. . . we traveled with team to the nearest railroad station where we stayed for the night. Next morning we took train for Christiania (capital of Norway) where we stopped a week or more waiting for the steamer to go. We left there for Denmark where we stayed in Copenhagen another week. (The steamer also landed at Gotheborg, Sweden and there were some emigrants came on board). We left Copenhagen for Hamburg, Germany traveling part of the way on railroad and part on steamer. The Danish emigrants did not go in our company as there was war between Denmark and Germany. They took another route. The Norwegians and the Swedish traveling together. We took steamer from Hamburg to Grimsby, England, across the North Sea which was a very rough trip; nearly everybody seasick. The boat being loaded with stock on the lower decks and emigrants above. While on this trip, the Germans mistook [p. 4] us for a Danish ship and fired three shots at us (without any damage) which they had no right to do as we were traveling on a Swedish steamer. We landed in Grimsby OK and stopped there a week or more and while there the Danish emigrants overtook us and from then on we traveled together. We went railroad from there to Liverpool where we stayed a number of days getting ready for crossing the great ocean. While there, the emigrants from the British Isles gathered and on the 28 of April, 1864 we were all on board of a large sailing ship, the Monarch of the Sea, ready for crossing the ocean. There were 973 emigrants, all Saints, about 700 Scandinavians and the rest from the British Isles. We were under the leadership of Patriarch John Smith with J.P.R. Johnson as his assistant. This was a troublesome part of the journey. We did not look for anything to eat but had considerable trouble in getting the cooking done. Only one large stove for nearly 1000 [p. 5] people to cook for and part of the time so stormy that we could not cook at all. We were obliged to do most of our cooking and wait for our turn. The commissary would give us our provision once a week such as corned-beef, bacon, rice, sugar, split peas, tea, coffee, & potatoes. Great many were seasick so they could neither cook nor eat. Men were appointed to stand guard at night to see that everything were in order, that no lights were left burning to set fire to anything, or anything else out of the order and if so, to report to the proper authorities. While I was only a boy of 15 years of age, they considered me trusty and capable of taking my turn in standing guard which I did without a murmur. There were many more in the company of my age and older, that were not asked to do any work of the kind.
There were much sickness among the people. 67 died and dumped into the sea. The way it was done was to sew them up tight in burlap or canvas, then fasten some iron to their [p. 6] feet, then lay them on a plank over the edge of the ship, lift up the end of the plank on deck until it got so deep they would slide into the ocean. My sister, Inger [Ingri Johanssen] , was very sick for a while so we thought we would lose her but she recovered again. The cause of some of the sickness was bad water, as we only had what was put up in barrels and it became very foul and unhealthy. We were compelled to do our washing and cooking in seawater from the ocean. We finally landed in New York, June 3rd, after six weeks experience on the sea.
We then passed through what was called the Castle Garden. We went from there to Nebraska traveling part of the time by rail and part on steamboat up the Missouri River. Here we camped on the banks of the Missouri River among some oak brush seven miles north of Nebraska City. We were about six weeks buying outfits and getting ready for crossing the plains. There were about 170 church teams that year, but we were in the independent company and had our own [p. 7] teams, wagons, and provisions to look after. Father (Knudsen) brought 4 yoke of oxen, three cows, one mare (for me to ride on and help drive the stock), two wagons which was loaded with our clothes and provision to what they thought would be about right for two yoke or four oxen and for the wagon, we made several trips to Nebraska City where Father done most of the buying. And he did extra well in buying there as he had the gold to pay with owing to the civil war. And at that time the price on currency was very uncertain. The whole company consisted of 60 wagons. Patrick John Smith bing our Captain f the Company and J. P. R. Johnson his assistant. . . . [p. 8]
. . . We arrived in Salt Lake City [p. 12] Oct 1st making six months from the time we left Oestere Sveen [LOCATION UNCLEAR] the place of our birth. . . . [p. 13]
BIB: Johnson, John. [Johan Johanssen] Reminiscences (Ms 1779), fd. 4, pp. 4-8,12-13. (CHL)