F & M 6/V/2/12                                              1859 02 10 WR to ER Honolulu

 

Honolulu Febry 10th 1859

 

My dear Elly,

 

  Your letter, with Johns, and father Krugs of Dec 20th came on Janry 27th only 37 days on their way.  We are now daily expecting the next mail of Jany 5th – but it may not come until this leaves.

 

  We are having a grand eruption of the Volcano on Hawaii, and if we had a steamer here all Honolulu would flock to see the sight.  The smoke reaches this Island 150 miles distant and obscures sky and mountains at times & the glow in the heavens illuminates the country on Maui, 100 miles from the crater.

 

  The flow of lava has reached the sea after a course of perhaps 50 miles, and over run a small village at the beach, the people of which be taking themselves North & South of the stream were separated by it, and can only meet again, when they obtain canoes, unless they should travel to the source of the molten stream & thus circumnavigate it by land.

 

  Two Schooners have gone from here with parties, but we have such a horror of [Schrs] board, that we shall hardly embark in one again, unless a Volcano should break out, from the old crater in the rear of Honolulu and, and the only means of escape from destruction be by flight to sea, by Schr. aforesaid.

 

  Yesterday was the Kingıs birthday, and as I have been able to walk a mile, with only the aid of a cane, and without any ill effects, for the past week, I ventured to be presented at the Palace, with the officers of the [Fenmore] Cooper, now in port; and I enjoyed the occasion very much.  Rebecca had two ladies spending the day with her & Mr. [Bond] arrived – from Lahaina before breakfast taking up his quarters with us, so that we had full occupation for every minute, and the day passed off as a flash.

 

  And to go back a little.  I must relate you that last week we went to a ball on board the British frigate Calypso – my first appearance at a party since July 4th – I hope in a few months to be able to dance again & retire from the position of masculine wall flower.  Rebecca had on her velvet dress with the new piece duly annexed to the skirt, and looked very well indeed.  She had been at a party on shore, only a few days previous to this one afloat, so that you may see we have gay times in these [fowren] parts, occasionally – when we find a gold mine, we shall give a party ourselves – we are too poor as it is.

 

  I am very glad that Jim has had the grace to go to see you, and hope that little Reynolds may still further soften his heart!  he certainly did not deserve to be remembered after only one interview, by that precocious child, if he had not seen him for 18 mos.  You should communicate to Harpers Magazine, the rhyme he made about ³Aunt Ele, go to Hell² as it is publishing such like instances of infant genius – I think Reynoldsı sally, would take the ³rag off the bush².

 

  And that Sarah & William Coleman called upon you is pleasant intelligence.  I hope that some sort of intercourse may follow, and that whatever of the past that was amiss may be forgotten.

 

  Another piece of good news, is that Mr. Evans has bought a farm in Chester Co. – I hope it is pleasantly situated and that Lydia and the children will there enjoy themselves to their hearts content, after their Siberian Exile in the wilds of Clarion.  As George will probably remain in Baltimore, you will all be within reach of each other, & John & I will be the only absentees, as naturally the result of our several callings – in the Service of our glorious Country?

 

  I am still gaining flesh, and would weight this day, if clad in the same clothing that I had on when I left Lancaster in Nov/56, not less than 150 lbs.  As it is, I do weight 147 ½  -- I  left a chalk mark at Mr. Krugıs, at the above date indicating only 130 – so that I am a gainer by 20 lbs.  Rebecca, I regret to say does not increase in flesh – but she holds her own.  She will try to write you a note by this mail, but may not accomplish it – at present she is getting a letter underweigh to Aunt Martha, to whom she has not written as often as I have wisher her.

 

  With much love to you all, dear Elly and with best wishes for your happiness, individually & collectively.

 

                                                            I am ever

                                                                        Your affectionate brother

                                                                                    William

 

 

Miss E. Reynolds

1829 Spruce Street

Philadelphia