw little or nothing at all of the cities and the country we passed through. The country around Hull was pretty, flat and fertile.
Farther away it was more mountainous. The railway was frequently on a higher level than the towns and villages, and sometimes it also went along below the surface at considerably long stretches. From Hull to Liverpool is a distance of 140 miles. At 10 o’clock in the evening we arrived in Liverpool, and were received by an agent from the office of Morris & Co; who distributed us into two hotels. The place in which I and my family lodged is called “Rheinischerhof,” in Paradis Street. The owner’s name is Stern. He was a German Jew; but a friendly and agreeable man.
We all had a thorough clean-up, and everybody was satisfied with the service. Liverpool is a nice city, has an extremely good harbor, and wide streets, but these were very dirty. Here is a considerable amount of trade and traffic. There are many large and beautiful stores in the city, and also many factories.
In size and beauty the railway station surpasses everything I have seen so far. Every thirty minutes a train leaves for the towns which lie around Liverpool. As far as one can see, many rich people live here; but never have I [p.4] seen so many poor people and beggars in a city, as I have seen here. At this time of year, it was still rather cold and there was snow on the ground, one saw adults and children go around barefoot, and frequently almost quite naked. At every street corner and on every street are beggars who stop one. Today a 70 year old Danish lady died. We were in Liverpool until the 31st. At 10 o’clock in the morning we received instructions, or to be more correct, we were ordered to go on board. But as our luggage had not all arrived from Hull, and as the ship was not yet clean and in order, we refused to obey the order. But tomorrow it was a holiday, and all had to be quiet and peaceful. Furthermore, they threatened us with leaving us behind and letting the ship depart without us, if we did not obey the command, thus wasting our good money. Finally the agents promised to bring all the luggage on board the ship, and only then did we go on board the three master, “Jessie Munn,” Captain Duel. We had only been on board for some hours, when we saw ourselves just as much, or similarly, cheated and disappointed as we were in Glückstadt. The agents and the crew now treated us as they pleased, and we had to dance entirely to their tune. We stayed in port overnight, I rented a place to sleep in the 2nd cabin, as the room below was not to my liking. We were 27 Germans and 4 Danes in this cabin. For this accommodation each of us paid 1 Specie. [p.5]
1854 January 1st. We were towed for a distance of 6 miles by a steamer and threw anchor, till the 3rd. In these 2 days we received an exceedingly bad treatment, neither food nor drink were sent down to us, and many times we quarreled with the helmsman (2nd mate) and other members of the crew in such a manner that it bordered on fighting.
I therefore warn everyone of my countrymen against the office of Morris & Co in Hamburg and their agents in Hull and Liverpool, and against transportation via England altogether. Today the captain, our luggage and provisions came on board. The anchor was raised and the voyage continued in the Atlantic Ocean. Our position was improved in some respects, thus we obtained both food and drink.
4th. Extremely good wind. Today everybody was looking for their luggage, of which much was missing. Some boxes and packages had been opened and pilfered, and many trunks and packages had completely disappeared.
5th. No wind at all. Many passengers were seasick, and so was I and my family. The calm lasted only until 5 o’clock in the afternoon. Then it began to blow, and during the night we encountered stormy weather, which, as we were not yet used to it, made us much afraid. But neither men nor ship suffered from it, and as the wind came from the northeast [p.6] it was to our advantage, and we covered a good distance. The storm kept us until noon of the 7th. Then it decreased in strength; but it carried us rapidly forward. Today a child of Danish parents died, 2 ½ years old.
8th. Also today the wind remained good. I and my family except my oldest daughter, have overcome the seasickness. A child of Danish parents died. It was 3 weeks old.
9th. Calm. Today we had the joy of seeing several of the sick ones on deck again. Since we left Liverpool we have not experienced any cold weather, and now the air begins to be warm. A child of Danish parents died, 2 years old.
In the evening a storm was blowing, and it kept on until 8 o’clock in the evening of the 10th. This time no damage was done either, nor was the fear no longer as pronounced as during the first storm at sea. During the last few days we only rarely saw a ship. Today we saw 5.
11th. East wind. We made good speed. 11 degrees heat. There is great discontent among the passengers, because there is not handed out as many provisions as was promised us in the contract.
12th. Wind and heat as yesterday. Besides, a steady rain. A child of Danish parents died, 2 years old. [p.7]
13th. Calm until evening. Then a strong easterly wind. It rained all day. Today a couple was married.
14th. Strong east wind, at the same time warm air and steady rain. Many on board were sick.
15th. Wind and air like yesterday. Today we saw 2 islands. They were unknown to the captain, and he did not know their names. This seemed unusual to me.
16th. Calm, and at the same time unusually warm. A child of Danish parents died, 3/4 years old.
17th. Good wind. 14 degrees of heat. The idleness bothers me.
18th. Wind and weather as yesterday. The voyage went rapidly forward today. A Danish women lost her mind.
19th. Oppressive heat. All the sick had to come out on deck today. The beds were aired, the sleeping places fumigated and cleaned. The number of sick people is increasing. Today a child of Danish parents died, 1 year old.
20th. Continuously favorable wind. The sun rose at 5 o’clock, and set 6 in the evening. Today I saw fishes from 12 to 16 feet in length.
21st. Strong north-easterly wind, which drove us rapidly forward. I saw 3 fishes which were about 50 feet long.
22nd. Wind and weather as yesterday, thereat oppressively hot. Today I saw flying fishes. They were quite white, about 1 foot long, had a pointed head, used the fins instead of wings, and flew approximately 50 yards before they dived again. [p.8]
23rd. Wind and weather still like yesterday. Towards the evening the wind gained strength. Everybody was afraid of storm; but we were spared from it, however. I saw many water-swallows, which look very much like land-swallows. Today died in our cabin a child of German parents, 1 ½ years old. (Ehrich’s child).
24th. The east wind today changed into storm. The main mast broke in two, 2 sails blew into the ocean carrying pieces of wood and rigging with them. Many of the sick fell out of their beds. The crying the screaming of the sick and healthy during the storm cannot be described; even the captain and the entire crew seemed to be discouraged. The storm continued until 9 the evening. A Danish woman, 70 years old, died in our cabin.
25th. Calm. A steady rain fell during the entire day, thereat the air was oppressively hot. I cannot remember having experienced such a warm day in Germany. Several thefts have been committed lately, and today 2 watches were stolen in our cabin.
26th. Still calm weather and steady rain. Today I observed that also the rain is salty.
27th. Good wind, continuous rain. I saw flying fishes. 2 of the crew became angry at each other, and fought with each other so long, that both fell breathless to the deck, unable to fight any longer.
28th. Strong easterly wind. We made 10 miles every hour. Fishes of about 40 feet in length and 10 feet in diameter [p.9] let themselves be seen near the ship. They were blue and seemed to be quite daring.
29th. Calm. 16 degrees heat. Ever since we have been on the ocean we have not had such beautiful and pleasant weather as we had today. Many of the sick were out on deck. All were happy and content, and there was dancing in the evening. Yesterday the last quarter of the moon was still visible, and this evening the new moon shone quite brightly.
30th. Calm. 13 degrees of heat. One certainly does not see cities and beautiful landscapes. It is now 15 days since we saw land, and this was only in the distance. But, nevertheless, the sea-voyage also has its pleasant side. One feels the happiest with good health and a good wind, and also with friendly association. Also on the ocean many beautiful things, are seen which frequently far surpass in beauty, what one sees on land. When one views the beautiful clear sky, and the rising and the setting of the sun, then it must be admitted that this is far more majestic to behold on the ocean than on land.
31st. Still calm weather, as well as being oppressively hot. Today work went on to repair the broken mast, during which a sailor was injured. This evening there was dancing again.
February 1st. Good northeast wind. The journey proceeded rapidly forward. I had imagined that the voyage would be far more [p.10] dangerous than this one is. The only thing that makes the journey tedious for us and which frequently causes dissatisfaction, is that many of us have just cause for complaint over the harsh treatment by the crew, as well as over the delivery of provisions. Whoever does not look out for himself, or is soft and pliable, is cheated.
