Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
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Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1866 (age 35), Hopkins (Clark), Caroline

Caroline Hopkins Clark, born May 15, 1831, at Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England, was a daughter of Samuel and Ann Newey Hopkins. The early years of her life were spent in England, where she received her education. Hearing the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preach the Gospel, she was converted and baptized December 12, 1849, and as a result was rejected by her family. A short time after being baptized, she met a young convert named John Clark whom she married May 31, 1852. Nine children were born to this couple while they were living in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England; three died and were buried there. Those who accompanied the parents to Utah in 1866 were William Roland, Harriet, Orson John, Herbert Henry, Edwin Francis and Martha Eliza. Six more children were born after the arrival of the family in Utah. They settled in Upton, Summit County, Utah, where Caroline died October 30, 1900. The following, taken from her diary, was sent back to her people in England:

To America
Monday, April 30, 1866-Ship John Bright sailed from Liverpool, England, with 747 Saints under the direction of C. M. Gillett and landed in New York, June 6, 1866. We left Liverpool at four o'clock on the afternoon of April 30, 1866.

May 2nd-Martha is seasick. We went upon deck. It is a grand sight to see the waves roll mountains high. Herbert seasick, and Roland poorly. Sister Staples is very kind in helping with the children. John is busy attending to the cooking, but all together very comfortable.

3rd-We have just been up on deck to see a steamer pass. A hailstorm has commenced and the vessel is rocking. It is about time for prayers.

4th-The ship rolls very much. Martha and I went up on deck. A wave dashed over and gave us a ducking. We saw five large fish. Their heads resembled those of horses.

6th-We are feeling a little better. Martha said she dare say you would be wondering what we were having for our dinner. We had a Yorkshire pudding. Just as it was done, the captain ordered us up on the deck, so we had to stand outside and eat it the best we could. We also had boiled potatoes and peas. They had to stand in the water about one hour after they were done, before we could get to eat them. Evening, we are on the top deck, and the winds are very high. Little Frank is afraid he will fall over. We wish you were all with us, particularly Tom Green. He would make a little fun out of it, to see us tossing to and fro.

7th-We are sailing very swiftly today. I wanted to find what time it was, and Jack said I was to ask Mrs. Barlow.

8th-John has to work very hard in the cooking department.

10th-The sea is very rough. None of us are able to stand on our legs. I fell down and hurt my leg badly, and John has had many falls, in fact we all fall more or less. The tins are rolling about, the victuals are tossing about, but we cannot help laughing.

11th-Dare say you have heard people say they could go to sleep with rocking, but we cannot go to sleep with rocking. We had plenty last night. Talk about a swing boat, why bless your life, it is nothing compared to being rocked on the sea. We can hardly keep in bed. We had to get up and turn our heads where our feet should be, or we would not stay in bed at all. The tins and boxes were rolling about. The slop buckets upset. The sailors said it was as rough a night as they had ever seen, and it continued so all day.

12th-Saturday night, 6 o'clock. We have just finished dinner. The sea still remains very rough, but we are not at all afraid for we feel we shall get to New York quite safe. The reason I tell you of these things is because I told you I would send you the truth of how things were. We have plenty of music and dancing on board. Mr. Cox is very tolerable.

15th-A beautiful fine day. We had a concert and dancing on deck. At night we went up on top deck to see the sun sinking in the west. It is the grandest sight we ever witnessed. It is impossible to describe, but if you would like to see it you will have to do as we have done. It is my birthday today.

18th-A very rough day, and we were driven back some distance. We have had to keep to our bed because we could not stand up. Sometimes we were almost upright in bed. There was much confusion with the boxes and tins, as many were smashed all to pieces. John has had several falls, but the rest of us are well now.

20th, Sunday-We have had two good meetings during the day. It is very foggy. John is boiling potatoes for our supper.

22nd-We expect to be given notice in about a week to quit the John Bright.

23rd-Every few days they stove the vessel out, so we have to go up on deck. We had our dinner, of meat pies and jam tarts, up on top deck. We thought if Brother Greene and some of the Birmingham boys had been with us, it would have caused rare fun to see us gypsying in the sun and to see the big fish trying to catch the little ones. We have had three births but no deaths. Herbert, Frank and the baby have the whooping cough.

24th-Very foggy. We cannot see far, and we dread the banks of Newfoundland, where whales were seen this morning.

25th-We wonder if our "company general" went to have his bread and cheese. We would like to have some. We have to drink water and vinegar with a little sugar in it for our drink.

26th-We fully expect the pilot in tomorrow to take us to Castle Gardens. Our health is very good.

30th-The sea is very rough. Little Frank and Roland were seized with a blight in their eyes. We had to be smoked out again, so we took our dinner on top deck. We can see many fishing smacks, so expect we are nearing land.

31st-Quiet and cold as winter in Birmingham. The vessel is quite at a standstill.

June 1st-Much warmer, many fishing smacks about. The second mate and two more men went out in a boat and brought a turtle which caused a great deal of fun on deck. Little Frank seized with the measles.

2nd-The vessel goes as much backward as forward, so you see how fast we are sailing. The baby and I have the bowel complaint.

