Remembering Laura Hotchkiss Goodwin b. 3 April 1813, d. 6 May 1846

Goodwin, Isaac Richards d. 1879, Lehi  Goodwin, Laura Hotchkiss b. 1813 d. 1846 Chile

Martin Benjamin Bushman, brother to my Great-Grandpa Jacob Bushman, was married to Lucinda Ladelia Goodwin in 1863.  Her mother was Laura Hotchkiss Goodwin who was born 3 April 1813.  Her story is a sad one.  In 1846, she and her husband, Isaac Goodwin and their 7 children were on board the ship “Brooklyn” that sailed from New York City to San Francisco.  On the 6th of May she died on that journey and was buried on Goat Island, off the coast of Chile.  You can read about that fascinating voyage in the article below.

From The Ensign, July 1997:
Voyage of the “Brooklyn”

By Joan S. Hamblin

While most Latter-day Saint pioneers crossed the Great Plains, 238 of them began their journey to refuge in the West with a 24,000-mile sea voyage.

Voyage of the “Brooklyn”

Goodwin Family, Ship Brooklyn

From the northeastern United States, Latter-day Saints converged in New York City in the winter of 1845–46. Lacking means to travel overland to Nauvoo, Illinois, these Saints answered the call of Church leaders to gather to the West by pooling their money and chartering a ship. Under the leadership of Brother Samuel Brannan, who had been appointed by Elder Orson Pratt of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, they would sail around South America’s Cape Horn to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) and then on to California, crossing the equator twice in the process, making perhaps the longest religious sea pilgrimage in recorded history.

Voyage of the “Brooklyn”

On 4 February 1846 (coincidentally the same day Nauvoo Saints started to cross the Mississippi River in their departure), 238 men, women, and children—mostly families who did not have the financial means to go overland to the West—boarded ship and watched as Captain Abel Richardson maneuvered them out of New York harbor. Small and well-worn, the 450-ton Brooklyn was a typical three-masted, full-rigged Yankee trading ship. The 2,500 square feet of cramped space between decks became the living quarters for families, with a long table, backless benches, and sleeping bunks all bolted to the deck. In the low-ceiling area, only children could stand upright. Below, crammed into the hold, were water barrels, crates of chickens, 2 cows, 40 pigs, 2 sawmills, a gristmill, tools for 800 farmers, a printing press, and much more of everything they thought would be needed away from “civilization.”

Rules, regulations, and routines kept the voyage peaceful. Church members participated in Sunday religious services and formed a choir. Bored, many turned to reading in the 179 volumes of the Harper’s FamilyLibrary donated by Joshua M. Cott, a prominent Brooklyn attorney.

Four days out, a storm besieged the ship, a gale so severe that Captain Richardson called it the worst he had ever seen. For three nights, women and children were lashed to their berths as the ship tossed and plunged into mountainous waves. When the captain went below deck to tell his passengers to prepare to die, he found them praying and singing hymns to block out the noise of the storm. Faithful and fearless, one woman replied, “We were sent to California and we shall get there.” 1 All survived the storm.

Blown nearly to the Cape Verde Islands off the northwest coast of Africa, the Brooklyn was now in a position to take advantage of easterly trade winds—a hidden blessing for the travelers.

Two days later, the infant son of Joseph Nichols died, and a week later 59-year-old Elias Ensign died. Then, like the silver lining of a cloud after a storm, on 24 February Sarah Burr gave birth to a son, named John Atlantic Burr.

But the interlude was brief. On 28 February, George, the son of John R. Robbins, died of scarlet fever. After the ship crossed the equator on 3 March, it was caught in the doldrums, in “muggy, oppressive heat, motionless on a sea like molten glass” for about four days. 2 Even though Captain Richardson tried to protect the passengers who went up to the deck for fresh air by providing an awning, they suffered terribly. One passenger wrote, “We were so closely crowded that the heat of the Tropics was terrible, but ‘mid all our trials the object of our journey was never forgotten. The living faith was there and was often manifested.” 3

Within days, four more died, and before they reached the tip of South America, another three were wrapped in a shroud, weighted, and slipped over the edge of the boat.

