The ship Brooklyn, and a map showing the route of it's voyage from New York to California in 1846, click here.
When the great historian, Hubert Howe Bancroft created his multi-volume history of the New World, many of the people who had played a part in that history were still living. He sought assistance from apostle Franklin D. Richards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and one of those asked to participate was our William Glover, who wrote of his adventures in California before the Gold Rush. The manuscript was not used directly in the history, but in 1981 I obtained a photocopy from the original at the Bancroft Library on the University of California, Berkeley campus, and this was typed from a photocopy of that:
THE MORMONS IN CALIFORNIA
Brother F.D.Richards, in writing this as an item of history I
will have to do so from memory as I have not kept any journal or
diary. If there should be any little mistakes or inaccuracies I
hope they will be excusable. Thirty-eight years is a long time to
stretch the mind over the ground of our travel, by sea and land
and gather every item that would be interesting; and as far as day
and date is concerned it is out of the question.
The Ship Brooklin left New York on the 4th of Feb.1846 with
17O emigrants, 65 of that number being men, with Samuel Brannan
President, E.Ward Pell and Isaac Robins, his counsellors. Nothing
out of the ordinary way of seafaring transpired till the 8th when
we encountered a very heavy storm that did not subside till the
12th. All on board were very sea sick. There was none well to
wait on the sick. Some that were more resolute than others
struggled to the deck to behold the sublime grandeur of the
scene--to hear the dismal howl of the winds and to see the ship
with helm lashed pitching, rolling, dipping in the troughs of the
sea and then tossed on the highest bellow. These are sights once
beheld are never to be forgotten. It was only by realizing the
Lord has said He holds the waters in His hand that we could have
faith to be delivered from our perilous condition. There were
some that were fearful, but the greater part had their abiding
faith and trust in God that all would be well, so much so that
some of the smaller ones, that were not quite so sick as others,
were singing the song "We are going to California," when Captain
Richardson came below to tell us to prepare for the worst, as he
had done all he could and there was but little hope of saving the
ship. He thought it was marvelous that any could sing while in
such peril, and that we ought to be praying and preparing for
death; but we felt and knew our Father was at the helm. He stared
at me when I answered and told him I was going to California.
When the storm was past the Captain, with spy-glass could see Cape
Verd Island near the African Coast.
In a few days the people were called together and organized
and an agreement drawn up and signed by all of the men, 65 in
number, that they would work together as a company to clear the
debt of the ship and make all the preparations they could for the
coming of the Church.
We had some sickness, Brother Ensign and daughter Eliza, were
the first that died; afterwards six small children, Silas Aldrich
and Sister Goodwin, the latter we buried on the Island of Juan
Our voyage was prosperous till within three days of landing.
At this point our water and fuel were getting short. It was
thought best to go in to Valpiraso to replenish the ship for the
rest of the voyage. There arose a heavy storm of wind, blowing
from the land. After trying for three days to go in to Port
Valpiraso without success we were forced to go to the Island of
Juan Fernandes. Here we got all the wood, water and fish we
wanted without money and without price, whereas, if we had gone
into Valpiraso it would have cost us hundreds of dollars; thus
showing to us the hand of the Lord and his overruling providences
and care for His people.
There were two brethren, Robert Smith, and Samuel Ladd that
understood military tactics. Brannan thought the brethren had
better learn them, as they didn't have much else to do, and
besides, we didn't know under what condition we could land.
Accordingly we were called out every day to drill and go through
the exercises of war discipline till Captain Richardson became
alarmed and ordered it to be stopped. We afterwards learned he
feared we would become mutineers. We were becalmed a few days
near the Equator. Nothing transpired worthy of note till we
landed at Wauhooane, off the Sandwich Islands, where we had some
freight to deliver, and get some more fresh water, which took
about a week. We were there on the Sunday and preached the first
Mormon Sermon on the Islands. We were four weeks going from there
to San Francisco. When we got to San Francisco Captain Montgomary
was there with the Portsmouth Sloop of war, and we were landed
under her guns. We expected to fight, and would have had to if
General Valyahu had not been called to Santa Cruse, leaving the
town unguarded. We landed, and there was no one to lift a stick
or a stone againt us. Our praises to God for the deliverance He
had wrought and for us, and our joy to once more set our feet on
tera firma, after being six months on the sea, can better be
imagined than described.
We had some tents, and as many went into them as could get.
