Daniel Mowry LettersTranscribed

In February of 2013, Providence Public Library was visited by an enthusiastic and talented group of international Fulbright scholars, who agreed to put their volunteer efforts into transcribing the manuscript letters of Daniel Mowry. The Mowry letters are one small portion of our Nicholson Whaling Manuscripts collection (pdf collection guide).

Daniel Mowry was 18-year-old Rhode Islander when he set out in 1858 on a whaling voyage. Halfway through the voyage he deserted in Australia, and by 1867, the date of the final letter in our collection, he had started a family there. Throughout the period he wrote frequent letters to his family back in the United States.

This page provides the combined text of the letters transcribed by the Fulbright volunteers. Please note that the transcriptions are essentially a first, uncorrected draft, and in many cases they couldn't be completed in the alloted time. Researchers are welcome to visit Special Collections and view the Mowry letters in person. In the future we hope to provide online access to images of the letters.

Folder 1, Item 1

Transcribed by Alfonso Gonzalez Aparicio

At the sea Sunday July 25 – 1858

My dear Father and Mother

When I wrote you the last time I did not expect a chance to write another so soon for I did not expect that we would go in to fayall again but we lost three and two foremast hands so uncle is going again in again with the hopes of catching them. Knowing that a letter from you a few days latter would be joyfuly received I thought that it would be the same to you. I hardly know what to write for I have not news to write. When we heard that the men had run away. Uncle was afraid to let any more of the Portigues go ashore for fear that he would lose them so that the yankee boys had to go every time the boat went I went ashore Saturday afternoon I find Hayale the pleasantest place that I have as they have streets laid but there houses are quite large Uncle Charles and aunt Carrie went ashore Friday afternoon and staid until Sunday there is not much fruit there for we are to early for it there is plums pears and apple and a few of last years oranges There is a place they call the market there it is a lot very near on one side the women are with there baskets of plums and other fruit and on the other side are stalls of meat Every time the boat comes ashore every one of the crew are searched to see if they have any tobacco with them there is a fort at the entrance of the harbor and one in the town here you find a good many idlers also many beggars the are very poor here now the Council has to give them some thing every Saturday. As it is now past two oclock I will stopp writing now and finish it just before we get into Fazall. They are crying out there blows at mast head now and Uncle is aloft with his spyglass. I hope it is a whale. If it is I will let you know when I finish this. Monday July 24 I expect that I must write the whole of this letter now as land is in sight and I expect that we will go This leaves me well and I hope it may find you the same you will find on the other page a letter to charley and I thought that I would writhe one to aunt mary also Aunt Carry received a letter from you Willie also received one from Abby so that I guess that all the letter were received I expect now that it is Uncles intention to go strait to New Zeland now with the exception of stopping at the cape de Verds Islands where we will get some pigs. I shall expect letters from you at New Zeland. My dear father when there is a good opportunity I want you to send me some news papers for I feel as thought now that I would like to get a providence post to read. Thusfar we have been very busy getting the ship in seatrim but I hope that before long we will have more time to our selves so that I can write a letter without having to hurry so fast. My dear parents this is all I can think of at present so I guess I will close. I spoke last night of being in hopes of getting a whale but we were not lucky enough. It must be have been a grampus of a finback. You must excuse my bad writing for I wrote in a hurry and it is also blowing very fresh. I have also a queer writing desk for I am sitting on the deck and writing on a chest. From you loving son Daniel D Mowry (Another letter begins at leaf 2.) At Sea March 1/85/ My dear Father and Mother I is pleasure tha I now commence this letter to you I hus far I have sent one every opportunity and I expect that before many weeks pass away I shall be able to send this one for they now begin to talk of going in port wthen I expect to find letters for me. I still ... enjoy good health I have not had n sicknesss this voyage not even to a cold and we have had a good deal of water then. I have not much to write for Present two letters a short time ago A day or two after I wrote that last letter the Sophia. I hount... got a large whale we begin in company got half which m ade us thirty eight barrels that is all we got. We have seen whales but three times since the first time they were gallied the several time we were in company with the ... she was ... four miles off on our weather bow she raised them ... first got two. and by the time we got our boats down they were gallied Capt Sullivan want us to take one but we would not for we did not want it take it mustlikely if we had got one they would devided the three ...

