U.S. Frigate Potomac

Boston October 18th, 1834

 

My dear Sister

 

I received yours, three in one, this even-

ing just after I had dispatched one to Father, & for which I

am much indebted to you & Aunt & Sam.  I will write to Sam

from abroad. Let your first letter to me be directed accord-

ing to promise & tell me all about the young ladies, you

forgot several in your last.  While I think of it remember

me to all of them separately & collectively, I have carried

away more rings &c from the ladies of Boston, than from

those of Lancaster, of their hearts we shall say nothing

but hope for the best.

I will have a paper sent with a list of the

officers to you. We have been so much visited a talked of

in Boston that some Poet scratched off the following lines

to us, a noble subject surely

 

The Potomac

 

All hands are on board, & the gay gallant ship

Sits light as a bird on the wave,

And the farewell that falls from each kind, friendly lip,

Is sadness to thoughts of the brave

For Sweethearts and wives bend their own tearful eyes

To the spot where the ship gently rides.

For soon she will go from our bright Northern skies

And roam 'mid the broad ocean tides.

 

But there's a kind watch o’er the confident crew,

That never remits its blest care

And the mariner dreans in his slumber anew

That the friend of his bosom, is there,

Rest, rest, thee tired sailor, for He that's aloft

Controls both the wave and the wind

And Hopes sweetest vision shall visit, full oft,

The dear ones you leave here behind  

 

When other bright skies,  and when other bright lands

Come soft to your rapturous view

Remember the hearts, and remember the hands,

That absent are still pledged to you.

The charms that shall dazzle in other gay scenes

When faded will bring but regret,

And reflection shall tell that a sea intervenes

‘Twixt thee & the dearest scene yet.

 

Let the name of Columbia still swell on the ear

Where’er the Potomac shall ride:

Tho’ danger should come, be the thought of pale fear

Like a drop on the deep ocean tide.

When dangers are passed, when new laurels are gained

A world still our Navy's proud scope

Be our flag then the signal of honor unstained

Each star rise a beacon of hope.

 

(You may read them for the edification of the young

ladies generally, when they come to see you)

 

So you see we have been the cause of some inspir-

ation  among the Boston folks; I expect that a Mrs Reynolds

will rise from Boston ere many years have elapsed. Naval

men do stand so high among the ladies of this good city,

that it would not be very difficult to take from among the

fairest of the fair, a companion for the wedded state, I

shall come to Boston when I feel so inclined.

 

Sunday Morning

 

We are detained today, by a very strong head wind,

all going ashore is stopped among the officers, & the first

fair wind, today, tomorrow, or the next day, the canvass

wings of the Gallant Potomac will be extended to the Breeze,

and we shall be wafted far from the land of our birth, where

all our hopes & affections are & forever will be centered;

& shall then even look forward to the happy hours when

we shall again return.

 

Remember me to any of the young ladies (who may)

enquire for me, for those who do not, I care nothing. (. . . .

torn . . . . .) the direction of the next letter. I left my

batchelor's button and some more flowers at home, take

care of them until I return; take care of my Marked Hat

also.  Where is Edward Hand going, shall I probably meet

with him in the Mediteranean, or is he going some other

course, Has Hub Jenkins got his appointment.   I hope to

see him in the Constitution next spring with loads of

letters for me, by the bye, Commod. Elliott told (        )

night, that he expected to bring her "Old Ironsides" out,

I hope Hubby will come along with him. Condole with Miss

Emily for me, for the severe loss which she has sustained

in losing John Hands affections. I do not know which party

has been the loser.

 

When you write mention what the young men of my

acquaintance are about,  & do not forget Sharp, I take much

interest in his welfare. 

 

Monday Morning

 

We are now getting underweigh & shall soon leave

far behind us, the land of our birth, Good bye, God bless you

all.

 

Your most affectionate brother

 

Wm. Reynolds