There were but nine houses in the place, good and bad, besides the
Barracks, into which the balance crowded such as we could get so
that all were sheltered. As soon as we dare venture out a good
number went to the Mission Delorus, three miles away, and made
themselves very comfortable. We had one month's provisions when
we landed which was a great blessing to us, as we didn't dare to
go very far to find any. We owed the Captain (1,000) one thousand
dollars when we landed, in payment of which he agreed to take
lumber. Part of the company went to South Seleter, hired a
sawmill, hauled the logs, sawed and delivered the lumber and paid
the debt; while the balance of the company were left to protect
the families, and do whatever work they could. They took
contracts to make adobies, dig wells, build houses, and haul wood
to make money to keep up the expenses of the company. The first
addition we had to our provisons was jerked beef that was nearly
half spoiled and some dirty wheat that was thrashed on the ground
by oxen. We had to wash and pick it over to get the gravel out of
it and ground it without bolting, although our fare was not
sumptuous. We thanked God for what we had and none went hungry or
suffered for want. The landing of the Mormons was a terror to the
Spaniards. Although we stood guard nights for months we were not
When Col.Freemont came with his volunteer company he brought
the bear Flag, and he wanted Brannan and the Company to join and
go with him. The most of the Company were willing to go, but I
rebelled and told them I would not go. I thought we didn't want
anything to do with Missouri mobers, as there were many in
Freemont's Company that turned the scale. They all back out but
two. They returned without any pay and almost without clothes.
Col.Stephenson brought seven hundred volunteers from New York
and landed them along the coast in different places, but all was
peace. They had nothing to do. The city was surveyed and many
bought lots and built themselves comfortable houses. There was a
continual improvement in the city, almost from the day of our
landing. Our next move was to sellect part of the Company to go
to the San Joquin Valley to make preparations for the coming of
the Church. We bought a launch, oxen and seed wheat to send with
this company that cost a good deal of money. They went up there
and put in grain, built some houses and did all they could to
provide for the wants of the Saints when they would come. There
was a few that withdrew from the company, but nearly all clung
together till the Spring of '47 when Brannan was fitted out with
mules, provisions for himself and a man by the name of Charles
Smith to go and meet the Church and pilot them through. About
this time quite a number of the battalion boys came up from the
South. They brought word that some one had received a letter from
President Young telling the battalion to gather up to the
mountains as soon as they could. They with us, were very anxious
for Brannan's return to know where the Church was going to settle.
When Brannan returned and told the company that the Church would
stop at Salt Lake you can imagine our disappointment.
The company was broken up and everyone went to work for
themselves, to make a fit out to go to the Valley as best we
could. Most of those that kept together till the last have come
to Salt Lake. The land, the oxen, the crop, the houses, tools,
and launch all went into Brannan's hands and the company that did
the work never got any thing for their labor. While the brethren
labored in the Company they and their families had sometimes
nothing to eat, but boiled wheat and molasses until their wives
began to take in washing from the sailors and supported themselves
and their husbands. The next spring was 1848 when the gold was
discovered by Hudson and Willis, two of the brethren of the Mormon
Battalion. Brannan called a meeting of those who remained in San
Francisco and told us of the discovery of the gold. It was the
last meeting he called to my knowledge. A good many of us went to
what is called the Mormon Island to dig gold. Myself and family
were among the first on the ground. In a few days there was a
meeting called of all those that had gathered there. I was called
upon to give my opinion of how much land each man should have for
a claim across the Island. It was decided that each man should
have eighteen feet wide. All agreed to protect each other's
claims, that no strangers could impose upon us. At this time
people rushed to the gold mines in such numbers that provisions
became scarce. Flour sold for a dollar a pound and everything
else in proportion. Clothing was not to be had, hardly, at any
price. These times only lasted a short time. Ships began to pour
in from Chila and Oregon and other places loaded with provisions,
groceries, clothing and merchandize till everything was down again
quite reasonable. With the influxe of population of all grades,
nationalities, and color came the increase of wickedness,
stealing, robbing, murdering, and all manner of evil. It so often
occurred that some one was robbed and their bodies thrown in the
river that it became a common phrase of "Another man for
breakfast". Myself and some others thinking it was not a very
safe place for wives and children, returned to San Francisco where
we spent the fall and winter. In the Spring of '49 myself and a
few others gathered up our affects and started for Salt Lake.
