An Account of the Voyage from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake

By Henry Clegg, Jr. 1855

Diary transcription history and credits.

April 1855


March 30 Went ---- Friday morning March 30 in the river. On March 31, 10 o'clock. In the evening sailed ---- at ____ o'clock. 
April 1 Fine morning. At noon it began to feel a headwind. Turned up by D. (dinner?). Half the ship began to be sick, myself among the lot. I was very sick for 3 hours. 
1 forty p.m. 
We had a ---- 4-4. 
Elder Glover ----. The ship was ---- and ---- cleaning, getting provisions and con. 
At 5, 4 couples were married but if they were as sick as I was they would not have thought of marriage. I went and got my Dulcimer and played "The Girl ----." It cured me of sea sickness.  Lots that were sick in bed got up and danced. Eliza was sick all day. Our Israel and Henry James were as well as could be. Richard and Israel marched on the deck like a captain. Same as if he was playing in a garden. My wife was not sick but was seeing others pull such faces. It really was laughable. I could scarce help laughing myself, as bad and sick as I was. 
April 2 Monday ___ I was very sick all day.  The sea was very rough. 
April 3 Tuesday ___ Monsterous rough sea. The ship cleared the Irish coast and put into the Great William with a Gov't ----. The waves ran mountain high. Mrs. Clegg took sea sick and nearly ---- the ----. Was truly awful. I was also worse than ever but ---- both children still kept well. Which ---- I didn't know what might have ... 
April 4 Rough sea ___ Sailing at a quick speed ___ All sick nearly ___ Those that were able to render assistance did so. I was really glad. Thank God ___ I got some tastes from the cabin that did me & mine good.
April 5 Thursday ___ Ship going full speed. Nearly all recovering from sea sickness. Myself and Mrs. Clegg coming around first rate. The day very fine. Turned out all on board was between decks from end to end and made all things begin to look better. Had a good night's rest.
April 6 Friday ___ As well as ever I was in my life. Mrs. Clegg, I ---- first rate. We had our ---- of ---- father ... Well we liked it for we were awful hungry. We ate the prunes we got of my mother this morning by 6 o'clock. They were good. Oh, how often I wished my & M was with us. Had a conference in the afternoon and quite happy.
April 7 Saturday ___ A very fine day, going but slow. (Line of shorthand.)
April 8 (Shorthand) Bell ---- all in good health.
April 9 Monday ___ Early ---- saw 2 being the first since we left. In the ---- provisions. Going but slow, fine day.
April 10 (All shorthand.)
April 11 ---- very fine. Afternoon very rough. A squall ---- very rough all night.
April 12 ---- still very rough; all on board really very sick. Myself among the lot. Bad all day. Rough still all night but going at a rapid rate.
April 13 Friday ___ Rough in the ----. Toward noon it came very fine. Sickness began to move.
April 14 Saturday ___ Good wind. All going on first rate. A child found to be in the measles. The ship was cleaned out from stem to stern. Cloride of lime washed through. I and family in good health. We met several ships for the last few days.
April 15 Fine day, favorable wind, going 11 knots an hour. In the ---- ship bound for England gave 3 cheers and they also in return. Preaching in the ----. One of the ship's cooks in a passion flung a pan of hot water on one of the saints without provocation. He was arranged before the captain, got lashed and put in irons til the ----. The ---- very scalded and fears the loss of an eye.
April 16 Monday ___ Beautiful day, fair wind, going 11 knots an hour all day. All in good health.
April 17 Tuesday ___ Say a ----. Fine day, all well.
April 18 Going but slow. Very warm.
April 19 Thursday ___ Very cold day, as cold as I ever felt. Hailed in the afternoon. Only made slow progress. Saw 4 ships ----.
April 20 Friday ___ Very cold, hailed and rained. Came to the New Foundland banks. Saw whales. Some large ---- appear. (Here he sharpened his pencil which had become dull and thick.)
April 21 Saturday ___ Very cold in the morning. Very rough in the sea. In the afternoon we got orders to make our ---- very firm for we should have one and no mistake. It ----. Witnessed one of the heaviest hurricanes that has been experienced for 9 years.
April 22 Sunday ___ At one in the (3 lines in shorthand) We were driven back on the ---- about 10. Had our sails ripped to shivers. Saw another ship apparently in difficulties. (Blank space of 6 lines.) Abated a little and glad we were for we needed it.
April 23 Monday ___ Rough sea but mending, very cold. Saw many whales. I was sick all day. In the evening we had another ---- very much.
April 24 Tuesday ___ Cold in the ----. In the afternoon it came warm. We had a calm for a few hours. Saw many sea pigs. I was mending in my (health) very much. The others well.
April 25 Very cold day, going but slow.
April 26 Very cold day. Early in the morning the wind changed. We had 24 hours good sail at the rate of 12-15 knots an hour.
April 27 Friday ___ Very cold day as ever I saw in my life. Rough sea.
April 29 Sunday ___ Fine morning. Saw a large ship pass us. In the morning the wind a little more favorable. Had preaching on deck. Morning and evening Israel bad in his mouth and head sore. Saw 2 small fishing boats pass.
April 30 Monday ___ Very fine day. Wind changed last night at 11 o'clock.

