. . . I am forcibly reminded of a long, and tedious pilgrimage of nearly ten thousand miles that thousands of the Latter-day Saints started out to--and did--accomplish, during the early settling of Utah. The suffering on that journey, endured by men, women and children, both mental and physical, coupled with the great, and noble sacrifices that they were willing to make for their belief in the new dispensation and the gathering of the Saints, will never be known or even correctly guessed by those living today. . . . [p.470]
. . . After a long and tedious voyage, with nothing but the dreary waste of waters beneath, and the canopy of heaven above, the glad announcement came one day that the new country was in sight. That the person to whom I refer, was myself must be already apparent, and when I look back upon that voyage of fifty-five days and contrast it with the rapid transit now in vogue, I say almost involuntarily, "What hath God wrought?"
The hardships were not merely in the length of time, but also in the crowding together in the small space, of so many human beings, the sense of being circumscribed to so small a sphere whereby exercise was measurably cut off, the dull monotony of the surroundings and the almost unvarying routine of everyday life, which weighed heavily on some who were not accustomed to such things and whose spirits were not naturally exuberant. Those who have never been on such a voyage cannot realize by any effort of mine how tiresome the thing is, and when to the unrelieved situation is added the startling dramatic effect of seasickness it seems as though human misery had reached its climax and there was nothing left to hope for.
Seasickness like many of the other ills which we encounter doesn't last long, and we are so constituted that it seems impossible while contemplating one scene in the drama of life, to look to the change which is shortly to follow; we see the clouds hanging thickly and darkly around us, and contemplate them only, overlooking the fact, the assured fact, that dark and lowering though they be, the sun still shines somewhere, and will break through the gloom with his splendor undimmed, the same as though his glorious face had never been hidden from our view.
Well, I landed at New Orleans, and proceeded upon a much more pleasant and interesting trip on the bosom of the Father of Waters. I wish I had the language to describe all that was beautiful that met our eyes hour after hour as we proceeded plowing our way through the mighty current which sweeps onward and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It was a beautiful panorama, from the Bayous of the Mississippi and the swamps of Louisiana, to the splendid plantations and magnificent residences skirting the shore. The alligator sunned himself lazily on the beach, and at every landing the colored man and [p.471] brother appeared in all the majesty which home spun clothes and bare feet can impart. After about two weeks residence on that good old steam boat, which I presume many now living remember, the "Uncle Sam," we arrived at St. Louis. Leaving that city, I took the steamboat for St. Joseph and stemmed the current of the muddy Missouri for several hundred miles. From St. Joseph I assisted in driving loose cattle to Council Bluffs, at that time the bivouac of the westward bound pilgrims, there to embark upon another and more dreary journey than those which had preceded it, for it was through a wilderness inhabited only by savages with no other trace of civilization than the trails made by those who had gone before. You cannot imagine how startling I found the contrast between what had been presented to, and created in my fanciful mind when at home, as the picture of what I was to see in the new land, and the realization.
There were none of the conveniences, the comforts and beauties which adorned life in the land of my birth. Everything partook of that rudeness which of necessity intruded into, and upon the methods and habits of a new and, to some extent, uncultivated country. It was like entering a new existence, except for the consolation which my belief and faith afforded, and the expected congratulations and greetings of friends upon arrival, and that indescribable something which prompts us to overlook the present, and peer hopefully into the future. There is no mistaking the fact, it was a wilderness, forbidding and desolate, but hope sustained me, and inspired me with confidence in what was to come. . . .[p.472]
. . . Time wore on till the journey ended. The trials, privations, and incidents which we met on the route during our nineteen days' journey, walking most of the time, with little or no food, would perhaps be interesting to read, but anything but pleasant to pass through again. The romance we must leave to the imagination of our readers. At last we stood within the shade of the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, the center of as much civilization as had found its way to the west - the city of the Great Salt Lake. . . . [p.474]
BIB: Margetts, Phil, "One Man in His Time Plays Many Parts--His Acts Being Seven Ages," Juvenile Instructor. 38:15 (August 1, 1903) pp. 470-72, 474. (CHL)