Davis, David L. - 1864 diary entries

SYNOPSIS of David L Davis voyage in 1864.       


 The following is an excerpt from David L. Davis Journal describing his voyage to America in 1864, a year after the family left.  David’s group of Saints began their journey to Liverpool to meet their ship, ‘The General McClellan’, “a fine three-mast ship.” He is put in charge of one ward.  May 19th:  Boarded the ship, guard duty.  May 23: “Arose at 6 a.m., got up on deck, washed myself, breakfasted, and went down to my ward for prayers. .. weather raining, cool wind blowing from the north, ship going about 3 knots.  Ireland in sight today.  Sea very still.  Some fish were seen at about 200 yards, some called them whales, but I think it was porpoise or sea pig.    Some dancing on deck. May 27:  Up at 4 a.m., after which went and got the tins for my ward ready for their allowance of water; attended prayer at 8; took a cup of coffee and a biscuit for my breakfast. The provisions were served out today. Each ward was given provisions once a week.  It fell to my lot today to serve out the tea, mustard and pepper…Had some Welsh singing on board this evening; the English singers have lost their singing appetite by sea sickness; therefore, the Welsh have it all to themselves.  May 28: Up at 5 a.m… My dinner consisted of some pea soup and a tin of rice pudding, all of my own making, which of course, was very palatable.  Everyone has to shift the best he can here…A bachelor’s life is not altogether agreeable…but he says, you can find some scores of young ladies.  The movement of the ship in her onward march over the waves, sometimes heaving up and the next instant plunging down to the very heart of the rolling waves as though she wanted to bury her whole cargo in a watery grave, makes my temporal desk flutter like a fixture in the halfpenny swing of John Brown’s fair… What makes it more beautiful still, are the white caps borne by the waves which glitter like myriads of diamonds in a bright span of cloudless sky.  The weather is delightful and we are making 8 or 9 miles every hour.  May 30:  The deck is often the scene of diverse amusements, singing, dancing, and children playing in every form and manner; and all of a sudden, all these different sizes and grades of beings may be seen thrown together into one living heap by a slight motion of the ship.  Attended a concert on the main deck when many of the brethren and sisters favored us with songs and recitations suitable to the occasion.  June 3: …waves running to a terrible height.”  Near Newfoundland, he uses the Captains glasses to observe the nearby icebergs.  They experienced a gale on June 5; the gale on June 10 made the women cry that the ship was going down. “Ship stood at 40 degrees, torrents of water came down into the forecastle hatchway (where the bachelors were).  Some of the passengers struck a lively tune and in a few seconds, the whole ship was lit up by lanterns.  The ship continued to roll on its beam ends.   June 16:  Could see Nova Scotia…we are about 700 miles from New York.  June 20:  Our coal has been gone for several days past; consequently wood is being used for fuel for cooking and this morning the fire happened to be rather fierce and the flames from the galley funnel caught and ignited the lower mast stay sail… nervous and excited individuals shouting…Fire was quenched by emptying one bucket of water above it.  The fracture occasioned by the fire is large enough for a span of horses to hop through.” End of David’s 1864 excerpt.    






Davis/Davies, David Lazarus


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