Folder 2, Item 2

At sea

April 19 1859 Sat 28. 09 on 49/28

No (6)

My dear Father and Mother,

I again seat myself to pen a few lines to you. It is great pleasure to me to have the opportunity to write so soon again my love.I expect we shall have one more opportunity to send letters to you soon. We expect to see the Sophia Whornton the first of May for the last time. I expect I am very buisy now writing. But I thought that I would begin one and finish it at some latter date. How much pleasure it is to one to receive letters from those that are far from them especially when they have good tidings. You cannot imagine with what eagerness I read those letters and how happy I felt to hear that you were all well. When I got those letters it eas about ten O,clock. We then went down to breakfast, but I eat nothing. I had read three letters when I went on deck again and I longed for night to come that I might read them all again. I see that things remain about the same as they were when I came a way. I see by letter that slack had got lack. I thought when they went off they were not comming laek again. I would like to have seen Lilly I think that I shall write to () if I can get a chance but I have got several () to write yet this makes the () one I have () one to grandmother written one to Pokin Wells (). I () and my little () all of which I shall send to you knowing that you would be most happy to serve your () boy. I'm sending thence to their owners but I have got several more that I must write and () to you for they will be most apt to get them.

Folder 2, Item 3

Transcribed by Claudia Duenas

Lon 177341 Lat 16143

At Sea Aug 21th 1859

No 7

My dear parents

I linking that I might have an oppotunity to send a letter by some ship trading amongst the islands thought that I would commence a letter to you I still enjoy good health and have since I wrote last which was by the Sophia Since I last wrote we have taken [?] oil so that we now have five hundred barrels we look it all in about four weeks. The last weck in [?] we got a twenty five barrel whale and in the month of June we took two hundred and fifty barrels.The third day of july we [?] whales in company with the James Arnold and between us both we got two hundred barrels whales. So you see we have had a very lucky streek. The fourth of July I spent in culting in that whale a much different fourth than ever I see before we had bad luck with ours [wecuball?] in but the case that might [whigh?] is the best part of the head but left that to leave in in the morning but it was quite rough and the head chain parted and it sunk like lead thereby looseing I should [judge?] thirty barrels of oil wegit all this between the latitude of 22 and 25 on what is called the Vasaques grounds. We have been in company with the James of [snold?].Since the second of july and shall continue so until we go south again. We are now amongst the Sleeger Islands we have just arrived in the cruising grounds which are the same that Capt James Nichols [?] on. We land to an anchor at one of [these?] Islands called [Cantanb?] we [laid?] there fifteen days. There was two [?] where we [?] but in some parts they were cannibals. We got some wood and water also plenty of [?] and hogs are [sailer?] from these four days ago. The natives were very friendly and seemed to [?] to have a white man amongst them we [? ?] cloth whales teeth and bottle principaly the wood was bought with old muskets on the island are several white men one of them had been there twenty five years. While we land [?] there was an english big came in [?] she was a sandal wood trader come there for hogs to trade for the sandal wood the captain had his wife abroad. So the woman had quite a good time there being one in all three of the vessels and two a shore. There is a great number of these islands and they are all surrounded by a coral reef. Uncle [?] are aboard of the James Arnold to day they are both well [?] in good health. Every thing remains about the same as when I last wrote. We have not seen any whaleship since the middle of June the las was the Petrel Capt [?] he had taken two hundred and fifty barrels since leaving [?] We have not seen the Mt Wollastin since the second of May she has gone on the line. We see the [?] Capt Vincent the middle of May he had then one thin sand barrels having taken over three hundred and fifty barrels since leaving [?] she got this in three says hand summing about the same time Capt Sullivan took two hundred and fifty barrels. While we could not see a [?] but since that we have been very lucky Capt Sullivan has done well since leaving port having taken over five hundred barrels he hails eleven hundred. If we have luck I suppose we will stay here until it is time to get south again but if we do not I dont expect we will stay. The Arnold spoke the merchant ship Wonderer of New York last Friday from San Francisco bound to [?]. They got some papers by them we heard that there was another was between the [?] countries. Also a better time in the gold mines of call [?]. It also speeks of hard times at home I have not seen the papaers all these things have been told me by the officers I have heard nothing from home since leaving the bay of Islands I am in hopes I shall when we go on the middle grounds again but I dont much expect to be [? ?] into the bay of Islands again of few weeks ago we picked up a cash of whale oil and a [? ?]. This shows that there is a whale [? ?] Upon some of these islands. As I have wrote about all [?] think of [? ?] for to day.

