Journal of a Cruise
Journal of a Cruise
Dr. William Fontaine Carrington
U.S. Frigate, St. Laurence
Commander, Captain Hiram Paulding
United States Navy, 1848
In pursuance of orders from the Navy department, I left Farmville, Virginia, on the nineteenth of July, eighteen forty-eight to join the U.S. Frigate, St. Laurence, then preparing for a cruise in the European Seas. After loitering on the way, in company with my wife for several days, stopping at Old Point Comfort, I repaired to Norfolk, and on the first day of August reported to Commander Stout, then in command of the Gosport Navy Yard. My dear wife remained with me two weeks, and then left for home, leaving me in loneliness, such loneliness as I never experienced before. She was escorted back by our kind and obliging friend Mr. J. W. Womach. Thanks to him for this and many other kindnesses received from him. After my life left the Captain no longer permitted me to remain on short. I therefore took up my lodgings on board ship. The Ship remained in the harbor of Norfolk ten days before sailing. In the meantime, my colleagues and I were employed in sifting the crew of all invalids and unworthy seamen. The particular quarters of Dr. Barclay and myself are as yet undecided, we having appealed to the Secretary from the decision of Commander Stuart, taking from us the State rooms in the Cock Pit.
U.S. Ship St. Laurence
Off Norfolk, Sept 1, 1848
A communication from Washington arrived today with the Secretary’s decision in favor of the appeal of Dr. Barkley and myself, giving to us State rooms in the Cock Pit, thus making our situation much more comfortable than the prospect was previously. Received a long and affectionate letter from my dear wife. Wrote to her, perhaps the last time before sailing.
Lieutenant Brooke of the Marine, was elected caterer today. If he feeds us half as well as he appears to have fed himself, he will have no complaints of his catership.
Off Norfolk, September 2, 1848
I have been quite unwell during the night with a return of the affection I suffered with during the summer. This indisposition has brought about painful recollections of the comforts of home, family and friends. I have been greatly disgusted with the supercilious air of superior officers, but comforted with the reflection that in subordination there is safety.
Frigate St. Laurence
Off Port Comfort, September 3, 1848
We were towed down today from our anchorage off Norfolk by the Steamers Eugine and Oasis. All the occurrences of the day have tended to produce the impression on my mind that it is not the Sabath of the Lord. Indeed my situation is so novel, my feelings so many and various at leaving my native land, with those that I love more dearly than I do my own life, that I have been little disposed to do else than reflect and look around me.
Tended a man for some severe scalds on board the Enginue. Wrote letters to my dear wife and Mother. We have now the Pilot on board, and only wait a fair wind to take us to sea.
September 4, off Port C.
To keep our berth of yesterday for the want of the breath of heaven to waft us out to sea. In the meantime anchored within two hundred yards of malignant yellow fever, which is taking off half dozen soldiers a day. The steamer has today come along side with our letter bag, and I almost alone, endure disappointment of receiving no letter, it is hard to be deprived of this last gratification which all my brother officers are enjoying. My only chance is that old Boreas will keep the winds locked up until another mail arrives. A number of porpoises are playing around a ship. They indicate a breeze.
September 5, 1848
Made an ineffectual attempt to get out to sea this morning. An adverse wind drove us back to this our anchorage off the Rip-Raps. By the board from Norfolk I had the very great gratification of receiving three letters from my dear wife which gave me the greatest pleasure because it told me of her health and happiness, and that of my child. The other two were from Dr. N. A. Venable and his wife. It was pleasant to read them for they told of friendship, affection and confidence. I was disappointed in getting no letter from Mildendo, my home, my Jerusalem. Today, the Captain dined in the ward room. Our Steward set a most delightful table. Wine, wit and humor flowed in abundance. We have come sprightly fellows among us. I will mention Lieutenant Barton as a man of decided genius, with most accomplished address. This afternoon I amused myself by going aloft. A giddy height it was for a landsman. As is the customs among sailors to treat all newcomers aloft, the men stationed in the top ran out and claimed a bottle of brandy, or I was to be tied to the top mast, I rapidly agreed to pay the forfeit.
Off Rip-Raps, September 6, 1848
No prospect of getting out this morning, stormy weather, a northeaster blowing with rain. My mind sympathizing with the weather is dull and gloomy. I have prepared two or three sheets for my dear wife. I know full well that it gives her pleasure to read them, and as I have been the only instigation, the entire cause of this separation, I shall do all in my power to alleviate, to make the time pass pleasantly to her. Like the dying Gladiator, my eyes are frequently with my heart, and that is far away, “but it’s no use.”
Off Rip-Raps, September 7, 1848
The same adverse wind blows, holding us fast to our anchorage. The monotony of the day is only relieved by the pleasure of reading a letter from my wife. How faithfully she writes to me to the latest moment of my remaining. I hope it is indicative of many letters abroad. I wrote to her today. Saw a shark this morning.
U.S. Ship St. Laurence at sea, September 8, 1848
Got underway this morning with a fresh southwesterly wind. About ten o’clock the Pilot left us then off Cape Henry. Returned by the Pilot a few lines to Mildendo directed to Paul and a long letter to Betty. I hope and will trust to the Great Dispenser of Good and Evil to protect and keep harm far from my desk wife and child, and that I may return safely to my native land, dear family and friends. At five o’clock this afternoon, only ten miles from Cape Henry by calculation. Great difficulty in getting an offing. Northeasterly wind blowing, bearing us directly on the coast. Captain up nearly all night with men on the chains heaving the lead, fortunately about twelve o’clock the wind shifted and bore us to the south of east.
At sea, September 9, 1848
Early in day reached the gulf stream which we found boisterous and heavy. The ship plunges ominously and my sufferings from sea sickness during the day have been indescribable. On this account, I have kept much on deck. Mother Cary’s chickens have been all day following in our wake. Great abundance of Gulf wind observed. The Chaplain, young Hays (Marine officer) and myself, have been today three as miserable wretches as ever needed sympathy. In this class, I will also put my poor boy Peter who curses the day he left Richmond. I have tried to enjoy the magnificence of the Atlantic with its mountain waves, but the horrible nausea with which I suffer makes it impossible. At sunset, our course is still east by south, though the strength of the current is gradually bearing us to the North East.
At sea, September 11, 1848
Still in the gulf stream. The temperature of the water as tried by the thermometer is five or six degrees warmer than that of the air. A sail is reported by the man aloft, seen on our weather bow. I am so dreadfully seasick that I am unable to read even my Bible, though it is the Sabbath and the Chaplain is so sick that he cannot preach, so we can get no spiritual consolation in our troubles. At eleven o’clock all hands called to muster. Wind light going only four knots. I saw flying fish today for the first time, and most curious little animals they are. We have been in a dead calm almost all the afternoon. During the time a shark has been playing around the stern of the ship. Some of the men make attempts to catch him, the hook was too small and broke at the first pull made on it. Only drifting along with the current of the gulf, two knots an hour. Latitude 36, 18. Longitude 71, 22.
At sea, September 11, 1848
The sail in sight for two days past, appears this morning on the starboard bow, our ship proves the best sailor of the two. I have suffered but little from nausea today, my head though is still giddy and aches. Large masses of floating weed observed, which shows that we are still in the gulf stream though on its Eastern edge. Sea gulls in abundance seen. This afternoon commenced a letter to my dear wife to be added to every day, kept constantly prepared for the first opportunity, but little progress in the last twenty four hours.
At sea, September 12, 1848
This morning we have a fine light breeze, and I am sufficiently well to attend to my duty in the sick bay. Studied the French grammar some and translated fifteen or twenty lines in “Paul and Virginia.” In the afternoon the wind came out ahead with thunder and lightning in the distance. Our passage is likely to be a long one. Tonight an eclipse of the moon takes place. The storm and darkness will, I fear, prevent a view of it. Latitude 38, 14. Longitude 67, 28.
September 13, 1848
A dark and stormy night we had, with the wind blowing a gale all day. A most uncomfortable time we would have had but for the caterer very much enlivening it by giving us a fine dinner. Latitude 39, 13. Longitude 63, 52.
During the night the wind blew hard, with thunder and lightning. Slept but little suffered from anxiety smartly mixed with fear all night. The stoutest heart will quake during a storm at sea, unless accustomed to it by experience. A brig has been seen on out lee bow bearing well up in the gale. We are now, 8 o’clock at night sailing close ruf top sails. Lt. Renshaw officer of the deck. Latitude 38, 48. Longitude 60, 43.
September 15, 1848
Sailing most of the day ten knots an hour, with the wind fair. The day has been a dull one in incident, though pleasant in weather, health and progress. This afternoon a little bird flew around the ship, sometimes resting in the rigging, apparently much exhausted. All wanted it though none could catch it. A canary bird it was, probably escaped from some ship. Latitude 39, 24. Longitude 60, 11.
At sea, September 16, 1848
The wind freshened during the night, and as dawn advanced increased into a gale, a regular Equinoxial storm which raged until the afternoon. It was indeed a gloomy and to me, a melancholy prospect. I thought of the happy home I had left with a dear wife and child to grace it, and all other endearing associations connected with home, kindred and friends, and compared it with my then prospect of a possibility if not a probability of having a watery grave. Fortunately, the wind was aft and we could sail before it with the waves literally mountain high in full chase, sometimes overtaking and almost engulfing us. Our noble ship for two hours dashed through the water at twelve knows an hour. All this time, stormy petrels most ominously hovered about, first riding upon and then skimming along the waves. Captain Paulding thought it was, as he expressed himself, the “Tag End” of a west India hurricane. The autumnal hurricane of the West Indies sweep along our coast, and generally expend themselves on the banks of Newfoundland. We will, if the wind holds, be on the Grand Bank of Newfoundland tomorrow night. Latitude 41, 26. Longitude 55, 35.
At sea, September 17, 1848.
A fresh northwest wind has been blowing, carrying us to the East of Northeast. After muster, which occurs every Sunday, we listened to a good sermon from the Chaplain, Mr. Eton. The text was an appropriate one from Genesis, “The Lord’s eyes are upon us.” It is indeed lamentable to confess that our naval officers show but little interest in and care but little for religion and all that pertains. I sincerely trust that it has and will continue to have a good effect on me. This indifference to religion and blasphemous spirit, so constantly shown has had the effort to disgust me and make me take pride in an exhibition of moral principles and moral restraint. A sail has been proclaimed from the masthead. I must note the escape I made last night. About ten o’clock, I was coming down the ladder from the gun deck when suddenly the ship gave a lurch, and I fell with great violence from the top to the bottom. I was taken up and carried to the cot. Dr. Clymer examined me and found me only bruised. Today, from soreness, I have been scarcely able to wear my coat. Latitude 43, 04. Longitude 52, 11.
At sea, September 18, 1848.
This has been a day of disappointment, and of some anxiety. The first consists in having twice met vessels homeward bound, and no boat sent to take letters. On the first occasion, we prepared letters in great haste, as a ship was seen sailing towards us, but just as we had prepared our mail, she bore off and left us to our grief. Two hours afterwards, another ship bore down upon us. We soon hailed her. She was from Liverpool and bound for New York with Irish emigrants. We passed within fifty yards of her, but the seas being heavy, no boat was lowered. The Paddies gave us three hearty cheers. No doubt they thought we were going to thrash England all on Irelands account. This has been a sad disappointment; however on her arrival she will report us. There is some consolation in this. Have been on the Banks of Newfoundland since morning, and surrounded by a dense fog for six hours past. About eight the Master found by dead reckoning that we were in the neighborhood of the celebrated “Virgin Rocks” (the reed on which it is thought the President was lost). A most dangerous reed of rocks on the north east coast of Newfoundland. There was a general panic throughout the ship and our course was immediately changed for south, with as much east as the wind would allow. Latitude 43, 25. Longitude 52, 07.
U.S. Ship St. Laurence. Banks of Newfoundland
September 19, 1848
During the morning, the wind was fair to relieve us of all danger of shoals, reefs, etc., and we bore off in a North Easterly direction. About twelve o’clock the Captain ordered the ship hove to for the purpose of catching cod fish, then in about forty fathoms of water. Officers and men soon perched themselves along the side of the ship, with their fishing tackle, but not a single cod was caught. The cause of it was the wind being fresh, the ship could not be kept straight enough. The order was all sail on, and we shortly pushed off at eleven knots. Several of the officers, among them myself, dined with the Captain today. He was agreeable and his wine was good. We drank fine specimens of Sherry, Champaign, Port and Maderia. During dinner, our fine ship moved over the Atlantic at thirteen knots an hour. Latitude 45. Longitude 21.
At sea, September 20, 1848
Since ten o’clock last night, our ship has made a progress of from nine to thirteen knots an hour, sailing to the admiration of all the officers. For the last five days, it has been cold and getting colder. Nothing occurred today to break the monotony of the voyage. Latitude 46. Longitude 45, 03.
September 21, 1848
Light breezes and slow progress. Going further North, it gets colder, and having no fire Pea jackets are comfortable. I am already satisfied with the magnificence of the ocean and romance of seas life, and long for the smiles of a wide and comforts of a home. Latitude 46, 28. Longitude 41, 40.
September 22, 1848
Fair wind and rapid progress for the last 24 hour hastening on to merry England, about 1,200 miles yet to sail. This morning all hands were called to witness punishment, a sad spectacle indeed, but necessary for the discipline and preservation of the ship. Poor Mr. Eton, our worthy Chaplain, is most disconsolate and affords much amusement to Hays and myself. We have enjoyed his misery, but only because it is one degree greater than ours. Poor fellow, he has suffered death from sea sickness, and vows it shall be his last cruise. As Dr. Barkley has just advised, the resemblance between one day and another on ship board is very great. Latitude 47, 45. Longitude 38, 30.
At sea, September 23, 1848
A continuation of the same fair wind from the west hurrying us on at ten knots. Last night was disagreeable in the extreme, from an unusually rolling motion the ship took on. The effort to keep in my bunk kept me awake. My shipmates are agreeable gentlemen, especially my colleagues, Drs. Clyne and Barkley. The latter is a gentleman of fine talents and acquirements professionally and from travel. He is in my condition, having left a young wife and child. Latitude 48, 44. Longitude 33, 20.
At sea, Sunday, September 24, 1848
As we approached the English coast we have English weather, dull and heavy, now by calculation about 800 miles, from soundings. The day is only recognized on board by a “man of war,” by muster and a sermon. The Chaplain being still under the weather we have no land marks. The Captain as usual, dines with us today, when the Sabbath is to be desecrated by spending the evening at the table talking, drinking wine, etc. I still write to my wife every day. It is worthy of record that the Chaplains digestive organs are in better condition today which accounts for this being in a better humor. Latitude 49, 10, north. Longitude 29, 54, west.
At sea, September 25, 1848
It is a bad wind which blows no body good. The wind though bad for us, is hailed with pleasure by some homeward bound ship; therefore, I won’t grumble. We had this morning for breakfast, a fine omelet or eggs put up to seas use, and as fresh in taste as if newly laid. Hereafter, it may be pleasant to refer to this journal and then see the characters of my shipmates as impressed on my mind at sea, a situation above all others when the natural man shows itself. First there is one worthy caterer, Mr. Brooke, First Lieutenant Marines, a fine jolly fellow, with great rotundity of person, weighing some 250 lbs, a traveled gentleman. Mr. Hoff, 1st Lt., an amiable man and gentlemanly, with more accomplishments than acquirements, remarkable only for his fine discrimination in wines and having once had a bloody fight with the natives in the Island of Sumatra.
W. R. Taylor, 2nd Lt., an accomplished gentleman and fine officer, stern and unyielding he is a little notorious as being the officer on whose account a sailor was hung in the Gulf of Mexico, mutinous conduct on the part of the sailor towards Mr. Taylor.
Charles Chilton Barton, 3rd Lt., a cloun at one time and a Lord Chesterfield at another, notorious on many accounts, has been engaged in two duels. In one of them in the Mediterranean, severely wounded, when he became the victim of Commander Elliot’s displeasure, and by whom he was treated very cruelly. He is a man on undoubted wit and humor, and with it a most provoking and unfeeling exposer of the delinquencies of others.
