Carlisle herald. (Carlisle, Pa.) 1845-1881, April 22, 1864, Image 1

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    Letter from Brazil.
Brazil, Feb. 11th, INC f
Dear Herald.— -Having never seen in
print a particular desoription of the cap
ture of any of our . merchanttnen, by the
confederate cruisers, and of the toconve
nienees and sufferings of passengers and
crews thus captured, I send you the
following which is the experience of a
Carlisler, who was taken on the barque
"Henrietta" of Baltimore which, I hope
may not prove uninteresting to your nu
merous readers.
I took passage in the barque "Henri
etta" of Balthroro bound for Bio Janeiro,
We sailed on the 20th of March
1863. Our vessel was commanded by
Capt. George L. Brown—an old, expe
rienced seaman—a man Whose - kindness
woo my respect and admiration. Beside
myself there were a lady passenger and
three children,- a youwa---taan-from-the
ciuity of Baltimore and the captain's son.
Going down the Chesapeake bay we had
ample evidence ofthe sailing qualities of
our vessel, es we frequently caught up to
and passed others. The winds not con
tinning favorable, it was three days be•
fore we arrived off Fortress Monroe. We
dropped anchor about a mile off that well
known place, in ,the midst of a large fleet
of merchantmen; many of whom, like
ourselves, having stopped there awaiiiiip,
favorable winds to run out to sea. At
last we were fairly on our way, a beauti
ful sight it was to se‘t over forty vessels,
under full headway gallantly, sweeping a
long towards cape Henry. Several clip
per ships and fast sailing schooners rao
past us at first, which caused me to doubt
the reputation of our own vessel. "Wait,"
says the-mate "we have not trimmed our
sails yet;" and verily we did go when tne
trimming, which is nothing more than
getting the sails tight, and in proper po
sition to ,get the benefit of the wind was
attended to; tbr we passed many sails
which••had started sonic time before us
Passing the capes we became enveloped
in a dense fog, so the view I desired of
the "fading shores of my native land,"
time I might say, that all the poetry of
patriotism and the sea, was fast deserting
me. A feeling was arising within which
already was Shaking my demrniination
not to become sea-kick, but at last the re
ality of the thing took firm hold of my
conviction. "The firstsegar of boyhood,
and that awful "thaw of tobacker," were
but faint pictures of my feelings then.—
But your readers have probably read su
many accounts of voyages, s3a-sickness
that 1 will pass over leur weeks and
, bring them nearer to the time of our cap•
ture. In the mean-time we had sailed
.out nearly to the middle of the Atlantis
Southward, and were fast approaching the
On the 21st of April we were for the
first time becalmed; the day wore quietly
away, we in the meantime keeping pace
with the potatoe and carrot peelings which
were thrown over board. The little birds
called by sailors "mother Carey's chick
ens" were hovering around and greedily
eating any little bits of grease or fat which
were thrown overboard. Two large sword
fish made their appearance, and for half
an hour were sporting around the vessel,
but no inducement of pork succeeded in
getting thorn to take the bait. One of
them from time to time would leap bodi
ly from the water, displaying his long
sword to great advantage.
During a calm at i-ea, the water is not,
as many suppose, plain and smooth; true
there are no abrupt waves or even ruf
fles, but a long slow swell is continually
maintained which keeps the vessel in con
tinual motion, rising and falling, rising
and falling, arid so on indefinitely There
being no wind the sails hang loosely down
and as the vessel rises, they fiap against
the toasts and r•gging.
Towards evening a very light breeze come
along and we were once more in motion.
A sail was descried far ahead of us, and
and the next morning when I came on
deck there was the stranger riot' more
than three miles ahead During the
night the little wind we got caused us to
gain on the strange vessel at least ten
A flag'was run up on the vessel ahead
It was French, our own was then unfurled
which it is almost needlessJo say was the
"Stars and Stripes." As we gradually
gained on the Frenh, barque she hauled
down her flag and began to signal us
Signal flags in the merchant service,
are ton in number, of differet colors, rep
resenting the numbers from 0 to 9.
There are usually besides kept, several
pendants or ."distiocus" refer you
in your signal book or "code" to a certain
series or edition. So the wore hignals
that are invented after orie edition of the
"code" require another "distinct" flag
in another , edition. To explain the use
.of the flags ; five flags are strung together
,and raised, they were then read from the
topmost down. For example a distinct
flag then thelour flags respectively which
represent the following numbers 4,9, I.
.0, which wore what the Frenchman
exhibited. You will find in your sig
nal book, corresponding to the above flag
and number:S. "What ship is that."
