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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


  1. [1]Cannon originally wrote the month as October but corrected it.

  2. [2]In early February 1846, a company of approximately 230 Latter-day Saints under the direction of Samuel Brannan left New York on the ship Brooklyn for California via Cape Horn. After a brief stop at Honolulu, the Brooklyn arrived at Yerba Buena (later renamed San Francisco) on July 31, 1846. Instead of taking his company to meet with the main body of Saints in Utah, Brannan traveled east in 1847 to persuade Brigham Young to have the Latter-day Saints settle in California. Unsuccessful in this endeavor, Brannan returned to California, where he made his home, along with a number of others who had traveled on the Brooklyn. For additional information on the Brooklyn and its passengers, see Bullock, Ship Brooklyn Saints; Hansen, “Voyage of the Brooklyn”; Crockett, “Voyage of the Brooklyn”; “Ship Brooklyn Saints,” in Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage, 3:473–587.

  3. [3]In October 1819 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM), headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and affiliated with the Congregational Church, sent a company of missionaries to the Sandwich Islands, where they arrived the following spring. Between 1822 and 1847 the ABCFM sent eleven additional companies to the Sandwich Islands. These were supplemented by other Protestant missionaries, mostly Congregationalists, and included ministers with the American Seamen’s Friend Society of New York, who were stationed in Honolulu and Lahaina. While Christianity had been introduced to the islands by the many visitors who frequented the islands’ ports, the vast majority of Hawaiians still adhered to the ancient Hawaiian religion. Within a few years of the missionaries’ arrival, however, Christianity was the predominant religion in Hawai‘i. The influence of these missionaries upon the educational, political, and social aspects of Hawaiian life was also great. In addition to establishing schools, several ABCFM missionaries left the mission to accept high-level government positions. Following the adoption of religious tolerance by the Hawaiian government in 1839, Catholic priests began extensive work in Hawai‘i. By 1850 Catholics had congregations and schools throughout the islands. For overviews of the Christian missions in the Hawaiian Islands before 1850, see Missionary Album; Phillips, Protestant America and the Pagan World; Wagner-Wright, Structure of the Missionary Call to the Sandwich Islands; Grimshaw, Paths of Duty; Zwiep, Pilgrim Path; Schoofs, Pioneers of the Faith; Yzendoorn, History of the Catholic Mission in the Hawaiian Islands.

  4. [4]Cholera, a food- or waterborne gastrointestinal disorder marked by severe diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps, was a dreaded scourge of the mid-nineteenth century because of its high mortality rate. The 1850 California epidemic began on October 7 when a contaminated steamer, already carrying fourteen dead, was not quarantined at San Francisco. While in Sacramento on October 23, Bigler noted, “The Collery [cholera] is rageing in the City” (Bigler diary, “Book B,” Oct. 23, 1850). A conservative estimate placed the number of deaths between three hundred to four hundred within a month of the disease reaching Sacramento (Holliday, World Rushed In, 407n*). For discussions of nineteenth-century cholera epidemics, see Powers and Younger, “Cholera on the Overland Trails”; Milikien, “Dead of the Bloody Flux”; Blair, “Doctor Gets Some Practice.” Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for this day, November 5, 1850, are almost identical to this point.

  5. [5]Joseph Smith, founding prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, delivered his last public discourse on June 18, 1844. The quoted phrase, which can be found in Doctrine and Covenants 1:35, does not appear in the small portion of the hour-and-a-half speech later compiled from memory and recorded in History of the Church, June 18, 1844, vol. F1, 118–19. Cannon, however, was not the only one to recall Joseph Smith proclaiming “that Peace should be taken from the Earth” (see Hale, “Diary of Aroet Lucious Hale,” 9).

  6. [6]“The indignation be overpast” is a quotation from Isaiah 26:20.

  7. [7]Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for this day are nearly identical.

