July 4th 1850
This being the day or of a Nation's Birth, the nations to which has given birth to the Prophet & Saints of the Last days (myself included) and in which the Kingdoms of God was nourished in its infancy, a variety of reflections & meditations press upon my mind in this far off land. In the midst of which I seat myself at my writing desk to endeavour [endeavor] to communicate some of my feelings & reflections to my kind and effectionate [affectionate] family and friends in that land of Promise. I have often of late had occasion to remark that an American born and raised in the United States knew not the worth of his native land until he traveled abroad, and with the experience I had had I have never been able so fully to realize the extent of the Blessings of heaven that have been showered upon that land, or I have since I arrived in Europe. Well might the people of the United States celebrate the day in which their fathers were made free. If they had continues in that freedom and walked in the footsteps of their father and feared the God of the land who Blessed them and lifted them up above all other lands. But they have despised the precepts of their fathers, and trampled under their feet the God who delivered them, yea they have waxed strong in iniquity and abominations of every kind. The land has become defiles under the inhabitants thereof. It has drunk at their hands the Blood of her noblest Sons Prophets & Saints - The Myrturs [Martyrs] of Jesus !!! They have driven & cast out their own children, even like a mother dashing her infant from her bosom - They wandered in the wilderness - They cried until God in the Desert. The Lord heard heir cry - He Sent his Angels. He led them to a goodly land - He gave unto them corn; and with the fruits of the Earth did He satisfy them - He sent unto them the young of the flock & of the Herd - yea & with Butter & milk did he satiate their souls - Then they rejoiced before him and gave thanks unto their deliverer - They brought unto him the fruits of their ground, the calf and the Kid and whatsoever the Lord had given them and they went up to the place of the Temple of the Lord there to Praise her Holy name and keep a feast of Tabernacle yea with music & with Banners, did the young men & maidens and old men together celebrate the day in which the Lord did give them rest - even the 24th of July glorious Day. May it never be forgotten. In each succeeding year may its approach be thrice welcome to Zions Sons & Daughter - May its annual return bring increaced [increased] strength glory & deliverance unto her children, untill [until] her Banners float on every breeze and Proudly wave oer [over] every hill and righteousness & peace be the heritage of every soul of man.
As for the people and Government of the United States. Although while I write they may discount in their festive assemblages upon their Blood bought Liberties and the increasing glory and Prowess of this American Eagle. yet her fate. Alas: I will not here write it. But those who will may read it in the Book of Mormon Cap. 7 Book of Nephi Grandson of Helaman.
Surely "they have become lifted up in the Pride of their hearts above all other nations of the Earth and filled with lyings, deceivings, Murders, whoredoms, and all manner of abominations" But the Judge of all the Earth will do right and in His hands I will leave them and write upon matters pertaining to my mission.
Tis now most nine months since I Bid you adieu, and as yet I have not heard one word from the valley. I have traveled over eight thousand miles and am now in the renound [renowned] capital of the little Kingdom of Denmark.
From the English and American Papers which I find in the "Copenhagen News Saloon I can find news from almost all parts of the world except Salt Lake City. I see San Francisco dates to May the first. New York to June 13th and the upper Missouri till a late date in May But no voice from the great Intermountain Basin. Before another month papers I hope to receive a message from thence.
Here are no Postal arrangements between the country and the United States. All communications therefore will have to pass through England both ways. You will continue to direct to "Millennal [Millenial] Star Office" 15 Wilton St., Liverpool. I can get letters from there in a week and have arranged with the office to pay postage & forward I wrote to Brother Lyman before I left the States and hope soon to have one from him. I hope this you have received my letters written at Boston and the things I sent you. The news papers report thousands upon thousands of over land emigrants bound for the Gold country, and Probably about this time the valley is perfectly alive with them. I am told that the Gold fever has reached the North of Europe and that a Ship load of adventurers has sailed from this place for California. Surely there is a gathering to America from all nations whether for better or for worse. either Saints or Sinners.
While In London I saw in the "New York Tribune" a letter from one of the New York company who left the valley Just before I did Dated Angelos [Derlot?] Jan 20th which gave horrible accounts of the sufferings and divisions of those who took the South route, continued in that direction would Perish and he with his Mormon followers turned South to the Spanish Trail and reached the Settlements in safety. This is all he says of the Saints and all. I have heard from Bro. Pack on that company. The writer was one of a small company who subsequently heeded the warning and followed the marked trail. The writer escaped with much suffering
July 7th Beloved & faithfull [faithful] ones - Jewels of my Bosom Dear to my heart
I again sit down to write a little note. Tis [It is] Sunday evening 7 clock [o'clock] P.M. I am siting alone by my Bedroom window which overlooks a beautiful garden of trees & flowers and by this window I have sometimes been able to read and write as late as 10 1/1 and sometimes eleven clock [o'clock] by the daylight and again the day dawns between one & two oclock [o'clock] in the Morning. During the shortest days in winter they have daylight some 6 or 7 Hours - Copenhagen is in Latitude about 56036 and long 120 East of Greenich About 125 Deg. East & 15 Deg. North of Salt Lake City. Difference in time about eight hours and 15 minutes so I am gettng [getting] up mornings about the time you are going to bed & except when I take my late morning naps which you know always prized highly at home, and why should I not here since it is the only time that you & I have to sleep together.
