Diary of Edward L. Sloan
Wednesday, 3rd. Still berthing and getting things put straight; no easy matter considering that close upon 900 souls were on board.
Thursday, 4th About 2 p.m. we passed into the Thames, towed by a tug, and went on down towards Gravesend. While going down the river the passengers had to pass again to search for stowaways. Some were found, but not Saints, and were sent on board the tug. The company was again organized by President [George Q.] Cannon and a meeting held the previous evening, (Wednesday), and on that day the passengers first passed instead of Thursday. Elder William Bramall was appointed president and Elders E. [Edward] L. Sloan and Richard Palmer his first and second counselors. President Cannon accompanied the ship down to Gravesend, several of the elders, being [p.242] with him. When he left, Brothers Bramall, Sloan, and Palmer organized the ship's company in 13 wards appointing a president to each, and in the evening served out bread, tea, & sugar. Very busy getting the people settled between decks, their [-] and loose things fastened and things put to rights.
Friday, 5th. Blowing fresh. A head wind. Tacking every hour, making only about 1 mile of our course to 8 of sailing. A great many of the Saints sick. Served out beef, pork, and peas.
Saturday, 6th. Blowing a gale, wind almost dead ahead. Boiled, or should I say, spoiled some rice and gruel for the sick. In the evening, anchored close to the Isle of Wight and about 6 miles off Portsmouth. Brothers Bramall, Palmer, & myself kept very busy attending to the [p.243] numerous cases of sickness & suffering. We were a little sick but kept our feet and had our legs well occupied. My family very sick.
Sunday, 7th. Still at anchor. The day was something calmer. Served out the rest of the provisions. Many of the Saints recovered from their seasickness. Held a meeting of ward presidents at eight p.m. in the after part of the ship in the second cabin's ward & gave them some instructions relative to cooking, getting water, and &c. Elder Elijah Larkin, having been appointed sergeant of the guard, is attending well to his duties. President Cannon appointed Elder William McLaughlin [McLachlin] clerk, who has made out various lists of names & keeps a journal for the company.
Monday, 8th. Still at anchor. A calm day [p.244] but the little wind blowing still dead ahead. The Saints enjoyed themselves on deck, and a brass band from Cardiff, which accompanied us played selections of music. The evening calm & beautiful. Held another meeting of ward presidents at eight p.m.
Tuesday, 9th. The day passed much as the previous one. The cooking galley being the most important part of the ship and eating seemed the most important business of life. Return of sunshine & calm weather had a wonderful effect upon the appetites of the company & puddings & pies were at a premium. The band, as on several former occasions, played several tunes through the day. About 7 p.m., a slight breeze having sprung up rather more favorable, we weighed anchor and while tacking gently round the Isle of Wight. We held a meeting of 4 wards on the lower between decks which was addressed [p.245] by Brother Bramall & myself. A good spirit prevailed, and all seemed to enjoy themselves much. While anchored, a boat visited the ship twice, from Portsmouth, bringing bread & other fresh provisions on board and many of the Saints in their eagerness to obtain, acted most unwisely, some in changing their gold to buy a trifle such as a loaf of bread, others in spending I believe nearly their last shilling while the ten days' journey between New York and Florence lies before us where they must find their own provisions, starve, or be dependent upon others for food. We had to place a man beside the cellars to caution the Saints who were willing to act on the counsel given them to a great extent.
Wednesday, 10th. Blowing steadily and rather favorable. A good spirit prevailing on board. Some sick & under the doctor's charge. I had [p.246] fee after them all & others who were ailing a little as well. Towards evening the wind freshened and the night proved a very rough & stormy one. Many got sick, my family's sickness increased.
Thursday, 11th. Blowing very fresh. Towards evening the wind calmed down, and we held a meeting on the upper between decks commencing shortly after. Brothers Bramall, Palmer, and myself spoke. A good spirit prevailed.