2nd. Wind as yesterday, but somewhat stronger. Today my little Anna was taken sick. There appeared several large and small birds, from which I conclude, that we are not far from land.
3rd. Still good wind. My presentiment as to seeing land soon, has been confirmed. This morning we saw at a distance of 4 miles, 3 islands, and in the afternoon we saw 2 more. We passed close by the latter. It is called Montinere [LOCATION UNKNOWN], and it seems to be rather large and mountainous. We saw 4 high mountains on the islands, and the one nearest us was touched by a cloud. The lowland was cultivated. We saw people working in the fields. This sight was a great joy to us.
4th. Calm. The islands have disappeared from sight and again we see nothing but sky and water. All are longing to have the water exchanged for land. Here the moon is visible all day long, and for the last few evenings it was directly overhead at 6 o’clock.
5th. Good wind. Again birds appeared, and there was much grass and moss on the water, which gave us hope of seeing [p.11] land again soon. It seems as if many of us cannot stand the hot air, for every day more people get sick.
6th. A strong northeast wind blew during the night. During the last calm two hatches had been opened in the forward part of the between decks, and in the stormy weather last night the water rushed in with such force, that the passengers had to leave their beds. Many trunks and packages were wet all through, and great damage was done as a result of this carelessness. Even sick people who had no assistance, and who could not get out of bed by themselves, were lying in water.
7th. It is still blowing from the northeast. Each hour we cover 15 miles. We are continuously among islands of which we often see some in the far distance. Many large birds, very much like storks, were close by us all during the day. In the evening we saw the island of Santo Domingo, 4 miles distant.
8th. Wind the same as yesterday. We have not as yet had as good sailing wind as we had during the last 3 days. Today we saw the islands of Cuba and Jamaica, 2 miles distant, of which the latter spread out before us as a long stretch of land extending beyond range of the eye. My little Anna is well again. Many of the sick on the between deck have also recovered. In the last few days the air has been somewhat cooler.
9th. It did not blow during the night, and today it is again oppressively hot. Today provisions were distributed. [p.12] The bread was spoiled and was handed back to the captain. At noon we could still see the island of Jamaica. Today a Dane and an Englishman engaged in a fight, and the latter was the winner.
10th. Southwest wind. For the first time we had the wind against us. Today we saw the island of Kaiman. On another island the light in a lighthouse was to be seen in the evening.
11th. Northwest wind, not much better than yesterday. Many fishes, 30-40 feet in length appeared. We sailed continuously among islands. Although we had no cause for complaint about much stormy weather or misfortunes of that kind, everybody longed to be off the water soon, for the lack of good drinking water, a variety of food and liberty, now made the journey unpleasant for us. A child of Danish parents, 2 years old, died today.
12th. Good wind. Today we passed by the western tip of Cuba. We were quite close to the island and saw the lighthouse and several buildings. The fields were green. Something was being harvested, but we could not see what it was. The land appeared to be flat and unbroken. Today we saw some sea-eagles.
13th. East wind. Today we had ships around us continuously. It somewhat helped to pass the time, and gave us the hope of landing soon. The anchor chain was put in order. Today I made up for the captain my list of all the passengers on board the ship. We were 352 persons besides the crew, of which 321 were Mormons and their children. I did this work in the [p.13] captain’s cabin. There fell into my hands accidentally a list from Morris & Co. made up in Hamburg. I saw to my astonishment that the captain had carried each passenger 2 prussian thaler cheaper than we had paid, and that these 2 thaler accrued to the missionary, Carn [Daniel Garn], who had chartered the ship. I told this to our president on board the ship, who promised to investigate the matter later on.
14th. Calm. 18 degrees of heat. We saw large fishes, which followed us for a quarter of an hour. They were very bold and only disappeared when they were shot at.
15th. Calm until 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Then it began to blow hard from northwest, almost like a storm. Around 7 o’clock almost all the sails were taken down, and the ship drifted about as it would. At the same time it rained violently, and we were very much frightened. Even the captain and the rest of the crew were afraid, and seemed to fear danger. Everything went well, however. Today the captain gave us hope of soon arriving at the Mississippi.
16th. The strong wind kept on blowing till around midnight, and in the morning we had drifted back quite a distance. But we soon regained lost ground, as the wind was good all day. Shortly after noon we saw a lighthouse, and then several ships lying at anchor. The water changed color and became yellowish. Contrary to the captain’s expectation we were near the Mississippi, where he had thought of arriving 2 days from now. The pilot-flag was instantly hoisted, and [p.14] at 4 o’clock a pilot came on board. We sailed on close to the river’s mouth and anchored. There was joy and happiness on shipboard. Today it was so cold that we had to put on warm clothes. Today a child of Danish parents died, 2 years old.
17th. Today it was very cold and windy. We were lying still. Many ships came up alongside, and they all anchored here. The Danish woman who lost her mind on the 18th of last month died today. She left behind her husband, and 2 small children.
18th. The weather was somewhat pleasanter. This morning 10 large vessels bound for New Orleans lay close to us. Already at 6 o’clock steamers came out from that port, and around 8 o’clock we began to raise anchor. At 10 o’clock came a steamer by which we were towed 2 miles up the river. All the ships were brought up here. The pilot disembarked, the anchor was dropped and the captain’s papers were inspected by an official. Now a steamer was placed between 2 sailing vessels at a time, in order to tow them up the river. The anchor was raised, and the journey continued. For the first 8-10 miles there was nothing to see along the river except uncultivated land on which grew reeds and small bushes; but then the country took on a better appearance. We sailed past woods and beautiful estates. The fields were beginning [p.15] to be green and plowing and sowing were going on. At this place the Mississippi is half a mile wide; but he current is not rapid.
19th. We kept on sailing all during the night. As we looked around us in the morning we were in an exceedingly beautiful country, and the farther we proceeded, the more beautiful it became. On both sides of the river were beautiful country-seats, sugar plantations, beautiful meadows and forests. The owners live for the most part in small but pretty houses, which were usually situated in an orchard. There was already fruit on the trees, mostly oranges. The workers, usually Negro slaves, live in small houses or huts near their masters. All residences are near the river. The cultivated land is behind and between the houses, and where it ends there is nothing to be seen but forest. The land is level and sugar and cotton are the two main products which are raised here.
20th. At 2 o’clock in the morning we arrived in New Orleans. Here it is still winter and cold. That is what a German inhabitant told me this morning. But I meant, that even though it is still winter and cold, I would not like to feel the heat here in the summer time. He replied that there was still floating ice in the river, and since this has not completely disappeared, it is still winter although the ice comes 3-400 miles from here. The fields were green, the gardens made ready, and many seeds had already shot high up above the ground. The cows were grazing in the tall grass [p.16] and the heat at this time of year seemed strange to me. The first think I undertook to see was the harbor. Our ship was lying near to one end of the port. I had probably been walking a couple of miles or so, as I made inquiries about the length of the harbor. I found out that it is 5 miles long, and that there are at present 914 sailing vessels and 81 steamers in the harbor. I walked the whole way along the waterfront, and it gave me much pleasure. Never before had I seen so many large ships in one spot. Most of them were three-masters, and only a few of them were small vessels. There was much life going on at the port, and thousands of workers as well as many carriers were busy. I went part of the way along the harbor, and, coming back, part of the way through some streets near by. The streets are wide and straight, but very dirty and badly paved, owing to the wet ground. The whole city lies on the lowland, and swamps and bogs are to be seen in the heart of the city. There is hardly any regulation of the streets. Dead cattle lie in the thoroughfares, and wherever ones goes, there is a bad odor. I was tired and went on board ship.
21st. Again I went out early to view the city and to see anything unusual and remarkable. The city is 8 miles long and 1 ½ miles wide. It has about 110,000 inhabitants of which about 7,000 are Germans and 8,000 Negroes. I saw the new custom house, which is being built and which is to be completed 7 years from now. It is 250 ells or 500 feet square, and 4 stories high, the wall is made of [-] granite. [p.17] I have never seen such an imposing and costly building. The scaffolding alone has cost 6,000 dollars. The Hotel Dhe Charles, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, is built of marble stone. It is 5 stories high and is also an imposing sight, but it cannot compare with the customhouse. I saw the orphan-asylum which is planned beautifully and impressively, and visited some of the most important factories, such as carriage-factories, cotton-spinning plants, and iron-foundries, of which I had likewise never seen any before which could compare with them in beauty and size. The railway station, and the railway itself, are not so beautiful. The churches are only small. I was in 3 of them whose interiors were rather pretty. The drinking water is not good, and it is very unhealthful for strangers. Through pipes it is led from the Mississippi into the city. As far as I went in the city, I saw no pumps, nor did I see any cellars.
