LETTER: TO W.D.B. AND A.B.
LIVERPOOL, October 26, 1846
My dear sons: Thank God with me that we are once more on TERRA
FIRMA. We arrived yesterday morning at ten o'clock, after a very
rough voyage and after riding all night in the Channel in a
tremendous gale, so bad that no pilot could reach us to bring us in
on Saturday evening. A record of a sea voyage will be only
interesting to you who love me, but I must give it to you that you
may know what to expect if you ever undertake it; but first, I must
sum it all up by saying that of all horrors, of all physical
miseries, tortures, and distresses, a sea voyage is the greatest . .
. The Liverpool paper this morning, after announcing our arrival
says: "The GREAT WESTERn, notwithstanding she encountered
throughout a series of most severe gales, accomplished the passage
in sixteen days and twelve hours."
To begin at the moment I left New York: I was so absorbed by the
pain of parting from you that I was in a state of complete apathy
with regard to all about me. I did not sentimentalize about "the
receding shores of my country;" I hardly looked at them, indeed.
Friday I was awoke in the middle of the night by the roaring of the
wind and sea and SUCH motion of the vessel.
The gale lasted all Saturday and Sunday, strong from the North, and
as we were in the region where the waters of the Bay of Fundy run
out and meet those of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, afterwards we had a
strong cross sea.