Chapter Five: Ocean Voyage
“Went on Board the Ship Orisen with 840 Passengers on Board”
Farewell to Thee England
Farewell to thee England—bright home of my sires,
Thou pride of the freeman and boast of the brave,
I have loved thee—and never till being expires
Can I learn to forget thee, thou star of the wave.
Farewell to thee England, a long, long farewell,
To every dear scene of my infancy’s hours
Ne’er more shall I roam through each moss-covered dell,
Nor pluck the sweet gems of thy blossomy bow’rs.
Farewell to thee England, and farewell to all
Whose love hath yet hallow’d my pathway below,
Though sadly I leave thee, I would not recall
One hour of the past for the present to know.
Though sorrow may cast its deep shade o’er my soul,
When mem’ry recalls one dear form to my mind,
And anguish of spirit which passeth control,
May crush the lone heart where that form is enshrined.
I wish not to linger thy beauties among,
I dare not be false to the God I adore,
Henceforward my lyre to His praises is strung,
And to Him I relinquish those memories of yore.
Yes England, I leave thee, all dear though thou art,
A country more precious lies over the wave,
With hope for thee, Albion, I turn to depart,
God guard thee my country—protect thee and save.
The rose of thy beauty may fade from thy brow,
The day of thy glory in darkness decline
But a halo of splendour encircles thee now,
Which in regions immortal more brightly shall shine.
There are hearts on thy bosom shall hallow thee yet,
There are spirits too noble, and feelings too pure,
There are creatures too worthy for God to forget,
Whose love like His goodness will ever endure.
His blessing be on thee—thou land of my sires,
Thou pride of the freeman, and boast of the brave,
I love thee—and never though being expires
Can I learn to forget thee—thou star of the wave.
IER (Hafen and Hafen)
After Isaac had worked in Walsall for a couple of years, saving money to emigrate, he returned to Coalville to bid his family farewell. He was the first of his family to emigrate. “…I went to father and mother, brothers and sister again till the spring of 1856.” (Wardle, Isaac) To me, this implies that he was there for some weeks.
Isaac’s family, in addition to his parents, brothers and sister, now included two sisters-in-law and a brother in-law, two nieces and a nephew. However they were not all living at the family home at this time. Thomas had married Mary Ann Price in 1851 and at the time Isaac left England had two children, Jane three years-old and Charles newborn. (Family Search) Both children would pass away in their infancy so Isaac would not see them again. [Patti Call, genealogist, documents the wedding took place 30 Oct 1854 in Coleorton, Leicestershire. William Wardle was a witness.] (Call)
William had married Catherine White on Christmas day of 1854 in Whitwick outside Coalville. (Family Search) (Call) As weddings were not as big an affair as they are today, it is not definite that Isaac would have attended the wedding. However since it was Christmas Day, he may have been there. Eliza was born to this union, and would have been a couple months old when Isaac left. She passed away just before her third birthday, before her family immigrated to Utah.
Hannah married Frederick Udy before Isaac bid the family farewell. (Family Search) Patti Call has documented this wedding taking place 18 May 1855 and witnessed by William and Catherine Wardle. (Call)
There were siblings Isaac would never see again. His sister Hannah, did not immigrate to Utah with the rest of the family. However it is believed she and her husband immigrated to Australia. (Wardle, Orrin) However genealogist Patti Call has documented that she moved with her husband to the Eastern U.S., Pennsylvania and Maryland. There is no record that she ever joined the church. Hannah would have immigrated before 1860 as she and her husband were included in the census of that year in Pennsylvania. (Call)
Also the brother just younger than Isaac, Joseph, did not emigrate. Patti Call again documents that he married in 1859, but passed away shortly after this. At age 23 he died of small pox and pneumonia. His wife, Elizabeth Williams Wardle, did immigrate to Utah and it is likely Isaac met her, as she lived with Thomas for a time, as well as with his Isaac’s father.
His youngest brother James would immigrate to Utah with his parents in 1860. William would follow with his family in 1862, and Thomas and his family would immigrate in 1873.
Of his own immigration in 1856, Isaac wrote, “On the 19th of May I bid them all goodby[e] and sailed for Liverpool.” (Wardle, Isaac) Perhaps the sentiment in saying goodbye was similar to that expressed by John Southwell, a man 23 years old who also traveled aboard the Horizon. “Sad were the scenes when parting arrived… seeing between my dear old mother and myself, is heart rending in the extreme… you will surely realize the agony of spirit we endure. (Southwell, BYU)
Liverpool is overland from Coalville; however there was a network of canals. Perhaps Isaac traveled by canal boat to Liverpool, and this is why he used the word “sailed.” However it is more likely he was talking about his voyage from Liverpool aboard the Horizon. The most likely way to travel from Coalville to Liverpool would have been by train. The Baileys also lived in the Coalville area. They would be on the Horizon with Isaac, and traveled by train. “Many of the Saints went to the station to see us off.” (Bailey, BYU) The walking distance from Coalville to Liverpool is 113 miles. (Google Maps) As they boarded the ship in LIverpool on the 23rd, Isaac had only four days to travel to the Liverpool docks.
It is possible Isaac traveled in a group from Coalville (this likely would have included the Baileys.)
Always missionaries escorted the departing members to Liverpool and once in the port of embarkation the passengers were ushered immediately on board ship. Not for a moment were they left to the mercy of “runners” of professional shipping agents. Watchmen were appointed to stand guard while the vessel lay in harbor to prevent any who did not belong from passing among them. (Larson, p 130)
Because of these arrangements it was not likely Isaac had any trouble in Liverpool, while waiting to board the ship. However the Church, had advised that large groups emigrating, travel with a third party because of the rough crowd around the docks. “If, when considerable numbers are coming from a Conference to go in the same ship, their President, Pastor, or someone who is accustomed to business transactions, will accompany them on ship board, they may save their inexperienced brethren much expanse and grief, by protecting them from the hordes of ruffians who lie in wait for their prey about the docks, stations, and lodging houses.” (MS XVII 1855, p 42)
Another emigrant boarding the Horizon at the same time seemed to have had some trouble. “As soon as we got upon the pier, there was men, lots of them that come to us, we’ll take your things &c, &c. Aren’t you some of the brethren? What brethren say I.” The emigrant then found Jessie Haven who got them a porter and their items delivered to the Horizon. (Hamilton, BYU) Another passenger described Liverpool as “the dirtiest place we ever saw.” (Bleake, BYU)
The common practice at that time was for Mormon immigrants to board the ship as quickly as possible. “In contracting for the vessel, it is agreed that the passengers shall go on board either on the day of their arrival in Liverpool, or the day following, and although this arrangement may be inconvenient to them, it saves the ruinous expense of lodging ashore, and preserves many an inexperienced person from being robbed by sharpers, who make extensive experiments in this port upon the unwary.”