22nd. Today Washington’s birthday was celebrated. Early in the morning there was shooting of cannon; the national guard, led by beautiful martial music, marched through the city to an open spot where all sorts of amusements were open to the public all day long. In the evening the city was illuminated, and feasting and dancing went on in all the streets in the city. Here the river is one mile wide. Across from New Orleans lies the small town, Algier. It is nicely built, and has large factories for iron and cotton goods; also many steamers are being built there. Today I was not [p.18] feeling well, and could not go out. Furthermore we were busy packing, and even today we went on board the steamer “St. Louis” on which we were to be taken to St. Louis. This ship is built to carry emigrants, and we promise ourselves more comfort than we have had hitherto.
23rd. We only finished packing and putting our luggage on board the ship yesterday evening, and when I woke up this morning our new ship with all of us on board, was lying at the other end of the harbor. Today I had much to do in our new quarters. When I was through working, I wrote 2 letters to Hamburg and took them to the post office. On the way back I came through a street where slaves were being sold. 400-500 dollars were being paid for the largest and handsomest men and women. For a short while I watched this business, and went from there with a saddened heart.
24th. This morning I went out to see the market-place where meat, milk, grain and vegetables are being sold. The market was held in 2 wooden structures, built for this purpose. Horses and carriages cannot enter here. Each of the buildings is 400 feet long and 300 feet wide. The amount and variety of products which are daily brought to the market, is indeed remarkable. I was probably there for about 2 hours, and would like to have stayed longer; but I became ill, had to go on board and go to bed. I read the German newspaper that is being published here. It contained the news that from Jan. 1st to February 4th, 38 steamers and close to 200 [p.19] sailing- vessels had been lost on the Mississippi. Since Feb. 3, 6 steamers had been lost by fire in the local harbor, while 5 had been badly damaged.
25th. I felt somewhat better today and went out to see how the engines and other sunken material were taken out of the water from the 6 burned steamers. A ship came in from Africa carrying 80 wild people. I saw some of them. Their skin was copper-colored, their hair long and black. Their clothes were made from the hides of wild animals; but most of the wild men were quite naked. They had rings through their noses and ears, and some of the men had bells on their legs. All were tall and well built, and were immediately offered for sale as slaves. Here, and in the entire state, the slave-trade is a legal and profitable business; but public slave-markets are only allowed in this city. Merchants and wealthy families keep slaves, men as well as women. They are also given permission to marry. But the children they raise are the property of the slave-owners, and if the number becomes too high, they are driven to market and sold for a good price. A cannon-shot is being fired every evening at 8 o’clock, signifying that then all the blacks must be at home. Whoever is found to be on the streets after the firing of this shot, receives severe punishment. Only blacks who are residents or free can obtain permission to stay out longer, and this is only given in return for a large and safe bond. We left at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. On this side of the river at least as far as we came today--the landscape was [p.20] just as beautiful as on the other side. We sailed on until 9 o’clock and then dropped anchor.
26th. The steamers which sail on the rivers use wood for fuel, of which there is sufficient stock on hand. Our ship too supplied itself with wood at this place, and at 8 o’clock we set out again. Sugar plantations, beautiful grain fields, forests and meadows, follow each other continually. Everyone who has journeyed in this region will admit that it is beautiful and pleasant to travel here. But everyone who still carries in his heart a grain of love for his fellow men, must look on the beauty with contempt, when he sees the poor blacks, who just as much as we white people, were created by God as free human beings, and who are being treated by their white owners as cattle, and often not even as well as that. There are masters who have from 3-to 400 slaves. Today we stopped several times to take on sugar, and this gave us time and opportunity to go ashore. I went along with the others and saw the owners’ magnificent residences and gardens, and I must admit that I had never seen in Germany more beautiful estates than these properties. But when I turned my gaze towards the poor Negroes, with their wives and children working in the fields, then all the great and beautiful lost its value for me. The day went by with these stopovers and trips, and at 10 o’clock we again dropped anchor.
27th. The journey continued very early in the morning. When I awoke our ship was once more lying close to a sugar-plantation to take on sugar. The region was exceedingly beautiful, and many of the passengers considered it the [p.21] most beautiful we had seen so far. The owner’s residence was not a very large one, and it stood in a garden full of the most beautiful fruit-trees and flowers. We went ashore; but were only allowed to view the garden from the outside. The owner had 350 Negro slaves. A number of women and children were working in the garden, and a white overseer whip in hand, stood behind them. We looked contemptibly at this brute. He understood, and brought us on board escorted by 2 large dogs. This beautiful region continued until noon. Then the country became higher and mountainous, and appeared to be healthier. The residents fell wood and sell it to the ships’ captains. As far as the eye reaches, there is wood to be seen, and many thousands would still be able to make a living here. Towards evening the region again became somewhat prettier. We passed by the two small towns of Petersport and Frankville. The inhabitants are mostly Germans and Frenchman who raise grain and cattle.
28th. We traveled all night long. The nights are very cold here, and in the day time it is still oppressively hot. There are farmsteads, which are not inferior in beauty to many of the sugar-plantations. The soil is extremely good, and much farming is being carried on. We came across many settlers who felled trees, and who were beginning to cultivate the land. We stopped at the town of Nidshid. This settlement has a very romantic location, and is built entirely on the mountain side. There seems to be considerable trade here. We were only ashore for a short while. Most of [p.22] the inhabitants are Germans. We were asked, if there were any workers from the building-trade with us who would care to remain, and inquiries were directed to me about servant-girls. Good wages were being offered. Much coal is found in this region. In the evening we passed by 2 more small settlements, and at the latter of these we took on wood for fuel. It was dark when this was brought on board. I have not been feeling entirely well ever since we left New Orleans.
March 1st. This morning we stopped at the city of Quickbonne. This was also a mountain-city, and it was built in a very rambling and disorganized fashion. As seen from the river, the streets and the houses lie one above the other, and it presents a beautiful sight. The church stands on one of the highest peaks of a mountain. As only a brief stop was made we saw little of the city. On both sides of the river is continuous forest. The soil is good, it is frequently quite level for many miles at a time, and at such places cotton and maze are being raised. In the evening we saw at different places fires in the forest. These had been set by the owners in order quickly to get the trees out of the way, so that the soil could be turned to use. The illumination was magnificent to behold.
2nd. Today I made the acquaintance of a young man from Kiel, whose name was Theodor Falk, and who was also on board. He had been in the Danish war, and we entertained each other [p.23] with stories and recollections of that time. Here the air is cooler, the fields are green no more and the forest is not as pretty as it has been for some time. It seems as if we have suddenly been transferred to another climate or into another season. I hear that the settlers who fell trees and then sell the wood, earn so much money in a short time that they are able to pay for and cultivate the piece of land they have bought. It struck me as peculiar that a saw was never used for this kind of work, but only an axe in the use of which, the Americans are experts. Today a 3 year old child of Danish parentage died.
3rd. At an early hour this morning we came to the settlement of Napoleon, where we stopped and tarried for a short time. There were only 9 residences there, all built on a big, imposing scale, and these 9 buildings all carry the name of the settlement, such as Napoleon’s apothecary, store, hotel, pool-room, and so on. Divine service was being held in a chapel near the river. The inhabitants are mostly Frenchmen. As yesterday the region consists of nothing but forest on both sides of the river. Where the trees have been chopped down, are cotton plantations. Today I was very ill. I placed blame for my sickness on the bad drinking-water, and the many worries and troubles I have to endure on account of my family, especially my wife.