After while 3,9, 0,2, "where are you
ifrom and where bound to." Our longi
:tude was inquired, "how many days out"
and several other questions, until we
thought the Frcnohwan was a regular
"blower," We however answered all
his questions, and then bid. him a
pleasant voyage 6,3, 8,.9, which last
was followed by a repest, to take some
'letters. Though we were drifting
ithe Frenchman, and it ;Alight delay our
.voyage to stop for letters, Capt, Brown
.could mot refuse, especially as-the French
`Min was bound from Bordeaux to one of
'am; islands in the south Pacific, via Cape
'Cood..llope which is a long voyage, and
iihe might not soon have another opportu •
nity of sending letters; so two flags repre
senting 3,7, were run up which signified
We bad to take in several sails, to a
void running•away from our friend, they
tiu the meantime I suppose were busy
writing letters. It was nearly 12 o'clock
before we saw any boat leave her side,
;.but at Jut it mane. It brought over "the
/fit Mate and the Capteires i sop, idip af
ter ,stopping for some PefiOsliaiento, ' in-
Capl. Brown to go •over to their
vessel- The captain aeeeptaand at the
saxno time itivited along—in a Inti
.,2eox4tbe mate understood that I we's to
$O, ts 9 what J would have dodo without
VOL. 64.
A. S. RELEEM. Editor & Proprietor.
grace was aoeotnplidhed to my satisfaction
with but - - lit , le of it. - Our Captain's
son also got into the boat to visit the
French barque.
We were '43reanontier's"
(her patne) aide or gangway by Captain
Drestreman, who introduced us to some
half dozen French Naval and Marine offi
cers. They were very polite to us, but not
being a proficient in the French language,
I could ri_Oalways understand what was
None of them were able to speak En
glish except the captain and first mate,
who spoke only a very little; The
r' Bretriontier's" cargo was print pally wino
and governmen stores. About 20 French
marues were going to New Caledonia on
her After having been politely enter
tained Capt. Brown could not do less than
invite them to visit the "Ileririetta," which
invitation was accepted by several.
At lust we bade adieu to the French
man and a stronger breeze coining up, we
went ahead. The next morning I was
up long before breakfast, the captain was
on oeck, a nd proposed that we should climb
up the rigging to take a look at the
, •Breniontier," (as she was not visible from
deck ) She was, as we supposed, visible,
fur away, right in our track, but at such
a distance that she loOlfed like a mere
We came down for breakfast, sometime
Jtker_w hich I
_toolt_aAvOn_a“b e„ht.
the vessel. we being almost becalmed,
tharc was little cause for alarm. But as
a precaution in, case sharks made their
appearance I had a rope attached to inc,
while the captain held ready to draw me
up. I remarked to him while in the war
ter that if the vessel astern was the "Al.
abarna" I would tow him away
'We did indeed need rowethtng to tow
us awa' but then we did not know it.
By eleven o'clock the vessel behind us
stqiined arlfOre - Reified; rcirwe nut& C
distinctly from the deck. Capt. Brown
the it strange we should not have the
wind, for certainly with the breeze•
we had_ we could keep ahead of the
"fireniontier." At 2 I'. M. the captain
went below and brought up a glass in or
der to get a better view (X the vessel, his
first remark was, -pot/ my word Mr. &-
german she hasn't got a sail set." Mr.
Segarman, our first mate, then had a /uok,
lie said something about stainer.
It is_true enough that steamers can
move without the aid of sails, but in our
case it was difficult to believe that the
vessel was not the Bremontier though evry
circumstance seemed to favor such belief.
But the tact of "no nails set" had also to
bcr considered At last the practiced
eye of the Captain made her out a steam
er, but one which made no smoke. It was
not long until various suggestions were
made could she be a privateer. She
could be anything, but it was not proba
ble that she was a cruiser, the absence of
smoke on the contrary, rendered it highly
probable that she was an Amerio ti war
steamer. For the English arid nearly all
sea going steamers use the bituminous or
'•black•smith's" coal. She was ,!otning up
gradually but surely the Captain thought
she looked English in her build, and as
she came cluser so was he in proportion
confirmed in that belief. A •llarper's
Weekly,' with a picture of the destruc
tion of the ship "Jacob Bell" by the
Florida," being produced, and exhibited,
it was thought there was a considerable
resemblance At last she ran up a flag
the "Stars and Stripes," we followed with
ours, that noble ensign however could no
allay a rising feeling in the /too begat
to see 'he English, in every thing the
Captain saw, though it, was the first
English steamer I had ever seen. Now
she was right astern of us a little to wind
ward, an officer standing in a boat, cried
out "Ship ahoy !" "Where are you rant
and where bound ?" which. being an
swered, he ordered us to, "heave tip"
send a boat aboard you." Haul back
your main yards," which last order, Capt
Brown was constrained to obey, particu
larly as a broadside of 66 pounders was
lookirg nn with men at quarters. In a
moment a boat was lowered from her side
filled with armed men under the coin-
unand of a lieutenant in grey uniform, and
behind it came another also filled with
The Lieutenant in command of the first
boat, as he came up the sides, asked for
the Captain, who standing close to him
answered for himself. Alter a few dues
Lions con....erning the vessel, he told him
the "Henrietta" was a prize to the Con•
federate bhip of war "Florida " Ile then
sent a man to haul down the flag, which
action was followed situultaneoutdy by the
Florida and the substitution of the Con
federate flag. Our crew were ordered to
bundle up as quickly as they could ; for
the passengers and officers some time was
allowed. In consideration of the lady
passenger it was at .first proposed that she
should remain with Capt Brown, our
steward and ,a guard, until morning.