4th and 5th Lts. Reneshaw and Lanier, good officers and gentlemen, and lastly Joseph Adams, 6th Lt. a nephew of John Q. Adams. A discontented and unhappy fellow, though good natured and generous. The good and amiable Dr. Clymer is out surgeon and most provoking, particular and slow in the sick bay. He is, however, a travelled gentleman and a scholar. Dr. J. Barclay, P. Assistant surgeon, a friend, a man of fine professional acquirements and general information with accomplishments of travel. I am already indebted to him for kindnesses, and no doubt before I return, he will place me under additional obligation. Mr. Stockton, our Persur, is only remarkable for a firm belief on his part that he bears a strong resemblance to General Jackson, and imitates his looks and bearing as much as possible. Thereby, he has gotten the name of “The General.” Reverend Mr. Eaton, our Chaplain, is of the Baptist persuasion, and has very few fascinations for a clergyman, is dreadfully unpopular in the ward room. Poor fellow, perhas his extreme sufferings from sea sickness have made him bilious. He has been rendered lately unfit to perform his duty, and is a subject of constant amusement to Hays and myself. Andrew J. Hays, 2nd Lt. Marines, has also suffered immensely from sea sickness. He thinks he is kept up entirely by having the parson to laugh at. He is a fine little fellow. Was a Private in the Alabaman Regiment of Volunteers during the Mexican War. F. A. Parker, sailing master, a son of Commander Parker. A good fellow, good Spanish Scholar and good companion. Nor will I forget to mention my faithful servant Peter, from Richmond, VA. His devotion to me exceeds anything I ever saw. Poor fellow, he has been much depressed by sea sickness, felt lonely and friendless. It has made him look up to me and love me.
I have just witnessed a most magnificent sunset. A large black spot was visable on the sun’s surface. This spot has several times been observed by Parker while taking his observations. Latitude 48, 48, north.
At sea, September 26, 1848
I have today written to wife, Mother and Mrs. Dr. Venable. The time hangs heavily on my hands. A voyage across the Atlantic is dull and tedious. Latitude 48, 34. Longitude 22, 21.
At sea, September 27, 1848
A head wind has buffeted us for the last 24 hours. Today played several games of chips with Lanier. He is rather a better player than I. I performed an operation today on a man by the name of Gerome Venable. Though very painful, he stood it like a hero. Perhaps the name induced tenderness on my part. We have in the hospital every variety of disease and malady. A hospital on board a “Man of War” offers the same advantages, if not greater, than those in the city. Here we see diseases pertaining to different climates.
At sea, September 28, 1848
This head wind makes it necessary to tack ship occasionally. We sailed with and distanced a brig today. During the last 36 hours, I suffered more from depressed spirits than I ever did before in my life. Thoughts of my wife and child scarcely were out of my mind a moment. I witnessed a most remarkable and beautiful sight this afternoon. We were all at once surrounded by dark and black clouds on one side, and on the other the sun shone most beautifully, framing a splendid rainbow which lay along on the ocean for a mile or more, crossing the ship. In it a vast number of porpoises were playing, showing on their shining backs all the beautiful colors in which they played.
At sea, September 29, 1848
A fine fresh breeze today showing the sight than which there is none more beautiful, of a frigate under a ten knot sail.
At sea, September 30, 1848
The wind died away last night and left us in a calm. We had tonight in the ward room, “wives and sweet hearts,” that is, eating and drinking to the memory of our dear wives and sweet hearts who are far away. Saw a great many porpoises this afternoon dashing along against the wind. They seem to inhale the wind from a distance, and swim towards the quarter from which it comes, thus they are ominous of a change of wind.
At sea, Sunday, September 1, 1848
The omen of the porpoises proved happy. The wind changed during the night, and we are speeding on our way eight knots an hour. Several large ships have been seen during the day. They will appear more and more as we approach the channel. Last night, we had on the festival occasion of “Wives and Sweet Hearts,” a huge cake presented by Lt. Lanier. It weighed 55 lbs. and cost $27. Hot whiskey punch, wines and liquors were in abundance. I drank my dear wife’s health as often as I could consistent with her wishes!
English Channel, October 2, 1848
We glided on rapidly last night at 12 knots an hour, until one o’clock in the morning when there was a sudden alarm of lights shed, and quite a panic sized both men and officers. It was thought that we had fallen on the famous and dangerous rocks situated in the chops of the Channel. All hands were up with great excitement to leave ship. The Captain very much excited and irritated. After the ship had gone about it was found they were the lights of another ship.
English Channel, October 3, 1848
I spent, and I suppose most of the officers did, an uncomfortable night last night, owing to an uncertainty of our position, the Master not having obtained sight, for the fog, and we having no Pilot. About 4 o’clock in the morning, we made the celebrated Eddystone Light, and shortly after, by firing guns and throwing up rockets, brought a Pilot to us. About two o’clock passed from the Channel into the Needles. This is a narrow passage between the Isle of Wight and the main land. The day has been a bright and beautiful one, and our enjoyment of this first sight of land after a month at sea, most exquisite. The scenery on both sides of the Channel is most exquisite. We past the beautiful mansion of the Earl of Marmsbury on the opposite side. Pleasure yachts are sailing all around us. About sun down, we anchored off Cowes, just opposite the beautiful mansion of Mr. Graham, brother of Sir, James Graham, one of the Ministry.
Off Cowes Isle of Wight, England, October 4, 1848
Myself, with several of the officers spent the night on shore. When I returned on board ship this morning, I found a long and affectionate letter from my wife, and also one from my friend, Mr. Tom Venable. They arrived by the Hibernia, one of the English Steamers. Cowes is not a very large but a very beautifully situated town. Its environs are particularly handsome. Some of the nobles of London have their country residences here. Osborne House, the country Palace of the Queen, is quite one half mile above the town. A dignified and stately Palace is Norris Castle, a new hundred yards above the town, once the mansion of Lord Saymore. It was here that Victoria spent eight or ten years of her life. The grounds are most beautifully laid off with groves and avenues, all on the most magnificent scale. The castle is now the residence of Mr. Ball, a wealthy banker of London. This afternoon, we set sail for Bremen. Half mile below Norris Castle, we passed Osborne House. The royal flag floated gracefully over the palace, and to the mortification of the Officers, was not saluted by us, though Mr. Hoff, the first Lieutenant, had made every preparation and had suggested the propriety of it to the Captain. He, however, had refused upon the ground that he had received no official intelligence of it. We all foretell that our Yankee Captain will be overhauled by the English papers for this want of courtesy. Passed this afternoon the town of Portsmouth, the naval depot of England, and had a fine view of the English fleet drawn up there. We are now, nine o’clock p.m., about to enter the straights of Dorn, considers a difficult passage, made so by the Goodwin sands. It was in these quick sands that Dickens in his Domby and Son drowned young Walker.
North Sea, October 5, 1848
No accident happened in passing through the Straights of Dover last night. The officers who were up had a fine view of the 15 lights of Dover. These lights are along the beach, and warn mariners off the Goodwin Sands.
North Sea, October 6, 1848
Nothing of interest has occurred today. Have sailed with a fine wind and a smooth sea. Very remarkable for the German ocean. Most of the day the shores of Holland have been in view. It is a very low and flat country, generally dyked to keep back inundations. Nine o’clock took on board two Pilots for the River Weser.
North Sea, October 7, 1848
Came to anchor at the mouth of the river Weser about 2 o’clock and are now waiting for wind and tide to take us up to Bremerhaven ten miles above. This afternoon there was quite an excitement at the approach of the Washington steamer from the U.S. She came up handsomely, and her gallant Captain Johnson offered to tow us up the river, but Captain Paulding declined for fear of there not being enough water at low tide.
Off Bremerhaven, River Weser, Sunday, October 8, 1848
A delegation waited upon the Captain this morning and welcomed him and his officers to their Port. We were towed down by their steamboat, and anchored off the town this morning, saluting with twenty-one guns the Bremen and Hanoverian flags which was returned by their respective Forts. Some of the officers and I went on shore this afternoon. The hospitality and attention paid us was extreme. A wealthy and most respectable citizen of the place, a Mr. Mildrick, drove us into the country in a buggy drawn by beautiful Norwegian ponies, introduced us to his family, and in short made lions of us. There is a very fine dock here which will float some hundreds of ships.
October 9, 1848
The Captain with a party of my friends among them Drs. Barkley and Clymer, left this morning in a steam boat for the city of Bremen. They will perhaps stay until Thursday on which day a grand dinner is to be given by the smart of the city to the Captain and his officers. We have been crouded during the day with visitors, men, women and children. A “Man of War” is a sight that many of the oldest inhabitants have never seen before, and the first time that an American “Man of War” has ever ascended the river. I am nearly worn out in taking them about and showing them the different parts of the ship. They are very inquisitive, and not speaking the language makes it very laborious.
River Weser, October 10, 1848
Two steam boats emptied their crouded decks on us today, one from the city of Bremen, the other from the neighboring dukedom of Oldenburgh. The whole country is enthused at our visit. They have taken it as a congratulatory visit upon the success of their revolutionary movements. They receive us as brothers and consider our nation as the Pioneers of the world in search of liberty and fine principoles. Today, Mr. Hoff, the executive officer upon request being made, sent a posse of marines on board the American Merchant ship Burgundy, and brought away two men who had mutinied against their officers. They have been put in irons until the return of the Captain. I have been left alone with 40 sick men in the hospital.
Hillmans Hotel, Bremen, October 11, 1848
The Captain with Lt. Taylor, Renshaw and Dr. Barclay returned this morning. I immediately got leave hurried in my baggage, and left I the return boat for Bremen. The attention and kindness they impose upon us is amazing. We go free of charge the distance of fifty miles. The trip up the river presents beautiful prospects. The Kingdom of Hanover on one side and the Dukedom of Oldenburgh on the other. The banks are low and pasture land seems to be abounded. The houses of the better class are handsome, those of the lower are huts with thatched roofs. It is a covering of a seed growing on the banks, in time it is covered with moss and then is very durable, and intensely impervious. Fifty or a hundred years they last. We passed many beautiful villages, arrived at Bremen in due time and took lodgings at Hillman Hotel where I found many of the officers.
Hillmans Hotel, Bremen, October 12, 1848
Lt. Lanier and I spent the morning in visiting the curiosities of the city. First the Senate chamber in which the Senate of Bremen have held their meetings for five centuries or more. Under the chamber is the celebrated wine cellar containing the largest collection of wine and perhaps the oldest in the world. Though wine is the property of the city, there are perhaps, more than a thousand Hhds. Containing each many thousands of gallons. The Hhds. Are carved in the most massive and elaborate style, some of them three hundred years old. There is one cask called the Rose, the oldest of all, and almost large enough to drive a carriage and horses into. On each side of the Rose are six immense Hhds. Called the twelve Apostles containing the next finest wine in the cellar. Its good character is kept up by the plan the senate pursues of every year sending a deputation to the Rhine who selects the finest wine of the season, and replenish the Apostles. The wine in the Rose is not for such as the other is, is only used on most solemn and important occasions. It is now nearly three hundred years old, and is estimated to have cost three dollars each drop. We next visited the Cathedral at Dorme, celebrated for its antiquity and chamber of persecution. In the chamber are ten or fifteen bodies, all remarkably preserved. The body of a Swedish General is wonderfully distinct, as is also that of a student killed in a duel in 1650. The wound in his side is marked and distinct. Bremen is a beautiful city, once a fortified town. After the French evacuation of it the walls were raised to the ground, and in its stead beautiful walls conduct along the banks of the old Moat, shady trees and shrubbery adorning it, and swans floating upon the surface of the water. The Captain with many of the officers returned this morning to attend the dinner. We all attended in full uniform, and a most magnificent affair it was. Never were men before treated with such distinction. Besides the senate, there were one hundred of the princely merchants of the city invited to meet us. We took our seats at the table at four p.m. and did not rise until 8 o’clock. I had the honor of being conducted to the table by Alderman Dickens, an old and wealthy merchant of Bremen. It was the richest repast I ever enjoyed. Course after course succeeded. Among the dishes was venison from the Harts mountain. Wines of every brand abounded. Among them was a large goblet of Rose wine, and when the President gave the complimentary toast it was passed around the table and all tasted it. I unhesitatingly pronounced it the vilest stuff I ever tasted, though it has undergone the fermentation of nearly three centuries. While the goblet was passing, the band played the old Hausiatic song and sang while the Germans at the table all joined in the chorus, making it the grandest music I ever heard. They were four hours spent long to be remembered by the officers of the St. Laurence and to be kept in gratified recollection of our country. We were only the medium of the compliment, our Government the recipient. Lt. Lanier and myself have obtained leave from the Captain to leave this afternoon for Berlin. A week is granted us. I must mention a visit I had this afternoon with Mr. Charles Merton a wealthy merchant and scholar. He lived in great magnificence. A fine private library and gallery of paintings. His wife, a lovely Russian Lady from St. Petersburg. The little memento, I will keep.
Hanover Kingdom Hanover, October 13, 1848
At five o’clock yesterday afternoon Lts. Lanier, Brooke, Dr. Clymer and Mr. Eaton left for Berlin via Hanover. The country we passed through is low and flat, but rich and well cultivated. The rail Road stations are Palaces in appearance and always a number of soldiers are seen lounging about them. We reached here in good trim and took lodgings at the Hotel Royale, an elegant establishment, fine, fair and good beds. This morning we visited the King’s stud, celebrated throughout Europe or its size and fine quality of its horses. The stable contains three hundred horses. The finest of them are twelve dun colored appropriated to the Queen’s use. Besides these there are twelve blacks, the same number of whites and twelve mouse colored horses. The most curious looking animals I ever saw. There are a great many fine draft horses, and in a stable opposite a hundred saddle horses. The finest horse in the stable is an Arabian called Bedouin. There is a large arena of ground enclosed and covered in when the horses are exercised. We only got an external view of the King’s Palace.
Hotel Du Nord, Berlin, October 14, 1848
We reached this place about dark making continuous trip from Hanover, with occasional stopping at different places. Dined at Brunswick, the capital of the Dukedom. A place of 4,500 inhabitants. Got a view of the fine Palace of the Duke. We made two hours stay at Megdenburg, the capital of Prussion Saxony. It has 5,000 inhabitants and celebrated for its impregnable fortress. A Prussian officer was so king as to show us over to the city. Within the fortress and the barracks its top is broad enough for several carriages to drive abreast. It was in the fortress that baron Trencke was confined, as also Lafayette. It has been frequently besieged, but only twice taken, once by the ferocious Tilly, a Saxon who forced the gate and massacred 30,000 of the inhabitants, and again by Bonaparte, but treachery was his battering ram. There is here a celebrated Dome or Cathedral built in the twelfth century. Luther spent his youth in this City. It is situated on the Elbe. We went from Magdenburg to Potsdam. This is interesting as being the location of several of the Palaces of the King, one of which was built by the Great Fredrick and was his favorite residence in the Summer. The present King, Fredrick William the fourth is now there and with him Baron Humbolt. After leaving Potsdam, we in a short time, arrived in Berlin, took carriages and drove through the celebrated Brandenburg gate, considered the finest Portal in Europe. The arch is supported by fifteen or twenty immense pillars. On the top are six bronze equestrian statues as large as life and in a rearing position. We drove down the Kinden, the broadest street in Europe. It takes its name from the row of Linden trees which line its sides. It is a very magnificent hotel we are in.
