On April 17, 1855, the sailship Chimborazo
with 432 Latter-day Saints on board sailed from Liverpool,
England, for America. The
company arrived at Philadelphia
May 22. Edward Stevenson, was appointed president of the Chimborazo
conference. This Conference consisted of all the Saints on board the ship.
Elder William G. Mills was appointed historian. He kept a daily record of the
voyage across the ocean. He wrote the history of the Chimborazo Conference.
On Thursday, April 12th 1855, the ship
Chimborazo, Peter Vesper Master, 1071 Tons, register, was appointed to sail
from the Port of Liverpool, Eng., with 432 passengers on board belonging to the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
On Wednesday evening, April 11th, at a
meeting of Elders, held at 15
Wilton Street, President Franklin D. Richards,
presiding. Elder Edward Stevenson, president of Gibraltar Mission was appointed
to preside over the passengers on board the said ship. Elders A. L. Lamoreaux,
ex-president of the French Mission, Thomas Jeremy, ex-councillor of the Welsh
Mission, Martin Slack, ex-president of Essex Conference, and William G. Mills,
ex-president of the Reading Conference were appointed to be Councillors to
President F. D. Richards in an impressive and
affectionate manner instructed the Elders on the duties of all emigrating,
especially of the ex-presidents about to embark. He said, "I hold you
brethren responsible for the state, condition, and feelings of the Saints,
temporally and spiritually under your watchful care. You have more
responsibility than you ever had before from the fact of the Saints being
gathered from the various parts and coming from the privileges of a land home
and being associated so closely within the confines of a ship.
On Thursday, April 12th, the Saints were
generally on board arranging their berths and luggage. Elders Slack and Mills
attended to putting on strict guards by day and night to prevent strangers and
dishonest persons stealing from the Saints. The vessel did not clear out today.
On Friday some provisions served.
On Saturday, 14th, a meeting was convened on
the Poop deck to organize the ship, and sustain the authorities, and that
instruction and counsel might be imparted necessary for the Saints. About 11
o'clock the meeting was opened by singing and prayer by Elder Lamoreaux. Elder
Daniel Spencer addressed the Saints, giving them valuable instructions on the
necessary duties while traversing the briny wave. The following motions were
then made and carried. That Elder Edward Stevenson be sustained as President of
this company according to the appointment of President Franklin D. Richards.
That Elders A. L. Lamoreaux, T. Jeremy, W. G. Mills, and M. Slack be his
Councillors. That Elders E. Sutherland, S. Burt, G. St Geer, W. Davies, D.
Jeremy, Priests T. Elliott, and R. E. Davies, preside over the Seven Wards,
into which the ship will be divided. That Elder Martin Slack be Secretary. That
Elder W. G Mills be Historian.
The meeting was then addressed by the
President Spencer exhorted the Saints to
avoid all murmuring and complaining. The Saints have more food than the law
allows and by using everything wisely they would have sufficient to sustain
them. He exhorted them to entertain no hard feelings, let union prevail and
confide in God, and they should cross the sea without one death.
Elder G. D. Grant exhorted the Saints to
order, and desired the Saints to have even the smallest matters attended to.
Let their ambition be to hold a contented mind and practice the gospel which
has been preached to them and now was the time to put into practical operation
every good thing they had heard as a part of Mormonism.
Elder C. H. Wheelock exhorted the Saints to
purity of conduct and morals, and to seek the purity of their bodies which
would avoid much sickness. Told them to avoid sin, and not give way to
temptation as there would be many between this and the Valley. He exhorted the
Saints not to interfere with the Captain and Sailors in their duty. Let not any
give way to adultery and may that man wither away that will seek to decay the
Elders W. H. Kimball, Jos. Ferguson, D.
Jones, C. G. Webb, and President Stevenson gave valuable instruction and
meeting was closed by prayer. Good feelings prevailed.
This afternoon a council meeting was held
when the company was divided into Wards, and the President appointed.
Arrangements were entered into relative to cooking, cleaning, and every thing
that was attended to was unanimously agreed to, and all officers felt
determined to do their duty. Watching arranged by Bros. Slack and Mills.