Friday, 12th. Again blowing fresh, and many sick. Boiled some gruel to serve out to the sick. The regulations with regard to rising at half past 5 a.m., having prayers at 7, having previously cleaned the berths & decks, & holding ward prayer meetings again at 8 p.m. have not been carried [p.247] out very strictly, as so many of the people have been sick and unable to rise at the proper time; some not at all through the day. Brother Bramall & myself very busy around the decks.
Saturday, 13th. The morning being calm and a day favorable. Served out provisions for the ship's company. Many of the sick have recovered. A good feeling prevails on board. At night held meeting for 3 wards in the second cabin when Brother Bramall & myself addressed the people giving them such instructions as we believed their circumstances required. This afternoon we passed through a shoal of porpoises which looked very beautiful as they tossed their large bodies out of the water plunging almost like salmon Mr. Williams, the chief mate, tried to harpoon one, but failed to get near enough to throw. Going about 4 points off our course. [p.248]
Sunday, 14th. A fine day and a nice breeze blowing, though still a little head wind. Got most of the people on deck & held a meeting, administering the sacrament at three p.m. on the spar deck. I spoke for some time and President Bramall followed at some length. The captain, chief mate, & most of the cabin passengers on the Poop Deck, listened with much attention during the whole. Going about 8 knots an hour. Held another meeting on the lower between- decks at 8 p.m. for six wards, when Brother B.[PROBABLY, Bramall] and myself again spoke at some length. Captain Hovey was present most of the time, though unknown to us till the meeting closed. As usual, went round the decks to see all safe & visited the guards on the upper deck.
Monday, 15th. Up about 6 a.m. and as customary went round the decks looking after the sick [p.249] and found that almost all the people were able to get up and go on deck though several are suffering from diarrhea. Gave them some medical comforts while the doctor gave them some medicine. A fine day, and a gentle breeze, but still from the wrong quarter. Some dissatisfaction having arisen concerning the cooking. President B. [Bramall] called a meeting of the ward presidents & the cooks at past 7 & after several of the brethren had spoken, instructions were given by Brother B. [Bramall] & myself relative to the galley arrangements that good order and satisfaction might be preserved. Held a meeting afterwards in the 8th Ward for numbers 1 & 8 being the single mens' steerage wards. Brothers Palmer, myself, & Bramall spoke & a good feelings prevailed.
Tuesday, 16th. Running six points off our course under a head wind. In the afternoon, tacked ship & made good way, going within two points of [p.250] our course. This morning, about past [-], Heber Franklin Tavey, aged 5 months, child of Peter & Frances Tavey of London, died of relaxation & diarrhea, and was buried at 4 p.m. in latitude fifty two degrees north, longitude sixteen degrees west. I had the people who were present on deck, mostly ranged on the port side, being the leeward side, sing two verses of a hymn, offered up a prayer and made a few remarks. The carpenter launching the child which was sewed up in some cloth with a weight to sink it attached over the side. Closed with singing and a short prayer. Held meeting in the after part of the lower deck at 8 p.m. when myself, Brothers Palmer & Bramall spoke and much of the good spirit was enjoyed.
Wednesday, 17th. Becalmed. The potatoes having begun to sprout very strongly in the bags, got them up on deck & had the buds taken off & the rotten ones picked out & thrown away.[p.251] Made about 3 miles an hour, the after part of the day. Three ships in sight, two ahead, and one on our starboard. Held meeting forward on the upper between decks, Brother Bramall, myself, & Brother Palmer speaking, giving some further instructions relative to cookery, cleanliness, & preserving health, and retaining the Spirit of God.
Thursday, 18th. Still a head wind; running some 6 points out of her course. Wrote some, transcribing part of discourse by President A. M. Lyman delivered in Glasgow, March 9, 1862. The rest of the time busy among the Saints, looking after their welfare. Some dissatisfaction having arisen at the cooking galley. Held a meeting of ward presidents in the evening when Brother Bramall and myself spoke relative to the matter, giving what instructions we deemed [p.252] requisite. They expressed their intentions of carrying them into effect.
