John Jaques diary entries in Life History and Writings of John Jacques by Stella Jaques Bell (1978), 79, 83-84, 95-
Transcription found on Mormon Migration. Original publication can be found at the Church History Library, M270.1 J361b 1978.
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Thurs. 22: About 7 o'clock I sent my wife, her sister, Tamar, and my daughter, Flora, in a cab to theHorizon, 2/6. I went with our luggage in the cart 4/, and 6 demies to the man. Got Brother Thomas Dodd to assist me in getting our things on board. Paid him 1/0. We engaged berth number 401 for myself and wife, and the half of number 400 for her sister, Tamar, both on the second or lower deck. Ann Johnson, servant of Brother Linforth was to have the other half of 400. Brother W. Paul and wife engaged the berth next to mine. Brother William Taylor and wife from Stratfordshire had engaged one next to theirs. We did not get out of dock this day. The ship had 856 passengers on board, 635 of whom were P.[Perpetual] E.[Emigrant] Fund emigrants, 212 ordinary , and 7 cabin passengers. Elder Edward Martin, president of the company, assisted by Elder Jesse W. Haven and George P. Waugh; steward, John Thompson; cook, Henry Hamilton and Joseph Jackson; historian, myself; sergeant of the guard, Elder F.C. Robinson. We made our beds of our spare clothing, bought a pound of molasses 3 demies, a pound of marine soap 6 demies, some round lamp wick, six one penny packets of violet powder, and six one penny boxes of wax lights and six red herrings.
Fri. 23: About midday moved out of dock into the river. Fine morning . Stiff breeze. Soon after this a little belligerent display occurred between the mates and some of the crew. I did not see the commencement of the affair, but I learned that some of the crew had demurred to obeying orders, and a regular fist cuffing took place. Two or three bloody faces figured in the scene. I was on deck in time to witness a little not very civil jaw between the first mate and one or two of the crew. The mate paced the deck flourishing a Colt's revolver, and swearing and threatening grandly but did not use the weapon. If necessary use them, and over with it. Threatening and bragging are the business of bullies. Several of the crew were sent ashore, and other men came on board in their place. The mate complained of the refractory ones that they were a set of "blacklegs," and that they came on board to plunder the passengers and the rest of the crew. They charged him being drunk and "no man." Meat, peas, biscuits, flour, oatmeal, sugar and tea were served out today.
Sat. 24: In the morning the ship cleared. The berths for two passengers are about six feet long by four feet four inches wide, lined up like horses' mangers, two in height, with about two space underneath the lowest. The ends to the side of the vessel. O, the awful siege of the cooks galley, for the first day or two. Sebastapool could hardly compare with it. Two cubic feet more space to each passenger on the lower deck than the higher. This combined with the fact of the heated air ascending, caused the lower deck to be much cooler and more roomy and pleasant, though it wasn't so light.
And now farewell to thee England. . . . [p. 79]
. . . Sun. 25: J. [Jospeh] A. Young had stayed all night on board. About 9 a.m. the steamship, "Great Conquest", came alongside bringing the captain, President F.D. Richards, Elder C.[Cyrus] H. Wheelock, Thomas Williams, George Turnbull , W. [William] C. Young and others, and took us out to sea about 20 miles. During this time two marriages took place--Elder F.C. Robinson, late of Bradford Conference and Sister Elizabeth Gambles of Sheffield by Elder Josph [Joseph] Young; and Brother Thomas Smith, age 21, of Pillary, Yorkshire and Sister Mary Jackson, 19, of the same place, by Elder William C. Young [p.83] President F. [Franklin] D. Richards and Elder C. [Cyrus] H. Wheelock addressed and blessed the company on board, and later stated that we had on board the persons who had given the first sixpence to the elders when they first came to England. Their names were Brother Purcell and family. The trip with the tug was quite a pleasure. It left us in the afternoon of course taking back those who came to see us off, also our river pilot; but leaving with us a channel pilot. Day fine. Sea calm. Lashed our boxes and tinware. The company was organized into nine wards, No. 7 being committed to my care. Forward with a stiff but contrary breeze.
