A Voyage from Boston to India

by Sailing Ship in 1864-5

as recorded by

Samuel  Henry  Kellogg

in a letter to his family

mailed from Ceylon

May 16, 1865








The Noted Theologian and Missionary
Dies Suddenly in India.




PITTSBURG, May 3.—The Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Kellogg, one of the best-known theologians in the country, died suddenly yesterday at Landour, India, where, with two other eminent scholars, he was en­gaged in translating the Scriptures into the Hindoostanee language. The news of his death was received in Pittsburg this morn­ing in a cablegram sent to his brother-in-law, Edward A. Woods. No particulars are given in the message concerning the cause of his sudden end, but it is presumed that he was stricken by apoplexy.


Dr. Kellogg was well known in Pittsburg? having for a time been pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, this city. He was a. man of forcible character, an eloquent speaker, anti a scholar of wide attainments. He was born in Long Island, N. Y., in 1839, being the son of the Rev. Samuel Kellogg, son of a noted minister of the Presbyterian denomination in New York. He attended Princeton College and was graduates' in the class of 1861. He was a tutor in mathematics at Princeton for eight years. He was ordained an evangelist in 1864, and went to India in that year. In 1872 he re• moved to Allahabad and became instructor in a training school there. He returned to the United States in 1870 and was elected pastor of the Pittsburg church. He had held' several prominent places in church work and written several books on missionary I work.



The New- York Times

Published: May 4, 1899
Copyright © The New York Times





Samuel Henry Kellogg returned to Landour in northern India in 1892 with his second wife and their three children of whom my mother was the youngest at age four.  He died in a bicycle accident near  the mission.  The original letter he wrote home about his first voyage to India has been preserved.  I have transcribed it with brackets where I had trouble interpreting it and for useful explanations.  Sam Kellogg liked to capitalize Astronomy and similar words.  I was born 24 years after his death. 

John A. Frantz, MD


Samuel Kellogg’s account of his voyage to India by sailing ship in 1864

Samuel Kellogg was my maternal grandfather. JF


At Sea, Tuesday Eve, December 20th 1864


            My ever dear parents, brother and sister and all friends at home, in Plainfield, Brooklyn, etc.  Here we are in this splendid ship Elcano, almost abreast of you in Plainfield, some three hundred miles from the New Jersey coast, bounding over the water at the rate of ten or eleven miles an hour, course S.S.E., as happy and contented as we can be, only that we remember what seems yet so difficult to realize, that we have bid you good-bye for so long time.  How I wish we could but look in upon you this evening. I try to imagine where you all are and what you are doing; it is half past five, and you are just about at tea; and so are we indeed, for I am every moment expecting the tea-bell, which will call us from our state-rooms to the dining saloon. But more than to look on you, I wish that you would look in on us; because I think you are imagining us in manifold inconveniences and distresses of which our excellent accommodations we know nothing nor are likely to. I wish I could wake you understand how comfortable we are. I can only say that were I to be offered any additional comforts one ever has upon the water, I should hardly know what to ask. We have so much more room than I expected; our ship is 210 feet long on main deck, 39 feet broad amidships, so that we have quite a walk about her. Our staterooms, as well, if you please so to call it as parlor dining saloon, are not below the main deck as on the merchant vessels; but above, like the staterooms on the [Long Island] Sound steamers, the floor of our rooms on a level with the floor of the main deck, l2 or 15 feet above the water.  Beside the usual round light, over the berths,   I have a fine large window with sash and venetian blind, looking out on the main deck forward; the berths are quite broad so that two can sleep in them comfortably. Our trunks are under the berth.  Between the window and the foot of the berths is a chest of three drawers as deep as your bureau which holds about all in my trunk. Above the drawers is a deep writing-desk opening with a lid, at which I am standing writing; this holds all the books I want to be using and all my papers--over the desk is our looking glass.  In the opposite corner is our stand for wash bowl, pitcher, etc. And so you have the plan of our room.


Over staterooms, saloons, etc, is another deck overlooking the main deck and all the ship from stem to stern, a high, airy place, the finest place on board for a walk when it is not too cold, and no danger of that long.  The table is excellent, and from what I see of provisions stored is likely to continue so.  We have a great many ducks, fowls, several pigs aboard, quite a farm yard!   Have first rate tea and coffee, crush sugar, solidified milk which is much better than most milk you buy in the city.


The captain is a fine, intelligent man, not over thirty; his wife a pleasant lady-like woman. Everything at table is refined and pleasant so far.


Well about our voyage, after so many delays, waiting in Boston all day Sabbath, Monday morning we went down to wharf.  Through a drenching rain and over rough water we were taken in a row boat to the Elcano lying in the bay. Nettie they lashed into a chair and hoisted up the ship’s side; Mrs. Myers, not liking that style, climbed up the ladder.


Rain, rain, rain all day, Southeast wind so that we could not get out of the harbor, but at evening the wind shifted to West, and we could go out with next tide.


AM Tuesday.


Went to bed at ten last evening and rose at one to see the ship off.  It took some time to get her to the wind and start her, but at last, at 3:17 in the morning we moved from moorings, and had left America for India!  We were delayed some hours by waiting for the pilot boat to take the pilot off outside the harbor. Since 9 or 10 this morning, however, we have been moving rapidly from E. then S.S.E ‘til now we are far out of sight of land--350 miles the captain tells me from the coast of N.J.  We have had quite a high wind all day.  The waves have been immensely larger than any I ever saw on the seashore. But about the sea­sickness I cannot tell you anything more than when I left Plainfield, for I am as comfortable, and have been all day, as if I were on terra firma. I judge it is very disagreeable, from the woe-begone looks of the rest of the company, nine out of our cabin company of eleven are sick, none exempt but myself and Miss Julia Phillips. We sat down to dinner, our company of twelve reduced to six, but Myers shortly turns ghastly pale and asks to be excused. Captain's wife and Mrs. Phillips hold their places but cannot eat, and so on till only Captain, Miss Phillips, and myself remain to do justice to the bountiful dinner. After dinner I made Nettie, Myers and his wife a cup of coffee each, which somewhat revived them and brought them out on deck. So long as they can stay out in the cold air, it is endurable, with an occasional disgorging, but the cabin they cannot stand.  On deck they have seasons of relief; we improved one about sundown by a general slide on the icy deck, a very tolerable substitute for a skating pond.  Nettie after all is not nearly as sick as I expected; very uncomfortable but she has not kept her berth much yet.  She is not nearly as sick as poor young Mrs. Phillips who has not eaten anything today.  I am surprised at my own exemption; feel quite vainglorious. But most likely the first storm will bring me down.


I have enjoyed this day's sail vastly; am acquiring a most unseemly appetite, have not felt as well in many months, although I only had two hours’ sleep last night. I had never imagined the sublimity of this ocean scenery. We do not fully have it on the seashore but when you see absolutely nothing but the sky overhead and these restless, foaming, roaring waves around you on every side to the horizon, rolling all around--great hills and valleys of water that roll and toss this great ship like a leaf upon a brook, and it is one of the grandest sights I have ever seen.  I never have gained such an impression of immensity, as when I look out on this expanse of waters and think how, for thousands of miles about me, there is nothing but this same great ocean; or such an idea of power, as when I watch those mighty swelling waves come rolling from the distance till they strike the ship and lift her upon high to drop her down, down into the valley of waters, till you look up to waves all around you, one of which perhaps strikes the ship's aide, jarring every timber and sending a flood of water over the deck. The Bible well calls them "The mighty waves of the sea." I have seen tonight the first of what is said to be so beautiful nearer the tropics, the phosphorescence of that sea. It is dark, no moon, somewhat cloudy, but the sea is spangled with light.  Every crest of foam is, in the darkness, a crest of fire.


We have the favor of the captain in respect to religious matters. Blessing is asked at table; we have evening prayers at half past seven in the cabin, which the captain attends; shall have a prayer-meeting Wednesday evening; on Sabbaths one public service for the ship, also a Bible class and prayer meeting.  Pray much for us that the Holy Spirit may be with us. I am not aware that any of the officers or crew are Church men.  We Christians need much grace to labor and pray for their salvation. 


I began this day’s entry at half past six in my room and finish it here in the dining saloon by the cheerful fire.  All but myself and Miss Phillips have gone to bed seasick although it is yet early. Myers and his wife have not been seen since five o'clock. Had so little sleep last night that I will retire myself and so good night. May the Lord of land and sea keep us all till the morrow.


Wednesday, --Dec. 21st.


A cloudy sky with East wind and heavy ground swell which has made our seasick passengers ten fold sicker than ever. Wish I could give you some idea of the motion; not the motion ahead for there is scarcely any of that; but this seeing, swing, something like what the boys used to call a "teeter", only a great deal more so. Oh, how sick it makes these foolish people--not all of them for Miss Phillips and myself hold out unshaken.  I eat hearty meals with all relish, and keep them in their place. All that the others try to eat is up again instanter.


Poor Myers! You cannot think how forlorn and white he looks.  For a long time he could not leave his bed this morning, but at last, bravely came up to me on the upper deck throwing up handsomely as he advanced.  It was very laughable.


It takes a well man to appreciate it though--like myself; the rest do not seem to enjoy it.


Sunday Eve Dec 26th. Lat 36º N. Long 54º W


I wrote the above Wednesday morning, expecting to write more in the evening; but days have passed, days of watching and peril. Wednesday noon began a fearful storm which continued until Sabbath morning in un-abating fury.


I have read many descriptions of a storm at sea, but none which give one my conception of the awful reality. And so I know I shall fail to give you any adequate idea of it.  I supposed that "waves running mountains high" was a nautical exaggeration, but it is not. I could think of nothing but hills and that enormous hills and valleys of water. As they rolled toward you it was as when you stand at the foot of a great long hill and look away up toward the top. I should not call them waves but seas, for it seemed as if the whole sea were rolling down upon us. The mass impressed me more even than the height of the waves.  A single wave, the length of the ship, would cover acres of the sea. It was simply an immense hill. Now think of these mountains of water moving with a frightful velocity and a roar like heavy bellowing thunder, every time they struck the ship making a crash almost exactly like the crash of thunder close at hand, or the discharge of heavily rifled cannon.  Think of these mountains of water sweeping and roaring continuously over the deck, placing even the high front window of my stateroom again and again under water, covering the deck often five or six feet with water, so that nothing of the ship would be visible but the masts and the high poop-deck over our staterooms,--the wind blowing like a hurricane and howling through the rigging, driving our vessel furiously before it in now pouring rain, then blinding snow, and latterly showers of hail with thunder and lightning. Think of this not for an hour or a day, but for four long days and three nights.  Perhaps your imagination will fill up better than I can describe.


The violence of the wind and waves tore the outside cabin door from its hinges so that the sea was driven into dining room, staterooms and parlor. My room was all afloat, the waves washing about my feet for three or four days, except as from time to time I bailed out the water.