Friday, 19th. Rather calm, spoke to a ship today. Did not learn her name. Served out dry provisions, excepting bread & potatoes. Rather rainy, held meeting at night for 3 wards in the second cabin's ward. Myself, Brother Bramall, and Brother Palmer talked.
Saturday, 20th. Blowing & raining a gale, but still from the wrong quarter. Many sick, my wife and Sister M. [Eliza McLuskie] included. Very busy in the morning seeing after the sick. In the afternoon it cleared up & calmed when the most of the Saints were brought on deck & tar burned between decks. Held a meeting in the single mens' compartment for the two wards, upper & lower, between decks, in No. 1 Ward. Brother Bramall & myself spoke and Elder T. [Thomas] Crawley. [p.253]
Sunday, 21st. Blowing very hard & a heavy sea on the wind still ahead. It being too rough to hold a general meeting on the Spar Deck, divided the ship's company into 4 lots & held sacrament meeting for all at past 2 p.m. Elder Wells, president of No. 1 Ward, took charge of the single mens' wards, Brother Bramall of 6 wards on the lower between decks, myself of 4 wards on the upper between decks, & Brother Palmer of 3 wards in the second cabin for that ward, the & the two intermediates. Thought many were sick, good times were enjoyed. Several of the brethren spoke & a good spirit prevailed. Brother Bramall & myself blessed a child at the close of his meeting on the lower between decks by the name of Margaret Ann, daughter of Mary Davis [Davies] of [--] & Thomas Davis [Davies] who has not come with her on this vessel. Held another meeting on the same deck at 8 p.m. & enjoyed ourselves [p.254] very much in a testimony meeting. The Cardiff choir singing some very nice pieces, after which I spoke for some time & was followed by Brother Bramall.
Monday, 22nd. Still blowing fresh and a head wind. Steering north & by east. Served out the rest of the provisions. Too rough to do any writing, the ship listing very much to leeward. An occasional, stampede of tins & kettles taught the Saints the necessity of having everything secured. Usual ward meetings.
Tuesday, 23rd. During the night the wind chopped around a little more towards the south. The ship's head was put toward the southwest, perhaps a point or two from it. Continued rough all day, a heavy sea running. Brother B. & myself kept very busy looking after the sick. Held meeting at [p.255] night on upper decks. Brother Crawley, myself, & Brothers Palmer & Bramall spoke.
Wednesday, 24th. Little wind blowing. Freshened up & about noon, put her head round to west-southwest. Blew very hard towards evening & continued most of the night. The ship going with a reef in the main sail & main top gallant sail, mizen lower & upper topsails set aft & forward main sail lower & upper top sail set. Held meeting in the 2 cabins for 3 wards. Myself, Brothers Palmer, Vandermond [PROBABLY, VanderMoude], & Bramall spoke.
Thursday, 25th. Much calmer and the wind blowing more ahead. Ship put on the other tack about 9 a.m. A brigantine crossed our path about past 1 p.m. with stud sails flying, apparently heavy laden. Wind freshened up towards evening with heavy masses of clouds to windward. Held meeting for [p.256] the single men in No. 8 ward on the lower deck; Brother Palmer, myself, & Brother Bramall spoke & gave them some counsel and instructions. Got to bed late. Maggy has got diarrhea.
Friday, 26th. Feeling rather unwell, being nearly worn out with watching and laboring among the people with Brother Bramall. Almost a calm, but the little wind blowing something more favorable. Served out provisions for the company. In the evening held meeting for six wards on the lower deck, when myself & Brother Bramall spoke. Captain Hovey was present during the time. Felt very unwell, and took some brandy & water by the doctor's orders & went to bed.
