River Mersey, on board the John J. Boyd, April 22, 1862.President Cannon.
Dear Brother,--After you and Presidents Lyman and Rich left last night, we divided the ship into wards, appointing a president to each, and held a meeting between decks, in which Elder J. M. Kay and myself gave instructions relative to the cleaning of berths, cooking, receiving water, &c., which the Saints appeared to receive with much good feeling, and set to work with a goodwill to put into effect.
Unanimity and peace prevail on board, and everybody seems willing to help everybody else. Of course the organization, having been just made, will work better after a day or two, when all get to understand its nature. At present it may be looked upon as provisional, so far as the appointments between decks are concerned; but all seem willing to do the best they can to promote general comfort and good order.
This morning Sister Birt was safely delivered of a fine boy, to be named Francis Boyd Birt. Mother and son are doing well.
I have appointed Elder William Fuller, clerk, who is making out various lists for facilitating the carrying out of the arrangements made.
Elders Kay and Sloan stopped on board with me all night, and gave much assistance in perfecting the arrangements, as well as serviceable hints relative to the duties of the passengers and officers.
I feel gratified not only for being privileged to return home, but for having such a company of Saints entrusted to my charge; and feeling desirous to labour for the comfort well being of all on board, I pray God to endow me with sufficient of his Holy Spirit to enable me to efficiently discharge the various duties devolving upon me.
With kind love to yourself, Presidents Lyman and Rich, and all in the office, I remain yours in truth,
James S. Brown. [p. 284]
BIB: Brown, James S., [Letter], Latter Day Saints' Millennial Star 24:18 (May 3, 1862) p. 284. (CHL)