The hatchway before the cabin was torn away the first night and thundered about the deck in an awful manner. The hog pen, three times as large as yours at home, containing twelve pigs and of course fastened to the deck, was torn loose and thrown about the deck, one poor pig killed.  Large spare masts and spars lashed to the deck with ropes and chains, which many men could scarcely lift, broke their fastenings and were tossed about like chips. Great iron rings and bolts, two inches thick, snapped like pipe stems. One whole day I went barefoot and pants rolled up, through all cabins and staterooms, through the water; slept only five hours in three nights. The mate has told me since that one of those nights he gave up the ship.  Each successive wave he thought would break her up; had she not been new, inevitably she would have gone to pieces.  Over the high bulwarks the sea poured faster than it could get out; the deck was deep with water, and the vessel began to settle down in the sea--did not roll or pitch.  The mate went and told the carpenter he thought we were going down. "Knock a hole in the bulwarks" he said, and let the water off the deck. Out went three of them and with a broad-axe, put a large hole in the bulwarks, nearly or quite as large as a house door which kept the water from gaining on deck. Relieved of this enormous weight of water, the ship sprang up like a cork, and by faithful work at the pumps the immediate peril was averted.


It was a wonderful thing that through all I had not a qualm of sea­sickness any more than at Plainfield--an exemption only shared by Julia Phillips--the other eight were desperately sea-sick.  One half of the ship's crew were laid up at the beginning.  Miss Julia and I had to do everything in the cabin, nurse our eight sick, lift them around, make their beds etc. I have done about every kind of work commonly done by man or woman, cooked gruel for the sick, prepared medicine, made the beds, bailed water from the cabins and staterooms, dressed the injured seamen in the forecastle, etc.  I have gone through wonderfully well, worked very hard, slept very little, kept up good spirits; only feel a little worn and exhausted.  At any other time it would have been quite laughable, the way in which I was pitched about the cabin in the gale.  Was thrown across the parlor through the window glass cutting my hands in an ugly fashion, then instantly back again, taking the mahogany centre table in my way, which I tore from its fastenings, and completely demolished landing on the sofa at the opposite side of the room; was again  shot across the dining room into Myer's room and under his bed landing flat on my back in about two inches of water; was pitched smash into my looking glass into my room, damaging it slightly of course, and so on. The rest laugh at me, but these are scars of honor; they were not knocked about only because they were too sick to be out of their berths.  I was well, and so was on my feet nearly all the time, day and night, attending to those who were sick; so I am honorably cut up with broken glass; honorably bruised in various places, blue black and yellow! All wounds earned in good service.  But I have not come to the saddest part of my story.  Thursday morning while the storm was raging furiously and the sea sweeping over the deck, our captain was out attending to the working of the pumps, a heavy sea came six feet high over from the cabin door, and took him instantly over the high bulwarks on the opposite side into the sea.   He was seen for an instant battling the surge, but no more.  We could do nothing to save him. The sea was fearful.  No boat could live for an instant, no rope could be thrown for we were driving at a furious rate before the wind and were instantly far away from him.  The ship could not be put about for that would have been instant destruction to us all.  The hands at the pumps only saved themselves by springing into the rigging; the first mate by swimming, and so our poor captain is gone! What a fearful blow it was to his poor wife you can well imagine; I was the only minister able to be with her; the rest were so sick. I talked, wept, and prayed with her, but, like Rachel, she would not be comforted.  Poor woman! She has no hope in Christ, and knows not where to look for comfort.  Yet I rejoice to believe that her husband had experienced the saving grace of Christ; he was, it seems, a member of the Presbyterian Church.  I have read some of his private papers and have good hope of him.  Thursday, you may be sure, was a solemn day; no table was set for no one cared to eat.  The passengers sat or lay in their staterooms in momentary expectation of death--the water of the sea washing about our feet in our rooms; while every now and then a roar and crash and a braking wave would foam into the cabin.  Yet there was no panic or aspect of terror among the passengers--although sober and saddened by our bereavement, yet all were cheerful, none depressed.


The peril found me in much spiritual darkness, but light was given me, and especially latterly I had much peace and quiet of soul.


That is a wonderful description of a storm at sea, Ps. 107. 23--31; one verse there was a great comfort to me; just these words "He commandeth the sea." commanded our blessed God who sees all; he gave His Son for us.  Why should we fear? And I have not often had more peace, than on the fearful Saturday night while the sea, six or eight feet deep, was rushing over the deck by my window, and the water of the sea was dashing and gurgling on the floor under my berth; I lay my refreshing sleep on that one thought, "He commandeth."  The storm took us on the Northern edge of the Gulf stream.  It is always tempestuous and dangerous in the Gulf Stream at this season of the year.  Only a few miles from where the storm took us, the Lananea steamer San Francisco a few years ago went down in a like storm with many precious lives. It is the stormiest part of the sea except North of England and around Cape Horn. Our carpenter said be had been on the sea twelve years and had never met such a storm.  Our first mate who was a seaman 37 years and remembers only one which equaled it.  I believe we were delivered in answer to prayer. We "called unto the Lord in our trouble and He delivered us out of our distresses." And it was pleasant & comforting to think how you were all praying for us at home that the Lord would preserve us in all danger. And He has done so, and we do thank Him.


Tuesday, Dec 27.


It has been cloudy all day so that we have had no observation; but judging from our speed and course I think we must be, tonight, toward the latitude of Wilmington N.C.  Almost calm this morning, but since we have had a fine breeze. We have bid good-bye to cold weather; the thermometer has not fallen below 60° this week--ranges from 60° to 65°. Only think, midwinter and we sit out on the deck, not an overcoat or shawl needed--but merely such a soft balmy air as we have at home early in May. Yesterday we left the Gulf Stream in which we had been sailing some time. We are glad to be out of it, for it is the track of all the Atlantic storms, and always in the winter, rough and dangerous. The sea is smoother now than since we left Boston. We shall not soon forget our fearful passage of the Gulf Stream.  It is a wonderful thing that mighty river of warm water running through the ocean without mingling with it. The temperature of the water in a few rods raises 20°.  The color of the water changes to a deep indigo blue. So warm is it that in the dark night I could not tell that we had been in a snow storm.  Yet it is easily explained, the N.E. trade winds force the waters of the Atlantic down S.W. into the shallow basin of the Mexican Seas; here accumulating they can find no outlet except Northward around the South of Florida where, warmed by the tropical sun, it rushes out at the rate of four miles an hour and is the Gulf Stream.


Our captain the short time as he had been with us, we had learned to think highly of him; he was very kind to us and to the men.  A man of unusual intelligence, great energy and decision of character. The first-mate of course succeeds him in command. As far as management of the ship is concerned, we have utmost confidence in him. He is  experienced, cautious, and brave. He is kind and obliging thus far; but, although a man of extensive information, quite without the refinement and culture of the captain, and more yet, quite without his interest in religious matters. Though he accords us fullest liberty in religious exercises, he takes no personal interest in them. Speaking of our treatment by the officers, you will he glad to know that on all hands we have met with unqualified kindness; have wanted no comfort or attention that they could render; every request has been cheerfully and promptly granted.  I do not know what the sick would have done except for the patient kindness of the steward.  Anything they wanted made, any delicacy for a weak stomach he seemed to take real pleasure in procuring; [he] has furnished Nettie with delicious gruel for nearly a week that she had been too seasick to retain anything else; today she begins to eat heartier food.


Here too, we see answer to prayer, for Dr. Lowrie with us had made it repeated subject of special prayer that the Lord would “give us favor with our ship's company” and this the more evidently because all now left on board are bad and profane men.  I think our steward one of the most irreverent men I ever knew.


We were threatened with another danger after the storm. The subordinate officers and some or all of the crew were much dissatisfied with the first mate on his accession to command, displeased with his plans, and finally threatened mutiny.


It was an anxious season for we saw what was brewing and, with much prayer interceded, got all the parties together; and uniting, of course, in support of the first mate and the lawful commander of the vessel, were enabled to conciliate the disaffected parties, and avert a trouble which at one time seemed to threaten open revolt.  All appears to be quite over now; I see and hear no more of altercation.  You can hardly realize how helpless and defenseless one feels, here alone in this great ocean; but it is a good thing because it throws us quite back on God.


We suffered some damage by the storm in our property; some of our bedding, sheets pillow-cases, towels, etc. for the voyage, and all of Myers were soaked through by the waves washing into our state-rooms. Some of our books were much damaged also; a few quite ruined.  But we do not feel badly-downcast about it, for the Lord who gave them is quite able to make them up if necessary.  We have been for these two days hanging out and drying our wet things and are by tonight pretty much over the storm. Nettie's trunk, by the kindness of the steward was placed out of the wet, and nothing was wet. Mrs. Myers’ was much soaked. The damage to the ship amounts, the captain says, to about $1000; will be two days’ work for our twenty men to put her in as good order as before the storm. But she went through it nobly, although overloaded, leaked but little, and is in no respect unsafe for the voyage.  A few days will set us all right.


Wednesday Dec 28th


We have had another very stormy day. Had we not passed through the storm of last week I should think this a heavy storm, and indeed it is. Mr. Phillips says that in former voyages to and from India he experienced none heavier than this of today.  That first storm well prepared us for our ocean life, for it is not likely we shall have another like it.


It is very warm today, thermometer 65º to 75 º; I do not know where we are; no sun and no observation, but the wind is favorable, and we have been making a good course, probably not far north of Charleston S.C.  All the sea-sick, except Myers, are down again to-day.  Nettie has been quite sick some of the time but has kept down a good breakfast and supper; and went out on the upper deck with Myers and his wife this afternoon.  We stayed half an hour, till deluged by a tremendous wave which wet us from head to foot.   Nettie felt much better for the fresh air and saltwater.  One does not take cold at sea as on land; if we had been exposed to water and dampness at home as since we have left Boston, we should have been sick; but neither of us have taken the least cold.


All my boxes, so far as I have opened them, seem to have come safely, or nearly so.  My canned fruits are all safe, except one can of peaches, from which the rosin was broken off.  One bottle partly full of Port Wine was smashed apparently from being against the projecting point of a nail in the box.  All the two dozen cans that I bought in N.J. are safe.  Our Currant wine is proving invaluable.  Since Nettie has been seasick, wine and water has been the only drink she could keep on her stomach.


Thursday Dec 29th, Lat 35º N. Long 45º W


This is the latitude of Cape Hatteras, N. C., a little further north but much further east than I had supposed. We are, you see, just about the middle of the Atlantic some 1500 miles from the U.S. coast. We have had a fine wind all day.  All our winds, even our stormy winds, have in the goodness of God been favorable.


You may know it is not very wintry when we have all the afternoon been sitting in the wind with entire comfort; the sun was uncomfortably warm out of the wind.   Nettie has been entirely free from sea sickness today; at least since she rose this morning; when she was a little sick till she ate some of the peaches we canned. They were the first we had opened, and very nice indeed.


