Boston, Massachusetts, April 25, 1857.
President O. [Orson] Pratt.
Respected Brother--I have much pleasure in transmitting to you an account of our safe and speedy voyage from Liverpool, which we made in twenty-three days. For the first few days we encountered headwinds, which obliged us to go further south than we desired; but fortune soon smiled upon us, by sending a favorable wind which continued so without intermission for many days. With three or four exceptional days, we were thus favored up to the time of our arrival on last Monday morning, 20th instant. After we had cast our anchor the wind changed, and it blew a perfect gale, without cessation, for two days and nights, so hard, that it was not thought expedient to approach the wharfage with even the assistance of two steam tugs.
After we left Liverpool, we entered into a systematic organization, dividing the ship into wards and districts, appointing presidents and teachers over them; appointing a guard or watch at the hatchways, to [p. 363] prevent ingress and egress to obtruders after stipulated hours, regulating about prayers, and other meetings, &c., &c. The seasickness was one of the most unwelcome visitors we had. The majority afflicted soon recovered, and measurably forgot it, and, commenced stowing away their rations with a liberality becoming hungry men. On the 6th instant we had a good conference, the feelings of the Saints were represented, and the priesthood throughout the world were unanimously sustained. We had meetings every Sabbath, and as often during the week as wisdom dictated.
It is with regret I am obliged to inform you of the death of four our passengers, whose names, &c. occur as follows. On the 10th instant, Brother John Shuttleworth, aged 60 years, from England. He had been troubled since Christmas with asthma, which was not mitigated by seasickness. On 12th instant, Sarah Ann, infant daughter of Sarah Ann Coggle, of Southampton. On the 17th, Mrs. Mary Ann Jenkins, aged 25 years, from Herefordshire. She died of puerperal mania, or inflammation of the brain, following childbirth. On the 23rd instant, sister Charlotte Head [Steed], aged 67 years, from Marlboro, Worcestershire. She died while her friends were disembarking with her, and was interred in one of the Boston cemeteries. The three former, of course, had a watery grave. We had one birth, the deceased Mrs. Jenkins, of a daughter, named Mary Washington. The blessings pronounced upon us by yourself and Brother Benson have been fulfilled in our prosperity. The conduct of Captain Cummings and Dr. Greely was marked all the way with kindness, courtesy, and condescension.
On Wednesday, President John Taylor came on board, and gave us, besides much good instruction, one of his good old-fashioned welcomes.
On Thursday the Saints disembarked, and by five p.m. those leaving this state were off per train for their various places of destination.
The following are the reduced rates of fare secured by President John Taylor to Iowa City, $10.50 for adults; to St. Louis, same rate; to Cincinnati, $9 per head; to New York, half-a-guinea; to other places at the same ratio or corresponding rates. All over the age of fourteen were adults; over six and under fourteen, half price; under six, free. 100 pounds luggage, free; and $3.50 for every extra 100 pounds to the three former places, and 50 cents to New York.
Brother Park accompanied the Saints to Iowa City, and Brother Taylor accompanied those for New York. The former will be about seven days making the journey, via Albany, Buffalo, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, and Rock Island. Brothers Taylor and Park, before they deputed me to stay here, and sell the extra provisions, pay head-money, for the four cases for Utah, and see the remainder of the Saints off. I will follow them in a few days, by express.
I have nothing further of interest to communicate at present. Craving interest in your prayers for our speedy and safe transit across the plains, I remain as ever, your brother and servant.
Amos M. Musser, Secretary
BIB: Musser, Amos M., [Letter], Latter-day Saints' Millennial Star 19:23 (June 6, 1857) pp. 363-64. (CHL)