We remained in town one-half day after the company left, heeding the counsel of Brother J. Van Cott, president of the mission. We then took passage on a mail steamer to Kiel where we joined the rest of the company. President Canute Petersen was the captain. We took the train to Glukstad and from there we journeyed to Grimsby, England. We continued on to Liverpool by steamer and railroad, arriving December 5, 1855, where we boarded the ship, John J. Boyd, that same day, but we were held in the harbor until December 12th. It was very stormy weather most all of the voyage, the winds blowing so hard they could not control the ship, so the sails were lowered and the ship found its own way through the water. But the Saints felt well and fasted and prayed to the Lord for his protecting hand to be over us. There were 430 Scandinavians, 51 British and 41 Italians on board.
The Saints sang often and trusted in the Lord for safety. The captain of the ship became so angry that he forbade the Saints to sing. He was a very disagreeable man, as was the first mate, who whipped the sailors and crew with a long black whip. On January 11, 1856, a ship near us was destroyed by the wind, and thirty seamen on it were rescued by our ship, but the mate whipped them so they could hardly move when we arrived in New York. On January 13, 1856, I married Kirstina Marie Andersen. The weather remained unsettled and approximately sixty children and old folks died, most of them from having the measles.
February 16th we went from New York to Castle Gardens where we remained until the 22nd when we went by railroad to Cleveland, Toledo and Chicago. Some of the emigrants left the company at Chicago and went to Burlington and other places and stayed until they could raise the means to travel on to Utah. The larger part of the company went to St. Louis, while a few stopped at Alton, and I was among these. I arrived there on the 1st of March and stayed till 21st of May. There was a branch of the Church there.
The first month there was no work of any kind because of a hard winter. The second month there was some work to be had, but many became ill because of the different food and climate. My knees and ankle joints became so stiff I could hardly walk. The last month I had work with a carpenter and earned enough to pay for rent and provisions. On May 21st we left Alton for St. Louis, twenty miles down the Mississippi River. There we joined the company and left for Florence, Nebraska. My wife took sick with chills and fever the day [p.132] we left Alton and was sick for three weeks. We arrived in Florence on May 31st and remained there until June 27th, 1856.
I worked some of the time with a carpenter, there was plenty of building going on both in Florence and Omaha, six miles from camp. I worked in those two places before getting ready to cross the plains to Salt Lake Valley. On June 27th, 1856, we started on the long journey of one thousand miles with ox teams. I drove a team of two yoke of oxen all the way and my wife cooked and washed for Neils Bengtson from Sjollanel, and paid him one hundred dollars besides. I had made no arrangements with him, but he promised to take me and my wife to the Valley. I had paid my way to St. Louis, but there was nothing said about what I should do. All went well with us on the journey. There were several stampedes, the first one being caused when some buffalo ran through the wagon train. One man, Soren Hansen, was killed.
Knud Petersen was a wise leader and captain for the company. When we came to Salt Lake City, it was said the oxen of the company were the fattest of all that had yet crossed the plains. He traveled fast where there was little feed, then when we came to good grazing, we slowed down and sometimes stopped a day or two and let the oxen rest and eat. One day while traveling by the Platte River, I came near losing myself in the river. We had to cross it and travel two hundred miles where there was not wood to be found. On August 13th we went to Fort Laramie, and on Monday, September 15th, as we had crossed Bear River and reached the top of a steep hill, we met Parley P. Pratt and company, and he told us he was going to the states on a short mission, but he never returned because he was killed.
On September 20, 1856, we arrived in Salt Lake City. On October 11th I came to Brigham City. . . . [p.133]
BIB: Christiansen, Fredrick Julius, [Autobiography], Our Pioneer Heritage comp. by Kate B. Carter, vol. 10 (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1967) pp. 132-133. (CHL)