1st. Good northeast wind. The journey proceeded rapidly forward. I had imagined that the voyage would be far more dangerous than this one is. The only thing that makes the journey tedious for us and which frequently causes dissatisfaction, is that many of us have just cause for complaint over the harsh treatment by the crew, as well as over the delivery of provisions. Whoever does not look out for himself, or is soft and pliable, is cheated.
2nd. Wind as yesterday, but somewhat stronger. Today my little Anna was taken sick. There appeared several large and small birds, from which I conclude, that we are not far from land.
3rd. Still good wind. My presentiment as to seeing land soon, has been confirmed. This morning we saw at a distance of 4 miles, 3 islands, and in the afternoon we saw 2 more. We passed close by the latter. It is called Montinere, and it seems to be rather large and mountainous. We saw 4 high mountains on the islands, and the one nearest us was touched by a cloud. The lowland was cultivated. We saw people working in the fields. This sight was a great joy to us.
4th. Calm. The islands have disappeared from sight and again we see nothing but sky and water. All are longing to have the water exchanged for land. Here the moon is visible all day long, and for the last few evenings it was directly overhead at 6 o'clock.
5th. Good wind. Again birds appeared, and there was much grass and moss on the water, which gave us hope of seeing land again soon. It seems as if many of us cannot stand the hot air, for every day more people get sick.
6th. A strong northeast wind blew during the night. During the last calm two hatches had been opened in the forward part of the tween deck, and in the stormy weather last night the water rushed in with such force, that the passengers had to leave their beds. Many trunks and packages were wet all through, and great damage was done as a result of this carelessness. Even sick people who had no assistance, and who could not get out of bed by themselves, were lying in water.
7th. It is still blowing from the northeast. Each hour we cover 15 miles. We are continuously among islands of which we often see some in the far distance. Many large birds, very much like storks, were close by us all during the day. In the evening we saw the island of St. Domingo, 4 miles distant.
8th. Winds the same as yesterday. We have not as yet had as good sailing wind as we had during the last 3 days. Today we saw the islands of Cuba and Jamaika, 2 miles distant, of which the latter spread out before us as a long stretch of land extending beyond the eye. My little Anne is well again. Many of the sick on the tween deck have also recovered. In the last few days the air has been somewhat cooler.
9th. The wind did not blow during the night and today the air is again oppressively hot. Today provisions were distributed. The bread was spoiled and handed back to the captain. At noon we could still see the island of Jamaika. Today a Dane and an Englishman engaged in a fight, and the latter was the winner.
10th. Southeast wind. For the first time we had the wind against us. Today we saw the island of Kaiman. On another island the light in a lighthouse was to be seen in the evening.
11th. Northeast wind, not much better than yesterday. Many fish, 30-40 feet in length appeared. We sailed continuously among islands. Although we had no cause for complaint about much stormy weather or misfortunes of that kind, everybody longed to be off the water soon, for the lack of good drinking water, a variety of food and liberty, now made the journey unpleasant for us. A child of Danish parents, 2 years old, died today.
12th. Good wind. Today we passed by the western tip of Cuba. We were quite close to the island and saw the lighthouse and several buildings. The fields were green. Something was being harvested, but we could not see what it was. The land appeared to be flat and unbroken. Today we saw some sea-eagles.
13th. East wind. Today we had ships around us continuously. It helped somewhat to pass the time, and gave us hope of landing soon. The anchor chain was put in order. Today I made up for the captain my list of all the passengers on board the ship. We were 352 persons besides the crew, of which 321 were Mormons and their children. I did this work in the captain's cabin. There fell into my hands accidentally a list from Morris & Co. made up in Hamburg. I saw to my astonishment that the captain had carried each passenger 2 Prussian Thaler cheaper than we had paid, and that these 2 Thaler accrued to the missionary, Carn, who had chartered the ship. I told this to our president on board the ship, who promised to investigate the matter later on.
14th. Calm. 18 degrees of heat. We saw large fish, which followed us for a quarter of an hour. They were very bold and only disappeared when they were shot at.
