10th. Nothing new was to be seen or heard here, the work was always the same and for this reason I have passed over intervening days. Today we had a heavy thunderstorm, and lightning struck a house and burned it down. For several days we have had a sultry atmosphere that precedes a thunderstorm, and it has been oppressively hot; besides we often have frost during the night. It is frequently oppressively warm in the morning, and so cold before noon that one has to put on gloves. From this one may conclude that it must be very unhealthy in these parts. During the summer months cholera and yellow fever are the usual diseases. I had now been working for 3 weeks, and as I came home on the
22nd. My little Anna had died in the morning. This was a hard blow to me.
23rd. She was buried today. She was 7 years old. Today I learned about an offence of my wife's which had lately become known. Already in Schleswig she had entered into a love-pact with a journeyman tailor, Fried Lau from Rostock in Meklemburg. Lau was afterwards in Hamburg. She also went there for nine weeks, and afterwards they often exchanged letters to which I have never paid any attention. Here in St. Louis, where Lau is also staying, these love letters were accidentally discovered in Lau's lodgings by my daughters Olive and Doris, and they were handed over to the German President, by his landlord, a Mormon named Fisher and my daughters. A council meeting was called together, the letters were read and I was notified about the moral lapse. Lau was not in the city today, and for this reason both were not called before the council. They were temporarily expelled from the church, however. To me this was the most terrible day in all my life.
26th. Heavy thunderstorms, accompanied by wind and hail. Many large trees were uprooted, and some houses collapsed; but the greatest damage was caused by the hail storm. In St. Louis and the neighboring districts, most of the windows facing west were smashed, so that there was a shortage of glass. It had already been decided by the Mormon church that we Germans were to leave St. Louis on may 10th, and as our month comes to a close tomorrow, we shall stop working.
27th. Today we said goodbye to our boss, and parted as friends. As long as I was working every day, I was not troubled by thoughts of my dead child and my wife's moral lapse, but now it all came forcefully to mind, I worried deeply over both and had to suffer a great deal. I was almost sick from sorrow.
28th. Went to the harbor to look at the work of loading and unloading ships. Plenty of people are busy here every day. A merchant told me that the number of workers employed at the harbor each day is placed at 1200, and the number of vehicles drawn by 1 or 2 horses at 200, while it could be truthfully said that every morning, one could figure 3000 people had business of one kind or another at the harbor. Quarrels and fights are common here. People stab and cut with knives or shoot with pistols, and not infrequently someone is being killed.
Such a brutality as holds way here, not only among the lower classes but also among the so-called educated classes, is unknown in Germany. The newspapers continually contain news of murders and robberies, but so far I have not read that a murderer had been paid the customary penalty for his crime. Women too shoot, stab and fight. Today 2 women, who apparently belonged to the educated classes, had a fight while men were looking on. When the women got tired and stopped fighting, the men continued anew. One of the ladies had a pistol and shot her opponent in the back. She was arrested, but was immediately out on bail, and the whole case comes to nothing. In Germany I often heard American freedom praised; but Germany will remain a happier country, if this freedom is never introduced.
29th. I wrote all day. In the evening 5 houses burned down, and it was the cause of much fighting in the streets. The fire engines are beautiful and well made, but the workers or firemen are undisciplined. They are usually intoxicated and rob and steal. The fire engines look like locomotives.
Today my wife and Lau were ordered before the council, where they were told what action would be taken against them. It was suggested that I get a divorce. I could not make up my mind to take this step, however, although we never lived together in peace. She was going to be subject to expulsion from the church; but as she gave signs of repentance and promised the council and myself henceforth to give up her former friendship, she was once more accepted after I myself and some of my friends had pleaded in her behalf.
Today I visited a factory where locomotives are being made. Never before have I seen in a factory such beautiful and splendid machinery as in this one. I was also in a factory where agricultural machines are made of iron and wood. Many of these machines are not known in Germany, and many of those which are also being used in Germany, are made quite differently.
2nd. Beautiful promenades, parks as well as antiquities or other curiosities, are not to be seen here. Everybody is merely striving to become rich, and this is the reason for the brutality. From a German, who has been here for a considerable length of time, I today got some writing to do. To me this was a pleasant way of passing time. Thought was also given to our approaching departure, and preparations were being made. There is very considerable emigration this spring. It is said that already 12,000 have arrived here in St. Louis since New Years. Yesterday 3 steamers sank near the city, while 1 was destroyed by fire. This evening 3 houses burned in my immediate neighborhood.