Mon. 26: Strong head breeze, many sick. I and my wife and Tamar all sick. I am not as bad as they. Tacked about all day, making little headway. Not so much cooking.
Tues. 27: Winds still unfavorable, not quite so strong, decreasing. Many sick today. Some recovering. I vomited once. Not much cooking. At 2 p.m. Sister Elizabeth Wilson, wife of James Wilson from Preston, was delivered of a daughter, which she named Nancy Horizon. Salt, mustard, pepper, and vinegar served out, two rations of vinegar to the first six wards.
Wed. 28: Nearly becalmed this morning. Sick persons rapidly recovered. Songs and rejoicing prevailed. A fiddle and a tambourine and dancing on deck in the afternoon. Appetites increasing. Called into the cabin in the evening to attend the ceremony of marriage between Joseph Acres, age 24, and Sister Ann Pugh, age 23, of Shrewsbury, Elder Martin officiated. About midday a favorable but not very strong wind sprung up and we got up extra sails. Potatoes served out.
Thurs. 29: Wind stronger, but not so favorable. Sick recovering. Young and old on deck with cheerful faces. A steamboat cropped our course astern of us, for America. The pilot went in a boat to get on her, but returned to our ship. I wrote a letter to President F. [Franklin] D. Richards, the pilot taking it ashore for 6 demies. He went off in a pilot or fishing boat, apparently bound for Cork. The measles appeared in two children of James Hunter, from the Isle of Man. William Severn and Mary Astle, both of Hucknallforkard, Nottingham, were united in marriage by Elder James Haven. . . .[p.84]
. . Fri. 30: Fine day. This day we met several vessels, and overtook and passed some. Kinsale barracks still in sight, meat, sugar, oatmeal, flour, peas, biscuit and rice served out. [p. 87]
Sat. 31: Rose at six. Fine day. Little wind and that ahead. Met two or three vessels in the distance. Many people sick today. Sister Sarah Allcock from Manchester Branch died this morning at 12 a.m., midnight of the flux, age 66. Sister Eliza Pears, of Bradford, confined at 11 a.m. of a girl, premature. The child lived a few minutes.
June 1856 Sun. 1: Fine day. Fair breeze, especially in the morning. A meeting was held on deck at 11 a.m. Singing and prayers and addressed from the presidency and a few others. Another meeting in the afternoon at 3. Singing, prayers and addresses from most of the presidents of wards. Elder George Baker from Brighton, Sussen, died at 6 p. m., age 27. He had had a cold for some time. This evening whilst on deck the captain came along and entered into conversation. He spoke highly of our organization and of the morality and good order which characterized us. He seemed much interested in the welfare of the passengers. He had been on board with us eight days and had not heard a single oath from us. He said we had made one fifth of the voyage. He contrasted our department with that of the Irish emigrants, stating how they would quarrel and fight among one another over their cooking, and that his chief reliance to procure order among them was by turning the hose on them while the crew were at the pump.
Mon. 2: Rose at 5. Fine morning. Not much breeze. A fine side breeze sprang up in the afternoon. Considerable singing among the brethren and sister. Bed at 10. [p. 95]
Tues. 3: Stiff side breeze all day. Quite cold. Felt very weak today, and in fact have done so for several days. So also have my wife and her sister, Tamar. Made 8 or 9 knots per hour through the day. Had made 20 degrees today. Many passengers about this time appeared debilitated, and very weak, but mending. The seasickness seemed to leave the majority of them very feeble. Two weeks rations of potatoes served out today, because they seemed too inclined to rot and grow in storage.
Wed. 4: Not much breeze, but favorable. Fine day. In the after part of the day becalmed, which with a rather heavy swell in the water, caused the ship to roll very much, upsetting those boxes and tins which were not secured. Of course many ludicrous scenes occurred. General prayer meeting of all the wards at the main hatch. Instructions were given, relating to cleanliness, economy and wisdom in the use of food, serving out provisions, and parents looking after their children.