The captain's son, passengers find my
self were rowed over to the Florida in one
boat, the crow being a little ahead of us
in another. One of our sailors, an Italian,
as he went up the sick& was gieeted with
loud cheers, it appeared that he had been
.captured once before by them. Our crew
were at once put in irons, but the party
in our boat were let lree.•
• We were soon after invi.ed into the
ward room where we got an excellent sup.
per with, several of the officers. One of
them told me they wale not in want of
any thing particularly, but would have'
considered us a- Valuable . price•had we but
had 'a little iddt ---- SOon after Capt. Brown
and our lady passenger were brought over,
In the meantime the "flettrietta,!! was be.
ing ransacked, heecargo . being principal.
ly flour and lard; of which they were not
in want ; very little was taken from her.'
Somebody, was cruel enough to say that
h I'•f
from the nature of the cargo it was to be
feared that the "Henrietta" might bedome
a floating short cake.'
About eight o'clock the vessel was set
on fire and-it was not long-before-the-names
communicated to that part where the lard
was situated. The sails of the mizzen
mast quickly took fire. The sight was
grand beyond description, the dark clouds
overhead became red and the water shone
with the same . lurid color. The Florida
remained by for a short time, I suppose
to make sure of their fool work.
We steamed off then about 10 miles
when we hove to,- 1 would understand
such a manoeuvre to be, to gain a position
Fo that in ease any unfortunate American
vessel approached to succor persons from
a "ship on fire," to be able to puut.ce down
upon them.
We did not go below - till after 10 P. M.
at which hour all lights were put out.
We were taken to the quarters of the En
gineers and midshipmen, but laid on the
fluor, while they hung comfortably above
us in hammocks. Under the circum
stances I would infinitely have preferred
remaining on deck—our house, so to speak.
having been burned from under us, and
our peace greatly disturbed, as might
be supposed we lay awake all night think
ing—wy own thoughts were decidedly
personal. A rough corner of a grating
'nudging' me in the ribs not exactly in a
with my boot, my attention was drawn to
the beat, and how many pounds ofsteam
the boiler contained to generate suoli
warmth. Rut "the longest night has its
end," and we were not behind many in
reaching the deck with the first streak of
Joy light.
Broad day light at last exhibited to u
the deck of the Flo, Ida. Perhaps I cool,
in no better place give a short descript lot
of her. She is, iu nautical lance; ge
-ba rq ue=rig , ,e- ,=serery prripc I r, - n arrinv fn
her length, hus two at icits, masts wheel
rake. considerably, wire rigging, high
yards, sirs low in the water [so that frow
the monies of the guns to the water it is
only six feet] and is probably 1100 tons
Iler armament consists complete, cif
two 140 pound rifled pivot guns.. situ
ated one forward -and the other near the
stern, and eight 32 pounders, also rifled,
but used, I was told as 68 pounders. Two
of them were on board the barque "Lap
wing," of Boston, which they had pre
viously captured,,,and being loaded with
the hard or smokless coal [which explain
ed the anamoly of .an English steamer
making no smoke] had detained her
until that was eonsuuaell In the moan-
time she was acting as a sort of a "pro
(em" privateer. Truly this southern idea
is worthy of a "Yankee."
The captain was John M.fflt. well known
in tl . e old navy, lloole, Read, Floyd,
Lynch, and Stone were officers on her.
Any further I was unable to learn.
Her complement is 110 men, she had
however when I was on board 150, with
3U on the "Lapwing," which makes a
total of ISO, ThC mass of their men are
English and Irish, and were recruited in
Liverpool they are not thorough "scallion,
but are what are called "landswen." I
was not long after daylight that the cry
of "sail ho!" was heard from the for
mast head. We were soon in motion, and
going in the direction of the still visible
lenrietta A column of smoke was
r:bitu: from her
“The smoke rose slowly,
'through the tranquil air of morning,
'•First a bingliA line of darkness,
Then a denser, BLACKER vapor
We passed close to what was left o
her, one of the feasts had apparently burn
ed, away close to the deck a❑d then drop
ped overboard where it floated like a long
black log in the water. The hull had
burned to the water's edge in places, the
anchors had broken away and were hang
ing deep in the water The inside or hold
was disclosed, the flour still burning and
cracking like the ashes of the bun-fires in
the "square" away back i❑ the good old
"election times."