4th. I had to stay in bed all day today. We had many sick people on board. We were altogether 460 passengers on this ship. 4 dollars was paid for each adult, and 2 dollars for [p.24] every child under 14. From New Orleans to St. Louis is a distance of 1200 miles. We were made to hope that this journey could be completed in 6-8 days. But yesterday we had only covered half the distance. This journey was very expensive to most of those who had not supplied themselves sufficiently with provisions, and who now had to buy them on shipboard or where we stopped.
5th. Today we often sailed between small islands, some of which were inhabited. These islands have been cut away from the mainland by high tide and the strong current in the river. At many places we saw the land swept away, so that trees were left standing in the river. In this way the river was constantly made wider, though not deeper, and it became more and more dangerous for traffic. Frequently large areas of cultivated land were washed away, and houses that stood near the river, collapsed. We stopped at the city of Memphis. The stay was only a brief one, and we could not go ashore. This is only a mountain city, large and beautifully planned.
6th. Last night we were held fast between tree-trunks, and about 2 hours passed before we got loose again. But no damage was inflicted on the ship, however. The first sight that met us this morning was that of a sunken steamer. We stopped, but could not be of any assistance. The passengers had been saved, but most of the freight had been lost or ruined. Some members of the crew were still on board, and [p.25] they were bringing the salvaged load ashore. The ship had left New Orleans one day ahead of us, and had sunk the day before yesterday. These steamers cannot travel on the ocean, but only on rivers, as they are very lightly built. Usually a steamer of this type is 180-200 feet long, and 50-70 feet wide. It only draws 4, and, at the most, 5 feet of water. The heaviest freight lies in the bottom of the hulk. The engines are on the lowest deck. The furnace is located in about the center of the ship, and here the fuel is stored. Forward is an empty space, and aft are sleeping accommodations for the crew, and also for the passengers who do not pay the highest price. On the 2nd deck in the center of the ship are usually 2 large halls, and forward is an open space for light freight. Around both halls are cabins, usually with 2 beds in each. From these cabins one door leads into the hall, and another opens outward to a wide passage, that runs around the entire ship. Carriages and light freight are taken to the 3rd deck. On this 3rd deck is a small house built of boards into which the rudder projects from below. Here sits the pilot, because the many bends of the river and the tree-trunks which often dot it, cannot always be seen from below. A pilot on this river must know the waters, as well as a coachman or a pedestrian knows the highway in the dark. Many of these ships have 2 engines.
7th. Today we sailed constantly among small islands of which some were inhabited by 2 or 3 families. The main industry is the raising of pigs of which hundreds are seen running around. [p.26] In the afternoon we stopped at the city of Cairo. It has 50 houses at most; but many buildings were under construction. The town is situated on the Ohio River, which flows into the Mississippi at this point. Here work is going on on [SIC] a railway to the city of Ohio and New York. This railway will be continued on to California, and it will be 3000 miles long. Many tradespeople, artisans and saloon keepers live on abandoned steamers that have been fitted out as residences. Inquiries were made about workers from the building trade, and high wages were being offered. A city with the same name was formerly located at this place; but had now sunk into the ground. During the building of the railway, several ruins of the former settlement have been found. A steamer carrying 600 passengers was destroyed this winter by running into floating ice not far from here. Many of the passengers lost their lives, and the survivors were taken ashore. Their provisions were lost. On account of the amount of floating ice no ships arrived for several days, and as there was also a heavy snowfall, the survivors were forced to remain in Cairo. Here the stock of provisions ran out in a short time, and famine-conditions prevailed among the residents and their guests, until food had been obtained from St. Louis. This took 16 days, a journey which can be made in 3 days under favorable conditions. Close to 700 persons in the town died of cold and starvation, and had help been delayed 2 day longer, no one would have remained alive. [p.27] Today a child of Danish parentage died on board our ship. It was 5 years old.
8th. We stayed here overnight. Today I went ashore again to look over the construction of the new city. It is being built at about the same spot where it used to be. The houses are for the most part built only of boards. I spoke with the violinist Ole Bull of Norway, who was formerly well known in Germany. He too had been a passenger on board the wrecked steamer, and was glad to hear news from Schleswig. Freight was unloaded and taken on at this point, and at 2 o’clock the journey continued. We had hardly been on our way for an hour, when once more a sunken steamer that hardly held together was seen lying ahead of us. The region on the left bank in these parts is very mountainous. The river is continually more and more dangerous for traffic. We ran against a tree-trunk, and down below the ship became full of water, much freight being destroyed. Several hours passed before the damage was repaired and the ship made tight again. It was fortunate that this happened in the day time; in the dark our fate would have been a bad one, in any case. Towards evening we passed by the small mountain town Kienkuta [LOCATION UNCLEAR]. It has large and beautiful buildings, and is built according to a plan. No stop was made. In this region there are many saw-mills and coal-mines, and marble is being dug and worked. Along the bank are neat small houses, whose residents make a living, felling trees and hewing stone. A violent thunderstorm [p.28] came up during the night and besides that, it rained very hard. It was so dark that the pilot could not see any longer. We came too close to the shore and got stuck fast. Three hours went by before we were free again. During this work a sailor feel through a hatch down below, and was severely injured in the head and breast. We stopped at the town Gebzarka, where we remained until daybreak. During the night a young girl of Danish parentage died. She was 14 years old.
9th. The sailor who fell into the ship’s bottom yesterday died this morning. The town of Gebzarka [LOCATION UNCLEAR] is the most methodically built of all the towns I have seen so far on the Mississippi. It lies close to the river on a beautiful plain, has large, massive buildings, 2 churches, factories of various kinds and well paved streets. We left early, for which reason none of us could go ashore. We had not gone very far before 3 sunken steamers were seen lying ahead of us. Two of them had been shattered by tree-trunks and the boiler of the 3rd had exploded. Some sailors were still on board the latter ship. Today we sailed continually between mountains, some of which were very high. Along the river there was often level land that was cultivated and inhabited by people from the mountains. It is beautiful to travel here, and there are often new things to be seen. Now one sees high hills, and now mountains of rock that also contain marble; chalk-mountains and coal-mines; now, down in the valley, beautiful grain-fields and orchards, and then again small forests with much game, especially deer, wild horses, wolves and large snakes. [p.29] At some places the mountain people live in the valley down below, and again at other places they are higher up in the mountains, either one presenting its pleasant picture to the traveler. In the last few days we have had continually more and more sick people on board. Also my small Anna and myself have never felt quite well ever sine we left New Orleans.
10th. This morning we had a heavy thunderstorm. It rained until noon and then the air became clear. The captain let us to hope that if the weather remain fine, we would arrive in St. Louis tomorrow. Today we passed by numerous small villages and settlements, all in the process of construction, and all having a beautiful location. Again we saw mountains where marble was being quarried and worked. We stopped at a stone-quarry where we took on with us to St. Louis a slab of marble 14 feet long. Here almost 100 people were employed. At another stone-quarry freight was unloaded, and here granite was being worked. This was made into milestones for the railway, foundations-stones and grave memorials. 140 men were employed here and among them were quite a few Germans. I spoke with the Baas or overseer, a skilled bricklayer from Ploen in Hostein whose name was Homann, and who had already been in this place for 6 years. He showed me a 26 foot long stone, intended for a grave-memorial. Nothing pleased me more at this place than the neat, small houses in which the workers live. The are frequently scattered over quite a wide area. They are built according to a simple plan, but [p.30] both inside and out they are so neat and tidy, that it is true many a large and first-class residence in the cities lags far behind when compared with those others in this respect.
Today also we saw a sunken steamer which had been wrecked by floating ice. A child of Danish parents died. It was 4 years old.
11th. The day had hardly begun when a steamer overtook us apparently bent on passing us. It approached too close to the shore, ran against tree trunks, and sank before our very eyes. The passengers hurried up on the 3rd deck. The freight was apparently spoiled, for hardly half an hour had passed before it was 10 feet under water.