Hotel Du Nord, Berlin, October 15, 1848
Today is the Kings birthday which he celebrated by attending service in the Dome or Cathedral. He comes to the city from Potsdam where he has been sine the Revolution in March. Shortly after breakfast it was rumored in the hotel that the King was passing down the Linden. All hurried to see the King and his retinue, but I, with my usual luck, got there too late to see his Majesty. We, however as soon as possible, ordered a coach, and in full dress followed to the Dome, scarcely less noticed than the King. On arriving, we were unable to get in so great was the crowd. We took our positions outside with thousands of Prussians so anxious to see the Royal personages come out as we were. After a few moments, the King, Queen, and his two Brothers, Princes of the House of Brandenburg, came out and entered their carriages. To the Royal carriage were four magnificent studs, with riders on each, a general of the army mounted on a black charger preceded the carriage. The Princes followed in different carriages, as also the heir to the throne, Nephew to the King. As they passed through the long line of citizens they were cheered, which was returned by bows from their Majesties. The King looked delighted, as also the Queen. The struggle between him and his people is ominous, deep and quiet in present, but I think destined shortly to break forth and involve the whole of Germany in Civil War. The Royal party called at the Palace in the city, and then hurried on to Potsdam. The King is afraid to trust himself in Berlin. We of the American Republic entered our carriages, having the eyes of at least five thousand resting upon us. Drove through the principal streets, around the Palaces of the Princes, and then directed our driver to take us to the country, to the beautiful Palace and garden of Charlottenburg. It is a lovely drive through the environs of Berlin. Most elegant parks and forests laid out and ornamented in superb style with summer lounges and prominades. Some of the roads or streets through this wood are nearly two mikes long, perfectly straight, and at each end some water scene with massive statuary, equestrian or otherwise. The whole wood intersected with canals from the river with marble bridges and sometimes suspension ones over them. We at length arrived at the beautiful Palace of Charlottenburg. This Palace was built by Fredrick the Great in honor of Princess Charlotte. The gardens surrounding it are magnificent and grand in the extreme. The orangery is the most celebrated in the world. Some three hundred trees, very large and of perfect uniformity in size. In summer they line the walk in the rear of the Palace. As you enter the garden they present a line of half a mile. We were conducted by our guide to the extremity of the garden where is seen the elegant Chapel or mausoleum situated in the midst of evergreens, erected to the memory of Princes Louisa, Queen of Prussia. She is represented as being the most beautiful and amiable, at the same time the most unfortunate Princess of her day. Her husbands body, that of the late King Fredrick William third, has been lately moved and placed in the vault by the side of her. It would be impossible to describe the beauty and elegance of this chapel, and the death like stillness which pervades the whole ground is overpowering, only the presense of a venerable old soldier makes it pertain to anything mortal. It is of marble as white as snow. You enter the portal between two large vases of colored marble holding dropping flowers. The most boisterous party would be struck silent and dumb with awe and admiration. The anti-chamber is as white as driven snow of beautiful Persian marble, floor as elsewhere. The Epeteph of the Queen is on one side, that of the King on the other, with a wreath and garland of flowers annually laid there by the children, the present King and His Brothers. The rood of the anti-room is of solid blue glass with the light shining full upon it, and this it is that gives the beauty so indescribable, the blue light falling on the brilliant white marble. It gives an appearance of enchantment. A few steps rom there and we were in the presence of the reclining figures of the King and Queen. They were done by the celebrated sculptor Rouch. Nothing can surpass them in beauty and elegance of sculptor. The King is laying as he was buried in the vault beneath, with his martial cloak around him. The Queen, a little distance from him, with the face of a venus, and the drapery most gracefully thrown over her. Texts of scripture are most elegantly carved in the wall. The Royal Family sometimes worships here. We returned to the Palace and were conducted through the apartments by our guide. More than fifty reception rooms and chambers. They are filled with reminiscences of Fredrick the Great, the portraits of all the Sovereigns of Europe. We were in the chamber, and the most common one in the Palace of the Great Fredrick. Saw the bed in which he slept, also a very small apartment, but most gorgeously furnished, and the bed in which Bonapart slept. He spent several nights here. The Ball room is most magnificent. There is here a splendid vase presented to the late King Alexander of Russia. After spending several hours here, and highly interesting ones, we returned just in time for dinner which in this country consumes several hours in eating. Now, I come to record what I am almost ashamed of, attending an opera on this Sunday morning. It was at the Royal Opera House, perhaps one of the finest in Europe. We listened to a German Opera, and of course, with little satisfaction. Our brilliant uniforms attracted much attention.
Hotel du Nord, Berlin, October 16, 1848
This day has been a day of great excitement as well with us as with the whole city. After breakfast, we went for a stroll about the city. First to buy the iron work for which Berlin is remarkable, and on to visit the Royal Palace of Schloss. This was the principal residence of the King until the revolution in March when he removed to Potsdam. We spent three hours in it and it would take a week to describe the splendors seen in these three hours. It surpasses Charlottenburg in Magnificence. Among many others of its massive works there is a brick stair or pavement up which the Kings coaches drive to the third story, valuable paintings, some costing from twenty to thirty thousand dollars. This palace contains plate and jewels of immense value. The throne is of gold and silver, placed in the most gorgeous room in the Palace. In this room us seen most remarkable paper covering the walls. The figure covering it is the double headed black eagle of Prussia. The guide told us that the cost of it was $30 a yard. There is in this room a waiter presented to the Queen by the city of Berlin, rated at $25,000.00. It is silver and beautifully set with valuable jewels. There is also a table presented by Alexander of Prussia worth 3,000 ducats. All the apartments, of which there are some hundreds, are gorgeous in the extreme. In one both the ceiling and walls are of mirrors. This chamber was the scene of the debaucheries of one of the Fredricks. It is said that on one occasion his mistresses dined with him in this chamber all in a state of nudity. We were shown the room in which Bonaparte spent six weeks, and now precisely in the condition in which he left it, also the ante chamber in which his faithful Marmeduke lived. We hastened on to the museum. This is of great celebrity, containing many thousand paintings by the most distinguished artists, Reubins, Van Dyke, etc., and one by Raphael of the Virgin and Child, which cost $25,000.00. There is also the beautiful picture of “Lida and The Swan,” by Correggio. We left the museum and while looking at the University and other colossal buildings, heard the “Rappel” beat throughout the city. The revolution had again broken out. In a short time, thousands of the national guard were hurrying to the scene of action. It was reported that fighting was going on outside the walls. We hastened to our hotels as fast as possible, fearful that our uniform might get us into difficulty. We arrived in time for dinner, and while at dinner saw an immense crowd passing down the Linden bearing four or five dead bodies along with them, those who were killed by the fire of the National Guard. The excitement was very great and there was for a time danger of civil war in the city. We found waiting our arrival at the hotel an invitation from Prince Adelbert of Prussia to visit him at his Palace at 6 p.m. At the time appointed, we left the hotel in a coach for the Palace. The excitement in the city had not yet subsided. Our coach frequently stopped by the mob, and we were turned off from the usual street approaching the Palace by a body of armed men who were guarding from destruction the house, property and Captain of the National Guard who had ordered the fire on the people. The fury against him was great. Our interview with the Prince was pleasant, but made a little embarrassing by obeying the previous instructions given by Dr. Clymer which were never to speak in the presence of Royalty unless spoken to, and never to turn our backs on Royalty. Consequently, I answered but one question, and in retiring backed and bowed and bowed and backed for twenty yards. Prince Adlebert is a man of good address and fine manners.
Hillman’s Hotel, Bremen, October 17, 1848
Lt. Lanier and I left Berlin last night at 10 o’clock via Potsdam, Brunswick and Hanover. Northing of interest occurred en route except that we had the pleasure of meeting Prince Adlebert. He was traveling incognito, in a sailor’s pea jacket and cap. He was very polite and talkative, but evidently wished not to be known by those around him. The country we traveled through is well cultivated, every inch contributed to the support of man. Even the bogs and morasses, for whenever they were seen men were gathering turf from them, and a fine fire this turf makes. We arrived in time to attend the ball given by the Nobles of Bremen to the officers of our ship. There is some alarm in this city on account of cholera which has lately made is appearance. When I was in Berlin it was diminishing, only fifty cases per day. The best preventative against it is to feel no apprehension and observe moderation in all things.
U.S. Frigate, St. Laurence, River Weser, October 18, 1848
I have again returned to my floating home, after a pleasant and, I hope an improving excursion into Germany. I accompanied ten or twelve to the ball last evening. It was elegant in preparation and passed off well. My two Epaulettes and brilliant uniform gave me more distinction than my rank entitled me to. Some of the ladies are handsome and spoke English well. I met young Mr. Osborne from Richmond and was glad to meet him. A ball in honor of the officers is given at Bremerhaven to night. I am too much fatigued to attend. Our distinction is not yet over. I found upon returning that the Prince of Oldenburg with his sisters have visited the ship, and a grand hall and dinner is given in the town on Friday.
October 19, 1848
We have been kept all day playing the civil to these people who still crowd upon us.
The Bremerhaven, October 20, 1848
Today a deputation of scientific men came down from Frankfort to make inquiries as to naval architecture, etc. and report to Prince Adlebert by whom they were sent. They bring the news that Arch Duke John has been declared Vicar, an office corresponding to our President, of the German Confederation, and Prince Adlebert chief or Admiral of the prospective Navy. What is to become of the Kings and Princes of Germany? Time will tell. All the governments of the world seem to be tending to Democracy. I declined going to Oldenburg today. Some of the officers went.
October 21, 1848
This has been a dull day. Weather cold and few visitors. The day has been made interesting by the arrival of 200 bottles of fine Hock, from Bremen. A present to the officers from the merchants.
October 22, 1848
Sunday morning it is, though not much evidence of it on board ship. No service today. I felt more desire to hear a sermon today than perhaps I would have done if last Sunday had been spent so as to make the recollection of it agreeable. How natural the desire to blot out past misdeeds by future acts of duty, and how deceptive the belief in its efficiency. The gentlemen have returned from Oldenburg today and so delighted with their trip as to make me regret my not having gone. They were entertained with a ball and dinner, and afterwards presented to the Duke.
October 23, 1848
Took charge of the sick bay this morning, 23 on the list, among them the Captain. Two officers of the Hanoverian army dined with us today. Two of the four Prussian mid-shipmen have arrived and entered on their duty as officers of this ship. The most pleasant duty of the day was to five in charge of the consul a letter to my dear wife to be forwarded by the Bremen mail via London. I trust it will arrive with dispatch. Spent several hours in the hospital this morning. I have again taken up a history of the reformation, having become interested in it since visiting many of the places mentioned and associated in memory with Luther.
October 25, 1848
The duties and pleasures of the day were those of yesterday, visiting sick people, reading and writing to my dear wife. I forgot to mention the distinguished compliment paid me when in Bremen last. I accidentally stumbled onto the square when the Bremen Troops were on parade, when the Band immediately stopped the tune they were playing and struck up “hail Columbia,” the gentleman with me told me that it was a compliment, whereupon I, in the most gallant style of which I was capable, pulled off my hat.
Hillman’s Hotel, Bremen, October 26, 1848
Left the ship this morning in the company with the Captain Dr. Clymer, Stockton and the Chaplain. The Chaplain and myself are on indefinite leave for a travel in Germany, up the Rhine to Cologne and Frankfort on the Main. The other gentlemen are for Berlin. During the afternoon and the night, I visited the great fair of the season. It is interesting and curious as exhibiting all manner of things and customs. The Peasantry throughout the country visit Bremen at this season, all dressed in their particular costumes.
Minden, Kingdom Hanover, October 27, 1848
Reached this place at 9 p.m. in the cars from Bremen. This is a very old and well fortified town, once the residence of the Empress of Germany. The stone bridge over the Weser River was built in the sixteenth century.
Cologne, October 28, 1848
Left Minden this morning and shortly after entered the Kingdom of Westphalia, through the celebrated mountain Pass in the Hartz mountains called “Porta Westphalia.” The scenery is here picturesque in the extreme. The river Weser breaks through the Hartz mountains, forming the lofty “door post as they are called. Just here was a famous castle of a Saxon Hero, which has been removed and a pillar erected to his memory. After passing the gate, our course is in full view and sometimes just underneath, the Hartz Mountains of Legendery Memory. The Kingdom of Westphalia is a flat country, but surpasses any of Germany that I have yet seen in landscape and beauty of appearance. We pass the town of Brilifield. Here is still seen in fine keeping an old feudal castle. Tunnels and other evidence show that about this town was once the scene of a battle between the Romans and natives. What most strikes a stranger in passing through this as well as all other of the Prussian provinces, is the military aspect of the country. Almost every town walled in and with a strong fortress, and soldiers seen everywhere in town and country.
The costume of the Westphalia peasant is beautiful and unique. Our course has been through village, over meadow land and garden, through beautiful beach forests and over ugly morass. Had a pleasant travelling companion in Mr. Bonito, an English Gentleman, was kind in interpreting for us, and in imparting useful information of the country. We were sorry to leave him at the village of Dusseldorf. We reached the Rhine at 7 p.m. and took hack for Cologne on the opposite bank, crossing over on the beautiful Bridge of Boats, 1,400 feet, in length, and took lodgings at the hotel Dische.
Hotel Dische, Cologne, Sunday, October 29, 1848
The Chaplain beig my company I commenced my rambles this morning with less pricking of conscinence than I otherwise would have done. We obtained a “Valet de Plas,” and winding our way through the closely built city with narrow streets and high houses, arrived at the celebrated Cathedral, or Dome. This is the most remarkable Gothic structure in Europe. It was commenced in the fourteenth century and has never been finished. The towers were designed to have been 500 feet high. The most remarkable feature is that the crane erected by the workmen 400 years ago is still standing as then placed. The interior presents a grand view. The interest was much increased by the ceremony of high mass and the surprisingly grand music from the old lofty choir. Around the grand altar are several chapels. The most curious of them is that of the Magi, who came from the East with presents for the Infant Savior. The Chapel contains the coffin which is of solid silver. Through an opening in the shrine is seen the three skulls incased in golden caskets and set in the most precious jewels. The authenticity of the skulls is most reverentially believed in. Whether they are the very bones of the Monarch of the East is at least problematical. They have been however closely watched and preserved in their original purity for many centuries, until the French invasion when the shrine was robbed of much of its wealth. It is now considered to be worth 24,000 pounds sterling. We looked at everything in the church of interest, and then returned to the hotel and dined, washing down our dinner with a bottle of Rhineck wine. In the afternoon, we visited the Panarama of the battle of Kulm and the Diarama of the castle of “Stotrenfield,” with the lovely scenery of the Rhine and its mountains. The illusion is vivid beyond anything imaginable. The sky is inimitable, the setting of the sun, with its rays falling on the old castle and glancing to the neighboring mountains, the clouds rising in the distance they become black and louring ,distance thunder is heard, and vivid lightning showing in the darkness the winding river and majestic old castle. Altogether, it surpasses any representation I ever saw. It goes to London in the Summer, and I have apprized them of reaping a rich harvest in the United States. In the Museum containing Roman antiquities is a beautiful bust of Cleopatra with the viper at her breast. It was taken from the bottom of the Rhine. We did not forget to visit the church of St. Ursula, and of the eleven thousand Virgins, all of those bones are seen deposited in glass cases in the walls, some in silver coffins. St. Ursula is the guardian angel over Cologne. The Legend is that St. Ursula with eleven thousand virgins left England for America, but by adverse winds were driven up the Rhine where the barbarian Huns slaughtered them because they refused to break their vows of chastity. Their bones were taken up and on the spot the church erected with the bones disposed of as stated above. We also went to the church of the Jesuits, built in the sixteeth century. It is gorgeously decorated. It contains the crown of St. Francis Xavier and the Rosary of St. Ignatius Loyola. A place of no little interest in Cologne is Eau de Cologne manufactory of Charina Farina, celebrated throughout the civilized world as the discoverer of that perfume. I have mentioned the famous bridge of forty boats across the Rhine. Cologne was the first Roman colony in Germany, established by Marcus Agrippa. One of the peculiarities of Cologne, its filthiness, will not long escape the attention or the nose of the stranger. It occasioned the following verses of Colridge.
The river Rhine it is well known
Doth wash the city of Cologne.
But tell me nymphs, what power divine
Shall henceforth was the River Rhine?
Koningsvinter, Rhineck, Prussia, October 30, 1848
We left Cologne this morning by railroad passing by a beautiful country residence of the King. The same in which Queen Victoria spent the first night after arrival in Germany. In Bonn is a celebrated university of several hundred students. We there made the acquaintance of one of the professors, Dr. Dalius. Here we embarked on the Rhine, and here its scenery begins. After passing the old castle of Godesburg, the vineyards begin. The banks of the river and mountain sides are literally vine clad, a vine wherever there is sufficient soil to nourish it. By an angle made in the river, the view of the mountains is sudden and grand. The Drachenfeld towers above them all, and it is from ascending this that we have just returned. Koningsvinter, where I am now writing is a small town at the foot of the mountain. To accomplish and enjoy this very grand view from the Drachenfeld, we took ponies always kept ready for travelers at the foot of the mountain. The highest pinnacle of the mountain is crowned with the old ruin of Drachenfeld Castle. The view from this summit is sublime, commanding the Rhine for miles and the surrounding country. In ascending, we pass a monument helf way up erected to the memory of a Prussian Regiment which lost many of its men on this spot during the passage of the Rhine in 1814. From the Pinnacle Loremburg is seen in the distance, capped with the old castle of the Arch Bishop of Cologne, and in which the Reformers Melanothon, and Know, passed some time with the Arch Bishop Kuman Von Weid in 1580. This old castle is the Mecca of all Pilgrims to the Rhine. We descended on our ponies slowly, examining the culture of the vine and the Chaplain taking note. We paid for the ride ten silver groceins each, fifteen to the guide and five to the Busman. This is a kind of stirrup cup exacted from all travelers. We here took steamboat again bound for Coblents and Mayence.