Isaac’s voyage across the Atlantic was not a guaranteed situation:
Crossing the Atlantic in the 1850s could be daunting. Although steam-powered ships were available, Church leaders chartered sailing vessels because of tight finances. Going west, these ships typically had to battle contrary winds that made the voyage last six weeks or longer. During these seemingly endless days, emigrants had to endure cramped, poorly ventilated berths, some of them three levels below deck… The food was monotonous and often unsavory, and the water was sometimes so bad the people would drink it only in desperation. New to the sea, most emigrants retched with seasickness for at least a few days, some of them for weeks. Diseases were always a risk and would spread quickly. A few deaths—sometimes many—were almost a certainty. (Olsen p 8)
Passengers boarded the Horizon at the Bramley Moore Dock. The dock was built in 1848. (Wikipedia) John Beecroft remembered the stack of luggage on the dock. “…Of all the sights that I ever saw, it was the most astonishing. Luggage was piled on a piece of ground in front of the ship to a considerable [height], and hundreds were busy in getting in their luggage. (Beecroft, BYU)
Mormon emigration on board ship was much different than that of other emigrant groups:
When all were on board the Mormon Agent arrived to organize them for their overseas journey. First he appointed a president to preside over the entire company which varied in size from occasional small groups to four and five hundred. The president, together with two counsellors were usually selected from returning missionaries and were presented to the company for a sustaining vote. The presidency of the company now proceeded to divide the ship into “wards” or “branches” with bishops or presiding elders and assigning to each a particular part of the ship.
The presiding elders soon acquainted the members of their respective wards with customary procedure on such journeys. After rising at an appointed early hour the first duty was to thoroughly clean their portion of the ship and dispose of all refuse overboard. Then, they would assemble for prayer before breakfast. This latter, the emigrants prepared themselves with cooking apparatus provided by the ship. Beyond the barest necessities for preparation of meals, the passengers provided their own utensils, as they also did their bedding. Breakfast over, and necessary clearing away of dishes, etc. accomplished, the day belonged to each passenger to divide between minor duties and amusements as he chose. At eight or nine at night prayer was again conducted in each ward and all retired. Except in case of married couples and children, the sexes were berthed apart in strict compliance with provisions of emigration laws. (Larson p 130)
When Britain considered modifications to their emigration regulations in 1854, they called upon Samuel Richards, then president of the British Mission, to testify. The reporter covering this concluded, “There is one thing which…they can do—viz., teach Christian ship owners how to send poor people decently, cheaply, and healthfully across the Atlantic.” (Larson p 131)
Charles Dickens, a few years after Isaac’s voyage on the Horizon, visited a Mormon immigrant ship that was leaving the London area with 800 Saints on board. He expected to find a rough crowd. After praising the organization of the Mormon ships and immigration, and observing the people he reported:
I afterwards learned that a Dispatch was sent home by the Captain before he struck out into the wide Atlantic, highly extolling the behaviour of these emigrants, and the perfect order and propriety of all their social arrangements. What is in store for the poor people on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, what happy delusions they are labouring under now, on what miserable blindness their eyes may be opened then, I do not pretend to say. But I went on board their ship to bear testimony against them if they deserved it, as I fully believed they would; to my great astonishment, they did not deserve it; and my predispositions and tendencies must not affect me as an honest witness, I went over the Amazon's side, feeling it impossible to deny that, so far, some remarkable influence had produced a remarkable result, which better-known influences have often missed. (Dickens)
While in the harbor, after they had boarded the ship, if they hadn’t already done so, those traveling by the PEF, such as Isaa, signed a document laying out expectations:
We the undersigned, do herby agree with and bind ourselves to the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company, in the following conditions, viz…
That in consideration of the aforesaid Company emigrating or transporting us, and our necessary luggage from Great Britain to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake, according to the rules of the Company and general insturctions of their authorized agent:
We do severally and jointly promise and bind ourselves to continue with, and obey the instructions of, the Agent appointed to superintend our passage thither; that we will receipt for our passages previous to arriving at the ports of [Boston, New York, Philadelphia;]
And that on our arrival in the Great Salt Lake Valley we will hold ourselves, our time and our labour, subject to the appropriation of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company until full cost for our emigration is paid, with interest if required. (Larson p 228, see appendix to this chapter for illustration.)
P.A.M. Taylor compared the English emigrants to Australia to the Mormon experience. “Far more of the members of a Mormon company participated in a positive fashion than did Australian emigrants. They acted as counselors, ward presidents, committee men, cleaners, cooks and so on.” (Taylor, P.A.M. p 195) Another difference was the amount of praying done aboard the different vessels. Prayer was seldom heard on a “gentile” ship. Aboard a Mormon ship company prayers were held morning and evening. (ibid)
Mormon structure on the boats, and later on the trail reflected the organization of a regular ward. “But the Mormon system for the converts’ Atlantic voyage was handed down from year to year. While the Mormons were using sailing ships, the evidence suggests that they quickly built up a form of organization which was derived from principles already familiar within the Church on land. (ibid p 207)
This included a company captain and counselors; in this case the captain was Edward Martin with Jesse Haven and George Waugh assisting. It also included bishops of each group of 100 of which there were nine. Other assignments were Sergeant of the guard, chorister, clerk and historian who would keep the company journal. Edward Martin commented, “We have got our organization pretty well matured, and all are willing to play their part. We have nine wards, nine cooks, and ten men in each watch of the guard which is kept up night and day.” (MS XVIII, 1856, Martin, p 411) The Company Captain made it a point to visit all areas of the ship several times daily, “I make it my business to visit every part of the ship six or seven times a day, but more particularly when I rise up and before I lie down, and I expect to do so during the voyage.” (Ibid)
The passengers were all willing to do their share of the work, and many were called to leadership positions. “We were grateful to the Saints for their willing promptness in rising up and doing whatever 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.” (Jaques, Bell)
Robert McBride was the song leader. Also several members of the Manchester Branch Choir were among the passengers, and entertained frequently. This included singing for the Captain and crew of the ship as well as the passengers. There were also a couple of violinists, a clarinetist and a tambourine player who played for weddings and dances. Young men were organized into guards with F.C. Robinson as Sergeant of the guard. The ship would have supplied a passenger’s steward as well as a MediCal Practioneer. (Piercy p 21)
The Ship Horizon was a new vessel, having just been commissioned the year before. The Monthly Nautical Review documented its launch on April 1855, “At Ellsworth, Me, [Maine] a three-deck freighting ship, about 1800 tons, called the Horizon.” (Monthly Nautical Review) The Horizon had three masts. (McBride, BYU)
