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island of Java, where the ship took in water and supplies; thence to St. Ilelena; and from St. Helena to Portsinouth, New Hampshire, United States, where they arrived on Sunday, June 13th, 1858, having sailed since leaving the United States more than forty-nine thousand miles.
A few letters, written and received during her home voyage, will conclude the narrative of the eventful cruise of the Portsmouth.
“ U.S. SHIP: PORTSMOUTH,
“At sea, lat. 5° S., long. 107° E., March 23, 1858. “MY DEAR WIFE,We ought three days ago to have been in Anjer, and been ready with our water and chickens to leave Java Head,' homeward bound via St. Helena. We hurried off from Manilla in order to save the monsoon and avoid the coming typhoons. The latter we must be exposed to when off the Mauritius, Isle of France. The commodore and Mr. Reed sent me two handsome letters. I left the squadron on the best of terms. We ran under the commodore's stern, and gave him three cheers, and then hauled up the courses and fired a salute; then ran under the Minnesota's stern, and they gave us three cheers, which we heartily answered; and then, in the dark night, we stood out for the narrow entrance into the bay, and passed it at daylight next morning. I had but little sleep. We have had light winds, making only one hundred miles on an average daily. I was up all night in running through Gaspar Strait-intricate navigation. Next day, Sunday, read service and a sermon on deck, and delivered a lecture at berth-deck service. We hope to anchor to-morrow, when I will resume this. Write on the 20th of June, and address the letter to me at Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire. Tell Mr. Bacon that I have written to have his things sent on to New York by the San Jacinto. Of course, we did not expect to go home before returning to Hong-Kong, or I should have taken his things on board. I wished myself to return to Hong-Kong in order to buy some china, grass-cloth handkerchiefs, and other things. But if we had gone back, it would have delayed us three months. I feel very anxious to have to wait until six months expire without hearing from you. I commend you all to God's grace. I would have addressed this to Josephine, but your name was down before I was aware of it. Tell her it is for you both. You will receive a bill in my name for seven hundred dollars. I have certainly economized to the utmost this cruise-hardly keeping up my position."
“ Anjer, March 25, 1858.–We arrived early this morning, and, as you may imagine, in these straits of tacks and shoals I was up most of the squally night. We are nineteen and a half days from Manilla, but have beaten the clipper ships, one of which I wrote you sailed eight days before us, and is not here yet. I ran inside of all the shipping, and the captain of the port says I am rather close to the shore.
“ We hear that an attempt has been made on Louis Napoleon's life, also that Paulding has seized Walker. I go ashore to breakfast with the port officer. We sail to-night or at daylight in the morning. May God watch over you and the dear children, and enable us to meet and see each other. I wish the boys were here to see the monkeys and parrots, and eat the pine-apples and other fruit. A splendid banyan-tree that would cover your garden is close at hand. There is a delicious sensation in this balmy climate and tropical scenery."
“SAN JACINTO,' MANILLA, March 4, 1858. “MY DEAR FOOTE,—Our association afloat on duty has been very short, but has been rendered by you so agreeable that I could wish it were to be longer; but the wish could be scarcely generous, as you leave the arid shores of China for happy old Connecticut and your family. I wish you with all my heart a happy reunion with them, and I trust that your good ship, in which you have so long and so faithfully served, may prove true to you to the last.
“My kindest regards and remembrance to your family, and believe me, very sincerely your friend,
“JOSIAH TATNALL, Commodore. Captain Andrew H. Foote, U. S. Ship Portsmouth.”
“DEAR SIR,—Pray add to your autographs this most earnest expression of my gratitude for all you have done and all you are going to do for me and mine. I am a good deal disturbed at parting with my son-more than I thought I should be; but my decision is a wise one, for all reasoning fails if three months' association with you, and such as you have about you, do not do him good. He is a good-natured boy, with no defects of temper. Treat him, for my sake, as a son, and correct him if he do wrong, which I think he will not do intentionally. If you in Philadelphia, try to see Mrs. Reed, who will welcome you as a The record of my good opinion is of little value, but you shall b is no flattery, but exact truth, that the service has not an of
worthy of confidence for any duty than him to whom these few words of earnest farewell are written. God bless you, my dear sir. “Ever truly yours,
WILLIAM B. REED, “ To Captain A. H. Foote, MANILLA, March 4th, 1858.”
