. . . Sometime after receiving my release to emigrate, I made arrangements for marriage, and I was married to Mary F. Ould, on Tuesday, April 3, 1861, by a clergyman of the Church of England, at the Church of St. Phillips and Jacobs, in the city of Bristol thus honoring the law of the land; and in the evening of the same day I honored the priesthood of [p.21] God by having Elder George Halliday marry us at the residence of my wife.
Having made arrangements to emigrate, we went to Liverpool April 11, 1861. We went on board the ship Manchester (Captain Trask) on Saturday, April 13, 1861, and on the next day, Sunday the 14th, the presidency C. [Charles] C. Rich, Amasa M. Lyman, and George Q. Cannon came on board and organized the company. Claudius V. Spencer was appointed president, and Edward Hanham and myself his counselors.
We set sail on the 16th. Our family consisted of myself, my wife, my wife's mother and my wife's two brothers, James and Franklin. We had a pretty good passage, arriving in New York in about twenty-eight days, where we found the war spirit rife and Castle Garden occupied by United States Soldiers. We passed officers, got passengers and luggage on board the cars as soon as possible and started on our trip to Florence, Nebraska, the latter part of our trip being by steamboat up the Missouri River. Our company was the first of the season, and we remained at Florence some seven or eight weeks. A church store was started for the emigration season, and I was engaged in it for a time. Joseph W. Young came from Utah with a teams for the transportation of the Saints and their luggage from this point to Utah, and I was appointed to act as his clerk in emigration business. All the companies were started, and six days after the last company started, in which were the members of my family. J. [Joseph] W. Young, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, B. [Benjamin] Stringham, and a few more of us started out to overtake the trains. We overtook the last company at Loup Fork crossing, and after remaining with them one day and two nights, we went on to Wood River. There I stayed at Brother Johnson's, from Monday till the following Friday afternoon, working at emigration accounts, and particularly preparing [p.22] lists of names of emigrants to send to the "Desert News" for publication. Our company arrived at Wood River. I joined it, and found the family doing pretty well, better than when they were at Loup Fork, for my wife was pretty sick about that time. I continued with the company the remainder of the trip. I was appointed chaplain and marshal. From this on I walked the prairies, waded the streams, attended to the duties of my offices, and got along as well as I could, arriving in Salt Lake City on Monday afternoon, Sept. 23, 1861, feeling thankful to our Heavenly Father for his preserving care over us. . . . [p.23]
. . . April 12, 1861, booked for New York. Spent most of the day with Brother Blackburn in emigration business. On this day, I think, in the evening, my wife's brother James arrived from London, where he had been working, for I had written him to meet us there. Lodged at Mr. Powel's.
April 13, 1861. Got luggage from Lains Street and wapping stations put it on board the ship Manchester 1,065 tons register Captain Trask, and went on board ourselves. She was lying in Waterloo Dock. She left the dock about 1 p.m. and anchored in the Mersey.
April 14, 1861. Sunday. We lay at anchor in the Mersey. We were visited by the Presidency of the British Mission, Elders Amasa M. Lyman, Charles C. Rich and George Q. Cannon of the quorum of the twelve apostles. Held meeting on deck. Each one of the apostles addressed us and gave much good instruction, which if carried out while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, will result in much salvation to us all. They appointed Claudius V. Spencer President of the ship's company with Edward Hanham as first and William Jeffries (myself) as second counselor. After the meeting I was busily engaged in taking orders from the Saints for beds, tinware, etc. placing luggage in position and doing all I possible could for the convenience and comfort of my brethren and sisters.
