5, 8 November 1774571

    At Sea. About Latitude 49° 45m N

    1774 Nov. 5. 2 in the morning

    Dear Partner of my Life,

    We generally estimate the value of our possessions by their loss, and the worth of our friends is seldom better realized, than in their absence. As therefore when removed from you I most sensible feel how dear you are to me, I cannot resist the impulse of my heart to impart my affectionate emotions. And I the rather transmit to you the pleasing intelligence, that I look towards you as my most valuable treasure; because in the former periods of my affection I was never given to flattery, and in the present stage of our Love (being both useless and unfashionable), I shall not be suspected of it.572

    Believe me my Dear wife, you cannot think with how much tender solicitude I look towards you and my Little Ones. My Country, my friends and family occupy my whole thoughts, and while I see myself blessed with a promising prospect of doing some little service to the One, and of being returned in safety to the others, it inspires me with sensations I must leave you to realize. And why should I detain you with reflections and sentiments, while to a Bosom friend (who is absent) nothing can be more gratefull, than to tell you how I have been and where I am.

    After an agreeable and very refreshing ride to Salem, We sailed from thence about X in the morning and was clear of the Land about 2 in the afternoon. Though the weather was fine, yet in less than an hour I was confined to my cabin, but was happy in finding my sickness neither so violent or unremitting as in my former voyage: and more peculiarly so, in finding my spasms and pains so far from returning, that all symptoms of them left me from the moment of being ill.573

    Five and twenty days rolled away with much of the uninteresting vacuity and sameness of a sea-life. I had however the pleasure of perceiving a gradual daily advantage from my voyage, and my retired moments were gratefull in reflecting upon the many prayers and benisons which were breathed toward me by my American friends.

    Such was the unremitted favor of the winds during the whole of the preceeding period as that we never failed of being able to lay one course, which was a circumstance no one on board had ever known for so long a time, except in the Latitudes of the trade-winds. But this felicity was in a great measure destroyed by the poor improvement we were able to make of it. Our ship was deep laden and as bad a sailer as was ever navigated by a Dutch commander. Not a skiff in the ocean but what passed by Us, as if we had been at anchor. Had we been only in a tolerable-going ship we should in all probability been at the Land’s-end in one or two and twenty days. Instead of which, at the end of about eight and twenty the winds set in strong at SouthEast, while they have continued ever since, and seem at this time as likely to continue as ever. These circumstances at Sea are a little more vexatious, than those at land easily imagine. But as for myself I had less reason, than any one on board to be uneasy. Every day hath surprisingly added to my health. The benefit from the sea is far beyond any thing experienced in my voyage to South Carolina. Ever since the day I left land I have never had one symptom of my former complaints. They did not leave me by degrees, but entirely and at once. So that while writing this, no one on board appears freer from disorder, and none most certainly in better spirits. Indeed if it were not for my concerns about America and my friends there, I should not feel one uneasy sensation. They frequently rally me on ship-board about my appetite and encreasing size, but though I don’t think they have any great occasion for this, yet I am satisfied my colour and complexion have so wholly changed since my departure, as that my friends who saw me leave land would now scarce know me. But enough about myself. My only excuse for which is that among near friends, the minutiae of their concerns are interesting and acceptable.

    All on Ship-board are well, except Old Mr. Hyslop, who this two or three days just past has complained of much weakness. Indeed he is too old a man for such a tour, and he I believe begins to suspect it himself. He has a fetid disorder upon him which is an incessant vexation, and will undoubtedly in the end prove too much for him. Dr. Paine of Worcester hath had considerable of the bloody flux, but is now I think well recovered of it.574

    Tell my American friends, that I see more reason than ever that they should write me minute states of facts. Tell them the period to false representations of American affairs is not yet come. I shall probably enlarge on this head in another Letter, and if I should write under a new signature, you must not be surprised.

    I know not by what opportunity I shall send this. The season is so far advanced, and the winds have of late been so favorable for the departure of American-bound ships, it is probably I shall have no very speedy conveyance. However, as there is a possibility of meeting some vessel bound to one of the Colonies, either in the Channell or Dover, I write at this time, so as to be able to embrace the opportunity on the shortest notice.

    Kiss my Little ones for me and tell all my friends I remember them—I hope as I ought. As for my wife, I can tell her nothing so expressive of my Love toward her, as that I am her

    J.Q. jr.

    1774 November 8 10 c’clock in the morning. Just stepping aboard a Pilot Boat and going up to Falmouth 202 miles distant from London. I take a stage or Post Chaise for London—In very great haste—equal health and Spirits.

    Yours as before


    P.S. I think I was never better, if so well in my life.