15th. Calm until 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Then it began to blow hard from the northwest, almost like a storm. Around 7 o'clock almost all the sails were taken down, and the ship drifted about as it would. At the same time it rained violently, and we were very much frightened. Even the captain and the rest of the crew were afraid, and seemed to fear danger. Everything went well, however. Today the captain gave us hope of soon arriving at the Mississippi.
16th. The strong wind kept on blowing till around midnight, and in the morning we had drifted back quite a distance. But we soon regained lost ground, as the wind was good all day. Shortly after noon we saw a lighthouse, and then several ships lying at anchor. The water changed color and became yellowish. Contrary to the captain's expectation we were near the Mississippi, where he had thought of arriving 2 days from now. The pilot-flag was instantly hoisted, and at 4 o'clock a pilot came on board. We sailed on close to the river's mouth and anchored. There was joy and happiness on shipboard. Today it was so cold that we had to put on warm clothes. Today a child of Danish parents died, 2 years old.
17th. Today it was very cold and windy. We were lying still. Many ships came up alongside, and they all anchored here. The Danish woman who lost her mind on the 18th of last month died today. She left behind her husband, and 2 small children.
18th. The weather was somewhat pleasanter. This morning 10 large vessels bound for New Orleans lay close to us. Already at 6 o'clock steamers came out from that port, and around 8 o'clock we began to raise anchor. At 10 o'clock came a steamer by which we were towed 2 miles up the river. All the ships were brought up here. The pilot disembarked, the anchor was dropped and the captain's papers were inspected by an official. Now a steamer was placed between 2 sailing vessels at a time, in order to tow them up river. The anchor was raised, and the journey continued. For the first 8-10 miles there was nothing to see along the river except uncultivated land on which grew reeds and small bushes; but then the country took on a better appearance. We sailed past woods and beautiful estates. The fields were beginning to be green and plowing and mowing were going on. At this place the Mississippi is half a mile wide, but the current is not rapid.
19th. We kept on sailing all during the night. As we looked around us in the morning we were in an exceedingly beautiful country, and the farther we proceeded, the more beautiful it became. On both sides of the river were beautiful country-seats, sugar plantations, beautiful meadows and forests. The owners live for the most part in small but pretty houses, which were usually situated in an orchard. There was already fruit on the trees, mostly oranges. The workers, usually Negro slaves, live in small houses or huts near their masters. All residences are near the river. The cultivated land is behind and between the houses, and where it ends there is nothing to be seen but forest. The land is level and sugar and cotton are the two main products raised here.
20th. At 2 o'clock in the morning we arrived in New Orleans. Here it is still winter and cold. That is what a German inhabitant told me this morning. But I meant, that even though it is still winter and cold, I would not like to feel the heat here in the summer time. He replied that there was still floating ice in the river, and since this has not completely disappeared, it is still winter although the ice comes 3-400 miles from here. The fields were green, and the gardens made ready, and many seeds had already shot high up above the ground. The cows were grazing in the tall grass and the heat at this time of year seemed strange to me. The first thing I undertook was to see the harbor. Our ship was lying near to one end of the port. I had probably been walking a couple of miles or so, as I made inquiries about the length of the harbor. I found that it is 5 miles long, and that there are at present 914 sailing vessels and 81 steamers in the harbor. I walked the whole way along the waterfront, and it gave me much pleasure. Never before had I seen so many large ships all in one spot. Most of them were three-masters, and only a few of them were small vessels. There was much life going on at the port, and thousands of workers as well as many carriers were busy. I went part of the way along the harbor, and coming back, part of the way through some streets near by. The streets are wide and straight, but very dirty and badly paved, owing to the wet ground. The whole city lies on the lowland, and swamps and bogs are to be seen in the hart of the city. There is hardly any regulation of the streets. Dead cattle lie in the thoroughfares, and wherever one goes, there is bad odor. I was tired and went on board ship.