April 15, 1861. Went ashore, about 7 a.m. to purchase tinware, etc. Just before [p.146] I reached the shore, I saw Mr. Ould ( my wife's father) in a boat accompanied by two detectives, going to the Manchester in search of his wife and two sons - and of me and my wife too I suppose. I was powerless to help others, as their boat would reach the ship before I could, therefore I called upon the Lord to protect them, and placing them in his care, I attended to my duties. Later, went to Prince's Landing and saw Mr. Ould and the detective there. They had returned from the ship. Took a small boat an in company with Presidents Rich and Cannon and Elder John Kay, went to the Manchester undiscovered by the detectives or Mr. Ould. On arriving at the ship I found that the detective and Mr. O. [Ould] had searched the ship from stem to stern and then Mr. O. [Ould] went over it a second time but they failed to find those they sought, although they passed close to them. I could give more detail here, but suffice it to say that Sister Ould and her boys were hid in the passenger's luggages. The government and medical officers came on board and the detectives and Mr. O. [Ould] came also again. In the examination I and my wife passed close by the detective and Mr. O. [Ould] but were not recognized. They closely watched every passenger, made inquiries for Sister O. [Ould] and the boys and done all they could to find them, but all to no purpose, and they had to leave without their prey. The power of God was manifested in blinding the detectives and especially Mr. O. [Ould] for he was near one of his sons and did not recognize him, and his daughter, my wife, passed so close to him that her dress nearly touched his legs, but he did not know her. I was very busy all day with passengers and luggage. 11 p.m. arrived. I released Sister O. [Ould], and the boys from their uncomfortable positions in the luggage so that they could get some food and rest.
April 16, 1861. Hid them up in the luggage again. Attended to my duties. The tug boat brought the captain on board, and on it came two fresh detectives to try their skill. We weighed anchor and the tug boat took us in tow about 9:30 a.m. She took us out about 20 miles, and then left us in the care of the winds and the waves, and our Heavenly Father. The detectives left on the tug boat and I went and released Sister Ould and her two boys from their uncomfortable position of body and mind. They had been hid up in the [p.147] luggage about 27 hours. They were nearly exhausted. After a little washing, refreshment, and fresh air, they soon recovered with the exception of some weakness and bruises which remained with Sister Ould for a while. A busy day. A little music on deck in the evening. Beautiful weather and fair wind.
April 17, 1861. Weather still good and wind fair. All feeling fine. Completed our organization. Music and dancing on the upper deck.
April 18, 1861. Fine day. Wind fair. I was more or less sick all day. A great number sick. Not much music this evening.
April 19, 1861. I felt fine this morning. Appetite good all day. Fine day and fair wind. Some of the Saints recovering but quite a number still sick. Got all hands on deck to take air. Aired the bedding. A sailor fell from the rigging into the sea, and was drowned. A boat was lowered, and search made, but he could not be found. Beautiful evening. A little sporting, singing, and parading on deck.
April 20, 1861. Weather fair, and wind right. Got the Saints on deck, cleaned the berths, and aired bedding. The ship rolled considerably. Saints recovering. Cloudy evening. Prayers in English and Welsh. To rest, all right.
April 21, 1861. Sunday. Wind from the northeast, but not quite strong enough. Cloudy. Singing and prayer, as usual. The majority of the Saints on deck feeling fine. Afternoon got the Saints together in meeting capacity. I opened with prayer. George P. Ward, myself and Brother Hanham address it. The captain, first mate, and medical officer paid great attention. A pretty good feeling prevailed. A cold wind. Considerable singing on deck in the evening.
April 22, 1861. Cloudy morning. North wind. Wind veered round to the west, so that we had nearly a head wind. A little rain in the afternoon. Saints feeling well. Aired bedding. Singing and dancing on deck in the evening. A violin and tambourine gave forth their harmony. Singing and prayer on deck.
April 23, 1861. Cloudy morning. Prayers usual. Rallied the Saints and got them on [p.148] deck and set a guard to keep them there. This was necessary in order to get the berths cleaned and aired, so as to prevent sickness through an unpure atmosphere. Wind northeast, but very little of it for we were nearly becalmed. All, with the exception of about 3 enjoying good health, and very good appetites. Quite a lively evening on deck, plenty of singing and dancing. There singing and prayer on deck.
April 24, 1861. Rather cloudy. A northeast wind and a little more of it then yesterday. Saints pretty healthy and plenty of work for the galley. The captain took an account of the names, country, luggage, and destination of the passengers. A little rain and a little more wind. Music, singing, and dancing on deck and evening prayers there.
April 25, 1861. A little cloudy and a little rain in the morning. A pretty good south - east wind. Busy today - also last evening - getting up rules for the galley and getting them translated into Welsh. A little rain in the evening, and a squall between 10 & 11 p.m.
