The Voyage of the Ellen Maria, 1853



The Ellen Maria, “a good-looking craft” in the eyes of one of her passengers, lay quiet as a sleeping duck at Mosely Docks in Liverpool, England, in early January 1853. From a distance, the crosshatch pattern of her masts and yardarms blended with those of other sailing ships into a forest of bare horizontals and verticals reaching skyward along the banks of Mersey River. As a square-rigger packet out of the yard of Harrison Springer in Richmond, Maine, the Ellen Maria was of modest dimensions among the ships engaged in carrying converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over the North Atlantic in that year. Her rated tonnage of 768 was third to the lowest of the ten ships chartered. She would carry 332 Latter-day Saints in completing this, her third and last voyage.


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