21st. Again I went out early to view the city and to see anything unusual and remarkable. The city is 8 miles long and 1 1/2 miles wide. It has about 110,000 inhabitants of which about 7000 are Germans and 8000 Negroes. I saw the new custom house, which is being built and which is to be completed 7 years from now. It is 250 ells or 500 feet square, and 4 stories high, the wall is made of granite. I have never seen such an imposing and costly building. The scaffolding alone cost 6,000 Dollars. The hotel dhe Charles, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, is built of marble stone. It is 5 stories high and is also an imposing sight, but it cannot compare with the custom house. I saw the orphan-asylum which is planned beautifully and impressively, and visited some of the most important factories, such as carriage-factories, cotton-spinning plants, and iron foundaries, of which I had likewise never seen any before which could compare with them in beauty and size. The railway station, and the railway itself, are not so beautiful. The churches are only small. I was in 3 of them, whose interiors were rather pretty. The drinking water is not good, and it is very unhealthful for strangers. Through pipes it is led from the Mississippi into the city. As far as I went in the city, I saw no pumps, nor did I see any cellars.
22nd. Today Washington's birthday was celebrated. Early in the morning there was shooting of the cannon; the national guard, led by beautiful martial music, marched through the city to an open spot where all sorts of amusements were open to the public all day long. In the evening the city was illuminated and feasting and dancing went on in all the streets in the city. Here the river is one mile wide. Across from New Orleans lies the small town, Algier. It is nicely built and has large factories for iron and cotton goods; also many steamers are being built there. Today I was not feeling well, and could not go out. Furthermore we were busy packing, and even today we went on board the steamer St. Louis on which we were to be taken to St. Louis. This ship is built to carry emigrants, and we promise ourselves more comfort than we have had hitherto.
23rd. We only finished packing and putting our luggage on board the ship yesterday evening and when I woke up this morning our new ship with all of us on board, was lying at the other end of the harbor. Today I had much to do in our new quarters. When I was through working, I wrote 2 letters to Hamburg and took them to the post office. On the way back I came through a street where slaves were being sold. 400-500 dollars were being paid for the largest and handsomest men and women. For a short while I watched this business, and went from there with a saddened heart.
24th. This morning I went out to see the market place where meat, milk, grain and vegetables are being sold. The market was held in 2 wooden structures, built for this purpose. Horses and carriages cannot enter here. Each of the buildings is 400 feet long and 300 feet wide. The amount and variety of products which are daily brought to the market, is indeed remarkable. I was probably there for about 2 hours, and would have liked to have stayed longer; but I became ill, had to go on board and go to bed. I read the German newspaper that is being published here. It contained the news that from January 1st to February 4th, 38 steamers and close to 200 sailing-vessels had been lost on the Mississippi. Since February 3rd, 6 steamers had been lost by fire in the local harbor, while five have been badly damaged.
25th. I felt somewhat better today and went out to see how the engines and other sunken material were taken out of the water from the 6 burned steamers. A ship came from Africa carrying 80 wild people. I saw some of them. Their skin was copper-colored, their hair long and black. Their clothes were made from the hides of wild animals; but most of the wild men were quite naked. They had rings through their noses and ears, and some of the men had bells on their legs. All were tall and well built, and were immediately offered for sale as slaves. Here, in the entire state, the slavetrade is a legal and profitable business; but public slavemarkets are only allowed in this city. Merchants and wealthy families keep slaves, men as well as women. They are also given permission to marry. But the children they raise are the property of the slave-owners, and if the number becomes too high, they are driven to market and sold at a good price. A cannon-shot is being fired every evening at 8 o'clock, signifying that then all the blacks must be at home. Whoever is found to be on the streets after the firing of this shot, receives severe punishment. Only blacks who are residents or free can obtain permission to stay out longer, and this is only given in return for a large and safe bond. We left at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. On this side of the river at least as far as we came today - the landscape was just as beautiful. as on the other side. We sailed on until 9 o'clock and then dropped anchor.