The most alarming thing about this voyage was the late departure. This was due to difficulty in securing vessels, and the amount of Saints who put themselves in a position of having to emigrate, by selling goods and leaving jobs. President Richards stated, “…The emigration will be somewhat late this season in getting off from Liverpool… The scarcity of ships for the more northern of the American ports has caused a considerable rise in the prices of passage… We cannot know of the scarcity or plentitude of ships any great length of time before securing one, as this depends upon fluctuations of commerce, and also upon the winds.” (MS XVIII, 1856, p 218) Brigham Young, upon learning of the late departure wrote, “The emigrations are all late, owing I suppose to the difficulty in obtaining ships.” Brigham Young felt the emigrants should be arriving on the East coast in early May. One of the emigrants provided this explanation for the lateness of departure:
The hand cart project became very popular with the Saints in Europe especial[l]y omong [among] those who hither to had been unable to raise sufficient means to emigrate. Many of those carried away with the idea of gathering to Zion that season Left their various employment in their native lands Before proper arrangements had been completed for their transportation. The result was that they were left to cho[o]se between the alternative To go to the poor house to starve or else run the risk of a late journey across the plains. They chose the latter course in which the President of the British Mission seeing no better way out of the diffic[u]lty acquiesced and directed matters to that end. (Loynd, CH)
The Hafens echoed this explanation:
Various causes contributed to this result, and responsibility is hard to place. Throughout January and February, President Richards had continually urged the necessity of getting off early. The winter’s severity, with hard times and high prices, sharpened the Saints’ desire to emigrate. Many of these, carried away with the idea of gathering to Zion that season, left their various employments even before arrangements had been made for their transportation. The result was that some of them were left to choose between the alternatives of remaining in Great Britain during the winter to starve or go to the poor house, or else run the risk of a late journey across the plains. They chose the latter course, in which the presidency of the British Mission, seeing no better way out of the difficulty, acquiesced, and chartered the ships, “Horizon” and ‘Thornton.” (Hafen and Hafen pp 47-48)
…As matters eventuated, the lateness of sailings and subsequent delays that would occur at Iowa City and at Florence were to be nothing less than tragic. (ibid p 91)
The Horizon left the dock May 23, two p.m. and was tugged and anchored in the Mercy River. (Openshaw, BYU) “The rain poured down pretty freely.” (Openshaw, Sam) There it waited for clearance. While anchored in the river there was an altercation between some of the crew of the boat and the mates:
…then the sailors and the ship officers got into a quarrel and began to fight. This almost frightened some of the emigrants to death, but the first mate ran into the cabin and came out facing the men that was after him with a pistol in each hand caused them to stop very quick. He told them the first man that moved he would shoot him down. He stood there and kept them back till a signal of distress was sent up and it was hardly any time before boats came alongside with policemen and all the crew was put in irons and taken to shore. The first, second, and third mate and the ship carpenter were all that was left on board so we had to lay on the river 3 or 4 days till another lot of hands could be got. (McBride, BYU)
Soon after this we had a little belligerent display 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 demurred to obeying orders, and that a regular fisticuffing took place between three or four. Two or three bloody faces figured in the scene. I was up 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 he did not use his weapon. By the bye, I do not like to see much threatening with mortal weapons. My maxim is to keep them still till wanted, and, when necessary, use them, and over with it. That seems to me most consistent with "Mormonism." As for much threatening and bragging, that is the appropriate business of bullies. However, a number of the crew were sent ashore, and we had fresh men in their places. The mate complained of the refractory ones, that they were a set of "blacklegs," and said that they came on board to plunder the passengers and the rest of the crew. They charged him with being drunk, and "no man." (MS XVIII 1856, p 411, Jaques)
Many of the crew were replaced at the last moment. Some of the Mormons volunteered to fill these positions. “Some of our men (Saints) said they could fill their places.” (Bailey, BYU) It is not recorded whether or not their offer was accepted, but as there is no indication of Mormons serving on the crew, except as cooks, it would appear not. This delay made it possible for one sister, Mary Ann Mellor, to make the voyage with her husband. She had just delivered Simese Twins who passed away, and had been confined in Liverpool. Her daughter had Louisa had stayed with her. However they were able to get her onto the ship where she was tended by the sisters. Louisa relates:
The ship sailed out to sea so I thought my father could not come back again, but he did. My mother was very low, but Father said if she wanted to go he wouldn't give her up, so they got a stretcher and carried her in a bed to the sea shore and then in a steamboat out to sea to catch the vessel where the rest of the children were. When we got to the vessel the Captain asked, "What are you bringing a dead woman here for, and why don't you throw her in the sea? (Clark)
Isaac appears on the roster for the ship. “Mormon Emigration Roster Ship Horizon: “Martin Company, Isaac Wardle, 20, Collier, England, PEF yes, p 10” (BYU) This record indicates Isaac had made a deposit of nine pounds and was travelling with the PEF. It does appear this money represented payment in full.
While anchored in the river, the boat, passengers and the ship itself underwent inspection before it was cleared to sail. The passengers went through inspection by the ship doctor, as a cursory measure to avoid contagious disease in such tight quarters. A couple of passengers were returned to shore as a result. (BYU) The ship and its officer were inspected to make sure they were complying with applicable laws with regards to diet and safety. The boat received her clearance and all was ready to proceed with the voyage.
On May 25 the steam tug Great Conquest came to the ship (about 10 a.m.) (Openshaw, BYU) It brought not only the Captain of the boat, but also Franklin D. Richards and other missionaries to see them off. The tug would tow them down the Mercy River, past the “Rock Lighthouse and the fort at the mouth.” (Piercy p 24)
This was a Sunday and there was a meeting held as the tug pulled them out to sea, 20 miles. Franklin D. Richards and Cyrus H. Wheelock spoke giving instructions and blessing them on their voyage. (Hamilton, BYU) The company was also organized with nine wards of 100, with Edward Martin as company captain assisted by Jesse Haven and George P. Waugh. Also two weddings were performed. (Jaques, Church History) John Beecroft told of the meeting and President Richards address:
He addressed us in a very effective manner. He observed that we were chiefly Saints that had been a long time with [the] church. Named that a few years ago the first elder came to England and sow the seeds of life that [we] were the crop that were being harvested. That we were going under peculiar circumstances to the valleys of the mountains. A many ships had gone out under peculiar circumstances, under propitious circumstances but none had gone out under circumstances so favorable as those under which we were going out. The captain were one of the best men that goes out of Liverpool, and was willing to indulge us as far as he could, consistent with the regulations of the ship. That some of us had been receiving instructions for 15 years and were now about to put it into practice. But if we would carry out our religion, there should not a soul be lost, nor anyone come to much harm. He urged upon us to act as Saints one towards another and we should land safe and be blessed from now to our journey's end and that the angels should be with us to guard the ship and us. The elements should be controlled in our favor, that the next ship should take all our names to go to the valley before us some months and we should be met by teams From the Valley. (Beecroft, BYU)
After the discourse a couple elders sang. Brother Wheelock closed with prayer. Those not traveling with them returned to England on the tug. As the tug took the missionaries back to England, the passengers gave them six hearty cheers. (ibid) A Pilot continued on board to guide them through the channel. He would later catch a ship back to Liverpool, taking mail with him.