May 1855

May 1 Tuesday ___ We sailed all night at a rate of 16 knots per hour. Israel unwell all night. During the day his mouth burst and he had ---- and bled. A great deal came up so... Saw a large ship (Union ship). Sailed fast and safe all day. At 7 we had a ---- 15 ---- to look after the luggage. When we got on ---- P (Philadelphia?) as we expected to reach the mouth of the river the following day.
May 2 Wednesday ___ Israel a little better but his mouth awful, very sore. Cannot eat, only drink. Had his mouth lanced by a sister. Still a favorable good wind. In the evening it became nearly calm. River ahead, rocks, tacked extra sail. ---- at ---- 15 men ---- when ---- and ---- and ----
May 3 Thursday ___ Fine morning. Very little wind so we almost stayed still. We were busy looking out for the pilot all day but did not succeed til 6 at night. The Captain gave a signal and he came on board. About 7 we got late news from him which we were eager to hear. Vessels that had sailed from Liverpool 8 days before us had not arrived. Israel getting better. Saw many ships, as many as 2400 at a time. That last ---- 5 weeks before us had arrived 2 weeks ago.
May 4 Friday ___ Fine morning, saw the shores of America for the first time at 8 o'clock a.m. Saw Cape May and Cape ____(can't read it). Steam tug came to tug us up the river but the C (captain) and the _____ could not agree on a fee. Israel much better. Pleasant to see land once more.
May 5 Saturday ___ Arrived at Philadelphia at 10 o'clock at night.
May 6 Sunday ___ Went ashore for the first time. Saw Elder Eloyos, his sister and brother-in-law. Had a discussion with a Jew.
May 7 Monday ___ Got our boxes examined by the CO (custom office?) and shipped them to the ----. We slept in a hotel, got good accommodations, fasted ---- everyone. (3 lines of shorthand.) Columbia ---- Capitol.
May 9 Wet morning. Saw many kinds of scenery.
May 10 Thursday ___ Fine morning. Very ----. Got some cheese and biscuits. Arrived at Pittsburg at 4 a.m. ---- Equinox lodged on ---- night. (Unreadable) Friday saw ----. Got plenty of exertion. Got made into ----.
May 12 Saturday ___ Fine day, very hot. Got cheese and biscuits.
May 13 Sunday ___ Fine morning, very hot. Saw Indiana and Louisiana. Arrived at Cincinatti at 12 o'clock noon and stayed until 4 o'clock, then pressed forward. Fulmer stopped at C. to await the arrival of the ____ Sunday evening and then to return to P. Missed the company of the saints at P.
May 14 Monday ___ Fine morning. Very warm. Arrived at Louisville at 7 o'clock in the morning. One of our brethren caught a snake. Louisville is in Kentucky, Bro ___ informs us.
May 15 Tuesday ___ Fine morning. Arrived at Evansville in the morning. 4 shops on fire and likely for the whole square to burn down.
May 16 Wednesday ___ Wet morning. Thunder and lightning very savage. Afternoon came very fine. Saw Ill. & Mo. at a distance.
May 17 (2 lines unreadable.) Sunday ___ We stayed in Louisville Sunday night when we again set sail for Utah. We had also ---- (Page gone. Next entry lacks date, but must be Friday 18, Saturday 19, Sunday 20. Entry on one of these pages, perhaps Sunday, says:) The other company of saints with us who came by the Washington city but did not arrive at Louisville (? Must be St. Louis) until another day longer than the ___ (unreadable). I had come up in ----. We all started on board. The Equinox on.
May 21 Monday ___ 9 o'clock at night up the Missouri River. It was a beautiful night. I have had a thought this day about my wife. That she would be a corps by my side.
May 22 Tuesday. All day my wife washed some clothes and got cold. She took sick in her bowels and went worse. Nothing would stay in her stomach.
  (May 23, 24, 25 are blank.)
May 26 My wife still worse. Henry James and Israel took it also.
May 27 Sunday ___ Arrived at the Camp Ground at 11 o'clock in the forenoon.
May 28 Monday ___ My dear wife died at 1/2 past 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
May 29 Tuesday ___ My wife burried at Atchison at 11 o'clock in the saints grave yard next to Auelia Morcer on the north side. Forward. In the afternoon my lovely son Henry James Clegg died at 6 o'clock. I burried him that same night next to his dear mother. Went forward to the camp, 5 miles, very wet night. I was very tired and ready to die with fatigue. 
[Henry's wife Hannah Eastham and son Henry James (1 year, 3 months old) both died of cholera]
May 30 Wednesday ___ Israel well but I went worse and worse and worse. For several days I was brought to death's door. I cannot describe my situation nor the hardships I endured. Must be felt to be known. (No further entry until June 7.)