Shortly after noon we stopped at a small island called Quarantine Island. Here all ships coming from New Orleans have to stop to be examined by doctors who find out, if there are any contagious diseases on board. If there are many sick people on board, the ship must lie in quarantine, and the sick remain behind. Cholera had broken out on our ship; but only among the Danes who lived very immoderately. 28 were suffering from this disease of which number 7 were detained. During the medical examination the remainder crept out of their beds and hid themselves. But besides these there were many sick passengers, who did not suffer from Cholera. At 4 o’clock we saw St. Louis, and it gave rise to much rejoicing. [p.31] We landed at 5 o’clock. I was feeling rather well. Today my wife caused me a lot of vexation and trouble. It seems as though she would rather have seen me dead, so that I could never set foot in St. Louis. My little Anna was very sick. We kept her in hiding when we stopped at the island, and came out successfully. German people came on board, and we knew some of them. My wife immediately took the little one to the home of one of these friends. Our ship was examined by 2 doctors, and many sick people, who had kept themselves in hiding when we stopped at the island, were taken to the hospital.
12th. I learned this morning that the 7 who had been detained on the island had already died. Thus, form the time we left Glückstadt until today, 43 have died. Of these 1 was a child of German parentage, while the remainder were Danes. Today I spoke with several acquaintances from Hamburg. Rented lodgings for myself in Carr Street, but remained with my children on board the ship, and put my things in order. Sadness pervaded the ship, for every hour more and more people took sick, and even today 9 more Danes died.
13th. 6 Danes died during the night. This morning I moved into our lodgings together with a traveling companion, Erich from Reinfeld in Holstein. It consisted only of 2 rooms, but we contented ourselves with it in order to save money. We paid 6 dollars a month for it. [p.32]
All the Germans left the ship today. Also some Danes went ashore; but many of them had to remain on board the ship, as they were either sick or without lodgings. Towards evening the order was given that all should leave the ship, for now there was hardly a healthy person left on it. A large tent was erected outside the city, and all the Danes taken to it. I visited my little Anna, who was still very ill, and looked over a section of the city. And with this the day ended.
14th. The first thing I did was to go and see my little Anna. She was sicker than yesterday, and could not come to the lodgings. From there I went to see the Danes. During the night some more of them had died. Today houses were rented where they moved in; but they had to content themselves with very narrow quarters. Sailing-ships do not come up the river. The harbor is 2 miles long, but not sightly, because it lies so close up against the city. There is much traffic here, and crowds of people, horses and carriages are to be seen here daily. From the harbor 16 streets go through the city. They all have names and are crossed by 21 cross streets, named according to their number (from 1 to 21). Two of these cross-streets, the 2nd and 3rd, are more than a German mile long. When the entire area that has been set aside for the city, is covered with buildings, each street [p.33] will be from 1 ½ to 2 German miles long. The streets are all perfectly straight and wide. They are not paved; but macadamized. The stones that are being used are mostly limestone. For that reason there is a thick layer of dirt on the streets in wet weather, and when the weather is dry they are constantly full of dust. This dust is extremely harmful and unhealthy. The commerce is important. Here are many industrial establishments, namely iron-foundries, sugar-factories, and many others. The number of inhabitants is placed at 150,000. This cannot be determined definitely, however, as many leave every day. It has been estimated that there are close to 40,000 Germans in the city. There are only a few Negroes. As far as I know, there is said to be about 120 different denominations here, and close to 200 churches, and many of the sections have more than one church or meeting house. Many of these churches or meeting houses are not larger than an ordinary residence. There are many large and beautiful houses in the city, and some still more beautiful are being built constantly. There are also many made only of boards, that are old and dilapidated, being built without plans. But these are gradually being demolished or burned down, and better houses built in their place.
15th. I visited my little Anna again, and although she was still very ill, I took her with me into our lodgings. We sent for a doctor, who told us that she was suffering, from something that sapped her strength. Today I made endeavors [p.34] to earn something, either through business or work, but unfortunately I succeeded in neither, as I could not speak English. In order not to be idle any longer, I and 4 friends made preparations to go to the railway that is being built in the state of Illinois, and work there.
Today we put our things in order, obtained tickets from an office where workers were hired, and decided to leave tomorrow.
Here in St. Louis there is much wealth and prosperity, but also much poverty. Although the slave-trade is carried on here only on a small scale, a conspicuous brutality holds sway both among adults as well as among children. This evening I was pursued by the latter, who probably noticed that I was a foreigner; they threw stones after me, although I had done them no harm.
16th. This morning we set out on our journey. The state of Illinois lies on the other side of the Mississippi. A steamer takes one across to the other side. To begin with the region was very sandy. The highway goes through mountain, forest and valley, and many beautiful farm-steads are found hereabout. At noon we arrived at the small town of Bellville, 14 miles from St. Louis. We went to a hotel where we had some refreshments, and without taking a further look at the small town in which there is really nothing unusual to be seen, we continued our journey. Here the highway ended. The road on which we were now walking had only been built recently. It led through a long, dense forest in which we saw numerous [p.35] deer and wild boars. Twice the latter behaved, as if they were going to attack us, and we had to flee. At 7 o’clock in the evening when it was already dark, we arrived in the small town of Maskuta, 8 miles form Bellville. The road leading to that small place was extremely bad, and we often had to wade knee-deep through water and swamps. We were therefore very tired, looked for rooms and went to bed early.
17th. We slept well during the night. In the morning we learned, that the river Oko, which we had to cross, had gone over its banks, and that an area, 3 miles wide, on the other side of the river was under water, so that we could not get through. We were not frightened however, and wanted to examine the situation ourselves. At 6 o’clock we set out again, but had not been going very far, before we heard the same story once more. Around noon we came to the river, which is 12 miles from Maskuta, and realized that what had been told us was true, and that we had to wade 3 miles through water, if we wanted to continued the journey. Here we met other people who wanted to get across, and we agreed to hire a vehicle, but no farmer wanted to go. We were therefore obliged to turn back again, and went straight back to Bellville, stayed there over night and came back to St. Louis. empty-handed.
18th. We were told on the way that German workers were being sought on another railway; but as today was Sunday, the journey to that place was postponed until tomorrow.
19th. We went to the place, and talked with the man who hired the workers. As he heard we had never done that kind [p.36] of work before, he would not take us, and once more we had to turn back. Now my wife began to bake waffles, and found a good market for them. I often went out trying to earn something, either through business or work, but whatever I earned was rarely of any importance, as I could not speak English. This, and the sight of my sick child, saddened me very much. The child got worse every day, and hopes of improvement began to dwindle.
23rd. I have forgotten to note that my daughter Amalia was married to A. Kalthoff in Liverpool. Today she gave birth to a daughter.
Up until now I often went around with nothing to do, and at home there is nothing else to do but wait on my sick child. This and the worry my wife causes me every day, made me sick also, ill-humored and sullen. I pass over to the 26th. Today I and my son-in-law who likewise rarely earned anything, was offered work on a large estate, to which we will go tomorrow. Today fire broke out and 3 large houses burned down. There is much brutality among the people here. Today 2 boys got into a quarrel, and wounded each other with knives to such an extent, that one of them died immediately and the other some hours later. Today 2 boys had tied a 3rd to a tree and beaten him to death. It is not at all uncommon to hear of similar cases, which the parents and the authorities seem to view with great indifference, for the punishment administered is only mild. Children from 8-12 continually carry knives, daggers and pistols. [p.37]
27th. Today we went to the estate and found work. Wages were 12 dollars a month in addition to board and lodgings. Our work consisted in helping the gardener. I was well again, and glad to be working. The owner of the estate was a native born American, named Lindel, and the estate is called Lindelsplatz (Lindels place?--P.G.). He was a man with a 2 million dollar fortune, and he had arrived penniless in St. Louis as a man-servant. The estate does not comprise much landed property, only a small amount of grain is raised, and only 12 cows are being kept (these 12 cows give about 3 cans of milk daily). The garden covered 40 acres (an acre is 200 square yards), and was kept mostly for pleasure. Young fruit-trees and flowers were taken to the city daily to be sold, and besides this income 1800 Dollars was still being spent annually in wages and for seeds and such things. During the summer-months 4 gardeners and 16 workers are being employed.
The name of the first gardener or Baas is Krausnek, a native of Berlin. Practically all the workers were Germans.