The passengers were very emotional, and songs and poems expressed many of these feelings. Josiah Rogerson wrote, or quoted this verse:
Goodbye to England!
Soon out upon the vast expanse.
The vessel sped along.
And many look a parting glance,
And sooth their hearts with song. (Rogerson, Church History)
The poem “Farewell to Thee England” (which introduces this chapter) was penned on board the Horizon, the author identified by initials only, I.E.R. (Hafen and Hafen) “The brethren and sisters congregated upon the deck, and, forming into divers groups, made the air vocal with their songs of praise and joy to the Lord their God, for the deliverance vouchsafed to them from Babylon.” (MS XVIII 1856 p 411, Jaques)
It is very likely Isaac’s emotions may have been caught in one of these songs. It is also likely the reflected those of Frederick Piercy, as he left England three years prior:
Thoughts crowded my brain; of course I thought of old England. It is impossible to leave the land of one’s birth without regret, or to leave one’s kindred and friends, even for a few months, without a sigh. I wondered whether I should ever see them again, or if my ears would ever again be greeted with gentle words of affection in fond tones from their loving lips! I thought of perils on sea—tempest, fire, and disease; the danger in strange cities and risks among treacherous Indians; but again reflected, and comforted myself with the assurance that it was childish and useless to fear, and that men died not by accident, that none fell without God’s notice! (Piercy p 24)
John Beecroft wrote of the activity the first day. “All is grand, but solemn. The Saints are singing in groups while the children are frisking about. Some are busy with their books, others with their music; one has just turned out with his fiddle which I am very glad to see for having heard about him, I want [to] hear his abilities.” The ship was full of excitement with prospects of the voyage, meeting new friends and fellow passengers, and adjusting to life on board ship. The noise was so loud that night Brother Beecroft had difficulty sleeping, “…in the midst of noise from above, beneath and around.” (Beecroft, BYU)
John Jacques described the officers of the ship. “The captain was pleasant, courteous, and kind, taking much interest in the welfare of the passengers. The first mate was a Yankee, tall, square, dark-visaged, dark haired, ill-dispositioned, a good seaman but a harsh ruler of men. The second mate, an Englishman, was a pleasant good-natured old salt, and a good rough seaman, though not as rough-tempered as the first mate.” (Jacques, Church History) According to Josiah Rogerson the crew consisted of 25 able-bodied seamen, including officers. (Rogerson, BYU)
A description of the passengers was given by John Beecroft in his journal. “It is a truly wonderful sight to see so many on ship board of all ages, sizes, complexions, and shapes. Some appear quite respectable while others appear to be quite poor.… We are from all parts, England, Scotland, Wales, and Germany. We have old men with their grandchildren on board. Quite a many very aged men and women some in spectacles. And generally speaking, the old people take [it] the best. We have quite a number who go with crutches of both sexes…. Some are very stout, straight young men likely to build up Zion. Some are repulsive in appearance, while others are interesting. (Beecroft, BYU)
There was a need to prepare for the voyage and make everything fast, although there was some resistance. This had been mentioned by Brother Piercy, “Passengers should have among them a claw-hammer, and a few ten penny nails, and some cord, that they may make fast all their boxes which are kept up between deck, before going to sea and getting sick, when they are unable to do it. Much confusion is caused and damage done if boxes are left loose.” (Piercy p 20) “After you left us on Sunday evening, we lashed all the luggage, and thus prepared for seasickness. The Saints thought us very particular at the time, but morning did not make its appearance before they began to realize the benefit, and expressed themselves that it was good to have a head.” (MS XVIII 1856 p 411, Martin)
The Horizon was a very fast ship. “We had a beautiful voyage, at times sailed very fast as our ship was nearly a full clipper and did some fast sailing when the wind was favorable.” (ibid) John Beecroft and John Jaques both commented on their passing every other sailing ship that was traveling the same direction. There was only one ship which outpaced the Horizon, and that was a British royal mail steam packet ship, Ana. (Jacques, Beecroft, BYU)
The conditions on the boat were less than ideal. Aboard the ship were over 850 Mormon passengers. (John Jaques documents 856 passengers, while the BYU Library indicates 950) John Jaques bragged that it was the most Mormon emigrants in one ship up to that time. In the Millennial Star it indicates—Ninety-sixth Company. Horizon, 856 Saints. On the twenty-fifth of May 1856, the ship Horizon, Captain Reed, sailed from Liverpool for Boston, with 856 Saints on board, under the presidency of Elders Edward Martin, Jesse Haven and George P. Waugh… Of the emigrants six hundred and thirty-five were P. E. Fund emigrants and two hundred and twenty-one ordinary, including seven cabin passengers. (Nichols, Chad G.)
