church history, latter-day saints, maritime migration


In January, Fifty-three, we left our English home, Determined for the Gospel's sake, to Zion's land to come. Our family was very small, its members numbered three, Yet strong in faith of Israel's God, and full of hope were we. 'Twas not to us an easy task to bid old friends adieu, To take a long farewell of those who always had been true, To leave for aye, the cozy home we made but just before, And take a last fond look of things we should behold no more; The wind blew keen, as out we went into the cold gray dawn, But keener far the chill we felt within our hearts that morn. The starts were shining over us, but brighter in our breast Was the star of hope that lured us on the the distant West. So wrote Hannah Cornaby, who made the transatlantic voyage to New Orleans with a company of 332 Saints aboard the square-rigged Ellen Maria. The Ellen Maria was one of eight sailing vessels that carried Latter-day Saint converts to Zion in 1853. During the month of March, when several Mormon companies disembarked at New Orleans and stepped into the shores of the promised land, Franklin D. Pierce was inaugurated the fourteenth president of the United States, and America was anticipating a bright future.

Original Publication Citation

Fred E. Woods, "From Liverpool to Keokuk: The Mormon Maritime Migration Experience of 1853," Mormon Historical Studies 4, no. 2 (Fall 2003: 3-24).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Mormon Historical Studies




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine