Pioneer 1847 Companies
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Daniel Stark - Ship "Brooklyn" Emigrant (from
his diary, covering 1846-1857)
Daniel Stark, son of John Stark and Sarah Mann, was born at Windsor,
Nova Scotia, June 29, 1820. In his youth he went to Boston, Massachusetts
where he served an apprenticeship at the joiners trade. While there
he first heard the Gospel and united himself with the Latter-day
Saint Church on December 15, 1843. On December l, 1844 he married
Ann Cook, daughter of Thomas and Frances Cook of St. John, New Brunswick,
Canada, where she was born June 4, 1821. While living at North Margin,
Boston their first son, John Daniel was born September 18, 1845.
Daniel and Ann made close friends with Edwin Fuller Bird, a cabinet
maker by trade, and his wife, Mary Montgomery Bird, who were living
in Cambridge Port, Massachusetts. Four days after the birth of a
child, January 1, 1846, who was christened Elizabeth Wallace Bird,
the mother died, and when the baby was three weeks old, at the request
of Mr. Bird, the Starks took the infant.
Daniel kept a diary and one of the first entries is dated June
30, 1841. This diary is in the possession of his son Samuel who
lives in Salt Lake City, Utah and much of this story is taken from
it. When Daniel and his wife decided to join with other Saints in
the journey to western United States he sold their belongings, excepting
a tool chest filled with carpenter tools and a feather bed which
he crammed into a flour bin. After bidding goodbye to their respective
families and friends, they, with their two children boarded the
train from Boston January 22, 1846 and arrived in New York the following
day where they found the ship Brooklyn not yet ready to sail. Daniel
met Samuel Brannan and commented that he was a very good looking
young man, well dressed. He also learned that the trip had been
arranged by President Young and other Church authorities with Elder
Brannan as guardian of the 238 Saints who were to be the passengers.
Farming and gardening tools and seeds of all kinds were loaded on
the ship. Each emigrant also carried the seeds of the Gospel to
plant on the western shores. It was believed by the Saints that
Brigham Young would pioneer the main body overland to California
where he would establish the church.
While they were waiting for the final preparations large hogsheads
of fresh water from Croton Lake were placed in the hold. The diary
entry of January 25, 1846 states "that Daniel, his wife and children
went on board the ship and because he had two children in arms he
was released from deck service."
The Saints lived together on the ship somewhat after the fashion
of the United Order, all eating together in the large room, excepting
the Brannans and Captain Richardson who had more enviable quarters.
The same large room was held for morning and evening prayers and
on Sunday, church services were held where all were admonished to
live together in harmony and love. Many faith promoting testimonials
were borne, a choir organized and all joined in singing the songs
Daniel was frequently found studying a surveyor's manual which
he had received when he purchased necessary instruments. These studies
he hoped would qualify him for remunerative employment. While he
could not sing, yet he listened to the many solos and hymns as the
Brooklyn glided along the eastern coast of South America. Suddenly
the weather became colder and heavy seas and storms came up causing
ice to form on the sails and rigging and making the masts almost
uncontrollable. Captain Richardson's anxiety and concern was for
his living cargo which he had undertaken to transport from the eastern
coast to the western coast, and realizing that the casks of water
taken from the lake in New York were becoming low, he made several
attempts to land on the west coast of Chile. Because of strong southerly
winds he could not make a landing, so he set sail for an island
430 miles west of Chile. This island was Juan Fernandez. It was
a beautiful island covered with all kinds of trees, shrubbery and
flowers and it made a welcome and appreciated stop on their journey.
The Saints all mourned the death of Laura Goodwin who was buried
in this lonely place.
When they were ready to resume their journey the Saints assisted
in filling casks with fresh water and also in storing plenty of
wood for cooking purposes. On May 8th, anchor was raised and the
Brooklyn set her sails in a northwesterly direction over a trackless
but fairly calm sea, at the rate of 6 or 7 knots per hour. Traveling
three or four weeks steadily toward their destination the wind suddenly
stopped and the ship was becalmed. As if in answer to their fervent
prayers a breeze came up and once more the ship moved forward.
On June 20, 1846 the Brooklyn entered Honolulu harbor, one hundred
and forty-six days since leaving New York. Daniel tells of the welcome
received from the natives and also how they learned that the United
States was at war with Mexico on the western coast where they intended
to land. This was a severe shock to them and some wanted to stay
in Honolulu while others suggested going back to their homes in
the East. During this interlude Brannan bought all the muskets and
ammunition he could find, also blue denim to be made into uniforms
on the ship. He once more reminded the Saints that they were to
meet Brigham Young in the west and build up a Kingdom of God on
earth, and that they must not falter in this undertaking. Daniel
also records that while the ship was taking on fresh vegetables,
meat and fruits of all kinds and casks were being filled with fresh
water, he visited some of the natives. Soon after leaving the Island,
July 1st, a lad was discovered aboard, a stowaway soldier from the
U.S. Army. He came in handy in training the men in the use of muskets
and swords, while the women on the Brooklyn were busy making uniforms
from the denim.
When they entered the Golden Gate Captain Richardson ordered all
the passengers to go down into the hold for fear of being caught
with armaments of war. Soon after they were permitted to come on
deck and put on their uniforms, the hold was unlocked and Brannan
passed out to each man a musket and ammunition. They were now ready
to enter into combat with the Mexicans. Shortly after a warship
came alongside and they were informed that they were now in the
United States of America.
The housing situation was a great problem and the foggy weather
gave the place a dismal aspect. Some shelter was found in a small
adobe house on Dupont Street; others pitched tents on vacant lots.