Thurs. 5: Calm fine morning. Ship rolled nearly as much last night. Mustard, pepper, salt and tea served out. Two rations of potatoes, vinegar to the 8th and 9th wards. The bedding of the passengers on the top deck carried on the main poop deck to air. Towards midday a light breeze sprang up, which sent us along at about 2 knots per hour. I saw a vessel meet us to our right, another I was told, also met us. We passed a shoal of fish. The breeze increased until night, when it carried us through the foaming waters at the rate of 10 to 12 knots per hour. Had a fellowship meeting in our ward. Quite a good meeting we had.
Fri. 6: Stormy side breeze all day. Foggy, damp and wet. A miserable day. Many people sick as ever. Went 10 to 12 knots an hour. Toward night took in sail. The wind split the mizen top gallant sail in two from top to bottom. My wife and her sister, Tamar, sick and obliged to be in bed most of the day. Meat, peas, biscuit, oatmeal and rice, flour and sugar served out. We did not take meat, peas, biscuit or oatmeal. We made about 25 degrees today.
Sat. 7: Calm. Double rations of potatoes served out today. The sick were improving today. My berth having partly broken down, I and Brother William Paul repaired it. In the afternoon a slight side breeze arose sending us along perhaps four knots an hour. My wife and her sister, Tamar, better.
Sun. 8: Had meeting on the main deck at 10 a.m. Singing, prayer addresses from myself, Elders JohnToone, Evans, F.C. Robinson, George P. Waugh, and President [Edward] Martin. Main deck to be cleared of Saints at 9 p.m. every night. Prayers at the same time, then to bed. The Saints to do with as little cooking as possible, as the coals were going too fast. To rise at 6 a.m. then to prayers. Not to run to look at the cabin clock, nor to walk as far aft as the cabin. Captain Reed returned thanks for the good things [p. 96] expressed of him by elders. In the afternoon we had a sacrament and fellowship meeting in our ward at 3 o'clock. In the evening at 8 we had another meeting, where I gave some instructions on the duties of parents and on the general regulations of the company. Passed two masted vessels in the morning on our left. Strong side wind making 8 to 10 knots through the day.
Tues. 10: Stormy and wet with the heaviest sea we have yet experienced. The night had been very rough. Early in the morning the jib sail was split in ribbons. The main top gallant sail and the fore topsail were also injured. The noise made by the sailors on deck caused one of the guards to fancy he heard the cry of fire so he cried fire and the cry was reiterated through a great portion of the ship causing much alarm and many to jump out of their berths. However, all was quickly set to rights. In the afternoon a general meeting at the main hatchway. Elder [Jesse] Haven gave instructions with regard to great caution in the use of fire, reprobating the practice of smoking between decks, and also inculcated cleanliness. Instructions were also given in case of alarms and respecting cooking. I was awoke early in the morning by the sailors noise and I did not go to sleep again. Sailed slow in the morning but in the afternoon made perhaps 10 knots per hour.
Wed. 11: Wet foggy morning. Little wind in the morning. Increased til night, when we made 10 or 11 knots per hour. Side and rather head wind. Overtook and passed a vessel in the distance on our right. Tents given out to the wards to make. One of the sailors hurt through breaking of a pulley.
Thurs. 12: Wet foggy morning. Porpoise seen. Mustard, pepper, salt, vinegar, tea and double ration of potatoes served out. Disturbance and fight in the cookhouse, in consequence of Brother Green pushing past the guards. He kicked Brother Franklin severely. Cold. I was weak today. My daughter, Flora, very much relaxed for the last two days. Sister Ann Paxman, wife of William Paxman, of London Conference, gave birth to a male child, named William Horizon, at 1 a.m. The sisters busy making tents. Learned that there were several cases of measles on board. Had a fellowship meeting in our ward.