June 1855

June 7 Thursday ___ Being my birthday, I am now 30 years of age. This afternoon I took a change and began to mend fast.
June 8 Much better. Thank God for all his mercies to me.  22 had died since we landed and several still ailing.
June 9 Still moving but short of men (Unreadable) and what little I had I must cook for myself.
June 10 Sunday ___ Felt considerably worse and low spirited.
June 11 Monday __ Still sickly.  Given to fret overmuch after my dear wife and child who had gone and left me alone by myself. 
June 12 A little better.   Walked out a little.
June 15 Worked in the garden among the potatoes. Felt much better.
June 16 Felt well. Israel also. Got orders to move to the others ---- in the ----.
June 17 We moved to the ---- to go off with them.
June 18 Felt first rate and in better spirits.
  (June 19, 20, 21 are blank.)
June 22 Thursday ___ Both in good health. Learning the art of ox driving.
June 23 Friday ___ Both in good health.
June 24 Fine day. Both in good health.
June 25 Sunday ___ Wrote 6 letters ---- Father ---- Father ---- Brother Lawronsons and P. Thruman ---- 2 for others.
June 26 Fine day. Both in good health.
June 27 Jobbed around camp.
June 28 Went a falling trees and drawing timber. Israel and I well.
June 29 Good health, served our provisions ---- Saw Bro. Lily and R. Beck from London.
June 30 All well. (Two lines of shorthand) About 20 saints blow town.
June 31(?) Started for the plains. Went only a few (100) yards, stopped to make things ready.

July 1855


July 1 Sunday ___ Fine day. Got out guns and learned our ox gone away.
July 2 Found ox, started for good to cross the plains.  The camp moved 12 miles and stopped by a creek.  Fine day, both well.  Saw an ox eaten by wolves.
July 2  (Lost day here) Tuesday ___ Make a start to Utah.  Went 12 miles.
July 3  Moved 15 miles over plain land.
July 4  Moved 12 miles over plain land.
July 5 Moved 12 miles over plain land.
July 6 Moved 8 miles over plain land.
July 7 Camp stopped and observed Sabbath.
July 9 --15 mi  --12 mi  --11-13 mi  --12-15 mi  --13--12 mi.
July 14 Arrived at sandy river, good water ---- 
July 15  Sunday ___ Stopped all day.  Not so well.
July 16 Moved 2 miles.  All well.
July 17 Moved 15 miles.  Ancient looking place.
July 18  16 miles.
July 18 (19) 15 miles and got lost.  Delayed us some time. 
July 20 Moved.  Saw hundreds of buffalo.  We ---- the 2 men---- 6 lost ---- shot a buffalo.
July 21 Moved 20 mi, Saw Amos A.  Buffalo, fine country.  Ate some buffalo meat for the first time.  Arrived at Platte River.
July 22 Sunday ___ Not being much wind, we moved 10 miles farther.
July 23 Went 18 miles.  Saw Ft. Cranny.  A great Indian trading place. [Fort Kearny]
July 24 Moved 24 miles up, lots of buffalo and fish
July 25 18 miles, fine land
July 26 18 miles
July 27 20 mi.  Thunder and very heavy  (rain?)
July 28  Moved 15 mi.
July 29 Moved 12 mi.  Sunday.
July 30  Moved 14 mi.  Saw lots of buffalo every day, also wolves, hares, bears and snakes, numerous others.  I have been in bad health for 5 days.  I was extremely bad so we camped all day (July 31 ?).  Some of the brethren went to shoot buffalo.

