1861 02 26 WR to EllyR Honolulu.doc
Honolulu Febry 26th 1861
Mr. dear Elly
Th last packet brought us your letter of Dec 20 from Balt. & Jan 10 Philad, with Pony Express near to 16th, by which we learn with dismay and grief, and our rage of the terrible state of things at home. ³Oh! For an hour of Dundee,² said a despairing Highlander, when a battle was about to be lost, for want of an able leader. Oh! For fives minutes of Old Hickory to deal with S. Carolina say I, at this juncture, instead of a proclamation for a day of fasting & prayer. ³There is a time for all things² said Solomon, and in my humble belief this is not time for such feeble measures. The Union was formed by means of a Convention, and can only be legally dissolved by a convention called to consider such an end. Such secession as has now begun, is revolution and nothing else, and should have been dealt with accordingly. I believe, with Jacksonian measure it could have been put down & I would have had them tried.
I should have sympathy enough with a state driven to revolution by oppression too grievous to be endured, but in this instance, South Carolina had nothing to complain of, and her insane imprudent treason should have been nipped in the bud, by the whole force of the U. States. Damn them, forever and a day after. The curse of Cromwell light upon them and upon those ultra fanatics of the North, who are kindred spirits. I wish both of their classes, and all of them could be collected in one multitude, deported to one of the coral sand gűles in this vicinity, whereon is neither water nor food, and there left to fight it out between themselves like unto the battle between the Cats of Kilkenny memory – and I should be gratified by cruising off shore, at half a mile distance to see the last of them.
We shall be in a fever of suspense for the news until we hear of the events that will transpire on Monday next, the day for the inauguration of Lincoln, as we suppose the crisis will be reached before or on that day: Oh for boots of a thousand leagues & for the sword of sharpness & the coat of darkness – with these little aids I could slay every secessionist with much gusto. I had best quit the subject.
We are very glad that Jim, George & Jenny & Willy and Lydia Evans were able to get to Philad. for your Christmas dinner so that you had a pretty fair representation of the survivors of the family: And it is very pleasant to us to know that you held us in kind remembrance on this occasion; perhaps the future may bring us together once more – let us hope so, at all events and meanwhile not allow a lengthened separation to weaken our interest in each other. I have but one family grievance, and that aches me sore in Jim¹s unpardonable course about his action. I hope he attended to poor Willy Colemans [ ] in season.
The mail brought me the papers &c of the barge Trieste, sailing from Phlad Christmas day for Honolulu. If I could have but known it in season, I would have written for diverse things & and it is vexatious that you could not hear of this opportunity either. But if matters get so bad at home, as to render my commission in the Navy valueless, it will be much better for me, that I did not know the vessel was to land at Philad, as I should have spent money that will be very useful when Uncle Samuel no longer honors my quarterly drafts.
The steam sloop Wyoming has been here a couple of weeks and takes this mail to San Francisco. If I could have made things suit I would take passage to her for the benefit & pleasure of a trip but I can not manage to leave just now. The Austins move to the Valley this week & we have to get fixed by ourselves, which is the obstacle, & there are other more serious matters to prevent. The Doctor thinks such a jaunt would be of service to me, and so do I, and I should greatly enjoy the time on board a ship of war once more among old associates – so that I am quite disappointed, not to go – but I am used to such little checks by this time & can put up with them.
Becky recd a box from Aunt Martha Beck, by this mail. She will write you, if she can, but will not have time I think, by this mail.
My leg is better just now: I get about with only one crutch, and I have some hope that I shall be able to walk again, without the aid of either crutch or cane, for some months at lease.
With ever so much love to you all, I am, Your affectionate brother William
Miss E. Reynolds
1829 Spruce Street