Malu Malu Kauai

October 4th 1853

 

My dear brother,

 

I wrote you a few weeks since, enclosing my application for a further extension of my leave of absence, on the ground that my health was still so delicate as to forbid a return to service or a removal from this climate for the present.  And for various reasons, requested you to go personally to Washington and make the Secretary acquainted more particularly with my case than would happen if I trusted to an official correspondence with him.

 

As I am established here at a considerable expense, and as it would prove exceedingly inconvenient were I to be disturbed by an unfavorable reply from the Department.  I thought it would be safest course to ask of you the favor of a journey to Washington in my behalf.  I should sure about the result were I to let matters take the ordinary course, [    ] as I wish to feel quite at ease in my mind about remaining master of my own movements, I would prefer my "General leave of absence" to place me "independent of the Commanders of the Pacific Squadron, at its termination."  That is, I wish it to express "that at its expiration, if I am not then fit for duty, to report to the Department."  I should then be free to return home, if I saw proper and report in person -- or to report, as now in writing.  And I particularly wish to be made entirely independent of the squadron in this Ocean.

 

If such a contingency should happen, that I should want to join either of the vessels, I could easily manage that, without any prior understanding with the Depart.  Spare Lieuts are always wanting and welcome abroad -- every where, but in the Medn.  But I do not at present think there is any prospect of my taking Sea service for some years to come.

 

Shall annexation ensue, meantime, I think I would prefer selling this place and removing to Honolulu if I could get duty of some kind there but, I will let those maters of the future remain to settle themselves, by and by --

 

I have written all this above in case the former letter fail to reach you, and perhaps to be very exact, should enclose a duplicate application to the Secy.  However should the other miscarry, it will suffice to mention that fact to the Secy., and refer him to my application of last year which states my present state and suits "point blank -- precisely"

 

Our last letters were from Cate of July 6th & Jacob [    ] Krug July 19th.  The mail of Aug 5th has been due some time, and we hope for letters by it.

 

Rebecca has been very well lately and has begun to enjoy the climate & scenery more that she did at first.  She thinks if we had to go home now or in the spring we would regret leaving on many accounts although, nevertheless she will be quite ready and willing to return, whenever such a course becomes practicable.

 

My corn crop this summer has been nearly an entire failure, owing to the attacks of a fly, just when the ears were forming -- I have only harvested about 50 bags, from 20 acres -- I should have had 500.

 

For the last six weeks, we have had no rain until last night.  The vegetation  & earth are parched & burned up; the can crops have suffered much, and will be a partial crop.  AS soon as the rains return I shall replant the 20 acres and hope for a better return.

 

Corn is now selling for 2 1/2 2 3/4 cts per # in Honolulu, a fair enough price, but I shall not send mine up, until it rises above 3 cts.  After the Whalers begin to come in -- the presence of 100 ships there makes a monstrous change in the markets.

 

The last excitement among the foreigners in Honolulu, ended in the retirement of Dr. Judd from the office of Minister of finance -- and the appointment of [       ] Allen, late Consul, as his successor.

 

Petitions have since been sent to the King asking and recommending him to annex the group to the U.S. at once -- And it is the general belief that if the new Commission comes out with power to act and to off the "needful" the annexation will be consummated without much delay or difficulty.

 

Senator Mr. Leberancy reply to a stupid protest of the English & French Consuls against annexation -- We [       ] Mr. Leberancy document, all but the allusion to the act of American stocks held in Europe -- which had better been [            ].

 

The attack of night sweats has left me again after troubling me for some weeks.  I had been free from them, for many months, and had hope they were gone for good.  I am now picking up lost flesh, but I am not so sanguine about keeping it up, as I was prior to the reappearance of the nocturnal perspiration.  I still hope however, that as I am not losing ground, I must gain a little.

 

Becky has a letter to Margy, in the mail.  She wanted to write again to her father, but I tabooed the proceeding -- as she had already sewed and written enough -- She writes the fact of my interference, made known to Mr. K. -- which I willingly concede -- I am constantly reminding her of her father's caution, expressed to me, not to allow her to write long letters, but very little effect.  She will write, until I have to threaten her dreadfully.

 

                                                            With much love to you all

                                                                        William

 

Jas. L. Reynolds