Ships, Saints, & Mariners
Ship: 1979 tons: 223' x 44' x 24'
Built: 1854 by Roosevelt Coyce & Co. at New York City, New York.
Of the Mormon companies crossing the water under sail, the two largest were transported over the Atlantic in the largest sailing ship used by the Saints -- the Monarch of the Sea. According to one of these passengers, she was "an excellent vessel, large, roomy, new and clean." The 1929 Mormons in the two companies were an assembly of nations, coming from England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, and Switzerland. The first company, consisting of 955 Saints, sailed from Liverpool on 16 May 1861. Elder Jabez Woodard presided over the passengers, which included some returning missionaries. His counselors were Elders Hans O. Hansen and Niels Wilhelmsen. Captain William R. Gardner of Providence, Rhode Island, commanded the ship. An experienced mariner, he apparently was master of the 934-ton ship Huguenot in 1849 for the New Line. During the passage the Saints were organized into eleven wards and lived together harmoniously. There were eleven weddings, nine deaths, and four births on shipboard. After thirty-four days at sea the Monarch of the Sea dropped anchor on 19 June at New York.
The second company, totaling 974 Saints, sailed from Liverpool on 28 April 1864. Elder John Smith, patriarch to the church, was in charge of the emigrants. His counselors were Elders John D. Chase, Johan P. R. Johansen, and Parley P. Pratt, Jr. Master of the packet was Captain Robert Kirkaldy.
This company also represented many nations, particularly Scandinavia. Although the voyage of thirty-six days was quite pleasant, the death toll was unusually high -- forty-five according to George Q. Cannon and forty-one according to the passenger list. Most of those who died were apparently children. The ship arrived at New York on 3 June.
A big three-decker, this clipper ship was exceptionally strong and fast and operated in the Washington Line out of New York. Built with the usual three masts, a round stern, and billethead, she was owned by Captain William R. Gardner and other businessmen. After more than a quarter of a century in service the Monarch of the Sea was reported lost in 1880.
(Ships, Saints, & Mariners — A Maritime Encyclopedia of Mormon Migration 1830-1890, Conway B. Sonne, 1987.)