  8. [8]During the nineteenth century, Church leaders followed the instructions in Doctrine and Covenants 29:8, which stated that the early Latter-day Saints were to “be gathered in unto one place upon the face of this land,” and prominently preached the concept of gathering. Regarding the purpose of the gathering, Joseph Smith taught, “In any age of the world, the main object was to build unto the Lord an house whereby he could reveal unto his people the ordinances of his house and glories of his kingdom & teach the people the ways of salvation for their are certain ordinances & principles that when they are taught and practized, must be done in a place or house [temple] built for that purpose” (Woodruff journal, June 11, 1843). In the 1830s, the Saints gathered first to Kirtland, Ohio, then to western Missouri. During the early 1840s, Nauvoo, Illinois, was the appointed location. Beginning in 1847, the Salt Lake Valley and the surrounding area was the designated gathering place. At each of these locations, temples were either built or sites for them dedicated. Throughout the 1800s, tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints from around the world joined with other Saints at the appointed gathering places. During the 1890s, Church leaders began encouraging members to build up the Church where they lived rather than gathering to a central location (see Ronald D. Dennis, “Gathering,” and Richard L. Jensen and William G. Hartley, “Immigration and Emigration,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:536–37, 673–76).

  9. [9]Clark’s and Blackwell’s arrival prompted Bigler to write, “Our joy was full they Cum as Bro. Cannon dreamed they did” (Bigler diary, “Book B,” Nov. 8, 1850).

  10. [10]Cannon originally wrote the month as October but corrected it.

  11. [11]Officially known as Great Salt Lake City, it was more popularly referred to as Salt Lake City.

  12. [12]Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for this day are nearly identical.

  13. [13]Sailing vessels of this time often featured two types of passenger accommodations: cabin, the most expensive, where passengers had private or semiprivate quarters; and steerage, which featured dormitory-like lodgings in the hold or “between decks.” Concerning his ship’s accommodations, Cannon recalled: “[Our food] was to be the same as they had in the cabin. Either this part of the contract was not fulfilled, or they lived poorly in the cabin; for our fare was not very inviting. But we thought we were fortunate in not having to pay more than $40 in gold for the passage and these privileges. . . . [Our vessel] was low between decks, and then it was so dark there, that for a few minutes after descending, we could see nothing. We had had some rough experience, however, since leaving our homes, and we were not disposed to find fault with our ship or her accommodations” (Cannon, My First Mission, 4–5).

  14. [14]The Imaum of Muscat, constructed in 1840 in Stockton, England, is identified in contemporary records as a ship (Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping; Polynesian, Dec. 14, 1850; “Marine Journal,” Honolulu Friend, Jan. 1851). Ships differed from other sailing vessels—classified as barks, brigs, schooners, brigantines, and barkentines—in terms of masts and rigging. A ship had three or more masts, all featuring square sails that hung perpendicular to the length of the vessel. Measuring 104’ 24’ 19,’ the Imaum was relatively small compared with many other sailing vessels (Sonne, Ships, Saints, and Mariners, 104).

  15. [15]Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for this day are nearly identical.

  16. [16]Cannon later recounted this meeting in greater detail:

    “The first time the writer was called upon to speak to a mixed congregation of Saints and inquirers he was in the company of nine Elders. There were only two or three of them who had ever spoken in public; but as he was the youngest of the party, and felt that he was but a boy, he thought they would all be called upon before him. To his surprise, however, the Elder who was presiding called first upon him. True to his resolve, he arose and commenced. For two or three, or probably five minutes, he did pretty well. Then he got confused, his ideas were in a jumble, and he forgot all he ever knew. If the bottom had dropped out of his memory, it could not have been worse. He sat down, feeling a little ashamed; but not discouraged. He was on a mission, and he was determined not to back down and fail” (Cannon, My First Mission, 2).

  17. [17]Erysipelas, also known as St. Anthony’s Fire, is a contagious, infectious skin disease marked by redness and swelling of the affected areas, fever, chills, increased heart rate, vomiting, and diarrhea.

  18. [18]Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for this day are identical to this point.

  19. [19]Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for this day are identical to this point.

