I had now made up my mind to leave the land of my nativity and go to America, to Salt Lake City, it being a part of our religion to gather from the world. So strong was this feeling on me to gather, that nothing seemed to stay the progress. Still I was poor.
Three months prior to my starting to America, I had no means, but President John Angus told me if I wished to go that the way would be opened for me. I placed such confidence in his word that I commenced to make preparations to leave.
The fare from Liverpool to Salt Lake City was ten pounds in what was known as "The Ten Pound Company". It appeared impossible for me to raise that amount, but by saving all the money I could get hold of I managed to get enough to pay my fare to New Orleans. An incident occurred at this time that seems fraught with danger to my taking departure. In consequence of my not being of age, my father said he would stop me from going. [p.3] After all preparations were made, my fare across the ocean paid, and my boxes and things were sent to Liverpool, I went to bid my folks goodbye and my father was away from home. I feared he had gone to get an officer to stop me but I said farewells and started out without seeing my father and went to the house of one John Douglas in the same village ad stayed for few hours. In the meantime my father came home and made inquiries for me. They told him I was gone. He said, "Go and bring him back, I want to see him before he goes." So my brother, Thomas, came down to the house where they supposed I would be and asked for me. I questioned my brother as to whether there was an officer waiting for me and he said there was not, but that my father wished to see me before I made my departure.
I went home and my father said to me, "Then you are determined to go, are you?" I said, "Yes, father, that is my intention." He said, "I think you are very foolish, you do not know where you are going, you are going to a new country and you have no money, nor friends. Now if you will stay with us for one year I will give you this (throwing his purse on the table) besides paying you good wages and will send you off comfortable." I told him I would not stay if he gave me all he possessed. Then he said he would not give me a farthing. I shook hands with him and bid him farewell. He then called me back and gave me a sovereign, which proved a great help to me at Liverpool.
I took the train and arrived at Liverpool with many others going to cross the ocean on the same ship. In consequence of the ship not being fitted up properly, we were detained in Liverpool two weeks, from the first to the twelfth of March, and the expense incurred used up all my money with the exception of four shillings. On the twelfth day of March we went on board the ship, John M. Wood with six or seven hundred passengers all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The company was presided over by Robert Campbell.
After setting sail on the Irish Channel we encountered a terrific storm. The captain ordered all the hatchways down [p.4] and kept all the passengers in the lower deck. No tongue could describe the scene between those decks for 48 hours. Boxes pitching, pots and everything loose flying about, and nearly all the ship's company seasick. Such an experience I shall never forget while on earth.
On the second day at noon we were driven back within sight of Liverpool. After this we set sail and got into the Atlantic Ocean. Nothing of interest occurred, having fair weather until we passed the Island of Cuba when a terrific storm came along, which tore the sails to shreds and moved the main mast nearly six inches out of its socket. But it was all over in fifteen minutes.
We soon arrived at the Gulf of Mexico, where we were becalmed for about ten days, the sea being smooth as glass.
We finally came to within twenty miles of the city of New Orleans. After some trouble in negotiating with a steamtug to take us over the bar, we were towed into the mouth of the Mississippi River. Next day, after seven weeks of ocean voyage, we landed in New Orleans. There were two deaths and two births on the voyage.
Preparations were made as quickly as possible to take the company from New Orleans to St. Louis. How to go I did not know as all the money I had was four shillings. Finally President McDonald loaned me $2.50 which took me to St. Louis. The voyage up the river was fraught with many events. The cholera was very high and many of the passengers died. Some would be taken down with the disease and would die within three hours; but fortunately my health was good and I was able to assist in taking care of the sick and in burying the dead.
When we arrived within four miles of St. Louis, the captain feared he would be fined for carrying so many passengers, so he put four hundred of us off and we walked to St. Louis. I arrived in St. Louis with only five cents in my pocket, not knowing any person nor where I should go. Fortune favored me. Passing through the streets I met one of our ship's company who was very pleased to see me. He took me down to a restaurant [p.5] and I ate a very pleasant meal and I thought I had never had better food before and never expected to again, so hungry was I.
My next trouble was to know how to get up to the frontier, a town by the name of Kamas, the outfitting post for the emigration that year. After resting overnight with my friend, I traveled around St. Louis to try to find work at my trade. All the shops seemed full and I could not get work till I came across the "Espenshied Wagon Company" where they told me to come to work in the morning. I started to go to work and got near the shop, still something told me not to go in, for what reason I could not tell. I stood for a few minutes and then started down to the wharf. I went on board the Thursday Packet, "F X Aubry," and inquired if they wanted any hands to work up the river. They said they did, so I hired to them to go to Council Bluffs for a dollar a day and my board. I being somewhat green as to the work on boats, I suffered many insults and much abuse, for the mate was a very cruel man, especially to new hands.
While on the boat, the engineer found out I was a blacksmith, so he wanted me to work in the shop, which pleased me very much; but the mate swore I should not work there and that I should stand my regular watch, so fearing more cruelty from the hands of the mate, the engineer locked me in the iron grated shop. When my watch came around the mate went to hunt me up at my berth, and with oaths, swore he would kill me if I did not come out and go on my watch. I made no answer. He then took a piece of timber and broke my berth down, but not finding me he went to the engineer, who told him that I could not go on my watch as I was working for him. An altercation then took place which nearly resulted in the death of one of them.
Finally the boat arrived at Kansas City, which city at that time comprised one store and two homes. I informed the mate that I wished now to leave the boat and asked him for my pay. Finally after a volley of oaths they paid me my six dollars and let me go. I had now enough money to pay what I had [p.6] borrowed and a nice margin to spare, the sum of three dollars.
We waited at Kansas City some time, the cholera being very bad, and spent our time in preparing wagons, making ox shoes, ox yokes and bows, and fitting up.
One day upon going into the store at Kansas City I saw a coin on the floor. I looked at it and polaced my foot upon it. Finally I picked it up and found it to be a sovereign. Knowing it did not belong to me I went to camp and told John Angus what I had found and asked him what I should do with it. "Well, my boy," he said, "If anyone inquires for the lost money, give it to him; if not, I don't know of anyone who needs it worse than you do and I shall consider it a God-send to you."
My next trouble was to know how to go across the plains, one thousand miles. I hadn't money to pay my fare and my case looked rather dark, as all the trains that hired men to drive teams had gone. I finally succeeded making a contract with a man by the name of Jarvis to take ma across the plains. I was to fix up his wagons and milk his cows on the journey. Therefore, in the beginning of July the company moved out on the plains and was organized. There were about one hundred wagons and Job Smith was appointed captain. . . . [p.7]. . .Arriving at Platte Bridge, it was thought best to divide the company into three parts. Here an incident occurred which seemed as though I was to be left on the plains, for Mr. Jarvis' provisions had given out and he told me he could not take me any further. Still I had found a friend in Mr. Ford, now living in Centerville, Utah. He had lost two of his sons who had died of cholera. Mr. Ford told me he would be glad if I would come and drive his team and this change was a blessing to me for I had to suffer many indignities from Mr. Jarvis. I drove Mr. Ford's team till he arrived at Salt Lake City, which was on the twenty third day of September, and we had made our camp at Jordan Bridge. . . . 
BIB: Sutton, John Allen. Autobiography, (Ms 9050), pp. 3-7, 9; Acc. #41437. (CHL)