3rd-About one o'clock we saw a boat coming along which proved to be the pilot. There was great shouting for joy. Sorry to say, the baby keeps very ill. Little Frank is some better.

4th-Smoked out again. Great preparations were made for the inspector to come and look over the ship. Martha, in a great hurry to come down stairs, came down all at once, but has not hurt herself much.

New York
5th-The tug has just come to take us to New York. It is the grandest sight I have ever witnessed; to see things as we go up the river. We have just gone up on deck to pass the doctor. He took no notice of any of us, so we passed first rate.

6th-We are still on the ship in much confusion. They have taken our berths down. We expect to go into Castle Gardens today. Sam and Emma Pike came to see us.

7th-We were taken into Castle Gardens today about 12 o'clock. We had to stay there until twelve o'clock at night. During this time we went into New York, and found some bread and cheese and a little something else. We had to pay at the rate of a pence for a small loaf. Martha and I bought a hat for traveling. They are one yard and three quarters around. If you take a piece of string and measure with it, you can see how far it was around our hats. At ten o'clock we had to walk about two miles to a steamboat. The lame, old, and children had to have cars, so we fell in with that number. We had to sit in the boat all night, so you can guess how comfortable we were.

By Train 8 Days to St. Joseph/Baby Died
8th-At break of day we were hurried out to go to the train. We rode all day. It is a pleasing country. It is impossible to describe the acres of land that lie uncultivated. Riding in the train is very tiresome. It is something like a galvanic battery, and much faster than we go in England.

9th-We are still riding by rail. We went through British Canada. We were stopped on the road and searched by soldiers for firearms. We had to change trains at Montreal. Mr. Wheeler, the cab man, met with an accident. He had to have his foot taken off. We saw some beautiful waterfalls on the road. The houses are mostly built of wood. The people dress fine about here.

10th-Still continue on by rail. We got some new suits, which were quite neat. Things were very cheap in Canada. Meat is one half shilling a pound and everything else according. The eggs are five pence a dozen. Things have raised on account of the war. Soldiers are stationed every short distance along the road.

11th-We are still journeying by railway. We had to change cars and drop over a river into the United States. There we got refreshments and started again on our journey. The baby remains very ill.

12th-It is very tedious, riding by rail so long. The country looks well. We have passed by nice villages. Herbert is seized with the measles.

13th-Very sad news to tell of today's journey. Mr. Cox was taken worse during the night, and remained so until about nine o'clock, when he died. The name of the place was called Michigan. He was taken on to Chicago. We stayed there during the night. Sorry to say baby keeps very ill. Little Frank has the bowel complaint.

14th-Today's journey is a sad one to us, on account of the death of our own dear baby. It grieved us much. She died at the place where Mr. Cox was buried. John stayed behind to bury her. She died with the same complaint as my other three children. We left Chicago and proceeded by train to Quincy. We changed trains, and crossed the river.

15th-We took the train and proceeded to St. Joseph, and stayed all day and night there. We inquired about Mr. Burr from Birmingham, and found him. We had a very hearty breakfast, dinner and tea. We had for dinner, a leg of lamb, green peas, and new potatoes. They wanted John to stay with them. He would get from four to five pounds a week. A gentleman got out of his carriage and wanted Martha to stay. He said he would give her four dollars and her board a week. The servants have not much work to do.

Three Days by Boat to Wyoming, Nebraska
16th-Then we took a boat and went up the Missouri River. The water is very dirty with undercurrents. We saw Indians on the bank.

17th-We still keep going up the river. We have to be on top deck. We can lie and see the moon and stars shining upon us.

18th-We are still on the river. It remains very hot, and the water keeps very muddy all the way.

Wyoming, Nebraska
19th-Arrived in Wyoming, very early in the morning. The heat is very oppressive. You should see the children, they are blistered with the sun. Little Frank's arm is very bad. We can see something like sparks of fire. They are small insects. There are not many houses. The teams came to the river for our luggage and took it on to the grove.

20th-We pitched our tent at night, then a heavy thunder storm came up and we all got wet through. We had to take the children into a shed and keep them there until we dried their clothes.

22nd-Another lot of teams have joined us. We do not know how long we will stay here.

23rd-We are still in the shed. We saw Mrs. Yates from Birmingham.

24th-We do not expect to leave for four or five weeks, then we will start with the Birmingham Saints.

26th-The London Saints arrived this morning. Mary was confined this morning. She has a girl and doing fine.

27th-We had more friends come to see us. One gave us about two pecks of flour and other things which came in very useful. Brother Bean came and showed us how to make our bread for the plains.

29th-We went over to Nebraska today. It is very rough riding. Sometimes we went up, down and sidewise with our ox team. The teamsters said that was nothing to what we would have to go thru before we got to Utah.

July 3rd-Still remains very hot. We had another thunderstorm but escaped getting wet. We do not know when we leave here.

To Utah with Captain Chipman
11th-Left Wyoming five miles, and then we joined Captain Chipman's trains.