Hotel Giant, Coblents, Rhineck, Prussia, October 30, 1848
We recommend this place about dark after a day of enthusiastic enjoyment of the River and its scenery. There are rivers, perhaps, presenting as bold and as grand scenery as the Rhine, but none with which antiquity is in such intimate association. To borrow a simile of a German traveler, “As it flows down from the distant ridges of the Alps, through fertile regions, into the open sea, so it comes down from remote antiquity, associated in every age with momentous events in the History of the Nations of Europe.” The Rhine presents historical recollections of Roman conquests and defeats, as well as of the chivalric exploits of the Feudal periods. The traveler is astonished at how the river breaks through the wild and lofty mountains. Its banks are lined with vineyards and its mountain tops capped with castles and ruins with which a thousand legends are connected. After leaving Koningsvinter, we had a fine view of, and shortly passed Roland’s Neck. It is an old castle, built by Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne. Just beneath it is the Island and Convent of Nonnenworth, still in good preservation. The tradition is that in this nunnery was confined the betrothed of Roland, and he spent his days in watching her from the castle above. The villages we pass are principally inhabited by tillers of the vine. Each village giving the particular name to the wine, thus making a great variety of Rhine wine. We pass castle after castle, and shortly arrive at the beautiful valley of the Ahr, where a fine Rhineck wine is made. On the opposite bank the mountains are lofty and steep. The finest wines are grown on the steepest acclivities. The earth is supported and kept in place by walls, and there is a succession of these walls from the top to the bottom. The grape gatherer is let down by a basket from above. We are here in the grape gathering season, and at every point we stop the peasants load us with every variety of delicious grapes, but I dare not touch. The premonitory symptoms of cholera warn me. Just below the village of Andernach is an old Roman tower in wonderful preservation. It marks the spot where Cesar crossed the Rhine from Gall into Germany. This is thought by German students to be well authenticated. The pleasure received from the company of Dr. Granger is worthy of being recorded. He is a distinguished and learned physician of London who has been sent by the English government to Hamburg and Berlin to investigate the causes of cholera. He is now on his return home, well stored with valuable knowledge of the disease. I am indebted to Dr. Grainger for valuable and kind attention in what he considered to be symptoms of cholera in myself, and I am also indebted to him for imparting to me valuable information as to the nature of the disease. He tells me that he is assured, and it is the result of the closest observation and attention to the disease, that cholera and typhus fever are dependent on the same causes and contingences. Everything that tends to depress the system and animal functions are existing causes of cholera, such as fright, exposure, bad food, etc. That the disease consists in a vitiated condition of all the fluids of the body, but also it is fact that when the disease is an epidemic irregulation in habit may produce it in persons here to fore healthy. Dr. Grainger is a lecturer in St. Thomas hospital, London. Most cordially invites me to visit him, and offers his guidance for the anatomical museums of London. It is at Andernach that the mountains again approach the water’s edge forming a majestic defile. Some miles below this in the vale of the mountains is the beautiful village of Venwied of the society of the Moravian Brothers. Here is the lovely Palace, Park and pleasure grounds of Prince Maximillian of Venwied, the sunny though always grand and picturesque ravines from this Coblents. Coblents is situated at the junction of the Rhine and Mosel. In this city is the celebrated church of St. Castor, where the grandsons of Charlemagne met to divide the vast empire into Germany, France and Italy. The family house of Prince Metternich is shown the house in which the Prince was born, but the pride of Coblents and indeed of all Germany is its castle and fortress. It is the Gibraltar of the Rhine on the opposite bank and connected with Coblents by a bridge of boats, it was frequently besieged during the middle ages. The castle was frequently besieged by the French Marshall Boufflus in the seventeenth century. The Prussians have very much repaired it. The Magazine will contain provisions for 8,000 persons eleven years. There is also a well 400 feet deep through the solid rock, going far beneath the waters of the Rhine. The Chaplain, my “companion de voyage” is now snoring in bed, it reminds me of my own exhaustion. I will turn in and dream of Knights in coats of mail, old castles and Hobgoblins.
Du Wasse Schuan Hotel, Frankfort on the Main, October 31, 1848
We left Coblents this morning by the first steamboat up the Rhine. Shortly, the Royal castle of Stotsenfels appears, the same seen in the Diorama at Cologne. The forest around abounds in game, stags, roe and wild bore. As we ascend, the river the mountain slopes with every crag and cliff thickly set with vines. We pass many castles and at last arrive at the grandest view of the Rhine, that of the fortress of Rhinefels built in 1245 by a feudal lord who levied a toll on all who passed the Rhine. Below this, the river divides and is of very difficult navigation. The Dukedom of Napan is on one side and Prussia on the other side of Rhineck. It is here that some of the most beautiful legend of the Rhine are located. We pass the whirlpool formed by the sudden turn of the river and overlooked by the Loreli, a precipitous mountain overhanging it. It is this mountain which gives back the remarkable echo, called The Echo of the Loreli. It is awkward for the amusement of the pasengers by a man firing a pistol and blowing a bugle from a grotto on the opposite bank. There are fifteen echoes heard. The ancient boatman prayed to St. Gour, whose image is now standing on the bank, to protect them from the perils if the whirlpool and the enchantments of Undine, the nymph of Loreli. The mysterious echo giving birth to the superstition that the waer was haunted by a beautiful, but wicked, water nymph. After leaving this wild scene, we pass the castles of Schornburg and Gutenfels and shortly arrive at the town of Caub. This is the spot where Blutcher crossed the Rhine with his army on new years night in 1814. It was from the mountain heights above that the Prussian soldiers beholding their beloved river knelt and shouted “the Rhine, the Rhine,” as reverentially as the Egyptian contemplates the Nile, or the Indian his Gangee. It is here that the Duke of Napan levies a tribute on all vessels navigating the Rhine, and it is surprising that this chieftain should still be permitted to exercise this feudal privilege. Today, we saw the famous raft of the Rhine, with their tents and whole families living on them. We shortly reach the district in which the finest Rhineck wines are made, and see the grapes growing from which the delicious Rhudesheim is made. Here the steam boat turning the precipitous cliff brings into view the beautiful Chateau and vineyard of Johannesburg. The Chateau is situated in the middle of the vineyard, and it is under the very walls of the castle that the grapes are raised which give the fine character to the brand “Johannesburg.” It is now the property of Prince Metternich once the property of the Prince of Orange it then fell into the hands of Bonaparte who gave it to Marshall Killerman. In 1816, the Emperor of Austria go possession of it and he presented it to Metternich, and he, in these revolutionary times is in great danger of losing it. After leaving Johannesburg, we pass the Palace of the Duke of Napaw, and shortly the steeples of Mayence are seen in the distance. We spent only two hours at Mayence, visited the cathedral in which is buried the wife of Charlemagne, and saw the massive statue of Gutenburg, the inventor of printing. It is by Thorwaldsen. Mayence is garrisoned by Regiments (in equal numbers) of Prussians and Austrians. It was here that I first saw the white uniform of Austria. For the walk we passed over the long Bridge of Boats, and tool Rail Road for Frankfort, still in company with my friend, Dr. Granger.
Hotel du Weisse Schawn, Frankfort on the Main, November 1, 1848
The Chaplain and I have spent the day in strolling about the town, passing in and out of the beautiful stores and shops. Frankfort is the center of all German excitement. Their assembly is not sitting with arch-duke John at their head, on _______ Street, in which all her sons were born. It is externally a miserable looking house in one of the narrowest and filthiest streets in the city. Before its wretched door was drawn up a splendid coach with servants in livery. Old madam Rothschild came out dressed in the richest style possible, attended by her daughter and supported by two servants. She is nearly one hundred years old. Frankfort at present appears like a great military camp. Both the troops of Austria and Prussia are there. In the midst of this great military parade eyes of hundreds are forever on us, our uniforms being unusual, attract attention. We have the news this morning of the dreadful fighting in Vienna between the King’s troops under Prince Winderseratch and the soldiery of the city. By the same paper, we see that Captain Paulding, Lt. Taylor and Dr. Clymer dined with the King of Prussia and Baron Humbolt in Potsdam at the Royal Palace of “San Souci.” We saw Prince Adlebert at the Hotel en Russe. We did not have the pleasure of meeting Arch Duke John. He is emphatically the man of the age. He is Uncle of the present King of Austria, had been a great general in his day. Fought successfully in Bonaparte’s war. He married the daughter of an inn keeper and surrendered all political preferment. He retired to the country to enjoy on his estate what he says is the only happiness in the world, domestic happiness. Being or Republican bias, he consented at the urgent request of the Senate to be the President of their body. As remembrance of Frankfort, I have bought a few little articles, some views of the Rhine, a present to my dear Bettie. Dr. Grainger and I have made arrangements to leave in the morning. The Chaplain will pursue his travels to Heidelberg. I am too unwell to sit up longer.
Cologne, November 2, 1848
We reached here tonight at eight p.m., the Dr. and I, after a very pleasant trip down the river. The day has been a fine one to enjoy the noble view with its vine clad mountains. My pleasure has been a little marred by indisposition. We secured our room sin the hotel, and sallied out in search of the eau de cologne establishment of gran Marie Favina, the original fabuintor. We found it at the old stand, “Gulicks Plats,” no. 23. Dr. Grainger bought freely, bt I as usualy short of funds, bought sparingly. I exceedingly regret the necessity of parting with my friend. He is for Brussels and London, I for Remen and the St. Lawrence. I am in one day’s travel of Brussels and the field of Waterloo, and ten dollars would take me there, but not having it I must return as fast as steam can carry me.
Hillman’s Hotel, Bremen, November 3, 1848
I am at last quietly seated in my room by a turf fire, after a fatiguing days travel from Cologne. I have been quite sick all day, and in constant apprehension of my disease passing into cholera of which there is real danger, when I am in a city where cholera is prevailing. With all my suffering, I enjoyed very much the beautiful Kingdom of Westphalia. Ate its celebrated hams, and took a good look at its hogs. I have prepared a large dose of camphor and laudanum for myself; I hope I will be better in the morning.
Hillman’s Hotel, Bremen, November 4, 1848
I have been disappointed in my expectations of being better this morning. Suffered very much during the night, and would have sent for a Physician, but was afraid he would either make it out a case of Cholera, and alarm the house, or drive me into the cholera. I have spent the day here and rather imprudently, I lulled my pains with mulled port wine. Young Osborn from Richmond spent some of the day with me. I forgot to mention that I reached here last night with only 42 grotes, a sad fix in a foreign country. I found today at the consuls office letters for the ship, but none for me. Why doesn’t my wife write to me every week?
U.S. Ship St. Laurence off Bremenhaber, November 5, 1848
Reached the ship today from Bremen, after some difficulty in getting on board. I found among the passengers on the steamboat, Captain Foster of the ship Madison, belonging to Steinbach of Petersburg. I recalled that my wife had once been on board of his ship, and actually this little incident made it pleasant to be with him. On returning on board, I have determined to keep my bed a day or two. During my absence, a marriage took place on board ship. The first Lt. Mr. Hoff married the mate of a ship in harbor to an English lady. I doubt the validity of it.
November 6, 1848
I have not confined myself to the bed as I intended, but taken charge of the sick bay with a long list of sick on hand. This climate is positively enough to kill any constitution in the world. Almost a continual storm with the most sudden changes in the temperature. I am not writing in my state room in the Cock Pit, with two candles and a lantern burning to keep the room warm, with a comfortable chamber and a fine fire staring me in the face, to say nothing of wife and darling child. “Sic Gloria Mundi.”
November 7, 1848
I am still dragging myself about doing duty. I commenced a letter for the Human on her return to take to my dear wife. She is now hourly expected. I am eager to break the seals of the many letters she will bring me.
November 8, 1848
I was so unwell yesterday morning that Dr. Barkley advised me to stay in bed and take medicine. I did so and am much better from it. For some time, I have been thinking seriously of resigning and going home.
November 10, 1848
I got out of my bed this afternoon and wrote to Charles, informing him of my determination to come home, if it could possibly be done before the cruise was up. I have given him particular direction how to proceed in order to obtain my order home. I hope he may succeed. News has arrived that the Human reached South Hampton in a crippled condition, and will not proceed farther. Her mails will be sent on.
November 11, 1848
In continuing my letter to my dear Bettie, I have also given her particular direction how my detachment is to proceed. I am more determined than ever to give up this roving life, and go home to family and friends. The mail has just arrived and with two letters for me. Another arrival from Bremen of fine hock wine, two dozen baskets and four dozen elegant Hock glasses to drink it out of. This is a present from the Riffles Company of Bremen to the officers of the ship.
Frigate St. Laurence, River Weser, November 12, 1848
My letters I find are from my wife, Mrs. Dr. Venable and her brother Charles. I am rejoiced to find that my dear child and wife are both well and cheerful. By invitation of Mr. Hoff I have spent most of the day in the cabin reading the works of Neuton. I am much better from it. Either the stove or Neutons works have benefitted me, the stove, I rather think. The Captain has returned from Berlin and is now in Bremlin.
November 13, 1848
I was better this morning and went on shore to give in charge to Captain Foster of the Ship Madison a small box containing cologne water for Bettie, Cash, etc. The Captain and officers arrived today. He gives a ball and is then off with the first fair wind.
November 14, 1848
The day has been inclement, blowing squalls of wind and rain. The party from Bremen did not come The days are getting very short, only nine hours long. A quarter deck was fitted up into a handsome ballroom covered with flags, etc. All eagerly awaited the arrival from Bremen. The steamboat at last came, but no ladies. The weather was such that they would not venture. The officers, however, determined to have sport, did not carry out the principle “if I cannot wear my red shaw, I will wear no shawl at all,” but being unable to have the Nobs of Bremen, sent out for the Snobs of Bremenhaben. These were glad to come, and we had them all from the ashman’s daughter to the Butcher’s Lassie who sold fat pork, and a high time we had. More pleasant than if all the Elite of Bremen had been here, and right heartily did they pay their respects to the Captain’s table.
River Weser, November 16-17, 1848
We have at last returned on board after having for thirty six hours on shore what a sailor calls a spree. Five or six of the officers, I among them, went on shore yesterday morning with the wind blowing a gale. One boat capsized, and a washer woman was near being drowned, and our boat nearly met the same fate. We were ordered off this morning at all hazards, and the ship put under sailing orders. The hospital is very full, 39 on the list and Dr. Barkley among them.
November 18, 1848
We are still at anchor in the River Weser, and with no probability of getting out shortly. We received the news this morning of the loss of the fine ship Atlantic. She foundered on the Goodwin Sands ten days ago. The sale was very severe. Perhaps others of the large fleet which sailed from here a few days since are lost, so it may be well that we were not out. I had the pleasure of drinking a bottle of wine with Captain Foster on shore yesterday. We will not reach Petersburg he thinks before February. I, today, received a letter from Dr. Grainger of London. Before retiring, I will go up and hear some of Barton’s stories.
November 19, 1848
It looks as if old Boreas had selected this spot above all others on which to expend the fury of the winds. Further accounts on which to expend the fury of the winds. Further accounts of the late disasters in the North Sea have reached us. It is now certain that the Burgundy has been lost and the gallant old Captain Hunt, whom we all know and liked very much. This ship was owned in Richmond, United Stated, bound with immigrants. She was lost at the mouth of the Thames, and two hundred immigrants with her and the Captain. We are yet to run the gauntlet of the North Sea, and at this season of the year it is considered dangerous. We have no sermon today. I have heard but two sermons in three months, and one of them was from a Roman Catholic in Cologne. I have tried to spend the day at least morally what those officers won’t do who have gone on short to attend a ball.
Off mouth of Weser, November 20, 1848
Weighed anchor this morning, and left the harbor of Bremenhaber. The wind shifted and had to anchor at this place. Our old pilot complains much of the Captain’s having remained here so long, and foretells a difficult time in passing through the Straights. I have written letters to Charles Venable and my Wife to be forwarded from South Hampton. This wretched climate has given us a sick list of forty. At this moment the band has opened with a fine military air. There is something heartening in such music. The storm raging without and the ship pitching and rolling but heightens the effect.
Mouth of Weser, November 21, 1848
We are still at the entrance to the North Sea, with the howling wind and raging sea around us, the anchors case and the sheet anchor ready to let go at a moment’s notice. It is a place that we all wish heartily to be out of, but still afraid to venture on the treacherous North Sea, with such a tempest raging. It is rumored this afternoon that we go to Maderia and spend a few weeks. I hope it may be so. I have just left the desk and been looking at one of the most brilliant Northern Lights that any of us have ever seen, a circumscribed portion of the heavens of a brilliant red, with rays of light shooting through it. The sailors say it is ominous of stormy weather. The sun here rises at eight and sets at four, shortly there will be scarcely any day at all. I will to bed, and court the drowsy God. “Tempus fugit,” though slow as a broken winged goose.