26th. The steamers which sail on the rivers use wood for fuel, of which there is sufficient stock on hand. Our ship too supplied itself with wood at this place, and at 8 o'clock we set out again. Sugar plantations, beautiful grain fields, forests and meadows, follow each other continually. Everyone who has journeyed in this region will admit that it is beautiful and pleasant to travel here. But everyone who still carries in his heart a grain of love for his fellow man, must look on the beauty with contempt, when he sees the poor blacks, who just as much as we white people, were created by God as free human beings, and who are being treated by their white owners as cattle, and often not even as well as that. There are masters who have from 3-400 slaves. Today we stopped several times to take on sugar, and this gave us time and opportunity to go ashore. I went along with the others and saw the owners' magnificent residences and gardens, and I must admit that I had never seen in Germany more beautiful estates than these properties. But when I turned my gaze towards the poor negroes, with their wives and children working in the fields, then all the great and beautiful lost its value for me. The day went by with these stop-overs and trips, and at 10 o'clock we again dropped anchor.
27th. The journey continued very early in the morning. When I awoke our ship was once more lying close to a sugar plantation to take on sugar. The region was exceedingly beautiful, and many of the passengers considered it the most beautiful we had seen so far. The owner's residence was not a very large one, and it stood in a garden full of the most beautiful fruit trees and flowers. We went ashore; but were only allowed to view the garden from the outside. The owner had 350 negro slaves. A number of women and children were working in the garden, and a white overseer whip in hand, stood behind them. We looked contemptibly at this brute. He understood, and brought us on board escorted by 2 large dogs. This beautiful region continued until noon. Then the country became higher and mountainous, and appeared to be healthier. The residents fell wood and sell it to the ships' captains. As far as the eye reaches, there is wood to be seen, and many thousands would still be able to make a living here. Towards evening the region again became somewhat prettier. We passed by the two small towns of Petersport and Frankville. The inhabitants are mostly German and Frenchman who raise grain and cattle.
28th. We traveled all night long. The nights are very cold here, and in the daytime it is still oppressively hot. There are farmsteads, which are not inferior in beauty to many of the sugar plantations. The soil is extremely good, and much farming is being carried on. We came across many settlers who felled trees, and who were beginning to cultivate the land. We stopped at the town of Nidshid. This settlement has a very romantic location, and is built entirely on the mountainside. There seems to be considerable trade here. We were only ashore for a short while. Most of the inhabitants were German. We were asked if there were any workers from the building-trade with us who would care to remain, and inquiries were directed to me about servant-girls. Good wages were being offered. Much coal is found in this region. In the evening we passed by 2 more small settlements, and at the latter of these we took on wood for fuel. It was dark when this was brought on board. I have not been feeling entirely well ever since we left New Orleans.
1st. This morning we stopped at the city of Quikbonne. This was also a mountain-city, and it was built in a very rambling and disorganized fashion. As seen from the river, the streets and the houses lie one above the other, and it presents a beautiful sight. The church stands on one of the highest peaks of a mountain. As only a brief stop was made we saw little of the city. On both sides of the river is continuous forest. The soil is good, it is frequently quite level for many miles at a time, and at such places cotton and maize are being raised. In the evening we saw at different places fires in the forest. These had been set by the owners in order quickly to get the trees out of the way, so that the soil could be turned to use. The illumination was magnificent to behold.
2nd. Today I made the acquaintance of a young man from Keil, whose name was Theodor Falk, and was also on board. He had been in the Danish war, and we entertained each other with stories and recollections of that time. Here the air is cooler, the fields are green no more and the forest is not as pretty as it had been for some time. It seems as if we have suddenly been transferred to another climate or into another season. I hear that the settlers who fell trees and then sell the wood, earn so much money in a short time that they are able to pay for and cultivate the piece of land they have bought. It struck me as peculiar that a saw was never used for this kind of work, but only an axe in the use of which, the Americans are experts. Today a 3 year old child of Danish parentage died.
3rd. At an early hour this morning we came to the settlement of Napolean, where we stopped and tarried for a short time. There were only 9 residences there, all built on a big imposing scale, and these 9 buildings all carry the name of the settlement, such as Napoleon's apothecary, store, hotel, poolroom, and so on. Divine service was being held in a chapel near the river. The inhabitants are mostly Frenchmen. As yesterday the region consists of nothing but forest on both sides of the river. Where the trees have been chopped down, are cotton plantations. Today I was ill. I placed blame for my sickness on the bad drinking water, and the many worries and troubles I have to endure on account of my family, especially my wife.
