July 17, 1868

On this day July 17, 1868 the Emerald Isle was a little more than halfway to New York. The Emerald Isle inches closer to North America. Contrary winds have pushed the ship farther north than anticipated and icebergs are seen. The weather is bitter cold and many more emigrants die on board. A child is born on the ship to a English family, she is named Emerald after the ship.

Hans Jensen Hals

Friday, 17–We held funeral services on the deck over the remains of our dead brother before they were consigned to the deep; the old brother left a wife to mourn his death. We had contrary wind and saw a large vessel en route for New York.

Saturday, 18–Two children died with measles; we held a meeting and then buried the little ones in the sea. The wind was good. I compared tickets with the captain’s list, and found that there were 24 more tickets than names in the book.

Sunday, 19–The weather was stormy and many of the passengers were sick. A child form Randers, Denmark, died; we held meeting on deck; the English sang, and I spoke both in English and Danish, and then the body of the dead child was entrusted to the waves. Contrary wind. The sailors now behaved a little better toward our people than they had done before.

Monday, 20–We secured from the hold some bullion soup, wine and brandy for the sick and weak, and distributed the same among those who needed it; and as we began to fear scarcity of water, we made out a list by which we could distribute the water sparingly.

Tuesday, 21–We again distributed provisions to all the passengers visited the sick and gave some of them wine. A child died with measles, and we buried it in the evening, after holding a little meeting or funeral exercises. During the day we saw a number of vessels.

Wednesday, 22–We had contrary wind, and our course in consequence was northward. Owing to icebergs in our immediate vicinity, the weather was also cold. A child belonging to Jorgen Karlsen, of Valdsted, Jutland, Denmark, died with measles. Prior to its burial in a water grave we held a meeting on deck. In the afternoon we held another meeting on deck with the English Saints. We also held three meetings on the lower decks for the Danish Saints; all the meetings were good and gave encouragement to the Saints. A Danish woman gave birth to a large and beautiful child, and everything connected with the event came off successfully; a Swedish sister fell in a fit and another sister fell down the stairs and fainted; we administered to her and she recovered.

Thursday, 23–We had good wind, and saw a large iceberg; also several vessels. The captain gave us chicken soup for the sick, and we held a meeting with Scandinavians, at which Elder Fagerberg and I preached.

Friday, 24–A number of sick persons were moved from the lower deck to better places in the fore part of the vessel; I administered to a number of them. The English Saints entertained us with singing and telling anecdotes. We were now on the banks of Newfoundland with 35 fathoms of water. The weather was fine.

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