Daniel and his family with others found quarters in the deserted
Mission Dolores over the hills about three miles. The men folk of
the families sought work for food was scarce. Since there was a
shortage in the payment of fares due, the captain decided to accept
a cargo of lumber and Daniel was one of the men sent by Samuel Brannan
to Bodega in the Marin forest to get out redwood. After finishing
this task he returned home September 19, 1846. He records that he
witnessed the naming of San Francisco, California January 30, 1847
and also that three months later he purchased a lot in that city
receiving his deed March 8, 1847.
Daniel's diary states that Samuel Brannan and two others left
on horseback April 26, 1847 in search of Brigham Young and his emigrants
coming westward. He said that when Brannan returned September 17th
he was a changed man, downhearted, and within ten days disorganized
the Brooklyn Saints and told them to go where they pleased.
Being a contractor by trade Daniel assisted in the building of
the first school house in San Francisco which was completed November
29, 1847. He then helped to build a large home for Samuel Brannan
and a printing establishment. After these were finished he built
a home for himself and moved his family into it February 1, 1848.
One month later Elder Addison Pratt came to board in their home.
He was returning from the Society Islands where he had been laboring
as a missionary. Under Pratt's supervision the San Francisco branch
of the Latter-day Saint Church was organized.
On May 13, 1848 Daniel went to the mines where he entered into
an agreement with Captain Sutter to dig gold on a payment to him
of one-half, later one-third of the gold found. Mr. J. W. Marshall
directed him where to dig on Mormon Island on the American River
and here he garnered a large amount of gold. On November 20, 1848
Heber C. Kimball rented a room in the Stark home. He had been sent
from Utah to encourage the Saints in righteous living. Daniel made
several trips to the mines-the last one being April 12, 1849 when
he went in a wagon with Joseph Mathews of the Mormon Battalion.
His day by day diary tells the story of his many successes, money
sent to his father, to his brother and tithing paid to Brother Lissing.
Later he worked on J. W. Marshall's home which was finished February
16, 1850. Daniel built a new home for his family in San Jose and
moved them there in April, 1850. Apostles Amasa Lyman and Charles
C. Rich visited him in the hopes of getting money to aid in the
colonization of San Bernardino. Stark, and his friend, John M. Homer
went to San Bernardino, where he paid $8000 for a city lot of ten
acres and entered into an agreement to purchase 160 acres. On this
place Daniel built another home and then returned to San Jose for
his wife and four children. In this city he became a well-to-do
farmer and keeper of vineyards. Both enterprises proved successful.
He carried on a freighting business and at various times built houses.
At the height of his prosperity the Saints received summons from
President Young requesting them to journey to the Valley of Great
Salt Lake to help in protecting the territory from the troops under
General Johnston. Daniel sold his home and ten acres of grape land
for six mules and a wagon. Just before leaving, a Dr. A. Osborne,
traveling under the auspices of the Academy of Natural Sciences,
bought the 160 acres supposedly for collecting specimens. Osborne
hired three men to take him to Salt Lake in fifteen days. He was
known to Brigham Young as Thomas L. Kane, friend of the Mormons.
The Saints leaving San Bernardino for Utah were divided into groups
of ten caravans each and Daniel Stark was appointed captain over
one of the companies. Before his departure he loaded his belongings
including a chest of carpenter tools, surveyors' instruments, a
gun with plenty of ammunition and a bullet mold, into a covered
wagon. In his mind he carried the same thoughts of going to war
that he had carried all the way from Honolulu to California. He
sat in the front spring seat with his wife and youngest child, James
T. and in the back seat were his son John D., his daughter Annie
Frances, and his foster daughter, Elizabeth Bird. There was plenty
of good food and strapped on each side of his wagon was a cask of
water for the mules and one for family use. He rigged up a good
Leaving San Bernardino in April, 1857, he left on the ground a
threshing machine, two large 41/2 foot mill stones, and other machinery
just arrived from the East for a new flour mill which he intended
to erect. No one could buy them. Daniel, sitting on the right side
with a long handled buckskin whip in his right hand and the leather
reins connecting the six mules started out leading the ten families
under his command. The first 19 miles were a very steep climb to
4,300 feet above sea level, the Cajon Pass. After reaching the top
he waited for the others before going on. The next eleven miles
was a gentle downhill grade which landed the caravan along the shores
of the Mohave River where they found good forage and fresh water.
They had passed through groves of strange trees, yucca, Joshua and
various colored cacti.
The next 37 miles took them over the Mohave desert and landed
them at the place now called Barstow, California. Here they ranked
up for the next 36 miles more or less upgrade to 4,775 feet above
sea level through the same kind of trees, they then journeyed 63
miles to the present site of Baker, California, thence over mountains,
valleys and mountains to the Las Vegas springs. Here they filled
their barrels with pure spring water, then started over 30 miles
of rough, mountainous dugway, after dugway passing through St. Thomas,
Nevada, now the bed of Lake Mead.
Traveling northward they dropped to 1000 feet above sea level
into a fertile valley along the Virgin River where Daniel was later
called to settle. About ten miles along this river took them into
Beaver River. Filling up their water casks they were prepared for
the next 20 miles upgrade all the way to a point 4550 feet above
They were now in Utah. From here it was downhill 20 miles to St.
George where they rested and took on fresh supplies of vegetables
and other food stuff, and filled their tanks with water. Leaving
an elevation of 2500 feet they started on an uplift climb for 58
miles along the narrow dugways in Ash Canyon and landed in Cedar
City, Utah where they learned that Johnston's Army had come into
Salt Lake peaceably and disarmed. Driving on to the next town of
Parowan, Daniel bought a lot and erected a home where he and his
family lived from 1857 to 1858 when they moved to Payson, Utah.
- Source: Our
- © 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.