4th. I had to stay in bed all day today. We had many sick people on board. We were altogether 460 passengers on this ship. 4 Dollars was paid for each adult, and 2 Dollars for every child under 14. From New Orleans to St. Louis is a distance of 1200 miles. We were made to hope that this journey could be completed in 6-8 days. But yesterday we had covered only half the distance. This journey was very expensive to most of those who had not supplied themselves sufficiently with provisions, and who now had to buy them on shipboard, or where we were stopped.
5th. Today we often sailed between small islands, some of which were inhabited. These islands have been cut away from the mainland by high tide and the strong current in the river. At many places we saw the land swept away, so that trees were left standing in the river. In this way the river was constantly made wider, though not deeper, and it became more and more dangerous for traffic. Frequently large areas of cultivated land were washed away, and houses that stood near the river, collapsed. We stopped at the city of Memphis. The stay was only a brief one, and we could not go ashore. This is also a mountain city, large and beautifully planned.
6th. Last night we were held fast between tree trunks and about 2 hours passed before we got loose again. But no damage was inflicted on the ship, however. The first sight that met us this morning was that of a sunken steamer. We stopped, but could not be of any assistance. The passengers had been saved, but most of the freight had been lost or ruined. Some members of the crew were still on board, and they were bringing the salvaged load ashore. The ship had left New Orleans one day ahead of us, and had sunk the day before yesterday. These steamers cannot travel on the ocean, but only on rivers, as they are very lightly built. Usually a steamer of this type is 180-200 feet long, and 50-70 feet wide. It only draws 4 and at the most 5 feet of water. The heaviest freight lies in the bottom of the hulk. The engines are on the lowest deck. The furnace is located in about the center of the ship and here the fuel is stored. Forward is an empty space, and aft are sleeping accommodations for the crew, and also for passengers who do not pay the highest price. On the 2nd deck in the center of the ship are usually 2 large halls, and forward is an open space for light freight. Around both halls are cabins, usually with 2 beds in each. From these cabins one door leads into the hall and another opens outward to a wide passage, that runs around the entire ship. Carriages and light freight are taken to the 3rd deck. On this 3rd deck is a small house built of boards into which the rudder projects from below. Here sits the pilot, because the many bends of the river and the tree trunks which often dot it, cannot always be seen from below. A pilot on this river must know the waters, as well as a coachman or a pedestrian knows the highway in the dark. Many of these ships have 2 engines.
7th. Today we sailed constantly among small islands of which some were inhabited by 2 or 3 families. The main industry is the raising of pigs of which hundreds are seen running around. In the afternoon we stopped at the city of Caira. It has 50 houses at most; but many buildings were under construction. The town is situated on the Ohio river, which flows into the Mississippi at this point. Here work is going on on a railway to the city of Ohio and New York. This railway will be continued on to California, and it will be 3000 miles long. Many tradespeople, artisans and saloonkeepers live on abandoned steamers that have been fitted out a residences. Inquiries were made about workers from the building trade, and high wages were being offered. A city with the same name was formerly located at this place; but has now sunk into the ground. During the building of the railway, several ruins of the former settlement have been found. A steamer carrying 600 passengers was destroyed this winter by running into floating ice not far from here. Many of the passengers lost their lives, and the survivors were taken ashore. Their provisions were lost. On account of the amount of floating ice no ships arrived for several days, and as there was also a heavy snowfall, the survivors were forced to remain in Caira. Here the stock of provisions ran out in a short time, and famine conditions prevailed among the residents and their guests, until food had been obtained from St. Louis. This took 16 days, a journey which can be made in 3 days under favorable conditions. Close to 700 persons in the town died of cold and starvation, and had help been delayed 2 days longer, no one would have remained alive. Today a child of Danish parentage died on board our ship. It was 5 years old.