Folder 3, Item 1

Transcribed by Diego Boada

No 12

On Board Ship Sea [?] Sea

Dec 12 88 60

My dear Father and Mother

It is with pleasure that I now seat myself to write a few lines to let you know how I am getting along at present. I am still enjoying good health and I hope that these few lines will find you all enjoying the same rich blessing. The sixth of this month I sent a letter to you one to Charley one to Abbie and one to [Orrin?] by the [Bark?][Canton?] Packet. I sent them by one of the [formast?][hands?]and if nothing happens to her [Pexpect?] he will deliver them in person. He is a young [chap?] that belong in Providence. He seemed [desierous?] of taking them home for me and I did not like to refuse him so small a request so I intrusted them to his care and I hope that he will deliver them to you safe and sound. I have been [?] with him about a year so when we met on the sixth he came aboard on purpose to see me and see if I had got any letters [?] send home. This letter most likely will get home first that is if nothing should happen to [detain?][it?] I shall send it by the way of Sidney [While?] the Canton Packet has got to go into the bay of Islands to fit for home and it will also take her a long time to make the [passage?] home. The [James?] Arnold is a [?] into Sidney and it is by her that I intend to send this letter. [He?] was in company with her and the [MT?] [Wollaston?] yesterday. I do not know when we shall see her again but I think that it is best to have this letter wrote so that I will not miss of the chance to send it. Very likely there is a day set when we shall meet. The captain has just told me to get a letter ready if I wanted to and he would send it for me and I would not miss of so good an opportunity to send a letter so direct for all the world We are now cruising in the middle ground. We have not seen whales for a long time so that we now feel quite [poor?]. I hope that our luck will soon turn and we can get two or three more good [rents?] before next year by this time If we only can it will not be long before we will start for home but if we do not. I am afraid that weill have to stop still longer. I hope that we may get our compliment [?] by the time our voyage shouls end and be at home once more. [Whaling?] is like a lottery you will have most excellent luck for a little while and [?] is all gone you cannot see a whale for a long time and then perhaps all at once it will turn around the other way and you will see plenty of whales. Since last April we have not seen whales but four times I believe. We have been cruising with the ships [right?] around us who have seen them between twenty and thirty times while we have not seen them [?][?] once. But we are all [a?] hoping that it will soon come [over?] [turn?] again.

Folder 3, Item 2

Transcribed by Igor P. Louzolo-Kimbembe

Boy of Islands

Feb 4 1860 Nov. 8

My dearfatherandmother

Again I am in the selfsame spot that I [?]about a year ago In that time I have [?]over many a mile of salt [?] Looking after those finny monsterr of thes deep Last year we was unfortunate cruising everywhere on good whaling ground still our efforts where crowned with but poor success And even so began this year up too last Mag every body else was gerring oil but us But after that we began to reep the fruits of our toil So that last November when we came south we was not ashamed to show ourselves with the other ships Those few months put us in the place we should occupy Since then we have not been very lucky having taken only one forty barrel whale. But I hope we may get another good lot this cruise. In a whaling voyage ale the excitment there is [?]in raising and taking whales. You cannot imagine what a thrill of joy passes through every man in a ships company when the man at the mast head cries out their blows. everyone jumps with the will to obey every order. And then you will see them in the rigging and on the raise looking with eager eyes to catch one spout although he may not bee in sight of deck. And when [...] lower the boats how close the after [?]man [...]the ship to see the first signal before the other boats [?]that he is up and in what direction. An how proud you feel when you see that your boat has got the chance to strike. When you come up slowly behind him he little thinking that his most deadly enemy is so near him moving slowly through the watter sticking first his nose out to breathe and then showing his hump. [...]shoot alongside of him the boat steerer takes his iron in his hand the after [...]minds his sheet the boat header is paying all attention to the boat and the whale so also give the boat steerer a good chance to fasten. You glide along you get to his hump the boatsteerer's is poised allready to start at the first signal you get to his fin right over the monster's life you hear the boat header sing out give it to him the boat steerer throws his two irons the white watter flies the line begins to run out you throw the boats head front the whale he shoots out a head of you and you are fast then it is down to ours your mast is on shiped. The boat header takes his place in the front of the boat. The boat steerer at the steeringrod and now you work to [...]him of his life. You come up along side of hime the boat header hans the lance in his head. He feels the monsters side until he is over his very life he thrusts it into him. The whale feels the pain he moves ahead we stern all the [...]shows himself again. The spouts thick blood.

