The only record that remains of these is contained in two letters, written respectively to his brother Joseph, then residing at Deer Island
, and to his wife.
The first, which bears date of April 3, 1806 (from Newburyport
), mentions that he has ‘just returned from Virginia
with a load of Corn and Flour,’ that he has declined numerous opportunities to go as pilot to ‘Quoddy
’ on good wages, not being aware that his brother was there, and believing that he could make more by going to Virginia
; and that he has some thought of going on a fishing trip to Labrador
, thirty dollars a month being the inducement.
Evidently he was well satisfied with his experience in Massachusetts
, for he had already written to his brother William that he liked the country in the main, though giving ‘some ludicrous descriptions of the customs of the place.’
And he now wrote to Joseph:
I have not much time to write you the Particulars of 1 Business here, but Earnestly recommend you to Come here if you possibly Can without Injuring yourself, for I am Confident you wou'd get a decent living here.
There is more than fifty ways you might find Employment, and always have the Cash as soon as the work is done.
Money is as Plenty here as goods.
His closing sentence is characteristic:
I shall for the future Put all my letters in the Post Office and wish you to do the Same.
The Price of a letter by Post will not amount to more than a meal's victuals, and I am always willing to eat one Meal less for Every letter I receive from any of Our family (rather than fail of getting them).
The letter to his wife was written towards the close of the same year, being dated Pointe-á--Pitre, Guadeloupe,2
November 12, 1806, where, owing to the sickness of himself and the crew, consequent upon bad provisions, he had been detained twenty-four days, instead of five, as he had anticipated.
‘God only knows,’ he wrote, ‘when we shall get away: it3 seems seven years to me since I saw you last.
I cou'd with ’