When the dreaded Cape Horn was skirted without incident, passengers thought their journey’s woes were over as the ship headed for Valparaiso, Chile, to replenish supplies. Their drinking water had become so thick and slimy it had to be strained between the teeth. Rats abounded in the vessel, and cockroaches and smaller vermin infested the provisions.

But before they reached Chile, a storm hit and drove them back almost to the Cape. The skilled captain headed instead for the Juan Fernández Islands, 360 miles off the coast of Chile. Pregnant Laura Goodwin died after a fall during this storm and left a husband and 7 children. She was buried in a cave—the only one of 11 passengers and one sailor who died during the voyage to be spared a watery grave. Ashore, the passengers bathed, did laundry, obtained fresh fruit and potatoes, caught and salted fish, put 18,000 gallons of fresh water into the ship’s casks, and stocked up on firewood. “If we had gone to Valparaiso, it would have cost us hundreds of dollars; thus showing to us the hand of the Lord and His overruling Providence and care for His people,” 4 passenger William Glover wrote, reflecting upon the expense of supplies in Chile as opposed to opportunities to fish and gather fresh food and water on the tropical island.

Soon they reboarded the Brooklyn and headed for the Sandwich Islands. Phoebe Robbins, after burying two sons in the Atlantic, gave birth to a daughter, Georgiana Pacific Robbins, just a week before they sailed into the harbor at Oahu. Yet the deaths continued. Orren and Ann Smith and their sick infant son, Orren, stayed behind when the Brooklyn left Honolulu. The baby died on 5 July in Honolulu, the last casualty of the long pilgrimage. Among the causes of death listed for those who died on the voyage were scarlet fever, consumption (tuberculosis), and, among the children, diarrhea and dehydration.

On 31 July 1846, the Pacific pilgrims finally reached their destination—a little village of about 150 people, Yerba Buena, later renamed San Francisco. There they learned that United States forces had taken California in a war with Mexico and that only three weeks earlier a U.S. warship had sailed into Yerba Buena, planted the U.S. flag, and taken over the Mexican village. Because they had crossed the equator twice and passed south of Cape Horn, they had experienced extremes in weather, including both tropical and arctic storms. At one point they had lowered men over the sides to chip ice off the ship, the ice being dangerous because of the weight and hindrance to mobility. Weather problems, sickness and deaths, crowded conditions, and limited provisions led one woman to say, “Of all the memories of my life, not one is so bitter as that dreary six months’ voyage, in an emigrant ship, round the Horn.” 5

Church members had no choice but to remain in California until they knew where the main body of the Church would settle. Soon Brother Brannan sent 20 of them to start a small farm settlement, New Hope, 70 miles east of Yerba Buena.

In December 1846, six months after the arrival of the Brooklyn Saints, members of the Mormon Battalion joined them in California. Surprisingly, at the end of 1846 most of the American settlers in California were Latter-day Saints. In fact, by 1847 there were over 500 members in California, and San Francisco was “for a time very largely a ‘Mormon town.’” 6

It would be a year before President Brigham Young would arrive in the Salt Lake Valley on 24 July 1847. Meanwhile, many of the Brooklyn Saints enjoyed the California climate and opportunities so much they decided to remain there. In time, about one-third of the oceangoing pioneers joined the main body of the Church in the intermountain West.

During the spring of 1847, Brother Brannan with two others rode east to find President Young and attempted to convince him to bring the Saints to coastal California to settle. Brother Brannan met President Young’s advance, exploratory company near the Green River in Wyoming and accompanied them to the Salt Lake Valley, where he taught the pioneers how to make California adobe bricks. But failing to convince President Young to bring the Saints to the coast, Sam Brannan left disappointed on 9 August and returned to California. Sam Brannan eventually rose to wealth and prominence in California, lost the faith, and died years later in poverty.

The historic contributions of the Brooklyn Saints are considerable: as far as is known they were the “first colony of home-seekers with women and children to sail around Cape Horn, the first group of Anglo settlers to come to California by water, and the first group of colonists to arrive after United States forces took California.” 7 Their contributions to the San Francisco Bay area are numerous, including the first public school, the first bank, the first newspaper, the first post office, the first wheat grown, and the first library. Theirs is yet another example of the indomitable pioneer spirit found among Latter-day Saint pioneers, whether on the overland trail or on the sea.