But 1. must return to the chase, for
now I. was part and parcel of the "Flo
rida," having to wove when she moved.
Of' course I could get a good view of the
races. The vessel ahead was soon seen
from the deck, and as there was but littlL
wind we gained rapidly on her. Now
another sail appeared, but we kept on for
the first. She proved to be an English
barque bound from Buenos Ayres to
Liverpool, and of course not a prize. Not
withstanding her flag, she was ordered to
"heave to" The Englishman probably took
us to be a Federal gunboat us we were
flying the American flag. liar captain
asked us where we were from, and was
answered "on a cruise ." Captain Maffit
desired to know whether he would take
any passengers, as he had about 61) to
spare. I heard from the officers who visit
ed the Englishman, that he consented to
take one provided a, barrel of beef, anoth
er of bread and enough in filet to stock
a schooner for a "three years cruise were
_sent."' The Englishman must have had
a most "unfortunate", idea of the A meri.!.
can stomach. Captain Maffit would not
agree to the terms, so we left the English
man- doubtless "blasting" the "bloody
liamerican" for not atioepting such liberal
"heifer." We then started after the other
sail. .
During this chase we were suddenly
ordered below, the drums beat to quar
ters, the boatswain with his whistle hurry
lug the men to their quarters, while a
great bustle and coal - motion proclaimed
that sr,mothing_more- than ordinary—was
Boon or about to be done.
My first thought was that in the - Strang•
or-ahead they recognized a Federal ship
of war,\,or one of the disguised frigates,
which the government have floating a
botit 'at large-waiting -to be caught that
they nifty prove theintlelvas tartar!'
must say that I felt for i'tpue rather un
ianniferteble",:tbiSAhliiiisrtieing - Cooped
up and shit at by our owdPracticed gun
ners is not pleasant. Already I was revolv
ing-a-Teriffula-itrifty-VeloOdiscover the
whereabouts of the waterqine, so in case
it became necessary to get Wow that—the
safest place on board a during an
action. But there was theittirgeon, mend
ing a pair of brece6s . and:TAistling slow
ly, when I supposed his proper position
was in the cook pit sharpening saws and
knives, for the benefit of2the wounded.
this relieved me and dissolved-the mystery;
they were merely "going,through the .
motions" or practising. In4but an hour
we were allowed to go on 0 - e,o.k. In the
interim we had gained co4itlerably on
the vessel we were in chz.l4'uf.
When about a mile froti'her the stela
and stripes, as usual, wee-raised, and
immediatety the'same vras:seen going up
the halyards of the vessel a ad— another
victim to the rutblesS, vrao : im, practice of
piivateering. The
..VesselA;abead was a
short chubby ship, and,* for a stern
ornament a large. American Eligh , , in
gold, couching over a shitild, this argu
ment of her nationality convincing.
When we came up with the same
question werepropounded* were to us.
The ship ''Oneida" belonging to Salem,
Mass, bound from Shangli4to New Yor!:,
with a valuable cargo of teat; and silks—
transferred to the Florida clind with the
single ez..ception of the cap4iin, all were
placed in hone. Shu kid - Oti c passengers.
It seems r hat the only distintztion made
in the treattnent of Buitini c ! . vessels, is
that the mutes are allowed:The liberty of
the d. cis.
At the time of the capture of the
"Jacob Bell " among the fiat prizes taken
by the Florida they had taken off enough
tea to last them teh:sieurs ; s:Lo none of that
was . broutzhr -- ijff: — Vonlrillftki - ed" 8 ii
theartieles brought off the "Oneida," pre:
serves, pickles, and other dainties, pert of
the sliqb private supply, and a lot of
Chinese toys arid tisinkets, which the
me,' delivered over to our lady passenger's
children. The lady herself received as
presents, several silk , dresses. Sonic Chi
neese geese of large size-were brought
over also, which now from the number of
captured chickens, suffered to . run loose,
presented Autnowhat, the appearance of
a Pennsylvania barn yard. The "Oneida"
was set on fire just at noon, and every
thing being dry about her - from thirty
two years cruising, she was soon in a
blaze. I had seen our own vessel burning
daring the n ight when the vine apnea r
ce glue:. growler, so k 011
t is now.
Some time after this arieth,:7 sail ap
peared in sight. Perhaps it would be
well to state that the eqoas.or between
longitudes 27 and 30 west is much fre
quented by vessels corning orgoing
to any ports in the South Atlantic, Pacif
ic or Indian Oceans; we ware in these
limits. The exact place of our capture
was in West Longitude 28, 45; South
Latitude 10, 15.