Folder 3, Item 3

Transcribed by Ruba Shweihat

Bay of Islands

February 20, 1860

Dear parents,

Having a few leisure moments I thought that I should try and write a few more lines. The last lines I wrote to you was wrote in a hurry but they are now on their way to the States. Every thing remains the same as it did when I last wrote. Aunt Carrie is now aboard This afternoon to see the ship. There is going to be some visitors aboard this afternoon to see the ship. The Sea Gull stands the highest of any ship in the New Zealand fleet. She is as pretty as ever we have painted her both out side and in and she looks as prim as ever she did. Any sailor would feel proud of such a ship not-only is she pretty but she is fast and you may be assured that we blow hard on our little ship. I do not know what day it will be some day this week. Yesterday the Carelions Howland came in eleven months from home I guess she has no letters for us for I have no seen any yet I have seen some of Aunt Carries letters I saw one from Lizzie as late as Oct. I see by it that Capt James was to sail last fall so we expect to see him soon. The mail will be in before we sail we expect. And we are in hopes to get some more letters from home. Uncle is in hopes to get one from James letting him where we shall meet but if he does not get one he will leave one for James telling him where we shall meet. We all expect lots of news by him and I hope that no one will be disappointed. Tuesday twenty first it is now another day I must try and write a few more lines and close this short letter for I do not know how soon we may sail so I had better finish it while I have a chance for I do not want to miss of sending them. I direct all my letters to your care for I know it pleases you to have a chance of doing me a favor and it also makes it better for those that I sent them too. We have laid here now most three weeks. I have had eight days liberty quite a run ashore it is quite a change. Out of eleven months I have been nine days ashore to be free of the ship any one would think that we would be glad to get clear of the ship for a few days but we are always glad to get aboard. We went ashore twenty four hours at a time but most all would come off at dark twelve hours being enough. Being aboard ship I cannot was as I could when ashore. I soon get tired and have to rest. Every thing is very dear here. I bought two pair of pants here. One was mole skin and the other Codoroy. They are fashionable here. I would not wear them ashore but they do well aboard ship. I got them because they wear so good and I wount have to patch. I have got enough pants now to last me the voyage. I have been very saving of my clothes. All I have taken from the slop chest is one pair of shoes some dundaree for patches a [razor] and [strop] that is every thing and I shall not want but a little more the voyage I have got four new flannel shirts new and one pair of thick shoes so that I am pretty well clothed. I save my money at sea because nobody will ask when I get home what I wore at sea so I patch and save here to have a good lot to spend when I get home. There was a man belonging to a ship laying here died yesterday ashore from the effects of run. It seems hard that a man will make such a beast of himself. It is much more quiet here this year than it was last. I cannot think of any thing interesting to write. Now that you must not be uneasy about me. I am big enough to look out for myself. If I was discontented I have no one to blame but myself. It was my choise to go to sea. I will admit that it is for better to live ashore. Nor would I advise anyone to go to sea. There is some things that a man dislikes some orders look very strict but suppose that they have a reason for all. I fear that I shall never be contented anywheres but at sea. Give my love to all. Tell Arty I have not been anywheres where I can get a monkey yet but if I do will get him one if Uncle is willing her. I must close for the present. Hoping soon to have one more chance to write.

Folder 3, Item 4

Transcribed by Gurpreet Kaur


At Sea

April 1860 Sat [?]