This summer has thus far been quite cool - It is not unusual to see men walking the Streets with overcoats. Indeed Bro Dyke [George Parker Dykes 1814-1888] & myself sometimes wear our overcoats in the house and then shiver with cold while Bro. Hanson laughs at us - But you must not Judge the winter here by the Summers For the difference is not so great here as in Deseret. -
Although Perhaps more Snow yet as near as I can learn the winters are as mild as in Massachusetts or New York - Unlike Swedeen [Sweden] & Norway. Denmark (embracing Jutland Peninsula and Islands of the [Categat] & Baltic) is all low flat land: and besides being nearly all surrounded with water is interspersed with numerous lakes: all of which contribute to equalize the climate, and present a contrast to the mountainous regions of Norway & Sweden - Copenhagen (situate on the Island of Zealand) is by far the greatest town and seems to be the soul of the Kingdom. It numbers somewhere about 140,00 inhabitants. It is well fortified and is withal a beautifull [beautiful] Place. speaking after the manner of the world, but to me nothing is beautifull [beautiful] but the home of saints.
After my last letter was written from England May 4th I visited in the old "cock Pit" in Preston where Bros [Brothers] Hyde [Elder Orson Hyde 1805-1878] & Kimball [Elder Heber C. Kimball 1801-1868] first Began the work in Britan [Britain] in 1837 - I returned from Scotland and went to London where I attended conference and spent about 10 days very agreeably - Bro. Taylor [Elder John Taylor 1808-1887], L. Snow [Elder Lorenzo Snow 1814-1901] & F. D. Richards [Elder Franklin Dewey Richards 1821-1899] and several other american elders were there and from thence we all seperated [separated] on the 8th June for our several places of Destination on the Continent.
Truly the work of the Lord is glorious in the Brittish [British] Isles and the Spirit and power of God is greatly manifested upon all his Saints.
We Left Hull Eng. Tuesday June 11th at 6 1/2 oclock [o'clock] A.M. in the Steamer Victoria and landed here on the 14th at 9 1/2 do A.M. 3 days 3 Hours Brother G. P. [George Parker Dykes 1814-1888] & John Forssgren accompanied me here from Hull. Brother Hanson Had preceeded [preceded] us But His Father who is a Son of Beliel would neither receive him suffer his Step-mother to see him. Neither will he yet only as she steals away from home. He has stoped [stopped] with a distant relative who received him kindly. Bro. Forssgren tarried with us a few days and then sailed per Steamer from here to Geffle on the Sweedish [Swedish] shore of the Baltic, which is some five & six hundred miles from here. We have Just received a letter from him informing us of his arrival. His Father being at Sea He had not seen him.
When we landed in Copenhagen Bro [George Parker Dykes 1814-1888] could read Danish a little Past the Danish Alphabet. I had searched in the Atlantic cities for a Danish English grammer [grammar] or other elementary marks adopted to English learners, but found none short of London & after I obtained them there, I had no time to study til I landed here.
Bro. Peter Hansen had so far forgotten his native tongue that he could scarcely make himself understood when he first landed - and even now he is sometimes at a loss for words to convey his ideas.
Brother Dykes [George Parker Dykes 1814-1888] can now speak so as to make himself tolerably well understood and in family visits & fireside talks can teach considerable. I am beginning to read & translate a little Danish & talk a very little.
We at first Put up at a public house which was anything but a desireable [desirable] place. But the Lord directed our footsteps to a good family where we hired our board and a Pleasant room in which to study and receive visitors which we dedicated unto God for a holy Place unto us, and we pray unto him continually to direct every move we make. And the Lord does truly open up our way and hear our prayers in all things. We keep Bro. Peter with us to interpret and we occasionally find people that can talk a little English.
My Prayer has been continually that the Lord would raise up labourers in this land who will be able to understand my counsils [sic] & instructions in English and be full of the Holy Ghost to teach in their own tongue - for I have seen that it would be a work of years to acquire by study the variety of forms of expressions so as to be fluent in public speaking or write with elegence [sic] in the Danish language. It is much of it guttural; and the arrangement of sentences & the forms of expression are entirely reversed from ours.
We have formed acquaintence [acquaintance] with many families and have frequent calls to visit and gentlemen to call upon us at our room and when we find any that can read English we set them to reading the Book of Mormon and other works. There is already quite a spirit of inquiry awakened and many believe yet they are like children that have to be fed with a teaspoon for this has been a dark and Priest ridden land for many generations. They publish Bibles to send abroad. But few are taught to read & believe it at home. The family with whom we live receive us as servants of God & receive our teachings gladly and take great pains to instruct us in their language. Several wish to be baptised [baptized].
[In the margins of the letter]
I have heard that Government of the United States has established a monthly mail from Missouri to the Valley & I hope it is true in that event I shall expect to hear from home often. But not being certain of that fact, I shall send this to Kanesville with a request for Bro [Orson] Hyde to forward to you. But yours if mailed in the Valley will come direct to Liverpool, either Paid or Unpaid I wish to be remembered effectionately [affectionately] to poor Louisa if She is still numbered with the living. I hope the children are baptised [baptized] Before this I trust that you Artemesia will see that their education is not neglected. Teach them to Join with you in Praying for me as I do for them and you all. I greet you all my family - my Mother - Brothers & Sisters - God bless you!