. . . We sailed on the ship Monarch of the Sea. We sailed along alright for about 16 days, then there came up a very bad storm, and it lasted for 4 days. There were one thousand Saints on board, and a crew of fifty sailors. The sailors were afraid that the ship would go down, and they prepared all the long boats (there were 6 of them in all) and at the same time swearing that no Mormon should get in one of the boats. They were a hard lot of men. The way I came to see and hear them was I helped to give out the rations to the passengers and was allowed on deck. The old ship was squeaking and groaning as though it could not stand it another minute, so President Woodard called out all the elders and went upon the deck. The prayed and rebuked the wind and waves, and in a short time the storm abated and all were saved. While we were being tossed about upon the waves, there were two other vessels on the south of us, laboring hard with the storm, but finally we lost sight of them, and they never got into port.
We landed in Castle Garden on June 3, 1861 and the first thing I saw was the Military parading the streets of New York, and drumming up for volunteers to go and fight the south which had rebelled against the north. All work was stopped to make men enlist, and as I had no money, it looked rather blue for me, but I had faith and hoped that I could get as far as St. Joseph, Missouri. I had just spent my last and only cent for one suite of clothes and one blanket tied up in a large handkerchief." [p.56]
After we left New York State, we were often stopped to see if we had any arms on board, or any rebels. Sometimes in the night we were stopped and had to face a field battery until morning, and then to be inspected before we could move on. Sometimes we were piled into cattle cars, or any way to get along.
We reached St. Joseph's. At that time the railway came no farther west, so we had to go on board a steam boat, on the Missouri River, and run up to Florence. So I went on board without asking any question about it, but I was well pleased, as this was the same kind of boat that I had seen in my dream three years before, and then I knew that I would get through all right.
When we arrived at Florence there were a great many people waiting for us, to see how to make up the trains for travelling across the plains.
On my way through the States I had heard of good many hard stories about the Mormons, and a number had tried to get me to stop and not go any further west. I thought if the Mormons in Utah were as bad as reported, I could go on to California, so I would not stop. Well, at Florence, I began to think that there might be some truth in it, as I found that some of the teamsters would drink whiskey. I had been taught that the Saints in Zion were perfect, and I should have to be the same, or I could not live with them. Some of the immigrants got so badly disappointed in the Mountain Saints, that they turned back, but I went on, and found it badly mixed.
Now this was something new, to emigrate, and it was not very pleasant, but the thought of going to Zion inspired us to do so, for they thought all was good there, and it would pay them to do anything to get there . . . .
. . . We arrived in Salt Lake City on the 12th of September 1861 about noon. The next day we began to divide up, and each mess or small party of teamsters went for their own homes, some for one town and some to others. . . . [p.57]
BIB: Probert, William, Jr., [Autobiography], IN Biography of William Riley and Hussler Ann Probert Stevens, comp. and ed. by Orvilla Allred Stevens (privately printed, 1981) pp. 56- 57. (CHL)