While at Sacramento buying our outfits we met Amasa Lyman. He
wanted me to go to San Bernadino to settle and spend my money. I
told him no I had started for Salt Lake and I was going. He told
me then to go and I would get the nots knocked off me. When we
started across the mountains, the first night after we camped a
company of men with pack animals, 13 in number, armed to the teeth
with some picks and spades passed us professing to be prospectors
hunting for gold. They would pass and repass every day. We were
meeting companies of emigrants every day and sometimes they camped
with us to hear about the gold diggings. The emigrants began to
warn us to be on our guard and watch those men with pack animals
and said they intended mischief. One company told us they said we
had the cream of the mines and wanted them to join with them to
destroy us. We took every precaution we could, not to give them
any advantage of us. They turned back when they got to Carson
Valley, for the emigrants were coming along so fast we could meet
two or three companies a day. They had murder in their hearts,
but the Lord put a hook in their jaws so they had no power to
mollest us. We went on our way rejoicing and praising God that he
had spared our lives and the little means we had for a better
purpose. When we got between the Humbolt and Goose Creek Levi
Riter and Harry Green got in a hurry to reach home. They started
out alone and the first night they camped the Indians stole their
horses and fired at them. They ran and saved their lives, but
they got seperated in the darkness. The next day Harry Green came
and met us and told us what had happened. We turned back ten
miles to camp, and laid over the next day. Levi Riter went the
other way and met a company of 18 young men. He traveled back
with them to meet us. When they got where they had camped they
saw some of their animals and in trying to recover them they had
quite a fight with the Indians. Two men were killed and four
wounded--one died afterwards from his wounds, the balance turned
back with us to Salt Lake and wintered. The Indians burned their
light waggons and destroyed most of their provisions. We buried
the two dead men when we came to where they were and gathered up
what provisions were left, but saw no Indians.
We arrived in Salt Lake City on the last of September,
praising God that He had preserved us through all the varied and
trying scenes of a long, tedious, and perilous journey, when thank
God, I have never had cause to repent my choices of identifying
myself with the Latter-day Saints.
The following are the names of the passengers that went out
to California in the Ship Brooklin and that either came to the
Salt Lake Valleys or died in the faith in California, also their
places of residence as far as I know.-
William Glover and family Farmington Isaac Robins and family Provo John Robins and family Salt Lake City William Kittleman and family Centerville Daniel Starks and family Payson
Alondus Buckland-his mother and family Bountiful
Silas Aldrich (dead) family are in Bountiful
Christiana Reed (dead) family " Cache
Robert Smiths (dead) wife and family Sandy
William Evans (dead) wife and family Centerville
John Eager (dead)
Newel Bullen (dead) wife and family Richmond
Peter Pool, mother and sister Smithfield Samuel Ladd St. George George Serine Mexico
Abram Combs, wife (dead) family in Beaver
Rinaldo Mary and mother Kaysville
Mrs. Joice (dead) family
Julius Austin, wife (dead) and family Bear Lake
Horace Skinner and family Beaver Eliza Savage Salt Lake City Zelnora Snow Farmington
Edwin Narrimore and mother
Isaac Goodwin and family Cache
Mrs. Hamilton and daughter Mary Sparks and family Salt Creek
Henry Rollins, Isaac his son and daughter Jane Tompkins (all dead)
Br. Ensign and daughter Eliza died on the ship.
Mary Fisher, died a St. Jose Mission in the faith.
Emerline Lane (dead)
Charles Burr and family (his father and mother dead) Burrville
John Scott died in the faith
John Kittleman died in the faith
Jeruzha Nichols " " "
Richard Knowls " " " and wife
Kin Kade and wife " " "
Mrs. Moses " " " Clarisa her daughter came to the valley
Amelia Smith daughter of Orin Smith " " "
Jasper Aldrich (dead).
These are the names of those that have apostatized and those
who have not gathered, whether they are all apostates or not I do
Samuel Brannan and family
Mrs. Carwin San Francisco
James Sight and family
John Horner " " Sandwich Islands
Albert Lee " "
Richard Patch " " and wife dead
E.W. Pell " " San Francisco
William Stout " "
Jonathen Griffith " "
Joseph Nichols " " and wife dead
Earl Martial " "
Isaac Adison and family States. William Atherton " " Oakland Peter McCue " " States
Orin Smith " "
George K. Winner " "
Julian Moses " " but Clarisa her mother died in the faith.
M.M. Mader " "
Jerusha Fowler " "
Origin Mary " " San Francisco
Jacob Hays (dead)
Barton Mary died a Spiritualist San Francisco
Mr. and Mrs Still and family
Mrs. Eager and daughters
Sarah Kittleman dead
George Kittleman dead
Thomas Kittleman dead
Elisha Heat San Francisco
Thales Haskel dead
Joseph Hicks dead
Simon Stevers, San Jose. Jesse Stringfellow, Pubelo. Cyrus Ira, States. Mrs. Jones, San Jose.
Miss Murray, San Jose. John Serrine and family, States.