An uncommon scene occurred on board today. A
Wm. Sainsbury came on board and some detective police to search for his wife
and children. She was very desirous to go to America from his influence as well
as obey the command of gathering. She had not long been on board yesterday when
she was safely delivered of a fine child, a boy, and was doing well. The man
and officers rushed in quite un-ceremoniously today, in an unfeeling manner,
and insisted on questioning the week woman and exciting her and all in the
cabin. She felt determined to resist his authority and anxious to proceed to America, and if
she must go, it would be by force. The two little children trembled and
screamed when they saw the father. Elder John A. Williams was seized by the
police on pretended suspicion of having assisted and abetted her in escaping
with Sainsbury's goods. After being taken to a Police Station and kept there for
five hours, he was released, no charge having been preferred against him.
On Sunday, April 15th, a meeting was held on
the deck for general instruction and at 10 o'clock when the meeting was
addressed by Elders W. G. Mills, C. G. Webb and President Stevenson. In the
afternoon another meeting was held at half past three o'clock, and after
singing and prayer it was addressed by Elders Jos. Ferguson, James Bond,
Philemon C. Merrill, Joseph T. Young and E. Stevenson. A good feeling
prevailed. Prayer meeting before retiring to sleep was attended to in all the
wards and the Saints felt well. Today Mr. Sainsbury appeared on board and
contrary to the wishes and remonstrances of sister Sainsbury, forcibly carried
her on shore in a weak condition, having been confined on Friday evening. This
was under the sanction and protection of the law of England. Watches appointed for day
and night by Elders Slack and Mills.
The child born on board was blessed today
(just before taken ashore) by Elder Jos. A. Young, and called Joseph Sainsbury.
A vote of thanks given to Captain Vesper for allowing the deck for meeting.
Monday, 16th. The ship did not clear out of
Port today and the Saints by the counsel of the President and Council fastened
boxes and luggage more secure and had everything more "ship shape." Guards
were kept today by appointment of Elders Slack and Mills tonight as usual. The
brethren spoken to be guards felt very willing to do any work deemed necessary
for the comfort and safety of the passengers. A council meeting was held today
comprising 1 Seventy, 2 High Priests, 9 Elders and 2 Priests. Instructions were
imparted by President Stevenson of the practical operation. It being understood
that James Elliott and Richard E. Davies are Priests, it was deemed wisdom by the
Council to release them from the Presidency of Wards as there were Elders there
who should preside and a vote of thanks was passed to these brethren for their
punctuality in carrying out orders and doing their best. Elder Alfred Atkinson
was appointed to preside over the 2nd Ward and Elder Charles G. Shill to
preside over the 3rd Ward. All well on board. Prayers attended to in every
Tuesday, 17th. All seemed active this morning
on board, as preparations were made for moving out of dock. At about a quarter
to 9 o'clock, orders were given by the mate to twin off the moorings and we
moved along, all being on board except three persons who were on the quay for
water but subsequently got easily on board. At 5 minutes to 12 o'clock the
steam tug took us into tow and we passed gallantly through the gates into the
river, amid the shouts and hearty hurrahs and cheers of the Saints on board and
the friends on shore. Shortly after passing out the passengers were all
mustered on the quarterdeck to see that all agreed with the "Passenger
Book" furnished by our office to the government officers. These men
examined all tickets--none were missing except W. Vest, wife and child, who had
to leave the ship in consequence of a child's being ill, and Mrs. Sainsbury,
who was forcibly taken away by her husband. No "stowaways" were found
on board, save two men who jumped on board as we passed through the last gate,
but who were soon detected by our guards, and given up to the captain and kept
in "durance vile" until sent back by the tug. The Saints felt to
enjoy themselves much and sang many hymns suitable to the occasion. The wind
was light and favorably blowing and the sea tranquil and the Welsh mountains in
the distance gave a feeling of rapture never felt and enjoyed by many of the
Saints. The other vessels that went out with the same tide looked dressed up in
their best and ample clothing, inviting the winds to embrace and fill the
sheets. At 7 o'clock the Saints in every Ward met to hold testifying meetings
and instructions were given to pray for fair wind and favorable weather and for
blessings to rest upon our kind Captain and crew. Three marriages were
celebrated on board tonight. John Pickett and Rosetta Stringer, David Rees and
Martha Eynon were united by President E. Stevenson and David Williams and Ann
Walters by President Thomas Jeremy in the Welsh language. Guards appointed by
Bros. Slack and Mills. A Council meeting was held today and further necessary
arrangements were entered into for the comfort of the Saints.
