4 July 1856 – Train Journey Continues – Mary Taylor


Diary of Samuel Openshaw

July 4 – Beautiful and hot day. We have been going all the night and slept as best we could. Passed over the Genesee Falls, which is in the city of Rochester, and arrived at Buffalo at 11 o’clock a.m. A few kindled a fire and we boiled our kettles and got some coffee and then took our bundles into another train and started for Cleveland at 2 o’clock p.m., except about forty of the men who stayed behind to see after the luggage. Levi and I were among the number. We changed the luggage into another train of cars and then got something to eat and then took a view of the city of Buffalo. It is a very healthy place. Streets very wide, and telegraphic wires running to every part of the city. Some of the streets had trees on each side which are refreshing in the hot of the day. It stands upon the banks of Lake Erie. Being the Fourth of July, the city formed the same appearance as Dolton did when Sebastopol was taken, with flags on the houses and across the streets also shooting and fireworks. We left Buffalo about ten o’clock with the express for Cleveland, 180 miles, and arrived about six o’clock a.m.– about ten minutes after the rest.

Journal of Joseph Beecroft

Friday 4th Awaking pretty early, about 3 o’clock, I looked out for the demonstration of celebrating the Fourth of July, but there was only a few here and there well dressed persons and engines decorated with ribbons, evergreens, and flags. As the day advanced we saw more signs of the day of days with Americans. We passed Battavia and got into Buffalo about 11, changed carriages and got tea, then started off about 2. We had amongst others squires, tenants for a carriage passenger. Before we changed carriages and when we got into the other carriages we had Mr. Tenant for our nearest neighbor. He had his wife, her mother, and his child. What had Mormonism done? Such a spectacle was scarcely ever witnessed as to see one who has been so rich, so high in life, to come to be huddled together with the poorest of the poor and see how patiently he endures all things is truly wonderful. Our first [p.35] carriage was a cattle pen and 2nd was an improvement which had a place of convenience for us at one end the 3rd change. Our 3rd change was an improvement on the others, and our fourth had not only padded seat backs but very soft padded seats; where we had our rich brothers for our next neighbor. Our fourth change was made at [-] Cleveland and was made about half past 8 o’clock on the morn of [-].

Autobiography of John William Southwell

In this miserable way we were conveyed to Cleveland, Ohio, at very slow pace. The country along the track was studded with fine orchards, bearing fine apples and all kinds of fruit. The fruit was so tempting that at the rate of travel, the young men would jump from the train, fill their pockets, and overtake the slow moving institution. However slow, it brought us into Cleveland on the morning of the greatest day in America. Not realizing the meaning of all this parading and firing of firecrackers and artillery, an elder of the church explained it all to our satisfaction. Since that day, however, the 4th of July is as precious to a Latter-day Saint as to any American born citizen who lives under the flag flying stars and stripes, the red, white, and blue. [p. 9]

While waiting in that city for change of cars a great rainstorm continued two days. We and our luggage were exposed to the weather, the company having no sheds to protect. A large barn was secured and all were transferred to it until the storm abated. A few had secured rooms for their accommodation but the great majority were huddled together in the barn. Like Missouri and other places the people of the town despised the Mormons and after the Saints had retired for the night, a mob of bullies including some females gathered around the barn and kept up for hours such a howling and bombarding with stones and bats it equaled any Indian powwow I have ever listened to on the frontiers. Finally the presidency of the company found a person who it seemed had some authority, who persuaded the mob to desist and go to their homes. However, it left the people in a state of terrible excitement. Not a person closed an eye that night in sleep.


60 Years Ago Today

Thursday, 5 June 1952:

At our 10:30 a.m. meeting, the mortality rate was rather high. There were only three of the 31 kids present at class. Dr. Watkins lectured us on France and in the middle of the lecture the waiters brought broth and cakes.

After the lecture, it was time for another delicious lunch. I thugged the menu as usual. There were apples on deck as I wrote in my diary. A little later, there was a storm brewing and Alicia wasn’t feeling well. So I sat on the stern and watched the churning waters.

At our 3 p.m. French class we only had 22 students present. We separated into two groups to study. After class, I was sitting on the bench by the rail on the promenade deck and Carol’s would-be friend, Joe, came by. Then we went into the lounge to get an orange drink and met some kids playing checkers. The girl, Eleanor, was going to a youth conference in Germany and the boys, Bill Borcherding, Frank Cuff, and Lewie Valle, were touring Europe on their own. One of them knew Rex Johnson. Somehow we got off on Mormonism, and I did my best to give them a clear picture of our beliefs.

At dinner, our numbers were definitely decreased. Once again the food was so good. Then I decided to take a nap. What I thought was only a few minutes turned out to be a couple of hours. It was 10 p.m. when I awoke.

On deck, I found the group of Puerto Rican students holding forth on the promenade deck. They were singing and dancing. I recognized one number Barrachita. Later, I asked Rosa, who I had met earlier and had been singing some solos, if they knew Por Un Beso De Amor? She said no, but asked what else I knew. So I said Barrachita and they sang it again for me. The whole group seemed talented. Before retiring we set our clocks up an hour, so it was about one in the morning when we got ready for bed. As I went to sleep the water was rather rough.