April 26, 1861. A beautiful morning. Southeast wind sailing first rate. A number of the Saints sick. A pretty strong breeze in the afternoon and stronger in the evening - then the pots, etc. were taking an excursion and quite a number of the folks going from larboard to starboard and vice versa, and tumbling about the deck. Rather a rough night.
April 27, 1861. Wind still blowing pretty strongly from the northeast. Rather difficult to keep the breakfast things still and quiet. Sea legs required. Many sick. Wind not quite so strong at noon, but sailing finely. A fine day overhead. Saints feeling as well as possible under the circumstances.
April 28, 1861. Cloudy morning. Almost a headwind. By about 11 a.m. it had gradually veered back to the north. Saints feeling pretty well and acting harmoniously. Sisters Ould and Fulcher were on deck. I got them on deck a little yesterday. They had been in bed about two days and nights. Foggy afternoon. Good breeze from the north. Going about 10 miles an hour. On the bans of Newfoundland. Very cold.
[p.149] Two watches on the bow. A bell ringing and a horn blowing all night. Very little sleep. Some rather nervous.
April 29, 1861. Still foggy. Rain and sleet falling, and very cold. A watch on the bow, blowing his horn. Sisters Ould and [Mary] Fulcher still very ill. Gave them some arrowroot and I and Brother Spencer administered to the latter. Brother Spencer wished me to take Sister Fulcher under my care, and I done so. Previous to this, I and my wife had paid her every attention we could, consistent with our circumstances, for Sister Susan Leggett, who had promised to attend to and wait upon the old lady had let her almost entirely to shift for herself - she arrived almost without an earthly friend, therefore we had compassion on her, and treated her as kindly as we could. With rain, wind, and cold, the day passed as pleasantly as could be expected.
April 30, 1861. Still foggy and cold. Wind in the north. Speeding on our way first rate. Sisters Ould and Fulcher were a little better. Others sick Saints improving. Brother George P. Ward's wife miscarried about breakfast time. She was about 10 weeks advanced in pregnancy. The ship's doctor attended her. She was as well as could be reasonably expected. Cold, damp, foggy evening. Saints feeling well - singing and enjoying themselves below.
May 1, 1861. Morning pretty clear. Sea calm. A little wind from the northeast. Going only about 3 miles an hour. The wind had been going down since yesterday, and we had not gone much faster ever since. The sick folks much better. Up and on deck. Appetites improving. 2 p.m. wind very little, but coming from south -east by south. Pretty clear day. Sun out at times. Some ships in sight, but during the fog I don't think we came near one. Engaged during the afternoon and evening collecting money from the Saints for their fares from New York to Florence, Nebraska.
May 2, 1861. Resumed the business of collecting cash for fares. A little rain in the morning. Very little wind, but what we had was from the right quarter. Just after noon we were becalmed or, at least, I could not perceive that we made any progress. The majority of the saints feeling well in the circumstance. About 3 p.m. a little wind sprang up [p.150] from the north, and we were sailing from 6 to 8 miles an hour. Busy all the evening at accounts for the fares from New York to Florence.
May 3, 1861. Cloudy morning. Wind strong from the northwest quite a head wind. Considerable rolling and tossing, and their consequences among the folks and the tinware. Wind went down a little about 5 p.m. Sea calms. I had felt very queer for several hours. My wife and her mother sick in bed. Sister Fucsher very ill today. Clear sunny afternoon. Retired to rest early this evening, for I was suffering with a severe cold, and seemed nearly worn out.
May 4, 1861. Arose pretty early. My health was improved. Done considerable writing. Sea quite calm. Rain came on towards evening. Wind arose. It blew from the south. A beautiful sight presented by the sea, on account of the south wind blowing.
May 5, 1861. Sunday. Wind very boisterous. About 8 a.m. a squall arose, which Brother Spencer said, was the worst he ever saw, and I understand that when he crossed in 1853, the vessel was dismasted. We got out of it without any particular damage - the folks and their cooking utensils, and a few other things, got tumbled about for awhile. We had a very strong breeze from the north till late in the afternoon. We also had considerable rain, and shipped some seas. Late in the afternoon it cleared away nicely. The sun shone beautifully, and not a cloud could be seen. Wind from the north. Many porpoises seen. A beautiful evening. We had no meeting today, except our prayer meetings morning and evening, and very few attended them, for many were sick in bed.
