[Ezra T. Benson, Kanesville, 20 Apr. 1852; in Journal History, 20 Apr. 1852, p.1]
[Intro in Journal History: Under this date Ezra T. Benson wrote from Kanesville, Iowa, as follows:]
Good feeling and general peace prevail among the saints. But times are dull and gloomy. It has been a severe hard winter and a cold backward spring. At this date the weather is still cold and dry. No grass, and not much signs of vegetation. Emigration will be very late, The saints are generally poor, and the way looks dark and gloomy; but they will do all that any people can do. Disaster and distress seem to be poured out without reserve upon the waters, within the last few days quite a number of steamboats have blown up, presenting some of the most horrible circumstances ever recorded in history, among which is the steamer “Saluda” on the way to this point, while in the act of starting out from Lexington landing, where she had been lying for several days on account of ice on the river, burst both her boilers, carrying off her hurricane deck entire in front of the Ladies cabin and making the whole boat a wreck. Mr. Carter, Sister Woodruff’s brother was on board. He and the first clerk were in the Ladies’ cabin and were saved, all the officers were killed. Most of the hands and about one hundred and thirty-five passengers, mostly said to be English emigrants for Utah. Bro. Isaac Bullock was on the deck and badly hurt, he has got home. From the reports the scene was past description. Human bodies and parts of the [wr?] deck were picked up four hundred yards from the boat. Particulars will be given as we gather the facts. But very few have sold their claims. Money is very scarce now in circulation.
The Hon. Almon W. Babbitt has just started a press to blow the western bugle. He leaves here for Utah the 10th of May
I am ever your brother in the covenants of peace.
Ezra T. Benson