. . . My Trip to Utah
I left Copenhagen, Denmark on the 12th of April 1864 in company with a large company of emigrants, amongst them was Julia Welterlines my betrothed. We went by steamer to Lubeck, Germany, then by rail to Hamburg, then by steamer again to Hull, England where we arrived on the 14th of April. We had a very rough voyage over the North sea and nearly all were seasick. We had to lay amongst cattle and sheep and had no comfort. This was not a very good beginning on our long journey of over 7000 miles. We were laid up at Grimsby [p.51] several days waiting for the large vessel to get ready. We went to Liverpool on the 21st April and went right on board the large packet ship Monarch of the Sea. We were 953 emigrants on board and were organized on the 24 into companies for the convenience of travel. Patriarch John Smith was appointed our captain with 3 counselors. The company was then divided into 8 districts with a president for each. I was one of these presidents and done all in my power to help those under my charge. We lifted anchor on the 28th of April and a little steamer towed us out of the Mersey out into open water. We were now for waves and wind to be wafted across the mighty Atlantic to the new world. We had much sickness on board especially among the children of whom about 35 died, and were buried in the sea. I enjoyed very good health, but Julia got the measles we were sick for a few days in mid ocean. We had very fair sailing and casted anchor in New York Harbor on the 2nd day of June, having made the voyage in 36 days. We passed the quarantine examination all right and were landed in the Castle Garden on the 3rd of June 1864. I put foot on this continent at 11 a.m. on that day. [p.52] The great vessel there as buoyantly had brought us over the great deep was lost the next season with one thousand Irish emigrants on board.
We left New York the same day we landed and on the steamer St. John went up the Hudson River to Albany, a beautiful trip. It looked as though we had come to the promised land indeed, but this was not to be kept up, for we had yet to pass through the great American desert. From Albany we went by rail via Rochester, Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, and Quincey to St. Joseph on the Missouri River. We took steamer at St. Joseph for Wyoming, Nebraska where we arrived on the 13th of June.
While steaming up the Missouri river on a beautiful clear June day my Julia wrote in my daybook the following stanza,
[6 LINES STANZA FOLLOWS, WHICH IS WRITTEN IN DANISH.]
Missouri [--] due 11/6, 1864.
Wyoming was a new outfitting place for our people, heretofore Florence north of Omaha had been the place, but now we were about 40 miles south of Omaha in a wilderness. [p.53] Here we were introduced to western civilization, such as cowboys, bullwackers, prane schooners, lassos, and many other western accomplishments. The Utah boys who had come down to the river with teams, to bring up the emigrants, did not impress us with much favor as favorable. They had of course laid for months on the plains were dust, rain and sunshine had taken the shine off them pretty well so they looked rough and ready. But on nearer acquaintance we found that beneath the torn and tattered apparel beat a kind and willing heart. Immediately on our arrival at Wyoming we received provisions from the church agent, consisting of flour, pork, dried apples, rice, sugar and also, soap for washing. We had now to learn the art of cooking in the wilderness, without stove or fireplace and I am satisfied from my own experience that most of us never did learn it, while traveling across the plains. We laid in camp until the 4th of July waiting for our outfit of oxen and wagons to bring us to Salt Lake City. While laying here waiting a young girl from Gothenburge got drowned in the Missouri River and another young girl died from injuries received on the railroad. [p.54] Our company consisted of 58 wagons with 4 yoke of cattle to each wagon. W. [William] B. Preston was captain of the company. It was a very weary and long journey. . . . [p.55]
. . . Our company arrived in Salt Lake City on the 15th of September a very sorry looking lot after such a long and weary journey of over one thousand miles. Still we felt thankful to God that he had [p.56] been with us and preserved us from harm on such a long journey over water and land and had brought us safely through to the end of our journey. . . . [p.57]
BIB: Flygare, Nils Christian, Autobiography. In Papers (Special Collections & Manuscripts, MSS 1496, bx. 1, fd. 3, pp. 51-57). (Harold B
. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)