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The Ship Golconda, Sailing from Liverpool to New Orleans

January through March 1853 & February and March 1854



Outward Bound, January 17, 1853 Golconda, painted in 1876 by LDS artist George M. Ottinger.


[David Morgan Williams and Robert Thomas Bush traveled on this ship. They were both unmarried at the time.]


The following is taken from the book Ships, Saints and Mariners, by Conway B. Sonne, published 1987 by University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Ship: 1124 tons: 171' x 33' x 22'
Built: 1852 at Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Under the command of Captain George Kerr the British ship Golconda transported 785 Mormons in two companies across the Atlantic. The first voyage began on 23 January 1853 at Liverpool. Elder Jacob Gates presided over the 321 Saints on board, including a number of returning missionaries. During the crossing a brief storm wrecked the vessel's three top masts. Two emigrants died, two couples were married, four babies were born, and a Swedish sailor was baptized. According to the Millennial Star, the "conduct of Captain Kerr gave great satisfaction to all the company, and before parting a vote of thanks, with three cheers was tendered him."

After six weeks on the ocean the Golconda arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River. There they waited for twelve days before a steam tug could tow her to New Orleans. The ship finally anchored at that port on 26 March, a passage of sixty-two days.

On 4 February 1854 the second voyage began at Liverpool. Elder Dorr P. Curtis assisted by Elders Thomas Squires and W. S. Phillips, presided over the 464 Saints in this company. The emigrants were organized into seven branches, and meetings were held five times a week with many reported spiritual manifestations. Winds were contrary early in the voyage, but after a few days the weather was favorable which made the crossing pleasant most of the time. After a forty-two-day passage Captain Kerr brought his ship safely to New Orleans on 18 March. Two marriages were solemnized during the voyage, and there was one death. At New Orleans three emigrants were quarantined; on the Mississippi ten died between that port and St. Louis.

Little is known about the Golconda. She was obviously one of the three-masters built in Canada and then registered in Liverpool. Her tonnage has been variously listed at 1170, 1087, 1044, and 1224, indicating different bases of calculation. The vessel seems to have run in Tapscott's Line. After 1868 she was no longer listed in Lloyd's Register.

Passenger List Sources: (1853)
LDS Passenger List (Family History Library) Film: #025,690 (Item 2-4)
U.S. Government Passenger List (Family History Library) Film: #200,173 & 200,243

Passenger List Sources: (1854)
LDS Passenger List (Family History Library) Film: #025,690 (Item 3-1)
U.S. Government Passenger List (Family History Library) Film: #200,177 & 200,245
Identification Number of U.S. Government Passenger List: #115


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Last Updated 27 April 2011