Cleanliness was difficult with a large group. “Whatever improvement took place over the years, cleanliness was hard to achieve in quarters overcrowded with people and belongings, the families often coming from the poorest of homes.” (Taylor, P.A.M. p 189) But the Saints kept the boat clean. John Southwell recorded that Captain Read received praise in Boston from the inspectors for the cleanliness of the ship. Captain Reed explained, “It was entirely on account of 800 of the cleanest people that had ever boarded his vessel. …Every morning on the voyage the ship was scrubbed from top to stern and from bottom to top. The bedding aired and disinfected as well as the ship.” (Southwell, BYU)
Privacy and good hygiene were hard to come by. However recent regulation had made changes in this area:
Some years had to pass, and several statutes had to be enacted, before single men and single women were accommodated separately. It was even later that sanitation reached a decent level… As for washing the emigrants had little water for that purpose, but if they chose to use some of their scanty ration, they could go nowhere but to their berth or its immediate vicinity. Any laundering had to be done on the open deck with salt water. Passengers had to bring their own bedding and equipment, one Greenock merchant recommending them to take a barrel with hasp and lock, for their provisions; and two-gallon water can for every two persons; a teapot; a canister for tea and sugar; a frying pan, an iron pot for cooking; plates, cups and bowls; cutlery; and a chamber pot with lid. (ibid p 179)
Isaac would have had quarters with the other single men, all over fourteen years of age. This would have been the fore part of the ship, with single women in the aft of the ship. “All unmarried male passengers of the age of fourteen years and upwards are berthed in the fore part of the vessel, and are separated from the rest of the passengers by a strong bulk head.” (Piercy p 21) Between them would have been the berths of couple, families and children. This even applied to single men who traveled with their families. They would sleep in the single men’s area, and then be allowed with their families during the day. Therefore, Isaac and Langley Bailey, (Isaac’s friend) would have been in the same dormitory while he was traveling on the Horizon. “The vessel had three decks which the Saints would occupy.... It was necessary for young men to have one division alone for the night and access to the wards of their families where they could take their meals together and be near the cooking galley where all the meals were issued by a head cook who had sole charge of that apartment.” (Southwell, BYU) “There were 50 young men and 75 young ladies in the number of 900 emigrants.” (Goodaker, BYU)
Bedding was not provided. The passengers had to bring their own. Some purchased mattresses in Liverpool. (Hamilton, BYU) Also they had to bring their own cooking and eating utensils. (Piercy p 21) The berths were described by John Jaques:
The steerage passengers, including all but the cabin passengers, occupied two 'tween decks. The berths, each about six feet by four feet six and made of rough boards to hold two persons each, were two feet in height, nailed up along the side of the vessel, the ends to the vessel's sides, the lower four about two feet from the floor. There were also some berths in the centre of the vessel. Two cubic feet more space was allowed to each passenger on the lower than on the upper deck, which made the lower deck more roomy and sweeter than the upper deck, though the former was not so light as the latter. (Jaques, Church History)
The nails holding the berths together must have come loose at times with the rough seas. One night a couple of berths fell down. One time it trapped the people in the lower berth with boards and upper passengers until they could be extricated. Several of the passengers were displaced and had to sleep on the floor for the night. (Beecroft, BYU) “My berth having partly broken down, I and Brother William Paul repaired it.” (Jaques, Bell p 95)
In 1855 British Parliament passed a law affecting the conditions aboard ships. This set certain standards for emigrant ships. These included the minimal rations, having a ship surgeon and steward and ship cooks. The result of these changes was to increase the cost of passage, but also to improve the conditions aboard ship:
Some features however remained constant. The voyage lasted four, five or six weeks. Officers and crew were preoccupied with their work of sailing the ship, and could concern themselves little with emigrants’ welfare. Nor would the owners, like a modern shipping line, take care to protect their reputation by close control over their employees and concern for high standards of accommodation. They knew that no emigrant was likely to make the voyage twice. (Taylor, P.A.M. p 178)
The cooks would generally heat the meals, which were prepared by the individual families. They also tended the fires, and tried to keep hot water available for tea. There was a general ship cook, and each ward also had a cook assigned. A young man described the head cook. “It was while I was on board this ship that I got my first desire to be a cook. One day I stood watching the ship's cook, a big Mulatto, making pancakes. I became so interested watching him pour out the batter and flip the cakes that I asked him to let my try it. ‘Sure, enuf, boy!’ he said, and I was given my first experience in cooking.” (Harrison, BYU)
“Mormons shared with others the improvement in diet… As the ration scale became more complete, cooking rather than food may have seemed the outstanding problem. It was exceedingly hard for hundreds of emigrants to do their cooking as individuals or families.” (Taylor, P.A.M. p. 191) Mormon vessels got around this by cooking in wards. Even so, conditions around the fires aboard the Horizon were hectic. John Jaques explained in a letter for the Millennial Star, “But O! The awful siege of the cook's galley, the first day or two. Sebastopol! Could that compare with it? The cooks had it hot inside and outside of their house.” He explained that when people were seasick, the rush in the galley was not as great. But when they were feeling better, “That day the cooks had another hard time of it. Appetites were returning with usual or rather increased power. There was a fearful amount of pies and cakes to be baked. Cooking for 800 hungry people at one galley is not a trifling affair, especially when each family or person has a private pot or dish.” (MS XVIII pp 412-413, Jaques) Patience was necessary around the cook house. (Beecroft, CH) One day a passenger lacked patience which resulted in a confrontation. “Disturbance and fight in the cookhouse, in consequence of Brother Green pushing past the guards. He kicked Brother Franklin severely.” (Jaques, Bell)
The diet was generally salt pork and salt beef, potatoes, sea biscuits, flour, rice, oatmeal, peas, sugar, tea, mustard, pepper, salt and water. Provisions were ample. “We had plenty of provisions, water, and firing.” (Rogerson, BYU) “Our provisions on shipboard and during our land journey have been of the very best quality and in such abundance that we have not been able to use more than one half of the quantity allowed to us. (Bleake, BYU) Hard sailor’s biscuits were part of the diet, “made of very coarse flour, so hard we could scarcely break them.” (Steward, BYU) Heber McBride added, “some dried fruit sometimes” to the list of provisions. Heber also indicated the water “would stink so that we could hardly use it for 2 or 3 days then it would be good again.” (McBride, BYU) Perhaps this was the bottom of a barrel.
In addition to the ship’s provisions, some of the emigrants had extra food they brought with them. John Southwell indicated he had a salted ham, cheddar cheese, plum pudding and cake. “So you can see we were independent of Mr. Sea Cook for a variety of good things.” (Southwell, BYU) I like to think of Isaac’s mother sending him with something when he left home, but I am sure there were no luxuries.