3rd. The fire alarm was heard at 3 different times during the day. 11 houses burned down. When I saw a fire engine here for the first time, I did not know what kind of an engine it was, and took it for a locomotive, as it is quite similar to it. It is beautifully made and answers the purpose very well. All fittings, excepting the tires around the wheels are made of brass. I looked at the interior of a factory where turned work is being made. Here there were 24 lathers, all of them driven by a steam engine. The finest work for wheel wrights, carpenters, joiners, chair makers and turners was being manufactured here at great speed. This evening I watched a fight between wagon drivers.
4th. I went to see 2 steam driven flour mills. These also contained beautiful machinery and these steam mills produce better flour than the usual water and windmills. 8 new churches and about 200 new houses are under construction. The building of houses proceeds very rapidly here, and the architecture is not like that of Germany.
5th and 6th. Writing continuously.
7th. Writing. I also took a walk through the city. The neighboring region is beautiful and romantic at some places, and work is being done there to make it still more beautiful. Many new streets are also being planned. A forest near the city, also included in the area that is to be built up, was in the process of being cut down, and this work gave employment to close to 1,000 men.
8th. My wife was accused before the council by our neighbor Erich, and summoned to appear before that body. This took place amid noise and struggling with our daughters Olive and Doris. I had too much trouble to endure, and on account of this complaint I had to put up with many annoyances. For continuing this strife, she was once more threatened with expulsion. In the evening 4 houses burned down. A number of Indians have been stopping here for several days. Today I saw 5 of them. They were naked and only the back was covered by a hide. They were armed with bow and arrow, and displayed their ability in shooting. At a distance of 50 steps, two of them knocked a 5 cent piece from where it was placed. This is as large as a usual Schilling piece. (German coin--P.G.). They also showed us some of their dances and in doing so made comical jumps. One moment they were standing on their legs, and the next on their heads. In these dances they also demonstrate the strength of their nerves.
10th. When I was out on business today, my attention was called to some stone cutting establishements of which there are many here. Finished stones are also displayed. I found them beautiful and decided to visit some of the displays, which I had an opportunity to do today. I was in 2 establishments, and must admit that never before had I seen such beautiful and ornamental work in stone, as was displayed there. Practically all the work was slabs of marble of various sizes. Whoever sees this beautiful work must admit that the stone cutters in St. Louis belong among the greatest artists in that line.
11th. and 12th. were spent writing.
13th. Took a short trip into the country with my children. We saw some turtles of which one was rather large. We came across farmsteads, where more than 200 pigs were being kept. It was getting dark as we were on our way home, and we were overtaken by a heavy thunderstorm. It blew and rained besides, and we came home tired and wet to the skin.
14th. I learned that I probably cannot get away from here as yet, and that I shall perhaps have to be here a whole year. This news was discouraging to my family, as well as to myself. The reasons were these: I did not myself possess the money or the means by which I myself could obtain the necessary capital for the long journey, and the Jurgen's widow from Schleswig, who had already promised to lay out the needed travel money, went back on her word, as missionary Carn had cheated her out of a considerable sum of money, and she was not going to leave yet.
15th. Already in Schleswig this missionary had wanted to lure my wife away from me in order to marry her. This was a new wound in my heart, and the old had not yet been healed. I found this out today.
16th. to 20th. Were spent writing. I have also been ill from melancholy and gloominess.
21st. to 25th. Sick. Today several of my friends left. Among them practically all the German Mormons, whom I would have like to accompanied. There was thunder and lightning, combined with storm and rain, and some of the streets in the lowest part of town were quite flooded. Houses and basements were full of water.
26th. The local papers write a great deal about the European war. I read today that some English and French warships were lying at the harbor of Keil. Much is also being written about Denmark, and it is stated that the Schleswig citizenry of Eckernforde and Husum, still do not want to be entirely obedient to the Danes, and that quarrels and arrests are common occurrences. one does not hear much news at this place. The fire alarm is usually sounded every day; sometimes 3-4 times a day. And not frequently someone is being beaten to death or shot. This is nothing new, however, but an old and usual happening that goes with American liberty. There is much thunder and lightning at present, often of a violent character, and of much larger duration than in Germany. But it is only seldom one hears that it has struck. Many ships sink or come to grief in other ways, for both the Mississippi and Missouri continually become more and more dangerous to traffic, and now, in the months of spring, large pieces of land and forest, as well as buildings, are being washed away by the river, incurring loss of lives.
27th. Today I received the joyous news in regard to getting away. This came about solely through a merchant by the name of Thomas William from Salt Lake City. Each year this man arrives here to but goods. He charters 160 wagons, and every time he takes along some families without means.