Wish you could look in and see what a quiet cozy circle we have here. Nettie and Mrs. Myers are knitting, Myers and I writing, Mrs. Phillips resting, little Ida Phillips marking on her slate, the rest are in the parlor on the sofas; we in the dining room. We have no fire because it is too warm; shall have the stove taken down in a day or two. The door is open out to the deck and it is very comfortable.  It is it possible that it is Dec 29th and you at home are shut up with the cold weather?!  Steward made a beginning on the ship stores of canned meat this noon; had very nice fresh veal; just as nice as though it had been killed yesterday.  Had pie from canned grapes tonight. Altogether we have every comfort we could expect at sea and many more. I do not think we shall be troubled much more with water in our rooms. The carpenter has put up our broken door, and no water came in during yesterday's storm.  I went down between decks this evening and opened my box of books for the voyage, which father put up; found everything in good order; hope to get to studying tomorrow.


Monday Jan 2nd 1865 Lat 27 º 33' N.  long 37 º 37' W.


A very happy new year to all!  I have neglected this for two or three days; little of interest has occurred and I have been quite busy.  Friday was the most pleasant day in our voyage yet; a fine Easterly breeze and a smooth sea bore us rapidly on; a warm June sun in the sky, nobody sea-sick.  Myers and I studied all day on Hebrew and mathematics. Saturday brought a change.  We met for the first the N.E. trade winds, which were blowing almost a gale heavier than, all the officers say, they have ever seen before.  So it has been ever since with little abatement--a heavy sea rolling over our decks all the time; since noon it has been better. Yet it has been sunny and pleasant; thermometer about 70° day and night with occasional light showers. Although high, the wind has been steady and most favorable so that we have been sailing very fast all the time.  We are sure of these good winds for a thousand miles to come or more.  We are now in the latitude of the Bahamas nearly.  By day after tomorrow we hope to cross the tropic [Tropic of Cancer]-- have been sailing nearly S.E. for several days. This we shall continue till we almost sight the Cape Verdi Islands off the W. coast of Africa when we turn S.S.W. and S.W. and make for Cape St. Rogue, the most easterly point of Brazil, with this same N. E. trade wind behind us almost to the Equator.


These rough seas have brought the sea-sick down again.  Nettie has been very sick, but is much better today although the sea continues rough; only she is weak from retaining so little nourishment.


I am reviewing my Navigation and Astronomy. Mrs. Pritchard has kindly loaned me her husband's instruments so that I now take observations every day, and compute our position for myself; a very pleasant diversion.  I have been quite successful and have not varied a mile yet from the captain's reckoning.  Is it not a wonderful thing that here in this immense waste of water one can so easily determine our position to within a half mile from a simple observation of the sun?


Yesterday we thought we should have spoken a vessel, Northward bound, and for that purpose ran very close, but she turned out to be a Danish brig, bound to Europe so little use in speaking her.  [In this context speaking means intentionally communicating.]


No hindrance is interposed to our religious services but our new commander refuses to allow any of the hands to attend any of our services; because, he says, "it will not do to give them any favor or he cannot govern them."  So we are shut up to prayer; hope for better things.  He is all wrong, thinks he must be cruel to govern, is an intolerable Secessionist and malignant (Deist), hates the blacks, and all Charity.  The hands, all but one boy, are black and most of them a hard-looking set.  On some of those faces, it really seems as if you could see Satan's brand on what was once God's image.  Yet sovereign grace can clothe even these with glory and with incorruption.


Wednesday Jan 4th Lat 24° 42' N. Long 34° W.


This has been a lovely day; such as have at home after fine showers late in June. Thermometer in the shade 7 A.M. 71º, 78º 1 P.M., 72º 9 P.M.  Just a gentle breeze; sea smooth as a lake, sky perfectly clear, a bright moon; a more delightful evening you cannot conceive -- all the early evening we lay out on deck, not a scarf or a hat needed.  Only think of this in midwinter.  Thermometer 84 º in the sun, too warm to work much; winter wear all packed away--winter for us is ended.            The order of the seasons is completely overturned in my mind.  You cannot think how strange it seems. You, shivering with cold weather, cold rain, snowstorms, blustering freezing Northeaster such as that in which I took Myers & wife to the cabins.  I cannot realize it at all. We have been well this week.  Nettie entirely over seasickness; it may trouble her should a storm arise, but she does not mind the ordinary motion of the ship at all this week.  She has appeared better than in many weeks before.


We are on the third week of our voyage.  None of us are oppressed with tedium yet. As long as all is so satisfactory on board, I do not see how we can be; for we are busy all day, and even these long days seem very short.  Have you thought what a difference in time is between us?  Here it is 9 P.M.  We are thinking of retiring, but you are only about half past six; just after tea. When you have breakfast, it is from 10 to 11 in the forenoon with us, when you are dining, we begin to think of tea.  These are curious things to think of, simple as they are.  I often, about 10, think how the sun is just reaching you, maybe, bringing you out of bed.


Friday Jan 6th Lat. 28° 28' N. Long 33º W.


I am sure you would be delighted to be with us tonight; at least if you were not seasick and you ought not to be with this almost imperceptible motion.  Such a beautiful evening! A bright moon in a softer sky than you have ever seen at home; the whole air suffused with light, the waves spangled with movement; every sail set on the ship, and she swiftly sailing Southward in the soft delicious breeze.  Where are we?  Just now as you [illegible] we are crossing the Tropic of Cancer, some 600 or 700 miles from the African coast over against the very centre of the desert of Sahara; whenever the E, wind blows strong, we feel even here its desert warmth. I cannot tell you the beauty of the water here.  Around Boston and N. Y. it is a muddy green.  Here it is a most beautiful sky blue, as clear and bright as ever I saw a summer sky.  Sometimes again it is of the brightest indigo, but always as clear as crystal.  The water is so transparent that you can see distinctly objects 25 to 30 ft below the surface, and I have no means of knowing how much deeper. Such days as these, we can eat in quite a landsman's style; in some days we have had, we have other fashions; to eat at table in a gale is quite an art; has to be learned by experience – my soup has been pitched into my lap; my coffee and tea over my arms and down my sleeves.


Our dining table is a feature peculiar to ship; of course fastened to the floor; around the edge a raised rim two or three inches high, to keep the dishes from sliding off; and more strips arose the table lengthwise dividing it into three compartments. This arrangement generally, not always, saves them.


Saturday Eve, Jan 7th Lat. 18° N. Long 32° W.


The quiet weather we have had all the week has ended today.  Although warm and pleasant, the wind is high with a heavy head sea, that that the vessel pitches in a manner very trying to those liable to sea-sickness; all whom are quite down today except Mrs. Myers; I had about as lief be sick as see too much sickness.   I do hope the sea will be smooth tomorrow, for the seasick have not had a quiet Sabbath yet since leaving Boston.


Saw flying fish today for the first time--they are very curious creatures.  I thought their "flying" was only a prolonged leap; but it is as much flying as the flight of a quail; quite as far though not as high they will rise, a flock of 100 or 200 together sometimes look at a distance a little like swallows, only with much larger bodies.


There is no improvement yet in the religious condition of the ship.  Our commander is such a bitter hater of Christianity; he manifests it more and more every day.  I have no reason to think he cherishes any personal ill will toward any of us, but with utter lack of good breeding, he pours out unmeasured contempt of Charity and horrid blasphemy even at the table, in a way extremely painful to us.  He is a very bad man--awfully profane, passionate and cruel.  Yet he prides himself on a kind of general uprightness in business; and is, I think, naturally a kind man but has seen the worst side of things, and has lost all faith in man.


Our relations with our fellow passengers are very pleasant, They are perhaps not people we could be intimate with; they have different ways from ours decidedly; yet they are very kind and pleasant and nothing occurs to mar our harmony. I think they are good people, of the Methodist stamp, are not bigoted or sectarian; if anything, are liberal to looseness in doctrine.


Tuesday January 10th Lat So 50º N. Long 28° 10' W.


As you will see from this date, we have been sailing very rapidly for three or four days, are about the latitude of Guiana, S. America. It is very warm; thermometer 78 º at 9 P.M., which on the land would give you 88° or 90°. The great drops roll down my face as I write here in the cabin.  All doors are  open yet it is not nearly as oppressive as the same heat would be on land.  Most of our company are feeling the debilitating influence of the climate in languor and headache; although our general health is good.  I suppose we do not take exercise enough.  Walking is all there is, and that is stupid business.  I stand the voyage thus far very well better than most other--no seasickness and little effect of climate.  Myers and his wife thus far feel the heat more than either Nettie or I.  I do not see that it yet affects Nettie at all.  She is easily seasick however; although not nearly as easily as at first.  She has done very well since Sabbath though the sea has been far from smooth. On the whole we have had thus far a very rough passage, so all the old navigators say.  Yet it has been a very rapid one, only 21 days from Boston and here we are off the mouth of the Amazon almost. The average passage is 40 days, often 50.  We have had only 12 hours of head wind yet, and that very light.  I have just been working out our times of sunrise and sunset; find that the sun rises 6:12, sets 5:52; whereas with you, it rises 7:24, sets 4:52 so that our days are two hours and ten minutes longer than yours. And they will be longer and longer till we meet the sun.


I love to think of all the favors and deliverances we have experienced as answers to the many prayers which you all, I know, are daily offering up for our safety and prosperity.  This seems to bring you near.  How much we want to hear from you.  I often, so often, think of home and try to bring up in my mind every spot about home; to think where you are and what you are doing; try to think how everything looked when I left home that Tuesday; mother went to the wagon; how Edward stood at the window looking after us as we drove away; how father looked as I last saw him from the car window at the depot.  All these are burned into memory ’til I die.  Sometimes the tears come to our eyes when we think all over; and yet we are never depressed and downcast, never regret what we have done; because we believe Christ has sent us, and Christ is with us, as he promised; and at furthest we shall meet, oh, I do trust all of us where and when it will be better than now, far better.


To go as a missionary is to cut loose from earth--not wholly, perhaps--this were impossible.  Yet it makes us feel that through all the future we have no home, no resting-place till the Lord comes.  It is true anywhere to a faithful Christian but especially so to us.  It is to have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings; in his homelessness and perhaps his death.  Who knows?  And yet, when we remember such words as these, it is a faithful saying; if we suffer with him, we shall also reign with him; and for the present, "Lo, I am with you always!"  We feel very happy and glad in all our tribulations.  It is late and I think I must retire.  Good night.