North Sea, November 22, 1848
This morning, when I went on deck, I found that we had weighed anchor and were under way, steering directly for the cost of Scotland. This was to get plenty of sea room and to give the shoals on the German coast a wide berth, for at this season of the year, the weather is almost sure to be thick and foggy, with but little light from sun, moon or stars. We have been sailing under full sail, and with a strong wind all day. I have suffered but little from seasickness, but poor Peter is on his back again.
North Sea, November 23, 1848
The morning was ushered in with a most provoking calm. No noise to be heard, but the loud groans of the ship, as she yields to the swell of the sea with its long heaving and the flapping of the sails against the masts. The morning has been employed in examining guns. The afternoon enlivened by fine music. We have a brass band, composed of twelve pieces.
North Sea, November 24, 1848
The calm still continues ominous of a gathering storm. We have drifted far up. Thousands of the most beautiful sea birds and gulls are all around us. When lighting whitening the surface of the water for a distance around the ship. These birds breed on the rock bound costs of Scotland and Norway, and their eggs contribute to the support of the Orkney and Shetland Islands. I rigged a minnow hook this morning with twenty fathoms of line and went out in the chains, hoping to catch a cod, as usual made a failure.
Off town of Dover, November 25, 1848
About four o’clock yesterday afternoon the wind freshened from the North East. We hoisted all sail and made for the straight. Our Master having failed to get the altitude of the sun during the night, there was great uncertainty all day as to our position. Luckily about midnight our Pilot made the “Galliper Light,” and he immediately bore down for the straight. Twelve o’clock noon found us off Dover, riding at anchor. This the Pilot was forced to do on account of the change of wind. We have from deck a fine view of old Dorn Castle and also of Shakespeare’s cliff of celebrity in his King Leer, the same from which the sightless Duke of Gloster threw himself in the presence of his son Edgar. It was on the Dover cliffs that Caeser first landed from France or Gall into England.
The Downs off Deal, November 26, 1848
All in the Downs the fleet was moored.
The streamlets waving in the wind,
When Black-eyed Susan came on board her true love to find.
Tell me ye jovial sailors, tell me true
Does my sweet William sail among your crew?
And, here we are all anchored in the Downs where black-eyed Susan gave the last kiss to her sweet William. Last night, the wind coming on to blow a gale from the Southwest, we could not beat up the channel, but were forced to up anchor and make for the Downs. We are not anchored off the town of Deal on the Kentish coast, four hours by rail from London. We find this morning a French sloop of war alongside. She was forced to leave Dover during the night and make for the Downs. There are two fine old castles frowning down upon us, and back of them stands Walmer Castle, the property of the Duke of Willington. The town furnished us with plenty of grub. We are all in debt, and under the circumstances no one cares how long we stay.
English Channel, November 27, 1848
Got under way with a fair wind this morning, but shortly after shifted ahead, and we not only make progress by frequently tacking. I had to go aloft today to see a man who was taken with a fit while on the main yard. We passed today the Town of Hastings, supposed to be the spot where William the Conqueror landed. Our fine ship has been leaving a ten knot wake all day. Sometimes having the coast of England and then the coast of France in view. Wrote to Gail Womach today.
English Channel, November 28, 1848
Have made but little on our coarse in the last 24 hours. What is gained on one tack is lost on the other. The wind has been blowing a heavy gale all day. Ship under close reefed sails. While the wind lulled for a short time we passed and had a fine view of Brighton, a fashionable watering place on the channel. There is a beautiful pavilion here erected by George Fourth. It is now called the Queen’s Pavilion and is much visited by her Majesty for sea bathing. Wrote to Jack Thornton and also to Bettie. We are eager to hear the Presidential news. News received while at Deal is decidedly favorable to General Taylor.
English Channel, November 29, 1848
A most violent southwester has been blowing all night, the ship laboring immensely, and taking in hhds of water over the Forecastle. The wind is now blowing so hard as to make it almost impossible to stand on deck, with as heavy sea rolling as I ever saw on the Atlantic. We have now been three days between Dover and Spitheard, sometimes on the treacherous coast of France, and then on that of England with its high cliffs and promontories. I have just returned from on deck watching the waves as they come rolling against the side of the ship with their white capped summits, and sometimes so heavy as to almost cause the St. Laurence to play turtle. I have been very much disturbed lately by being called up at night to attend to sick men. We have now 53 in the hospital.
English Channel, November 30, 1848
The gale continued blowing with great violence all night. It was with great difficulty the ship was kept off the rocks, the light not seen until we were close upon them. Owing to thick mists and fogs this morning found that we had drifted to leeward some fifteen miles. We are now four days out from Dover, where with a fair wind twelve hours would have taken us to Cowes. Our fare is dreadful. No bread, very bad potatoes the substitute. We made no provision while off Deal, expecting to be in Southampton the next morning. No prospect now of sending letters by the Saturday’s mail, will not arrive in time. Eager to hear the Presidential news.
Spithead, December 1, 1848
Upon going on dock this morning, found that we had cast anchor in this harbor. A favorable breeze sprung up and we made the Spithead light boat about day break. On one side, we have the beautiful Isle of Wight with “Osbourn House” in full view, on the other between the town and Portsmouth, the English fleet. Among them three lines of battle ships, one of them the Flagship commanded by Admiral Sir Charles Napier. Lt. Renshaw has been sent on board to arrange the preliminaries of saluting. Our trusty consul as soon as we arrived sent off the letters to the ship. Out of the package, I had the good luck to get two from my wife, with a short letter from Cash. I was grieved that my sweet baby had been so sick; otherwise, I read the letters with great delight. The news of General Taylor’s election has been hailed by the most of us with joy; in the minds of some it has produced a gloom.
English Channel off Ryde, December 2, 1848
This morning, the English Garrison was saluted with 21 guns, and Sir Charles Napier, the Admiral of the Port, received 17. We are not anchored between the town of Ryde, on the Isle of Weight, and the beautiful mansion of Lord Ashburton on the main land. The English men of war, laying to the windward of us are St. St. Vincent, 120 guns, Sir Charles Napier; The Prince Regent, 92 gun ship, Captain Martin, and Pounful, 84 guns, Captain the Honorable R. S. Dundas, with several small vessels.
Southampton, England, December 3, 1848
Left our anchorage this morning and proceeded slowly down the Channel, and up the Southampton water to this our present anchorage, just below Southampton and off the beautiful river of Nittly Abbey. Passing Osbourn House, we have the Queen a Royal salute of 21 guns. Her Majesty returned it by lowering the National and hoisting her Royal and personal Standard. Several Ladies were observed on the portico, maybe the Wueen with her Maids of Honour. The banks of the river as we ascend are lined with forts and beautiful mansions. Southampton is in Hampshire County, on an arm of the Channel called Southampton River.
Southampton England, December 4, 1848
The day has been boisterous and stormy. Some few visitors from shore and some few visitors on shore. The Captain and officers of the ship are invited to a dinner on Wednesday the 6th given by the Mayor and corporation of the town. The majority of the inhabitants are members of the liberal part, and this accounts for the attention they pay us. I do to London on Thursday with a party of officers, and I must record the way in which I have raised the money. I have done what is called, spouted my watch on ship board. Our German travels have been made paupers of us all, and the Purser will make no advances. London I am determined to see, and could only see it in this way. Three cheers to the Mother of Invention. Two days ago, I received seven letters from friends at home. Will send my wife a long letter by the steamer on Saturday and other letters to friends.
Southampton England, December 5, 1848
A party of officers are making arrangements to leave for London, the Captain showing rather an unkind disposition, has refused me permission, giving as a reason that the sick list is too long for one surgeon to attend to. The accomplished Captain of the Human, Crabtree, has invited the officers of the ship to meet a party at dinner on board the Herman on Friday night. Intercourse with the short is kept up by the steamers that are constantly passing us.
Vince Hotel, Southampton, December 6, 1848
I am lodged in this hotel tonight, detained on shore by a train of accidents. After mailing my letters and papers for the United States, I hired a hack for the pleasant ride to Nittley Abbey. This ruin is most extensive and beautiful, covering four acres. It is in a fine state of preservation, though built in the reign of Henry the Fourth. It was destroyed along with most of the Abbeys of England by Henry the Eighth. The Chappell still retains traits of grandeur. There are many rooms and compartments in the Abbey. Here one of the strictest orders of Monks resided. A part of the eastern wall is broken down, an entrance forced by a storming party under Lord Fairfax in the Reign of Henry Eighth. Large and stately trees now grow in some of the rooms, and the walls are covered with ivy. The Abbey is now the property of Lord Holland. I returned from this interesting trip in time to comply with my engagement to dine with Captain Crabtree. He gave me a fine dinner, fine wines, etc. I returned on board the steamboat to be dropped alongside the ship on her way to Cowes. Her departure was delayed by waiting for her Majesty’s linen to be brought by the train from London. This delayed us until sundown, when a man-of-war’s boats are hauled up. Consequently, when coming along side and finding the boats up, steered away for Cowes, under express with her Majesty’s linen, and taking me along with it. I did not leave the boat at Cowes, but returned with the mail, again passing the ship without being able to get on board. Was again brought back to Southampton, and am now comfortably lodged in this hotel.
December 7, 1848
I returned on board this morning and found that Barkley had obtained permission for me to go to London. He has conversation with the Captain and persuaded him that it was unnecessary for me to stay on board on account of the sick. I will pack up as quickly as possible, be off by the next steamboat and take the London train.
Hotel Sablionier, Liecester Square, London, 11 o’clock p.m.
I left Southampton at six o’clock and arrived at the depot on the Surrey side of London at half past eight, traveling the eighty miles in two hours and a half, then took a hack which brought me at a break neck speed over Waterlook Bridge to this hotel. I am just returned from Long’s Hotel, visiting the officers who preceded me and returned through Piccadilly, Regent Street and Trafalgar Square, on by the Duke of York’s monument of Column where I saw the splendid exhibition of the electrical light, the most intense and brilliant light I ever witnessed. I am last in this mistress of the world, surrounded by magnificence and splendor, wretchedness and misery.
Leicester Square, London, December 8, 1848
After taking my breakfast this morning of rolls and chocolate, I hastened to Long’s hotel, Bond Street to join my friends in their rambles. Dr. Clymer, Major Brooks and I procured a coach and commenced our day’s sightseeing by first going to the British Museum. This is most magnificent in size and architecture, filled with rare and wonderful specimens. One apartment seems to have had all the catacombs of Egypt emptied into it. The museum received a most valuable addition in the Elgin Gallery, and for the collection it was indebted to the vandalism of Lord Elgin who clandestinely took them from the Acropolis at Athens. With the Huntesian Museum in the College of Surgeons I was greatly pleased. I enjoyed a sight of the relics of the genius of John Hunter and Sir Ashby Cooper. We drove around Green Park and Buckingham Palace by the mansions of Baron Rothchild, the Duke of Cambridge and Lord Ashburton, to the Zoological Gardens in Regent Park. This last was a treat in its line that can never be passed. The gardens occupy nearly half of the park. Beautiful walks winding through groves and meadows, along the sides of lakes and pools, every known animal, bird and serpent is seen in its native climate and element as far as art can accomplish it, the polar bear with its large space of ground and pool of water to swim in, others with grottoes and moss in their lake here they imagine themselves as wild as on the Columbia River. Shetland Ponies, moose and deer grazing in the same enclosure. Eskimo dogs and many animals rarely seen. Birds of every description. The boa constrictor and anaconda, monstrous and hideous and above all most curious a double headed snake. A visit to these gardens is both pleasurable and profitable. Drove through Regent Park to Belgrave Square and left cards for our Minister, Mr. Bancroft. Returning, we passed Apsley House and the spot where Oxford shot at the Queen. I reached my hotel in time for the “Table D’Hote, at six o’clock, dined and sailed out to Haymarket, where I had the pleasure of seeing the Keans perform. Charles Kean is first rate in comedy. I did not see him in tragedy. Mrs. Kean’s reputation is, I think, higher than she deserves. I will go to bed to recuperate for tomorrow’s work. My part of the hack hire today was S. 10.
Leicester Square, London, December 9, 1848
I have seen London today, and the only way it can be seen and while seen properly appreciated, by walking through its streets and lounging along its thoroughfares. I engaged a guide at the price of six shillings a day, a man trusty and of perfect acquaintance with the city, and whose profession it is thus to wait on strangers., We left the west end after breakfast and soon got into the great city of London proper, passing down fleet street, cheap side and first visiting Guild Hall and its immense hall in which the Lord Mayor entertained the Prince Regent and the Allied Sovereigns at a cost of $1,000,000. Next, the Royal Exchange and Bank of England with the underwriters in Lloyds and the merchants on Change. Passing through the London Docks, we shortly reached the Tower that impressive rock building within whose walls transactions have taken place which form some of the bloodiest pages in English History. The warden, a guide who conducts visitors through, became immediately interested in me, botj because of my being an American and the only soldier among the visitors. I was first taken into the capacious room where are seen antiques and relics of the age of Henry Eighth and those preceding him As you enter the room a troop of horsemen are seen of the Kings, Princes and distinguished personages of England in the particular costume and coats of mail which each had worn on different occasions. The massive figure of Henry the Eighth, with his powerful horse both clad in armor which they had often worn and the Charles and James and Edwards are seen. A figure of Queen Elizabeth is shown wearing the dress and gown which that same queen wore when on her way to receive the news of the destruction of the Spanish Armada. Many celebrated and Royal relics are seen in the Tower. In another room, I saw a cannon and part of the mast of the Royal George, gotten up within a few yards from the spot in the harbor of Spithead where a hundred years ago that shop went down with five hundred souls on board. Of this, the leniency of the guide permitting, I stole a small piece. I was in the sell or small room dug out of the thick wall, in which Sir Walter Raleigh was so long confined, and from the wall by doing much damage to my fingers and nails, I procured a rock as a memento of the scene of the sufferings of that great man, and as a reminiscence connected with his great history of the world. In front of the cell and in the little passage where Raleigh was sometimes permitted to exercise, is seen the block of execution and the axe with which Anne Bolyne, Lady Jane Grey and others were beheaded. I got an external view of the room in which the favorite of Elizabeth was confined, and by special favor and extra feeing was admitted into the bloody tower where the young Princes were murdered by the assassin Tyrol. The door in the hall by which he entered from the subterranean passage is still hanging, though very much decayed. I was finally taken into the room of the crown jewels. Here the beholder is dazzled by the sight of such splendor. Crowns and massive sacramental and Baptismal service. The whole is estimated at four millions of pounds, sterling. All this display of England’s regalia is surmounted by the “New State Crown,” made for Victoria. The cap of purple velvet is enclosed by silver hoops covered with diamonds. Surmounting these hoops is a ball also adorned with small diamonds bearing a cross formed with brilliants, in the center of which is a unique sapphire. In the front of this crown is the heart formed ruby, stated to have been worn by Edward the Black Prince. The orb which was placed in Victoria’s left hand when crowned, is six inches in diameter edged with pearls and ornamented with precious stones and surrounded by diamonds. On leaving the Tower we went directly to the great monument erected in commemoration of the great fire of the sixteenth century. I ascended it, long and tedious, but was repaid by the very dine view of London from its top. I passed through the famous Billingsgate to the tunnel. This great work surpassed my expectations. I found it vast beyond anything that I had supposed. It is twelve hundred feet in length, and sixty two feet below the surface of the water. The passage most brilliantly illuminated with pass. Is a wonderful monument of science and labor. I found that I had walked four miles to the tunnel, was so much fatigued that I took steam boat up the Thames as far as St. Paul’s, having on the way a fine view of many bridges that crowds the Thames, among them the London, Waterlook, Westminister, and the beautiful suspension bridge at Hunderford Market. I was disappointed in St. Pauls. Though magnificent in size and architecture it was somehow not the place I expected to find it. I ascended to the highest point and looked out upon London. The Vaults beneath contain the bodies of Lord Nelson, Lord Ponsomby and many of England’s distinguished sons. Upon leaving St. Paul’s and threading Cheapside and Fleet Streets, we arrive shortly at the Barracks of the Horse Guards, and had the pleasure of seeing that celebrated troop relieve guard. Then to White Hall and its garden where Charles first was beheaded. In the center of the opening, and quite in front of Sir Robert Peel’s and the Duke of Buccling’s houses, the statue of Charles the second stands. He is pointing with his finger to the spot, a few paces from the statue, where his Father was beheaded. The guide took me to Westminster Hall, and into the chamber of the court of Queen’s Bench where the Lord Chief Justice then presided and into the chambers of the court of common pleas. I was very much interested in these courts. On returning to Leister Square, I again passed the Horse Guards, through their buildings into St. James Park. This park is lovely in its extent, its noble trees, its beautiful walks and shrubbery with reservoirs filled with swan and wild fowl. The Parks are the lungs of London, and the fashionable walks and drives of the metropolis. We emerged into Regent Street, perhaps the finest street in the world, went through the quadrant, a part of Regent, and on by omnibus to the celebrated cattle show. This exhibition I enjoyed beyond anything of the sort I ever saw. Hundreds of the finest specimens of cattle, sheep and hogs are shown in different stalls. Yesterday Prince Albert, the Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Leicester and many distinguished Nobles were present when the prizes were awarded. Prince Albert’s very remarkable Herfordshire Bull received the prize in the cattle line. To the Earl of Leicester was awarded the prize in sheep. His pen of Southdowns attracted great attention. This is an exhibition that comes off every year. The members of the club are principally noblemen and wealthy landowners. I purchased a copy of the London News with prints of the animals, and sent it to my friend Thom. Venable who takes great interest in everything that pertains to farming and agricultural pursuits. I returned to my hotel by the palaces of the Queen Dowager, Earl of Leicester and arrived in time for the table D’hote which at the Sabhonier, is a very fine dinner. After resting from my fatigue I went to Druery Lane Theater. It is the largest and most comfortable theatre I was ever in. I have had the pleasure of hearing in addition Troupe and M. Gallien, or rather in conjunction with him the bands of her Majesty’s Coldstream guards and Horse Guards. It was grand and sublime. When I left the theatre for my hotel, I found that I was entirely lost, and as is often the case in London upon inquiring for the right way you will be directed the wrong. This was the case. I became at last completely confused and confounded. I at last went with a gentleman who kindly volunteered to conduct me to Leicester Square. I, however, did not trouble him all the way, for as soon as I could see my land mark, which was Nelson’s monument, I was able to go alone. I at last got back, word out and tired down. Went to bed to sleep.