Fri. 13: Beautiful morning. Fair wind but not strong. Got out extra sails but soon had to take them in, because of a strong head wind. Sisters at work tent making. Foggy and wet after part of day. Cold. Meat, sugar, biscuit, flour, rice, oatmeal and peas served out. I took no biscuits, beef, oatmeal or peas. I feel much better this afternoon.
Sat. 14: Foggy morning. Fine afterwards. Met two vessels in the distance on our left. Beautiful sunset. A dark heavy cloud parallel to the horizon, and not elevated much above it, set off a beautiful band of deep orange color. Calm at night. [p. 97]
Sun. 15: Slightly foggy morning. Side wind. Not so much swell on the sea for the last day or two. We have sailed considerably the last few days, but not made much headway. Our hopes of seeing Boston next Sunday can scarcely be realized. Nevertheless most of the passengers desire it. Met a vessel on each side of us early, and two on our right side in the evening. A beautiful day in the middle part. Foggy in the evening. At 10 a.m. a meeting was held on the main deck. Singing, prayers, addresses by Elders H.A. Squires, B.B. Broderick, Jesse W. Havens and E. Martin. At 2 p.m. meeting in various wards. Had tea on deck. Stiff side breeze all day rather ahead. Pretty good sailing. Not nearly so much swell on the sea as we have had. The waves seem smaller. Weather getting milder. Tamar not very well.
Mon. 16: Foggy. Fresh side breeze, rather ahead. The second mate said we had not made more than 500 miles the past week, nor sailed on our due course six hours since we left Liverpool. He reckoned we should be six weeks on our voyage. Mild. Clear in the middle of the day. Foggy at night. Stiff side breeze. Flora was rather unwell. Tamar better. I annointed Flora.
Tues. 17: Foggy wet morning. Fine in the middle of the afternoon. Overtook and passed a brig on our right. Saw a grampus spouting water on our left. Men on the lookout all around the ship watching for ice and vessels. Had mad 46 degrees. Sailed six to nine knots per hour through the day. Side breeze. Foggy night. Annointed Flora again. Vessel went as smoothly as on a river. Passengers requested to be as still as they conveniently could, so that the officers of the ship could hear and be heard.
Wed. 18: Foggy wet morning. Cleared up at times. Met vessels on our left, with which our captain exchanged signals. Smooth sea. Favorable side breeze, sailing 6 to 8 knots per hour. Saw three, two masted fishing vessels on our left, and one or two vessels in the distance. Many sick or debilitated seem recovering. Flora better. Very thick fog at night. Wind not so favorable at night. Saw many flocks of seagulls swimming in the water. The 7th and 8th Wards met together for prayer, when Elder Jesse Haven addressed the members, particularly the young men upon being noisy, exhorting them to set patterns to all, because eyes of many were upon them, and the young were the persons who must build up the kingdom and bear it off triumphantly. Overtook and passed vessel on our right side. Sailors making a ladder to down the vessel side. P.E. [Perpetual Emigrant] Fund passengers signed receipts for their passage to Boston. Came on the Newfoundland Banks this morning.
Thurs. 19: Beautiful, fine, cold day, cloudless sky. Some fish seen. Tea, pepper, mustard, vinegar, salt and double rations of potatoes served out. The potatoes held out in double rations only to the five first wards. The [p.98] others had one ration. Several fishing vessels seen, one our captain spoke with on our left. Tidewind. Sailing perhaps 8 or 9 knots per hour. Had a fellowship meeting in the 7th ward. Flora very fidgety and croup the past night and today. P.E.F. [Perpetual Emigrant Fund] passengers finished signing receipts for their passage to Boston. At night came up with two fishing vessels. One at anchor put off a boat to us and gave our captain some codfish for some nails. Nancy Horizon Wilson, daughter of James and Elizabeth Wilson, from Preston, died at 7 a.m. age 23 days. We made 52 degrees. Latitude 41.
