Tuesday, March 18, 2014

David Nathan Thomas (Part 4)

The ship John J. BoydFrom Dastrup Family.

Emigration to Utah 1862

On April 23, 1862, David Thomas with his four children left Liverpool on the packet ship John J. Boyd with 701 LDS Saints on board under the direction of James S. Brown who had previously been president of the Nottingham District.
Two days before while the ship lay at anchor in the River, Presidents Lyman, Rich and Cannon came on board and organized the company and appointing James S. Brown, president and Elders John Lindsay and Joseph C. Rich as his counselors. They gave the Saints counsel on their duties and the necessity for their living continually so as to enjoy the Holy Spirit, that its influence might sustain them under the changing scenes and varied circumstances incident to the journey they had entered upon. The Spirit of God was poured forth and a holy influence shed its power upon all on board. [21]
The 701 Saints came from the many conferences and districts of England and Wales. Among those from the Leicester Conference was Adeline Sparks who had also been waiting for a long time to go to Zion and finally she was able to obtain passage on the John J. Boyd. [22]

The passenger summary for the John J. Boyd, Mormon Migration.

As hard as it was for David and his family to make preparations for the trip to Zion and to lose their wife and mother and to walk to Liverpool, the voyage across the ocean was only slightly less difficult. The LDS church contracted with sailing ships for passage to Zion as the sailing ships were much cheaper than passage on a steamship. David and his family probably did not look back on their ship voyage with fond memories as they endured the trials of sailing ships which included seasickness, inadequate food, a lack of privacy, cramped living quarters, stale water, disease, and a longer journey. From the first day the 701 saints on board the John J. Boyd suffered the ill effects of seasickness because of the strong winds and adverse weather conditions. Joseph C. Rich who had been serving a mission in England and was now returning to Utah wrote in his journal about their departure from Liverpool:
About half past nine, April 23rd the tug left us to the mercy of the waves, and a kind Father in Heaven. When the anchors were lifted, all hands were singing, laughing and joking. But oh how different the scene before night. Out of 700 passengers, only about a dozen could be found able to do anything. Sister Hardy's little baby five months old died in the afternoon while the father and mother were confined to their berths with sea-sickness. Not a woman on board was able to assist in laying the child out. Brother Brown, Welch, and myself washed, dressed, and laid out the child in the evening. I assisted the sick nearly all day, which came very near making me as bad as any of them, but I stuck it out, and stayed up till 2 o'clock in the morning, doing for the sick and arranging the guards. [23]
For some passengers, the seasickness continued throughout the journey, and as a result, some passengers died from malnutrition and dehydration caused by the seasickness.

[21] “Reminiscences and Journals of James Steven Brown,” Passenger accounts of the John J. Boyd voyage of 1862, Liverpool to New York, http://lib.byu.edu/mormonmigration/voyage.

[22] Mormon Immigration Index, Family History Resource File, CD-ROM Library: Passenger list for the John J. Boyd shows David & Children and Adeline Sparks as passengers on the April 1862 voyage.

[23] “Diary Extract of Joseph C. Rich,” Passenger accounts of the John J. Boyd voyage of 1862, Liverpool to New York, http://lib.byu.edu/mormonmigration/voyage.

Rigby, Helen. "A History of David Nathan Thomas and his wives, Mary, Adeline & Frances." Utah: n.p., 2011.

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