May 6, 1861. Fine morning. Wind southwest by west - quite a hard wind. Sailing about 4 miles an hour. Sea pretty clam. The sick feeling better. Busy at accounts. Fine evening. Going about 8 miles an hour. Singing and dancing on deck. Wind southwest.
May 7, 1861. Stormy, rough morning. Wet, fog, and wind continued till about 2 p.m. Saints sick. Tinware tumbling about. Shipped many [p.151] seas. Dangerous for women and children to be moving about and especially in the upper deck. After about 2 p.m. the wind abated, but the sea rolled very heavily. It rose very high on each side of us, and at times the good ship Manchester was nearly on her beam ends. Afternoon clouds cleared away, sun shone brightly but still a heavy swell. We were lying as still as the elements would allow us to, for we had a headwind.
May 8, 1861. A fine, clear morning. Wind rather southwest still a little too much ahead of us. Tacked ship, and sailed as near to the point as we could. Going from 5 to 7 miles an hour. I learned that we were 50 miles further from New York than we were yesterday morning. This was caused by the gale and adverse winds we experienced. We are now - 8 a..m. - about 350 miles from New York. Had it not been for the calms and adverse winds we met with, it is very probable we should have been in New York on the 5th or 6th, thus making this trip in 19 or 20 days but all is right! God is at the helm! Afternoon - sailing about 8 miles an hour, but the wind was about southwest, and drove us too much to the North. Held meeting on the lower deck about 5 p.m. Brothers Spencer and Hanham addressed it, correcting some little evils which existed, and giving the Saints some instructions suitable to them during their journey from New York to Utah; and those who practiced them will be greatly blessed. The effect of this meeting will be good, I feel satisfied. The sick among us were improving, generally, but Sister Ould and Fulsher were still very ill. I and Brother Hanham administered to the latter. Evening storms were expected, for heavy clouds made their appearances, but they passed by and left us unharmed. Singing on the upper deck in the evening.
May 9, 1861. A fine morning but no wind, therefore we were not making any progress. About 10 a.m. a little wind sprang up from the northwest, which moved us about 2 miles an hour. Singing and games on deck. We made but little progress during the day.
May 10, 1861. We were nearly becalmed all day. What little wind we had some parts of the day was head wind. Busy today getting up resolutions of appreciation and thanks to Captain Gustavus D. S. Trask; for [p.152] his gentlemanly conduct during the voyage. Music and dancing in the evening - the Saints enjoying themselves. Sisters Fulcher and Ould, and the Saints generally, were improving nicely.
May 11, 1861. A cloudy, still morning. We had sailed very slowly during the night. A little northeast wind this morning, moving us about 3 miles an hour. Hope it will increase. Wind very changeable during the latter part of the day sometimes enough to send us along 8 miles an hour, and sometimes nearly a calm. Music, dancing, and games on the upper deck in the evening. Saints fastly recovering from their sickness.
May 12, 1861. Sunday. Beautiful, clear morning, but we were quite becalmed - the ocean was something - in smoothness - like a mammoth fish pond. A ship hove in sight. The first mate and 5 men put off in a boat to visit her and obtain some news. They found her to be the American ship "Golden Rule." Captain Mayhoe, bound for Liverpool, England; general cargo and a few passengers. They obtained some papers of May 9th, which contained much information relative to the progress of affairs in American. The whole country seemed in general ferment. War had commenced. One hundred lives had been lost on the side of the general government at the attack it made on Fort Moultis [Moultrie], which was given up to the Secessionists - for the time being. 1 p.m, sea very calm - only moving about a mile an hour. Sun shining beautifully. held meeting on the upper deck at 3 p.m. It was addressed by Elders John Davis - in Welsh - Charles Housley, Benjamin T. Cooke, and Edward Hanham. Good instructions were given, and a good feeling prevailed. The captain listened attentively to the address by Brother Hanham. At 7 p.m. we held a sacrament meeting on the upper deck. A good feeling prevailed at that meeting, also. Previous to convening this meeting the captain kindly proffered to loan us the use of the quarter deck, a cloth, a pitcher, and some tumblers. We declined to go on the quarter deck, as the wind was cold, but accepted the loan of the articles named.