  20. [20]Bigler recorded additional details regarding Dixon’s illness in his November 13 diary entry: “I feel doubtful a bout his going with us or rather the Captain will refuse to take him on board. Br. Cannon got some oile, we Consecrated it and anointed him in the name of the Lord and laid hands on him and prayed for his relief that the Lord would have mercy on his servant and restore him his health that he might be able to go a long with us and fill his mission, we then moved him into Br Mowry’s whare he will stay until he gets better.” Two days later Bigler wrote, “Br. Dixon is Recovering fast from his illness some hopes yet of his going with us” (Bigler diary, “Book B,” Nov. 13, 15, 1850).

  21. [21]Beginning with this November 17 entry and continuing through November 28, Cannon’s and Farrer’s entries for each day are either wholly or partially identical. The identical entries occur on November 17–19, 21, and 26–27. The entries on November 20, 23–25, and 27 differ only in describing Cannon’s and Farrer’s own seasickness or that of others. The November 22 entries vary in terms of Cannon’s reference to his dream and Cannon’s and Farrer’s descriptions of their own and others’ seasickness.

  22. [22]A pilot is a person knowledgeable about a specific harbor who assists vessels in or out of port for a fee.

  23. [23]The flying jibboom is a forward-extending spar on a sailing ship used to secure the bottom of two triangular sails set in front of the vessel. The sail nearest the vessel is known as the jib, while the outer sail is called the flying jib.

  24. [24]The wind that trapped the Imaum in the harbor grew in fury. The Daily Alta reported some of the damage done both on land and to vessels stranded in the harbor: “During the high gale on Tuesday night, the frame of the First Presbyterian Church, on Stockton Street, was blown down, entirely destroying the fabric. Many of the heaviest timbers were broken.” “The British bark Gloucester . . . careened over with the force of the wind, filled and sunk. . . . The bark Harriet, of Boston, parted from her mooring shackle and drove on to the ship Ilzaide and Amazon” (“The Effects of the Gale” and “Memoranda,” San Francisco Daily Alta, Nov. 21, 1850).

  25. [25]The windlass is a winch system used to raise the anchor, in which the hoisting rope is wound around one or more drums supported on horizontal axles—thus distinguishing it from a capstan, which employs a vertical axle.

  26. [26]The forecastle is a short raised deck at the front of a sailing vessel. The bowsprit is a spar extending forward from the bow; it serves as the support base for the flying jibboom.

  27. [27]Recounting his dream years later, Cannon publicly reflected on its impact:

    “The impression it made upon my mind has been a lasting one; I have never forgotten it; and through taking that lesson to heart I feel that I have been exceedingly prospered in my life. . . .

    “I would like to impress this . . . upon the minds of . . . this congregation if they choose to take it; great is the power of prayer when properly offered to the Lord. Whatever success I have had upon my missions . . . has been due to faith and prayer. I have remembered this always; I have endeavored to exercise faith in God, through prayer, which has been heard by the Almighty. . . .

    “My brethren and sisters . . . remember this lesson. Cultivate the Spirit of God; keep it with you. Remember always, there is power in prayer greater than anything man can do. There is no power in monarchs, there is no power in armies, there is no power in legislation, nor in anybody nor anything else upon the earth that equals the power of God in prayer” (Cannon, remarks, June 27, 1881, in Journal of Discourses, 22:289–90).

  28. [28]An 1855 history of San Francisco described the passageway to the sea as approximately five miles long, averaging between one and a half and two miles in width, but being only a mile at its narrowest point. The history further noted:

    “A few small rocks, at all times quite visible, lie about the entrance, and along the coast of the strait. . . . A bar lies nearly across the mouth of the strait, upon which occasionally there is a heavy swell. Formerly this bar ran right across and within the actual limits of the strait, but during the last thirty years it has gradually shifted two miles farther to seaward, so that it now forms a kind of arch, altogether outside of the entrance, spanning from point to point of the strait. In the same period, a bank has likewise advanced from the south shore. . . .