28th and 29th. Put my things in order for the departure.
30th. I brought some of my luggage on board. Saw a child being run over and crippled by an omnibus. In the evening 5 houses burned down.
31st. Spent the day writing and delivered what was written.
1st. Had a quarrel with my landlord on account of my going away. I looked over a saw mill and a steamer on which the wheel was placed aft.
2nd. Saw a fight among Irishmen during which some were severely wounded by (_______?) I was in a stone cutters establishment and saw a piece of marble, 21 feet long, 7 feet wide and 3 1/2 feet thick. In this marble was carved a head of Christ, with the crown of thorns, and 2 folded hands interwoven with garlands. There were several people there to look at the marble, and everyone admired the beautiful and artistic work.
3rd. Took leave with one of my friends. Wrote two letters to Schleswig, to Polhmann and Ulrich, and took them to the post office. In the evening 4 houses burned down causing the death of 2 children.
4th. We went on board the steamer "Australia." I took rooms on the 3rd deck, as it was most pleasant here. There were about 200 passengers At 5 o'clock we left the harbor, to the accompaniment of music. At 1 o'clock at night we stopped at the mouth of the Missouri, where this river flows into the Mississippi. As far as we came today, there were beautiful landscapes on both sides of the river.
5th. All passengers on the 3rd deck also have their wagons there and sleep in them, the same as I and my family did, and last night we slept very well. This morning we passed by the city of St. Charles, and towards noon the city of Augusta. Only a small area of land around here is cultivated, and on both sides are dense forests and high mountains. In the afternoon we sailed past the towns of Washington and Hermann, stopping at neither one. From what I could see of all of them they were only small and irregularly built. In the evening we saw 2 places where grapes were being grown.
6th. A strong wind blew during the night, and it was mostly against us. On the left bank are high mountains and on the right flat land. Here too grapes were being grown. The owners of the vineyards live in small attractive houses near the river, surrounded by beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. We stopped at the city of Shitubert, but only for a short time, nobody could go ashore. In the afternoon we passed by the city, Jefferson City, capital of Missouri, and residence of the Governor. Here there is a penitentiary, surrounded by a 30 foot wall. The city is only a small one, and has some factories, while the chief business of the residents is corn trade. It was already dark, when we came to the small city of Nahsoun, where we stopped. This town had been built recently and had only 50-60 houses that were completed. The church stands on a mountain, and can be seen from far and wide. In the evening we had violent thunder and lightning.
7th. This morning we were awakened by the rain, and were wet in our beds. A stop was made at the city of Brunsville. This too was only small, and there was nothing unusual to be seen there. At this point the river has a strong current and many turnings. It is dangerous to navigate, especially at night when so many tree trunks are floating in it, with only a little of the trunk above the water's surface. In these parts there is much level and cultivated land. The farmers' dwellings are for the most part log cabins. Around noon we passed by the town of Glasko, it has 2 churches of which one stands on a high mountain. The town lies close to the river, surrounded by high mountains. Marble is being dug and worked at this place, and there are also several saw mills there. In the evening we sailed past Lexington. All I saw of the town was some houses, as it was already dark. We ran into a heavy thunderstorm, and it rained almost all night long.
8th. It was still dark when we came too close to shore, and our ship ran aground. It took time and effort to get loose again; but it was accomplished without doing damage to the ship.
Also at this point the river has a strong current and we could not go faster than 3 miles per hour; we sailed past the towns of Napolean and Siplei. They were both small and in the process of being built. Both lie near the river at the foot of a mountain, but in a beautiful region. There we saw a steamer that sunk today. At this point one sees nothing but forest and mountains from the river, and yet, behind these, there is said to be beautiful, cultivated land. Towards evening we came to the town, Leiponde. Of the town itself there was little to be seen, as it lies behind a mountain. The residents are said to be mostly German farmers who carry on the greatest grain trade on the Missouri. It was already dark when we came to the newly built colony, Waine Citi, where freight was unloaded. We were asked if any craftsmen, especially carpenters and joiners, were aboard who would care to stay on.
