May Day. 33 days out.
Here we are sailing into Hong Kong with a Chinese pilot on board. The voyage is over at last. The ship’s at anchor. We are in sight and all is well. Now for the letters and news from home, and here ends this chronicle, with all its faults. It has been badly written. Sometimes badly spelled. Deck Bucket often tells me, I am forgetting to spell. Much of it has been written in a hurry, much under excitement, but such as it is, I submit it to her. I love better than everything else in this world. She will find it a “mixed up mess”. Still I hope it will please her. In a few days I shall begin another. This, I send to San Francisco by the P. Mail “China”, bidding it Godspeed. May it find them all well at home.
“Homeward Bound?” did you say Pilgarlic? Most time I think, don’t you know it’s one year ago that you and your wife were in Boston. You were getting ready for sea then. Oh, this long, long tedious voyage.
Never mind old D.B., let it go. We are alive and well. We heard good news from them all at home. And now, let’s get back there as soon as possible.
Let us see, our last chronicle recorded our being at anchor at Hong Kong. That was the hardest part of it, getting to Hong Kong. And now we are safely out of it, and four days on our new voyage. Let us tell what we saw and done there.
In the first place there were crowds of ships of all countries, quite a number of American. Many old acquaintances. We employed the Steamer, “Fame” to tow us into a berth for discharging our cargoe.
In the meantime, a boat came off from, Messers Augustine, Heured, & Co., the agents of our our owners with a bundle of letters from different friends but none from home.
How disappointed we were.
Next day we began to discharge our cargo, nearby lay the ship, Otago from Rockland, Me. Taking in Chinese passengers for San Francisco. Charlie Dennis, a Hollowell boy who was before the mast with me, four years ago, calling on board to see him. We found his Captain, an old acquaintance, Capt. Evan Thorndike of Thomaston. We spent a very pleasant evening. Next day the Steamer, “Venus”, Capt. Ira Crowell, another old acquaintance came in from Shanghai. He wanted a second officer. And as it was a splendid ____ for Mr. Mustard, it was arranged that he should take the position immediately. Called upon the American Consul to deposit the ship’s papers according to law, found him a very pleasant gentleman. A Mr. Bailey from Ohio. In the evening, dined on board the “Venus”. There we met Capt. Thorndike and Mrs. Smith, a lady…
…passenger, going to S. Francisco. She was from Nantucket, and we found out she knew all about Allen Fuller, whose history is briefly recorded in an earlier part of this chronicle.
Wednesday, we got instructions from Mr. ____ special agent for Messers W.L. Weld & Co. to go to ____ to load sugar for Home so that tells the whole voyage. Also received a letter from Capt. Bursley written at sea- on his passage to San Francisco, saying his health was improved, but that he had found my shipmate, George McKinney on board in a very miserable state of health, on his way home after spending eight years in the North of China. Money without Health, is not much. Also received a letter from Capt. Rob Adams of the “Golden Fleece” written in manila before he sailed for New York, congratulating me on my quick passage from Boston to Singapore. That new a long time ago to me. In the morning I spent a few hours on board the Otago, met Capt. Crockett and his wife of the bark Goodell,
all of Searsport, Me. Mrs. C. had been with her husband many years and I found her a lady of superior Intelligence. She has a small boat and pills around the harbor without any assistance. Keep her husband’s accounts, looks after all the cabin. Has a strong woman to help her, and makes everything go straight. Also this evening, an old friend, Mr. Joseph Hamlin and his wife were present. He was mate when I was, many voyages in the same trade. He has now been on the coast of China 26 years, and his wife came out to meet him. He is expecting to have the Steamer, “____” in a month. They have a pretty little boy, “Benny”. His name is quite equal to “Danny”. We had lots of music. Hamlin being a fine base singer, we carried the old songs with fine effect. Nearby lay another old acquaintance, the Bark, “Benefactor” Capt. Berry and it was arranged that we should all go to tea next evening at his Ship. So, after the labors of the day were run, we all went, and a nice social time we had. I went early and it amused me to see…
…Capt. Berry arranging with his steward how he should seat the ladies. There’s Mrs. Crockett, steward, she must sit beside Capt. Thorndike, and put Mrs. Smith with Capt.