[illustrations] Below, left: Crowded conditions on board a typical emigrant ship. (On Board an Emigrant Steamship, around 1880, courtesy of Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.) Below: Ship Brooklyn and Samuel Brannan. (Painting by Jerry Thompson.) Right: Route of the Brooklyn, 4 February–31 July 1846.

Joan S. Hamblin, a member of the Alamo Second Ward, Danwell California Stake, serves as a multistake public affairs director in the San Francisco Bay Area Zone.

Isaac Goodwin children pictured below: Albert, Lucinda, Nancy, Edwin and Lewis

Goodwin, Lucinda L. Family



Isaac Richards Goodwin (1810-1879)
Father-in-law of Martin Benjamin Bushman

From Our Pioneer Heritage, Volume 3, The Ship Brooklyn Saints Part I The Isaac R. Goodwin Family: A Tribute

Isaac R. Goodwin, a descendant of the Ozias Goodwin family who came to America and settled in Connecticut in 1632, was born at New Hartford, Litchfield county, Connecticut June 18, 1810. He was the son of Isaac Goodwin and Rhoda Richards. Rhoda Richards was a daughter of Elisha Richards who was killed in the Wyoming massacre July 6, 1778, and whose wife, Sarah Cornwall

Goodwin, Isaac Richards b. 1810(Photo is of Isaac from Passenger List of Brooklyn)

Richards and children escaped the Indians and walked two hundred miles. Laura Hotchkiss, daughter of Benjamin Hotchkiss and Elizabeth Tyrell, became the wife of Mr. Goodwin and of this union seven children were born, four boys and three girls: Isaac, Lewis, Edwin A., Albert S., Emmerett, Nancy and Lucinda. Isaac early learned the mason trade at which he worked in New Haven, Connecticut and neighboring towns before his conversion to Mormonism by Elder Elisha Davis. By 1846, he was so thoroughly imbued with the Latter-day Saint spirit, that when the call came to move west he sold his property for almost nothing and, on February 4, 1846, at about the same time the Nauvoo Saints were first ready to cross the plains, Isaac and family took passage on the ship Brooklyn.

These converts did not know exactly where they were going, only that they were to join the Saints from Nauvoo somewhere in the West. Unfortunately, during a storm on this voyage, Isaac’s wife, Laura, who was an expectant mother, was thrown down a hatchway and after a prolonged illness, died May 6, 1846 just as the ship rounded the Horn. They were close enough to the Isle of Juan Fernandez when death occurred, so that Laura was buried there on Goat Island. Her death left Isaac with the problem of caring for seven motherless children, the eldest of whom was only thirteen years of age. After a short stop at Honolulu, the ship sailed on reaching her destination, California, the last day of July, 1846. For the first six years after he reached California, Isaac lived part of the time in San Francisco and part of the time with the Saints near the American River. He did masonry work in San Francisco and near Rush Creek. Some of his children, in the absence of a mother, were allowed to work in families of other Saints, Lucinda being with Mr. Marshall at the American River colony. In 1852 Isaac again responded to the call of the Church to gather in colonies. He sold his property near San Francisco, took his family and belongings to the Mormon settlement of San Bernardino, five hundred miles southward. Here he purchased a farm and largely devoted himself to agriculture. He aided many missionaries on their way to the coast for foreign countries and was an active member in other Church work.

While at San Francisco, Isaac hired a saddle maker, William Coons, a member of the Mormon Battalion, to help him, and young Coons soon fell in love with Isaac’s daughter, Emmerett, a girl of fifteen. Isaac refused to give the girl in marriage, so Coons bribed Lucinda, then nine years of age, to assist him in an elopement, which succeeded.

Emmerett was never again seen by her family. This elopement started Isaac to thinking seriously about the family responsibility, for on December 22, 1855, Isaac Goodwin married Mary Cox of New Haven, England. She had received the gospel on January 10, 1850 and emigrated to America, coming overland to Utah, then had gone on to California with the Charles C. Rich company. Mary Cox proved a devoted mother to the Goodwin children. She never had any children of her own.

