"DEPARTURE. -- The splendid ship George Washington, bound for Boston, cleared on the 27th of March, having on board 817 souls of the Saints. There were amongst them 14 returning missionaries, namely: -- Elders J. P. Park, J. B. Martin, C. R. Dana, D. B. Dille, James Carrrigan, J. C. Hall, Israel Evans, B. Ashby, A. P. Tyler, T. H. Latey, O. G. Workman, D. A. Curtis, A. M. Musser, and W. G. Walker. We sent Presidents Benson and Ray on board to organize the Saints, by aiding them in the selection of their presidents and teachers. About 3 o'clock, p.m., the Saints were called together on the upper deck. After singing one of the soul stirring songs of Zion, prayer was offered up by President J. A. Ray for the blessings of the God of Israel to attend the Saints while journeying to Zion, and for Heaven's blessings to rest upon all Israel, in their various conditions in life, &c., to which a hearty amen resounded from the bosom of every Saint on board.
President Benson then proposed Elder James P. Park to be their president, and Elders J. B. Martin and C. R. Dana to be his counsellors, which was unanimously agreed to. The vessel was divided into five wards, and the following elders were selected to be their respective presidents: -- Israel Evans, B. Ashby, J. Carrigan, D. B. Dille, and J. C. Hall.
President E. T. Benson then addressed the congregation for about three quarters of an hour, as directed by the Spirit, touching upon the practical duties that would devolve upon them while travelling up to Zion; President Ray, and Elder Hatch, and Lunt followed making such remarks as were suitable for the occasion. About the time the meeting was dismissed, we arrived on board: the attention of the Saints was again called, when we proceeded to address them for a short time, upon the subject of patience, promising the Saints great blessings on condition of their faithfulness. The meeting was then dismissed. During the meeting several hymns suitable to the occasion were sung by the brethren and sisters in a spirited manner, one of which was -- 'Ye elders of Israel come join now with me,' &c., with the chorus 'O Babylon, O Babylon, we bid thee farewell, / We're going to the mountains of Ephraim to dwell.' All hearts seemed to be filled with joy, peace, and praise to their Heavenly Father for his goodness in giving them an understanding of the gospel, for making known to them that the hour of his judgments (upon Babylon) were at hand, and for making a way for their deliverance.
About 6 o'clock we bade farewell to all on board. Three cheers for 'Mormonism,' were given by the vast concourse, led by President Benson, making the air ring with --
Huzza ! huzza ! huzza ! -- handkerchiefs and hats were waved until we were out of sight. May God bless and preserve his Saints."
MS, 19:15 (April 11, 1857), pp. 233-34
"NINETY-NINTH COMPANY -- George Washington. 817 souls. The fine ship George Washington, Captain Cummings, sailed from Liverpool on the twenty-eighth of March, 1857, with eight hundred and seventeen of the Saints on board, including fourteen returning elders, namely, James P. Park, Jesse B. Martin, C. R. Dana, D. B. Dille, James Carrigan, J. C. Hall, Israel Evans, Benjamin Ashby, A. P. Tyler, Thomas H. Latey, O. G. Workman, D. A. Curtis, A. M. Musser and William G. Walker. James P. Park was appointed president of the company with Jesse B. Martin and C. R. Dana as counselors; A. M. Musser, secretary. The ship had an unusually speedy and prosperous voyage, reaching
Boston in twenty-three sailing days from Liverpool. Four deaths occurred on board, and one child was born. Captain Cummings, in reply to a complimentary note from President Park and counselors, and secretary of the company, stated, 'I am free to acknowledge that on no previous voyage have my passengers conducted themselves so orderly and peaceably as those in your charge; cleanliness, morality, sobriety, reciprocation of favors and general good behavior were preeminently conspicuous in their conduct and character.'
On Monday, April 20th, the George Washington arrived in Boston harbor, and on the following Thursday (April 23rd), the emigrants disembarked and most of them left Boston by rail the same day in the afternoon. A few proceeded to New York, and perhaps other places, in search of employment, not having means to continue the journey straight to Utah, while the bulk of the company traveled westward via Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago and Rock Island to Iowa City, where they arrived on the thirtieth. Here they were met by Elder James A. Little, the emigration agent who had arrived at the outfitting place the day before. With considerable exertion he and the brethren of the company succeeded in getting the tents, wagon covers, and other commodities which he had purchased for the emigrants on the camp ground, and, considering that the luggage of the company had not yet arrived, except what little they had brought along for immediate or daily use, they were made quite comfortable for the night. On the first of May a supply of provisions was got on the ground, and the tents were more permanently arraigned. The bulk of the emigrants' luggage also arrived in the evening of that day, after which everybody set busily to work preparing for the journey across the plains. (Millennial Star, Vol. XIX, pp.223, 334, 363, 377, 379; Deseret News, Vol. VII, p.141."
Cont., 14:7 (May 1893), p.342
"Sat. 28. [Mar 1857] -- The ship George Washington sailed from Liverpool, England, with 817 Saints, under the direction of James P. Park, bound for Utah via Boston."