Sunday, February 13, 2011

William and Mary Mead Rex. Part 3. Arrive at the Mississippi River.

View 1850 William Rex family immigrated on James Pennell in a larger map

William Rex is not mentioned again in the voyage accounts. Continued from here. On Friday, November 1, 1850, Brother Cutler wrote, “A great portion of the afternoon, we were running 10 knots an hour & sometimes 12.” He frequently logged the ship’s speed. From his account it appears that 10-12 knots was an ideal speed, but infrequently attained.

On Sunday, the 3rd [death 1 yr-old, A. Rogers]. The ship continued at the same speed, and “the sea was very heavy and frequently broke over the bulwarks in great quantities, which prevented us from having a meeting in the morning.” At 2 ½ p.m. they held a sacrament meeting and read a letter with good instructions relative to what course the Saints ought to pursue after arriving at Orleans. The captain and some of the crew attended this meeting and were very attentive.

By the 6th they were in the Gulf of Florida. At a meeting, Brother Cutler “informed them of many things which [they] would hear, relative to the authorities of the church, & endeavored to prepare their minds, to meet, & to reject all these false reports, & to keep a firm hold of the truth. Brother Layton made a few remarks by way of bearing testimony to what I had said.”

11th “The wind continues unfavorable, although there is but little of it; We tacked the ship, or changed course, several times, but the wind soon changed so as to be direct a head of us; & instead of our making any headway, we were carried back, as both wind, & the Gulf Stream were against us.”

The wind continued unfavorable on the 12th, but the weather was pleasant. A shark made an appearance around the ship, but evaded several hooks and various schemes to serve him up for dinner. “The night being very pleasant, we had a dance to give our passengers plenty of fresh air and a little good exercise. We have had two previously.” The next day the wind changed so as to be dead ahead, which made the officers crass, & many of the passengers very down hearted; some of the time it blew quite hard, & brought considerable rain. The following night, “we had a meeting between decks and brother Layton, Webb, and I occupied the time, in giving council and trying to cheer up the spirits of the Saints.”

On the 15th clouds gathered and rain began to fall in “perfect sheets” … between 4 & 5 a.m., “we were struck by a gale from the northeast which carried away our main mast, the main brace falling upon the house on deck, where Brother Layton, & wife, Sister Barns & Ashwell, & I were sleeping, but there being very strong timbers in the upper deck, they shielded us from harm, but it cracked the timbers so that we had not a shelter from the rain. It also carried away the mizzen mast, & the foretop sail yard, & top sail, & cracked the foremast in two places, one or two of the jibs were also carried away … the night (or morning) was extremely dark, & all the disaster took place in 10 short minutes, yet no one was hurt. The wind soon began [to] die away. But the sea rolled considerable, & our wreck of a ship rolled as though she was going down, all the passengers & cargo into the sea. When daylight made its appearance, a very unpleasant scene presented itself to our view.”

Passenger Sarah B. Layton wrote of this storm (which another passenger called a hurricane), “At the end of six weeks we were within one day’s sail of the Gulf of Mexico, and we retired about midnight, the stars shining as brightly as possible. But we were awakened soon after by the heavy roaring of the sea, and the sound of the sailors. Such thunder and lightning I had never heard or seen. In a short time the main mast was torn off and we drifted helplessly for eleven days, not knowing what our fate would be. But we were rescued and landed safely at St. Louis, December 4, thankful to our Heavenly Father for our deliverance from what seemed would be a watery grave.”

On November 20 a towboat pulled the Pannell up near the mouth of the Mississippi River, where they anchored for the night. The next morning a steamer took them into the river. When they "got over the barr," they were alongside of the “Joseph Badger” that left Liverpool two weeks after they had. On the 22nd they landed safely in Orleans, having been seven weeks and two days on their passage.

23 “This morning I went & engaged the Poufine No 2 Cabin fare $10 Deck $2. I then went to the custom house to do the same business & was detained until late in the afternoon. After 8 p.m. we had all our luggage on board the steamer & left port.” He wrote on the 25th that “some few of the company began to be effected by the bowel complaint.” Brother Cutler writes of passing Vicksburg and the mouth of the Arkansas River, and that “some of the sick are recovering & some few others are complaining.”

On Sunday Dec 1st 1850, They passed the mouth of the Ohio River and “by the request of a great number of the cabin passengers & the consent of the captain, I preached for a short time upon the first principles of the gospel. Many paid great attention & took great pains to learn what our true principles were & some received the most of them with gladness.

(To be continued.)

1 comment:

  1. It felt so good to read this this evening. Thank you. There is only about 2 sentences in Christopher Layton's book about this voyage. I would be interested to read more of Sarah B's journal. Two of Christopher's 10 wives were Sarahs so they are referred to in his book by their first name and maiden name initial.