On Saturday, Dec. 1st. Fifteen of the elders started for Liverpool, to-day, on the City of Baltimore. George J. Taylor and my brother David were among them.
Sunday, Dec. 2. Bro. Orson Pratt arrived a day or two since, we met with the officers in council this morning; in afternoon and evening held public meetings, Bro. Orson and myself spoke, he leading in both meetings with great power. Busy on Monday securing six passages: Bro’s. Kay, Staines, Needham & Spencer and myself and Elizabeth, on the Steamship “Arago” for Southampton. Our reason for taking passage on this vessel was that we could save $25 pr. head by so doing which would pay our fare from S. to Liverpool and leave a respectable balance. We paid $50 pr. head for 2nd Cabin. Left in evening for Philadelphia. <Mr. &> Sister Fenton & family were glad to see us. Remained here until Thursday morning. I visited while at P. Col. Kane at his Aunt’s residence, Gray’s lane, on Wednesday and had, as usual, a pleasant visit. He was in good health & spirits. I also visited Mr. & Sister Wilkinson.
Saturday, Dec. 8th 1860. Went on board the “Arago” in company with the others. Bro’s. Orson & Erastus and other brethren were there to see us start; it was snowing.
Since our arrival in the States, on the day of the Presidential election, the nation has been shaken to its centre, and it still totters. No sooner did the South learn that Abraham Lincoln was elected
by a majority of President and Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President of the United States by a majority of the popular vote, than they began to take steps to withdraw from the Union. This was particularly the case with South Carolina, who expressed herself with great unanimity as being determined to secede, and made every preparation to carry this into effect. In the cotton states, her neighbors, there was also a large party who held similar views: Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi – and every encouragement was given by these ultra men to the South Carolinians. Throughout the entire South the feeling of opposition towards Mr. Lincoln, his party and their principles, was very strong. It needed but his election – the triumph of his party and principles, to awaken the liveliest apprehensions in their breasts for the safety of their domestic institution – slavery. The ultra men of the South – the party of which I have been speaking – held the idea that submission on their part to his election would be unworthy of them and their ancestry, and that now was the time to dissolve the connexion which had become hateful with the North. But there was another party who thought that such a course was <would> be hasty and uncalled for. They denounced Mr. Lincoln, deplored his election; but as he had been elected constitutionally, they thought his election should be submitted to, and if he administered the laws faith fully and impartially, then, all right; but if he should not do so, and should seek to build up his section (the North) at the expense of the South, and wage war on their institutions, then the y South should solemnly arise in their might and vindicate their rights and dissolve all further connexion with the North. These feelings divided the South to a certain extent; but it needed but the veriest trifle to unite them on this subject; those who counseled moderation the most strongly, and called themselves “Union men,” only would only continue such until certain contingencies should arise.
The signs of the times indicate the near approach of those events foretold by the Lord, through the Prophet Joseph, in the revelation given Dec. 25th, 1832, beginning with the rebellion of South Carolina. How thankful I have felt, in looking at the prospects before this nation and the other nations of the earth, that the Lord has established his Church and Kingdom and that I have a standing in it.
We were but little <sea->sick (Elizabeth vomiting somewhat) until Tuesday morning early, the 11th, when the vessel pitched so heavily that it made Bro. Needham, Elizabeth and myself very sea-sick and we continued very bad until Sunday, the 16th, a fine day and smooth sea, when we all felt better and from that time on Bro. N. & myself were not so bad, though I was not able to sit up but very little, I could walk the deck occasionally, however. Elizabeth from
Sun Monday morning <the 17th> until Thursday was unable to keep anything on her stomach, vomiting constantly almost. She became very weak; the first food she kept down I fed her by tablespoonfuls with an interval between. The weather was mild after leaving Cape Race, which we passed about 11 p.m. Wednesday, the 12th, and we had but little wind during the passage. On Thursday afternoon <the 20th Dec.> about 4 ½ p.m. we caught sight of the Scilly light (St. Agnes.) The sea became smoother; but no sooner had we struck soundings than we felt a great change in the atmosphere, it was much colder.1