Hotel Sablonier, Leicester Square, December 10, 1848
The weather has been fine and I have spent a most delightful day. I took steamboat this morning at the suspensions bridge, Hungerford Market, and went down the Thames to Greenwich. IT is from the deck of a steamboat that the best view is gotten of the city, and the Tower. Somerset House, Lincoln’s Inn Court, etc. adorn the banks of the river. And, then the Surrey side presents some charm. Greenwich is a lovely spot. The hospital has been built on the largest and most expensive scale. The Pensioners live in four splendid Palaces forming a square. Each of the Palaces belonged to members of the Royal family in the time of Charles the second. The second wing was the residence of the merry King, and we saw the window through which he escaped when pursued by Cromwell. There are 2,500 pensioners in the establishment, and all over fifty years of age, dressed in the costume of the last century, cocked hats and long waist coats. I made the acquaintance of Admiral Sir Charles Adams, and Sir John Gordon, the Governor and Lt. Governor of the Institute. Sir John was courteous and polite in having me shown everything that was curious and interesting. I saw eight hundred of these neat old men sitting at one table to dinner. They had as fine mutton as ever graced any table. I went through the infirmary or hospital attached. It is a most beautiful and capacious building. Sir John Little is the chief surgeon. The deaths in the institution average one a day throughout the year. They die principally from old age. I was politely shown through the wards by one of the surgeons. It is perfect in its adaptedness to comfort and convenience. There is also connected with the hospital a naval school for boys from ten to sixteen years of age. There are about 800 in the school, all of whom I saw at their dinner. The stewards were standing over them with rods, occasionally giving a little fellow a rap. In the beautiful Greenwich Park is situated the celebrated observatory. The old weather and war worn veterans are seen here enjoying the river views and watching the ships as they ascend the river. Most of them are suing telescopes, seeming impossible to relinquish the long formed habit. I spent most of the day at this beautiful place, got on a returning boat and arrived in town for my six o’clock dinner Since dark I have taken a short walk with Major Brooke, returned and have just finished a letter to Cash.
Clarendon Hotel, Southampton, England, December 11, 1848
I arrived here in the cars from London, leaving there at four o’clock and traveling the 80 miles in two hours and a quarter. This morning at three o’clock, I was aroused by a Mr. Singer, from Major Brooke to hasten to Lory’s Hotel to see Mr. Stockton, our Purser, who was, he wrong me, at the point of death. I was there as soon as the carriage could take me. My first impression was that he had cholera. I soon found though, that he was very low with inflammation of the bowels. I found there Drs. Frwender and Ashley assisting Dr. Clymer. I remained with the Pursue until twelve o’clock today, in the meantime having two consultations with three distinguished gentlemen. I was glad to have seen Dr. F. He is a small man with a good face and most brilliant eye. When I left there was a slight improvement in Mr. Stockton. On my way to the Surrey side of the Thames to take the cars, I append three interesting hours in Westminister Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. In the Abbey, I took great pleasure in viewing the magnificent monuments erected to departed greatness, and the places where their remains lay. In the Poets corner that genius of England is interred. The orators and warriors also lay beneath Westminister marble. In the different chapels are seen all tombs of all the Sovereigns of England. That of Queen Elizabeth erected the year after her death is in great magnificence and in fine condition of preservation. Near it is the tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots. In the chapel of Edward the Confessor, is seen the Coronation Chair in which all the Sovereigns of England have been crowned since the reign of Edward the first. A most beautiful monument and inscription is erected to the memory of Major Andre. Nearly opposite the Abbey are the Houses of Parliament. The new one, one of the largest houses perhaps in the world. I was in the old hall in which Cromwell dissolved the long Parliament, and in which he signed the death warrant of Charles the first. The Tower which is now building for the Royal entrances will be, when finished, the grandest Portal in Europe. The best view of the houses of Parliament is had from Westminister Bridge.
U.S. Ship St. Laurence, Southampton, England, December 12, 1848
I was on board this morning in time to take a company of invalids to the steamer Herman. Two officers, Lt. Taylor and Mid. Smith, also go home in her on the sick list. About two o’clock the Herman got under way, and as she passed the ship we gave her three hearty cheers and wished her a quick and safe voyage. By telegraphic dispatch, we hear that Mr. Stockton is no better.
England, December 13, 1848
I went to the Tower in the afternoon to be in readiness for the dinner or Civic banquet. At six o’clock, we repaired to the Hall and found large assemblage of gentlemen, officers of the army and navy, waiting to receive us. We sat down to the table to six and did not leave it until four in the morning. It was a brilliant entertainment, magnificent in plate and decoration. I had an honored seat on the right of the Mayor. Captain Paulding occupied the seat next to the Mayor, Captain Kran of the Royal Navy sat next, and my seat was next to Captain Kran. Eloquent speeches were made. The Honorable Mr. Cockburn of Parliament was particularly happy. Paulding acquitted himself well. The finest state of feeling and much enthusiasm prevailed. The dinner was sumptuous in rich viands and fine wines. We have received invitations to a ball tomorrow evening. Among many names of Patronesses on the Ticket are the names of Lady Welessly and Lady Butler.
St. Laurence, England, December 14, 1848
I cam on board this morning in the consuls Yacht, with Colonel Mann of the army and a party of ladies. We entertained them in the ward room. Colonel Mann is an officer of the Burmah War, and has spent fifteen years in India. I did not attend the ball this evening from prudential motives suggested by advice in Bettie’s letter. The officers of Her Majesty’s Yacht, the Fairy, visited the ship this afternoon. The officers of our ship who attended the ball, accompanied them in the Yacht.
Frigate, St. Laurence, England, December 15, 1848
The papers today contain an account of the Civic banquet, they also contain the news of Louis Napolean’s election as President of the French Republic. I have not left the ship today. We have had but few visitors.
England December 16, 1848
From the ship’s deck a fine view presents itself. Nettby Abbey on one side and the forest on the other. This magnificent wood is thirty miles in extent, the property of the crown. It is in this Forrest that King Ruffus was accidentally killed while hunting. The officers who have returned talk of the beautiful display at the ball, and the many Lords and Ladies present, but Sir. John Sinclair was the man of most distinction there. Captain Paulding called on him today. I was rejoiced to receive two long letters from Mother and Betty, of as late dates as the 19th of November, and still more delighted to find that all were well, my child entirely recovered. News has arrived from London of Mr. Stockton’s improvement. The Captain thinks of giving a ball for the many civilities received here demand some return.
England, December 17, 1848
We have had today the second sermon since leaving Norfolk. The Chapalins effort was a good one. I have gone the rounds of the hospital, showed some ladies over the ship, and took luncheon in the cabin.
England, December 18, 1848
The steamer Washington, from Bremen, arrived last night. Today, the Captain and Lt. Barton has some difficulty. It resulted in Barton’s being ordered below and suspended from duty. This morning, the Captain and I made an attempt to land on the New Forrest side to visit some ladies of our acquaintance, but were disappointed on account of the low tide.
December 19, 1848
This morning, there was great surprise and some merriment throughout the ship when it was found that one of the men had left the ship in a Swab Tub. I hope he got safely ashore, I have written several leters for the Washington’s letter bag.
December 20, 1848
The Washington went to sea today. We have had the pleasure of having on board Mr. Drummond and Lady Drummond. A distinguished and wealthy family of Hampshire County, and his son Lt. Drummond of the Royal Navy.
England, December 21, 1848
The fore noon was spent in the midst of fine ladies and pretty music. At one o’clock I left the ship with a party of officers to attend the Consuls dinner at the Dolphin Hotel. After seeing the consul, I spent the remaining three hours intervening before dinner shut up in my room at the Clavendon, preparing the speech I was informed it would devolve upon me to make. The dinner came off, eighty three sitting down to the table. It was served in the finest style, on the most costly plate. I occupied a seat at the honored end of the table, next to Admiral Douglass. The conspicuous position that I took was owing to my being the only ward room officer present. Captain Paulding and the Mayor of the city, were seated on the right and left of the host. Sir. John Gordon, Sinclair and Mr. Bancroft’s representative next. Admiral Douglas was the commander of the Levant in the action between that ship, and Cyam and the Constitution under the command of Comod. Stuart. Many speeches were made and toasts drank. I had the honour of proposing the memory of the Earl of Chatam, and had the honour of answering the toast made complimentary to the officers of the St. Laurence, by the gallant Sir. John. Great good feeling and cordiality prevailed on the part of both Englishmen and Americans. We partied at ten o’clock wonderfully pleased on with another, and some of us with all the world besides.
England, December 22, 1848
Came on board this morning after the debauch last night, feeling much the worse for wear. I had the pleasure of receiving by the Cambria, a letter from my friend Lt. Robertson, also saw American papers containing the President’s message. We all agree on board ship that it is a well written paper. On account of the dissipation last night and detention in town this morning, none of us visited Osbourn House in fulfillment of the engagement that had been previously made. Great preparation is making for the ball that comes off on Tuesday next.
U.S. Frigate St. Laurence, England, December 23, 1848
Lt. Hays, Carter and myself have just returned from a most interesting visit to Osbourn House Canysbrook Castle on the other side of the Isle of Wight. Her Majesty left Osbourn on Tuesday last and ordered her Steward to receive the officers of the American Frigate who might choose to visit the Palace and show them every attention. This is a privilege rarely granted to any, and which none can demand, being her private property. We were taken over the grounds and through the apartments in the Palace. Her Majesty’s reception room was furnished with great elegance. I was particularly surpriused at seeing three large candle stands of solid glass eight or ten feet high. They were from the Birmingham Factory. In the Queen’s private apartment are fine portraits of herself and Prince Albert, and of the Prince of Wales dressed as a sailor, with his jack knife dangling at his side. The most curious room in the Palace is one in which all the furniture is made of bucks horns and skins. Sofas and chairs and all the decoration and ornament was of deer head, horns, etc. Even the splendid Chandelier was of the horns and hoofs of deer. Prince Albert has a very domestic and agricultural turn. The estate consists of 1400 acres beautifully divided by hedges. Wheat and oats are the principal crops. There is something very much to be admired in the life led by the Royal pair while at Osbourn. The Queen often accompanies the Prince in his farming operations and when fatigued retires to the Steward’s where there is a room appropriated to her use for resting and lounging. Her dairy is kept there and everything has a domestic and country like appearance. The dairy is beautiful and neat, the floor is of stone with a spout of water in the center. I counted 40 of 50 large glass basins filled with the richest cream. The view from the Tower of Osbourn is a lovely one. Nearly the whole of the beautiful Isle of Wight is in view with all the shipping at Shithead. After leaving Osbourn, we took out carriage drawn by a fine pair of English trotters, and drove across the Island, the most beautiful of England’s argricultural scenes, to the town of Newport and on to Carysbrook Castle a mile beyond. Carysbrook is a splendid old ruin, still in a fine state of preservation. It is situated on a high eminence. The wall includes two of three acres and is surrounded by a moat. It’s history is not exactly known. Supposed to have been built by one of the followers of William the Conquerer. The Tower and keep is of great height and strength. It is ascended by a flight of a hundred rock steps, and is pierced with port holes for cross bowmen. Cromwell as one time, kept part of his troops here, and here he had Charles first confined for a long time. We saw the window through which the king attempted his escape, but was unfortunately hung between the iron bars and thus detected, from whence he was taken to White Hall, London, and beheaded. The greatest curiosity in the castle is the well three hundred feet deep, two hundred feet of which is through solid rock. This well was sunk when the castle was built, it is supposed in the time William the Conqueror. The water is drawn by a jack or donkey. He gets within the wheel which is a treadmill for him. This donkey has been at it for eighteen years. The one that preceeded him was forty-two years drawing the bucket. Carysbrook is now the property of the crown, and some Lord is its keeper. He keeps it, however, through his Steward who resides there and exacts a tribute from all visitors. We returned to Cowes, took dinner at the Fountain Inn and rached the ship per steamboat at 9 p.m.
Southampton, December 24, 1848
The Chaplain delivered a short but applicable discourse today. Though the Sabbath, no attention is payed to the day, but preparation is going on for the Ball. The musicians are practicing, and some of the officers decorating the ship with wreathes and garlands of evergreens. I am preparing a letter hiping to send it by the United States which leave Havre on the 29th.
December 25, 1848
Great preparations are making for the Hall. The Spar deck has been metamorphosed into a magnificent ballroom. The guns moved forward makes it large and capacious. The flage of every nation forms the ceiling and holly with other evergreens decorate the sides. More than five hundred invitations have been sent. Among them Nobles, Gentry and Plebians. Two steamers are engaged to ply between the Royal Pier and the ship. The table is to be set on the main gundeck. I hope the weather will favor us with sunny smiles.
Southampton, England, December 26, 1848
The morning did not open with sunny smiles and bright prospects, but the clouds were luring and ominous. So much so that the Captain consulted the first Lt. and after holding a council of war, determined that the Hall should take place on shore, that the inclemency of the weather added to the distance of the ship from the shore, would prevent a full attendance of ladies. The disappointment of course was great on all sides. Everything was taken down to ornament the apartments on shore. The Hall passed off to the delight of all. It came off in the Victoria Arms, some three hundred or more attended, officers of the Army and Navy, but none of the Nobility. The assemblage was of two mixed character for their Lordships. I never saw so little beauty in so large an assemblage before. There were some few of very marked and distinguished beauty. The citizens say that so liberal and expensive a ball was never given in the city before. Everything was in profuse abundance. Wine flowed like water. Two hundred bottle of champagne were drank, and all other wines in proportion. The officers of the ship played the hosts, and most fatiguing it was. The dancing was kept up until six in the morning. I returned to my hotel, and got to bed about seven in the morning. Had been there only an hour when I was sent for to see one of the officers at the Clarendon who was reports very ill. I hastened off and found Mr. Buel in convulsions. This detained me so late that I was unable to fulfill an engagement to take breakfast at the Barets.
U.S. Frigate, St. Laurence, December 27, 1848
This morning, I sent letters and newspapers in the consulate bag via Liverpool. A party of officers left the ship this morning to visit an encampment of Gypsies. I would have gone, but duty prevailed me. Among the many visitors today, Admiral Askough of the Royal Navy has been on board. He was born on board ship during a Naval engagement, making him emphatically a son of Neptune. Some officers of the British India Army also visited the ship today. With them Mr. Hutchins, a wealthy welsh man. He has invited Mr. Hoff and me to dine with him on Saturday next.
St. Laurence, Southampton, December 29, 1848
I consider it a national disgrace that Harton and Adams, two Lieutenants, should return on board in such a state of drunkenness. Harton with his eye bandaged up and much bruised, the result of a fight with the Vice Consul at Cowes. The fight originated in an assertion of the Consul’s that they ought to consider themselves highly honored by being permitted to visit “Osbourn.” Harton denying that an American officer could be complimented by permission to visit the Palace of any Sovereign. The result was that Barton got most woefully beat, and as he richly deserved. I received a long and interesting letter from Cash today. The prattling of dear little Milly interested me greatly.
