Transcript for Sprague, Matilda Christina Ohlson, Autobiographical sketch, in Genealogical Charts and Biographical Sketches of Members of the L.D.S. Church, Ogden Stake, 26 vols., 4:46-47
we sailed on the large ship Monarch of the Sea, from Liverpool Eng. with 973 Saints under the direction of Patriarch John Smith. The ship sailed very slow and on Sunday May 8th. it was announced that the saints would hold meeting on the deck, where many good instructions were given to the people by the Bretheren. They said their desires were to save souls.
Tuesday May 10th. there was a terrible storm at Sea but through the protecting care of our Heavenly Father no one was hurt. There were many sick and afflicted and my father [Gustave Ohlsson] tied me to a pole with a rope to keep me from getting hurt. I was young and everything was all fun to me. I remember an old Uncle of ours who was traveling with us as a family. He had been up on the deck and had a pot of cooked peas and as he came down the ocean tossed the ship too and fro[.] The old man sat down to enjoy his pot of peas, and the first thing I saw he was sliding back and forth under his birth [berth] in these peas on the floor. As I looked around me I saw everybody clinging for dear life for fear of being knocked over. Many laughed at the awkward falls of others when the Bretheren came and hushed the laughter and said it was time to pray and not to laugh.
We landed safe at New York June 3rd. and the emigrants reached Wyoming Nebraska in safety. Wyoming, a village seven miles north of Nebraska City Neb. had been selected as the outfiting place for the emigrants, crossing the plains, instead of Florence. We camped in some brush there for 3 wks. in the hot weather while we were waiting for the church teams to come to meet us. It was so hot the ground would burn our feet. About 170 church teams were sent from Utah to the Missouri river that year after the poor.
We started on our journey from there July 1st. and experienced a very fatigued journey. I being 10 yrs. of age I had to walk along with my parents [Gustave and Johanna] and sisters [Gustava and Maria]. Although the journey was long and tiresome, when night came the young people would clear away a place and make it a dancing floor and dance after their days journey. While my sisters prepared the meals I would have to hunt for fuel. I remember one instance a lot of Indians came to our camp and acted as though they were on the warpath, and the people were counciled to divide what little they had with them to make peace with them, which made our supplys scarce. On another occasion one of the oxen got bit by a rattlesnake and his bellowing caused a stampede among the cattle. Some of the streams were difficult to cross, and men and women had to wade across the best they could.
We arrived at Salt Lake City[,] Utah the 15th. Sept. 1864 completing our journey in 5 months 11 days.