August 1855

August 1 Moved 16 miles.
August 2 Came to Platte where we have to cross it being 1/2 mile across. Saw the first Indians since we started.  Several of their squaws came in our camp begging. I looked at their features and took stock of them.
August 3 3:00 in the morning we crossed the river and camped on the other side until afternoon when we moved over a large hill toward another river called the South Platte. Got a quantity of cherries, being my father's birthday. I made a large pie and some coffee and drank my father's health on the fourth.
August 5 Sunday ___ Stopped all day by river Platte.
August 6 8 miles, very rough sandy road.
August 7 10 miles, still a rough road.
August 8 15 miles, better road.
August 9 15 miles, barren land. 
August 10 16 miles.
August 11 5 miles. Saw Indian, Sious. Rouby Dodd's an Indian trader. 
August 12 Sunday ___ Went 17 miles. Pleasant road with one exception.
August 13 Went 16 miles. Good road - got cherries and currants in abundance - also on previous day.
August 14 Went 15 miles - good road - got some currants and camped near the river. 2 sisters died that had met with an accident. One had got run over her chest. The other was shot through the arm, which caused her death. It occured through the carelessness of leaving the gun loaded, in the way, and with a cap on it. Another ---- acc't ----.
August 15 Went 10 miles and camped 2 hours. Then went on 4 miles more. Saw many Indians. Camped several miles from Ft. Laromy.
August 16 Passed Ft. Laromy, camped 4 miles other side Ft. Laromy. Sunday. Bands of Indians came all day, 500 at least (2 unreadable lines) Paid 30 beads for a pound of biscuits. A woman got shot - frightened. 
August 17 Went 15 miles over the black hills. Saw a camp of Indians.
August 18 Went 15 miles over the hills, very rough country. It was dark long before we camped. Brother Fulmer overtook us.
August 19 Sunday ___ 5 miles in the morning, several in the afternoon.
August 20 Went 24 miles.
August 21 Went 15 miles. (5 lines unreadable) was badly hurt (Must have been his foot).
August 22 Went 12 miles. The road from Laramie is very rough. My foot much better and I walked nearly all day.  Camped soon in the day. Elder Fulmer took leave of us and went forward.
August 23 Went 9 miles. Camped at nice creek, Sage Creek. My foot much better - almost.
August 24 Went 16 miles. Came to the Platte soon in the day. All in good spirits.
August 25 Went 22 miles. Camped at the side of the Platte where we had to cross. A beautiful place, everything necessary for man and beast.
August 26 Sunday ___ Went 8 miles. Crossed the Platte in the morning. Very rough bad road, tremendous mountains.
August 27 Went 16 miles. Rough country ----.
August 28 Went 24 miles. Started from 3 in the morning to 8 at night. Came to the Sweet Waters and camped by the side of Independence rock, 332 miles from the valley. (Last 2 pages unreadable except mileages.) 
August 29 8 miles
August 30 went 20 miles
August 31 went 10 miles
September 1 went 21 miles 
September 2 went 18 miles
September 3 went 23 miles
September 4 went 14 miles.



This diary of Henry Clegg Jr. was transcribed and distributed by his granddaughter Juventa Hamblin (she was named after the ship in which the Cleggs crossed the Atlantic). Juventa's accompanying note reads:

Since I have Grandfather Clegg's Diary I felt it was only fair that each of you should have a copy as I have translated it.  The only liberty I have taken is in putting the date in the margin so it is more easily read.

Some of this diary is in Henry's special brand of shorthand, indicated in this text by four hyphens "----".  Juventa Hamblin

Note: The original copy of this diary is held in the Historical Archives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. The call number on the microfilm is MS 6613.