8th. We stayed here overnight. Today I went ashore again to look over the construction of the new city. It is being built at about the same spot where it used to be. The houses are for the most part built only of boards. I spoke with the violinist Ole Bull of Norway, who was formerly well known in Germany. He too had been a passenger on board the wrecked steamer, and was glad to hear news from Schleswig. Freight was unloaded and taken on at this point, and at 2 o'clock the journey continued. We had hardly been on our way for an hour when once more a sunken steamer that hardly held together was seen lying ahead of us. The region on the left bank in these parts is very mountainous. The river is continually more and more dangerous for traffic. We ran against a tree trunk, and down below the ship became full of water, much freight being destroyed. Several hours passed before the damage was repaired and the ship made tight again. It was fortunate that this happened in the day time; in the dark our fate would have been a bad one, in any case. Towards evening we passed the small mountain town Kienkuta. It has large and beautiful buildings, and is built according to plan. No stop was made. In this region there are many saw-mills and and coal mines, and marble is being dug and worked. Along the bank are neat small houses, whose residents make a living, felling trees and hewing stone. A violent thunderstorm came up during the night and besides that, it rained very hard. It was so dark that the pilot could not see any longer. We came too close the the shore and got stuck fast. Three hours went by before we were free again. During this work a sailor fell through a hatch down below, and was severely injured in the head and breast. We stopped at the town Gebzarka, where we remained until daybreak. During the night a young girl of Danish parentage died. She was 14 years old.
9th. The sailor who fell into the ship's bottom yesterday died this morning. The town of Gebzarka is the most methodically built of all towns I have seen so far on the Mississippi. It lie close to the river on a beautiful plain, has large, massive buildings, 2 churches, factories of various kinds and well paved streets. We left early, for which reason none of us could go ashore. We had not gone very far before 3 sunken steamers were seen lying ahead of us. Two of them had been shattered by tree trunks and the boiler of the 3rd had exploded. Some sailors were still on board the latter ship. Today we sailed continually between mountains, some of which were very high. Along the river there was often level land that was cultivated and inhabited by people from the mountains. It is beautiful to travel here, and there are often new things to be seen. Now one sees high hills, and now mountains of rock that also contain marble; chalk mountains and coal mines; now, down in the valley, beautiful grain fields and orchards, and then again small forests with much game, especially deer, wild horses, wolves and large snakes. At some places the mountain people live in the valley down below, and again at other places they are higher up in the mountains, either one presenting its pleasant picture to the traveler. In the last few days we have had continually more and more sick people on board. Also my small Anna and myself have never felt quite well ever since we left New Orleans.
10th. This morning we had a heavy thunder storm. It rained until noon and then the air became clear. The captain let us hope that if the weather remained fine, we would arrive in St. Louis tomorrow. Today we passed by numerous small villages and settlements, all in the process of construction, and all having a beautiful location. Again we saw mountains where marble was being quarried and worked. We stopped at a stone-quarry where we took on with us to St. Louis a slab of marble 14 feet long. Here almost 100 people were employed. At another stone quarry freight was unloaded, and here granite was being worked. This was made into milestones for the railroad, foundation stones and grave memorials. 140 men were employed here and among them were quite a few Germans. I spoke with A Bass the overseer, a skilled bricklayer from Ploen in Holstein whose name was Homann, and who had already been in this place for 6 years. He showed me a 26 foot long stone, intended for a grave memorial. Nothing pleased me more at this place than the neat, small houses in which the workers live. They were frequently scattered over quite a wide area. The are built according to a simple plan, but both inside and out they are so neat and tidy, that it is true many a large and first class residence in the cities lags far behind when compared with those others in this respect.
Today also we saw a sunken steamer which had been wrecked by floating ice. A child of Danish parents died. It was 4 years old.
11th. The day had hardly begun when a steamer overtook us apparently bent on passing us. It approached too close to the shore, ran against tree trunks, and sank before our very eyes. The passengers hurried up on the 3rd deck. The freight was apparently spoiled, for hardly half an hour had passed before it was 10 feet under water.