Crockett, and Mrs. Hamlin, well- seat her with Mr. Tallant, Mrs. Smith’s brother. When all this was arranged to his satisfaction, says I “who are you going to seat with Pilgarlic?” “Oh! I know you, you must entertain them all.” Capt. Crockett sang a song this evening that nearly killed us with laughter, “The Mer-mi-ade. Joe Hamlin followed with another, “Effraine’s Lement” or “What’s a hungry nigger going to do?” I thought dignified Capt. Thorndike would go into fits. The next evening we were all invited to tea on board the ____ and in the meantime, the Bark Escort, Capt. Nichols had come in and he was there with his wife and she brought her baby girl. Mrs. Smith’s little boy, Sidney was crazy over her. After tea was over, Capt. Noyes and his wife also of Searsport, came over.
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And we had a jolly time, everybody had got acquainted by this time, and we enjoyed it much- to see so many American ladies together in a heathen land, was good for sore eyes, and Pilgarlic thought of another to ought to have been there. We sang all the old songs and hymns. Capt. Thorndike and all the old Captains got young again, and it was midnight before we thought of breaking up. So much society was new to me, and so Saturday night I decided to rest. Mean time the American mail Steamer had come in- no letters, but the English Steamer coming in thro’ Sunday, brought me the long looked for precious letter. They were all well at home. This week the Ship, Sapphire, from Boston Capt. Seiders of Damariscotta, arrived from ____. Capt. ____ his wife. Mrs. Seiders was once Miss Trufant of Bath, but her father moved to London. She is now an English Lady. At the same time the Ship, Port Law came in, Capt. Rice of Boston. We were old mates together years ago, but he had entirely forgotten me, how funny that some…
…people forget and others remember. I told him a good many things that made him stare and still he could not remember.
Sunday I went to church at St. John’s Cathedral it was communion day, and the service was short. On the way home, I met Mr. Perry who came out passenger with me. He pressed me to go to the club with him to lunch, or tiffen as they call it here. There was a good of the English about it, and I was glad to get away. In the evening, I called on board the Pacific mail Steamship,”china”. Found another old acquaintance in the Capt., Capt. Cobb. Got back on my ship in time for tea. Capt. Clark of the “Sauronada” and Capt. Benning of the ____, came on board. They were old friends, trading out here in Steamers, and getting rich. So my Sunday was not much of ____ after all.
Monday, the 7th of May we were half unloaded, the weather fine and everything going smoothly. Carpenters and caulkers pounding away on the ship, plenty of noise if not much work.
This evening I had Capt. & Mrs. Crockett, Mr. Tallant, and Mrs. Smith his ____ on board to tea, as I had just discharged the cook who had spoiled my food for the last
year, and had a new cook and steward. I was in doubt how I should get along, but we done nicely. Capt. Bailey’s steward sent us up two ____ cakes and in the evening, sent us an “Ice cream” that was delicious. The ladies pretended to enjoy themselves, ever so much. They rummaged my curiosities all over, were delighted at the deer, Etc. In the evening Capt. Berry and Capt. Clark came. We had a great time, and no news. I was awful glad of it.
Tuesday Shoe fly (Chutah) my Chinaman left. He wanted to go home to ____, so I am in for a new one again. He was an awful smart boy. I am paying my Rangoon sailors off now, their time is up. It takes a lot of money. Mr. Davis our ____ and Capt. Thorndike were on board today to dinner, so I have company enough. I have another bird now, a Chinese Lark, a regular screamer, the other poor thing won’t open his head now.
