November 1850

1 November 18501 • Friday

Felt Unwell to-day and it was quite cool I did not stir out much. In the afternoon Bro. K. Egan sent up for me to come down to the Central Wharf I went and stayed all the evening nearly waiting for him; he had bought a lot of Flour and it was on board a vessel in the harbor and he had been looking for it without success; this was the cause of detention. He had expected to have got away this afternoon on the boat to Stockton and wanted to see me before he went.

2 November 1850 • Saturday

This morning on the look out at the Wharves to see if we could not see Bro. Clark. It was thought best to send one up to Sacramento City to see what kept him. Bro. Blackwell volunteered to go; we advanced enough to pay his passage and expences. I went down with him to see him off; and to see Bro. Egan who was going this afternoon. Met Bro. E. who made me promise to write to him and he should reciprocate every opportunity. This evening Bro. [Elijah] Pell called in, (he had been in our room once before and spent the evening with us and had given us an invitation to call out and see him; he lived about a mile and a half West,); we had a long conversation he was very talkative & did not let the conversation flag; he related anecdotes in his own experience and made himself very agreeable. He gave us a pressing invitation to call give him a call to-morrow which we accepted.

3 November 1850 • Sunday

We went out to Bro. Pell’s this morning and spent the day there.

4 November 1850 • Monday

Called at Sister Evan’s and in the evening called upon Dr. [Elbert] Jones. Mrs. [Sarah] Jones is a member of the church and came round in the Brooklyn and married the Dr. here;2 he was a man of considerable property; they invited me to stay and take supper with them. I accordingly stayed; after supper we had a long conversation upon various subjects except religion this was or rather seemed to be foreign with him. He told me in speaking about going to the Islands that we would have some difficulty with the missionarys I told him that if they would interest themselves about it sufficiently to notice it was all we asked.3 When leaving he gave me a pressing invitation to call again.

5 November 1850 • Tuesday

This morning went to the Post Office to look for a letter from Bro. Blackwell; we got <one> in which it told of the death of Wm. Squiers <of cholera> and that Bro. Clarke was unwell and was at Bro. Huntington’s about twenty miles from Sacramento City. From all accounts that we get the cholera has been making great ravages among the folks in Sacramento and that the place was <is> nearly depopulated in consequence of that <scourge> and the <people> fleeing from there. It is steadily increasing its ravages in this City.4 This all goes to fulfil the purposes of the Almighty and the prophecys made by the Elders of this Church in reference to the Judgments that were coming upon the Earth. Every thing that is happening goes to show to an Observer of things that prophecy is being fulfilled; since Joseph’s [Joseph Smith’s] death there has been nothing but war and pestilence among the nations of the Earth; how true have been his words that he spoke in his last public speech “that Peace should be taken from the Earth.”5 This nation has been embroiled in a long and tedious war with Mexico in which she expended a quantity of blood and treasure; and since then the cholera has been stalking thro’ the length and breadth of the land; sweeping off alike without remorse rich and poor, the honorable and the degraded. All Europe has been in trouble; revolution succeeding revolution; one day one party in the ascendant the next the opposite. In the midst of all this trouble of nations, the Lord’s Kingdom has been steadily rolling forth and we <have> found a secure resting and hiding <place> till the indignation be overpast and his strong displeasure has been visited upon the Nations.6

6 November 18507 • Wednesday

Called upon Bro. [Joseph] Nichols to-day they seem like pretty good folks, but very little of the spirit of Gathering about them.8 Mrs. [Jerusha] N. spoke about going to New York and after that come back here, or maybe go overland to Salt Lake. In fact you speak to the majority of the folks professing to be Latter-day Saints <here>, <about> going to Salt Lake Valley <& it> is an after consideration, to be done when it was the only resort. Bro’s Clarke & B. arrived in the <night he was some better>9

