On August 19, 1860, John Henry Humphrey Barker was ordained as a teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood by the Somers Town Branch President, Joseph W. Dawson. John documented that President Dawson, “said there were many blessing[s] in store for me and that my voice should yet be raised amongst the Elders of Israel.”
Journal of John Henry Humphrey Barker, August 19, 1860
On July 17, 1859, John Henry Humphrey Barker was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by the Somers Town Branch President, Joseph W. Dawson. Assisting in this confirmation was Edward Tullidge, “who after the ordinations promised me the following blessings. (I write from memory) If I would be faithfull and live my Religion I should have the Spirit of God to be with me to the last day that I should live on this earth that in time I should hold the Priesthood that I should do good in my day and be a blessing to my Fathers before me and to my successors after me. that I should be a bright star and increase in knowledge and power.”
Journal of John Henry Humphrey Barker, July 17, 1859
The following entries are taken from the journal of John Barker relating to his and Susan Dermott’s trip from England to the United States aboard the ship Manchester, in May-June 1862. This information details the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean as part of their journey in emigrating to Zion.
April 15, 1862 – received our notifications for the Ship Manchester (Susans also)…
April 16, 1862 – paid balance of sea passage and railway fare to Liverpool for self and Susan. took Susan to mothers.
May 2, 1862 – William Lee arrived we went out buying things for voyage.
May 3, 1862 – Started from Mother house (Perg St. [?]) with Susan[,] [William] Lee. Fanny. for the Railyway [sic] Station. wished mother good bye. saw Father & Charles at the Station arrived in Liverpool got out luggage to the Ship and got on board by night. all was in the greatest confusion and dark. a man fell overboard but was saved. Susan shared Bunks with Louisa Mills I shared with William Lee.
May 4, 1862 – Sunday Walked round the docks nailing up our tins. rolling on board biscuits and stoves. writing letters. got in a little better order
May 5, 1862 – Writing [illegible] our things fetching water & &
May 6, 1862 – woke up at 5 in the morning by the noise of the anchor. being let down we having been towed into the river some [illegible] were served out one family was sent back by the doctor. the United Kingdom towed us a long way out raining hard but the water very smooth lashed our things tight J.T.D McAllister Pres of Ships Company. while at sea W Lee had a fit
May 7, 1862 – [illegible] in sight of Wales. ship rolling very much I was sick. Susan well. I did not undress
May 8, 1862 – 382 passengers on Board contrary wind looking all day I was still sick could eat nothing did not undress the Saints were laying all around like to many cattle. helpless. and sick
May 9, 1862 – slept good a little better. drank a little water and sat on deck.
May 15, 1862 – untill the last 2 days have been very sea sick did not eat anything for 2 days. and the rest of the time very little and then nearly always brought it up again while sick did not feel like doing anything had not washed for a week or undressed since we started. laid on the deck all day and at night went to my berth. Susan not well but was not sea sick a few mornings ago was woke up by the water pouring down the fore hatch. my berth was under it. a wave had broke over and washed the hatch off. and for a while we thought we were going to the bottom – while sitting on the [illegible] door having tea one day I heard a knocking from below. when it was opened a man came up (a stowaway) he had been below 9 day and had only eat a rat and 9 potatoes. he was very lousey & [illegible]. The sailors were very badly treated by the mates. we managed to [illegible] a little pea soup after waiting 6 hours to get it cooked
May 16, 1862 – missed getting our water managed to get some coffee Pork & potatoes cooked and [illegible]. a rough night tins all loose & rolling about.
May 17, 1862 – during ward prayers we had to hold fast our tins boxes & could not go from our berths – while having gruel for breakfast was thrown on my back by the rocking of the Ship
May 18, 1862 – Sunday a meeting in the afternoon. weather stormy on duty for the second time for 2 hours at the hatchway
May 19, 1862 – Provisions saved out Susan lost her hat while looking over the Ships side
May 20, 1862 – All ordered on deck for our berths to be sprinkled with [illegible] of lime
May 21, 1862 – got the steward to bake us a loaf of bread for sixpence. a dead whale floated by. being eaten by Sharks went into the womens ward to hear singing
May 27, 1862 – a very rough day water washing over the deck. wind tore a sail I fell on the deck got a black eye
May 28, 1862 – After marching and singing the Captain made the following remarks. Soldiers of Zion not Soldiers yet but Soldiers in embryo who will some day be Soldiers. be firm and steadfast. (Cheers)
May 30, 1862 – Arrived on Newfound-land Banks. sea changed from blue to green rather cold.
May 31, 1862 – very cold sounding [?] 65 fathoms deep.
June 1, 1862 – A testimony meeting held in the evening. one spoke and one sang in tongues interpretation that we should be blessed in our journey. W. Lee had a fit on deck.
June 2, 1862 – Amongst ice bergs. Got [?] rough to serve our provisions
June 3, 1862 – Be calmed. foggy and amongst ice bergs. fog horn blowing
June 4, 1862 – Fog worse. horn blowing Bells ringing. 2 men on the look out. and passengers ordered to keep silence that signals might be herd [sic]
June 5, 1862 – Off the Newfoundland Banks and becalmed [sic] a vote of thanks given to the Officers
June 6, 1862 – Still becalmed sun very hot
June 10, 1862 – Lime water & sugar served out getting ready to land
June 11, 1862 – In sight of Long Island took a pilot on board got away again from land
June 12, 1862 – very busy fixing things and preparing to land 2nd mate ill-used a seaman for striking him. the seaman was tied up to the rigging by the thumbs. the passenger[s] ordered him to be taken down. Still out of sight of land made land about 11 oclock we sailed right into the harbour had a fine view of New Jersey. and the Narrows [?] and entering New York Harbour at Sun set on a calm evening. all things seemed combined to make it a most beautiful sight one not easy discribed. [sic] all passed the doctor anchored off Castle Gardens
June 13, 1862 – Our things and us taken onto a lighter and landed in Castle Gardens Government Emigration Depot. on Old [illegible] or Circus. tasted first bread on board the lighter did not know when to stop in the Depo [sic] had a good meal of Bread Cheese and milk. walked up Broadway with Susan and around New York
June 14, 1862 – Choir sang the Officers a song before leaving the Gardens for the railway which we did at 6 in the evening Hudson River R.R. gave letters to the doctor of the Manchester. for. Mary. Susans mother &
This book, by Frank Esshom, was a large collection of Utah pioneer biographies and was originally published in 1913.1 The following pages from a facsimile reprint in 1966 are provided below and relate to John Henry Humphrey Barker.
1 Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City,UT: Western Epics, Inc., 1966), title page, 699, 735
The few sources that actually contain information regarding John Henry Humphrey Barker lists various dates for his birth. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah lists his birth date as April 1, 1842.1 Our Pioneer Heritage (from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers) has his birth date listed as April 5, 1842.2 Treasured Memories of the John H. Barker Family has his birth date correctly listed as April 5, 1841.3 The accuracy of his birth date is verified by the following certified copy of birth, provided below:
1 Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT: Pioneers Book Publishing Company, 1913), 699, 735
2 “Letters of John H. Barker,” in Our Pioneer Heritage, ed. Kate B. Carter (Salt Lake City, UT: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1961), 4:78
3 Maud Barker Jorgensen, Treasured Memories of the John H. Barker Family (Providence, UT: Keith W. Watkins & Sons Printing, Inc., 1992), 3. While John’s birthdate is correctly listed on page 3, it is incorrectly listed as April 1, 1842 on pages 4, 8, and 13.