These are extracts from Commander II. H. Bell's letters from Whampoa, dated April and May:
“I have visited the burying-grounds three or four times, and could not discover that the graves of our dead had been molested otherwise than by the removal of the wooden head-boards-except in one instance, where three graves bordering upon a paddy-field had been dug away for the extension of said field; the wretches betraying themselves in this peculiarly Chinese theft by leaving the heads of the graves—say six inches deep-showing in the bank which they had cut away, though no part of the coffins remain-this does not look like malicious desecration. Mr. Everett's monument remains intact, having Chinese characters written on it; yet the grave of
-'s little boy is said to have been broken up.
they say, was much disliked by the natives. The tombs of the English were entirely destroyed."
“I accompanied our consul as a passenger and guest; the ‘Barrier Forts' are as we left them, no attempt having been made to renew them. The French frigate Capricieuse lay there. The city of Canton, along the line of the river as well as in the interior, is a sad spectacle, most of the houses having been deserted, and presenting nothing but ruins and desolation to the view—the broken walls and torn roofs giving melancholy evidence of the ruthless bombardments in the several attacks on the city. I found the streets quite deserted for a Chinese city, the people looking cowed and dejected, and apparently of the worst class. All who were able have retired to the neighboring cities and villages, under the terror of British guns."
“Wentworth, the leper, whom you left here, is said to be a putrid mass. It is feared we shall have to receive him, for your charities excite no little feeling, on the part of those who have to do the nursing."
of it. Telflose these two fighting Portsmouth chapters with an for seven hof a pleasant letter of Commander Foote to his eldest this cruise—bystus, then a little boy, dated Bangkok, June 7, 1857:
Letter to his Son.
" It is not every young gentleman who can say he has a correspondent in this far land. Our sitting or reception room here is sixty feet square and thirty-five feet high, with a great deal of gilding about it, and some twenty large mirrors on its walls. We have every thing furnished us by the king. The attendants come in crawling on all fours, much as Willie did when he was a baby, and then they knock their heads on the floor as they approach you. The king lately lost five hundred out of fifteen hundred elephants in a fight. We have put up a flag-pole in our yard as high as the one on the New Haven Green, and have hoisted the American flag upon it.”
Recent occurrences in China have cast a new light on the policy of foreign nations with that empire. It is the testimony of intelligent residents in China who have watched the course of events, that the failure of England and France to exact reparation on the spot for injuries done by the Chinese, and the reference of these to the slow action of diplomacy, has been totally misunderstood; has given the impression to the Chinese that foreign nations were afraid of them, and without doubt was the real cause of the late terrible massacre. This tends indirectly to the justification (if aught more were needed) of the prompt action of the commander of the Portsmouth in attacking the Chinese forts in Canton River.
CORRESPONDENCE. — BROOKLYN NAVY YARD. ---BEGINNINGS OF
JUDGED by the estimate of ordinary lives, a period had now come when the subject of this memoir might have retired honorably from public service to a well-earned repose. After twenty-one years and three months of wearisome sea-service, under all suns and climes, reaping little more from the barren fields of ocean than bare repntation, this veteran wanderer and fighter might have said
“Is there any peace
It is true that the end had come of his actual sea-life, but something remained for him to do that was still worthier and greater:
"Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
A hearty letter from his true friend, Commodore Smith, greeted him in Portsmouth, N. H., on his return, congratulating him “on the termination of a successful cruise, reflecting additional honor upon your commission and character."
He did not yet have, and probably never did have, a dream of idle ease. He was really too restlessly ambitious a man to be inactive; though his ambition was of a fine quality, ending not in self, but in the public good. After a few months' rest he received an appointment to the command of the United