Jefferies, William, Reminiscences and diary, 1886, 22.
In this brief account of my missionary labors for the last four and quarter years, I have said but little about my real labors in detail. I did not purpose to do so. All I designed to write was a brief outline for the information of my children when my blody [body] is mouldering in the tomb. It is a very important part of my life. It has been all the world to me. No man can estimate its value. And as to my labors in those precious years—they are before the heavens—they are recorded on high; and I can meet their results with joy in the great day of accounts when I shall be weighed in the balance of the Eternal Father.
Marriage and Emigration
I had been advised by one of my file-leaders in the ministry in regard to marriage. This occurred nearly three years before the period to which this chapter brings me. But a few moments consideration of the circumstances surrounding a traveling Elder soon led him to agree with me that it had better be deferred till emigration time. This principle guided my course in this matter.
Some time after receiving my release to emigrate, I made arrangements for marriage, and I was married to Mary F. Auld, 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 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. 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 ox 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. W. Young, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, B. Stringham, and a few more of us started out to overtake the trains. We overtook the last company at Loupe Fork crossing, and, after remaining with them one day and two nights, we went on to Wood River. There I stayed, at Bro. Johnson’s, from Monday till the following Friday afternoon, working at emigration accounts, and particularly preparing lists of names of emigrants to send to the Deseret 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 Loupe 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 Marshall. From this on I walked the prairie, waded the streams, attended to the duties of my offices, and got along as well as I could, arriving in S.L. City on Monday afternoon, Sept. 23, 1861, feeling thankful to our Heavenly Father for His preserving care over us.