7 November 185010 • Thursday

Bro. Morris called in & wanted me to go out with him, he wanted to go and see Sister [Caroline] Thorpe, the former wife of Bro. [John] Warner G. S. L. City,11 who she was sent round by him in the B. [Brooklyn] with his family and he went round by land he married in the Valley, and never went after the family she married a man by the name of [Theodore] Thorpe who did not belong to the Church but was favorably inclined. We met there a Bro. by the name of Smith and another by <the> name of [Robert] Petch we conversed on various subjects during the afternoon they asking a great many questions in regard to our situation and prospects in the Valley; Mr. T. seemed much interested, I liked his appearance much and his wife seemed to be a fine woman and a good Mormon. They pressed me to stay to supper; while eating Bro. Pell called in[,] in company with Bro. Keeler they stopped and eat supper. After we had got thro’ eating a Mr. Maynard called in when Bro. Smith and him entered into conversation upon religion; they being somewhat acquainted and had <had> some <conversation> previously upon this subject. It was finally proposed that we should have a meeting, Mr. M. said he should like to hear our belief as he had never heard Mormonism. After some pressing on the subject, Father Morris Bro. Keeler and myself all being young hands at public speaking in fact I had never spoken five minutes in my life on my feet and the others were <in> about the same situation Bro. Morris called upon upon me to open the meeting by prayer; after which he got up and spoke for a little while but did not touch upon the principles of our belief. After he got thro’ I waited awhile for Bro. K. to get up but he not doing it, I arose and spoke upon our principles of Faith, Repentance[,] Baptism, Laying on of Hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost and spoke upon the ancient gospel gifts and blessings and then bore my testimony to the truth of it and of the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine &c. & that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and if they would take the plan recommended in the New Testament they would know for themselves.

Bro. Pell followed & Bro. Smith & Petch they all spoke on the same subject and enlarged upon it. After the meeting was over Bro. Smith branched out into subjects rather too strong for him <them> to comprehend; in fact I was surprised at the course he took but forbore to make any remarks although I thought the course he took was an unwise one. Upon leaving; Mr. Thorp[e] invited us to give him a call whenever we found it convenient.

8 November 1850 • Friday

Not Very Well to-day.

9 November 185012 • Saturday

Bro. Clarke is busily engaged running out trying to secure our passage; he succeeded in getting passage between decks and found Cabin fare; we had to find our own bedding for $40 and then had a 5 p[e]rcent [discount] allowed. Our idea in taking passage between decks was to be together as we could not all go in the Cabin not having berths enough at liberty.13 The vessel was named the Imaum of Muscat a British Vessel14 the Capt’s name Ritches [James Isaac Riches].

10 November 185015 • Sunday

This morning <Bro. Clarke> sent in to Bro. Whittle and some of the rest to go out to Bro. Pells as he wanted to be baptised; and Bro. C. was so unwell that he could not go. Bro. C. had went to live with Bro. Mowry next door to where we were boarding. When we arrived we found several strangers there; and after they went out Mr. and Mrs. Thorpe came out in their carriage. They fixed the room to have a meeting and Bro. Whittle called upon me to open the <meeting> by singing after which he prayed; and spoke to me to open make the opening remarks. I felt very diffident about it for I thought the others brethren were more suitable than me as I was the youngest of the party; but I <felt I> was in the harness and it would not do for me to baulk so I stepped forward. I spoke upon truth how professedly anxious the world were to get hold of truth, and how few of them when they had it presented to them would receive it; and how ready they were to cry out delusion. Said how thankful we ought to be that we were in possession of it and of the principle whereby we might progress from one truth to another.16 Bro. W. followed and exhorted the brethren and sisters to good works, &c. &c. Bro. Morris followed, Bro. Blackwell and Bro. Bigler; Bro. Pell arose and said that he felt determined for one to do what was right, he had done things at many times that were not right and had grieved the spirit by so doing but he was by the help of the Lord going [to] live more up to his calling.

Bro. W. called upon Bro. Keeler to close the meeting by prayer; after which we went down to the seaside and Bro. W. re-baptised Bro. Pell. We stayed and eat dinner there and confirmed Bro. P. [Pell] John Dixon was not able to go out with us, he was [has] been quite unwell several days and his face is beginning to swell as though he had the Erisypelis [Erysipelas].17

11 November 1850 • Monday

This Evening Bro. Pell called in and Bro. Clark proposed ordaining him an Elder; Bro. Clark and Whittle ordained. The object in rebaptizing and ordaining Bro. P. over was he had come out in the Brooklyn with Samuel Brannan and they had, had some difficulty and Pell had been cut off. Bro. Rich had recommended this course [rebaptism] to be taken.18

I have been busy this afternoon and evening writing to Uncle [John Taylor] I wrote eight pages all that I thought would interest him and requested him to write every opportunity, and told him that I should write as quick as I got to the Islands.