May 13, 1861. Monday. A little wind from the southeast. Going about 4 miles [p.153] an hour. About 7:20 a.m. a pilot came on board. He was coasting round in the "William and Mary." We were then about 45 miles from New York. He brought us New York papers, which gave us more information concerning the increasing troubles in America. Arrived at Sandy Hook in the afternoon. At about 5 p.m. a meeting was called on the upper deck. President C. [Claudius] V. Spencer made a few introductory remarks, and then some motions were made and some resolutions were passed. Here is a copy: "At a meeting of 370 passengers, held on board the fine packet ship Manchester, May 13, 1861, President Claudius Victor Spencer, being called to the chair, rose and briefly and happily alluded to the object of the meeting, and stated that he should be very pleased to put to vote the name of any persons, who should be nominated as a committee, to draft resolutions of appreciation, and thanks, to Captain Trask, for his courteous and liberal conduct towards us while on our voyage from England to America. Whereupon, Barry Wride Esquire nominated Judge William Jefferies. Seconded by the Reverand David John and Benjamin P. Evans Esquire nominated President Edward Hanham. Seconded by Captain George P. Ward. Both names were carried by acclamation. The committee retired for ten minutes, and returned with the following resolutions:
1st. That we deem it not only a duty, but a pleasure to express our approbation to Captain Gustavus D.S. Trask for his gentlemanly and courteous bearing, liberal acts, and solicitous spirit, by which he has sought to make our voyage as comfortable as possible.
2nd. That we unitedly tender our thanks to Captain Trask, with our best wished for his prosperity.
3rd. That we remember, with very kind feelings and much respect the officers of the good ship Manchester for the propriety which has characterized their conduct towards us; & also the crew, for their general civility.
4th. That we say frankly and with one voice, to Dr. J.R. Chamberlin: Sir, you have been most kind and attentive, in the discharge of your duties, and, in doing so, we have discovered an excellent feature, prominently developed in your practice, namely: "Prevention is better than cure." [p.154]
May you, with all on board, who have shown a manly and unprejudiced bearing towards an oft misrepresented people, be blessed in life, and saved in eternity.
The chairman proposed prosperity and long life to the noble ship Manchester, which was carried enthusiastically by 3 cheers.
Signed in behalf of the passengersC. [Claudius] V. Spencer.E. [ Edward] Hanham.William Jefferies."
This passed off in first rate style. An excellent spirit characterized the proceedings. At the close the captain replied with a few pointed remarks, concluding by "wishing us happiness and prosperity during the remainder of our journey to Utah, and the realization of all the blessings we anticipated when we arrived there."
President Spencer concluded the proceedings by hoping that the captain and his officers may be there to enjoy a share in those blessings.
We arrived at quarantine ground, and dropped anchor between 7 & 8 p.m. I believe this place is about 10 miles from New York. Before the anchor was properly down, a reporter boarded the ship and the captain handed him his report.
This is a beautiful spot here. When the rich vendure which clothed Staten Island and Long Island met our anxious gaze, it was quite a treat, after having the monotony of the broad Atlantic before our view for nearly a month. Surely this is a beautiful part of the harbor of New York! It was misty and dull; but, had it been clear, and the sun shining gloriously on the scene, we should have almost supposed we were having a view of fairyland. Attended to our prayers, and retired to rest, thankful to our Heavenly Father for his kindness and preserving care which we had experienced throughout our voyage from Liverpool to New York.
May 14, 1861. Arose at 5 a.m. The medical officer was on board soon after. [p.155] Rallied the Saints and though it was a very wet morning, the whole company were passed, with few exceptions, in a very short time. This occurred on the upper deck, and before the medical officer.
We had our luggage all packed and ready for starting immediately by steamer for Castle Garden, but Brother N.V. Jones, who was emigration agent, visited us, and on account of the above place being occupied by U.S. Troops, he deemed it wise for all hands to remain on board ship. Counsel was given to the company to that effect. On account of the dreadful, warlike attitude of the North and South, these troops were collected there. They were a very mean set, too, and Brother Jones had informed the proprietors, that unless the Garden was cleared of them, he should not land his people there.
