U.S. Ship Pennsylvania
Chester December 2'd 1837
My dear Sister,
Wednesday morning we left our moorings off the
Navy Yard & were turned down by two steamboats, without touching
or any accident occuring we had waited some days for a wind
to show the ship under the canvass, but we were afraid to delay longer.
The visitors did not desert us until the last moment, a
whole troop of Pawnee Indians came on board, while we were getting
underweight. I enjoyed myself very much among the ladies who
came to look at the big ship, or as the folks said on shore,
to see the officers. Many invited me to their houses, but I did
not have time to continue the acquaintances, for the moment,
however the delight was inexpressible. ‘twas something in the
line of adventure, and just suited me.
The weather has been mild, unusually unexpectedly so. I
have enjoyed living on board exceedingly, the bay is always
enlivened by passing vessels of all kinds, & "once more upon
the waters" I am myself again. I hope you have not missed the
Sun’s siting & his rising lately, for this have been of
I have not kept watch for a week past, I am Master's Mate
on the Lower Gun Deck, orlass deck, Holes & Spirit room
how many capitals would that give me after my name? & have
been too busy to go to town. the night we came down. 300 men from
Boston were brought alongside in a Steam boat & we had quite a
time getting them regulated. 12 or 13 Midshipmen were with the
draft most of whom I knew & a very gladsome meeting it was,
old messmates, but a few minutes to be together to talk over
old times, & future prospects. it was one of those rare &
unlooked for flashes that light up the gloom of every day life
& add more zest to it.
A Major Reynolds on shore here has claimed distant
relationship with me, he says he knows Father. & saw him in
Lancaster some time ago, he has been very kind & attentive to
tne Officers & so have all the inhabitants here. We were in-
vited to a Public Dinner, but could not accept it. Yesterday I
was to go to Mr. Lispers to a dinner party but, duty before decency,
or pleasure either, so I stayed on board. Tomorrow it will be
slack water, in the way of work, & I shall take a look about
in Chester and go up to Philadelphia for the last time.
Sunday morning- at 9 last night I was obliged to knock off,
& this day we have been as busy as ever. I am going on shore
directly, & will carry this letter with me.
I do not know when we will leave here next wek some time,
or the beginning of the following. I hope you have written to me.
I may write again before we sail. & certainly as soon as we
arrive at Norfolk.
If Aunt is coming in a few days, I wish you would find the
plate for my visiting cards & send it with her, carefully wrapped
in cotton, if not, take great care of it. I have not time to
add more & with a great deal of love & remembrance to all
am your most affectionate brother
I have now met Mr Fleming, from Lycoming, but not Mr Barister or any
of our Convention acquaintances