My dear Father and Mother

Once more I seta myself to [commence?] a letter to you at present. There is no opprtunity of sending it but we may have an opportunity before long so I thought I had best [commence I?] am still in good health and spirits. We are now five weeks out of port and have taken two hundred and tweleve barrels of oil.It was taken into two weeks. We have seen the Mt [Wolluston?] since we [en?] me out. We parted company withe her a week ago to day. We were in company when we got our last whale she got one also she has taken two hundred barrels since she came out of port [lapt loffin?] hails six hundred and fifty barrels. We are much crowded for [roon?] not having had any chnace to send any oil home . We are in hopes to fall in with some ship home ward bound that will take some oil. We spoke the [Mchawk?] of [Nantweket?] four days ago. She is ten months out. I received one letter from you dated April twenty fifth. I did not expect a letter by her because she belonged to [Nantweket?]. Dear Father how can I pay you for all the trouble you take to send letter to your sailor boy. Every opportunity that you can possibly hear of. Those living in New Bedford and its vicinity and even one living on [Nantweket?] got no word from home by her so that it makes me feel thankful to think that I belonging in Rhode Island should hear from my dear parents. Aunt [lauie?] got a letter from [Leizzei?] and Willie also did. [Leizzie?] seems to take pleasure in writing to Aunt [larrie] for she has wrote a good many letters. Uncle & [harles?] received a letter from James in the Bay. He wrote that James & was going to a machinist trade and that Josephine and Sarah was a going to Fall River to live. We have not seen the Rainbow get but if she is around here we may happen to fall in north her. Uncle left a letter in the bay for him telling him that we would meet him off Sunday Island the twelvth of May so I suppose that if he goes in port that we will see him by that time certainly. We are all in a hurry to see her and I hope we wont have long to wate. I dont know what my young acquaintanees are comming too. You wrote me that & harley [Bronton?] is married. I have seen his wife. I think she made rather a poor choice. It is the last thing I ever heard of a man marrying and both living with there parents. You write that Matha and her John have desolved partership several times. I see by your latest letter that they are married so I suppose that her troubles are now at an end not being obliged to live an old maid. I hear nothing of [Emma?] but I suppose that she and Steve are getting along [weekly?] or else I should have heard William [Prons?] wrote in a letter to Aunt larrie that some one had broke in to the house and stole some things. I suppose that mother has put a new string on the window blinds now. There is a great many ships on New Zealand thia year scareely a day goes by but what we see one or more There is some three or four ships cruising right around us that have got letters for this ship but we have not benn fortunate enough to see them yet. The ship we look for the most is the Rainbow for them we will see those that are right from our home them that I have known ever since I can remember and it is with anxious feelings that we all look forward to the time when we shall be most likely to see her so cannot think of nothing to write I will close for the present. At Sea April 26 [1860?] Dear parents having now an opportunity to send a letter to you I must make a few more remarks and then close this leaves me in most [eycelen?] health and spirits for I have [gust?] had such a lot of letters from you all at home. The rainbow we have seen and is still with us & you cannot imagine the happy feelings of your sailor boy

Folder 4, Item 1

Transcribed by James Macmillen

On Board Ship Sea Gull at sea[?]

Feb 18[?]

My Dear Father and Mother It is with pleasure that I again seat myself to pen a few more lines to you. I still am enjoying good health and I sincerely hope that these few lines may find you enjoying the same rich blessing. Things remain the same as usual. We have had no better luck than when I last wrote. Every body else is getting oil[?] but as[?] there is a few of these[?] that have done rather poor besides ourselves but we are expecting our luck will soon change and we will then have our turn at the whales. We have not got a whale since last September nor did we see the spout[?] of a whale again until last Christmas since then we have seen them a few times but they are very shy[?] and it is impossible[?] to get any wheres near to them. We are still in the middle ground how much longer we will stay here I do not know but I think not[?] but a few weeks. We are in hopes to pick up a little more oil before we go in port[?] so as to alter our sail 4[?] week ago today received a letter from you. It was[?] began[?] the ninth of August fifty nine. It came out in the Illinois[?] Capat[?] Botter[?]. Captain Fuller spoke[?] her[?] and took our ships letters out of her and received my letter through him. The latest letter that I have had from home was by Captain James[?] and them[?] was written over a year ago. I am anxious[?] to go in port for I expect to get letters there but we are not to go in under two months more. I have some time to wait yet there is letters in ships for me. I feel shure[?] but we cannot see any but we cannot see any body just from home. The Sophia[?] Thurston[?] we[?] cannot see or hear anything about her. We have sent our mate into port sick about three weeks ago. We put him allowed[?] of the Jaquelle[?]. Captain Baker he was a going to the bay of Islands whether he will come back again no one knows. It will be according to circumstances if he cannot get well by the time we going[?] likely he will go home but it is how[?] no one knows. Since he has been gone the Captain has taken his boat so that we lower four boats the same as usual. We are now thirty two months out - it is a long time to look at - it will soon be three years now. All that I am anxious about is the ice[?]. I want to get that so that when the time comes that we had ought to start for home that we will be.