12 November 1850 • Tuesday

We were expecting to go aboard to-day but were disappointed the Captain said we could come on board Friday;19 wandering round Town the afternoon.

13 November 1850 • Wednesday

Waiting patiently for the vessel to start I never was so tired of a place as I have been of this[;] wickedness in almost every form is to be seen here and the people are ripening for destruction fast.

14 November 1850 • Thursday

John Dixon still continues very sick. About various business all day.

15 November 1850 • Friday

To-day we went down to go on board the vessel she lay out in the bay some little distance and the Captain sent his boat off for us. We went on board and selected our berths; it was very dark down below almost impossible to see anything until your eyes had become accustomed to the darkness; she was rather low between decks. John had stayed on shore at Sister Mowry’s until to-morrow. Bro’s. Hawkins & Farrer stayed with him.

16 November 1850 • Saturday

The motion of the vessel this morning nearly made me sea sickness. We wanted to purchase some more things and I got a chance to go on shore which I took in company with Bro. Keeler. Returned in evening with John; he was some better.20 It was the intention to start in the morning.

17 November 185021 • Sunday

The Pilot came on board this morning but he thought she could not be got ready for sea in time for the tide.22 It is a beautiful day a great many vessels going out; a very fine breeze.

18 November 1850 • Monday

All hands very busy this morning getting the anchors up ready for sea; it was very slow business weighing the anchors; we got a short distance and had to drop our anchor to wait for to-morrow’s tide.

19 November 1850 • Tuesday

The wind was blowing strong into the harbor so that we could not go out. A vessel drifted from her moorings and came down upon us; we had to pay out more [anchor] cable to keep her from running into us it did not answer the desired purpose for she drifted faster than <the> chain went out; she came very near carrying our flying Jib boom away,23 she had to make sail and <have> her stern pushed off some of <her> rigging had to be cut away to get our vessel clear off her; she went astern of us a little distance and stopped they supposed that her anchor and ours had got foul and held her.

20 November 1850 • Wednesday

Head Wind still continued and we had <to> lay at anchor the men were busily engaged getting the anchors clear.24 The vessel’s motion makes me feel rather qualmish Bro’s Hawkins and Farrer were so sick that they had to vomit. I expect that I will be very seasick from my feelings.

21 November 1850 • Thursday

The Wind blowed so strong this morning that we drifted only having one anchor down; the Captain gave orders to let the other anchor go; this kept us fast. Moderated towards evening.

22 November 1850 • Friday

I dreamed last night that I was on board a vessel and that some of the brethren and myself were heaving with the windlass at an anchor that was fast in the mud;25 it did not seem to be of much use. At this time I thought Bro. Joseph [Smith] passed me and went forward on to the forecastle close by the bowsprit;26 I followed him up there; he knelt down and prayed a few minutes aloud that the anchor might be loosened, after he had done [so] I thought that one or two of the brethren took hold of the rope and pulled it up with the greatest ease. I thought that I spoke to him and said that I wished I was in possession of such Faith and he replied that it was my privilege and that I ought to have it; that I would need it to preserve me from pestilence and the judgments that were about to be sent forth on the Nations.