16th-We traveled very slow. Today we were crossing a creek, when the cattle turned, I went to get down out of the wagon, and Mr. Stonehouse went to help me and we both fell and hurt us very bad. John went to stop the brake, and got a bad foot sprain. He isn't able to sit up with his. The weather is very hot. The children are getting fat.

22nd-We passed Tree Creek and Beaver Creek today. We reached the Platte River. John's foot is better, he can walk again.

25th-Yesterday was the anniversary of our people who first entered the valley. We traveled about half the day, then we had singing and dancing, and all enjoyed ourselves. We are journeying by the Platte River. A young deaf and dumb girl died in our camp.

30th-We are still by the Platte River. There are small mountains on one side, and mountains on the other. We passed Cotton Tree Creek, and there were many soldiers camped there on account of the Indians. There were two more deaths in our camp.

Aug. 1st-We crossed the Platte River. It was very deep, and in places took the wagons up to the covers. We all got over safely, but our clothes were wet.

6th-We left the South Platte (a distance of fifteen miles). You should have seen the mountains we went down. It looked impossible for any persons to go down them, let alone with wagons and oxen. We are among the Indians.

10th-We passed Chimney Rock. It is a rock that can be seen many miles off, and forms a chimney. We passed high rocks. All things are going well with us.

14th-We passed Laramie, Wyoming; the soldiers stopped our train to see what firearms we had. They told us the Indians had killed a hundred or more and robbed them. I guess you would like to know how we live on the plains. We do not get any fresh meat or potatoes, but we get plenty of flour and bacon. We have some sugar, a little tea, molasses, soap, carbonate of soda, and a few dried apples. We brought some peas, oatmeal, rice, tea, and sugar, which we had left from the vessel. We bought a skillet to bake our bread in. Sometimes we make pancakes for a change. We also make cakes in the pan, and often bran dumplings with baking powder. We use cream of tartar and soda for our bread, sometimes sour dough. At times Roland goes to the river and catches fish and sometimes John shoots birds. We get wild currants and gooseberries to make puddings. All together we get along very well.

18th-Today we had trouble with the Indians. We suppose they followed us. We had just corralled, and begun to cook our dinners, when the alarm came that the Indians were driving away our cattle. The boys followed them, but they got away with ninety-one head and wounded three.

20th-We passed Deer Creek. The same day the Indians took our cattle, they took all the possessions of two homes, killed the people and burned their homes. A telegraph message has come to tell us Brigham Young is sending us some mule teams and provisions to help us.

22nd-We crossed the.....[Ft. Caspar] bridge. There were many soldiers stationed there on account of the Indians.

24th-This morning we were just starting when four of our men drove in about one-hundred cattle that they had taken from the Indians. We found the train they belonged to and we gave them back.

26th-We passed the Devil's Gate. Jack wanted to know if the devils lived there. John has been appointed captain of the guards. We have been forced to have men guard our trains back and front.

29th-Today we saw the first mountains with snow on them. At noon we came to some springs called, Iced Springs. It is very cold. We can scarcely keep ourselves warm.

Sept. 1st-We passed South Pass. The cold has been severe. We dined on the leg of an antelope. It sure was a treat.

3rd-The mule teams have met us and brought provisions. They have gone on to meet the ones that waited back.

6th-We crossed Green River and Ham's Fork River. Today was the twins" birthday. We had a hare and a half, so we are not starving. Little Frank keeps very thin, but seems pretty well in health.

9th-We passed muddy station. They say we are just a hundred miles from the Valley. We had another birth, and three children have died. We are still able to see snow on the mountains. Mr. Gillett, captain of our vessel, has died on the plains. He was just a young man and highly respected.

Stopped in Coalville, another child died
12th-We have reached Coalville. John and Bill went on early in the morning and found Tom and Frank. They brought a team and took us from the train to their house where they made us very comfortable. I would like to have gone on to the Valley, but I began to feel very unwell and thought it best to stop. Little Frank was worse as well.

23rd-Today we had more trouble on account of the death of dear little Frank. He got worse every day after we got to Frank's and died September 23. He suffered a lot with pain. He has never been well since he had the measles. His little body just wasted away. He was very merry on the journey and was often singing until the last two days. He had plenty to have done him good. Some people brought me eggs, new milk, a fowl for him, plenty of fresh butter, biscuits, and plenty of milk for getting, so we are not starving.

Dear Friends:
Whomever may read this letter, be sure when you come to bring plenty of flour, suet, lard, currants, raisins, a little tartaric acid, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, laboring bonnets, they are very useful for women and children. Be sure to take care of your provisions. For some days, you feel like you could not eat anything, but your appetite will come to you in time. Be sure to bring some onions and potatoes. If you cook your meat one day and have some left, it makes nice potato pies. You must bring flour. Then the fat of the meat makes nice crust. Bring a large tin to wash in.

We had plenty to eat all the while we were on the sea, but often we had to wait a long time before we could get it cooked. It is a tedious journey by rail. You want your water bottle. When you start by rail get plenty of provisions to last three days and water. Save all your pieces. You will need them on your journey. You also need a baking pan to bake your bread in on the plains.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.