Saturday, 27th. Stayed till after 10 a.m. & got up feeling very weak & ill. Gained strength [p.257] as the day wore up. A perfect calm, the ship lying on the bosom of the mighty deep unmoved save as she gently rose & fell when the swell of the ocean passed under her; the water like a vast sea of molten glass. For the first time since we left London, we experienced warm weather, the thermometer standing at 72 degrees on the Spar Deck. Some whales appeared in sight, and created quite a sensation as they cast water up through their nostrils or blow holes to a great height. Got round the deck about 3 p.m., the duty usually attended by me the first thing in the morning. Towards evening the ship gathered way and began to move, laying about 4 points off her course, the wind being almost dead ahead. Held meeting at night on the upper between decks for 4 wards when Brother Palmer, myself, & Brother Bramall spoke on the evils & lack of wisdom of indulging in a spirit of nationality, some national feeling [p.258] having been manifested between the English & the Welsh Saints.
Sunday, 28th. A nice breeze; the ship going in the forenoon about 7 knots, and laying her course. Sacrament meetings held in every ward at 11 a.m. and 4 meetings appointed between decks, same as last Sunday, as it rained & was rather uncomfortable on the Spar Deck. At noon spoke the packet ship "Constantine" from Liverpool for New York. She left about 8 days before we left London. The general meetings were held at past 2. Brother Samuel [L.] Evans presiding over 3 wards in the second cabins, Brother Bramall over 4 on the upper [-] decks, Brother E. J. Edwards over the single men's wards; and myself over the 6 on the lower deck. The wind freshened up towards the evening and about 8 p.m. it blew almost a gale. A sudden [PROBABLY, squall] [p.259] approaching almost to hurricane violence, carried away the flying jib, tearing it into ribbons like paper, and a heavy fall of rain pouring down in torrents, dashed down the open hatchway before the sky lights could be got on; we shipped a sea or two at the same time. The second mate, hearing the singing going on below, in the ward meetings, during the time, gave expression to some remarks indicative of his astonishment at the nonchalance displayed by the sisters in such a season of apparent peril. The wind calmed after the rain very much though it still blew fresh. Got to bed late, very wearied and unwell.
Monday, 29th. Feeling quite sick suffering from headache and general indisposition. Got up late. Became something better in the afternoon. The day beautiful; a nice breeze keeping down the heat, but the [p.260] wind still from the wrong quarter. Most of the Saints on deck. Rather a weighty sea. Hold a meeting of 3 wards in the second cabin. Brother Palmer, myself & Bramall spoke. Spoke [to] the "Minor" from Liverpool this morning.
Tuesday, 30th A perfect calm & very hot busy in the morning among the people between decks. Wrote some in the afternoon transcribing a little. Held a meeting for the two wards of single men in the 1st Ward. Brother Palmer, myself, & Brother Bramall spoke. Some needful counsel being given relative to indulging in the spirit of apostasy, & on thievery. Some feel things having been taken from some of the people, principally fresh bread. Some dancing on the spar-deck in the evening. [p.261]
Wednesday, July 1st. A little wind through the previous night but a dead calm again today. The sun pouring down his scorching rays. Spent some time writing. The captain, very courteously had a sail spread as an awning, over the after part of the deck which a delicious & grateful shelter from the heat, which following so closely on the cold weather was felt more than it would have been. A schooner in sight all day. In the evening there was some dancing on the deck, Dr. Thomson playing the concertina. Held meeting in the lower between decks for 4 wards; Brother B. [Bramall] & myself spoke principally on honesty & cleanliness. A little wind in the evening sent the ship moving on, but very slowly.
Thursday, 2nd. Almost a calm, yet the ship keeps moving on, though slowly. In about 43Âº north latitude the heat somewhat qualified by the [p.262] gentle breeze. Done some transcribing in the after part of the day. Dancing, again, on the deck in the evening to the music of the band. Held meeting at night in the forward part of the lower deck. Myself & Brother Bramall spoke each. Some sharks seen today round the ship. The wind fell towards midnight & it became a dead calm. The glory of some of the sunsets now beggars description & requires to be seen to be appreciated.