End of page 1.

Folder 5, Item 1

Transcribed by Sylmina Alkaff


April 6/(?)

Dear Father & Mother

You will no doubt be much surprised when you get this letter to hear that I am no longer in the Sea (Gull) I left the ship about four weeks previous to this date. I do not know whether Charles Nichols sent a letter by the last mail or not. If he has you will of course know all the particulars about my (?), and of course (?) make his side (?). My dear Father and Mother I have done a thing which you will at first blame me for. But could you know all could you but know what I have endured and what I have seen with my own eyes you would blame me not. Her thirty three months I staid in that ship and they were months of misery to me. I took no comfort of my life neither did any of the ships company. I have often thought of leaving her but we never have been in a food place until we came in here. The first reason in (?) I started to go. There among (get as set) of people that live like hogs. BUt before I got far I took a second thought. (?) not know how long I would have to stay on the island before I could get away from the island so I went abroad again. The ship laid here several days wating for me to come back to get my discharge. While I was in the country (no) police men happened that way so they told him where they saw (?) And he happened to meet a country chap that belonged out there so he took him abroad the ship while he wrote a letter to me. The chap came to look for me but I had gone he searched every where but he could not find me. It hurt there feelings awfully to think that their nephew had deserted them and I understand that they offered Willie his discharge but he did not except it. I left over two hundred dollars in the ship but I don't care for that he don't get the money and that is all that I care for. There was four left here of certain and I hear that there was five. They would all have gone if they had spunk enough but they were afraid to try it. The reason why as few have left that ship is because that they (?) for (?). If they had have had a yankee crew there would not have been but a few left now. When I left home you told me to write how I liked (writes) every thing not to keep any thing back. When I first wrote every thing had gone alone smothly then as far as I could see but (?) then greeen and did not know right from wrong and I thing to that I liked it very well. But since that I have seen a (?) things began to wear a different aspect after we left the Western Island and I began soon to be dissatisfied little. I could not write and tell you so for I knew that (?) would do you no good but make you feel uneasy and it would be so long before the voyage would end that I thought it was best to keep it from you. All that made me feel bad about leaving the ship was that I fell afraid that you would be uneasy about me and think that I had fell in to bad company that had lured me away. But I trust that you have better faith in your son. No (?) the same as when I left you just the same quiet steady boy think just as much of home and its dear (enesas) ever. I did and hoping soon to be anogst you it is not always the misereable and reckless ones that run away from ships as many of the smart and active ones leave and even more for they wont stop in the business any longer then they can help, it is no stain to a mans character because he runs away from a whale ship. I dont know what you thought when (Charley Doty) came home. Although that it might cause a litter surprise but I suppose James Nichols smoothed that over nicely. I shall not write no reasons for leaving, because I think it is noo best. I hope you will have confidence enough in me to know that I will do nothing but what is right and if you do not (?) not help it. I shall say nothing here upon the subject but when I get home I hope I can clear up any thing that you may wish to know. One thing I could say do not put to much confidence in what Charles Nicholes may write for he is not the gentleman you think him to be. That is one of the reasons why I do not wish to say any thing about affairs because should he write we might vastly differ is opinios. That was why I said nothing about (Charley Dotys) leaving. I have seen Charles Nichols for the last time. I hope I never want to see his face again. If I should meet him again it would be as strangers. The same roof that covers him never shall cover me. I wish to make no hard feelings between you and him but you can do as you think best put confidence in your son or in him. I should say that he was not fit (for ciety) for you nor any other respectable family. Aunt Caroline is the same kind good woman that she always was there is no difference in her (?), she is the same as (whoree) She is to good a woman to be his wife still he (?) her well and well he might for she does every thing as he wishes I was sorry to do anything that heart her feelings. She felt bad to think I had left for. I suppose she thought that it would cause another trouble at home. I never wanted to go home in that ship for I could not bear to be in Charles Nichols,s society for I should be (?) to cause trouble. I one time read one of your letters to them, in it you spoke of some young womens telling many many things about Charles Nichols and it made Mary quite mad at her. I don't suppose that they would let me have seen that letter had they known what one it was. I saw immediately that you did ntot believe it. But it was all true Mary must not get so offended at the truth. AS soon as the ship sailed, I came into town when I heard about his wanting to give me my discharge. There is no American sips comes in here and should I go home from here I (?) have to go by an english ship. There is none of them go direct to england but some go to (?) theirs to the East Indies. I stopped in town nearby two weeks trying to get a chance in some big vessel. BUt there was none came in and I was obliged to ship in a small vessel for Board is five dollars a week and I had no money so it would not do to lay idle to long. I have shipped in a (?) called the (Baroline), we are going to the (?) and will begone between two and three months. When I get back I shall try to (?) home that is all that I want to do. I shall have some money then so that if there is no chance to (going) place one wishes I dont want to come home with nothing. When I get back I shall write again and then I shall let you know what I shall do but I cannot tell now what I may be obliged to do. Do not worry about me. Every thing I do shall I hope be satisfaction. BUt at present I will say nothing about it. Give my love to all. Tell them that I am in good health and spirit and I hope that I may before long write you again and be able to write that I will soon be with you. Now do not have any uneasy feeling for the time that this letter gets home to you, I shall not doubt be working that (?) too any way. I will wirte when I get back here I will close. From your affectionate son

