F&M 18320122 WR to JR Charlestown
U. S. Ship Columbus, Charlestown
Sunday morning January 22nd 1932
I hope you will excuse my last letter, or rather the shortness and termination of it. I had began it four times, and each time was called off on some duty, on Monday morning, as I stated in my last I was sent for by the 1st Lieut of the yard to go down to the schooner. Staid aboard her until 12 oıclock at noon when the men came up to dinner, at one, they were down to her again & I and another reefer with them while two others remained on this ship for dinner, after which they were to come down and relieve us, it was 3 oıclock when they came. I then came up here and thought I might as well finish the letter. I wrote away until 4 oıclock when I thought it was time to move for the schooner, so I closed the letter, as I was on my way down I met the Lieut. He said: Wm Reynolds, I think you waited for the dessert: I have not had time since that to commence another. Every morning we go down with the men to the schooner we hove the sails, bread, molasses, vinegar, gunners stores, carpenter & boatswainıs stores & spirits stored: while stowing the latter, one of the men drank such a quantity of it he died a short time after, the Comod. Will take to task the officers who had the superintendence of it. We have had Iron tanks made to carry the water in, they have leaded every time they have been filled and are now being repaired, if they do not answer this time: we will take casks. As soon as we have the water on board we shall haul out to the middle of the stream. Captain Finch is here but will not be commander, he is to be married to Miss Eaton the Presidentıs niece. Captn Page came last evening.
I think I have given you an account of my reception by the gentlemen to whom I had letters except Mr. Thatcher. On Tuesday afternoon I found him, he was very sorry he had not seen me when I called at his house and wished to know whether he could serve me in anything, or if there was any public place I wished to see. He took me to the Athanaium and introduced me to his brother in law Dr. Parkman, a very wealthy man, he said I must come and dine with him before I sailed, and named Saturday, yesterday, or if I could not come that day any time that was convenient: On Thursday Dr. Parkman came over to the Yard and got permission for me to go ashore for a whole day. I went Friday morning, the Dr. took me around the city his chaise, to Fanevil Hall, Marine Railway & several other places. He showed me the house in which Sir Wm Phipps & Sir Edmond [Andsos] British Governor had lived in: he had some calls & gave the charge to Mr. Thatcherıs son. We went to Cambridge about 3 miles from Boston, his brother is a student there. He showed us the Library & several of the students rooms, returned to Mr. Thatcherıs for dinner, after dinner, walked about the city: we returned to tea, after tea went to the theater to see the Water Witch performed. The scenery was very handsome & that is all that was worth seeing, they were all very attentive to me at Mr. Thatcherıs, he present me with a Porterıs Health Almanac bound in Blue Morocco.
I still keep watch on this ship but only two hours a night, there are thirteen of us now in the room where I am writing. 2 of sleep in Cots, 4 lay on the floor under the cots there is hardly room to turn around. I have been measured for a round jacket & pants for $20 a cloth making.
I would not wish to go in the Peacock, her steerage is not 1/3 longer than ours & there will be 16 in it and only 6 in ours. All the Boxers are very clever fellows. There are several here for the P-K whom I would not like to sail with & among so many there will probably be more. She is an ugly, clumsy vessel no more like the little Boxer than black & white. The bulkheads of her apartments are of rough wood white washed, ours are polished birds eye maple. Every person who sees her says she is the handsomest vessel ever they saw.
I am kept busy all day long, the Lieut. Says it is very bad for young officers to be idle & he has always something for me to do.
Col Baldwin & family are at Norfolk Va. I think I mentioned [ ] before.
The Comod. Has been absent for some days. He went to Providence to bury his father in law. I was in Boston the day the spirits was stowed so I am clear of the menıs death.
Excuse mistakes there are some talking laughing, skylarking etc all together makes a considerable noise & there is no stopping it.
I am called ³Younker². All of them seem to have taken a fancy to me they tell Mr. Hurst a passed mind who goes on the Boxer to take good care of me I am such a good ³Younker²
Give my love to all the family, let me know how Lydia comes on with her French.
Your affectionate son
John Reynolds Esq