Friday, 3rd. Called up by the captain at past 5 to consult as to the propriety of curtailing the supply of water, seeing that we have been becalmed almost for several days and no immediate prospect of wind. Seeing him determined to have it so & knowing he had the power, I fell into his humor & agreed to it, Brother Bramall not being up, on conditions that when a favorable breeze springs up we should have the proper quantity [p.263] issued. When the quantity was reduced to 2 quarts to each adult, 2 children under 8 years & over 1 counting 1 adult. Served out provisions & had the potatoes picked & sorted. Dancing on deck to the band. Held meeting at night in the after part of the lower deck. Brother Bramall & myself spoke.
Saturday, 4th. The band up & playing some lively airs at 5 a.m. This was about the only evidence we had that it is the memorable 4th of July. A little wind part of the day which fell towards evening. In the afternoon, spoke the Spanish brig Restarateur presumed to be from New York. Some dancing in the evening. Had the ward presidents & the cooks together in the evening & gave them some instructions. One or two of the brethren when speaking in their ward meetings, used language concerning the sailors [-] of an irritating [p.264] kind, relative to some of the sisters entering into conversation with them, which was heard by the watch on deck & produced a bad feeling.
Sunday, 5th. Sacrament meetings in the wards at 11 a.m. In the afternoon preaching meeting on the Spar Deck. At Brother B.'s request, I preached on the first principles of the gospel & had considerable liberty in speaking. Much interest was manifested by one or two of the ship's company, but the doctor & captain complimented us by telling Brother Bramall that it was Christianity, & not Mormonism, that was preached. In the evening, held a meeting in the upper between decks, when Brothers Palmer and Bramall spoke. The language of Brother B. and myself in the afternoon was of a nature calculated to allay ill feelings. It rained rather hard in the front end and many of the Saints caught rainwater for washing purposes. [p.265]
Monday, 6th. Wind blowing from the west, northwest, the very course we wish to run; the ship's head toward the north, casting a little. For the last two days we have been in the Gulf stream & are now heading north to get out of it. Our latitude yesterday morning was about 41Âºnorth. Fogs are beginning to make themselves seen & felt, indicating our proximity to the banks of Newfoundland. Wind fell towards evening, but a gentle breeze bore us on; the ship having been put on the other tack made a little way on her course. Tacked again between 9 & 10 p.m. Ward meetings only tonight.
Tuesday, 7th. Laying our course pretty well. Soundings taken in 50 fathoms [of] water. Some lines out for fishing, but no success. The second mate told me about 2 p.m. that we are 840 miles from New York, but from an observation made by the captain he calculated [p.266] and the distance is over one thousand miles. Held meeting, the 11th Ward (starboard intermediate) for the two intermediate wards, the second cabins. Myself & Brother Bramall spoke. Feeling rather unwell at night. This evening the brethren & sisters enjoyed themselves in the 7th Ward for [an] hour or two with songs & recitations in a social capacity.
Wednesday, 8th. Making very little headway. Spoke a Swedish [-] signals, but could not make out her name. Weather chilly, but not so cold as yesterday. Dancing in the evening to the band. Held meeting on the lower deck for 4 wards. Brother B. & myself spoke at some length.
Thursday, 9th. Rather foggy; in fact what is called "bauk weather". Blowing a little more wind. Held meeting in the lower deck forward for the single men's wards. Brother B. & myself spoke. Towards midnight the wind chopped round [p.267] fair and yards were squared, a pleasant sight & exceedingly gratifying. I borrowed a lamp of Brother T. [Thomas G.] Crane, the company's lamplighter, & transcribed until 2 a.m.
Friday, 10th. Feeling rather unwell. Wind blowing fresh & fair; making good headway. Served out provisions for the company and got through the afternoon. At 5 p.m. held a meeting of wards' presidents and gave some instructions relative to various items respecting our landing at New York & other matters [-] to take up a donation.
Saturday, 11th. Wind still blowing fresh and favorable. The captain posted a notice for the satisfaction of the company that at noon we were 730 miles from Sandy Hook. In the afternoon Brother Bramall & myself commenced collecting the money which the Saints wished changed at New York to obtain the [-] or gold. [p.268] through 9 wards. Held meeting in the 11th Ward for the two intermediates & the second cabin. Brother Palmer, myself, & Brother Bramall spoke. Passed a Prussian bark with emigrants, in the afternoon; could not learn her name.