Tuesday Evening there were music by the regimental band in the public Gardens. The gardens are finely laid out, and picturesque piece of ground, terraced in the
mountainside. And though they have not like Rangoon’s got the wonderful garden pagoda, hanging over they have a natural mountain keep many thousand feet high, towering up to the clouds. The view of the Harbor and Shipping is enchanting.
For many years it has been a privilege to visit this beautiful spot annually almost. I have always pictured to myself that the next time I came if God spurred me to come, there would be somebody to keep me company. And this night as I scan the many pairs of ladies and gentlemen , many of the sea Captains and their wives. The troops of pretty children, with their Ayahs. The Persians and Arabs in gorgeous array. Army and Navy officers, and many old familiar faces. I felt sad. I felt as though I didn’t want to be there.
I felt disappointed alone, an outcast from everything. Quite a number of American Ladies were there. Some simple and plain from our Pine Tree State, others with the airs and frills of England and society grafted on them. One was almost killed with the ____ bend, and it was fun to see the condescension she used towards the rest.
I went home to sea that night with Capt, Crockett and his wife, on board their bark the Goodell, after that we made a short call on board the Escent, Capt. ____. He has his wife and one of the sweetest little girls that ever strayed so far from ‘Maine”. I went to bed early to think of home, and why we could not have public gardens and hands to play to the people. Certainly the English are ahead of us in this respect.
One day I called on board the “Garibaldi” the Captain was out, but Mrs. N. was in the cabin. I was delighted to find her ____. It looked like home, she kept on telling me how she left home last summer, and went across the continent…
…in the cars with the mates wife, then from San Francisco to Portland Oregon to join her husband. A long journey but bravely done, with her meals cooked at home and
carried in her basket, except a cup of tea or coffee on the way, and it was told of too, she said there was a car full of Maine people all the way.
Wednesday, the 10th, I went shopping. Mrs. Crockett was my chaperone, and a time we had of it. I always hated shopping, but it must be done sometimes. The Chinamen are good people to deal with, there are their goods, they take a good deal of pains to assist you but, you can take them or leave them, they smile all the same. I went back to the ship minus $400.00. It was lucky I did not spend more. I found Mrs. Crockett excellent help.
The last American mail brought letters from home for nearly all the fleet. It was amusing to see dignified stoic Capt. Thorndike showing his photographs one of his small boy, another of his baby.
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He went clear over the “Goodell” to show Mrs. Crockett, Mrs.S. had in turn rec’d some from her daughters left at school at home, so they had a jolly time. But it did not do me much good. ____ day ____, I dined by invitation at Russell & Co.s house on the hill. It is a splendid place and commands a fir view of the harbor. They call it “Rose Hill”. I have always been welcome at Russell & co.s. It is one of the oldest houses in China and I always have a good time. We had a capital dinner, but there was one face missing, Mr. H. D’Almieda. He had gone to God, some months ago. His brother died on the passage home with me four years ago in the “Fearless”. They were only sons, and leave no kith or kin, behind them. This week my sailors go on shore on liberty- four of them to a time, and they get a month’s pay, and 24 hours to themselves. What capers they cut up when they get on shore. Some of them go and get drink first thing. Their twenty dollars don’t last long.
The Penang Capt. White arrived this week from Rangoon. He made the same passage we did, though from Singapore up we beat him, three days, so I hadn’t ought to complain much about the Franklin, for the Bark is a smart handy vessel. Our consul here is having a lot of trouble with the “Heathen Chinese”. The government at home as ____ to ascertain from each Chinaman leaving for the U. States if he comes of his own free will or is he forced on board Ship or not, and as they have given him no force to do this with, he has levied a tax of two dollars on each passenger to defray the expenses of an examination so they call him; thief, robber, etc, and say they will sue government, for this money and tell all sorts of stories. It took Mr. Bailey two days to examine the Otago passengers, as Capt. Thorndike was determined the Ship, she should not go ‘till he had the Consular certificate, that all men were going of their own free will. There was an awful hubbub at the consulate. The fact is, the American Consul’s Officer is a mean, degrading, disgraceful position and nobody would accept it that knew anything about it.
