Tracks Of A Rolling Stone By Henry J. Coke


At the end of two months' leave in England I was appointed to 
the 'Caledonia,' flagship at Plymouth.  Sir - Page 60
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At The End Of Two Months' Leave In England I Was Appointed To The 'Caledonia,' Flagship At Plymouth.

Sir Thomas Bouchier had written to the Admiral, Sir Edward Codrington, of Navarino fame (whose daughter Sir Thomas afterwards married), giving me 'a character.' Sir Edward sent for me, and was most kind.

He told me I was to go to the Pacific in the first ship that left for South America, which would probably be in a week or two; and he gave me a letter to his friend, Admiral Thomas, who commanded on that station.

About this time, and for a year or two later, the relations between England and America were severely strained by what was called 'the Oregon question.' The dispute was concerning the right of ownership of the mouth of the Columbia river, and of Vancouver's Island. The President as well as the American people took the matter up very warmly; and much discretion was needed to avert the outbreak of hostilities.

In Sir Edward's letter, which he read out and gave to me open, he requested Admiral Thomas to put me into any ship 'that was likely to see service'; and quoted a word or two from my dear old captain Sir Thomas, which would probably have given me a lift.

The prospect before me was brilliant. What could be more delectable than the chance of a war? My fancy pictured all sorts of opportunities, turned to the best account, - my seniors disposed of, and myself, with a pair of epaulets, commanding the smartest brig in the service.

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