Fri. 20: Beautiful clear day. Warmer than yesterday. Meat, oatmeal, rice, sugar, peas, double rations of flour and part ration of biscuit served out. We took no pork or biscuit. Captain gave the passengers 7 of the codfish, which were distributed among the wards. Ours was a treat. Had made 54 degrees. Saw some grampuses. Wet in the morning, foggy at night. The sea like a meadow, and the ship sailed along so smoothly that we almost forgot that it was moving. About 7 knots per hour. Off the Newfoundland Bank today. Forty five tents and 8 wagon covers were finished and distributed among the various wards. I had four tents. The last few days the 7th wards has been making 3 tents and 2 wagon covers for the P.E. [Perpetual Emigration] Fund.
Sat. 21: Foggy, strong head wind. One ration of flour served out. Met two large vessels on our right. The heaving of the vessel made me feel sick, and some others were quite sick. Cleared up in the middle of the day. Rougher sea. Overtook and passed a vessel at night. Of the 4 tents and 1 wagon cover that I received, I took charge of 1 tent, I confined 1 to Brother Taylor, 1 to Brother Charles Lord, 1 to Brother James Steel, and the wagon cover to Brother James Leah. Sailed perhaps 10 knots per hour. I and my wife and Tamar felt rather qualmish.
Sun. 22: Foggy morning, cleared up in the middle of the day. Strong head wind. Meeting on the deck at 10 a.m. Elders Haven, Toone, Broderick, Waugh, and President Martin addressed the assembly. Baptism, the resurrection, and the proper conduct of Saints when at Boston were the subjects touched on. Forty-eight hours after casting anchor being all that is allowed for the Saints to leave the ship entirely with their luggage. It was necessary to be observed that no person leave the ship without permission. After meeting President Martin called the presidents of wards together and desired them to take up a subscription for Elder Haven, who had been on a mission to the Cape of Good Hope, and was returning home nearly destitute. Also wished them to teach their wards to prepare their luggage for inspection by the government officers, and for removal from the ship, and to clean their berths and themselves that they might look [p.99] respectable when visited by said officials. At 2 p.m. meetings in the various wards. Foggy and rough at night.
Mon. 23: Fair wind, but heavy head sea. Wet morning. Saw a long plank in the sea. Saw a sail or two in the extreme distance on our right. Saw some "pinbacks." Fine day and evening. Had not made more than 20 miles since Saturday. Wind still in the middle of the day. Tidewind in afternoon, increased till night, when with one extra sail we made 8 or 9 knots per hour. Sea calmer at night. Composed part of a letter to President [Franklin] Richards. Flora's cold very bad. Deliberated over the letter to President Richards with the presidency of the company.
Tues. 24: Very strong side breeze. Made 9 to 12 knots per hour. Saw several vessels, one ahead and on each side, all on our course. Just after sunset we overtook the one that was ahead of us, leaving it on our right. A disturbance between Elder F.C. Robinson, captain of the guard, and Brother Farmer over boxes and tins of the latter being fast. Blows exchanged. Both too hasty.
Wed. 25: The most delightful morning we have seen on our voyage. The sea as calm as a lake. Flocks of swallows on the water. Saw a large piece of timber in the sea. Saw three vessels behind us and one on our left side in the morning. Saw a pinback. The above vessels in sight the greater part of the day. Slight breeze in the middle of the day. Calm again in the afternoon. About 6 p.m. the British mail steam packet "Asia" passed astern of us. We saluted and cheered each other. This is the pleasantest sight we had seen at sea. A fresh breeze sprung up at night sending us along 9 knots per hour. Flora very unwell. She has a bad cough, and her eyes look drowsy, and she dozes much. Meat, oatmeal, peas, tea and double rations of flour and biscuits served.
Thurs. 26: Strong side breeze, rather ahead. Two sails in sight in the morning. Flora decidedly had the measles. She was very cross the past night. Fresh water to wash decks, and liberal supply for general purposes. Rough day, but head wind. Had about 66 degrees. Plenty of driftwood and seaweed seen. Seventh ward had a tea party in the evening. Songs, recitations, and speeches contributed to the general interest.
