I love reading accounts of the Mormon emigrant experience, whether crossing the ocean, riding the trains, or traveling by wagon or handcart. Most of our stories come from the early years of that travel: Everybody seemed to recognize the significance of pioneering; fewer people recorded the experience of traveling when emigration had become “routine.” But it was never routine for the people involved – even when the months of sail travel had shrunk to a week aboard a steamer, and when months of Plains walking had collapsed to a week on the rails, “coming to Zion” was a pivotal moment in an emigrant’s life, probably the greatest adventure of his life.
On Saturday, May 21, 1887 – long after such travel had become “routine” – a company of Latter-day Saint emigrants bound for Utah sailed from Liverpool aboard the S.S. Nevada, a steamer of the Guion line, the steamship company favored by the Church.
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