Sunday, 12th. Captain Hovey distributed tracts & New Testaments to those who wished them. Sacrament meetings at 11 a.m. in the wards. The wind fell away in the afternoon; and the ship having been put about, held meeting on the Spar Deck. Brother Bramall preached at some length, and I followed for a few minutes. At night held a meeting for 4 wards on the lower deck. Brothers Palmer, myself & Brother Bramall spoke.
Monday, 13th. Very little wind blowing, but favorable. In the afternoon [p.269] a notice was posted, announcing our distance from Sandy Hook to be 470 miles. Finished collecting the money to be changed in the afternoon. Held meeting at night in the upper between decks for the 4 wards there. Brothers Palmer, myself, & Bramall spoke. A fair wind, stun sails set, and through the night going about 10 knots an hour.
Tuesday 14th. Blowing fresh. At noon were 370 miles from Sandy Hook, & at 8 p.m. were on George's Shoal about 295 miles from it, where the wind fell off. Busy all day among the Saints counseling and advising & directing them in their duties preparatory to & at the landing and after it. Continued the same in a meeting on the lower deck for 6 wards when Brother Bramall & myself spoke. Wrote some at letters [UNCLEAR, PROBABLY MEANING, Wrote at some letters] to Brother Cannon & my wife's father. Nearly run into by a steamer through the night. Very foggy this few days.
Wednesday 13th. [15th.] Served out potatoes to all. Wind ahead, busy looking after & laboring among those who remain sick that their convalescence might be hastened. Very foggy weather. [p.270] Wrote at some letters part of the afternoon, & at night attended a meeting in the 11th ward, starboard immediate, for [-] wards, when after myself & Brother Bramall commenced to speak. I grew so faint that I had to leave & stretch myself on a box. Recovered after some little time & went [-] the decks with Brother B.
Thursday 16th Feeling very unwell. After going around with the doctor & sewing out medical comforts, wrote for some time. A little after noon, the captain posted the following notice: Thursday July 16th 1863. Observation latitude 40 degrees, 40 degrees, longitude 69 degrees, 45 degrees. 180 miles to Sandy Hook. Wind southwest and an appearance of the fog clearing away, to which all will say amen. Towards evening, fell much worse but had to keep on my feet, there [p.271] were so many things to attend to. About eleven o'clock had to go up for the doctor to come to a child who was suffering from croup. He came, administered a mustard plaster to the throat, and an antimonial emetic continuing both. The child got better a good deal by morning. His usual medicines for diarrhea of which many cases occurred on board, was, where the pulse was strong & incompressible, tongue discolored & motions unnatural in color & offensive, 2 grains of cal. [PROBABLY Calcium] & 5 rhu. [ABBREVIATON UNCLEAR] for children; 2 grains cal. & 10 rhu. for adults. Where excessive pain was full - cloric ether about 8 or 10 drops for an adult, liquid [UNCLEAR, POSSIBLE opium] 15 drops & [-] of rhu. freely. For constipation, an carthartic pill or two, or a moderate dose of cal [- - ] or a saline [-]. Very foggy all night nearly.
Friday, 17th The cry this morning is land ho, land being in sight on our starboard [p.272] bow. The fog having lifted for a time we could see the land very plainly & numerous large vessels. After going around with the doctor, he very kindly bought a sheep's head and dissected the brain and eye for the instruction of Brother J. [Joseph] W. Morgan & myself, opening up the subject in a brief though lucid manner. He is, I think, a good anatomist & seems to be an ardent lover [of] the study; and he has very kindly, at different times drawn diagrams of various parts of the human system to explain the causes of certain diseases & the means to be adopted in restoring the system. [p.273] [PAGE TORN, ABRUPT END TO DIARY, NO ARRIVAL DATE GIVEN INTO SALT LAKE CITY].
BIB: Sloan, Edward L. Diary, [pp. 242-267,269-73]. (CHL)