Wednesday, 18th. A dead calm this morning,
not a breath seemed to disturb the waters. The sea was smooth as oil. The usual
business attended to. At 12 o'clock the wind blew at N.N.W. Council meeting
held this morning. The President and four Councillors present only. Another
Council meeting held in the afternoon when Elder E. Sutherland was appointed
Sergeant of the Guard to superintend that department and was released from
presidency of his Ward. Elder R. Tresseder appointed to succeed Elder
Sutherland in the Presidency. Very near the coast of North Wales today and tacking the
wind being at . . . A small fishing boat came alongside and by permission of
the Captain sold several Saints some fresh fish. Meeting held in every Ward
tonight as usual, tonight however they held testifying meetings and Elder
Lamoreaux, Jeremy, Slack, and Mills visited the Wards and gave necessary
instructions and cheered the Saints. Guards appointed by Sergeant
Sutherland.Thursday, 19th. All bustle this morning as usual cleaning and cooking
but all very orderly. Came in sight of Ireland today. At 10 o'clock a
meeting was convened by order of President Stevenson on the deck and after
singing and prayer he addressed them for some time on very necessary duties,
and gave them precious instruction relative to guarding, cleaning, taking care
of their children, and other important matters. This afternoon the wind turned
round to East, a very fair wind, and the light wind filling the canvas, our
gallant ship moved on majestically at about 8 knots an hour. The fair wind and
ample breeze seemed to cheer the Saints.
Friday, 20th. A splendid morning, a fair
wind, still at the East and the hearts of the Saints seemed joyous,
complimenting each other on the prospect of a speedy and good voyage. Provisions
were served out this morning and the business got through well and quickly by
the effective organization of our President and his Council. All seemed
perfectly satisfied with the manner of doing business and what was given. About
15 minutes to one o'clock an accident occurred which caused great sensation and
alarm throughout the ship. A baby named Mary Price aged 2 years, daughter of
Jeremiah Price, being nursed by her little brother fell off the hatchway on the
deck. She fell on the frontal region of
the skull just over the right eye. She was picked up in an instant and was
bleeding profusely from nose and mouth. She seemed to spit the blood out to
save her from choking. Speedily her face was covered with blood, the skull over
her right eye was very much swollen, and her little eye was very closed up.
After having bled considerably in a sitting position Elder Lamoreaux came down
and promptly and energetically attended to the case as surgeon, stripped the
child, washed the blood off, applied solution of Camphor and bandaged the head
then laid her in a blanket, and placed her in the charge of a sister who
volunteered to be nurse. The Saints sympathized much with the parents and
rendered every assistance necessary and possible. Elders Stephenson, Jeremy, and
Mills, administered in the ordinance of the gospel for the restoration of the
child, Mills anointing and Jeremy sealing it. Elder Lamoreaux paid every
possible attention to his little patient, who seemed to recover wonderfully.
Indeed had not some extraordinary power assisted, she must have been killed.
Some nankeen given out today to make wagon covers and tents. Meeting in every
Ward. Guards kept up by the Sergeant. Several of the Saints feel a little
Saturday 21st. The wind blowing a good breeze
at E. by S. The ship rocking more than yesterday and quite a number of the
Saints sick this morning-the cooking gallery nearly deserted this morning, the
old saying verified there "the first come, the first served" without
waiting for the order of Wards. The ship sailing about 10 knots an hour.
Meeting in every ward tonight. Watch kept up as usual.
