Washington, May 8th 1838


My dear Sister,


To morrow it will be one month since I left

Cornwall, the days have gone rapidly. I have done but little

and nothing extraordinary has happened to me, yet it seems to

me, as if I had lived a year in that short time, why is this ?

I do not know, my mind has been actively employed, it has

received many new impressions. I have thought much, & of

manifold things. I have formed, plans for the future, without

number, & alas! without foundation, one remains fixed almost,

nearly settled, and that is, to link my fortunes, sink or swim,

with the Exploring Expedition, a little longer & I shall know.

two years & a half will soon pass away on that cruise, and I may

hope to be an interesting person, for a very leetle while, if I

should return, in that case, and at that time, I expect, I shall

be a weather beaten, wrinkled, uncouth - savage - may you all

have a pleasant time in civilizing me, & I will trust to the air

of the Mediteranean to restore the freshness of countenance, or

to something else, not mentionable.


Two papers came a few days ago, of date 26th ulto. I excuse

your not writing, because I suppose you are very pleasantly and

entirely engaged, though I should like to hear from you while

Miss Margaret & Jesy were with you, to 'know, what you were all

doing, and how you all were, I hope Robert recovered his health,


I sent for James Thomas Gant, and he came here this evening,

by here I mean the office of the Depot, where I am now writing, &

from whence I have heretofore dispatched my letters, at this

present time two candles afford no light, the fire in the grate

burns cheerfully, the Decatur chair, with its leather back, and

rollered feet is pecularly comfortable. The weather out doors

is damp and raw, the hour is 8 P.M. having thus informed you,

to proceed - James Thomas Gant, says, he will be able to leave

here in 5 or 6 weeks, and at that time, will be also ready &

willing to return to you: and I have told him, that you will be

equally so to have him, he desires to be remembered to all.

John Melon & family inclusive: I ascertained something most in-

teresting, and gratifying in relation to the said J.T.G. (excuse

initials) which is no less than this, that formerly he, the

said J.T.G. lived here, and waited in this office, make the

most of it.      James made one true remark, when he said

Mr'. William you are almost as quiet & retired here, as at

Cornwall, no one disturbs you.   The house is isolated, there

are now others, very near us, and people are certainly scarce.

When I look to the north west & north east, I see nothing, but

a wide range of country, farms, orchards (now in full bloom)

country seats, with the rail road winding through it, and pass-

ing just below our garden, at the distance of 50 feet.  I am

completely out of the city.    And when I in the Office which is

the greatest part of the day. and almost every evening, I see no

one, I have no visitors, my acquaintences about a dozen young

men, are very glad to have me come down among them, but they do

not exert themselves sufficiently to find their way here, and

around me are books, charts, globes, instruments & everything

& I am to my utter wonder & astonishment, a recluse. I look to

Mays arrival here, when I shall have someone with me constantly,

some one to commune with, with much pleasure, I expect him this



His Brother George & myself are called very much alike,

though I do not flatter myself, that there is a resemblance,

but 8 or 10 times, have I been accosted for him, & by different

persons, the other day while listening to the music, a young

lady, was bowing, nodding her head, at me, I knew her not, she

observed to the gentleman with her, this May I cannot get him to

speak to me, he told her I was not May, she bet a pair of gloves

that I was, & just then, for just then, up came May, and decided

her mistake, he was away when I came & when he returns, his

Sisters all told him. Oh there’s someone here who looks so much

like you, but we do not know who he is, they were delighted to

find I was their brother William’s friend.


The servants wait for this, the mail will close soon, I

must sign, seal & deliver.    With love to all


Your brother William

Miss Lydia M Reynolds