Thursday, Jan 12th Lat 6 ° 57' N. Long 26° 23' W


This is our second day in the "Doldrums" or "Horse Latitudes" as they are called.  Near the Equator the N.E. and S.E. trade winds meet; this causes the winds to blow in every way, sometimes whirlwinds arise; often they balance each other so that there is dead calm, often for days.  Here it rains nearly all the time year in and year out; tremendous rains with thunder and lightning frequently.  Sometimes ships are detained here for weeks---sometimes go through with little detention.  Mrs. Phillips, on her last passage, was here three weeks making 100 miles,  We have had several hours of dead calm in the past thirty six, yet most of the time some wind; this evening quite a breeze. We have had heavy rain nearly all the time as yet.  It is excessively warm through it all, thermometer from 77° to 80°, and this is the coldest season of the year here.  Why they call these the "Doldrums", I am sure I do not know. The story is that they are called the "Horse Latitudes" because long ago when there was a great trade in Horses between S. America and Europe, ships would be detained so long here that half the horses died and were to be seen floating about these seas.  So say the old salts: They extend from 8° or 10° N. to 4° or 2° N. variously at different seasons.


This hot weather makes our canned fruit very acceptable.  I would not be without it for three times its value.  I only wish I had brought as much again; I had plenty of money and might have yet attempted.  I thought we had enough.  But the Myers brought nothing of the kind and so ours goes only half as far; yet we have a good deal. From Ceylon we hope to be supplied with fresh tropical fruit.


I have not told you what a narrow escape Nettie had from seasickness the other day.  She was sitting on the edge of an open hatchway on the upper deck over the cabin stairway. She thought it closed; and, seating herself further back, fell backward through and down the stairway, perpendicularly some eight feet.  You may be sure we were all frightened; but she was not seriously hurt--only a little bruised and jarred.  It is a great mercy she was not killed or crippled for life, as you would think could if you see the place.


Friday, Jan 13th 1865 Lat 3 ° N. Long 2° W.


We have had some tremendous rains today but have been favored with a moderate steady wind, quite unusual in these latitudes.  Indeed, we are peculiarly favored; for, while hitherto we have held steadily on our course, other vessels in sight have been becalmed, others driving before an opposite wind.  This is a very curious place in that respect; the winds within a few miles blow from every point of the compass.  Tonight it is bright and clear; a strong S.E. wind drives us swiftly on our course.  You cannot think how pleasant it is to  meet vessels at sea; to feel that there are other human beings beside you on this vast lonely ocean.  We have sighted a great many, especially since entering the trade winds; over twenty at least.  But all that we have made out have been Europeans, and most going the same way with us. We passed very near a vessel yesterday bound to Guiana S. A., exchanged longitudes, on a board on which our positions were chalked; their reckoning only two miles different from ours--a difference doubtless due to imperfections of instruments.


Passed through a large school of young whales this morning; the huge monsters played about the ship like calves. The captain hauled in a young shark this morning, about three feet long, a villainous looking creature.  Two or three followed us for some time.


Monday, Jan 16th Lat 1° 44', Long 27°


This Doldrums weather gets us on but slowly.  Yet it is so much better than often ships have--we are very thankful.  We had a delightful Sabbath yesterday. Our religious services are very interesting.  We have a splendid Bible class, never enjoyed any better; we differ so widely on many things that the Bible is well sifted.  But I must say I never before realized how utterly destitute of Scriptural foundation is the Arminian system.  [Arminian heresy is a protestant heresy disagreeing with some of Calvin’s predestination.  Some Arminians verge on the Universalists’ salvation for all mankind].   When arguing for their distinctive doctrines they do not pretend to adduce any Scripture, or, if they do, utterly refuse to accept any but isolated passages which seem to favor their peculiar views.  When confronted with other Scriptures, which explains or deny their interpretation, they are dumb.  For example, Mr. [illegible] was arguing stoutly against the saints' perseverance; took the position that when David sinned, he was fallen away and no true believer: because "no murderer hath eternal life."  Myers asked if he believed David was ever restored and finally saved?  Oh, yes.  How do you reconcile it with the declaration of the apostle Heb[?] (which he had urged referred to true believers) where he says if a spirit falls away it is impossible to renew him again to repentance."  He was dumb and tried to change the point; but when pressed frankly said he could not explain it.  Some commentator he believed had, but he had forgotten.


Yet have had but little discussion, only sometimes it is forced upon us-- we have never begun it.


But their theology is fearfully out of the way; they object to the doctrines of grace out and out. I have preached on the way of salvation, that Christ has done all, that we were accepted because Christ had paid all for us. They did not think it was true.


Mr. P claims that man is fully able to keep the whole law of God--that God commands nothing but we are able to do! and much more such monstrous heresy.  He claimed that a man's regeneration was his own act because God commanded us to make ourselves a new heart.  I asked where was the Scripture which taught that; he could not tell me.  I told I had never met such a text; asked him how he accounted for it that in every place where a work of spiritual renewal was spoken of, as in many places to which I referred him, it has declared to be the work of the Holy Ghost.  He was unable again and persistently refused the issue.  On unessential things I am easy, but these things lie too close to the nature of the cross for me to hear them assailed with indifference.  I am happy to hope from their prayers that their hearts are sounder than their heads.  But although we discuss, all was begun and ended in the most amiable spirit.


Coming down from these matters I must tell you what beautiful fish we saw Saturday.  Six dolphins followed us a long time toward evening.  They are brilliant in color as a peacock; back a bright sky blue, then clear grass green, then gold in yellow and beneath milky white.  If any of you have ever seen the Angel Fish in the Acuarai in Varrumis Museum, the coloring of that closely resembles it; only the Dolphin is much larger, often five or six feet long; those we saw were young; we caught one about as large as a cod; about the best salt water fish I ever tasted; it hardly tastes like fish at all--smells and tastes much more like veal cutlets.


An enormous whale, forty feet long, played around the ship for two or three hours yesterday. He swam around and around and under us many times, blowing much like and almost as loud as the steam from the escape pipe of a locomotive.


Wednesday, Jan 18th Lat on 0° 33' S. Long 28° 21' W.


Yes we crossed the equator this noon, or rather 1:20 P.M. by observation.  At least I took an observation at 12 H which made us in lat 0 ° 6 N. and the ship's rate as measured by log would bring us to the Equator about that time, within 5 minutes anyway.  We met the South East trades today and are sure again of steady favorable winds for 1000 or 1200 miles to come.  We are now, for the first time since leaving Boston, on the track of American homeward bound vessels from India, China and California [and] are greatly in hope we may have a chance to send letters home; if we do not in a few days we shall have to wait probably for Ceylon; for we soon leave their track.


I have not told you much about our crew. A remarkable lot they are; of almost every color but white; only one white boy among them. They profess to be negroes all, but are yellow, olive, black and mahogany variously! They are from the Canary Islands, and Porto Rico, some of them, and speaking not a word of English, but a jargon of negro Portuguese and negro Spanish.  Others are escaped contrabands from Maryland and Virginia.  Some are intelligent enough others a little more so than a monkey which in feature they very much resemble.


A wild grotesque looking set they are. They are great in music; have a certain inimitable and indescribable style of singing.  Their song is made up as they go by the leader and consists chiefly of chorus, in which all join very loud and with an indescribable intonation, a tune I have tried but cannot catch, varied by an occasional howl and screech.


(Leader)  I'se bound to Calcutta city
(All)   Hand over hand, hand over hand
(Leader)  Qwine for to see an Indian gal
(All)  Hand over hand, hand over hand
(Leader)  Way down in Calcutta city
(A11)   Hand over hand, hand over hand
(All)  con amore  Yow-ow   ho!


Put together words, tune and the inimitable solemnity of visage and contortions of visage by which it is accompanied and one could think themselves rather in the wilds of Africa with savages than in a U.S. ship under the flag of a so-called Christian nation.


Many of them had to be named when they came on board; the names are such as Daw Rice, from the distinguished one, Longfellow, so called because he is a long-fellow, some 6 ft 6, and so on.


Friday ev'g Jan 20th, Lat 5° 47' 3 Long 30° 29’


Just a month today since we left Boston, the 31st day of our passage ended today night.  If the remainder of our passage is accomplished as quickly in propor­tion as this first part, we shall be at Calcutta in three months from America instead of four.  However, we shall be delayed at Ceylon a week or so. That we think, however, will be very pleasant, especially if there are missionaries in the vicinity of Galle.  I wish you could see the magnificent sunsets we have here in the tropics.  I have seen glorious sunsets at home, but never anything to compare with these.  There is a variety of tint far greater than at home, and more than that an indescribable delicacy and transparency of coloring which I have never seen at home.  I can compare it to nothing but the coloring of the rainbow.  And the sunset coloring is not in the western heavens alone, but the whole heavens, East and West is lit up with glory and beauty, as I have only seen it a few times in the U.S. but here every night.  There is scarcely any twilight here; it is dark almost at once after sundown--and then such a magnificence of stars.  I never, in the clearest winter night, saw such multitudes of stars at home as this clear atmosphere reveals.     Many of our Northern stars are gone.


The Pole Star set days ago; the Dipper makes his appearance no more. Orion is in the zenith but is traveling rapidly northward, and by the time we reach our southern limit will be seen far to the North West.


As I may have to close this hastily, I will tell you what disposition to make of this letter.  As I would have about the same things to say to all, I thought this time I would write this letter for all: Edward and Carrie, please accept this all as written to you--and so aunts and cousins in Brooklyn and L.I.  And so, father, after you have read this will you please send it to Carrie in Brooklyn.  There Aunt Caroline, Aunt N. and Aunt Hannah and the others who wish can read it.  As soon as you are done with it in Brooklyn, please send it to Mr. Lamb S. Hartwell. Deckertown, Sussex Co., New Jersey for Nettie's friends will want to see it.  After they are done with it, they will return it to father at Plainfield.


Please circulate with as little delay as possible.  I think you will agree that this is the best course to take; when we get to India I will write to you separately.  Nettie has taken the same plan with reference to her friends, and they will send you her letter, father, after they have read it.  I sent back letters by the pilot when we left Boston which I suppose have been received.


Wednesday Jan 25th Lat 17° S long 31° W


We meet a vessel; I rejoice to send this home.  We are all well; have had a very rapid and prosperous voyage, should not be surprised if we were at Calcutta in 100 days from Boston.  Will write from Ceylon.  Much love, very much I remain your loving son and brother, Sam H Kellogg.


Well disappointment is the lot of man; captain said get your letters ready; here was a Swedish brig bound to Gibraltar whence we could mail letters home; we close, the vessel came near, our boat went out to board her, but although she passed us speaking distance she sailed so fast and we too, that we could get nothing on board. And now Jan 26th Thursday I am making another entry in this long letter.  We are in lat S 20° 20', long 29°  29' W. Just a little to the S.E. of us as I write is the island of Trinidad distant now about 14 or 15 miles. How we delight to see it--the first land we have seen since leaving Cape Cod.  It is a very high island, nearly round, ten miles wooded land in the interior, mostly low shrubs as seems from ship.  It is high precipitate, almost like the Palisades its steep rocky walls.  It was formerly inhabited but not now, except by immense flocks of white and brown birds which fly around the ship. We pass about 3 or 9 miles W of it, course S.E. by S.


I am not very well today.  I am suffering for want of exercise, as little as I think together with the enervating influence of the warm weather.