A fine day. Very busy managing for the best interest of the Saints, as Brother Spencer had gone ashore. So far as we are able to see New York, we believe it to be a beautiful city. Anyway, it is a fine harbor. We would like to land and take a walk in it, so as to view some portions of it, but that privilege and pleasure are denied us, on account of the martial state it is in, in connection with what is before stated concerning Castle Garden. At about 4:30p.m. the "Isaac Webb" was towed by us. She left Liverpool the same day we left, came in yesterday, and one which sailed from there 3 weeks before us, foundered. She ran into the "Progress," and went down- all hands saved by the "Progress." A nice day, after the rain in the morning. Done the best we could at night, considering that all our luggage was packed ready for removal. However, we had to unpack a little for conveniences during the night.
May 15, 1861. Put our luggage on a barge. Went on the barge ourselves. Luggage examined by custom house officers and all passed. Went to Castle Garden registered our names, etc., and returned to the boat. Went to the railway depot got all our luggage weighed by the railroad company, got it put into the railroad bars, and started for Florence at 10:30 p.m.
This was a busy day for me, as I had to superintend the handling of all the luggage, and I was very glad to have the privilege of sitting down to rest and quiet in the railway car.
Got along pretty well on our trip. Lost a woman by the name of [p.156] Eliza Phillips, from the Southampton Pastorate. She was missed from the train one night, and it was supposed that she fell from the cars in passing from one car to another. While traveling, the conductor could not learn anything about her. A Brother William Hammond, from the same Pastorate, had a sick baby die on the train, and Brother Hanham and I took it to an undertaker, for burial, at Dunkirk, I think.
May 24, 1861. Arrived at Florence just after noon. Met Brother Jacob Gates. Some houses hired for accommodation of the company. We got our luggage to houses, fixed ourselves up as comfortable as we could in the time and under such circumstances - and we were pretty comfortable - went to bed, and had a good night's rest.
May 25, 1861. Arose just after 6 a.m. this morning. Had a good breakfast, felt much refreshed; provided wood and provisions; and increased our comfort.
Also on this date, in connection with a Brother Taylor, who had come up from New York took charge of a store-a part of which we lived in-for Brother Gates, as he had some hams, bacon, flour, etc., to sell to the Saints.
June 14 or 15, 1861. Remained in charge of the store, and clerking for Brother Gates, till above date, when I was released, and Brother C. W. Penrose does the clerking. It was the intention of Brother Gates to put Brother Penrose in that office at the time of his opening the establishment, but he did not arrive from England in time.
June 16, 1861. On this date Brother J.[Joseph] W. Young arrived from Great Salt Lake City, to take charge of the church emigration.
June 17, 1861. On this date Brother J. W. Young called a meeting of all the Saints who expected assistance of the church to go to Utah, and to go in the church companies. At this meeting, I was appointed to do the clerking for Brother J. W. Young. This was done by, or through, the recommendation of Brother Gates, or I will [p.157] say, through the interposition and kindness of my Heavenly Father. I entered upon my duties and strove to discharge them faithfully. Brother Young required all, who expected financial assistance from the church, to pay over to him, through his clerk, every cent of money they possessed, so that he may be able to purchase the necessary outfit for the emigration, and leave none behind, who wanted to be set down in Utah. I, of course, being dependent, in part, handed over every cent I possessed; and the Saints, generally, I believe, did the same. I was collector.
July 11, 1861. On this date my family started on the plains in Ansel Harmon's company-virtually Brother J. W. Young's company, but Brother Harmon took charge in the start. I remained with Brother Young to attend to some business.
July 17, 1861. On this date, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, J. W. Young, Benjamin Stringham, myself, and several Danish or Swiss brethren, started on the plains with two mule teams. . . . [p.158]
. . . Sept. 23, 1861. We traveled down Parley's Canyon on this date which was a Monday, and in the afternoon arrived at the 8th Ward Square, Great Salt Lake City, feeling thankful that the Lord had brought us safely to the place where the prophets and apostles of God dwelt, and where a temple was being reared to his holy name, in which he could bless his children. Although it was a wet day, many people were at the Square to meet their relatives or friends. . . . [p.160]
BIB: Jeffries, William. Reminiscences and diary, pp. 21-23, 145-58, 160. (CHL)