Shortly after noon we stopped at a small island called Quarantine Eiland. Here all ships coming from New Orleans have to be examined by doctors who find out if there are any contagious diseases on board. If there are many sick people on board, the ship must lie in quarantine, and the sick remain behind. Cholera had broken out on our ship; but only among the Danes who live very immoderately. 28 were suffering from this disease of which number 7 were detained. During the medical examination the remainder crept out of their beds and hid themselves. But besides these there were many sick passengers, who did not suffer from Cholera. At 4 o'clock we saw St. Louis and gave rise to much rejoicing. We landed at 5 o'clock. I was feeling rather well. Today my wife caused me a lot of vexation and trouble. It seems as though she would have rather seen me dead, so that I could not set foot in St. Louis. My little Anna was very sick. We kept her in hiding when we stopped at the island, and came out successfully. German people came on board, and we knew some of them. My wife immediately took the little one to the home of one of these friends. Our ship was examined by 2 doctors, and many sick people, who had kept themselves in hiding when we stopped at the island, were taken to the hospital.
12th. I learned this morning that the 7 who had been detained on the island had already died. Thus, from the time we left Gluckstadt until today, 43 have died. Of these l child was of German parentage, while the remainder were Danes. Today I spoke with several acquaintances from Hamburg. Rented lodgings for myself in Carrstreet, but remained with my children on board the ship, and put my things in order. Sadness pervaded the ship, for every hour more and more people took sick, and even today 9 more Danes died.
13th. 6 Danes died during the night. This morning I moved into our lodgings together with a traveling companion, Erich from Reinfeld in Holsten. It consisted only of 2 rooms, but we contented ourselves with it in order to save money. We paid 6 dollars a month for it.
All the Germans left the ship today. Also some Danes went ashore; but many of them had to remain on board the ship, as they were either sick or without lodgings. Towards evening the order was given that all should leave the ship, for now there was hardly a healthy person left on it. A large tent was erected outside the city and all the Danes taken to it. I visited my little Anna, who was still very ill, and looked over a section of the city. And with this the day ended.
14th. The first thing I did was to go and see my little Anna. She was sicker than yesterday and could not come to the lodgings. From there I went to see the Danes. During the night some more of them had died. Today houses were rented where they moved in; but they had to content themselves with very narrow quarters. I took a look at the harbor which is always full of steamers. Sailing ships do not come up the river. The harbor is 2 miles long, but not slightly, because it lies so close up against the city. There is much traffic here, and crowds of people, horses and carriages are to be seen here daily. From the harbor 16 streets go through the city. They all have names and are crossed by 21 cross streets, named according to their number (from 1 to 21). Two of these cross streets, the 2nd and 3rd, are more than a German mile long. When the entire area that has been set aside for the city, is covered with buildings, each street will be from 1 1/2 to 2 German miles long. The streets are all perfectly straight and wide. They are not paved; but macedemized. The stones that are being used are mostly limestone. For that reason there is a thick layer of dirt on the streets in wet weather, and when the weather is dry they are constantly full of dust. This dust is extremely harmful and unhealthy. The commerce is important. Here are many industrial establishments, namely iron foundries, sugar factories, and many others. The number of inhabitants is placed at 150,000. This cannot be determined definitely, however, as many leave every day. It has been estimated that there are close to 40,000 Germans in the city. There are only a few negroes. As far as I know there is said to be about 120 different denominations here, and close to 200 churches, and many of the sections have more than one church or meeting house. Many of these churches or meeting houses are not larger than an ordinary residence. There are many large and beautiful houses in the city, and still some more beautiful are being built constantly. There are also many made of only boards, that are old and dilapidated, being built without plans. But these are gradually being demolished or burned down, and better houses built in their place.
15th. I visited my little Anna again, although she was still very ill, I took her with me into our lodgings. We sent for a doctor, who told us that she was suffering from something that sapped her strength. Today I made endeavors to earn something, either through business or work, but unfortunately I succeeded in neither, as I could not speak English. In order not to be idle any longer, I and 4 friends made preparations to go the railway that is being built in the state of Illinois, and work there.