    “. . . The shores are bold and rocky, and in some parts precipitous, swelling on the north side into mountains of upwards of two thousand feet in height. The hills on the southern side are more of a sandy nature, and may be only three hundred or four hundred feet high” (Soulé, Gihon, and Nisbet, Annals of San Francisco, 149, 150).

  29. [29]A pilot boat is a craft used to take the pilot to and from vessels wanting assistance in or out of a harbor.

  30. [30]Cannon afterward noted: “We were all suffering severely from the effects of sea-sickness; and notwithstanding the dangers of our situation, the sense of the ridiculous, in my case—only one bucket among us for every purpose—overcame fear, and I could not help laughing. . . . My levity, however, under circumstances so inconvenient and perplexing, offended one of the Elders so much that he reprimanded me for it” (Cannon, My First Mission, 6).

  31. [31]The Malay hands Cannon mentioned were crew members from the Malay Peninsula—the southernmost part of the Southeast Asia mainland—or the Malay Archipelago, located between Asia and Australia, which includes the country of Malaysia.Cannon afterward explained that “the noise on deck was very great. . . . [The captain’s] orders to the mate, and the latter’s cries to the hands, and their chattering to one another, made a clamor that sounded loud above the noise of the storm” (Cannon, My First Mission, 6).

  32. [32]Cannon later described their peril in greater detail:

    “My recollections of passing out of the Golden Gate, as the mouth of San Francisco harbor is called, are not very pleasant. We had to beat out, that is, tack from side to side, and the swell came in from the ocean in large, heavy, rolling waves. . . .

    “. . . The sky was angry-looking and threatening, giving every indication of a storm. We were outside the heads, and before us stretched the great Pacific; but there were islands around, of which the captain knew but little. He did not like the idea of the pilot leaving him in such a position with darkness approaching and every prospect of a storm. If the captain was anxious to have the pilot remain, the latter was equally desirous of getting away from the ship before nightfall. He had no wish to remain through the storm and to run the risk of being carried out to sea; so when a pilot boat hove in sight, he hailed it, and descended into the little yawl which came from it for him in such haste that he forgot his water-proof coat. It was very natural, I suppose, for him after piloting the ship out of the harbor, to be eager to get back before the storm broke upon us; but I believe we all should have felt better if he had remained with us. The captain, especially, felt the responsibility of his position. Here he was, outside of a strange harbor, on a dangerous coast, with a strong wind blowing directly on shore, and darkness upon him and he ignorant of his surroundings!” (Cannon, My First Mission, 5–6).

  33. [33]Wheel ropes connect the helm (wheel) to the rudder, thus allowing the vessel to be steered.

  34. [34]Bigler afterward reflected upon their passage to open sea: “It seemed to me the vessel would capsize, and when night set in it was cloudy and very dark. We were among breakers and the waves running high. All at once the tiller rope broke and we were left to the mercy of the rocks and waves of the sea. . . . When daylight came we found we were not more than ten miles from land, but everything was all right” (Bigler, “Personal Experience,” Mar. 19, 1896). Cannon’s retrospective writing evoked his feelings of gratitude regarding their narrow escape: “We felt to give the glory of our deliverance to God. We were His servants, and on His business, and He had preserved us. That night was one of great anxiety to the captain, officers and crew. Notwithstanding our sickness we also realized that we were in a critical position, and exerted all the faith we could. The captain had his wife with him, and so little hope did he have at one time of saving the vessel, that he told her to prepare for eternity, for he did not think we would ever see daylight in this world again. At last the morning dawned, the storm died away, and we were enabled to take our course. Oh, the blessed daylight! How joyfully it was hailed on board that vessel!” (Cannon, My First Mission, 6–7).

  35. [35]Studding sail booms are spars used to support the studding sails, which are set out beyond the edge of the main sails during a fair wind.

  36. [36]The last date for this entry originally read December 12 but was later changed in pencil.