Sunday, 22nd. The child that fell from the
Hatchway on Friday ceased to exist in the body this morning. She died about 2
o'clock in the morning, which created a feeling of sorrow and sympathy for the
parents, and regret that such a melancholy and fatal accident should have
occurred on board. The ship with a good steady wind, scudding along well at
about 12 knots an hour. Sickness prevails considerable on board--and many an
envious inquiry made as to how they suffered or escaped from the distressing
sickness, and many and different remedies recommended, some indeed novel and
amusing. Old Neptune seemed to let us know we
had trespassed upon his territory and inflicted a penalty for so doing. A
meeting held on deck, when all that could possibly leave their berths were
there to hear instruction, and the interest was the more enhanced as the child
who died was to be buried in the liquid grave. After singing and prayer the
meeting was severally addressed on the subject of resurrection, parents and
children by the President, Elders Jeremy, Lamorequx, and Mills, after the
conclusion of this meeting the body of the child sewed decently up in clean
cloth, and a bag of stones attached to it was lain on a frame, and after the
hymn "Now She's Gone We'd Not Recall Her" was sung, and prayer, she
was cast into the water element.
Tuesday 24th. sickness prevails considerably.
The vessel rolled last night for a short time to the alarm of some of the
passengers, who did not understand the cause, it being a change of wind to N.
and a change of sails. A good muster of Saints on deck today. About 2 o'clock
we sailed from Liverpool the distance of 1145
miles. The Saints seem generally better, and the Captain kindly visited them
recommending and distributing medicine to the sick, and giving them fatherly
counsel, the result of experience and observation. In some instances the
Captain supplied from his own table soup, etc. for the comfort of the delicate.
The vessel rolled considerably tonight. Prayers as usual attended to.
Wednesday 25th. The Saints very sick today,
but quite a number went on deck. Bed cloths aired in the front deck of the
vessel. A Council meeting held today when the President, Council, and
Presidents of Wards were present. Instruction was given on the several duties
devolving on us all, and punctuality to be enforced. A boy named Prior who
misbehaved in the galley today was tried and requested to apologize to the Council
and Captain, but refused to do so. A smart breeze broke up on us today, a kind
of storm, the vessel shipped some sea, sails were taken down, when she passed
gallantly over the wave.
Thursday 26th. Sickness continues on board,
but nothing having the appearance of a serious nature-save a young man named
Joseph Elliott, son of Priest James Elliott, who seems to be a state of fever.
He was attended to by Elder Lamoreaux. He was removed from his berth to his
father's in order that more attention could be paid him. On the whole the
Saints appear better. The wind unfavorable, and a heavy sea rolling. Today when
in a strong breeze, the sea heavily rolling and the ship tossing, a sudden calm
came and the wind ceased in an instant to blow which caused the vessel to lurch
and roll desperately. Indeed such a phenomenon has seldom occurred, and not
known by the most experienced sailor on board. Had it occurred at night, it was
the opinion of one in authority we must have lost a mast. The Captain visited
the Saints and cheered them up with smiles and kind expressions.
Monday 30th. The wind blowing a splendid
breeze today and fair. President Stevenson issued 494 yards of nankeen for
wagon and tent covers today and the saints entered heartily and willingly into
the duty. The poop deck was covered with sisters and brothers engaged
cheerfully in sewing the covers and tents. It appeared quite a place of
Wednesday, May 2nd. The sky still gloomy and
several showers of rain fell with squalls. At 8 o'clock this morning Caradee
Palmer Beynon age 11 months died of inflammation of the chest. Her parents were
from Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
The child was consigned to the liquid tomb, after singing, and prayer by Elder
Thomas Jeremy about half past two o'clock. A case was reported today of two
sisters being mesmerized which was warmly denounced by Elder Stevenson and
forbidden by him to be permitted amongst the Saints.
Thursday, May 3rd. The wind blowing favorably
today and sickness abating rapidly. The Council meeting held today when Elder
Sutherland, was honorably acquitted of a false accusation against his
character. The guard kept up as usual. It might not be amiss to state the order
of guard now kept on board. Sergeant Sutherland appoints three men, that is one
for each hatchway for three hours during the night, thus relieved, and one man
as corporal to walk round the ship to see that other guards are at their post.
The men seem willing to stand watch and here I would state that one night
President Stevenson, anxious to see that all the guards were on duty, walked
around the Wards between decks and was taken up as a prisoner, until
recognized. Today came into soundings on the banks of New Foundland.