Friday the 12th, the “Otago” sailed for San Francisco with three hundred and fifty Chinese passengers, and several ____ in the cabin. There was quite a crowd of us to see them off. The mail Steamers “China” Capt. Cobb sailed at the same time, carrying my account of the Franklin in Java Burma, Malacca and China. The two ships looked real pretty going out, side and side. I have heard considerable from my acquaintances about a lady from Maine. I don’t remember her name, who has been sent out to Japan and China by a new Ladies Tea company, recently started at home as a taster, i.e. to select teas. She was here just before I arrived, buying all sorts of things as an agent. She is called a failure. I believe she was very much disappointed and disgusted with that part of it, but she went everywhere, where our Europeans never dared to go, and she went alone. She is from Gorham, Me. And said to be immensely rich. As I have collect a number of curios, the ladies here thought I might have exchanged with her, and got many additions to mine. I have done very well getting coins here and have got about all I want, in one sense of the word. Although I never shall get all the coin I want. My friends here have given me coins considerable. It is strange how liberal everybody is in China.
Another old acquaintance has been here since I have. Capt. Ranlett, of the Tea ship, ”Surprise”. He has here in 1867, when I was. This time he brought his wife. They were married just before they sailed. She is very pretty. They have a piano in the
cabin, and everything very cozy. That is the way to go to sea. They have gone to Manila to load for N. York. Saturday evening I went down to the Hong Kong Cemetery, called “Happy Valley”. It is a sweet pretty place. Laid out in a gaze of the mountain, where a gentle stream runs gurgling down. Since I visited it last, there had been many new graves, some American whom I had known. It is the old, old story, a lone grave far off in a heathen land. How many hearts yearn after them, that may never see them. There is a holy hush about the place I like. I like to hear the wind sigh down through the Firs. It seems to be the spirits voices of the dead talking to me, and I could almost with tired body could be laid away. When…
…the time comes in some such secluded place as this, but it doesn’t matter much. After all, a ____ voice says, “Let the dead bury the dead, follow me” and so we go back to the moving world again to all its cares and sorrows.
Sunday, the 13th, I went to chapel of the Presbyterians. Dr. Leggo, he is one of the oldest missionaries in China. He was at home when I was out the last time. He is a venerable old gentleman, and it does one good to hear him. I was surprised to hear the choir start one of my old familiar tunes, and it carried one swiftly away to a little cottage in the hills of Maine. It was, “While with ceaseless course the Sun.” I went from that church a better man I trust.
After I got my dinner and laid down, I soon got to sleep but it was not long before I was conscious of something going on forward. I was a fight. I jumped up and went on deck. The chief mate was on shore, the second mate asleep in his chair. Soon as I got forward I saw the whole. The sailmaker had come back on board drunk from his liberty cruise on…
…shore. The first thing he done was to strip his clothes off, all but his ____, then he got a belaying pin and started for an old man reading his Bible between the knight heads. He hit him a crack which cut his skull open, and then the fight began. All the
ships in the harbor were eagerly listening and watching the bay. And so it was when I got to the action. I soon had the fellow factored into his room to chew the quiet of solitary confinement. That is one phase of of life on board a ship. Rum, rum is the cause of the whole of it.