Fri. 27: Fine morning, calm middle of the day, not much wind till towards night when fresh head breeze sprung up. Several sails in sight. A Boston fishing smack aport us early, and was round about us all day. In the afternoon it put off a boat with two men, who came alongside our vessel and had a talk with the captain or mate who sent some letters by them. A little sugar, flour, oatmeal, rice, peas and lime juice, and one ration of potatoes (the gift of the captain) served. Flora a little more lively. Zilpah and Tamar much better. Had made 68 degrees. [p.100]
Sat. 28: Beautiful calm morning. Many small vessels seen. A thin sandy broken black streak was pronounced land which proves true, being Cape Cod. Great rejoicing at this. Towards the middle of the day a fresh breeze sprung up which sent us right into the harbor at the rate of 10 to 12 knots per hour. It was truly refreshing to see the houses, trees and the green landscape after being deprived of the privilege for some time. We cast anchor at 6 p.m. within a mile or two of Boston. As we came up the river the passengers were kept down below while the sailors were taking in sails. This was quite a deprivation, but was submitted to with patience. The captain went ashore soon after casting anchor and took with him a letter to the Daily Journal and one to President John Taylor. I saw a steamship about the harbor. There were plenty of little sailing vessels such as yachts and barges. Also a steam packet or two. The view of Boston and the vicinity is very interesting. A small hillock is an island, with trees upon it, is quite a relief to the eye.
Sun. 29: Very warm day. About 9 o'clock the doctor came on board and the passengers were ordered to clean up and be on deck. After a time he went away and came again with some other officers, who had all the passengers on the poop deck pass them announcing to their names. We were up on deck two or three hours, which was very wearing to the women and children. Our Flora was very cross. The weather hot. While the doctor was passing the passengers the captain and his family came on board. Meeting on the main deck at 3 p.m. Three cheers for the captain and three for the officers and crew. The captain responded and said that this company of emigrants was the best he had brought across the sea. He complimented them on their good behavior and said that we sung, "We'll Marry None But Mormons," and he said he would say that he should "Carry None But Mormons. "
Addresses from President Martin and Elders Haven, Toone, Waugh. Singing and prayer first. The captain and his lady came down 'tween decks and she expressed her surprise at the cleanliness of the place. He spoke a few minutes to me very sensible, stating that he considered the passengers and men, some perhaps superior to himself and thought they expected rightly to receive civility and respect from the captain and hands. This company was the best he ever knew. Spoke in disapproval of the harsh conduct of the first mate and the folly of sister Williamson and him courting together. The first mate was an able seaman and very good to keep the crew in order, but he had not always proper respect for the passengers. The captain said that he turned Mrs. Williamson out of the cabin because of her folly with the first mate. Received a letter from my wife's sister, Ann, of Salt Lake City, dated December 29. It had been to Liverpool. The brethren [p. 101] in the office paid the postage due from Liverpool. Elder J. W. Haven went in the evening to Salem to see Brother Felt, but did not find him there. Sat up near all night writing and packing.
Mon. 30: About 7 o'clock the steam tug "Huron" came alongside and towed us to Constitution Wharf. Brother Haven returned having learned that Brother Felt was in New York. The presidents of wards had the privilege of going onshore with two or three men from each ward to bring provisions for those who wanted them. I and Brother Steel, Paul and Taylor went and bought cheese, bread, butter, and sugar for our ward. I bought for myself about eighty cents worth of bread, about three pounds of cheese, two pounds of butter, a little fresh meat, and a few other things. Very hot day. Took a walk with Elders Haven and Steel along Washington Street. Elder Haven leaving us went on the Common. Very tired on our return. City very clean, also the people. Bought one quart of milk, 5 cents, several 10 cent loaves, 4 or 5 pounds of ham, and several other articles. Our letter did not appear in the Journal. The editor rejecting it, ostensibly on account of its length. I and Brother Haven shortened it and he gave us to understand that he would print it.