Folder 6, Item 2

Transcribed by Daniel Selboury


Dec 18/64

Dear Father & Mother

Yours of the first (afllet) we received on the night of the thirteenth and werevery happy to hear from you all and to hear that you were all well. This leaves us in our usual good health and I hope it may find you enjoying the same blessing. I am still at the work in the same place which I like much better than going to sea althougth the work is very hard and also very long hours. Things are very dullin this colony now, work appears to be very hard to find. the people in this country are to much affraid of their money to (persist)art in any business they want a few yankees here with a plenty ofmoney to show them how to do business. Perhaps after this election is over times will begin to imporove.(Here) they are now having a general election for parliament just at present.Each town and each district has one or more members to represent it in parliament according to the size of it. It is done just the same as at home by ballot there is to parties one for free trade and the other for native protection of late the ministry have managed to get the colony heavily in debts so one party thinks that the country would be benefitted by ruining its commerce by breaking heavy duties on everything that is (leant) into it fornearly every thing is sent into it. For many things are sent from America and and England cheaper than they can be made here. So this party think that all these things by being made here will give work to the people and benefit the country as well. While the other party believes that commerce is and always will be the greates bennefit to the country. One thing is (seertin) that if it was not for commerce things would be trible the price that they are now.

Folder 7 Item 2

Transcribed by Justin Dunnavant

Sydney March 1865

My Dear Father & Mother

Your kind and affectionate letter of the twenty ninth of Dec. I received yesterday and was very glad to hear that you were all well present. I also received one from Charlie written on the thirteenth of the same month. Poor boy he tells me that he has enlisted a thing. I already knew - by your last month letter. His only wish was to be in the front so as to be in the thickest of the battle to fight - and if needs be die for our dear country. I am very sory that it has come to what it has. My last - wish was and if kneeds bee my prayers would have been for him to always stop at home with his dear old Father & Mother. I thought that my advice to him would have made him give up all notions of ever leaving home but - it - was all to no avail he would go. I am very thankful that it is but for a year so that if he escapes the dangers of war and the privations of a soldier life he will soon be able to be with you once more. And I hope never to leave you again...