We are troubled at present with bad water. We had splendid arrangements for water when we left Boston, a large tank filled with water imbedded in ice would give us the best of water.  But the careless scamps whose business it was did not make the covering of it on deck water tight; so that in the storm the sea water washed in, not so that it will not quench thirst but making it very brackish and unpleasant.


We have depended wholly on rainwater, which when filtered has been, though warm, quite tolerable. But the sailors forgot to keep the bugs out.  The casks which were filled in the equatorial rain so that the cask we have been using having given out, we have no water but of vilest taste.  They say after two or three weeks fermenting it will be sweet, but this we must wait.  It is really amusing to see the wry faces and woeful expressions of our poor company as from time they try to force down the nauseous draught; we put all manner of curious things into raspberry sugar, molasses, vinegar, boiled cider, wine, brandy, cream of tarter, but nothing will quite cover the taste of the rigging and old casks though they render it somewhat more tolerable.  We have some canned pineapples with very little sugar in them, the liquor from which is about the best substitute we find for water a teaspoonful or so at a time.


Friday Jan 27th Lat 23° S. Long 28° W. 


I do not feel that I can write much of interest tonight, but feel moved to write notwithstanding--maybe at your expense.  Trinidad was out of sight this morning--and water, all water again. I have drawn a rough sketch of the island which I enclose, will give you a little idea of its appearance when we were just about E of it, 10 miles distant.  We discovered last evening in the S. hemisphere a large comet; it is too far S. for you to see it yet; it bears W S W from us, about 35 degrees behind the sun; it is evidently on the increase.   Although hazy tonight, it was larger and brighter than last night, and measured 22 degrees in length, as nearly as I could get it with the sextant.  It appears to be moving rapidly E ward,  I have not observed it long enough to see whether it makes much Northing.  If it does not, I doubt whether you can see it; you may, low in the Southern Horizon when it makes its meridian transit.  I wonder if it is King Charles' First comet, which has been expected by astronomers for four or five years past--again which on a former appearance the Pope ordered special prayer,  that all the faithful should join  in the petition, "Save us, good Lord,


from the Devil, the Turk, and the comet.” We are sailing very rapidly this evening, indeed are making splendid sailing even since we met the S.E. trades. They are blowing too unusually to the E, So that we are able to make almost our direct course for the cape of Good Hope.  Ordinarily the wind blows so much toward the W that vessels have to take the course indicated by the dotted line.  [The original letter has a diagram (see just above) showing the usual sailing route heading SW far from the South American shore then turning nearly straight E. where W. temperate zone trade winds begin S of  a dotted line, the  tropic of Capricorn].   All the Westing that they made, of course, has to be traveled over again; our course is indicated by the smooth line. We passed the meridian of the sun [perhaps long 30º W] day before yesterday, tonight we shall reach the Southern Tropic; to-morrow be in the So Temperate Zone. It has been a little cooler for a day or two – thermometer about 78º; very comfortable.


I think I have not mentioned one of the peculiar glories of these tropical latitudes--the magnificence of the Zodiacal light.  About half an hour after sundown as the twilight is about to melt away, the Western heaven brightened up again, with a rich golden light--a lofty nebulous color which reaches far up toward the zenith.  This flushes soon into an imitable rose or pink which darkens again into deep orange with rays of light radiating from the center of its base when, in about 20 minutes, it disappears.  I am sure I can give you no idea of its beauty.  It lightened up all the sky, and casts a long path of light like softened sun light on the sea. You may possibly have seen it in your latitude at home--a pale cone of light in the sun's path after sundown.


It is only visible at some seasons of the year at home at all.  I suppose the reason is that, as this accompanies the sun, extending only about 12 or 15 degrees from his centre, the twilight is so long in all high latitudes that the sunlight is not faded away enough to allow it to be seen before it is gone.  Here the twilight is so short, that we see it in its glory soon after sunset.  [Tropical twilight is the shortest worldwide because, there, the sun descends almost perpendicularly across the horizon and hence moves more quickly below it all year around.  In the arctic summer the sun moves so nearly horizontally that it doesn’t set at all.]  The zodiacal light has puzzled astronomers; but I think it is supposed to be an immense mass of very rare nebulous matter, surrounding the sun, but solidified neither into its mass, nor yet constituting itself into a solid planet.  It reaches very many millions of miles from the sun; some think to the earth's orbit in some parts; & conjecture that meteoric rocks are derived from this nebulous body, when the earth in its orbit passes through its outer limits.  [Now it is known that meteors are from broken up asteroids].  And, so, with goodnight, I close this astronomical entry.


Monday Jan 30th 1865 Lat S 28° Long W 24° 10'


We are still favored with fine winds and very rapid progress, and have now every reason to believe we shall round the Cape of Good Hope next week, very likely within 6 weeks, 42 days, from Boston, an unprecedentedly quick passage; we shall then be decidedly more than half way; it is never expected to be as long from the Cape to Calcutta as from Boston to the Cape.  Making all allowance for light winds, however, it seems highly probably that we shall be less than 100 days on the water where others have often been from 120 to 150.  We are in hopes; the officers expect to reach Ceylon in four or five weeks from now, it does not seem possible; I did not expect to reach there till about the first of April. But it is the Lord, and we are very thankful. I have been making out a chart of our voyage which I will send in this or a subsequent letter. You will observe each day's passage marked, our exact course day by day, the direction of our winds, our storms and calms, and items of interest I have jotted down, thinking it might be some satisfaction to you to see exactly where on the wide sea we were through your winter day by day.


Yesterday was the Sabbath.  Myers gave us an excellent sermon in the morning, an interesting Bible class in the afternoon; our fellow passengers are such radical Arminians.  We have abundance of discussion on almost every text.  I do not know whether the discussions do them any good; I am glad of them, so long as they continue in so amicable spirit, for it at least gives us an opportunity to clear ourselves and our church from monstrous misrepresentations of what are called Calvinistic doctrines.  But the most pleasant service was our participation of the sacrament of the Lord's supper in the evening.  A more delightful service of the kind 1 never experienced, unless it be the long-to-be-remembered Sabbath that last I spent in Plainfield.


Our captain has entirely and suddenly changed his course toward us on religious matters.  For a week past, he has entirely refrained from his profanity, blasphemy, and reviling of Christ, has been very cautious in expression of religious matters.  A week ago yesterday at dinner he was peculiarly bitter and cruel in his remarks. I rose and left the table.  All the Christians followed.


I think he took it.  I endeavored to be as kind as ever to him, that he might not think I was angry, as I was not, but only deeply pained and grieved.  At any rate, we have had no more of it and he has paid us all marked attention and kindness.


I have had two or three very pointed talks with him since, talked plainly to him; he has received it very differently, does not rebut me or sneer when I speak but receives all with utmost respect; says the other night, in a half despairing tone, "I am a dreadful wicked man, sir; and I am getting more wicked all the time.  I am a great deal more wicked than I was a few years ago."


Oh, if the Lord would but change him!  He will not for an instant admit that we have any revelation (except that in the creation). Yet I think he is under con­viction of sin.  If that sturdy blasphemer were brought to worship Jesus, it would seem like the raising of the dead for yonder!


We ran through a school of sea-porpoises this morning; one was harpooned and hauled on deck, six feet two inches long, three feet about him - body like a fish - head like a hog, and snout like a duck-bill.


Saturday, Feb 4th. S Lat 34° Long W 13°


It is five days since I have written, but here on shipboard so little occurs to break the regular course of every day that the journalists have a hard time of it. We are out of the [tropical E] trade winds, very nearly in the latitude of the Cape of Good hope, though more than a thousand miles W of it.  Usually, [temperate zone] westerly winds prevail here in later summer, but our winds since leaving the trades, have been Easterly and North East, so that we have not made as much Easting as we would like. There is not much wind anyway, calm and pleasant, a little hazy, thermometer about 76°.


Every day goes by in an almost unvarying routine, breakfast at 8, then a walk, then I read Hebrew & Nettie and Mrs. Myers study Greek, usually, after I have taken observations for longitude.  I study until about 12 when I go out take observation for latitude, then work out ship's position, hear my Greek lesson, then dinner, another walk if the sun does not shine on deck, a can of fruit early disposed of in part maybe, then, commonly, study till tea time, when I spend a little time in a miscellaneous fashion. After tea--half-past five, we usually walk, or play at "Tag", "Puss in the Corner", or (the masculine part of us) gymnasticate, or climb the rigging till evening prayers at half-past seven after which we read or write till bed time.  The days go by very rapidly.  If you will be busy, time will nowhere drag heavily.  I have read considerable Hebrew, and am studying Astronomy somewhat more thoroughly than heretofore, and working out solar and lunar eclipses, with good success.  I find it a very pleasant recreation to take daily observations, and compute our position.  I would advise anyone with any knowledge of trigonometry who is going on a long voyage, gentleman or lady, to provide themselves with a quadrant or sextant and a Nautical Almanac; they will find endless recreation and pleasure in various observations - Am also studying out the Constellations, learning the names of the various prominent stars--delightful work - these clear warm evenings.


Wednesday, Feb 8th 1865 Lat 35° 33' S Long 2° E


Last night we crossed the meridian of Greenwich and are now in East longitude.  We felt when we crossed the Equator and entered South Latitude, we had almost left the planet, but now that we are in the opposite hemisphere, East as well as West, home seems further off than ever.


We have met a storm this evening; the first we have had since we left the borders of the Gulf Stream.  I hardly think it will be very heavy.  I rather enjoy it tonight; we have had so much sunshine and smooth sea, I like the roar and howl of the storm and the pouring of the rain.


We are making a course nearly due East this week and shall for more than 3000 miles to come.  We shall not go much further South, as it is, the weather is decidedly cooler here-- thermometer about 70° this evening, warm to be sure for February but after 80° to 85° for weeks, it seems quite cool.


Monday Eve Feb 13th Lat 37° 20' S. Long 15º E


My writing last Wednesday did not amount to much, as you see--did not feel like writing  as our life is not very eventful at present. Today gave us a little episode.  A schooner from London bound to Natal, Africa spoke us.  The vessels came very close, so that we had quite a chat with the captain who was an Irishman of the broadest kind; all our company out on the quarter-deck.  While we were talking the little wind died entirely away, and we found we were drifting directly into each other.  It was quite a lively time on both vessels, to save themselves.  Mr. Pate ties his rudder, gets all his men over in a small boat to which he fastens the schooner and the crew; four men tow the schooner away from us.  After we were well separated, Mr. Pate sent over his mate, to know if we wanted anything, and to carry a jar of lemon drops from Mr. Pate "for the ladies". – Mrs. Myers sent over a can of applesauce for the Captain, and a good quantity of tobacco.  So, with a bow from Mr. Pate on his bulwarks, ended our first call since we left Boston.