Ship HorizonBoston,June 28, 1856To the Editor of the Daily Journal (Boston)
Having arrived this day in port with company of Latter-day Saints from the British Isles, we beg to forward you a few particulars concerning our voyage.
The company numbering 856 souls, left Liverpool May 23 on board this ship for this port, being the largest company of Latter-day Saints that have crossed the Atlantic in one vessel. Nearly all of them are bound for Great Salt Lake Valley, via Iowa City. Four marriages, two births and four deaths have occurred on board.
We have experienced head winds a great portion of the voyage, and have scarcely had one fair breeze of any strength. We, therefore, consider that our gallant ship has made a very creditable passage. In fact she has outstripped with ease every sailing craft we have seen on our course. She is a noble vessel, clean, airy, and convenient for the purpose of emigration.
Of Captain Reed we cannot speak too highly. He deserves and has our sincere gratitude for the gentlemanly conduct and kind manner in [p.102] which he has constantly treated the company, visiting the sick, having given them many comforts from his own stores. He has manifested a continued interest in the welfare, comfort, happiness of the whole company, granting them every convenience and in short has done more than could have been reasonable expected or desired.
The officers and crew have treated the company with uniform respect, consideration, and good humor, and have our thanks and good wishes for the same.
July 1856--Tues. 1: Got nearly all our luggage down to the Worcester Depot. Took my wife out at night for a walk. Went to the post office to post a short note I had written to President Richards concerning our voyage. Met Elders O. [Orson] Pratt, E. [Ezra] T. Benson, B. [Brigham] Young at H. Felts. All but the latter on missions to England. Our letter did not appear in the Journal, but there was a short notice regarding our arrival and gave an erroneous account of our numbers. He also invited public attention to the recent increase of Mormon emigrants to the port of Boston, and thought it would be a good idea to adopt some measure to stay the plague before it was too late. Very busy today removing luggage to the Worchester Depot. Some of the brethren worked at it till after 1 p.m. Brother Palmer's child died this evening of measles.
Ship Horizon, Boston,June 30, 1856President F.[Franklin] D. Richards.Dear Brother:
We have the pleasure of informing you that we arrived safely in this port on the 28th, casting anchor at 6 p.m. As you are aware, we left Liverpool, May 25th, thus making a passage in 34 days, nine hours with a company of Saints numbering 856, the largest and we believe the best that has crossed the Atlantic in one vessel. The company included 2 high priests, 3 seventies, 106 elders, 27 priests, 14 teachers, and 10 deacons: Total of officers 171. Of these two had been presidents of missions, one pastor of conferences, seven presidents of conferences and eight traveling elders. As early as possible the company was divided into nine wards. Elders John Ennior [Eunion] presiding [p.103] over the first, Thomas Broderick, the second; Robert Holt, the third; H.A. Squires, the fourth; Thomas Leah, the fifth; James Stone, the sixth; John Jaques, the seventh; Peter Mayor, the eighth; and Robert Evans, the ninth.John Toone was clerk, John Thompson was steward, F.C. Robinson captain of the guard, and John Jaques, historian. Five o'clock a.m. for rising and prayers, and 10 p.m. for clearing the deck of passengers, and prayers and bed were the hours originally established, but it was afterwards deemed advisable to change to 6 a.m. and 9 p.m.
It was a beautiful, calm day after you left us in the Irish Channel. The brethren and sisters assembled on deck and made the welkin [MEANING, THE CELESTIAL ABODE OF GOD] ring with their songs of joy and praise. The night and the next day we had a strong breeze and seasickness prevailed, but in a few days most of the company overcame it. During the greater part of our voyage we had head winds and heavy sea swells against us. Scarcely once have we had a decidedly fair strong breeze. Under such circumstances we consider that our good ship has made a speedy passage. She certainly is a prime sailor. Not a single sailing craft that has appeared on our course could touch us. Our noble vessel has fairly and readily out stripped them all. We had considerable foggy, cold weather which made the first clear, sunny days we enjoyed towards the end of the voyage doubly welcome.