The routine on a Mormon vessel was very similar from ship to ship:
When at sea, the Presidents of the various wards see that passengers rise about 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, cleanse their respective portions of the ship, and throw the rubbish overboard. This attended to, prayers are offered in every ward, and then the passengers prepare their breakfasts, and during the remainder of the day occupy themselves with various duties. At 8 or 9 o’clock at night, prayers are again offered, and all retire to their berths. Such regularity and cleanliness, with constant exercise on deck, are an excellent conservative of the general health of the passengers… (Piercy p 18)
As the boat left England, for the first few days they could see Wales. “Came in sight of the Welsh Hills on the 25th. This evening [27th] are still in sight, having had nearly a head wind all the time. (Openshaw, Samuel) The second day of their voyage was rough. “We encountered a gale that came nearly capsizing our ship…. It came nearly fatal in some as not only good turned topsy-turvy but some of our old a feeble people were felled to the deck with such violence that they were rendered helpless for a few days.” (Southwell, BYU) Several other passengers mention this storm. “Storms arose and the ship tipped to and fro and delayed us from a straight voyage.” (Clark, BYU) “The morning the vessel began to rock and one might hear and see them. Heaving and fricking at every part of the vessel.” (Openshaw, BYU) John Jaques indicated the company had to retie many items, but did not indicate that the ship was in any danger. (Jaques, BYU)
Most of the passengers had their first turn of sea sickness as a result. They had been warned of this. “The first part of a sea voyage has often an astringent effect upon the bowels, and emigrants would do well to provide themselves with aperients medicines, if any. (Piercy, p 20) Henry Hamilton got castor oil from Jessie Haven as he was “bound up in his bowels.” It seemed to help. Seasickness seemed to affect the passengers differently:
Some were eating like farmers, others were vomiting like drunken men. Some emptying slop pails, others running with boilers and kettles. Some lay in bed sick, others sat and leaned against ought they could find while on deck. The Saints, men, women, and children, lay on deck one against another like pigs. Some could manage to walk about, but staggered like drunken men, while husbands had to paddle and otherwise carry their wives to the privy and other places. Some seemed as if nothing was the matter with them, while others were singing in groups. (Beecroft, BYU)
Seasickness changed our countenances to a pitiful, pallid hue. As a general thing songs were discarded, while the efforts of the few, who had the hardihood to strike up occasionally, seemed but a mockery of our woe. A soberer company of passengers than we were that day, you need scarcely wish to see. Such a worshiping of buckets and tins, and unmentionable pans, I shall not attempt to describe. For my part, I paid the most devoted attention to the slop-pail about every half hour. (MS XVIII 1856 p 411, Jaques)
After most of the passengers recovered from the first bout of seasickness, music and dancing were again popular. “The sick persons rapidly recovered. Songs and rejoicings began to prevail again, and in the evening a fiddle and a tambourine, in skillful hands, caused some “’to trip the light fantastic toe’” (ibid)
After having passed Wales, the next land they could see was that of Ireland. “May 29. In sight of the land of Murphies. This day the pilot left us.” (Openshaw, Samuel)
Illness was also a consequence of crowded conditions. …Some illness was to be expected: seasickness, infant disorders, the debility of age, even if epidemics were to be avoided.” (Taylor, P.A.M. p 190) John Jaques reported that there was measles on board. (Jaques, Church History) His own daughter contracted measles. (Jaques, BYU)
The crowded conditions on the Horizon presented other difficulties. “The simplest recreation was difficult. Even walking presented a problem, when large American ships, carrying 800 or 900 passengers [such as the Horizon] might have deckhouses obstructing the only open space.” (Taylor, P.A.M. p193)
The leadership would try to have activities. Aboard the Horizon this included tent making. “The wagon-covers and tents are made of a very superior twilled cotton, procured in England… It is supplied to the emigrants before their departure, and they make the tents and covers on the voyage and thus save expense. A common field tent is generally used. The material is 27 inches wide, and 44 yards are used for a tent, and 26 for a wagon-cover.” (Piercy p 19) The women made 45 tents and eight wagon covers. (Jaques, Bell) There were morning and evening prayers with singing. John Beecroft reported that several wards had teas, with conversation, speeches, singing and joke making. (Beecroft, BYU)
One young lady described the activities they enjoyed. “When the sea was calm we could occupy our time in reading, sewing, and taking our walk on deck. Also listening to the sailors singing while they were pumping the water out from the bottom of the ship. They never worked without singing, so they could all pull together. Then it was a grand sight to see the sun go down.” (Steward, BYU) “The crew occasionally, by way of variety, give us some of their characteristic songs, while at work.” (Jaques, Bell p 87)
Several other passengers also mentioned the beautiful sunsets. “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.” (Jaques, Bell) John Jaques provided this description in a letter sent back by Captain Reed as the ship was passing Ireland. “The sun shines beautifully, and young and old are assembled on deck, with light hearts and cheerful faces. I hear no murmuring or grumbling. All is peace and harmony in our floating town.” (M.S XVIII, 1856 p 413, Jaques)
The children made due in their circumstances. “The children make themselves happy, both above and below deck. Marbles, skipping ropes, and all the available paraphernalia of childhood's games are called into request. The older boys amuse themselves by tugging at the ropes with the sailors.” (MS XVIII 1856 p 413, Jaques) There is no mention of school for the children aboard the Horizon, but other ships organized schools, particularly for the children. (See Larson p 137) At times education was also organized for the adults. “Schools for children and adults are also frequently conducted.” (Piercy p 18) These would include instruction by missionaries, and stories about their service and about the countries they may have visited.
John Southwell documented some interesting events that aren’t documented by any of the other passengers. He indicated that a school of dolphins was sighted, (John Jaques also documented dolphins) a large drove of porpoises, a whale whose spout “looked like a thousand rainbows,” and a large man-eating shark. He indicates the first mate shot the shark, and it was brought on the boat with a harpoon and placed in tubs with chemicals so as to extract its oil. He describes a large “exhibition wedding” on the topmast performed by Captain Reed. The couple, members of the Church, and the Captain were slowly lifted skyward in a scaffold, and held by the seamen while the wedding was performed. When they were lowered they each were greeted by over 100 people. The deck was cleared and music and dancing reigned the rest of the night. (Southwell, BYU) Brother Beecroft played violin when Brother Robinson, Captain of the guard, was married. Someone else played tambourine. (Beecroft, BYU)
John Jaques documented four weddings taking place, but said they were all performed by Elders in the Church. Perhaps a couple was married a second time for this “exhibition”. One of the weddings was performed in the Captain’s cabin. Jaques does talk about dancing and music after one of the weddings. (Jaques, BYU) It is not known to us if Isaac participated in the dances. He did not give much detail in his history. But if he did his chances of a partner would have been good, with the greater number of young women.
