Warnick, John August, "The Story of John August and Mari Christensen Bengtson" by Ethel F. Allen and Leone F. Carson, in Merrill N. Warnick, Warnick Family History, vol. 1 , 128-30.
- Source Locations
- Church History Library, M270.1 W285w
- Related Companies
- Abner Lowry Company (1866)
The voyage across the ocean was made in the old fashioned sailship, the last of its kind to make the voyage. Their stateroom was the open deck and for nine long weeks they were tossed about on the great waves. The trip was a very hard one for they suffered from cold and exposure. Most of all they suffered for the want of drinking water as only a small amount was allowed each person per day. Soon after their arrival in New York Harbor on July 31, 1866, cholera broke out among the saints and death began to take its toll.
They went by boat from New York to Canada and from there they traveled by rail in cattle cars westward.
At Marcellus, Illinois on August 5th Mrs. Warnick (August's mother) who had had been ill for some time passed away on the platform of the station. There she was left among strangers to be buried.
Three days later Mari's and August's young son, John Gustaf, died and was buried.
Just before the train reached St. Joseph, Missouri, one of the cattle cars caught fire and it was with great exertion that the sick were removed from it to escape being burned to death. At St. Joseph a number of the sick and dying had to be left on the platform of the depot. Among these were Anders Peter Warnick and his daughter Christine. Death had not completely claimed them, and loved ones obtained no further knowledge of them. Residents of Missouri at that time were so hateful they seemed to actually thirst for the blood of the saints. And it was never learned whether the suffering saints were buried alive or killed by force.
On August 24th, Mari and John August buried an infant son who was born that day on the plains.
Two weeks later, September 8th, Mari's sister Charlotte, died.
On Sept. 22nd, August's three year old niece, Christina, died leaving only August, his wife Mari, their little daughter, Caroline, and a brother Charles. Only four of the original eleven were left to continue on to Zion.
Mari had been sick and was near death for six weeks. Her life was spared but when she regained consciousness several of her family had died, among them her son and her sister.
In spite of the sorrow and hardships through which they were forced to pass during their journey they remained firm and steadfast, never doubting that God was leading them. Many things happened from time to time which strengthened their faith and made them thankful and happy.
On October 22, 1866, the survivors of Captain Lowery's company arrived in Salt Lake City, six months after they had left their homes.