We were once wore on the chase, the
vessel seen was a great distance to the
South, and fir a long time was nut visi
ble from the deck. About four o'clock
another cry "sail ho !" but we continued
for the first. We never went wore than
eiglit arid a half wiles per hour, even un
der the circumstances of having two ves
sell to overtake befiire approaching dark
ness would render their safety certain
The engines seemed to work heavily and
shook the vessel ctrisiderably. A favor
able wind coming up, many sails were set
wh ch wade us progress rather wore rap
he sun was about setting when the
vessel ahead was recognized to be the
"Bremontier" our French Iriend. The
Florida had overhauled her early on the
morning of our 'apture, but it was decid
ed however to stop her and learn if she
would not take off some of the prison( rs.
It was dark when we came up along
side, but the young moon was now begin-
g to shine, and we were able to see a
The officer of the deok ordered Capt.
Drestreman, (the Frenchman) to haul
back his "main yards;" the order was
either not beard or misunderstood, it•was
repeated several times without effect. At
last Captain Brown, who was anxious to
leave the Florida, called for a French
sailor of Ours. It was tunuctrig to see
"Peter' standing up on the Florida's
side, with his hand•eueed Irods, calling
out the orders of a privateer oteer. He
was understood and in a utotneut the rat'
tlo of pulleys was heard, while the
yards swung round, presenting all the
sails of the mainmast in a contrary direc•
tion 6 those of the other masts, which at
once stopped the vessel.
A boat was sent over to make the re
quisite inquiry. Copts. Brown and ,Pot
ter [of the "Oneidal went with the offi
cers in the boat in order to use their in-
fluenee with the Frenchmen : their report
was about as follows: The Frenchman
did not want to take any passengers, but
consented to take six provided provisions
were sent with them, stating as his rea
sons for .not taking more, that his vessel
was crowded, and he had no more than
sufficient room and provisions for thgin•
selves. It was determined to take advan
tage of the offer, but' who should be the
six to go was a question for debate ; it
was shortly decided by au officer who read
ont'the names of those persons to go. Hie
list read. 7 —Our lady passenger and family
(four persons)_Capts Potor and Brown
with their mates (six parse* a third
mate of the ship "Cornuumwealth,”.Capt;
Brown's son, "others'. passenger, and my-•
self, which in federal arithinetiL3 would
make fOurteen persons. The olilcerta was
doubtless only playing off. a j ke on'the
Frepohntan-- z tliey were very nuy with
us. The boats were ready and our bag
gage was put in and we followed, having a
rather rough ride over to the "liremon
tier." The party in our boat wore taken
up alThiliows ocby the "slirouds" of the
foremast. As I climbed up a dozen
Frenchmen caught me and dragged me
roughly but kindly over their ibulwaiks '
and then a great shaking of hands as ill
was old Neptune himself coining on board.
Another boat was at the gangway dis
charging our baggage. I wentjhere to
see that none of it was injured, as with
every wave the boats below swung off the
sides to a great distance, so there was
danger of dropping some of it overboard.
All the•provisions that were sent passed
through toy own hands, viz : four pieces
of beef (commonly called " salt horse")
and six boxes of crack re, with a half
chest of tea.. I had heard an order given
on the Florida for barrel of beef to be
sent along with other things, bat it seem
ed the men took advantage of the partial
darkness and did not carry out instruc
Our sails were now trimmed and we
bade good-bye to the Florida; she disap
peared in the daikness very quickly.—
We were called to the quarter deck, and
calling off, fifteen of us wore counted
•• Peter" the French sailor, who was the
instrument which in the first place stop•
ped the vessel, was the additional passe.)-
, ger.•---1-le-was , itoteati-erut on t ire+ tori - dtr;
but came on his " own hook." Berths
could only be provided for a portion; be
sides our lady passenger, Capts. Potter
and Brown were provided with them.--
The rest of us were allowed the decks.
One of the naval officers kindly lent me a
large wadded blanket which formed an
excellent bed for myself and Mr. Seger
man, our first-mate. But for a "squall"
4coompanied with Violent rain, I think I
should have enjoyed a fine sloes. The
Irr — estrem an let us un de r
sta d his views of our ease; he said he
had been /at/win/wed into taking any
passengers, and he would consider it his
business to put us on the first vessel bound
fur any of the BiazAlian ports lie should
fall in with ; at the.satne time he shaped
his course for Pernambuco. He also read
a long- letter he intended sanding to his
government, to the asseinbled party. I
understood froM " Peter" that tho Cap
tain was very titter in his remarks on
None ails, deck passengers, could com
plain of the gualily of our food, but ter
tainly a the quantity—,we generally ate
near the sky-light whence we could
look down iuto the cabin. As ono dish
atter Joothor was iiewolisheo below, the
remnants were sent up to us, of which we
got all, minus whit, the little waiter boy
would steal fur himself Ufa the road up
The Burde,lux vessels allow large quin•
titles of wine Mr the use of the sailors, so
they du not wake much provision for wa
ter, indeed all that was used was the pro
duce of a small still in the "galley" or
kitchen. We were allowed about a pint
each of common Bordeaux wine at each
of our two meals What temperance
men would say of a quart a day was not
a subject of thought. to us; our principal
attention being confined to getting as
much as we could of every thing that
could strengthen and sustain us.
