. . . It was on the 2nd day of May, 1862 that we left Glasgow for Utah. We would have gladly taken the little girl, Mary McDermod, with us but her mother would not let her go. It was a hard thing to part with her. I was down with seasickness crossing the channel between Glasgow and Liverpool, but still worse when we were on the ocean. We left Liverpool on the sailing vessel Manchester with 260 passengers for New York. We had head winds nearly all the way and were 6 weeks and 6 days crossing. For the first two weeks I could eat nothing. I was so reduced, weak and helpless that I would not have cared if someone had "chucked" me overboard. My wife had good health and did all she could to comfort and cook for me. I was not really well a day while on the sea, but all our troubles will have an end someday and so did mine when I got my feet on solid ground. We had one birth and no deaths on the Manchester so our number were increased by one when we landed. [p.6] We left New York by rail, came through Albany, Buffalo, to Detroit. Crossed the river to Windsor, Canada and came to Niagara Falls. Crossed on the Suspension Bridge. Came to Quincy, Illinois. Run down the Mississippi on a river boat twenty miles to Hannibal and from there to St. Joseph, Missouri. "All aboard for Florence". The Civil War was going on. We heard the guns down the river from St. Joseph. When we were all on board the steamer and ready to start, the deck hands struck for higher wages. The captain, a heavy set man, with a loaded pistol in each hand came in sight. The deck hands were all together in the stern end of the boat. He spoke with a loud rough voice. "All you men who want to go up the river with the boat come here to me. And all who do not want to go, get ashore". There was a movement among the men immediately. About one-half went to the captain and the rest went on shore and the boat started her journey. The captain called our president, Brother John D. T. McAllister and said he wanted half a dozen stout young men out of the company to help take the boat up the river. Brother McAllister called for volunteers and soon got them. I was one, although I had not fully recovered from my seasickness. I tackled the job on the river boat. My job was putting in wood to the fireman and I helped so well he got quite attached to me. We had a dollar a day and our ward. I got fat that two weeks. [p.7]
We landed at Florence, five miles above Omaha. That year, 1862, was famed for floods. The rivers overflowing their banks so the teams for Utah were detained on their journey down from the mountains (for in those days the emigrants were brought across the plains by teams sent from Utah, mostly ox teams). When we landed we got word, by a messenger sent on horseback, that the teams would not arrive for three weeks. The captain wished the same boys to go back down the river with the boat and bring up another load of emigrants from St. Joseph. As we had time enough to go and come before we started across the plains we consented to go back with the boat. So after seeing my wife in a tent, I went with the other brethren back down the river. We had great hardships to endure on that trip, for the deck-hands were more numerous than we were, they ill-used, imposed upon and abused us in every way they could to get revenge for their partners whose places we took. Every annoyance they could heap upon us they did, and would have killed us if they durst. There was no one on board but the captain on our side, and he darst not say very much. But I had a friend in the fireman who made it a great deal easing for me than the boys had it. When we got the Saints on board again at St. Joseph's we were all right.
The Journey Across the Plains
When we got our luggage loaded in the wagons and the cattle had rested a few days, we were ready to start across the plains. There is history enough in that journey to make a good sized book, but I will just state a few facts. Ansol Harmon was the captain of our train, and Elder J. D. McAllister was chaplin. He had been [p.8] the leader of our company all the way from Liverpool, assisted by Samuel L. Adams while on shipboard, but Brother Adams left us while crossing the plains. . . . [p.9]
. . . Salt Lake City
On the 5th day of October, 1862, we camped in the Eighth Ward Square, Great Salt Lake City, Utah, tired and footsore. Bishop Edward Hunter came with flour and fruit and give everyone his share. The peaches were just ripe and tasted very good. The emigrants who intended to stay in Salt Lake City remained on the Square while those who were going into the country went on with the teams. . . . [p.10]
BIB: Freckleton, John Orr. Reminiscences and Journal, pp. 6-10. (CHL)