The story of the shark is corroborated but a slightly different version. “When we were a few days out a large shark followed the vessel. One of the Saints died and he was buried at sea. We never saw the shark anymore.” (Pay, BYU)
Mary Pay, four years old, also tells an interesting story which happened later in the voyage:
When we were sailing through the banks of Newfoundland we were in a dense fog for several days. The sailors were kept night and days ringing bells and blowing fog horns. One day I was on deck with my father when I saw a mountain of ice in the sea, close to the ship, I said, "Look, father, look." He went as white as a ghost and said, "Oh my girl," at that moment the fog parted and the sun shone brightly till the ship was out of danger, when the fog closed on us again. (ibid)
Several other Saints documented the fog. "…Went on deck and found many seamen watching because of the mist lest we should come in contact with icebergs or fishing vessels and was cautioned not to make noise on deck, so that any word might be passed from forecastle to aft if needful. Ship going at the rate of 8 miles an hour.” (Beecroft, BYU) Samuel Openshaw indicated that the sailors were very busy and they sounded the horn. (Openshaw, BYU) However no others mentioned an iceberg. John Jaques noted:
Tues. [June] 17: foggy wet morning. Fine in the middle of the afternoon. …Saw a grampus spouting water on our left. Men on the lookout all around the ship watching for ice and vessels. Had made 46 degrees. Sailed six to nine knots per hour through the day. Side breeze. Foggy night. …Passengers requested to be as still as they conveniently could, so that the officers of the ship could hear and be heard. (Jaques, Bell p 98)
Good weather brought most of the passengers on deck and they would be more active and have better appetites. “Also calm and beautiful day. We promenaded on deck. The captain appears to be a kind hearted man. Also the crew and the mates are an agreeable company.” (Openshaw, BYU) The deck was more crowded when the weather was good. (Beecroft, BYU)
Several passengers talked of the prayer meetings. “We have prayer meetings night and morning, besides testifying meetings. We are called from our beds at five in the morning by the sound of the cornet. Also invited at night to bed by ten by the same.” (Openshaw, BYU) Later in the voyage the times for cornet call changed to six in the morning and nine at night. (Beecroft, BYU)
Sundays were reserved for worship. This included morning and evening meetings, as well as partaking of the sacrament. Speakers were from the leadership including the company captain and counselors as well as the Bishops of each group of 100. In the morning there was a general meeting, and in the afternoon a ward meeting where sacrament was presented. “We enjoyed the spirit of good in our midst.” (Openshaw, BYU) There was also no cooking on Sundays. “We have to cook none at Sundays. Consequently, we have to prepare Sunday’s dinner on Saturday.” (ibid)
Initially there were two boat-wide meetings on Sunday morning and afternoon. After the first couple weeks, the afternoon meeting was a ward meeting. The Spirit was very strong:
“At about 2 p.m. we met in fellowship meeting which was opened by Elder Brodrick [POSSIBLY: Broderick] who gave liberty to speak as the spirit should dictate. Elder Wadsworth bore testimony and said the spirit was in our midst and if we would cultivate we should have a manifestation. Sister Rosehannah Pears bore testimony and spoke in tongues which was interpreted by Elder Tifton [Tipton] viz that every soul should be brought through and go to the Valley inasmuch as we would be faithful. After a few had born testimony Sister Franklin bore testimony and spoke in tongues which was interpreted by Brother Tifton [Tipton]. I bore testimony and felt well. We had a good time. (Beecroft, BYU)
It is very likely that Isaac served as a guard, even though he does not mention it in his history. He did provide considerable service upon the plains, and I suspect this started long before he reached the plains:
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 then 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. (Jaques, Bell, p105)
Even so, the first mate did manage to woo a sister. In a conversation John Jaques had with the Captain, he “spoke in disapproval of the harsh conduct of the first mate and the folly of sister Williamson and him courting together.” (ibid p 105) John Jaques opined in a letter:
The first mate on the Horizon persuaded one of the sisters to stay at Boston, to be married to him, it was reported. She was the cause of all the unpleasantness that occurred between him and the Saints on board. How any girl, professing to be a Saint, could suffer herself to be led away by such a swearing, wicked man, ungovernable fellow as he was, I am at a loss to say. She seemed to be the only one, among passenger or crew that desired his acquaintance after leaving the ship. (ibid p. 226)
John Jaques documeted a couple other events. “Elder Jesse Haven addressed the members, particularly the young men upon being noisy, exhorting them to set patterns to all,” (ibid) Brother Robinson, Sergeant of the Guard and newly married, was involved in an altercation with a passenger. “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.” (ibid)
June 19 the boat was approached by a fishing boat off of Nova Scotia. The captain bought cod fish and distributed seven amongst the passengers. Many passengers talked positively of their first experience eating cod. (Jacques, Church History) As the diet in most poorer English homes was based on bread and potatoes and a little meat, this was very likely Isaac’s first experience with sea food.
At one point there was a “fire” scare on board ship. Aaron Jackson described this. “On the way across the Atlantic there was a near panic on board one day when the sailors were working on the sails and an officer gave the order, ‘hoist higher.’ An excitable passenger thought the man had yelled, ‘fire’ and the passengers got panicky. “Only one incident occurred to alarm the company. When hoisting sail in a storm, once, the word was given "Hoist higher." One of the passengers mistook the word for "fire." Happily the error was discovered in time to prevent a panic on board.” (Kingsford, BYU) John Beecroft and John Jaques also described this event:
A little after 12 a.m. I was awoke by a loud noise which sounded as though something was thrown on deck with great force and while thinking about it I was startled by the horrid and awful of "Fire! Fire!" by a man near our berth. This so alarmed some that they gave a scream and quite a number got up, amongst others was Elder F. O. Robinson who at once ordered all to bed…. Our fears happily were soon removed by being assured by the guard that there was no fire but that a sail had been torn in ribbons. (Beecroft, BYU)
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. (Jaques, Bell)
Isaac may have been on duty that night, but more likely was woken from his sleep with the cry of “fire.” Shortly after this there was a special meeting to instruct the Saints on fire safety. (Beecroft, BYU; Jaques, Bell)
Despite everyone’s best efforts, Mormon emigrant ships had a higher rate of death than emigration in general. Mormon emigrant ships had a death rate between one and two percent, while the general rate was about half a percent. The reason for this was the age of the immigrants. Mormon companies, as previously mentioned, had more elderly who hoped to get to Zion before they died, and many children, who were more susceptible to contagious disease, which was a risk on a crowded ship with close quarters. (Taylor, P.A.M. p 198) The Horizon had its deaths as documented by John Jaques, company historian. He recorded four deaths. (Jaques, CH)
John Southwell describes the accidental drowning of a seven year old boy. The boy was having fun with a rope, which somehow pulled him over board. This was seen and a boat was lowered in an attempt to rescue him, but he never did surface. (Southwell, BYU) This drowning is not corroborated by the company historian as there is no documented death of a seven-year-old. Nor is it mentioned by any other travelers. However there was a meeting one evening, cautioning people to watch their children closely to avoid such an occurrence. “About 9 o'clock we had a general meeting in mid-ship which was addressed by Counselor Jesse Haven and President Martin in reference to cleaning, being careful of provisions and watching our children lest they should be drowned.” (Beecroft, BYU)
Land was sited June 28. “A thin sandy broken black streak was pronounced land which proves true, being Cape Cod. Great rejoicing at this.” (Jaques, Bell) Brother Openshaw also recorded this day:
June 28 - Beautiful day and a propitious wind brought us in sight of "Yankee Land" which is the first land that we have seen since we left sight of Ireland and truly it was beautiful. As we entered into the Bay of Boston to behold the rise and decline of hills beyond hills intersecting covered with green grass, cattle grazing, bedecked beautiful houses, rocks rising out of the water as if to resist the force of the waves. It was truly sublime to us to gaze upon it. Our hearts were cheered to behold our destined fort. We cast anchor about nine miles from the city of Boston. A pilot came on board. (Openshaw, BYU)
In similar fashion as when the boat left England, a pilot was brought on board to guide the ship into the harbor. They anchored in the harbor. Boston was not a port the Saints used often. Between 1856 and 1857 five ships disembarked there. The impression from the Enoch Train (earlier ship in 1856) was that the port was fairly slack. The Doctor only took 15 minutes in conducting his inspection. (Taylor, P.A.M. p 211) Wallace Stegner, writing about the Enoch Train, gave some hint as to why this port may have been used. Other ports charged a dollar head tax, but Boston did not. (See Stegner 2, p 77)
The next day the company passed the doctor and government inspectors. The Doctor was again very quick, but the other inspections were trying on a hot 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.” (Jaques, Bell) They were cleared to dock.
