. . . my parents embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the year 1854 the 23rd day of December, and emigrated the following year 1855. Before leaving Norway I myself got baptized October 6th 1855 and confirmed the 7th same month.
My father and mother got baptized by C. C. A. Christensen, and myself by Carl Fjeld, both now in Utah. We together left Norway in the fall 1855 and reach Utah the following year 1856 the 14th October (nearly one year.) We left Christiana with the old S. S. Nordkap to Copenhagen, stopped a couple of weeks in that [p.1] place waiting for the Emigrants in Denmark. Than after everything being ready started across the Baltic to Kiel (Germany) from Kiel on Rail to Hamburg (Germany) from Hamburg across the North Sea to Hull. From Hull, England to Liverpool where we stayed about eight days, waiting for the old bark John J. Boyd to get ready to take us across the Atlantic Ocean to America. Across the Atlantic we encountered some fearful storms, on mid ocean we hailed a wreck that had been laying for eight days in a fearful situation. The rudder, mast and railings was gone and the man at the helm, and cook with all his utensils was washed overboard. The crew together with the captain consisted of 21 persons, who was all saved on board our ship (excepting those 2 persons above named.) We then came to New York after being tossed about on the ocean for eleven weeks. Stayed at New York about 3 days on Castle Garden. Left New York by rail for St. Louis where we stayed about one month. Where I and father worked on a brick yard (while in St. Louis.) My father at that place, not being used to such a work and also the climate took sick and continued so all the way up to Winter Quarters or Florence, a place where the
Saints gathered for to prepare for their journey across the plains. This place was reach by steam ship [-] the [p.2] Mississippi when reaching Florence my father got worse in place of better and laid about fourteen days very low and at last, slept the sleep of the faithful in full belief of the truth awaiting a glorious resurrection. He was buried on the road leading across the Plains with his feet to the east. I was then 14 years old. Than after my father's burial, I had to go to the neighboring place to seek work. This was Omaha. I got work at digging trenches around the farms and earned some money to buy some necessary things for the journey across the Plains. In the spring of 1856 we started 70 wagons for the west. Knud Peterson, who had been on a mission in Europe, (especially in Norway) was our leader. It took us 3 months to come across the plains. My mother continued to be healthy all along and when reaching Utah and S. L. City made a short stay. We had to go out in the country to seek for a home.
Salt Lake City and its surroundings was not so pleasant to look at then. The country looked like a wilderness, and they hearty pioneers, with Brigham Young as their chief, had just as you might say, begun to lay a foundation for the future and prepare for the great influx of people who should follow their path across the trackless plains. . . . [p.3]
BIB: Peterson, John Wilford. Autobiography and Journal, pp. 1-3, (CHL)