A glorious day. The sun shining in splendor, a perfect calm on the sea,
not a ripple seen. Mother Cary's chickens sporting about us and a few caught by
the boys. This is really a Sabbath at sea to suit a devout and a poetic mind.
At 10 o'clock a meeting held on the poop deck and after the Saints were
addressed by president Stevenson, he called on Elder W. G. Mills to deliver a
discourse on the first principles of the gospel, for the benefit of those not
in the Church which was attended to. The attention of the Saints was attracted
to a small row boat on the waters which proceeded form a pilot boat in the
distance. The pilot entered our ship, but he was for New York. The Saints much pleased to see new
faces, of the appearance of fellow mortals. A meeting held again on deck at 2
o'clock which was addressed by President Stevenson on the work of the
Latter-days--or the preparatory work to meet the Messiah as spoken of and
testified to by the other Prophets and now established in fulfillment of the
same. In the evening at 6 o'clock the meeting was privileged with the Sacrament
of the Lord's Supper of which all the Saints partook.
Wednesday 16th. Wind ahead. A stiff breeze
blowing. No sewing on deck today in consequence of the bad weather. A great
many sick today. A lighthouse seen tonight. In consequence of many of the Saints
being short of sugar and a great call for it, our President kindly issues out a
portion of sugar which proved a blessing to the Saints.
Friday, 18th. Today provisions served out to
the passengers. A very fine day and nearly calm. Today a pilot from Philadelphia came on
board to the great joy of the Saints. The wind began to blow lightly and in a
fair point. Land seen, and we make Cape May,
and the Breakwater and Lighthouse. We pass beautifully up the river Delaware. Land on both
sides, which cheers the hearts of the Saints. Duties and watching attended to
Saturday, 19th. About one o'clock this
morning the wind being ahead we anchored about half ways up the river. The
Saints sewing today. A small party, as we lay idly in the river, went ashore,
under the direction of the Presidents and enjoyed themselves on terra firma for
a short season, and visited two farmhouses. They brought with them a few fowl
and eggs and milk, which were quite a treat to a few of the passengers.
Sunday, 20th. This morning meetings were held
in various wards. The wards were amalgamated to suit convenience and President
Stevenson visited and preached to Nos. 1 and 2 wards united in No. 1 Ward.
Elder Slack preached to 3 and 4 wards. Elders T. Jeremy visited No. 5 and Elder
Lamoreaux Nos. 6 and 7. A good spirit prevailed. The weather becoming mild and
fine, a meeting was convened on the deck at three o'clock, and being a
testifying meeting the Saints embraced the privilege and enjoyed themselves
much. The steam tug came alongside and moored waiting for the morning to tow us
up the river.
Monday, 21st. The steam tug took us in tow
this morning about 9 o'clock in connection with the Parthenia, another emigrant
ship, gladdened the hearts of the saints. The scenery was delightful to their
eye. When off a creek, (Delaware City Creek), the Hawser from the tug to the
Parthenia broke which drove her ashore, and our vessel might have come
seriously in collision but for the promptitude of our Captain and pilot. She
slightly touched her starboard stern. We were then taken in tow by the tug and
brought farther up to the Wilmington
creek where we anchored all night. Instructions were issued to all the wards,
meetings were spirited, and all went on well.
Tuesday, 22nd. The cry of "Philadelphia" heard
by many of the Saints while in their berths at 5 o'clock, as we came to anchor
(having been towed) about 6 o'clock. The eyes and hearts of the Saints were
gladdened. A Council meeting held this morning when President Stevenson gave
some necessary counsel to be made known to the Wards, and the Councillors
visited them as appointed, when the Saints evidenced a willingness to obey all
counsel, and gratitude for the same. About ½ past nine the doctor came on
board, all were assembled and passed us, thank God, no sickness amongst us.
Both T. S. Fullmer and Brother Jeter Clinton visited us, as soon as we passed
the Doctor. Meetings were convened to allow the Saints to have parting
testimonies, and to keep them from being too much on
God bless us all, good has been our lot and
portion, blessings have attended us, for which we are grateful. 22 May 1855.
Emily Carlisle: Treasures of Pioneer History pg. 29-37 by Carter.
and Settings\Jones\My Documents\FAMILY HISTORY\Jones FH\001-031\002.wpd