Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network

Pioneer 1848-1868 Companies

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1854 (age 30), Cruickshank (Morrison), Mary Margaret Forquhar (Scotland)

I, Mary Margaret Forquhar Cruickshank Morrison, am a native of Aberdeen, Scotland; born in that city June 5, 1823, of good honest parents, being next to the eldest of ten children. My father, William Cruickshank, was born in Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, and my mother, Mary Forquhar, was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. I received a common school education until I was fourteen years, after which, being the eldest daughter, I had to stay at home to assist my mother with her domestic duties in which I took great pleasure.

It was my mother's special delight to see me take an interest in all that had to be done in the family, also to see that it was done well. My dear mother used to say to me: "Maggie, whatever you do, do it well. It will not hurt you to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of what a housewife's duty is." Her kind admonition and valuable instruction has been the joy of my life, and has constantly been a silent monitor to guide me along life's journey.

On the 22nd of December, 1843, I was married to William Morrison by the Rev. David Simpson, minister of the Free Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland at Aberdeen, I being a member of that church. My husband was a young man of good reputation and he had many noble qualities of head and heart. He also had the advantage of a classical education and was a good Latin scholar. We entered life's journey together with youth, health, much happiness and bright prospects before us. In the spring of 1844 my husband received a government appointment in Her Majesty's Dockyard, Sherrness, Kent, England, to which place we migrated on the 31st of October. That same year we had a son born whom we named Anthony Bruce Morrison. He was the light and sunshine of our happy home. Everything went on pleasantly with nothing to mar our peace for about three years. Then my husband was taken down with fever and ague. In a very short time I was seized with the same disease and we were both ill more or less for nine months. When the doctor pronounced me incurable, my husband applied for a transfer which was granted immediately, and we were removed to Her Majesty's Dockyard, Woolwich, Kent, England.

In the month of November, 1848, we heard the principles of the great latter-day work preached by Elder Thomas Bradshaw and ...were baptized January 1, 1849. After this great event our aim and end was to gather with the Saints to the land of Zion, and our future course was shaped accordingly.

To America
...We sailed from Liverpool on board the ship Germanicus on the 6th of April, 1854; my husband, my two little daughters, my brother-in-law, James Freston, and his son, Willie, all in good health and comparatively good spirits. Our journey across the Atlantic was long and tedious, it being eleven weeks from the date of starting from Liverpool until the time we arrived at New Orleans. I had not been seasick, not one hour, or any of my family, which surely was a great blessing and one we could very much appreciate after seeing so much sickness all around us.

The next day after our arrival at New Orleans, we sailed for St. Louis and were two weeks on the river. Never did a more healthy company land. But seeing we had been so long at sea, the city authorities deemed it improper for us to land so we were towed back to a small island nearby. There we had to remain quarantined at their pleasure. We were only there one day when the people began to take sick and in one week's time, eighty persons died of cholera. I myself had a severe attack, but through the blessing of God I was restored. A petition was sent into the city begging that we be allowed to leave that dreadful place, and our petition was granted; but in many cases it was too late, for disease had laid hold and many victims were doomed to an early grave. Among those were my three darlings. Within ten days I lost my own two daughters and my nephew. On the 23rd of July, my sweet darling Mary Isabella died of cholera, aged two years and six months. On the 28th of July my beautiful Sarah Allen died, aged four years, and on August 2nd my darling nephew, Willie Freston, aged four years, all of the same dreadful disease. They all lie side by side in the Holy Ghost Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Surely my sorrow was greater than I was able to endure. Left childless and in a strange land, broken down in body, it seemed as nothing could compensate me for the heavy loss I had sustained. But in the midst of my great affliction the Lord again blessed me, and on the 3rd of January, 1855, I had another daughter born, whom we named Mary Margaret. This again brought sunshine into our home for a short period. But in the month of November of the same year, death again robbed me of my blossom after being privileged to enjoy her sweet company just ten months.

The Trek
It would take too much time to enter into every detail that transpired during those intervals on our sad journey. Nevertheless in the spring of 1856, our faces still turned Zionward; we again commenced our journey from St. Louis by way of Omaha, and from there crossed the plains by oxteam. For six weeks we remained in camp at Omaha, living in tents, waiting for the company to get ready. On the 26th of June, 1856, we commenced our journey. We were sixty wagons in all, with Canute Petersen as captain of our company. He was a wise and most efficient leader. During our journey our cattle stampeded five times. A young man from Denmark was run over and instantly killed, but otherwise there were no accidents on the journey. On the 14th of July a herd of buffalo passed right through our camp. This surely was a great sight and as no accident occurred we were indeed very thankful for the preserving care which had been around us.

On the 23rd of September we arrived in Salt Lake City in good health and glad to meet many dear friends with whom we were acquainted before we left England. Soon after our arrival my husband bought us a good city lot and house in the Fifth Ward in Salt Lake City for $300 and we were soon most comfortably fixed, seeing we had brought so many necessary comforts with us from England. And on the 28th of November, 1856, he was engaged to take charge of a mill which was under construction at Farmington. His employers were S. W. Richards, and Joseph Caine of the firm Elias Smith and Company.

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.