F & M 6/2/19
U. S. Schr Boxer
Batavia Roads March 14th 1833
My Dear Father
As you perceive we are here yet, but our eyes have not been gladdened by a sight of the ³Peacock². Vessels arrive here daily and there is not a little anxiety on board of this Barkıq until their true characters are known; once we were sure that a large & stately ship which was standing in with all sail set, was ³her². Two signals could be discerned, at the ³main² of the stranger they spelled Peacock. At her peak floated the Stars & Stripes of America. Up went our number at the Fore; Mr. [ ] have a boat in readiness – ay ay sir. But dire delusion a slight deviation in her course displayed to our view a long string of signals before unobserved; which proclaimed her to be a Merchant Ship, ³hauled down the number forward.² Send a boat on board of him Mr. [ ] & see where he is from & so we have often been deceived. She was the Ship Hercules from Boston brought papers to November 20th. I obsıd Penna has gone against Jackson. The Ship Phinus Ditto came in same day. The latter having some flour on board (which was scarce in the city at that time sold it with immense profit. There are now here American Ships Arno from Boston & Rome from Antiwert; the later arrived day before yesterday & brought French papers containing a Declaration of War by England & France against Holland & I donıt remember how many else.
This has been expected here for some time & preparations made accordingly nearly all the Dutchmen have gone to places where they can be better protected (i.e.) (the Merchant vessels) Two Dutch Frigates sailed some days since to cruise along the Coast. A Man of War, Brig & Schooner are left. The inhabitants on shore are not much alarmed it is thought they will go up into the Country. We expect to see some fun if an English Fleet comes here for the Dutch will not give up their wealth without a struggle.
However, to the Peacock, the last news we had concerning her was that in January she was seen in some port in Siam. She had been to Canton & Manila, allowing for accidents, detentions we expect her by the 1st of April. The last intelligence we had concerning her was that she was seen in a Port in Cochin China in January last further the informant says not.
No Peacock yet – nor any news of her –Our crew have been remarkably healthy during our stay. I was unwell for 4 days, the Doctor was very attentive to me & Soon set me on my legs. He is from Meadville, Penna; his motherıs name was Ellicott; she visited in Lancaster about 25 years ago in Judge Smithıs house. Dr. Parkman spoke to Cap Ginsinger concerning me (at Boston) and wished him to give some of our officers charge of me. Cap G spoke to the Doctor & he has befriended me on many occasions; I have reason to be very thankful to him. Should we live to return he will pass through Lancaster on his way home & take a look in upon us. Mr. Leib our former 1st Lieut. Who left us at Rio is acquainted with the Jacobıs, he said when he visits them he would call upon you & let you know how I was coming on in the Service. He resides in Philad and is a very agreeable gentleman.
I have been on shore 4 times & I am really delighted with Batavia & its inhabitants. We generally leave the vessel at 10 A.M. land near the store of the Consular Agent, walk in converse a short time until a carriage can be procured (which is indispensable as no person walks, even for the shortest distance) and ride out either to visit or take view of the beauties of Batavia, remembering to be at our quarters by 6 oıclock to dinner; until bedtime chat & talk of home &C, in the morning when you turn out, a cup of excellent coffee is bought you, after breakfast (9 oıclock) you ride into the town or elsewhere at 12 if you are near any of acquaintance houses; drop in and take a terrific lunch & amuse yourself by driving or reading until dinnertime. We generally remain 48 hours on shore.
The residence of the foreigners are situated about 3 or 4 miles from the stores which for convenience near to the shipping; at 9 or 10 in the morning he rides to town & attends to business until 3 or 4 P.M. when he rides out to his residence. There is an English church here the Preacher is an Englishman, paid by the London Missionary Society. I went there one Sunday & heard an elegant discourse; as usual more Ladies than Gentlemen present although the former are scarce article in this region.
We live chiefly on fruits, vegetables & rice, all which are remarkably cheap. We have fired 4 Salutes one to the Authorities on shore 21 guns, one to the Dutch Commodore 13 guns, on 22nd February 21 guns, one on the visit of our Consular Agent on board 9 guns.
It is now 7 oıclock P.M. & my watch, but I have been relieved and I am sitting jammed up in the corner with two Mids alongside, playing the flute, singing and tickling & talking to me alternately; writing these unmeaning lines to you which at daylight must be on board the Arno for Europe; she will touch at St. Helena & by any opportunity will send them to the ³Land of Free & the Home of the Brave², where I hope to deposit my body before long to answer my misdeeds.
I must conclude by wishing you all, health happiness & prosperity & to be remembered to my friends & acquaintances.
Your most affectionate Son
Wm Reynolds USN
P.S. the enclosed I cut from a Boston Paper late Nove 4th & is the only thing I have heard relating to Lancaster & it is very unpleasing & melancholy intelligence I am anxious to hear from you, but must curb my impatience until we reach [ ] I have before said I shall expect to find lots of letters &c.
I must tell you I am getting fat height 5 ft. 10 ½ inches with 125 lbs.
[Written on envelope]
Came to hand on Aug 10th 1833
Rotterdam 25 Augt 1833
Forwarded by [ ]
[Stamped] New York Oct 8 over signature unreadable and Rotterdam