Captain Reed’s family came on board using a yacht. This was a Sunday and Sunday meeting was held. Captain Reed addressed the company. As the Mormon’s had sung, “I will marry none but Mormons,” the Captain declared, he would “carry none but Mormons.” He was impressed with the organization, and the character of the Mormon passengers. The passengers gave three cheers for the Captain, three for his mates and three for his crew. (Beecroft, BYU)
John Jaques had high praises for the Captain. “As regards our Captain, I can speak nothing but good. He was ever easy of access, familiar, and communicative.” However his opinion of the first mate was very different. “The first mate was a very difficult man. He was a wiry Yankee, irritable, snappish, and surely and unapproachable as any English man need be. …He would go about the deck at times roaring like a bull of Basham.” (Jaques, Bell p 115)
Many of the Saints unloaded their mattresses, if they had them, out the porthole and into the river. They would not be able to take them on the train or the handcarts.
The tug pulled them to port about seven or eight Monday morning. (Beecroft, BYU) The steamer Huron towed the ship to Constitution Wharf where it docked on June 30. (Jacques, Church History) To everyone’s regret the passengers were asked to stay below deck while the crew managed the boat to Boston Harbor. “The passengers were kept down below to give more room on deck for the sailors to tack about; but it was a painful deprivation to the passenger landsmen to be shut down from the luxury of the first good and delightful sight of the land after having been so log at sea. (Jaques, Church History)
John Jaques summarized the weather for the voyage, “We had every variety of weather but storm--wet, dry, calm, light and strong breezes; foul winds often; fair very seldom; warm, a good deal of cold; clear, and plenty of fog. Indeed, we all felt relieved when we escaped from the clammy, flabby regions of eternal fog, that is, from the banks of Newfoundland.” (MS WVIII pp 554-555, Jaques)
The first evening in Boston, the company was not allowed on shore, except a few leaders who made purchases for others. The weather “Very hot. Remained in the vessel while arrangements were made for us to go by rail.” (Openshaw, BYU) However the next day, “we had the privilege of going where we was a mind to. Then the ship began unloading and everything we kept in very good order. It took several days to get all things to the depot…” (McBride, BYU) Isaac does not give any indication of his activities for the few days they were in Boston. However there were many historical sites within walking distance of Constitution Wharf, including Bunker Hill. It is possible he had time to explore, but more likely was part of the work crew that helped move luggage to the rail depot.
A summary of the voyage of the Horizon was published in the Millennial Star. It very likely was written by John Jacques:
On the twenty-fifth of May 1856, the ship Horizon, Captain Reed, sailed from Liverpool for Boston, with 856 Saints on board, under the presidency of Elders Edward Martin, Jesse Haven and George P. Waugh. The following elders, who had held responsible positions in the British Mission also sailed in this ship: Thomas B. Broderick and John Toone (both from Utah), John Jaques, Robert Holt, Thomas Ord, James Stones, Henry Squires and Robert Evans. Of the emigrants six hundred and thirty-five were P. [Perpetual] E. [Emigration] Fund emigrants and two hundred and twenty-one ordinary, including seven cabin passengers…. On the thirtieth of June the steamer Huron towed the Horizon to Constitution wharf, at Boston, where the emigrants debarked. They then took cars for Iowa City, crossing the Hudson at Albany and passing through Buffalo on the fourth of July. The company arrived in Iowa City on the eighth of July. (MS XVIII pp 377, 542, 536, 554)
While in port, John Jaques documented two more deaths of children. (Jaques, Bell) One of these was Elizabeth Ashton, Isaac’s future sister-in-law. Company members were up as early as 3 a.m. on July 2 to prepare for the move to the depot, and transportation by train. “Wed. 2; Up at 4. Remaining luggage taken to the R.R. depot by 9 a.m. Left Boston for Albany about 11 ½. Child died before we left the ship, Brother Ashton’s, about nine years old, about 9 a.m. (Bell, p 105) The age given was incorrect as Elizabeth was two. I do not know if the Ashton family was known to Isaac at this time. However word of these deaths probably spread through the company.
The following article was printed in “The Mormon”, Church publication in New York, quoting a Chicago newspaper:
The Mormons en Route.
The ship Horizon, which recently arrived at Boston from Liverpool, brought over about 900 Mormon immigrants. Capt. Reed, who commanded the vessel, says the he never say people more completely under the influence of a leader than these Mormons. They did nothing without consulting their leaders, considered themselves the true Saints, observed certain hours for prayers, when not praying they were generally singing.—[Chicago Weekly Democratic Press, July 19.
The above is highly comminatory of the Horizon’s company, their president and his assistants. President Martin is a good man—“When the righteous rule, the people rejoice.” Singing and praying, are exercises to which some mockers may be not much addicted—we prefer it with obedience, to rebellion, cursing and fighting. (The Mormon 2: 23 (July 26, 1856), 2)
By way of summary, John Jaques offered this description of the voyage:
Waiting on the wind wearying. Nothing sweet tasting fancied. Plenty of patience. A 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. 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. (Jaques, Bell p 104)