December 30, 1848
The day has been a dull one. Hoff and I declinded the invitation of Mr. Hutchings to dine at the “Walton House.”
December 31, 1848
Today, Sunday, closes the year, and appropriately celebrated by a sermon of lamentations for a misspent time. It is cold and comfortless on board ship. I have been reading Daubignies History.
St. Laurence, January 1, 1849
I can’t better notice the day than by wishing my dear wife a Happy New Year. May she see many New Years, cheering and comforting her husband and child through life, and in death prove to have been a blessing to them. We have had in the ward room to dinner today the America Consul, Mr. Croskey and Lt. Mountain of the British Army. He is the son of the Bishop of Canada and has lately returned from there. Wrote to Betty and Paul.
Southampton, England, January 2, 1849
All hands were aroused at two o’clock this morning by the cry of “man overboard.” The Sentinel on duty outside the gangway fell from his post. He was rescued by the self-possession and judicious orders of Mr. Hoff. Some of our friends from town came to pay us a party visit, or rather to pay respects to our Champagne, Hock, Sherry and Claret. The Pilot is to be on board tonight, ominous of early sailing. I have written the last letter perhaps, before reaching Lisbon. I also send papers to Charles and Mr. Vaughn.
English Channel, January 3, 1949
Got under way about noon today in tour of steam tug. Parted company off Cowes, spread all sail and stood off Southwest by West. The following piece of humorous scandal is copied from a London paper called the “Satirist.” A Briton wishes to know that is nowadays to be considered the Law of National Etiquette with respect to Naval Salutes. “One Hiram Paulding, (whose grandfather was, we understand, one Hiram Dodge, a Yankee peddler) a week or two since in his capacity of Skipper of the St. Lawrence, a big Yankee land rover, lately put into commission, sailed into Portsmouth, and through Charley Napris Squadron, without taking the slightest notice of the British flag. The Yankee swaggerer purposely omitted the customary salute. Now if this sort of conduct is allowed to be the rule, as it would seem to be by no notice being taken of the fellow’s conduct, the sooner old Dundonald returns the compliment by sending the Helena, or some other small ship under his command, into a Yankee Port to pay a similar respect to the Stars and Stripes better. This is a piece of ignominy for a flag, and we only wonder that Charley Napier did not give the Buccaneer Yankee bunting a taste of the Bunny under the bow spirit of the St. Vincent.” The scoundrel lies, we gave the necessary salutes, but Captain Paulding was rather tardy in doing so, first sending an officer to know whether it would be returned.
Morning of January 4, 1849
I was unable to leave my bed from violent catarrh and inflammation of the tonsils. I was confined during the 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10th. During that time, we were principally in the Bay of Biscay buffeting a head wind.
Atlantic Ocean off Portugal, January 11, 1849
This morning, I returned to duty, though weak and with considerable cough. During the afternoon, I sat by the bedside of a dying man, closed his eyes and reported him to the officer of the deck as dead. It rather shocks me to hear the band playing lively airs, quadrills, etc., with a man laid out for burial in ten feet of them. But, such is “Life on the Ocean Wave.”
River Tagus, off Lisbon, January 12, 1849
The funeral service was read over man Wales this morning, and his body consigned to the “Great Deep.” Took a pilot off the mouth of the river. Our noble ship with a head wind, beat up the river in the handsomest manner between the breakers which are so formidable on either side. The day has been as mild as a Virginia May day. Byron’s description of his ascending the Tagus in the famous Lisbon Packet is true as well as descriptive. On both sides of the river the prospect is beautiful. Green grass abounds with extensive orange and olive groves, here and there. We passed along under the walls of Belham castle and just here the city opens into view, rising from the water’s edge and extending as far as the eye can reach. The health officer boarded us just before anchoring and put the ship in quarantine for five days. This is for coming from England where cholera did once exist. None but a Portuguese government would be guilty of such a thing. We are now anchored off the lower end of the city, just opposite the Aquida Palace.
U.S. St. Lawrence, Lisbon, January 13, 1849
The month of June could not have furnished a more lovely day. I spent the most of it on deck enjoying the lovely prospect. On one side of the Tagus are abrupt hills and bluffs, on the other is the city extending for miles up the river looking as if the houses were piled one upon the other, from their situation on the side of the hills. From the deck is seen the fine old convent, in the chapel of which Columbus was married. The English steamer has arrived. I will keep a sharp lookout for letters.
Lisbon, January 14, 1849
While riding out quarantine, the time is spend pleasantly enjoying this morn than Italian sky, the verdant and spring-like appearance of the surrounding country, and promenading the deck. Muster at eleven o’clock. The English steamer brought me no letters, but many to others. We have had today, fine oranges just from the trees. They sell at fifty cents a hundred. Wrote to my wife, read my Bible and Daubigny.
Lisbon, January 15, 1849
This is the last day of quarantine. Vaccinated some two hundred of the crew. Saw a London paper giving wonderful accounts of Cholera. Actually the accounts are like fairy tales.
Lisbon, January 16, 1849
Obtained Pratique this morning. The forenoon was occupied in giving and sending the customary salutes. First, the Town with a National salute of 21 guns. This was returned by the Battery at Belhan Castle. The Portuguese Admiral’s flag was next saluted with 17 guns, which the Frigate “Vasco de Gama” returned, and lastly Sir Charles Napier’s flag received a salute of 17 guns which he returned by hoisting at his Fore, the Star Spangled Banner and firing 17 guns, making in all 110 guns fired in the space of two hours.
Lisbon, January 17, 1849
Still at anchor one mile below the city. Today, Sir Charles Napier and his flag captain came on board to return Captain Paulding’s visit to the “Prince Regent,” the flag ship of the squadron. Tempus Fugit, but slowly.
Lisbon, January 18, 1849
This morning at the same hour we got under way to approach the Town, and the English fleet to go to sea. In the Squadron were three lines of Battle Ships, one Corvette, three Steamers and two Brigs. It was a beautiful sight, we beating up and they coming down before the wind. The Prince Regent was sluggish in her movements. The American Charge, Mr. Hopkins, visited the ship today. He was received with all the distinction due his rank. Received on deck by all the officers wearing epaulettes, and while the salute of seventeen guns was being fired, the Bank played, Hail Columbia. The officers received today, an invitation to a Ball given by the Marquis of Vienna. It arrived too late; therefore, none could go.
Lisbon, January 19, 1849
Up anchor this morning and the ship approached near the town. I was disappointed in getting on shore to attend the opera tonight. We hear that a visit to Centra is attended with danger on account of the numerous bands of Brigands and Banditi that now infest the mountains. This condition of things is owing to the wretched state of the country, anarchy and confusion that prevails everywhere. The lovely weather continues.
U.S. Frigate St. Lawrence, Lisbon, Portugal, January 20, 1849
Just as day was breaking this morning, Lt. Hays and I left the ship to join the Chaplain and Parker who were in town, on an excursion to Cintra. Cintra is about 17 miles from Lisbon. We were advised not to make the trip on account of the very great danger of being robbed for Brigands and Bandits infest the whole country. We were determined to go; however, notwithstanding the English who preceded us were afraid to venture.
After breakfasting at the Bragansa Hotel about sunrise, we left town in the Volantes. These Volantes are something like old fashioned gigs. One horse or mule between the shafts and another by his side for the Postillion to ride. On the suburbs of the town, we passed the beautiful Palaces and grounds of the Marquis of Alba and of Count Farobo. The weather was charming. For ten miles, we met the market men and women coming into town, driving their donkeys before them loaded with vegetables and fruits. We frequently passed under and along the celebrated Aquiduct of Alcantra. Crosses are seen erected at different places on the road, marking some spot where a robbery or murder had been committed. About ten o’clock we reached Cintra, a village and situation which Byron has pronounced the lovliest spot in Europe.
Its beauties are both natural and artificial. Gardens, Palaces and convents scattered among orange and cork groves, and on the rocky heights and sides of the mountain, among precipices and cataracts. We left out Volantes at the Hotel and proceeded. Donkeys and boys to conduct us to the different places of curiosity. These boys run behind the donkeys with long poles, and by hallooing and beating, continue to keep them in full speed. We first visited the old Moorish Castle, the last stronghold of the Moors in Portugal. It is in fine preservatation, built at a great height on the top of the mountain. We next visited on a neighboring peak the Convent of Nossa Senora de Pira, or our Lady of Punishment. And, lastly we went four or five miles through the mountains to the Cork Convent situated on a rocky eminence just over the ocean in the midst of evergreens, box and cork trees. The strictest and most severe order of monks lived here once. A miserable old witch of an enthusiast still lives here. All the rooms and cells are lined with large pieces of cork as taken from the trees. Among many remnants of penance and punishment we saw the cell in which St. Honorious lived forty hears. Among the last acts of this monk’s life was to dig his own grave with his teeth. Cintra, with all its lovely environs and plaes of interest are beautifully described by Lord Byron in his first Canto of Child Harold. We returned to the town by another rroute. Plasses through the large cork forrest and by the splendid Palace of Marquis of Mariabra. In this house, the convention of Cintra was signed at thich was Marshall Gunott with delegates from England, Portugal and Spain. This was at the close of the Peninsular War. It seems to be perpetual summer around Cintra. On one side of the mountain the scenery is particularly wild and grand. The rocky sides and heights shaded with large box and cork trees and the bottom thickly set with orange and olive trees. We reached the hotel about three o’clock. This pleasant excursion none of us will forget and will particularly remember the donkeys throwing Parker on his head. After a charming dinner with fresh oranges from the garden and a bottle of the country wine, we went to the Queen’s Cintra Palace. This is celebrated for nothing but its antique furniture and old Moorish architecture. We drove back to Lisbon at a John Gilpin rate. Reached the Bragansa Hotel about eight o’clock, paid the bill, hastened to the river and pulled off to the ship, arriving much to the surprise of our mess mates having lost no blood and not much money.
U.S. Lawrence, Lisbon, Portugal, January 21, 1849
The bright and sunny day is in agreement with the honor and pleasure we feel at having Mrs. Hopkins (our accomplished minister’s accomplished wife) to attend services with us on board ship. I was glad to form her acquaintance, and she was glad to talk to me of some of her old acquaintances and friends in Virginia. Wrote to Betty this afternoon.
Portugal, January 22, 1849
This is one of the many days observed in all Catholic countries by General Holidays. I was on shore today with Hass and Castro and visited some of the churches, St. Vincent, St. Regues, etc. They were dressed with all the paraphernalia of Catholic celebrations. We also visited the immense reservoir, the termination of the Aqueduct of Alcantia, also saw the mammoth statue Equestrian of Joseph first in Black Horse Square. Lisbon is a filthy city, crowded with innumerable beggars. Some remnants of the earth quake of 1755 yet remain. There are beautiful private gardens, but only one public of any importance. The nation has degenerated into insignificabce since the days of Emanuel and Vasco de Gama. The delicious climate, though, compensates for most all the difficiencies.
Lisbon, January 23, 1849
The English mail has arrived with two letters for me. Both from Betty with post-scripts from Mother. I was grieved to find that I had caused them so much distress by a letter written in November, telling them of my sickness. Lt. Renshaw and I called on Mr. Hopkins and found his hospitable in the extreme. I saw Virginia papers with news of Floyd’s election as Governor and J. L. Hopkins as speaker of the House of Delegates.
Lisbon, January 24, 1849
The Captain, contrary to the advice of the ship surgeon, sent the men off shore today on liberty. The imprudence consisted in exposing them to small pox which prevails here now to a great extent, and of a malignant character. We have Summer weather with Summer vegetables in abundance.
Lisbon, January 25, 1849
I was disappointed in visiting the Aquida Palace today by an order from the Captain to sit on a medical survey. In the afternoon, saw the Opera of McBeth performed by an Italian Company. This opera house, “Don Carlos,” is one of the finest in Europe. The Queen, though expected, was not there, but her cousin, the Countess of Montebello occupied the Royal Box. This Lady is reputed to be the handsomest in Portugal.
Lisbon, January 26, 1849
This morning, I was on the Southern bank of the Tagus to visit the immense wine cellars and try samples of wine. I made no purchases. In the afternoon was in the city with Hays. Had a painting framed.
January 27, 1849
Have spent the day on board. Clymer is in Cintra and Barkley on shore. I today, dispatched a letter home via England.
Lisbon, Sunday morning, January 28, 1849
I, last night, dreamed so vivid a dream that I am induced to record it. I three times during the night dreamed that Charles Venable was drowned. This Sunday has, as usual, been made a day of pleasure and festivity. Two officers of the Portugese Army dined in the ward room, one of them Major George Candido Pinhino Fertabo, an officer who served with distinction in Africa, and Major d’Lavaris, a native of Montevideo, half negro and half Indian. He also has served in the army in Africa. The result of the days entertainment was that two of the officers of the ship became intoxicated, and one of them, Lt. Renshaw had a difficulty with the Captain.
Lisbon, January 29, 1849
In accordance with invitations received several days ago, the Captain, several of the Officers and I attended the ball given by the Marquis of Velada. We went from the house of Mr. Hopkins his lady accompanying us. The Ball was in magnificent style. As many as a dozen rooms open and furnished in a most gorgeous manner. The Marquis is about 18 years of age. By the death of his Father, he has just received his title and estate. The last is of immense value. In Portugal, the Estates of the Nobility are kept up in value by the peculiar law of the land which is that the debts are all wiped out at the death of the incumbent. The Heir receiving the Title and property unimcumbent. This law only applies to the Nobility. Thus, the Nobles never contract debts except at enormous rates or interest. The Marchoness of Valada is a beautiful woman, of Noble family. There was the greatest display if jewelry I have ever seen on any occasion. The beautiful Countess of Montebello was there. I spent anything but an agreeable evening. There was great stiffness and formality and we were very much crowded in the dance. We left the house toward morning and reached the ship at early dawn, after having had on the wharf a quarrel with the driver of the Volant who wanted to charge us six crusades instead of three, his proper fare.
Lisbon, January 30, 1849
I spent the fore noon on board ship, afternoon on shore. Returned to tea.
Lisbon, January 31, 1849
I accompanied some of the officers this morning to the immense warehouses on the south side of the river. They were to purchase wine. Hays and I were hospitably entertained this afternoon at the barracks by some of the officers of the Portuguese army. The soldiers drill well. The barracks are capacious and cleanly. Twelve men received this morning a dozen with cats each, making in all upwards of one thousand lashes. This of necessity must be so.
Lisbon, February 1, 1849
This ship is today six months in commission and five months from the United States. I have been on board all day, having a cough and afraid to expose myself on shore. The sick bay is now very full and some very sick patients. Some of the officers have just returned from shore, and having “The man with the poker after them.”
Lisbon, February 2, 1849
I declined Mr. Hopkins invitation to dinner, eight or ten of the officers attended. The brig “Nathan Hale” left port this morning bound for New York. She is the bearer of many letters from the ship.
Lisbon, February 3, 1849
Dr. Clymer, the Chaplain and I left the ship this morning on a cruise. First visited the Royal coaches. The Dr., an old traveler, pronounces them among the most interesting curiosities he has ever seen. They are the State coaches of the Sovereigns of Portugal for three or four centuries back. They are of every shade, large and cumbrous, magnificent in workmanship, even the wheels covered in the most elaborate manner. The whole external richly gilded and internally of the richest velvet. The most interesting coach was that of Vasco de Gama in which he made his triumphal entry into the city with his King Emanual, after his return from the discovery of the passage to the East Indies by way of the Cape of Good Hope. We next visited the Royal stables passing through the outer court of the “Palace of Neupiten” saw the King and received his Royal salutation. There were some sixty or seventy horses in the stables, not one of which I would have given more than $100 for. Portuguese horses are generally small but hardy. There is an old grey horse to be seen in the stable, a present from an Arabian chief to Don Proho. It has the marks of having once been a fine horse. I was fatigued and returned by omnibus to Admiral Stair’s, from thence to the ship, leaving the other gentlemen to pursue their walk.
Lisbon, February 4, 1849
Sunday has returned and with it the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins, to hear our Chaplain’s sermon. Lt. Renshaw received today, an affirmative answer from the Captain in answer to an application to return to the U.S. This is a result of a difficulty between them. He leaves the ship this morning and returns via England today. As was confidently expected from the course pursued by the Captain, small pox has made its appearance on the ship. The patient is under my care at present. I trust it will, but am doubtful whether vaccination will protect me from the contagion. If I take the disease there will be consolation in the fact that I take it in the performance of my duty.