We have had almost a calm since noon, and yesterday head wind, so that we have made little headway for twenty four hours past.  The head wind yesterday compelled us to move a N.E. course till we were only some 7 or 8 hours sail from the Cape of Good Hope.  Prevailing South winds direct from the Pole have considerably lowered our temperature so that the thermometer stood at 65°, although this is no further from the Equator than Washington, and this their summer yet, at that a great many birds have been about us for some days--petrels, "gonies" as the captain calls them, a small bird that sits on the water often like a duck, riding prettily on the billows; but chief of all is the Albatross, a noble large bird, measuring from six to ten feet from tip to tip of wing.  We have seen a great many. They fly very close to the vessel.  When it is a little colder, you can catch them by a large hook which you bait with a piece of pork, and attach to a float.  Our Capt says he has hauled in dozens of them.  They are of different kinds--some pure white, others a reddish brown, a third and largest kind, black.


We get on nicely with our studies.  I have read through the book of Leviticus in Hebrew and accomplished a good deal in Astronomy, and other mathematics.  I have the best health, and enjoy myself much.


Saturday, Feb 18th Lat S. 39° Long 25°5’


Another week is gone.  I wonder if you have not often said; "how tedious their long voyage must be; how slowly the time must drag!"  Yet nothing could be further from the truth. It seems impossible that Saturday night can be here again.  We have all been very well this week and done a good week's work.  We have read the book of Leviticus in Hebrew on the voyage and a good part of Hosea, beside on my part thorough review of nearly all Astronomy.  Nettie and Mrs. Myers progress finely with Greek; have begun to read already.  It is a good place to study at sea; I would not mind if we were bound around the world. We have had a tremendous swell for twenty-four hours, from the N.E--the work of some Hurricane N.E. of us in the Indian Ocean.  No person who has not been to sea can have any idea of the magnitude of these enormous waves; one after another rolls upon us as broad easily as the broadest field on your farm and proportionate height.  It is a wonderful sight. And to think over what immense regions they travel.  This hurricane, doubtless according to the ordinary laws of the storms in the Indian Ocean, gathered far up toward the China seas--and sends these great seas rolling thousands upon thousands of miles to the S. W.  I cannot realize that we are in this part of the world at all. It is so strange to think and look of Southward and think how all the way to the South Pole is for 3000 miles one lonely sea; no land at all, except a few rocks here and there where the sea birds build their nest; no ships even, for it is off the track of vessels,  except perhaps a solitary whaler--it is the uninhabited hemisphere.  I have to preach tomorrow.


It is not an easy thing to preach to such a congregation as we have.  I confine myself to fundamental truths, but cannot satisfy them in any expression of the most elementary truths of the gospel--to me it is the most precious truth that for me "believing, guilty and debtor as I am, Jesus died and Paid it all "Long, long ago".


If he did not pay all, I am sure there is no hope for me; but they do not believe he has paid all by any means and I hear or whether they will forbear.  Only I am sorry to have to preach what any cannot receive, who yet I trust are God's people. I trust their hearts are wiser than their heads.


Thursday, Feb 23rd, 1865 Lat 39° 30' S. Long 38° 46' E.


We have had a great of light wind since crossing the meridian of Greenwich.- have made for a few days  past only 2° or 3° longitude a day, where we ought to be making  5°.  And this morning, all last night, we had a dead calm.  The surface of the sea was smooth and glassy as an inland lake, hardly seeming less so for the slow heavy swell from the S.E.; but ever since this forenoon, we have had a strong wind which is now quite heavy so that we are going some eleven knots an hour.


I must tell you how the breeze came up.  I was looking over the stern into the glassy water in which the vessel was rising and falling on the swell, and it was given me to ask the Lord in faith that he would in his goodness, send us wind and hasten us somewhat more upon our voyage.  And that very instant, a breeze struck my cheek, under which our vessel sprang forward in the water like a horse under the ship, which breeze rapidly gained strength till in 15 minutes we were sailing six knots an hour, and in half an hour it was blowing a strong wind.


Some would laugh at it and call it an accidental coincidence, but I experience too many such to believe that; I believe it was in answer to prayer.  It seemed just as when I have asked father for something in his reach, and he has immediately put forth his hand and given it to me.  It was so quick this time, but this is not the only time.  I do believe it is true that the Lord Jesus cares for us and cares to make us happy even in little ways; and that when he says whatever we ask believing he will give he intends to do as he says so that wherever the Holy Ghost gives the gift of faith, there the answer will as surely come as Christ is God, even though it be " a little thing" "a temporal thing" or anything which we may call things to excuse our unbelief; "whatever" we ask in faith he will give whether it be the prosperous breeze, or the downfall of an empire.  I wonder very much at my own unbelief; for I do believe we have abundant warrant in God's words for such a trust as should relieve us forever from all care and anxiety in worldly or spiritual things--as the apostle exhorts "be careful for nothing".


We had a little event of yesterday which may interest you--the capture of an Albatross. These great birds have been about our ship in great numbers for the last 1000 miles. The Capt has been trying to get one for some days.  And how did he get it?  By “fishing" for it--about 100 ft of line, two large floats, one for the line and one for the bait, a large shark hook baited with pork, this is the "rig".  Throw the line into the water, and the Albatross always flying near the water, fishing, takes it and is caught.  They are large birds; this one measured ten feet two inches from tip to tip of his wings; and 15 inches around the head.  They are of various colors from dark brown to nearly pure white; this one was white with brown wings.  They killed him to get his feathers and various relics from him.  I felt sorry for the beautiful creature, with its great mild eye.  They have an incredible amount of the softest down.  The bill is very large, not nearly so flat as that of a goose, and hooked like an eagle's of a beautiful pink color--that of this one at least.  When on the deck, they cannot rise to fly; their feet are tender that they cannot walk on it without bleeding; and when they attempt are about one half as graceful as a duck a waddle covering about ten feet of deck.  I have the skin of one of his feet which, with the claws attached, is sometimes dressed and used for a purse; it makes a rather large one.  I am saving mine, and, if I can get it nicely dressed will, send it to Edward for a purse.  It is better adapted for specie than paper; but hope before he gets it, you will have a specie currency again.


Thursday, Mar 1st Lat S 38° Long E. 62° 30'


I think it is well for you that I am not as fluent with my pen as in the early part of our voyage, or this letter would grow to length too great to be read even by you. But as it is so little occurs to break the monotony of sea life, and I have so little gift for moralizing especially in so public letter as I fancy this may be, that you are likely to be released with 40 or 50 pages.


Hebrew and Mathematics with two or three chapters daily in the Greek Testament-- this is my daily work--a work especially the study of the Bible which is every day more and more pleasant.  I do not find the spiritual enjoyment in it commonly that I could wish, but I never had such a desire for the spiritual under­standing of it, as since I have studied it so much on this voyage.  I feel that all I want of life, joy, peace, strength, is in that Blessed Work, and nowhere else.  I long to gain it from its pages.  There are they who testify of Christ; and truly to know and believe what God testifies concerning Him is life eternal.  I have come almost to grudge the time I cannot spend upon the Word, especially because I understand so little of it, and need to be so much more richly imbued with it for my ministry than I am.  Yet other things have a place, but only I do believe second to the Word, while it does seem clear to me, that a Christian, and especially a Christian minister, cannot afford any time for the ephemeral literature of the day.   Indeed I have no taste for it, it is so intensely earthly.  I do not like it.  It seems strange to me, although I have been so myself.  How can Christians spend so much time on trash?  We have at best a hard battle in the world; wrestle against principalities, against powers, against wicked Spirits in high places; we are scarcely saved, and we need so much the strength of God's Word,   Perhaps I feel it the more deeply that I have neglected it so much myself.


We have just finished reading together Chronicles of the Schonberg Cotta Family; and, Carrie, please tell Miss Andrews that I do thank her very much for that book.  I have not found a book in a long time that I like so much.  We feel that it has done us much spiritual good; I think every Christian must be profited by reading it. Yes, tell her it has done me good and I thank her for it much.  I fully intended to have called and thanked her in person before we sailed, but deferring it to a more convenient season till at last I lost the opportunity.  I hope you will all read that book if you can get it.  I wish there were more like it.


Mar 20th Lat 18° S. Long 85° E


You must not think that if this is interrupted for so long time that for distance and time we are thinking less of you.  Indeed I think the farther away and longer absent, the more you are on our hearts and lips.  We talk a great deal about home and all of you.  But so little occurs that would be new even to you; every thing is so uniform that it would be only repetition, and beside I have been so very busy that I have found little time.


We have had a week of trial.  A week ago Friday we were sailing finely N in the S. E. trades when suddenly the wind left us in Lat 19° 56', and until within a day or two we have had only calms and light variable head winds, who have driven us to within every point of the compass; so that yesterday we were only 40 miles further N than a week ago. Except for this delay we would have been at Ceylon by this time.


It was the more trying because I think, indeed am sure, that but for the ignorance of our commander we might have been spared nearly all the delay.  When the calm and variable winds overtook him, he was utterly confounded, said he did not know what way to steer.  He had expected the S. E. wind to blow to the Equator, had overlooked the statement in his Navigator [reference book] that from October till April, a North West wind, the little monsoon blows from Equator to Lat S 12° or 14°, and the SE. trades only blow to the Equator in the Indian Ocean, the remaining half the year.  Now what would be the result of this?  Evidently as it is everywhere else under similar circumstances--for a greater or less space between the two winds there will be a narrow belt of variable winds and calms, the two winds neutralizing or bending each other.  If this be so, then his proper course would be to steer as near due North as possible, when he would shortly cross this narrow belt and meet prevailing steady winds from the N.W.  But what does he do?  He takes a course due East, as you see keeping right along in this narrow belt of calms and variable winds.


He of course got nothing better.  He conferred with me once or twice to see what information I had gained from works in my possession.   I argued the case with him as I have shown.  He asked, "What had I better do then?”  I said, "I think you had better steer North 60 or 70 miles; and then I think you will have wind."  But he was so ignorant; he seemed very slow to admit the conclusion although admitting the premises.  He was afraid he would find a SE. wind in the N. where the course I urged would be fatal to him. He said, "My experience was different."  But as it turned out he had never been here in this time of year before; but in the time when according to my charts, the present state of things could not exist.  Well he remained set in his way till Saturday steering East to find a wind, which of course he did not find.  It was very trying, especially because I was so sure if he only would go N. 50 or 100 miles North, he would find a good wind, in which too I was confirmed observing that wherever in the daily variations of position N and S, we made a little Northing, the winds verged more toward what I said they would be and a clear sky showed itself far to the North, while where we were, all was dark, cloudy and rainy, as always is the case in these zones of calms.  By Saturday night he became quite discouraged, and Sabbath changed his course according to my suggestion, at least sailing N whenever he could without making more W.  The results immediately verified my theory before we had sailed many miles North, we left calms and clouds and rain behind, for clear skies and favorable breezes.  All the past twenty four hours we have held steadily on our course.  Far down in the Southern horizon a low belt of heavy clouds marks the dismal region in which we had been ensnared, but I have hope forever.