Today we put our things in order, obtained tickets from an office where workers were hired, and decided to leave tomorrow. Here in St. Louis there is much wealth and prosperity, but also much poverty. Although the slave trade is carried on here only on a small scale, a conspicuous brutality holds sway both among adults as well as among children. This evening I was pursued by the latter, who probably noticed that I was a foreigner; they threw stones after me, although I had done them no harm.
16th. This morning we set out on our journey. The state of Illinois lies on the other side of the Mississippi. A steamer takes one across to the other side. To begin with the region was very sandy. The highway goes through mountain, forest and valley, and many beautiful farmsteads are found hereabout. At noon we arrived at the small town of Bellville, 14 miles from St. Louis. We went to a hotel where we had some refreshments, and without taking a further look at the small town in which there is really nothing unusual to be seen, we continued our journey. Here the highway ended. The road on which we were now walking had only been built recently. It led through a long, dense forest in which we saw numerous deer and wild boors. Twice the latter behave as if they were going to attack us, and we had to flee. At 7 o' clock in the evening when it was already dark, we arrived in the small town of Maskuta, 8 miles from Bellville. The road leading to that small place was extremely bad, and we often had to wade knee deep through water and swamps. We were therefore very tired, looked for rooms and went to bed early.
17th. We slept well during the night. In the morning we learned, that the river Oko, which we had to cross, had gone over its banks, and that an area 3 miles wide on the other side of the river was under water, so that we could not get through. We were not frightened however, and wanted to examine the situation ourselves. At 6 o'clock we set out again, but had not gone very far, before we heard the same story once more. Around noon we came to the river, which is 12 miles from Maskuta, and realized that what had been told us was true, and that we had to wade 3 miles through, if we wanted to continue the journey. Here we met people who wanted to get across, and we agreed to hire a vehicle, but no farmer wanted to go. We were therefore obliged to turn back and went straight back to Bellville, stayed there over night and came empty-handed back to St. Louis.
18th. We were told on the way that German workers were being sought by another railway; but as today was Sunday, the journey to that place was postponed until tomorrow.
19th. We went to the place, and talked with the man who hired the workers. As he heard we had never done that kind of work before, he would not take us, and once more we had to turn back. Now my wife began to bake waffles, and found a good market for them. I often went out trying to earn something, either through business or work, but whatever I earned was rarely of any importance, as I could not speak English. This, and the sight of my sick child, saddened me very much. The child got worse every day, and hopes of improvement began to dwindle.
23rd. I have forgotten to note that my daughter Amalia was married to A. Kalthoff in Liverpool. Today she gave birth to a daughter.
Up until now I often went around with nothing to do, and at home there is nothing else to do but wait on my sick child. This and the worry my wife causes me every day, made me sick also, ill-humored and sullen. I pass over to the 26th. Today I and my son-in-law who likewise rarely earned anything, were offered work on a large estate, to which we will go tomorrow. Today fire broke out and 3 large houses burned down. There is much brutality among the people here. Today 2 boys got into a quarrel and wounded each other with knives to such an extent, that one of them died immediately and the other some hours later. Today 2 boys had tied a 3rd to a tree and beaten him to death. It is not at all uncommon to hear of similar cases, which the parents and the authorities seem to view with great indifference, for the punishment administered is only mild. Children from 8-12 continually carry knives, daggers and pistols.
27th. Today we went to the estate and found work. Wages were 12 dollars a month in addition to board and lodgings. Our work consisted in helping the gardener. I was well again, and glad to be working. The owner of the estate was a native born American, named Lindel, and the estate is called Lindelplatz (Lindels place?--PG). He was a man with a 2 million dollar fortune, and he arrived penniless in St. Louis as a man-servant. The estate does no comprise much landed property, only a small amount of grain is raised, and only 12 cows are being kept, these 12 cows give about 3 cans of milk daily. The garden covered 40 acres (an acre is 200 square yards), and was kept mostly for pleasure. Young fruit trees and flowers were taken to the city daily to be sold, and besides this income 1800 Dollars was still being spent annually in wages and for seeds and such things. During the summer months 4 gardeners and 16 workers are being employed.
The name of the first gardener of Bass is Krausnek, a native of Berlin. Practically all the workers are Germans.