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

surpassing beauty.


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

Wm. Reynolds


I have now met Mr Fleming, from Lycoming, but not Mr Barister or any

of our Convention acquaintances