When I awoke, I thought that it was given me as a warning, that Faith and prayer was of more effect than the windlass.27

There was a light wind and a little more favorable than it had been; the Pilot thought it best to get ready for sea; the tide turned to go out about one o’clock and we hoisted sail and started; it was rather difficult beating out of the harbor as it was a narrow passage and the wind was rather ahead. On each side we could see a long line of breakers running seaward the foam looking in the distance like large banks of snow.28 There was a very heavy swell at the mouth of the passage I never remember feeling it so much I began to feel peculiar about the abdominal region of the stomach. I felt it coming on and I ran below; Bro. Hawkins and Bro. Dixon were vomiting pretty freely; <as hard as they could;> as quick as they got through with the bucket I was on hand it came up pretty freely I felt better when I had got thro’; I went up on deck[.] Bro. Keeler & Bro. Farrer went at it soon after I came up; I felt it returning and had to go below again; it was beginning to get dark by this time and the Pilot went <off> on to the Pilot Boat that was close bye.29 The rest of the Brethren came below and we had a fine time all round Bro. H. Bro. D. F. K & myself all at it as hard as we could sometimes two or three trying to get at the one bucket. it was ludicrous <in the extreme> and I could <not> help <laughing> sick <as> I was at the figure some of us cut.30 All this time they were making a great noise <on deck> the Captain and mate issuing orders and the chattering of a lot of Malay hands we had [heard] in answer or at one another heightening the clamor;31 we had [to] tack very frequently and we were in a very critical situation the Pilot had left the Vessel when he was most needed the Captain knew nothing about the Coast and it was so dark, that nothing could be seen any distance ahead;32 they had [a] watch ahead and a lantern hung out to give vessels a warning that we might not be ran into; there were a good many came out the same tide we did. In the middle of our scrape below, we heard the mate shouting to the Captain that there were breakers ahead and we were close on them. this at any other time might have startled us but we were so sick that we did not mind it; the Captain tacked ship this continued all night tacking backward and forward, they Capt. dare not venture out for fear of running afoul of a reef of which there were plenty or of some of the small Islands; we had to cross one reef the breakers were rolling very high; we felt her strike something pretty solid which made her tremble from stem to stern and then directly a grating at the stern of the ship some of the Brethren thought we had struck on a Reef, but were soon undeceived by one of the men coming below who told us that it was a very heavy breaker that had struck us that we felt and if it had went over us it would have swept the decks clean; the Wheel ropes had broke and let the helm knock that made the grating noise we heard.33 If the Wheel Ropes had broke almost anywhere but where we were [in passing through the Golden Gate] as likely as not the vessel would have been lost. But the Lord ordered all things for the best; and I could <not> help thinking of my dream and Joseph’s words in regard to Faith.

23 November 1850 • Saturday

A fine day to-day34 I crawled out of my berth and went on deck but soon had to go below to vomit. I found that the only way for me to keep from it all the while was to lie in bed. This evening we had a rain Squall and lost one of the studding sail booms.35

24 November 1850 • Sunday

Very Calm to-day I was on deck the principal part of the day, I felt better than I had done.

25 November 1850 • Monday

A breeze had sprung up during the night, and we were going along at the rate of eight or eight & half <knots> an hour; this was kept up all day; we could not see land this morning. Wind tolerably cold to-day. Our course was South.

26 November 1850 • Tuesday

Wind Fair we go along finely some warmer to-day. Bro. Dixon improving very fast.

27 November 1850 • Wednesday

The Wind very fair we are sailing a little West of South; day warm and pleasant. About five knots an hour is our rate of sailing to-day.

28 November 1850 • Thursday

Wind still fair morning warm and pleasant tho’ cloudy; just have [viewed] the log sailing five knots an hour. Bro’s. Whittle & Bigler have not been any sea sick Bro. Clark had the cholic [colic] and vomited some in consequence.

29 November–11 December 185036 • Friday to Wednesday

Warm pleasant weather during this interval nothing of any consequence worth noticing with the exception of the Sundays Bro. Clark preached twice; the last time Bro. Hawkins and Bro. Bigler followed him and bore their testimony to the truth of the work.37 Bro. Whittle was taken with the diarrhea which reduced him very much; we administered to him several times from which he experienced relief. On Wednesday morning [December 11] we got up and had land pointed out to us on our left, it was not very plain to be seen after awhile it was recognised by some on board as the Island of Maui the second largest Island in the group. It was welcome intelligence as we were very much tired of being on Shipboard. We came in sight of Molokai [Moloka‘i] in the afternoon and a small island called Lanai [Lana‘i]; after sundown some on board imagined they could see Oahu [O‘ahu], the Island we were destined for.38

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November 1850, The Journal of George Q. Cannon, accessed May 22, 2024