According to an interview in 1878 reported by John Codman, a journalist, Isaac was one of the men who went with Samuel Brannan to meet the overland Saints under Brigham Young to try to persuade them to continue on to California. When President Young called the Saints to Utah in 1857, Isaac left all his wealth behind and brought his wife and children to Utah. They traveled by covered wagon, the boys and girls each taking turns driving the stock. When Isaac reached Utah there was probably an order to aid the emigrants coming from the southwest and to help protect the southern settlements from a surprise attack by U.S. troops from that direction, although the known troops were then at Fort Bridger. At any rate, Isaac spent nearly the whole year between December, 1857 and November, 1858 at Santa Clara near what is now St. George. On the latter date he started for Lehi, but was forced by severe snowstorms to stop at Payson until February, 1859, when he finished the journey.

In Lehi, he first settled near the Jordan River at Cold Springs, about a mile north of the bridge directly west of Lehi. Here he spent some time raising livestock but soon purchased land within the city limits, where he thereafter made his home. The history of Lehi states that Isaac Goodwin was the man who introduced alfalfa seed into that settlement. He came to Lehi in 1859, bringing with him a little of the precious alfalfa seed from the Pacific coast. In the spring of 1860 Isaac planted the first alfalfa seed that Utah soil had known. From this seed only seven plants sprouted. These he nourished tenderly until they yielded more seed. This seed was saved and planted the following spring. The process was continued for a number of years, a coffee grinder was used to clean the husks. On one occasion a neighbor was watching Goodwin clean the seed and picked up a pinch of it. “Put it down,” said Isaac, “I would as willingly give you as much gold dust.” In a few years Isaac was able to sell a little seed to his neighbors for one dollar a pound which scarcely paid for the cleaning of it.

As Isaac grew older he seldom left home except to attend the Latter-day Saint conference in Salt Lake City. It was at one of these meetings that a very important announcement came for him. It was about a little girl who had been left with some people and who said, “Isaac Goodwin is my grandfather.” Her mother was dead. When Isaac saw her he knew he was looking at his grandchild. She was the image of his long-lost daughter, Emmerett, who had named her baby Laura after her mother, Laura Goodwin. Little Laura had a brother, John William Coons, but no further record of him has been found. Emmerett’s husband, William Coons, left her after the birth of the second child. She then married a man by the name of Edward Morehead. One child was born to them. Isaac reared Laura to young womanhood when she married Thomas B. Cutler, Bishop, and also manager of the Z.C.M.I in Lehi and later General Manager of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company. He tried hard to locate Emmerett’s second husband and child but without success.

Isaac Goodwin was elected mayor of Lehi on February 13, 1865. He was re-elected October 31, 1874 to fill the vacancy of William Winn who resigned. On February 8, 1875, Mr. Goodwin was again elected to the office of mayor carrying on the responsibilities on each occasion with honor and fidelity. He held many other positions of trust, both civic and religious. In 1872 he went on a mission to his native state of Connecticut.

On April 25, 1879, Mr. Goodwin passed away at his home in Lehi, Utah. Mary Cox Goodwin died December 13, 1898. Isaac H. Goodwin, pioneer of 1858, was born August 25, 1834 in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a lad of twelve years when he accompanied his parents, Isaac R. and Laura Hotchkiss Goodwin on the Brooklyn. His mother met a tragic death on the voyage and was the only person who died en route to be buried on land: her final resting place, Juan Fernandez.

California was young Isaac’s home for another twelve years, then he accompanied his father, stepmother, Mary Cox Goodwin, and several brothers and sisters to Utah. Betsey Smith, daughter of Alexander Smith and May McEwan became his wife December 1, 1859 in Salt Lake City. She was born March 7, 1843 in Dundee, Scotland and came to Utah with her mother in the James G. Willie handcart company in 1856. Isaac H. and Betsey were the parents of nine children. The family resided at various times in Lehi, Smithfield, Escalante, Thurber and Beaver where Mr. Goodwin engaged in merchandising and farming. He was an active member of the Latter-day Saint Church.

[He died April 25, 1879, in Lehi, Utah, Utah.]

History of Lehi
Published by the Lehi Pioneer Committee
Written by Hamilton Gardner
The Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1913

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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1 Response to Remembering Laura Hotchkiss Goodwin b. 3 April 1813, d. 6 May 1846

  1. Pingback: Tragedy on the Ship Brooklyn 6 May 1846 | Ann's Stories

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