April 10th. Nothing new was to be seen or heard here, the work was always the same and for this reason I have passed over the intervening days. Today we had a heavy thunderstorm, and lightning struck a house and it burned down. For several days we have had the sultry atmosphere that precedes a thunderstorm, and it has been oppressively hot; besides we often have frost during the night. It is frequently oppressively warm [p.38] in the morning, and so cold before noon that one has to put on gloves. From this one may conclude that it must be very unhealthy in these parts. During the summer months cholera and yellow fever are the usual diseases. I had now been working for 3 weeks, and as I came home on the 22nd. My little Anna had died in the morning. This was a hard blow to me. She was buried today. She was 7 years old.
. . .
26th. Heavy thunderstorm, accompanied by wind and hail. Many large trees were uprooted, and some houses collapsed; but the greatest damage was caused by the hail-storm. In St. Louis and the neighboring districts, most of the windows facing west were smashed, so that there was a shortage of glass. It had already been decided by the Mormon church that we Germans were to leave St. Louis on May 10th, and as our month comes to a close tomorrow, we shall stop working.
27th. Today we said good by to our boss, and parted as friends. As long as I was working every day, I was not troubles by thoughts of my dead child . . . but now it all came forcefully to mind, I worried deeply over both and had to suffer a great deal. I was almost sick from sorrow.
28th. Went to the harbor to look at the work of loading and unloading the ships. Plenty of people are busy here every day. A merchant told me that the number of workers employed at the harbor each day is placed at 1200, and the number of vehicles drawn by 1 or 2 horses at 200, while it could be truthfully said that every morning, one could figure 3000 people had business of one kind or another at the harbor. Quarrels and fights are common here. People stab and cut with knives or shoot with pistols, and not infrequently someone is being killed.
Such a brutality as holds sway here, not only among the lower classes but also among the so-called educated classes, is unknown in Germany. The newspapers continually contain [p.40] news of murders and robberies, but so far I have not read that a murderer has paid the customary penalty for his crime. Women too shoot, stab and fight. Today 2 women, who apparently belonged to the educated classes, had a fight while the men were looking on. When the women got tired and stopped fighting, the men continued anew. One of the ladies had a pistol and shot her opponent in the back. She was arrested, but was immediately out on bail, and the whole case comes to nothing. In Germany I often heard American freedom praised; but Germany will remain a happier country, if this freedom is never introduced.
29th. I wrote all day. In the evening 5 houses burned down, and it was the cause of much fighting in the streets. The fire engines are beautiful and well made, but the workers or firemen are undisciplined. They are usually intoxicated and rob and steal. The fire engines look like locomotives.
. . .
Today I visited a factory where locomotives are being made. Never before have I seen in a factory such beautiful and splendid machinery as in this one. I was also in a factory, where agricultural machines were made of iron and wood. Many of these machines are not known in Germany, and many of those which are also being used in Germany, are made quite differently.
May 1st. Writing.
2nd. Beautiful promenades, parks as well as antiquities or other curiosities, are not to be seen here. Everybody is merely striving to become rich, and this is the reason for the brutality. From a German, who has been here for a considerable length of time, I today got some writing to do. To me this was a pleasant way of passing the time. Thought was also given to our approaching departure, and preparations were being made. There is a very considerable immigration this spring. It is said that already 12,000 have arrived here in St. Louis since New Years. Yesterday 3 steamers sank near the city, while 1 was destroyed by fire. This evening 3 houses burned in my immediate neighborhood.
3rd. The fire alarm was heard at 3 different times during the day. 11 houses burned down. When I saw a fire engine here for the first time, I did not know what kind of an engine it was, and took it for a locomotive, as it is quite [p.42] similar to it. It is beautifully made and answers the purpose very well. All fittings, excepting the tires around the wheels, are made of brass. I looked at the interior of a factory where turned work is being made. Here there were 24 lathers, all of them driven by a steam engine. The finest work for wheel-wrights, carpenters, joiners, chair-makers and turners was being manufactured here at great speed. This evening I watched a fight between wagon drivers.
4th. I went to see 2 steam-driven flour mills. These also contained beautiful machinery and these steam mills produce better flour than the usual water and windmills. 8 new churches and about 200 new houses are under construction. The building of houses proceeds ver rapidly here, and the architecture is not like that of Germany.
5th and 6th. Writing continuously.
7th. Writing. I also took a walk through the city. The neighboring region is beautiful and romantic at some places, and work is being done there to make it still more beautiful. Many new streets are also being planned. A forest near the city, also included in the area that is to be built up, was in the process of being cut down, and this work gave employment to close to 1,000 men.
8th. . . . In the evening 4 houses burned down. A number of Indians have been stopping over here for several days. Today I saw 5 of them. They were naked and only the back was covered by a hid. They were armed with bow and arrow, and displayed their ability in shooting. At a distance of 50 steps, two of them knocked a 5 cent piece from where it was placed. This is as large as a usual Schilling piece (German coin. P. G.) They also showed us some of their dances and in doing so made comical jumps. One moment they were standing on their legs, and the next on their heads. In these dances they also demonstrate the strength of their nerves.
10th When I was out on business today, my attention was called to some stone-cutting establishments of which there are many here. Finished stone [p.44] are also displayed. I found them beautiful and decided to visit some of the displays, which I had an opportunity to do today. I was in 2 establishments, and must admit that never before had I seen such beautiful and ornamental work in stone, as was displayed there. Practically all the work was slabs of marble of various sizes. Whoever sees this beautiful work, must admit that the stone-cutters in St. Louis belong among the greatest artists in that line.
11th and 12th. Were spent writing.
13th. Took a short trip into the country with my children. We saw some turtles of which one was rather large. We came across farmsteads, where more than 200 pigs were being kept. It was getting dark as we were on our way home, and we were overtaken by a heavy thunderstorm. It blew and rained besides, and we came home tired and wet to the skin.
14th. I learned the I probably cannot get away from here as yet, and that I shall perhaps have to be here a whole year. This news was discouraging to my family, as well as to myself. The reasons were these: I did not myself possess the money or the means by which I myself could obtain the necessary capital for the long journey, and Jurgens’ widow from Schleswig, who had already promised to lay out the need travel money, went back on her word, as missionary Carn [Daniel Garn] had cheated her out of a considerable sum of money, and she was not going to leave yet. [p.45]
15th. . . .
16th to 20th. Were spent in writing. I have also been ill from melancholy and gloominess.
21st to 25th. Sick. Today several of my friends left. Among them were practically all the German Mormons, whom I would like to have accompanied. There was thunder and lightning, combined with storm and rain, and some of the streets in the lowest part of town were quite flooded. Houses and basements were full of water.
26th. The local papers write a great deal about the European war. I read today that some English and French warships were lying at the harbor of Kiel. Much is also being written about Denmark, and it is stated that the Schleswig citizenry of Eckernforde and Husum, still do not want to be entirely obedient to the Danes, and that quarrels and arrests are common occurrences. One does not hear much news at this place. The fire-alarm is usually sounded every day; sometimes 3-4 times in one day. And not infrequently someone is being beaten to death or shot. This is nothing new, however, but an old and usual happening that goes with American liberty. There is much thunder and lightening at present, often of a violent character, and of much longer duration than in Germany. [p.46] But it is only seldom one hears that it has struck. Many ships sink or come to grief in other ways, for both the Mississippi and the Missouri continually become more and more dangerous to traffic, and now, in the months of spring, large pieces of land and forest, as well as buildings, are being washed away by the river, incurring loss of lives.
27th. Today I received the joyous news in regard to getting away. This came about solely through a merchant by the name of Thomas William from Salt Lake City. Each year this man arrives here to buy goods. He charters 160 wagons, and every time he takes along some families without means.
28th and 29th. Put my things in order for the departure.
30th. I brought some of my luggage on board. Saw a child being run over and crippled by an omnibus. In the evening 5 houses burned down.
31st. Spent the day writing, and delivered what was written.
June 1st. Had a quarrel with my landlord on account of my going away. I looked over a saw-mill and a steamer on which the wheel was placed aft.