9th. At 5 o'clock in the morning we landed at the city of Kansas. It lies near the mountains, and seen from the river, along which stand some houses, it presents a beautiful view. The church stands on a high mountain. The inhabitants are said to be mostly Dutchmen and Germans. In this region close to 2000 Mormons were in camp. Among them were the Danes, still alive, who came across the ocean with us. At this point the current was so rapid, that frequently our ship stood quite still. Around noon we came to the city of Pakville, which lies on an elevation near the river. There was much building activity; inquiries were made about craftsmen, and high wages were being offered. On the right bank is much cultivated land, on the left forest and mountains. Here marble, sandstone, lime and coal were being dug. Neither on the Mississippi nor on the present trip, have I seen such a beautiful and romantic region, as the country we were passing through today. Here the river is 1 mile wide. We saw the fort, Levensfort, a mile to the left and back from the river, sailed past that and landed 4 miles farther along, at our destination. This was located in a forest where an open space near the river was called Liberty Place. Work was immediately begun unloading the ship, and tents were raised. Those who did not have any arranged their wagons so that they could sleep in them, or built themselves huts of shrubs. The ship was chartered, and for the most part loaded with merchandise by the merchant, Williams. Most of the passengers were Mormons, and they had to pay the captain for their own passage from St. Louis to this place, as well as pay for their luggage. From here to St. Louis is 480 miles. Sleeping was out of the question during the night, as all the freight and luggage was being weighed. Nobody was mournful about this, however; but everyone was glad to be here, and that the voyage had come to an end.
10th. In the morning everyone tried to get his things together. Places for cooking were being contrived, and people slept, fished or hunted.
11th. I learned today that my friends who left St. Louis before me, are still in camp in this neighborhood. In the evening we were visited by some of them. Near here, but on the opposite side of the river, lies the city of Weston, from where a ferry goes across the river. From this place 200 oxen came today for our further transportation. We brought 20 freight wagons with us from St. Louis, of which some were loaded with freight today and sent to the actual meeting place for the Mormons, 6 miles from here. We like it rather well here in the forest; but the drinking water, which we drew from the river, was bad and unhealthy.
12th. Very angry and up until now unknown enemies last night moved in on us. They were mosquitoes. They gave us but little sleep, and tormented us so much that this morning our faces and bodies were swollen. Today I took a walk with my children to the assembling place, where I met with my friends from Germany and St. Louis. The road leads past for Levensforth. It is a small, unimportant fort, occupied by 200 soldiers. It stands on a mountain in a beautiful territory, but has neither earthworks nor wall. On the way back we saw a rattle snake that had been killed.
13th. I helped to keep watch last night. Not far from us we heard the howling of wolves. In the morning we had thunder and lightning accompanied by heavy rain and hail, which lasted practically all day long. We had to sit in the tents and had no hot food or drinks until evening, as the fire would not burn.
14th. The last of Williams' freight was taken away today and only some empty wagons still remained behind. All the passengers likewise got away. These were Americans and Englishmen, many of them were with their own wagons, and for the time being Williams loaned them oxen to get them to the meeting place. I too had my things in order, but as there were not enough oxen, I had to content myself with staying here today, alone with my family. The day passed quickly, however, for the ferry went continually back and forth, and the river is still crowded with ships. This helped us to pass the time. But it was not without fear and unrest that we laid ourselves down to sleep, because here one is always surrounded by brutal people and wild animals.
15th. We slept quite well and were not disturbed. I waited all day for oxen; but none came. We had a thunderstorm and once more had to sit in our tents all day. When the rain had stopped, I went with my children into the forest to pick strawberries, of which there are many here, but they were quite sour. We saw some large snakes and killed 2 of them.
16th. The night passed without our experiencing anything unpleasant. I went to the assembly place to find out about my transportation. It seemed as if I had been entirely forgotten. Here everybody was working hard, and when I saw the commotion, the irregular living and disorder, I decided not to take any wagons as yet, and to remain in the forest for some days yet, at least until Williams who was not yet here, would return. On the way back I met some Indian men and women on horseback, who were very much decked out. In the evening we had thunder and lightning, and never before had I experienced such a violent thunderstorm. It rained heavily besides. Our beds were wet through and through, and we had to stay up all night. The weather has been beautiful every evening and I took a walk along the river on which an unusually large number of steamers appeared this evening. I was tormented a great deal by the mosquitoes.
17th. Towards morning we lay down in the grass to sleep, but one of us had to be on guard all the time. Then we tried to dry our beds again, and this did not take long. I went to the ferry every day. This was only 10 minutes walk from where we were, and there I often met with acquaintances. Today I talked with a man who was surprised when he heard that I and my family were quite alone in the forest. He advised me to leave the place before the Indians discovered me which might lead to serious consequences. My family immediately began to pack. I went to the assembly place, obtained a carriage and we drove up there today. We had hardly left before Williams arrived with another shipload of merchandise.
