Washington, June 17th 1838


My dear Sister,


Your letter came this morning, I am very glad you

are going traveling, & I hope you will visit Castle Fin & York.


I do not care where you get the stuffs or who you employ to

make the things, so that they will be ready for me when I come home,

and now I will try and tell you all that I shall want.  10 silk

handkercheifs, dark, like the one I bought for Grandmother at Myers,

if you can procure such, they are good colour & will show the

name plain, if marked in white thread, and I believe they are

not high priced, if you cannot hunt up any of that kind, why

exercise your taste & judgement: I want them for sea use, 8

pair of cotton drawers, stout, you must buy the stuff & have them

made, the red pair will serve as a pattern, mark them plainly

& indeed on every article you make. I wish you would put my

name conspicuously, 18 pair thin cotton sock, some white., most

of them coloured, you can get them low priced, 12 colored shirts

of good calico, dark or light blue ground. Such as the one I

had at home some time ago. you will know the kind of stuff these

I want made with collars, to button in front, with a light pleat

or two in the bosom, flannel under shirts I will buy when I come

home. I want that linen From Samuel, if he has sold it, I hope

will buy another piece, it is just the thing for pants cheap and

strong, these are all I will trouble you for. I hope you will

have no difficulty in getting them made up, the more you sew among

yourselves, the less it will cost me, as many as Aunt can and

will make, I will pay her for. you have until the middle or third

week in July, perhaps the last week, to finish all, so there is

not a pressing haste & now that you know my wants, you can proceed

at your leisure, make Jane & Kitty help, they can hem & mark

the handks & sock & c let them be useful.


I went to Mount Vernon last week, with Miss May & other

Ladies, we had an interesting & deligntful time, we enjoyed a

picnic repast by a spring in the woods, on our return. Miss

Preston, daughter of Senator Preston, a most sweet & winning p

person, was of the party. I staid all night at Mrs. Slocum's

in Alexandria, she is May’s Grandmother, there are a number of

beautiful young ladies in Alex & not one Beaux. I shall go there

again, shortly. I have become almost one of Dr. May’s family

I believe I have supped there every night for the past two weeks.

the two girls sing charmingly & I pass my evenings very pleasantly.

I have not been down on the avenue for more than a fortnight the

weather has been here so extremely hot.                    


Two of us are up one night out of three, assisting Captain

Wilkes to make his observations with the Pendulum, and to observe

the transit and altitudes of the stars. Thie is something new

to me, and of great interest. I have to sleep in the day time.

for it is sunrise, before we finish. May & myself sit up together.

4 other passed Midshipmen have the two nights between them, so that

we are not too much fatigued, I like Captain Wilkes very much,

he is a most wonderful man, possesses a vast deal of knowledge

and has a talent for everything, tomorrow night (Monday) will

be my time to gaze at the stars, the time does not hang heavily

for daylight comes before we are aware of it, there is a

temporary shelter for the instruments erected in the garden

they all go with us & the obsns will be repeated in Southern



I think I shall be home about the middle of July, be particular

in selecting the calico for the shirta, I do not want gingham,

it is too slight a material, let the pattern be neat,  I think

those red drawers were too small around the waist, you can see

if the strings behind are not let out.   I do not want the

cotton to be too thick, but stout, same the handks, try and get

the brown ones, with white spots.


I have written in haste, you must excuse blunders, & wait

until I see you for a more particular account of matters &



My love to all,

Wm. Reynolds


L.M. Reynolds