    While Cannon left only a summary of this portion of the voyage, Farrer kept a daily log:

    “Friday, Nov. 29, 1850 Rather foggy and rains a little. We are all getting over our seasickness and feel tolerably well. Wind fair.

    “Saturday, Nov. 30, 1850 We have a fair wind today; the weather is geting warmer an[d] more pleasant; sailing at about the rate of 5 miles an hour.

    “Sunday, Dec. 1, 1850 A very pleasant morning we had a meeting on board this morning; after singing a Hymn Bro Clark opened the meeting by prayer; he then spoke on the first principles of the Gospel &c. and then called on Bro Whittle to close the meeting, we had a fair wind to-day.

    “Monday, Dec. 2, 1850 We have a pleasant morning Wind fair Bro’s Whittle and Hawkins feel unwell today we struck the trade Winds today and changed our course of sailing more West. we are going about 8 knots an hour.

    “Tuesday, Dec. 3, 1850 The wind continues about the same the weather is very pleasant; we are in Latitude 22.27. Longitude 136.

    “Wednesday, Dec. 4, 1850 Last night we had a prety stiff breeze which made the Vessel pitch considerable I felt rather unwell today.

    “Thursday, Dec. 5, 1850 A very fine morning. wind fair and sailing nearly West. this is the warmest day we have had the Thermometer stood at 76 in the middle of the day.

    “Friday, Dec. 6, 1850 The day pleasant; we are going along tolerably well. Bro. Whittle quite sick.

    “Saturday, Dec. 7, 1850 A pleasant morning; not much wind today sailing about 4 knots an hour.

    “Sunday, Dec. 8, 1850 A very pleasant morning. We had a meeting on board this morning. Bro Clark opened by prayer and then made some remarks on the restoration of the fulness of the Gospel by the Angel as recorded in the Revelations of John [Revelation 14:6–7]; and of the gifts and blessings of the same. Bro Hawkins and Bigler followed and bore their testimony to the truth of the work. Bro Bigler said he believed that it required the same ordinancess an[d] blessings to save a person now that it did eighteen hundred years ago. Bro Whittle is still very sick.

    “Monday, Dec. 9, 1850 We have a pleasant day wind favorable but not very strong.

    “Tuesday, Dec. 10, 1850 A pleasant day but not much wind some of the passengers who had been at the Islands before thought they saw land to the South about noon. Bro Whittle is getting some better.

    “Wednesday, Dec. 11, 1850 This morning at daylight we came in sight of Maui to the south West; there is a high mountain on this Island rising (13,000) thirteen thousand feet above the level of the sea; about noon we came opposite the Island, we also saw the Island of Hawaii [Hawai‘i] which we had passed the night before, we also saw the Island [blank] ahead. In the evening we came in sight of Oahu to the West” (Farrer diary, Nov. 29–Dec. 11, 1850).

  37. [37]Keeler provided additional details regarding the December 1 and 8 meetings: “Brother Clark said if some one would speak to the Captain he would preach to them if he had know objections Brother Blackwell spoke to the Capt he gave his consent and said that he should like to hear Brother Clark spake to them about one hour and a half mrs Riches was very mutch pleased with the doctrine that he taut” (Keeler journal, Dec. 1, 1850). “Brother Clark gave them a short discourse on the first principale of the gospel of Christ to which Mrs Richeys was very atentive” (Keeler journal, Dec. 8, 1850). Prior to these meetings, the cabin passengers had requested that the missionaries favor them with some Latter-day Saint hymns. Bigler recalled that “Elders Cannon and Hawkins being the only singers in our company, went and sang” (Bigler, “Personal Experience,” Mar. 19, 1896).

  38. [38]Cannon recalled that “it was with positive delight that we learned, after being nearly four weeks on board, that we would soon be at the end of our voyage. The sight of land is most welcome to those who have been weeks at sea, especially if they suffered from sea-sickness. To our eyes, therefore, the rough, mountainous isles of the Hawaiian group were very beautiful. We longed to tread upon them” (Cannon, My First Mission, 7).