That night came an invitation to tea on board the “Garibaldi”, but I could not go, and glad I was for an excuse, for I did not want much to go anywhere. Monday, we finish discharging our cargo and not often turns out as much as came in. Today the drunken sailmaker has disappeared and no one knows where he is. Another sailor, Tom Ingram, of Bristol Of England wants his discharge. He has been on liberty and got a taste of the Shore and wants to go. Yes tom…
…So you want to go? Yes Sir. I should like to get home. I have been away a long time now, Sir. Well! I don’t want you to go but if you bear the expense of all the trouble I am to- of getting a man in your place, I will agree to it. In the first place, the American Consul will want one month’s pay for discharging you, his fee will be 50 cents, 50 cent for shipping another man. The shipping master will have to have two dollars, the Harbor Master one. You have shipped for US currency. And as Mexican dollars are the currency of this port, I shall have to charge you the difference in exchange or 20 percent discount on the wages due you. Now you can do as you please- stay or go. You see you won’t have out of a whole years work, a great deal coming to you, and by the time the Sharks on shore have got through with you, you won’t have anything. Very well Sir! I will go, so Tom went, and so did the drunken sailmaker. But Tom had sense enough after he got on shore to realize what I had told him, and next day he came back penitent enough. But the sailmaker was too much ashamed for to come back again, so Pete Benson, the Dane, and Charlie Allen have followed after him.
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How ____ have thrown away a whole years wages, and left their clothes and $20 per month to go to for 15 and lose two months ____ into the bargain. The sharks are at the bottom of it all.
Now I must go and ship eight more men. I don’t like getting strangers, but there is no help for it
Monday coming the 5th, Capt. Noyes and his wife and Capt. Nichols and wife, all of Searsport, came on board and took tea with me. We had a nice time, so much like home. They talked about Jock and Ben and ____, etc., until I fancied I was back in old Maine again. In the evening Capt. Noyes for his Viola and we had considerable music. He was a school master in young days, and looks and acts like one now.
Tuesday the 6th, we finished discharging our last cargo, and all is right, nothing short. A present was sent on board by the Chinaman, who chartered the ship, for the good delivery of the cargo. They call it “Cum Shaw”, and always give it when everything is satisfactory. In this case as it usually does, it consisted of eatibles; a can of ginger, five gr*. Boxes tea- 500 cigars, a basket of fruit, a doz. Fowl, a gr. Beef, a gr. of Mutton, and many Chin chins (thank yous) for me and the ____.
*Gr. = gross: a quantity
(This page does not seem to go along with the previous page)……the mate, about 50 dollars worth, altogether. I asked the Compradore, as the man is called who supplies our marketing, why the merchant did not send the money. Oh, he said he supposed we were gentlemen, and would be offended at money. My Compradore, Old Boston Jack is an institution, and deserves notice in this chronicle- many years ago, when Canton was first opened to foreign ships. They had to be at anchor 15 miles below at Whampoa. His father was then in the same business, i.e. supplying ships. He sent his son to Boston, and gave him quite an English education, and on the voyage he learned a good deal of seamanship, so he has borne the name of Boston Jack ever since. He is one of the smartest Chinamen in Hong Kong. It is his pride to attend the American ships. He delights to go on board and pilot them into a good berth for mooring, and though he is an old man, he can do it in good shape. He loves to tell of the ols standard Captains who he has known as boys, then as officers, then he has supplied as Captains, etc.- it is the old story. Jack has made a great deal of money, but he is one of the kind that supports all his relatives, and has a great many hangers on, besides. We see it in America sometimes. I believe Jack would do anything for me
Lat. 14.30 North. Long. 119 degrees east- China Sea.
7 days from Hong Kong bound for Ilo Ilo- May 27th, 1871
Today we are alright off the entrance to Manila, and the land is in plain sight. This is a very good time for the Franklin- one week out. I hope our luck has turned.
It seems funny to go past Manila. The old ship wants to go in there I know, but I don’t. We are homeward bound now and I wish I had not to stop anywhere. Yes, we are jigging away now as fast as we can. And though we have to stop and get our cargo, it is right on the way, and as it is sugar in bags, we can throw it into her in a few days.
But many pleasant days I have spent in Manila. Queen of the Philippine Isles. Many warm hearts are there. God Bless them. Good Bye Manila! Shall I ever visit it again?