After several days sailing, the (mast of
Brazil became visible, a beautiful sight it
was once more to see terra firma and the
green trees. We were about sixty wiles
north of Pernambuco, but the wind was
so adverse that we had to resort to "tack•
ing" to wake that distance. On some of
our tacks, owing to careless navigation,
we did not make any thing, and the sight
of' the saute part of the coast would again
greet our eyes.
' However it was not uninteresting, for
occasionally some of the little boats used
by the fishermen of the coast, which are
nothing but several light sticks of timber
tied together, mounted with a large "leg
o' mutton" sail, would pass close to us
These little rafts callod'l` Haien/arm:is,"
sail very swiftly, and are managed by one
man with a rudder. They frequently run
out to sea to the distance of twenty miles,
which is about the limit that the coast is
visible. Borne years ago a Baltimore ves
sel rail over one of those Catamarans in
the night; there were two men on it and
they saved themselves by catching hold of
the chains. The sailors when they saw
them coming down froin the bow thought
them to be " devils." Th.ty were tak.en
to Baltimore and returned sale and 50110.
Once we ran in so close to the land
that Captain Brown became uneasy, ancl
told the Frenchman that it was danger
ous. Capt. Daestretuan;seemed to think
nothing of it, but upon Captain Brown .
heaving the lead in fourand a half fathoms
[27 feet] of water, be Immediately order
ed about ship" [of course not in Eng
lish]. Five minutes more would have
run us aground,, with swell enough to
have mace a wreck of us.
One day, while we were engaged "tack
ing," a HUI was seen coining up the coast.
It was a large barque, and as we wore
running out at the time, it became pro
bable that we would have a close sight of
'her. Capt. Destreman, whom we noticed be so fond of using his signals,
ran up the French Tri-oolor to learn the
nationality of the other vessel, and was
answered by the "Stars and 'Stripes."
" Ah ship, that bad man Mafilt get you,"
says he. 'Presently he looked over his
"pole" and learned that there was a sig
nal for "Pirates about,'' and he had that
run out. 'This action' was followed on
board the American by the lowering of
`the flag, additional sail set; and tcchenge,
of direction to run out to Seri sway from
us. A.,loud laugh , greeted this—the
American probably taking us for a 'wolf'
dressed up in French costume ; however
.we - kept on signaling but' without - Affect.
Captain Destremen unwilling to let the
TERMS:--$1,60 Adv: • • • 't 61 ye:
American Jell intcrthe bands of the Flo
rida, then changed his course somewhat
so as to speak her, though to do so we
Were losing. some of our dearly was
soulking. But though having the ad
vantage at first of position, the "Ameri
can" soon began to distance us. As a
last expedient a Free Mason flag hung in
distress was exhibited, and almost imme
diately the American " came to." We
quickly sailed up to her, she proving to
be barque " Irma," Captain loSsing,
of Philadelphia, bound from Rio Janeiro
to the former city. We spoke her as she
was passed, but stopped ourselves, when a
boat went over and gave her fuller parti-
culars. We left her just at dusk, salut
ing with ensigns.
It seemed that she did not have a code'
of signals and failed to understand us,
and judging from the number of men (50)
seen on our deck, many of whom were if.
uniform, and the froVthing muzzles orseve
ral " quaker, guris" intended to terrify the
islanders in the Pacific, she thought a re
treat her policy. The fact of the "square
and compass" stopping her is of course
understood. [I am not a mason, although
the son and grandson pf masons, but it
appears to the a very,striking fact, speak
ing high ly both for masonry and fur
American humanity.]
Night, crone on, but now we were going
under a favorable wind
,in an almost di
-reet-line-for - cur - po - tr --- " - ATTr - effitca - 1
light of Pernambuco was seen—a revolv
ing red and white-light—but unfortunate
ly the wind died- away during the night
when we were only twelve miles off the
city. The next morning we had a dis
tant view of the place—a low line of white
houses on the north end with
a wound like hill called Olinda. The
morning sun shone roost brilliantly upon
the convents and other buildings on the
hill, but, the_ distance too.-great-to_al
low or - our distinguishing theta very par
ticularly. There we were becalmed with
a hot sun broiling -down upori' us. A
large quantity of "squid' or whale feed
was spread about us and floating on the
water in long lines. it resembles light
dust— no hungry whales made their ap•
pearance, though numerous small fish
seemed to be eatin ,, t - the "squid - ." Quite
a number of butterflies were flyir g about
us. During the afternoon a gentle wind
sprung up which slowly drifted us in to
wards the city, and by 9 o'clock we had
dropped anchor three miles off the,light.