Had he maintained his former course, we should doubtless have been there still and for a month to come.  Mr. Sheffield is a man of great experience as a sailor, but of very little education.  He has his instructions and tables which he follows mechanically, but knows nothing of the principles on which they are based.  Consequently, any exceptions to ordinary laws and his instructions fail him.  He is utterly at a loss and knows not what to do.  He is not to be blamed, however, for he does not profess to be a Captain but was you know first mate, until we lost our captain.  For first mate he is abundantly competent; knows enough of navigation to command in an emergency as has been proved, and probably would have few superiors in seamanship; but for commander for a long voyage he lacks the education in mathematics and physical science which is necessary.


This experience has been of interest to me, as being my first opportunity to test and apply practically the principles of physical geography as we received them from Prof Guot in College.  That my predictions, based upon these principles in a distant region of the world, have been verified in the event, is a matter of peculiar satisfaction.  I never felt the value of a general, comprehensive course of study, such as we have in College as on this voyage.  My mathematics have afforded a great deal of satisfaction in computing from observations our latitudes and longitudes; and indeed seem to have been useful, for it is common where there is a captain for the first mate to take observations with him, so that error in observation from any cause may be detected by two observers with two instruments.  The second mate cannot do much in these matters and Mr. Sheffield always wants me to take observations and work out our position with him.  It helps and pleases him, and beside I think it gives me more influence with him; every man thinks more of another if he shows acquaintance with and interest in his calling.


This detention has been profitable to me spiritually.  We have been made to feel our dependence upon God our Father; to move the mind of our commander to take the proper course, as well as to give us favorable winds.  We have daily new experience of His goodness and faithfulness in answering prayer.  I was able among other things last week to write a sermon in addition to my ordinary Bible reading, which I preached on Sabbath without any notes whatever.  It is a very hard place to preach.  We do not commonly have any but the passengers and the cabin boy; and our fellow passengers are such radical Arminians that it is very hard to satisfy them in preaching.   In one sense I do not try.  I do not indeed select Election, Perseverance for themes of discourse; so far I concede to them; but when I preach Salvation by Christ, I cannot see that I have any right to modify or hold back anything which I understand the Scripture to teach that Christ has perfected our salvation.  I cannot hold it back and be faithful to Christ.  I enjoyed preaching on this Sabbath more than at any time before on the ship.  I preached from Romans viii 33.  “Who shall lay anything to the charge of Godes elect?   It is God that justifieth".


Mrs. Pritchard, our Captain's widow, is in a very anxious state of mind.  I had a very satisfactory talk with her two or three days ago and think she is not far from, if not already, in the Kingdom of God.  This miserable Arminian doctrine, and their whole style of talk, is very bad for such a one.  It drives them to scrutinizing their own experiences and feelings, instead of trusting them away from self to Christ-- I am pained and often indignant at the summary manner in which the Scriptures are set aside and are declared in so many words their doctrines to be false--all because it will not square with "the latest results of modern psychological analysis."!!


March 23rd Lat 13° 40'S. Long 86° 10’ E.


I would like you to see us now; you would feel a little anxious, and indeed our danger has been very great.  Yet maybe by this evening we will have reason to hope that the worst is over.   We have encountered a terrific hurricane; not a gale, but a furious revolving Cyclone such as desolated Calcutta last fall.  This is one of the regions where they prevail, and one of the most dangerous months of the year. You will easily understand the nature of these storms; they are really immense having a diameter of from 300 to 1000 miles.  The wind always revolves in same directions in the same hemisphere.  We struck the hurricane where the wind was E.SE. in the evening.   Mr. Sheffield ran into it about 70 miles and, the fury of the tempest then being so great, "hove to" and lay still ever since.  These tempests, beside their revolving motion, have like small tornadoes a progressive motion from E.N.E. to W.S.W. consequently we have good reason to believe it will pass by now without further damage.  I never have seen such a wind in my life as we have had, and yet from calculations I have made we were probably some 200 miles South of the centre of the whirl where it has its greatest fury; so much I know, we have been only 7/25 of the distance from the circumference to the centre; I have not sufficiently accurate observations to give more than a guess at that distance.  I estimate it at 400 miles at least three hundred miles north the fury of the tempest must have been unimaginable.  Where we are the sea has been tremendous.  I can give no conception of it.  Think of immense mountains of water running half as high as the mast, and a mile across rushing at the rate of twenty miles an hour across the sea roaring like a hundred thunders.  The wind flowing with such fury as to cut off the tops of all the waves, making every wave to seem as if volumes of steam were rising from it.


Then such volumes of rain, it is impossible to give you any idea of it, it did not sound like drops overhead, but rather to thousand streams of water.  It is a wonder that man can make anything strong enough to endure what these ships at sea endure, blows again and again as if by solid mountains making even .heavier quiver end to end.  Yet our ship rode the storm beautifully; better than when we left Boston; for so much ice has melted that we stand eighteen inches more out of water than when we left Boston, a very serious difference. [Remember the ice in the hold since Boston to preserve drinking water and provisions].


April 10th Lat 6° 46’ S Long 88° 40E


We have not had a hurricane ever since my last entry but if we had we should not have been much more tried than we have been.  The ignorance of our Captain is daily involving us in deeper troubles.  Nothing you can say is of more importance than for the navigator to be thoroughly acquainted with the laws of the winds, especially in these monsoons which change once in six months, and according to certain definite fixed laws.


You can see of course if the wind at a certain place, SE. for example, & you are going there, you must not get to the Westward of port because it will be almost impossible to beat against the wind and make headway to port.   Now at this season of year E. and NE. winds prevail from Lat l8° S. to about 3° or 4° S. North of that westerly winds to Ceylon.  Consequently, it was of the utmost importance that he did not get to the East of Porto Galle.  But ignorant as he is, he did not know this; but was sure he would have Easterly winds all the way to Ceylon; and has labored greatly to get well to East of Port as in that case, he ought to.  We felt very badly about this because we knew he would not find E winds at this season--north of the equator, anyway.  I ventured to hint this to him, but he knew better--not being dependent on "book learning”.  Yet we said two weeks ago that when he should be near the Equator., he would find N.W. winds prevailing, and that it would ruin his voyage, for they would be dead ahead.  Well with the greatest difficulty, in the teeth of the wind, he has succeeded in getting us 8°, 480 miles E of Ceylon-- and just as all physical Geographers tell us, have we found at this season N.W. winds prevailing which are dead ahead.


We cannot do anything; and, to make it worse, there is a strong current setting Eastward, which carries or tends to carry us 36 miles a day further E.  We have sailed enough by tacking in 2 days to take us 38 miles W; instead of this we are 10 miles further E.  This is very trying.  I feel very sorry for Mr. Sheffield; he is not to be blamed for he knew no better, and he did not ship as captain; and poor man, he feels so badly he can neither eat nor sleep.  Even now too in his ignorance, he is taking, under the circumstances, the worst course possible.


The quickest way would be to run directly into the cone of East winds where we left them.  Of course, we could go West as fast as we wanted to; but he is running N more and more into trouble, yet does not know it.  The winds here will shift more and more to S as season advances and finally settle S. W. but if he persists in running North much further, he will change the direction of Ceylon so that the wind will still be dead ahead.  He must come back.  What will be the end, one cannot say.  We are enabled to bear up under it, especially these last few days, by faith in our Lord and Master, and are not despondent.  Although, when the body is weak and oppressed by these consuming heats, it is a struggle to keep up.  The blessed Lord alone upholds.  It is a great trial to us that our letters must now be so delayed at best as to cause you no little anxiety at home.  This is a sorer trouble than our own condition.  If we could only let you know that we are alive and not sick, it would be a great comfort.  If the sun could only bear you word when a few hours hence he shall shine on you word of our safety.  But we pray daily that the Lord would sustain and comfort, ‘til in his own good time you shall be gladdened by news of our safety.  When that will be, we truly cannot tell.  We are not, nor have been for a week or two, more than three days good sail from port, but--the wind!!


It is not the first time that the Lord has "led his people about," yet it was "by a right way." It is must be with us. He laid down His life for us!  After this, we must not doubt Him.


Our officers terrify us with their heaven defying impiety. You can have no conception of it.   With swearing, cursing and blasphemy, threatening strife, and fighting, it is a very "hell" on earth.  The tears will come, I cannot help it, as I hear such awful impiety.  I am amazed that God does not strike our officers dead; His patience is wonderful.


Thursday, April 27th, Lat 4° 52’ S.  Long 86° 55’ E.


All that I wrote seventeen days ago has been verified by events.  Mr. S. persisted in running up to Latitude 3° N, found matters worse and worse, wind ahead, a current of 60 miles a day carrying us E. faster than on our close tacks we could make Westing. Yet he beat about there ten days, till at last he owns his mistake and stung with shame and disappointment, has turned about to retrace his course.  You remember I said two weeks ago, that he ought to turn back at once on meeting the west winds, turn again into the zone of the E. trades, and make his Westing there. Just this he has done, for two days has been sailing as fast as possible. In this latitude the W. winds still prevail, though there are indications that are not far from the E. winds.  However, South we must go ‘til we meet them if it be twenty degrees.


I must tell you though how he came to turn about at last.  I found among Capt. Pritchard's books, an admirable work on the winds of the Indian Ocean, with full directions for sailing here which confirmed all I had said and showed that never at this time of year could we hope to reach Ceylon from our present position.  I marked the important passages, and had Mrs. Pritchard put the book in his hands, without mentioning my name. It decided him at once, and now at last for the first time since the 8th of March, he is in a fair way to reach Ceylon, on the right track, after having taken us two or three thousand miles out of our way.  In the goodness of God we are having now strong and favorable winds.   Had we the calms and squalls which we had all through these latitudes ten days ago, when we were going N, the trial would now be most insupportable, but we have made in two days the distance which coming took us ten days.  The trial is yet severe, for our health is impaired by all this; so that we are seriously questioning whether, especially as we now will be so late in Calcutta, entering at so unhealthy season, we had better stop at Ceylon until next fall, if we can be learning the language and find accommodations.  This of course cannot be decided ‘til our arrival.  In any case, however, we are determined to leave the Elcano at Galle, and take steamer to Calcutta if we can secure a passage; by this we will save at least three weeks of time.  But the severest trial of all is the awful wickedness of our officers.   Mr. S., with horrid imprecations, charges his ill success on these Psalm Singers, cursing us and using names of the poor women in terms I may not mention.  I will not pain you with details of his persecutions.  One instance will illustrate: poor Mrs. Phillips is worn out and about sick, cannot eat or sleep; we have breakfast not till eight; she had had to relieve a deathly faintness, a cup of coffee from the steward early in the morning, which relieved her.  Mr. S. forbids the steward to let her have any more!  He is truly more like a demon of the infernal pit than a human being; I can only think of him as a demoniac, when he stamps and screams and curses us, curses the sailors, and himself, curses all mankind--even daring to look up to heaven and heap his obscenities and imprecations on the head of Jehovah Himself.   Yet he has his hours when the sparks of a once generous nature will beam forth, and tries for a moment to be kind; it is so sad to see him; he then seems so forlorn and sad, the most fearfully, completely miserable man I have ever seen.  On the whole we are enabled to bear up wonderfully, though sometimes weary, the body enfeebled with the heat, and diet not poor but utterly unsuitable, it is not easy to resist a feeling of depression.  What will be the end, I cannot tell.  At best we cannot now be at Ceylon in less than two weeks.  The Lord is favoring us now with fine winds.   Mr. S. is almost beside himself with anxiety, saw a vessel yesterday, which he thinks ought to be, if our chronometer is right, fears it is wrong.   There is a discrepancy between the longitude by astronomical observation with chronometer, and longitude by log account, but no greater I feel confident than can he accounted for by the powerful current here which is said to run East at the rate of 60 to 70 miles a day.  Yet the poor man is half-crazed, nearly mad with anxiety.  I do pity him; the more so because he has no God, no comfort whatever.  Do not be troubled too much for all this, for {when} you have received this, all will be over.  After all, I have never read of any whom the Lord has made a blessing, but he brought them through fires, so that we may say to the children in India, as Paul did to the church in Corinth, “Whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation."  We have at times much spiritual comfort.  We are in the hands of one who laid down His life for us; we must not now doubt His love.  He will perfect that which concerneth us.