At sea, February 5, 1849
The man with the small pox was sent on shore this morning to a private hospital in the city. This case occurring renders it doubtful whether we get Pratique at Cadis. Got underway at noon and drifted down the Tagus with the tide. The Pilot is just leaving. We are now off the mouth of the river and steering south.
At sea, February 6, 1849
During the night lost sight of land. Today, light airs and calms prevailing. Have made but slow progress. No sails seen and nothing of interest have occurred. Our Caterer, Dr. Clymer gave a good dinner.
At Sea, February 7, 1849
For the last 24 hours, our frigate has been “a painted ship upon a painted ocean.” The sea as smooth as a mirror, and the sun on deck as broiling as in August. The amusement has been watching a small whale playing at a distance from the ship. At noon, Latitude 37, 7, and longitude 10, 10.
Off Cape, St. Vincent, February 8, 1849
During the night a four knot breeze sprung up and by morning we were off the Cape, at the extreme South of Portugal, just on the spot which was the scene of two important Naval engagements. One the victory of Admiral Sir John Grave over the Spanish Fleet in 1779, the other Admiral Rodney’s victory in the Spanish fleet in 1780. The wind died away early in the morning and left us becalmed. These waves and ocean caverns a third time heard the cannons roar, but not with all the groans and shrieks of the wounded and dying. The water being smooth and the ship motionless, the men practiced firing at a target, in the afternoon, “general quarters” with a sham battle. Latitude: 36, 49. Longitude: 9, 30.
Off coast of Spain, February 9, 1849
It has been very unpleasant writing all day with the ship lying over on her side. I have been low spirited, but found solace in writing to my wife. The hospital is again full with 25 on the sick list. No more small pox as yet.
Off coast of Spain, February 10, 1849
For the last twenty four hours, we have made but little progress. Wind fresh and ahead, the ship is often close under the land, and during the day have passed in sight of several Spanish towns, among them, Palos, the birth place of Columbus. I am well, though my old compeers, Hays and the Chaplain, still pay tribute to old Neptune. As is usual this time in the evening, the band is giving us delightful music.
Off coast of Spain, February 11, 1849
Today, Sunday, has been rough in weather and sea, a fit emblem of the condition of my mind, impatient, restless and anxious to get home. Last night, all hands were called to reef top sails, the wind blowing quite a gale. It is the regular Leranter of the Mediterranean. During the last 24 hours, we have rather gone to Leeward than to Winward.
Off the coast of Spain
Still boxing about in this cove of the Atlantic. Seeming almost impossible to get in. The Leranter still blows violently, already longer than usual. A large Spanish ship in the sight all day, tacking off and on with us. We have just brushed by a brig under close reefed topsail, laboring in the strong wind and heavy sea. Made about five miles today. I long for Cadis, its “Alameda” and lovely Gaditana.
Cadis, Spain, February 13, 1849
The Cadis light reported last night at nine o’clock, was hailed with pleasure. We were worn out by the violent Leranter, keeping us out of our port for the last eight days. At eleven this morning, the Pilot boarded us, and two o’clock found the ship riding at anchor a half miles from the city. The Town presents a beautiful appearance situated on the extreme end of the Isle of Lion. Our Consul, Mr. Burton came on board and received the customary salute.
Cadis, Spain, February 14, 1849
I, this morning, for the first time, put my feet on the soil of old Spain. I went through the market with the Steward between sunrise and breakfast, and never before beheld such a scene of vegetables and fruit in the month of February. Tomatoes, green peas and every summer vegetable with oranges and apples in abundance. Our Steward bought oranges at fifty cents a hundred. The city presents a strikingly neat appearance, and the costume of the inhabitants is beautiful. The women wearing graceful Mantilla, and the men Andalusian Hat and sash. Sauntering about I got into a cathedral where the Noble Lady and the Beggar were kneeling with each other receiving the wafer and the blessing from the Priest. I returned on board to a Spanish breakfast.
Cadis, Spain, February 15, 1849
All the excitement and pleasures of the day may be comprised in receiving and reading my trans-Atlantic letters. I received four by the English steamer mailed on the 8, 10, 16 and 20th of January. They were from my wife, Charles and a short one from Mr. A. Venable enclosed. I am no longer in suspense as to being ordered home. The secretary refuses. Perhaps he is right and it is best for me to remain this cruise. My little family and friends generally are well.
Cadis, Andalusia, Spain, February 16, 1849
Our letters were sent on shore this morning to be mailed for the English steamer, expected from Gibraltar, on to Southampton. We up anchor this morning and dropped down to Prentalis, farther around in the arm of the sea which makes behind the Isle of Lion. The ship is now moored, and a very safe anchorage it is. Went on shore this afternoon, enjoyed the walk and admired the costumes, the Mantillas, Andalusia Hats, Scarfs, etc. The promenading squares and the ladies who walk in them are beautiful. The Spanish officers, Civil and military, have come on board and paid their respects. This is no longer the Spain which sent out the “Invincible Amada.” It is degenerate Spain now living on her past glory.
Cadis, Spain, February 17, 1849
Barton, Hays and I have spent the day in hunting or rather prowling through the surrounding country. Our object was to shoot snipe, woodcock and duck. We failed, however, in bagging anything eatable. I killed a loon and Barton a crane! We were half the day walking the bogs, morasses and salt marshes in pursuit of snipe, making long shots and missing very fine. In the little boat that accompanies us, we went to the Town of Porta Real, situated some four miles up the arm of the sea which makes around to Caracas. Porta Real was once a flourishing city, but suffered during the Peninsular War by the Vandalism of the French. Our sudden appearance in the town with pants above boot legs, wearing duty uniforms and funs upon our shoulders, created no little commotion in this sequestered town. Wild looking Andelusian men, women and children followed us in amazement as to who we were, where from and what our business. We passed about, pushing our uncouth figures into churches and stores, perfectly indifferent as to the excitement around us. The country over which we hunted was low and boggy, intersected with little cracks or canals for letting in the salt water into the different basins. Here the water is evaporated, and the residue salt thrown into heaps and kept ready for shipping. It is one of the principle imports of this part of Spain. The sun today, has been an August sun in power. I am tired out and my face blistered by the sun. I also fear the fever of the country. Fear to shake as Caeser did, “When he was in Spain and the fit was on him.”
Hotel Angletare, Cadis, Spain, Sunday, February 18, 1849
Muster this morning and no sermon. In the afternoon the Chaplain, Parker and I came on shore en route for Seville. This has been the first day of the carnival and the city is alive with the gaity of the season. Tonight a Masquerade Ball takes place. Some of the officers will attend. During the Carnival, liberty and license have full sway. The young women and girls make the best of the short time which proceeds the severe season of Lent. In passing along the streets of Cadis, we were assailed from the windows with every kind of missile, but all pleasant and playful. The ladies showered upon our heads fantastic devils and dolls, with balls and jingles attached to long cords. Sometimes knocking off our hats and giving us pretty severe thumps. All this however, was delightful from the hands of these beautiful Senoritas. The Cathedral is worth visiting as being chaste in architecture and of beautiful marble. The Alameda of Cadis is a lovely promenade, walled up from the waves of the ocean and lined with orange trees and almond, with here and there large and magnificent rose trees in full bloom. The senioritas who show themselves here about the soft hour of twilight, make it truly enchanting. It is here and in the Plaza de San Antonio that the Gaditane displays her charms. Charms which nature has so liberally bestowed and which art so elegantly displays. While with her right hand she gracefully uses the fan, the tapering fingers of the left, sparkling with gold and precious stones, confine the floating sides of the Mantilla. Her glossy hair, round and sunny cheeks, coral lips and black and brilliant eyes so full of animation and fire, all make up an object at which a “man of war’s man is never tired of gazing. Nowhere does woman reach the perfection of Cadis, nowhere does she attain so rare a grace.
Hotel de Reina, Seville, Spain, February 19, 1849
We are now lodged in this delightful hotel, Moorish in its character and structure, situated within the walls of the city. We reached here at three o’clock this afternoon, after a happy day spent in ascending the Guadalquivir. The day has been bright and sunny, the stream beautiful, the most serpentine, perhaps, in the world, and the scenery fine. It consists in meadow land covered with thousands and thousands of cattle and horses. Here and there extensive orange orchards and the hills in the background thickly set with olive orchards. Long before reaching Seville and way across the country, the famous town of Grialda is seen towering above the surrounding country. As the city is approached, the scenery improves, orange orchards seeming to extend for miles. Andalusians in their beautiful costumes, with the Manta gracefully thrown over their shoulders, galloping at full speed down the banks of the river. After getting our dinner and dressing for the evening, we went out on the “el Pasio Delicios,” this walk extends for more than a mile on the bank of the river. It is this Pasio adorned on one side by the weeping willow bathing its pendants in the Guadalquivir, and on the other by orange, lemon and almond trees with their shady branches teaming with the presence of hundreds of lovely senoritas and with the graceful Mantilla and languishing eyes, all smiled upon by this delightful climate, that make the city of Seville and the banks of the Guadalquivir all that it is said to be in poetry and song. In ascending the river today, we passed the now small and dilapidated village of Puibla. It was at this place that “Santa Maria” was built, one of the vessels of Columbus.
Hotel de Reina, Seville, Spain, February 20, 1849
Seville, in the Province of Andalusia, is situated sixty miles up the Guadalquivir, and is one of the oldest cities in Spain. There is much of Roman architecture and grandeur still remaining. It was for a long time a stronghold of the Moors, and now possesses the entire appearance and character of a Moorish city. Some of the streets are still entirely inhabited by Moors. We have spent the day in sightseeing. Among the Lions of the city the Cathedral is preeminently it is considered the second in the world. St. Peter’s in Rome being the first. It is of gothic structure and in magnificence is far beyond St. Paul’s London. The court and garden adjoining, with the tower of Giralda is of Arabian origin and structure. This tower of Giralda is of Arabian origin and structure. This tower of Giralda is perhaps, the most wonderful in the world. It was built by Algerber, the inventor of the science of Algebra, in the twelfth century. It is two hundred and eighty feet high and is ascended not by steps, but by a special inclined plain of Moorish brick placed edgeways; the ascent is gradual. In this Cathedral, we saw some original paintings by Murillo. But, in the Hospitalk de Chariti is seen the most celebrated of all Murillo’s paintings. That of “Moses Striking the Rock in the Wilderness,” and of “Christ preforming the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes.” They surpassed in vivid representation all paintings I ever saw. I was in compliment conducted through the wards of the hospital, and saw some disgusting cases of diseases. We strolled through the city leisurely and returned to dinner, a choice dinner washed down by a bottle of Catelonian wine and finished by a dish of such lives as can only be found in Seville. In the afternoon, we went to the Marine Academy. This is an immense building founded by Ferdinand Columbus, son of the Discoverer. We spent an hour in the immense orange orchard attached. This orchard covers twenty-five or thirty acres, has every variety of orange and lemon. The trees are of the size of apple trees and loaded with delicious fruit, of which we were invited to pluck as much as we could both destroy and carry away. After spending an hour under the shade of the orange trees, we sallied out on the patio, where our foreign aspects and uniforms, etc., attracted no little attention. The Duke de Montpensier and the Infanta came by an open coach drawn by four beautiful Andelusian horses. He immediately recognized us as foreign officers and in a most gentlemanly manner pulled his hat off. We of course returned it in the most approved Yankee style. There is a celebrated old Moorish Palace here called the Alcasar. The Duke and Infanta now live in it.
12 o’clock p.m.
I have just returned from the theatre, laughed at the comedy, but really enjoyed the Spanish dances. They always accompany with the castanets.
Hotel de le Reine, Seville, Spain, February 21, 1849
We have spent the morning looking through the city, principally in the Moorish streets. They here keep up the habits and customs and wear the Moorish costumes. For two pounds, I bought a very rich Manta from an old Moor. One of the principal curiosities of Seville is the tobacco manufactory. We spent two hours in it today. It is a government institution and on the largest scale imaginable. It is an immense pile of building surrounded by a moat, and entered by a drawn bridge. It is a manufactory of cigars and snuff. Forty five hundred hands are employed and eighty mules. These are to grind the snuff mills. The tobacco is all imported from Havana. I saw 2500 women and girls at one time sitting around tables making cigars. It is one of the principal sources of Spain’s revenue. I was in the courtyard of the Canon foundry. No entrance was admitted. The “Barber of Seville” still lives and I have lived to be shaved by him.
Hotel de la Reina, Seville Spain, February 22, 1849
Rather a strange coincidence it is that we today, had the pleasure of seeing the only original portrait of the Discoverer of the Country which gave birth to the man in honor of whom this day is celebrated. This portrait of Columbus is carefully preserved in the Lonja (exchange) hung up in the room in which are kept the old documents relating to the early American and Indian trade. It has been handed down as a correct likeness. Saw today, five originals or Murillo’s in the house in which he once lived. It is now the property of the Cathedral and occupied by the Dean. We did not return to the Hotel without visiting the Plazo de Tauro. This is an immense amphitheater admirably adapted for fighting bulls. A month hence, after the Holy week, the season for fighting will commence. I saw nearly two hundred bulls enclosed in a pasture. A gentleman told me that during the coming season perhaps everyone one of them would be killed in the Plaso de Seville, and not less thgan three hundred horses would be sacrificed. This evening we took our last walk on the Pasco Deliras, leaving this celebrated old city once the seat of the commercial gradure of Spain and descending the same river that had witnessed and borne away the departing fleets of Columbus, Cortes and Magellan to the conquest and colonization of our hemisphere. The room in which I dined in the Hotel de la Reina, was the one occupied by Lord Byron during his stay in Seville and the table is now in the room on which he wrote the second canto, “Child Harold.” The guide Antonio Baily was the same employed by Byron. When he left, Baily asked him for a recommendation.
Byron, just before leaving the Hotel, sat down and wrote a few lines, of which the following is a copy. The original, Baily preserves with great sacredness.
All those that travel here must decide
Tis time ill spent without a skillfull guide
One who the manners and the language knows
And gives a history of all he shows.
One who will never lead your steps astray
Nor make you mourn the trifling fee you pay.
Yet all the locks worth picking can undo
With silver keys, with skill applied thereto.
If such you want, and one who will not fail ye,
I strongly recommend Antonio Bailey.”
Byron, Hotel de le Reina, Seville, 1823
Harbor of Cadis, Spain, February 23, 1849
We were again safely on board ship. It was a pleasant day down the river, the stream boat more crowded than when we went up. Travelers wearing every costume, bound principally for the shores of Italy, the Mediterranean Isles and Africa. I find that the Captain and Dr. Clymer are living on shore.
Harbor of Cadis, Spain, February 24, 1849
I take charge of the Hospital this morning with three cases of small pox. A nice contrast from sweet Seville to plunge into this loathsome disease and may take it myself. Barkley went on shore this morning. Twenty one guns fired today in honor of the birth of the French Republic.
Cadis, Sunday, February 25, 1849
The small pox is increasing on us, though as yet no very severe cases. I give no medicine, keep the patients cool, a Sedlitz powder, may be, and oranges as many as they like. I was on shore this afternoon with Hoff and dispatched a letter via England. Called on Brook who is staying on shore convalescing from sickness.
Oh, never talk again to me
Of Betsy Blake or Sweet Amalia
It has not been your lot to see
Like me, the maidens of Seville.”
F. A. Parker
Cadis, February 26, 1849
The day has been spent in attending to sick sailors, walking on the deck, reading, etc. An officer of a French War steamer spent a short time with us today. His vessel is bound for the east coast of Africa with Catholic Missionaries. The Captain is still on shore.
Cadis, February 27, 1849
Still another case of small pox. I have spent the day laughing over the adventures of Don Quixote and Sancho Pancha. My knowledge of the country adds much interest to their adventures.
Harbor of Cadis, February 28, 1849 – March 1, 1849
Yesterday morning, I went on shore with Adams, and remained until this evening. Had a pleasant time at the hotel with old Brook, Barton and Gillis. Saw much of the town people, etc. We are very much excited about California gold. Thirty pound lumps and desertion of officers for the gold digging, etc.
Cadis, March 2, 1849
Both the day and I have been dull and stupid. This morning, I prescribed for 53 patients. In the afternoon, wrote to Charles.
Cadis, March 3, 1849
Dr. Clymer and Mr. Hoff have left for Seville. Their absence, with those on shore, make a short table in the ward room. A levanter is again blowing and makes it difficult getting on shore. Began a letter to Bettie today.
Harbor of Cadis, March 4, 1849
Never did I see so violent a wine. It is a levanter, and of the strongest kind and been blowing now for two days. The day, through Sunday, has been spent in talking about California gold and surmises as to what is going on in Washington on the day previous to the inauguration tomorrow.