4 May 1856 Liverpool, England - 14 Jun 1856 New York, New York
General Voyage Notes
"DEPARTURE. -- The ship Thornton, Captain Collins, cleared on May 3, and sailed on the 4th for New York, with 764 souls of the Saints on board, of whom 163 where from the Scandinavian Mission.
This company is under the presidency of Elders James G. Willie, Millen Atwood, Jacob A. Ahmansen, and Moses Clough. Elders Willie, Atwood, and Clough arrived in England January 5, 1853; and consequently have been laboring in the ministry, in this country, nearly three years and four months. Elder Ahmansen was out among the first who received the gospel in Scandinavia. he was baptized by Elder E. Snow, when the gospel was first carried by him to Denmark. Since that time he has labored faithfully in the ministry, and held responsible positions in the Scandinavian Mission. Elders John Kelly, late president of the Cheltenham Conference, A. M. Findlay, formerly of the East India Mission, and John Chislett, who has been laboring in the Swiss Mission, also sailed in the Thornton. These brethren have all been faithful and diligent in the ministry, and have left their fields of labor to go home to Zion with our blessing, and they have our prayers for their future success and welfare."
"NINETY-FIFTH COMPANY. -- Thornton. 764 souls. The ship Thornton cleared from Liverpool, May 3rd, 1856, and sailed on the fourth for New York with seven hundred and sixty-four Saints on board, of whom one hundred and sixty-three were from the Scandinavia Mission; four hundred and eighty-four of the total number were P. [Perpetual] E. [Emigration] Fund emigrants, expected to cross the plains with hand-carts. The company was placed in charge of Elders James G. Willie, Millen Atwood, Jacob A. Ahmanson and Moses Clough. Elder John Kelley, A. M. Findlay, (formerly of the East India Mission) and John Chislett, of the Swiss Mission, also sailed in the Thornton. Soon after leaving Liverpool the emigrants were divided into seven wards or districts, over each of which a presiding officer was appointed. During the voyage Captain Collins was very kind to the emigrants, allowing them a great many extra privileges which were duly appreciated by them. He also gave the elders full liberty to preach and hold meetings on board as often as they pleased, and frequently he, together with the ship's physician, and other officers were attentive listeners to the preaching and joined in singing the songs of Zion. Considerable sickness prevailed among the emigrants of whom a number were old and sickly, Seven deaths, three births and two marriages took place on board in the following order: On the first of May, Sister McNiel gave birth to a son, who was blessed and named Charles Thornton McNiel; on the fourth Sister Jessie Ireland was married to Brother Allen Findlay, the ceremony was quietly performed in the cabin by Elder Atwood; on the sixth Sister Molton was delivered of a son, who was blessed and named Charles Alma; on the seventh Rachel Curtis, aged seventy-five years, died; on the eight, Rasmine Rasmussen, three years old, died; on the twenty-first a child was born and died a few minuets afterwards; on the twenty-eight, a boy, a year old, died.
On the twenty-ninth, Sister Sarah Hains was married to Brother Samuel Cook, by Elder Willis [Willie]. On that occasion all the Saints were invited to the upper deck, and the young pair was taken to the captain's deck, from where the ceremony was in plain sight of the passengers. The American colors were hoisted; Elder Willie delivered an address on the order of marriage and read the order from the Doctrine and Covenants. After it was over three cheers were given for the captain, three for the officers, three for the crew, and three for the young pair. On the second of June, Thomas Peterson, aged seven and a half years, died from the effects of a fall from the upper to the lower deck; on the fifth a girl by the name of [Margaret] Kay, three and a half years old, died, and on the seventh, Mary Lark, aged ten years, died of consumption.
During the passage a number of meetings were held, both for preaching and amusement, and the captain was very particular in not permitting the sailors to disturb these gatherings. Before disembarking written testimonials were exchanged between the Saints, the captain and the ship's physician, expressing the good feeling and pleasant cordial understanding which had prevailed between all concerned during the entire voyage. The captain and doctor, in trying to respond to the testimonials tendered them were both overcome by their feelings and shed tears of emotion. On the fourteenth of June the Thornton arrived at New York, and a tug boat landed the emigrants at Castle Garden, where they were kindly received by Apostle John Taylor and Elder Nathaniel H. Felt.
On the seventeenth of June, the company left New York and traveled by rail to Dunkrik, N. [New] Y. [York] where they boarded the steamer Jersey City and sailed to Toledo, Ohio, where they arrived on the twenty-first. The following day they reached Chicago. While at Toledo the emigrants were treated unkindly by the railway hands. On the twenty-third the company left Chicago by rail in two divisions, one leaving a few hours after the other. At Pond Creek the emigrants learned that the bridge at Rock Island had collapsed while a train passed over it. Apostle Erastus Snow and other elders from Utah were on the train when the accident happened, but escaped unhurt. On the twenty-sixth of emigrants continued the journey from Pond Creek and arrived at Iowa City the same day. (Millennial Star, Vol. XVIII, pages 330, 478, 542, 554; Morgenstjernen Vol. III, page 21.) "
"Sun. 4. [May 1856] The ship Thornton sailed from Liverpool, England, with 764 Saints, under the direction of James G. Willie. It arrived at New York June 14th, and the emigrants, continuing the journey by rail, arrived at Iowa City, June 26th."
". . . On Wednesday, April 23, 1856, under the leadership of Elder Johan A. Ahmanson, 161 emigrating Saints bound for Utah, sailed from Copenhagen per steamship 'Rhoda.' The route taken by this company of emigrants was by steamer to Kiel, by railroad to Hamburg, by steamer to Grimsby in England and by railroad to Liverpool. The company arrived safe and well at Liverpool, April 29th.
On Sunday, May 4, 163 Scandinavian emigrants sailed form Liverpool per ship 'Thornton,' together with about 600 Saints from Great Britain. . . ."