A French steam packet came in from
Rio -Janeiro about the same time, anchor
ing further in, Pernatolreeo heirig a stop•
ping place on her way to Havre.
The tolling of large bells was heard
during the night which sounded very
sweetly over the writer; it being a catho
lic country I imagined they were calling
nuns to confession and leading aged monks
to their 'cloisters.' Ihere is really some
thing poetical in the sound of bells, when
one has been without hearing them some
time, particularly after a considerable
cruise on the sea At least so I thought
as 1 lay down on the luxurious and tender
pine boards under me.
[, Editor you have doubtless so far
in my story of the capture of our vessel,
seen little of the sufferings which 1 spoke
of as attending that. 1 never intended
to occupy so much of your time and space,
yet I could not refrain from letting your
readers also know the part which was at
least interesting to our little party.}
We were off Pernambuco when the
morning of May Ist dawned upon us; we
had now a much closer view of the city,
but in this the second portion of my story
I shall not tire your readers with accounts
of places and things they can read of to
better advantage in any good gazeteer.—
The three captains went ashore early in
the morning, taking with them all the
French of f icers, who in full uniform would
doubtless captivate all Pernambuco. We
waited long and- patiently for the promis
ed boat which was to take us and our bag
gage. At last about 12 M. we discovered
what we had before seen but thong-lit a
'buoy' or some staliona.ry object, t . o be
really a large barge or ' lighter' moving
over tuwards us. Two hours passed be
fore she was along side. The barge in
question resembled a small canal boat
and had row locks for twenty men, while
only eight .wrth the master were sent.—
e were soon in and started off, but at
what a rate ! For a full half hour we
could hear them talking un the Bremen-
tier .-=?..0 hour more reading the place
wb.sre the steamer was anchored, a half
hour getting past her bows. During
which time we were the subject of re
mark-among her passengers, while all the
time the wind,. thc'tides, the waves and
as I confidently believed, the fates were
against us. 'Catermerans' and boats ply
ing to the steamer would pass us, but
none were kind enough to give us a tow.
The master would sing, trying In that
way to incite the darkies to renewed ex
ortion. But the poor slaves were proba
bly worn out with their six hours rowing.
The entrance to Pernambuco is around
the north end of a reef, inside of which
is the narrow channel or harbor. We
were drifting below the entrance, and
now our proximity to the reef alarmed
the Portuguese , master. lie left . the
wheel, - seized hold, of an .oar with a darkie
and then begin a 'rousing chorus, l but
still we were lOsing. One after another
of us who•were able to help at the oars,
went to work. It was no time to discuss
the equalities of races, the danger was
too apparant. I took hold of the same
oar with a linaziliarl..oitizens Of African
descent?' 'The presporation ran down our
Underclothing much faster than it did on
the blank shining backs of tke darkies. As
wo (maid nearer we could see the waves
dashing up making breakers 20 feet high,
cracking and Splashing
,like the diu of
tveaketry: We passed the reef with on
ly fifteen feet to spare, when we were is
NO. 17.
oomparativly calm water, arta at once the
equality of races ceased. Wo turd.*
down the narrow harbor, and stopped it
the guard boat, where our baggage. ' was
searched by an officer who:spoke English.
There was no "contraband" about• us et
cept our exhausted rowers.
At the landing we met Captains Potter
and Brown. • There was quite 'a crowd of
American sailors, standins around, they
were all infotunates like ourselves, who
had been landed on ono of the coast island%
and brought to Pernatnbuco by ti
ian steamer, there were over-, seventy of
them. We had expepted to be lionised
and feted, in fact we conld have stood
the abuse given to the poor Japanese is
New York, but our hopes were scatterea4
by these seventy.
Capt. Brown had been to see the Amer
ican consul, Mr. Adomson of Philadel
phia, and.-.he -reported.-that .he -could-du
nothing for us. Our baggage was stored a
way for the present in a ship chandler's
Our party collectively could raise but
a dollar in aged°, and this seemed to - be
small amount to furnish us with sub
sistence. We became more and more re
minded that something must be done, we
had had nothing to eat since morning, and.
hunger began to be felt. Here in Per
nambuco we could not and a "jail," with
an accommodating sheriff, which is the
great comfort of Vagrants in Carlisle.
At last our oaptain'front some friends
he met• obtained a, little money, and.
straightway he took us to the "English"
Hotel, where he made arrangements for
for our party for over night. We had,
then a little tea and bread given us.