Captain Reed has shown himself to be a gentleman. He has granted the company every convenience and comfort they could normally have desired. This affability and kindness, and his continual carefulness of the welfare of the company, especially of the sick, to whom he has given many comforts from his own stores have won our respect and esteem, and we say, "God bless him."
The presidents of the various wards, and the officers have been as the heart of one man in carrying out the instructions of their President. Rules and regulations were established to maintain cleanliness, health and good order among the whole, and to promote the general comfort and happiness. We were grateful to the Saints for their willing promptness in rising up and doing what ever they have been called upon to do, and for their readiness to carry out to the best of their knowledge and ability the instructions that have been given to them by those presiding over them. If any like company of equal number come across the ocean with less discord and with better order than this company have shown, they will deserve the prize indeed. We sincerely, believe that no unvirtuous act has been committed between Liverpool and Boston by any of the company.
The first Sunday after you left us we had a general meeting in the morning and another in the afternoon on the main deck. Every Sunday since during the voyage we have had general meeting in the morning in [p. 104] the same place, and in the afternoon sacrament or other meetings in the various wards. Each ward has also held its respective meeting or meetings in the week. These with the teachings and exhortations of the brethren at their morning and evening prayer meetings, have tended to comfort and cheer the Saints, build up them in their holy faith and establish them in the practice of the principles of eternal life.
After the seasickness and the consequent latitude had pretty nigh passed away, many of the sisters and some of the brethren earnestly engaged in tent making, and in short time 45 tents and 8 wagon covers were made and packed up. The provisions were excellent and abundant, and gave general satisfaction. The measles appeared on board May 29th and many of the children and some adults have had the disease, but we have to record no deaths from it.
Sarah, wife of Charles Hall from Stratfordshire Conference, gave birth to a son June 29th, 1 o'clock. This day we passed the doctor's inspection without any unpleasantness...
Wed. 2: Up at 4. Remaining luggage taken to the railroad depot by 9 a.m. Left Boston for Albany about 11. Child died before we left the ship, Brother Ashton's, about nine years old, about 9 a.m. Traveled all night.A FEW NOTES REGARDING THE SEA VOYAGEWaiting on the wind wearyingNothing sweet tasting fanciedPlenty of patienceA thousand little decencies, comforts and conveniences to be given up.Long debility from seasickness, want of vigor and heartiness.Awake every morning to find the vessel apparently in the same old hole.Mate irritable, snappish, and surly and unapproachable, a man who would make few friends, roaring bull of Basham.Captain easy of acceptance, communicative.
Some people putting their pots and kettles before others, preferring to sit on other people's boxes than their own.
First mate pled guilty of disliking our guarding. Said no women go on deck without guarding ways and manners, with other immigrants. Our morality hard upon those outside. Makes these sailors good whether or not, better than they otherwise would be, better than they wish to be. Hard to keep outside of us and hard to get in among us. Sailors pled guilty of divers attempts to get below, but said it was no go, a guard everywhere.
Ten men in each watch of the guard which kept up night and day.
Bottom deck of ship coolest, purest air, most room, had not so light. [p. 105]
Noise of children in the ship dinning.
Washing in salt water semiweekly or weekly to get dirt off.
Sail hard and get sick, gently and get well.
Plenty to do; mind children, looking afterwards, water, provisions, cooking.
Brother [Edward] Martin, general welfare of the company.
Brother [Jesse] Haven, looked after carrying out instructions.
Brother [George] Waugh, went through ship administering to the sick and afflicted, comforting, blessing and anointing with oil.
Captain, 1st mate, other mates and men in good humor and joked with equal grace.
Continual rocking, like a wing boat. Like to be where I can enjoy myself more naturally, and more fully with less effort.
Seventeen years later Captain Reed crossed the continent, not by handcart, but by rail, and called on a few of the emigrants residing in Salt Lake, whom he carried across the Atlantic. Very much pleased was the old gentleman to see them. [p. 106]