F&M 6/2/19

U. S. Scnr Boxer

Batavia Roads June 14, 1833

My Dear Father

  On the 30th ult while at anchor off Anger, we received letters from the Peacock, stating that she was then at Skingapoor & would sail shortly for this place; this you may be sure was joyful intelligence for us, for, besided the pleasure we would experience in meeting our old shipmates, we would at once ascertain the extent & destination of our cruise; we, were not long in getting underweigh, & after a very pleasant sail of 15 hours, let go our anchor here on the [31]st. On the 5 of this month the Peacock arrived, having had a tedious passage of 27 days from Singapore; They were all in good health & had had a delightful cruise. They had visited Manilla, Canton, Phygen Bay, in the Kingdom of Siam, the Empire of [Cochin] China, the town of Bankok, in the empire of Siam and the port of Singapore, on the Islıd of Singapore—near the southern coast of Maylaga. What, they transacted at those Ports is unknown to me, but I suppose it will be published when the report of Mr. Roberts (who has been in the vessel as a kind of Minister or Anbasador) reaches the United States. It is a source of great regret to me that our arrival in these seas [saw us to take] a period, as to unable us to accompany the P-K in her interesting cruise. Canton, the great mart of these seas, would alone have been of great interest & Bankok & Phugen Bay, scaresly were visited by European merchantmen & never before by a Man of War of any nation would have presented objects of increased interest; as it is. I must be satisfied with the facts which I can glean from those who have had the good fortune to visit them.—As many of the Productions or curiosities of those countries as I can possibly get I will procure.

June 16th 1833


  As I will not close this letter until an opportunity presents of sending it home I shall not now mention our future destination as it may yet be changed.

  I mentioned in a former letter my intention of applying for a transfer of self on board of the Peacock; by matching a smooth tenure with Cap. Shields consent & approbation I applied to Cap. Geisinger for orders to this vessel. Some o fthe Midshipmen applied also but my application succeded & on the 15th inst I had the good fortune to receive orders to join the Peacock.

  I am much pleased with my new ship & new messmates & think think I shall have a happy time until I get to Rio, when I shall be more than happy from the lots of letters I expect to find there. I shall certainly learn more in one branch of my profession (viz seamanship) than I would were I to remain my lifetime on a schooner. In mathematics I have made considerable advancement during my stay in the Boxer. With my late messmates & the officers & crew, I have been in contentment & happiness, never having had a Quarrel & rarely a harsh word with them & sincerely do I hope, it may continue the same, with these my new ones. Should it not be the case It shall not be my fault.

  I must now inform you of the most painful & the most melancholy occurrence which it has been my lot to witness for years. Our surgeon (of the Schnr) Dr. Kennedy, who, during the whole cruise had enjoyed better health & strength than any other of the officers & crew was two days prior to the arrival of this vessel taken with a slight bowel complaint; He however attended to his duty visiting & prescribing for the sick & also for himself until the arrival of this vessel gave him an opportunity of [recrinting] his health by going to the Hospital on shore. He went on shore on the 7th June until the morning of his death. Thursday last we heard of his increasing health, on the morning of Thursday we heard he was very low. Several of the officers & myself started immediately for shore & just arrived in time, at the Hospital, to hear him speak. When I went into the room I was shocked to see the man whom a few days before I had seen leave the vessel the picture of perfect health, now stretched out on his death bed to die in a land of strangers, One who had been as a father to me, who had given me his advice & counsel & stood my friend in every difficulty, now to be taken away so suddenly & unexpectantly was a shock too much for me to bear without emotion. He spoke & told me to keep up my spirits & not be cast down, asked me if I was yet attached to the Peacock. – As it was with difficulty he spoke we left him alone with his townsmen & schoolmaster [Pr__ Hurst] for a time—when I went in again, he told me to give his regards to all hands on board. Shortly afterward he lost the use of speech, and at 9:45 P.M. his noble spirit took its flight for another & I trust a better world.