It was such a beautiful night that sev
eral of us were tempted to winder out te
see as much of the city as possible- Pe-.
nainbuco is quite,a large place, it is more
proeprly two cities. Olinda embracing the
hill, and that part where we landed which
is on a peninsula, and, Recife.embraoing
several islands, which are connected to
Olinda by bridges. We crossed one of
these bridges, many people' were prom.
tiding enjoying_the TR_
Tiiii. -- ft; is only after diak that people can
walk with any comfort in Peruatribuco,,
the coast being low and so much within
the tropois as to be subjected to great
heat nearly all the year round. The pope
lation is about 70,000.
The next morning we all called to see
the consul, when speaking to the passen
gers and our captain, he said be could do
nothing for pa; that the laws of the Uni
ted States did not oblige him to take
charg-of-such--=persons -distresertntt—
that our ciew qr as many as came with au
excepting the captains, he would send to
boarding houses and maintain until such.
time as he could dispo...e of them.
However he offered to do any thing for
us that was in his power, unofficially, but
at the same time told us that his means
were much restricted, which is offering to,
give a man a coat when you have none
yourself. W but the exact duty of our con
suls in ret;oard t. t •: a a
kiww, but, taking Mr. Adomson's word for
it, they have no duty in-the matter at all.
11 such be the case the United States
government is to blame, and one of the
brat duties of Congress, sl ould be to
give sufficient authur.ty to consuls to
reouguize and protect "American oi,tizens•
in "distress."
There being nu help for us from with
out, we began to feel thrown up. n our
own resoucres, so tar as they went. I
was becoming tited of feeling the fifty
cents of siker which was my sum total
of silver, and it was not long before a
cake woman become its possessor.—
Captain Brown's friends furnished him
with enough money :to provdc in &
sort of a wanner fur our now reduced par
ty, the consul having taken charge of the
mates and sailors.
A coasting steamer was expected the
next day bound for Rio Janeiro, and a
passage was secured us to that port. We
finally found ourselves on the steamer, af
ter a boat ride in a drenching rain. Our
lady passenger and Capt. Brown going as
Ist class (cabin) passengers, while our lat
mate, Captain's son, my companion, mates
of the Oneida and myself as :I,rd class pas
sengers, (Steerage.) Never giving a
thought to the 3rd olass arrangement.-
1 attempted to go down into the cabin to
get out of the rain, when some petty of
ficer stopped we and gave all of us to un
derstand our proper places. Poor man he
was doubtless only attending to his duty,
but one of my fellow passengers came near
knocking him 4ewn.
We all started to see "our places," in
fact we thought it jolly to be roughing it
about this way, when following our guide
we entered the space allotted to uteerage
pass( ngers it was forward of the engine
between decks, a space measuring forty,
by about twenty-five feet. Every square
inch of the floor was occupied. Some
seventy slaves were on the road to, the
Rio market, one slave out of two had
a pet monkey, which with triple the num
ber of parrots, filed up the place entirely.
was in doibt whether to liken the place
u ni t e n n e
i ag e r r i
b o o r r t n h e , ho i
s I p d l
c o a t s '
,i a slave
n t ship
few hammocks were hung up in which re.
clined the better class of servants belong
ing to cabin passengers-. All of these
poor creatures were sick from the motlen
of the vessel, and not havsng a fhir chance,
for over the vessels sides, the products of
many stomachs were coated over the floor.
This is but a partial picture of the quarters _
given us for an eight day's voyage.
Any place whether in rain or out of it was., )
preferable to this, and it was.not long before
a "straight coat tail" was ; thade for the desk,`'
A short distance from Pernambuco, the
steamer stopped to await the return of a
dispatch steamer which watt bringing the
governor of one of theeetiskistiands a , pri. •
loner, to this steamer for alle i sdog "Semmes)!
of the "Alabama" to landlrlesimers,•and for
not interfering when he hurtled a vessel
to his [the governor ' ajcoast . The heat net
making its appearance in two hours, we pro
ceeded to sea. ,
Meanwhile the rain continued but, with
increased' violence, there , was no possible
shelter from its fury, except below night was
comiog along and yet we had seen nothing
to eat. Captain . Brown' sectored' trom the
cabin table enough for a bite n piece, but he
could not do more. Once more we tried i 6 _
below ; this, time I had' a half hour stand
holding on ,to the railing protecting the nth._
chinery. There the hot vapors of steam and
the smell of grease seemed to overcome the ef•
feet of the nausous effluvia behind ; but till t. •
would not, do—For catching mysi(lf dozing
when the motion of the vessel might at wit ,
time have thrown rite overon the crank, which
would have torn me, into shreds, I n- resolVed
[sse Fourth. Page.