U.S. Ship Columbus, Charlestown Navy
Yard January 29th 1832
Here I am yet, and shall be here, that is in the stream for a week or two, we have now everything necessary for a cruise stowed viz Bread, Beef, Pork, water, molasses, vinegar, whiskey, wood, spar sails, spars, rigging, cables, anchors, arms, wood &c.
I shall haul out in the stream tomorrow. Captn Page will then take command, she is now under the officers of the Yard. There is much uncertainty yet as to our destination, it is said now, we are going to the coast of Brazil; those that do know say nothing: Should the Peacock go to our crusing ground Mr. Brown will let you know time enough to send a letter of anything else by him. Should she go some other place he will inform you of it.
I am kept very busy all day and part of the night, at 8 oclock in the morning the men go to the Schooner, if our breakfast is not ready, I must go without it, stay on the Schnr until 12 oclock when the men come up for dinner, one of us go down with tem, the others stay for dinner when they come down, and the other goes up, to dine at the fashionable hour. We look to the men, see that they keep to their work.
Every order that the Lieut gives, we have to repeat it and see it obeyed. I am kept busy all day barely having time to eat meals: We have bought most of our own stores, Hams, Sausages, Onions, Butter, Cheese, sugar, coffee, pickles, mackerel, beef, pork, potatoes, cooking knives, forks, spoons & our furniture is 5 camp stools & table, they are found by government, we will take some flour and have bread baked on board.
Mr. Thatcher and his family have been very kind to me, his son has twice taken me a gig-riding, on Friday Mr. Thatcher came here, he was on his way to the State Prison and wished to know if I would accompany him. I went with him and was much disappointed. I had expected to see the prisoners confined; but the first place we went into was a large shed in which upwards of 50 men were at work on granite stone shaping and smoothing them. I thought they were workmen hired instead of prisoners, the half of them dressed in red, the other blue, there are shops of all trades, tailors, shoe makers, haters, blacksmiths, joiners &c &c only 250 from the whole state. On the way home Mr. Thatcher told me he felt an interest in me for two reasons 1st because his friends had recommended me to him and 2nd because they all liked me, that I must surely write him & if I came back to this port I must stay with him.
I recąd a letter from Samuel the other day, written on a half sheet, & not sealed he wishes me to write to him and tell him what I have to do, as I have hardly time to write to you, any thing you may think worth letting him know Lydia could copy off & write to him.
There are now 15 in the vessel and there will soon be some more.
Give my love to all the family.
Your affectionate son,
John Reynolds Esq.