F&M 6/V/2/12                                                            1860 08 05 WR to ER Honolulu

 

Aug 7th – Your letter of June 18th from Philad & Castle Fin came today, with medallions of Hal & yourself enclosed.  The dark one of Hal, I thought was Kate, at first sight and was not undeceived for some time afterward until we read your letter – I still see the resemblance to Kate very strongly.  That there is possess any likeness between those two, never occurred to me before this day.

 

Honolulu August 5th 1860

 

My Dear Elly,

 

  Your letter of June 5th with red ribbon enclosed came by overland route, about two days since and we are now hourly expecting the other mails of June, by a Clipper Ship, to touch here, on their way to the [Guano] Islands.

 

  The ribbon is just what Becky wanted and she is correspondingly delighted & obliged.  She has been in bed for two days of this past week with a bilious attack, from which she is now recovering, but does not feel able to write more than one letter, which is to her father.

 

  One evening last week we were at a small party at Mrs. Bishopıs, which the King gave there, to the Officers of the Levant, his brother Prince Lot, being quite ill, he did not like to have a ball at the palace.  Rebecca did not feel well enough to go, but went in consideration of the occasion.  We came home at 12 –

 

  The Levant sailed on Wednesday for Lahaina & Hilo, and will return here, in a month to sail for Panama.

 

  The Island steamer has commenced her trips.  Mr. & Mrs. Austin and others were gone just a week to Hawaii & back, having made a visit to the volcano, which took up four days – sailing vessels are often a week in going to Hilo, sometimes two weeks.

 

  We would like to go there, or to Kauai, but do not at present see whether we shall go or not.  If Rebecca would go without me she might get off easily enough, but I donıt think she will agree to such an arrangement I fear I cannot attempt a tour without undergoing more inconvenience than pleasure or benefit.

 

  The mail of June 5th brought us the agreeable news of the increased pay bill for the Navy having become a law:  Some of the officers of the Levant recıd newspaper slips containing its supposed provisions, but we are not yet certain, as to the real ones.  I had a letter from Captain Bailey in which he mentioned that an amendment had been added to the bill before its passage ³Which gave to Retired officers, when employed, the same pay as if not retired!² This item, is of course very interesting to me, but except for Cap. Bıs thoughtfulness I should not have known of it, as no other letter or paper has had any allusion to retired officers at all.  I hope the next mail, will confirm the good news which, if true, will give me, I suppose about $1850 per an. – quite a welcome addition in these hard times.

 

  I have not bought a coat since I left home & my uniforms are 14 years old – I had them in the Allegheny – so I am out of the fashion much to Rebeccaıs horror.  But it is only by refraining from such & other [expendiary] that I have been able to get along.  My black dress coat was made in 1849 and is but the second garment of that description that I have had since 1842!  How many men can say the same, I wonder? 

 

  If you & Hal left Philad for Castle Fin before the 11th June, I fear you missed seeing the Japanese, as they must have arrived in Philad about that very time.  I hope however you remained long enough to satisfy your curiosity by a fair view of them, at the Asylum or elsewhere.

 

  We read in the last London Illd. News that Miss Lane is to marry Lord Lyons!  But we donıt believe it.

 

  An English woman, Mrs. Covington, residing at Fort Vancouver, writes to her sister here that Major Reynolds intends making us a visit shortly.  It would be just like John should he come ³without further notice²

 

  Rebecca is going to spend a few days this week, after the mail leaves, with Mrs. Brown (the sister of Mrs. C aforesaid) who lives in the valley where the temperature is cooler than in town.  I hope the change of air will be of service to Mistress Becky and I shall remain here very willingly, in that hope – as a temporary widower until she returns:  the house will not accommodate me also – as Becky must share the room of Alice Brown.

 

  I am feeling so dull and stupid this warm summer that I have not life enough to write you a better letter to day – and just send this scrawl to let you know we are alive and as well as could be expected.  And having made this confession & statement I will finish with much love to you all from your affectionate

 

                                                                        Brother William

 

Miss E Reynolds

1829 Spruce St

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

Becky, having finished her fatherıs letter today, after being refreshed by a sea bath, is writing a few lines to you also stimulated thereto by this welcome mail of today.  We are much pleased with the little pictures & hope the group for the stereoscope will show you all to us.  Au naturel.  William