  Every attention was shown & every comfort given that Human inventions could devise—to him but in vain—A mortification f the Bowels was his disease. His funeral was attended by the Officers of Both vessels, a large body of Military from the shore & and immense concourse of Citizens, Foreigners &c. He was noted for his kind and devoted attention to his sick & Many are now living who have risen from a sick (1 which they expected to be dead) bed, only through his unwearying attention. Peace be to his name. Dr. Gilchrist from this vessel is now surgeon of the Schooner.

U. S. Ship Peacock

Batavia Roads, July 15th 1833

  It is now one month since I finished the above & we are still lingering here. The 4th of July has been past over, It was celebrated by a Salute of 21 Guns by both vessels & In the evening by the Officers & Americans, at the house of a Gentleman in Batavia. I was un-well at the time & of course unable to join in the festivities. The Diarrhea, was my complaint & on the 6th inst being from under the influence of Medication. The Doctorıs permission was given to me to remain on shore for some days for the benefit of Purer Air & more Comfort than I could possibly enjoy on board ship. Accordingly I took up my residence at the Country seat of Mr. Spencer, and English merchant from who the officers who have made his acquaintance, have recıd many civilities. I had his Carriage & Riding horses at my command & availed myself of them several times in his company. A week spent there passed very pleasantly & at the expiration of that time, (13th) hearing that we would sail in a few days, the arrangements necessarily to be made before departure, obliged me to take an adeau of my kind & hospitable friend, returning to the ship much improved in health & appearance.

  On Wednesday last Cap. Geisinger entertained a large company of Ladies & Gentlemen from the shore, in a very handsome manner & they returned much pleased with the attentions shown then by the Officers & with their appetites gratified; by the splendid entertainment of which they had partaken.

  The last arrival from the U. S. March 15th brought papers to that date by which we learn that tranquility is restored. I suppose you had yours in the shedding of Ink which occurred on that occasion I have not seen any accounts of the Cholera visiting Lancaster, and most fervently I hope that you all have escaped from the touch of the dreadful disease.

  As to when we shall get away from this place, exceedest my small share of wisdom to say: We are in want of $15,000 Spanish Dollars, an article very much in demand here & until we can get the precious freight I suppose we shall remain, last news brings hopes of having it in a day or two. So be it—say I.

  Mr. Roberts, having made a liberal calculation as to the extent of our course, says we shall be home in February next; however, I am disposed to give 3 or 4 months longer & have no wish to get home earlier than the beginning of May; at which time it is certain that those who are left of us will be once more in ³the land of the free.²

  As near as I can ascertain, our first port will be Mocha and the next Muscat, Cape of Good Hope, perhaps St Helena & Rio de Janeiro, at which latter place I hope on our arrival to find letters from you by the last vessel which had sailed from Philad, to tell me that you all enjoy good health & spirits for it is now going on 18 months since I have heard from you whereas you have Recıd letters from me continually—Such as they were, some of them deserved not the name but many were written in a necessary haste whatever thought came into my head, down it went without any ceremony—However, I generally made out to tell you that I was well when I was & where going but I can not tell you everything by writing—else should I get back I will have nothing to tell you, by ³word of mouth,² during the three pleasant months I hope to spend with you.

  To all my friends who may take the trouble to inquire after me remember me kindly—To the family, Mother, Grand Mother, Brothers, Sisters, Aunt & all, of whom, I frequently think, in the silent watch of the night I send my love & as Paul Clifford says or sings ³I blow thee a kiss my fair² Ever I do the same on this spot & hope it will not evaporate when you open it.

Your most affectionate son

Wm Reynolds U.S.N.

[Written in the inside gutter] July 23rd At last we have really sailed from Batavia & are now at Anger Point As of Sunday where we remain for [3] days & then sail for Muscat, Coast of Arabia where I hope to drink some Muscatel Wine if there be some very nice I will certainly carry a few bottles away for you—from Mocha some coffee.


[Letter contained two drawings of ships, one marked ³Peacock² the other a ship in what appears to be high seas]