2nd. Saw a fight among Irishmen during which some were severely wounded by [-] I was in a stone-cutters establishment and saw a piece of marble, 21 feet long, 7 feet wide and 3 ½ feet thick. In this marble was carved a head of Christ, and with the crown of thorns, and 2 folded hands interwoven with garlands. There were several people [p.47] there to look at the marble, and everyone admired the beautiful and artistic work.
3rd. Took leave with one of my friends. Wrote two letters to Schleswig, to Pohlmann and Ulrich, and took them to the post office. In the evening 4 houses burned down causing the death of 2 children.
4th. We went on board the steamer “Australia.” I took rooms on the 3rd deck, as it was most pleasant here. There were about 200 passengers of us. At 5 o’clock we left the harbor, to the accompaniment of music. At 1 o’clock at night we stopped at the mouth of the Missouri, where this river flows into the Mississippi. As far as we came today, there were beautiful landscapes on both sides of the river.
5th. All passengers on the 3rd deck also have their wagons there and sleep in them, the same as I and my family did, and last night we slept very well. This morning we passed by the city of St. Charles, and towards noon the city of Augusta. Only a small area of land around here is cultivated, and on both sides are dense forest and high mountains. In the afternoon we sailed past the towns of Washington and Hermann, stopping at neither one. From what I could see of all of them they were only small and irregularly built. In the evening we saw 2 places where grapes were being grown.
6th. A strong wind blew during the night, and it was mostly against us. On the left bank are high mountains and on the right flat land. Here too grapes were being grown. [p.48] The owners of the vineyards live in small attractive houses near the river, surrounded by beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. We stopped at the city of Shitubert, but only for a short time, nobody could go ashore. In the afternoon we passed by the city, Jefferson City, capital of Missouri, and residence of the Governor. Here there is a penitentiary, surrounded by a 30 foot wall. The city is only a small one, and has some factories, while the chief business of the residents is the corn-trade. It was already dark, when we came to the small city of Nahsoun, where we stopped. This town had been built recently, and had only 50-60 houses that were completed. The church stands on a mountain, and can be seen from far and wide. In the evening we had violent thunder and lightning.
7th. This morning we were awakened by the rain, and were wet in our beds. A stop was made at the city of Brunsville. This too was only small, and there was nothing unusual to be seen there. At this point the river has a strong current and many turnings. It is dangerous to navigate, especially at night when so many tree-trunks are floating in it, with only a little of the trunk above the water’s surface. In these parts there is much level and cultivated land. The farmers’ dwellings are for the most part log-cabins. Around noon we passed by the town of Glasgow, it has 2 churches of which one stands on a high mountain. The town lies close to the river, [p.49] surrounded by high mountains. Marble is being dug and worked at this place, and there are also several saw-mills there. In the evening we sailed past Lexington. All I saw of the town was some houses, as it was already dark. We ran into a heavy thunderstorm, and it rained almost all night long.
8th. It was still dark when we came too close to the shore, and our ship ran aground. It took time and effort to get loose again; but it was accomplished without doing damage to the ship. Also at this point the river has a strong current and we could not go faster than 3 miles an hour; we sailed past the towns of Napoleon and Siplei. They were both small, and were still in the process of being built. Both lie near the river at the foot of a mountain, but in a beautiful region. There we saw a steamer that had sunk today. At this point one sees nothing but forest and mountains from the river, and yet; behind these, there is said to be beautiful, cultivated land. Towards evening we came to the town, Leiponde. Of the town itself there is little to be seen, as it lies behind a mountain. The residents are said to be mostly German farmers who carry on the greatest grain-trade on the Missouri. It was already dark when we came to the newly built colony, Waine City, where freight was unloaded. We were asked if any craftsmen, especially carpenters and joiners, were aboard who would care to stay on.
9th. At 5 o’clock in the morning we landed at the City of Kansas. It lies near the mountains, and seen from the river, along which stand some houses, it present a beautiful [p.50] view. The church stands on a high mountain. The inhabitants are said to be mostly Dutchmen and Germans. In this region close to 2,000 Mormons were in camp. Among them were the Danes, still alive, who had come across the ocean with us. At this point the current was so rapid, that frequently our ship stood quite still. Around noon we came to the city of Pakville, which lies on an elevation near the river. There was much building activity; inquiries were made about craftsmen; and high wages were being offered. On the right bank is much cultivated land, on the left forest and mountains. Here marble, sandstone, lime and coal were bing dug. Neither on the Mississippi nor on the present trip, have I seen such a beautiful and romantic region, as the country we were passing though today. Here the river is 1 miles wide. We saw the fort, Levensfort [PROBABLY, Levensworth], a mile to the left and back from the river, sailed past that and landed 4 miles father along, at our destination. This was located in a forest where an open space near the river was called Liberty Place. Work was immediately begun unloading the ship, and tents were raised. Those who did not have any, arranged their wagons so that they could sleep in them, or built themselves huts of shrubs. The ship was chartered, and for the most part loaded with merchandise by the merchant, Wiliams. Most of the passengers were Mormons, and they had to pay the captain for their own passage from St. Louis to this place, as well as pay for their luggage. From here to St. Louis is 480 miles. [p.51] Sleeping was out of the question during the night, as all the freight and luggage was being weighed. Nobody was mournful about this, however; but everyone was glad to be here, and that the voyage had come to an end.
10th. In the morning everyone tried to get his things together. Places for cooking were being contrived, and people slept, fished or hunted.
11th. I learned today that my friends who left St. Louis before me, are still in camp in this neighborhood. In the evening we were visited by some of them. Near here, but on the opposite side of the river, lies the city of Weston, from where a ferry goes across the river. From this place 200 oxen came today for our further transportation. We brought 20 freight wagons with us from St. Louis, of which some were loaded with freight today and sent to the actual meeting place for the Mormons, 6 miles from here. We liked it rather well here in the forest; but the drinking water, which we drew from the river, was bad and unhealthy.
12th. Very angry and up until now unknown enemies last nigh moved in on us. They were mosquitoes. They gave us but little sleep, and tormented us so much that this morning our faces and bodies were swollen. Today I took a walk with my children to the assembling place, where I met with my friends from Germany and St. Louis. The road leads past fort Levensforth [Levensport]. It is a small, unimportant fort, occupied by 200 soldiers. It stands on a mountain in a beautiful territory, but has neither earthworks nor wall. On the way [p.52] back we saw a rattle-snake that had been killed.
13th. I helped to keep watch last night. Not far from us we heard the howling of wolves. In the morning we had thunder and lightning accompanies by heavy rain and hail, which lasted practically all day long. We had to sit in the tents and had no hot food or drinks until evening, as the fire would not burn.
14th. The last of Wiliams’ freight was taken away today and only some empty wagons still remained behind. All the passengers likewise got away. These were [p.53] Americans and Englishmen, many of them with their own wagons, and for the time being Wiliams loaned them oxen to get to the meeting place. I too had my things in order, but as there were not enough oxen, I had to content myself with staying here today, alone with my family. The day passed quickly, however, for the ferry went continually back and forth, and the river is still crowded with ships. This helped us to pass the time. But it was not without fear and unrest that we laid ourselves down to sleep, because here one is always surrounded by brutal people and wild animals.
15th. We slept quite well and were not disturbed. I waited all day for oxen; but none came. We had a thunderstorm and once more had to sit in our tents all day. When the rain stopped, I went with my children into the forest to pick strawberries, of which there are many here, but they were quite sour. We saw some large snakes and killed 2 of them.
16th. The night passed without our experiencing anything unpleasant. I went to the assembly place to find out about my transportation. It seemed as if I had been entirely forgotten. Here everybody was working hard, and when I saw the commotion, the irregular living and disorder, I decided not to take any wagons as yet, and to remain in the forest for some days yet, at least until Wiliams who was not yet here, would return. On the way back I met some Indian men and women on horseback, who were very much decked out. In the evening we had thunder and lightning, and never before had I experienced such violent thunderstorm. It rained heavily besides. [p.54] Our beds were wet through and through, and we had to stay up all night. The weather has been beautiful every evening, and I took a walk along the river on which an unusually large number of steamers appeared this evening. I was tormented a great deal by the mosquitoes.