Mrs. Ensign and Son. Edward Kemble.
Mr. Bancroft, Dear Sir
Yours of the 24 inst is at hand. I imbrace this my earliest
oportunity to answer your questions to the best of my ability.
1st Samuel Johnson in the Honolulu list is the same person as
Samuel Ladd in my list when he came here he took the name of Ladd
and said it was his right name. Isaac Leigh of the Honolulu list
I presume is right as my memory is not as good as I could wish it
was in remembering names and especialy Christen names Caroline
Warner married a man in San F;co by the name of Thorp she has been
dead some years.
2d Origin and Rinaldo are sons of Barton Morey.
3d I think Ambrose J Moses is corect and that Clarisa M. is
4th John Kittleman that died in San Francisco was the father
of George Thomas Larch and William. None had a family but him.
5th there is no Mr. _____[too dark on the copy to
read]__________ ______________________ Foice and family, the
reason _____ these names separate was to distinguish those that
had emigrated here and those that had remained there.
6th I am shure Mary Sparks is Mrs. Hamilton's daughter.
7th Christiana Reeds family consisted of John, Rachel, Hannah
J and child the right name of the last two was Limison that is the
sound of the name perhaps it is not spelt right.
8th John Robins family live in S.L.C.
9th We call the name Rollins but I am sure Rowland is
1Oth James Scott excommunicated on the voyage is correct as I
well remember since braught to my mind.
11th I was not aware that there was any Lirrine but George
lived as Mesa City it is quite probable that John may be there
also and it is quite likely that some of those in Cal may yet be
12th I didn't know any one in Cal by the name of Glover but
13th Mary Sparks and family I have heard are at Salt Creek
14th The names you have mentioned as announced in the Times
and Seasons intending to sail on the Brooklyn were not there.
15th Orin Smiths family remained in Honolulu in bad health.
please excuse all mistakes and blunders as I was not aware that
any portion of what I have written would be published to the world
hoping this will prove satisfactory, I remain yours verry
respectfully, Wm Glover
P.S. if there is any thing else I can make more clear and
positive by your joging my memory I will beg to do so WG
(From original at Bancroft Library, Berkeley, California)
The following account by Francis Asbury Hammond mentions our William Glover. Hammond was a whaler who was injured and left in Hawaii to die. He recovered and made his way to San Francisco:
"About the first of October, 1847, I sailed for California on board a small schooner loaded with fruit, potatoes, and general products of the Islands. After we had come to anchor we hoisted out our yawl boat, and the captain and three men passengers, besides myself, got in and pulled to shore. On our landing, we found quite a few men with draws, a kind of a low, two-wheeled one-horse cart, with a kind of platform extending quite a distance in the rear of the wheels, and raised but little from the ground. One of these persons stepped up to me and saluted and asked me if I wanted my baggage taken to a hotel. I replied that I did. He asked me to which one. I replied that I was a stranger and told him to take me to any respectable place.
"This man was Brother William Corey, as I afterwards learned, a sergeant in the ever-memorable Mormon Battalion. He stopped at a Mormon boarding house kept by William Glover. While sitting at the supper table, which was well supplied with good, substantial food, to my great surprise and disgust, mixed with indignation, I learned that I was in the midst of a company of Mormons, and I the only Gentile in the house. My feelings can only be imagined.
"In making the acquaintance of Mr. Glover, I very soon found him to be a real bonny Scotchman and blest with more than an average of good common sense, besides being well read up on many subjects. After this became apparent I was greatly surprised that he was a professed Mormon, and who so intelligent and seemingly good and honorable man associated with those abominable Mormons, who were everywhere evil spoken of, I could not understand. I finally made hold to inquire of him about his religious belief. I asked if he and the Mormons believed in the good old Protestant Bible, and soon found myself unable to sustain my position in regard to the Bible being the whole word of God, and I was so surprised to learn that the Mormons had from the Bible so much proof for their faith, that I was quite willing to give up my argument and listen to Mr. Glover, while he unfolded to my mind the true doctrines of Christ as contained in the Bible.
"This, my first interview with a Mormon Elder, lasted from early eve until the fowls commenced crowing for morning, and when we parted, it was with a feeling on my part that I would not be ashamed to have it known that I had put up at a Mormon hotel."
--Voices from the Past: Diaries, Journals, and Autobiographies,
[BYU] Campus Education Week, 1980, pp. 41-42.
To read a biography of William Glover, click here. To read a biography of Francis Asbury Hammond, click here. To read California's first newspaper, the California Star, click here. To return to the Christensen Family index page, click here.