18th. All the families that were to get transportation through Williams, (we were now 12) had been accepted on condition of working on the journey, in whatever, manner and whenever they were able to do so. For this every worker was to receive 15 Dollars per month, besides free board. Adults who did not work, such as women, had to pay 75 Dollars for transportation and board, and besides, they were required to pay 12 1/2 Dollars for every 100 pounds of luggage they carried with them. Everyone of the workers could take along 100 pounds of freight free of charge. We were told of this today, as nobody had any more money with which to go back. I too was immediately put to work today, and had to look after the oxen, to which work 3 of us were assigned. In the evening I visited some friends. Here about 2000 Mormons were encamped, besides a caravan which traveled among the Indians with merchandise and traded with them. This is a beautiful region. The land is level, but not cultivated. Here runs a small river, called Salt Krik. The state of Missouri ends, and the territory of New Brasco begins. It formerly belonged to California; but now the entire region is divided into 3 sections, New Brasco, the territory of Uta and the state of California. The territory of New Brasco is as yet inhabited only by Indians. In recent times the government has bought or forcibly taken this land from the Indians, and has let it be known lately, that whoever wanted to stake out land for cultivation could do so. A piece of land measuring 160 square yards costs from 1 1/4 to 5 Dollars. The payment falls due after a period of 5 years. Whoever does not want to keep the land, may turn it back in again, but obtains nothing for working on it. The Indians are free to live in the territory, but just as is the case with strangers, they have to buy back their land from the government, and must pay three times as much for it, as they got it for in the first place. Also a sample of American Liberty.
21st. My friend Rebello took sick this morning and died 3 hours later of cholera. During the last few days several have been sick with cholera here, and 5 already have died from it here in camp. The sickness first broke out among the Danes, who live like pigs. I accompanied Rebello's remains to the grave, and then went with 5 other men to the landing place to load H. Williams' freight wagons with cargoes.
22nd. Helped in loading.
23rd. Had to help in getting 4 loaded wagons out of the forest. Each wagon was being drawn by 12 oxen. All of them had never been yoked before and for this reason they were very wild. The road was bad and we often got stuck. Finally 2 wagons turned over, and 3 remained sticking in the mud.
24th. Together with 3 other men I had to remain on guard with the broken wagons during the night. It was beautiful weather; but the wolves and mosquitoes frightened us and gave us trouble. In the afternoon I again helped with the loading, and 2 oxen that were yoked together fell. They came too close to the river and tumbled in. After much long drawn out and difficult work we got them out again alive.
25th. Helped to load wagons. In the afternoon I helped reloading the 4 wagons that had suffered mishaps. At this work a man was injured. Here, near the river, the mosquitoes tormented us so much, that frequently we could not get an hours quiet sleep during the entire night. They are not bigger than small gnats, but sting as badly as large bees. Our faces and bodies are swollen therefrom all the time.
26th. Today I only helped with the loading until noon, and then went back to Salt Krik, as the work was too hard for me. Every day strangers pass through here to buy land or to pick it out. Some raise a tent on it and remain, while others hammer stakes into the ground bearing their names, and return. When I look at this beautiful and cheap land, my thoughts often go back to Germany where the land is so densley populated and so expensive, and where so many people, now living in poverty, could make a good living, if they were only over here. I just learned that the departed Mormons are camped only 14 miles from here, that cholera has broken out among them, and that several have died already.
27th. Took care of the oxen. Here where we are, all land has been staked out and bought. Already today began the hauling of lumber and building of houses. All the required lumber as well as doors and windows, can always be obtained ready made, and a log cabin or a house of sawed lumber is built in two days.
28th. The same work as yesterday. To me it is the most tedious work I have done in all my life. Almost all of Williams oxen are now here, and we have 728 to take care of. 10 men of whom 4 on horseback are continually engaged in the work; but I am on foot all the time. Strangers are still passing through here every day, in search of land they wish to buy. All land is said to be bought up 300 miles away from here. All that is said to have been sold, covers an area of 11,000 square miles, and it is mostly level and has good soil.
29th. Last night I was keeping watch. The farmers in this region, of whom are only a few, however, go in a great deal for raising pigs. There are people who have from two to three hundred pigs, they run for miles, and often for weeks into the wilderness, but always find their masters again. One night recently they paid a visit to our pork, and brought great damage. We were also visited by a herd last night, and had difficulty in driving them away. Again took care of oxen.
30th. I went to the river early to help with the loading.
Crossing the Missouri River, C.C.A. Christensen, no date.