17th. Towards morning we lay down in the grass to sleep; but one of us had to be on guard all the time. Then we tried to dry out beds again, and this did not take long. I went to the ferry every day. This was only 10 minutes walk from where we were, and there I often met with an acquaintances. Today I talked with a man who was surprised when he heard that I and my family were quite alone in the forest. He advised me to leave the place before the Indians discovered me, which might lead to serious consequences. My family immediately began to pack. I went to the assembly place, obtained a carriage and we drove up there today. We had hardly left before Wiliams arrived with another shipload of merchandise.
18th. All the families that were to get transportation through Wiliams, (we were now 12) had been accepted on condition of working on the journey, in whatever, manner and whenever they were able to do so. For this every worker was to receive 15 dollars per month, besides free board. (Adults who did not work, such as women, had to pay 75 dollars for transportation and board, and besides, they were required to pay 12 ½ dollars for every 100 pound of luggage they carried with them. Everyone of the workers could take along 100 pound of freight free of charge. We were told of this today, [p.55] as nobody had any more money with which to go back.) I too was immediately put to work today, and had to look after the oxen, to which work 3 of us were assigned. In the evening I visited some friends. Here about 2000 Mormons were encamped, besides a caravan which traveled about among the Indians with merchandise and traded with them. This is a beautiful region. The land is level, but not cultivated. Here runs a small river, called Salt Creek. The State of Missouri ends, and the territory of New Brasco begins. It formerly belonged to California; but now the entire region is divided into 3 sections, New Brasco begins. It formerly belonged to California; but now the entire region is divided into 3 sections, New Brasco, the territory of Utah and the state of California. The territory of New Brasco is as yet inhabited only by Indians. In recent times the government has bought or forcibly taken this land from the Indians, and has let it be known lately, that whoever wanted to stake out land for cultivation could do so. A piece of land measuring 160 square yards costs from 1 1/4 to 5 dollars. The payment falls due after a period of 5 years. Whoever does not then want to keep the land, may turn it back again, but obtains nothing for the work on it. The Indians are free to live in the territory, but just as is the case with strangers, they have to buy back their own land from the government, and must pay three times as much for it, as they got it for in the first place. Also a sample of American liberty. [p.56]
19th. Today the first train of Mormons departed, it was made up of Englishmen, Germans and Frenchmen. I took car of the oxen until noon, and in the afternoon went out to fish. There is only one kind of fish here, and it is just like the bream in Schleswig; only not so good. I often long for a meal made up of the latter. I saw 2 large rattle-snake of which I killed one. I took off the rattle which is at the end of the tail.
20th. Another train of Mormons departed, and most of them were Germans. Only a few German families are left behind. I took care of the oxen and today saw the first wolves. In the afternoon a German family came back. They were Swiss and the man’s name was Rebello. With them was the tailor Lau as driver, and for some reason it was mostly his fault that the oxen would not pull, and that the man had to return.
21st. My friend Rebello took sick this morning and died 3 hours later of cholera. During the last few days several have been sick with cholera here, and 5 have already died from it here in camp. The sickness first broke out among the Danes, who live like pigs. I accompanied Rebello’s remains to the grave, and then went with 5 other men to the landing place to load H. Williams’ freight wagons with cargoes.
22nd. Helped in loading.
23rd. Had to help in getting 4 loaded wagons out of the forest. Each wagon was being drawn by 12 oxen. All of them had never been yoked before and for this reason they were very wild. The road was bad and we often got stuck. Finally 2 [p.57] wagons turned over, and 2 remained sticking in the mud.
24th. Together with 3 other men I had to remain on guard with the broken wagons during the night. It was beautiful weather; but the wolves and mosquitoes frightened us and gave us trouble. In the afternoon I again helped with the loading, and 2 oxen that were yoked together fell. They came too close to the river and tumbled in. After much long drawn out and difficult work we got them out again alive.
25th. Helped to load wagons. In the afternoon I helped reloading the 4 wagons that had suffered mishaps. At this work a man was injured. Here, near the river, the mosquitoes tormented us so much, that frequently we could not get an hour’s quite sleep during the entire night. They are not bigger than small gnats, but sting as badly as large bees. Our faces and bodies are swollen therefrom all the time.
26th. Today I only helped with the loading until noon, and then went back to Salt Creek, as the work was too hard for me. Every day strangers pass through here to buy land or to pick it out. Some raise a tent on it and remain, while others hammer stakes into the ground bearing their names, and return. When I look at this beautiful and cheap land, my thought often go back to Germany where the land is so densely populated and so expensive, and where so many people, now living in poverty, could make a good living, if they were only over here. [p.58] I just learned that the departed Mormons are camped only 14 miles from here, that Cholera has broken out among them, and that several have died already.
27th. Took care of the oxen. Here where we are, all land has been staked out and bought. Already today began the hauling of lumber and building of houses. All the required lumber as well as doors and windows, can always be obtained ready-made, and a log cabin or a house of sawed lumber is built in two days.
28th. The same work as yesterday. To me it is the most tedious work I have done in all my life. Almost all of William’s oxen are now here, and we have 728 to take care of. 10 men, of whom 4 on horseback, are continually engaged in the work; but I am on foot all the time. Strangers are still passing through here every day, in search of land they which to buy. All land is said to be bought up 300 miles away from here. All that is said to have been sold, covers an area of 11,000 square miles, and it is mostly level and had good soil.
29th. Last night I was keeping watch. The farmers in this region, of whom there are only a few, however, go in a great deal for raising pigs. There are people who have from two to three hundred pigs, they run for miles, and often for weeks into the wilderness, but always find their masters again. [p.59] One night recently they paid a visit to our pork, and wrought great damage. We were also visited by a herd last night, and had difficulty in driving them away. Again took car of oxen.
30th. I went to the river early to help with the loading.
July 1st. I stayed here overnight. Helped until noon, and then returned with 6 wagons, 2 of which turned over. I saw 11 wolves.
2nd. I took care of the oxen until noon. An ox ran into the swamp, and as it could not be gotten out, it was shot and killed. An hour later I saw that 5 wolves were around it, devouring it. There are already several houses ready, and ploughing is already under way at some places.
3rd. I went with 2 men to the river to keep guard over the freight which was lying there. We passed the time fishing.
4th. During the night we took turns keeping watch. There was much shooting all night long. This shooting was a forerunner of today’s celebration. The Fourth of July is the greatest and practically the only holiday celebrated in North America; at least this day only is celebrated as a day of joy and festivities. On July 4, 1776 the Americans cut themselves loose from England, and made felt their rights which still obtain. In the morning there is divine service, [p.60] and in the afternoon all the imaginable amusements take place in towns and villages throughout America. Today we received orders to make ourselves ready for departure.
5th. I put my things in order and the day was spent in doing this. My wife was ill today. I again learned the some of my friends and travel-companions have died among those that are ahead of us.
6th. Took car of oxen. A man was kicked by an ox and severely wounded. I counted 30 small rattle-snakes in a puddle. My son Freidrich found a large turtle. I spoke with a man from Husum named Andresen, who was a relative of Straus of that place.
7th. I helped load wagons until noon, then the oxen were yoked up and we were off at 4 o’clock. Our train consisted of 68 persons, 21 wagons and 260 oxen. One wagon belonged to Rebello’s widow, and the tailor, Lau, was its driver. Each wagon was drawn by 12 oxen and carried a load of 5-6,000 pounds. Women and small children were distributed among the wagons, and the men who were in good health had to work. Some men and women were chosen to cook on the journey. An old Englishman, named Mohr, I and 3 boys got the job of driving the loose and superfluous oxen, and of caring for the oxen on the road, morning and night, and on rest-days. The leader [p.61] of our train was an American, named Farr, and the man in charge of the commissary was also and American, named Danny. Both had already made the trip several times. . . . [p.62] [ON PAGE 119 THE TRANSLATOR NOTES THAT THE FEW REMAINING LEAVES DESCRIBING THE ENTRY INTO THE SALT LAKE VALLEY ARE UNFORTUNATELY NOT AVAILABLE].
BIB: Hoth, Hans. Diary, (Typescript), (Translated from German script by Peter Gulbrandsen), (Mss C-F 67) pp.2-62. (The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley) (HDA) (source abbreviations)