May 11th Lat 0° Long 79° E.


Just as I write this, we are crossing the Equator (Northward).  For the first time since my last entry, two weeks ago, we have had almost uninterrupted prosperity on our voyage.   Mr. Sheffield has at last got into the right position; and, as we have already today met the S. W. monsoon -that blows from the Equator to the coasts of Asia at this season, and are S.S.W. of our port, we have good reason to hope that we shall very soon reach Ceylon.  It is only three days very moderate sailing.  We have been boxing up and digging our boxes out of the hold, preparing to leave the Elcano at Galle, and take steamer at once if we can obtain passage and any way afford it; but I am willing myself to pay $200. for passage.  Affairs are in such an uncertain disorganized state on this ship that it is quite dubious whether the Elcano will leave Galle very soon.  Our provisions are become low and poor, while Mr. S. declares he will not buy a thing at Galle, but make us suffer.  We are far from well already, so that it seems to me to be a clear Christian duty to leave if it be possible. To remain at peril could be, I am persuaded, perhaps even {risk} of life.


Mr. S. had opportunity to speak to a vessel shortly after my last entry, and found our Chronometer right as I was sure all the time.  But what a man for a commander:  If his chronometer fails, he knows no other way of obtaining his longitude; I have not felt safe, when not taking observations myself.  To show his almost worthlessness farther, the common method of obtaining latitude is by observation of the sun's altitude at the instant of noon; this is the easiest and simplest.  Yet you will see at once that it cannot be relied on, for should the sun be obscured at the instant of noon, though but by a passing cloud, you have lost your latitude by that way.   But there are seven or eight other methods, by observation of sun, moon, or stars, either in or out of the meridian, by someone of which the latitude can be obtained every hour of day or night.  Scarcely ever a day in which you cannot catch a glimpse of sun, moon or star; but many in which you may not see the sun the instant of noon.  [Calculating longitude from observations of the sun other than at noon is as complicated as predicting the exact path of the moon’s shadow on earth on the occasion of total eclipses of the sun—Samuel Kellogg was an extremely competent mathematician.]  Yet Mr. Sheffield knows only that one way.  Now we are approaching a dangerous coast at a season when we are to expect almost constant showers, when the sun may be obscured at noon for days together. What can he do?  Nothing.  I have myself been practicing several other methods; have obtained latitude at every hour of the day; but I do not think it is safe not to know our position here. The other methods are many of them more tedious and complicated and Mr. Sheffield does not know enough to learn them.  After the practice I have had on this voyage, I should feel safer as far as the navigation of the vessel is concerned to run her these last 500 miles myself.  Every commander of a sea-going vessel ought to be a ready mathematician; a thorough master at least of Trigonometry and Elementary Astronomy; he ought also to be thoroughly versed in Physical Geography; if Mr. S. had known anything about the laws of the winds and currents, he would never have dared go as he did east of Ceylon for a single mile.  He would have known that we could never get there on that track--with a powerful wind and a current running 70 miles a day both driving you from your port, not one vessel in 500 could beat against them to port.


Sat Eve May 13th, 1865. Lat 3° N. Long 78° 5 E.


I  am very tired tonight, have been packing all day yet as, if the present winds hold out, we shall very likely reach Ceylon Monday making it a broken and busy day.  I write a few lines tonight; will add a little after we reach Galle.  If we do, we most earnestly hope nothing may prevent our taking steamer at Galle: we are quite exhausted and cannot think of continuing on this hellish prison house a month or six weeks longer.


We have had very boisterous weather for these two days; May is always a rough month off these coasts; deluges of rain, high and gusty winds; last night for two or three hours it blew a furious gale. Mr. Sheffield is worried and cross, tired and vexed.  It has been cloudy all day so that only once, in a great while, was the sun out.   I think Mr. S. was very careless with regard to finding his position since there is such a current as here, and varying every day: yesterday 141, today 30 miles to the E, it is plain that no observation of compass and the rate of speed can give any certainty to one's position.  After watching and waiting for two or three times this morning, I got a glimpse of the sun long enough to compute our longitude. Mr. S. took note did not try; it did look unpromising, but he might have tried. But for this, we would have had no knowledge of our longitude today; we ought by course of distance to have made 82 miles W.  My observation showed that we had made only 54, so strong is the E. current here.


How much we do want to hear from you.  It is hard to believe that we ever will again; this voyage has been so long, so often has our port seemed near, we can hardly realize that we shall ever be off this ship or see anything but the boundless sea, or any persons but our ship's company.  Yet that we may hope by the Lords blessing to be in the world of men again and hear from you, in a few days anyway.   This is a great comfort: and we try to hold up a little longer.  I enclose a sheet to Eddie and Carrie each; to write to each would be absurd--little more than to repeat this letter; which I will be glad that aunts and cousins, all who wish should read, if they can make up their minds to wade through these 50!!!! Pages!   When we reach India and are settled and rested, I will write more letters.


148th day. May 17th off Point de Galle


Rejoice, rejoice with us--at last off port.  We sighted Ceylon yesterday morning--a belt of low land along the shore 50 to 200 ft into mountains in the background 3000 to 7400 ft high, shore densely with cocoa trees and palms.  But we had to lay off from shore for bad weather last night.  This morning at ten of clock sighted Galle. There are minarets and domes of Mohammedan mosques and temples; groves of cocoa and palm. The pilot has come on board--his boat extraordinary craft, very long, and only wide enough for one man to sit in, the bottom a log hollowed out; the top just like a narrow box, the prow very high.  On one side two sticks project ten feet over which a cross piece is fastened to keep the boat from capsizing so that this frame just floats.  Finer looking men I never saw than these dark, slender, beautiful, regular features, long thin faces, very wild expression and pleasing manners.  Their clothing is picturesque: pilot has a bright scarlet shirt, to the waist, below a loose garment tied at the waist like an apron only reaching all around; under this, one man had loose trousers reaching just below the knees.  On the head a bright turban, tuft hanging down behind.  This rough sketch will give an idea of it.


Wednesday, May 16, 1865. Galle Harbor, Ceylon


At last in port. I have so much to say that I do not know what to say first.  But dear aunts and cousins, brother and sister, dear father and mother I imagined you.  How very much we have enjoyed your letters, and how very thankful we are [that you are] so kind as to write to us.  And now do not imagine you are forgotten, because not each one letter this time,  but I thought this one long journal for all would be as interesting under the circumstances.  We will write soon as we can to each who were so kind as to write to us.  I hope my journal may be satisfactory; I have tried to write little things; just as I want you all to do.


Now for first impressions: For beauty, I have never seen anything more beautiful than this harbor--the channel is narrow, rocky; a tremendous surf dashes high up on the ledges of rock.  Ships of every clime are here--two or three steamers [unusual in 1865].  You have sung, "What though the spicy breezes.  Blow soft o’er Ceylon's isle."  It is not exaggeration.  The harbor is filled with the rarest perfume.  Dense groves of cocoa palms line the bluffs on each side.  Walk through the town -- it is like a walk through a green house.  [illegible] naked except a cloth bound tightly about the waist, many dressed in bright robes and turbans, a picturesque attire. Are they wild and savage looking?  No; on the contrary they are decidedly a beautiful people. The countenances are very mild and many have a sweet womanish smile; I am surprised at their intelligent appearance; in all these respects they are far superior to the rabble you meet on a wharf.  I went ashore this P.M. in one of these curious Native boats, the easiest riding craft I ever was in.  We are very kindly received by the few English and Americans; [illegible] have call on some English new missionaries tomorrow. [illegible] a ready made coat, umbrella, at a reasonable […..] were polite and obliging.  A lady here may call store select goods for a dress, leave a dress for a pattern and have a new made dress that evening.


I bought me an extraordinary hat, which the Europeans commonly wear in India, called a cola.  I can hardly explain their appearance and construction, but they are very odd and very comfortable and cool.  The delicious fruits!  Oranges are not in season, but bananas, cocoanuts, fine apples, (fumeloes) a large fruit about as large as a large musk melon something between a lemon and an orange.  I cannot realize that these are heathen, idolatrous walking in darkness and sin, these the people with whom I have come to labor!  Pray that we may love them and be a blessing to them--walk among them like Jesus Christ.


We find that we can go to Calcutta by steamer if there is room.  Steamers leave at least on an average once a week, sometimes oftener. In no case will we remain on the Elcano.


The persecutions we have together endured have much endeared to us our Christian brethren and sisters on this vessel. I think their errors in doctrine great, but we love the Lord and that is enough.


We will try and mail letters from Calcutta.


Lee's and Johnson's army taken, Richmond fallen, rumors of peace, the Americans here have had a grand celebration with a fine display of fireworks from the shipping in the harbor.


It is very late.  I am tired and must close. Write often and tell me all little things.  In a great deal of love, in which Nettie  unites.


Your son, brother, cousin as the case may be, Samuel H. Kellogg     ye never one been sea sick understand [nonseqitur]


[My mother, Amy Kellogg age 11, returned to Pennsylvania in 1899 with her widowed mother and two older full siblings where she later attended Grove City College.  There she met my father who planned to go to divinity school after graduation.  Her oldest half brother, who was old enough to be her father, subsidized her attendance at Hartford Divinity School where she completed the entire course intended to lead to ordination as a clergyman.  She had no such intention.  Her brother wanted her to have financial security, and this training would thoroughly qualify her for employment as superintendent of a big city church’s Sunday school.  My father lived to be 93, but my mother’s “superfluous” education greatly enhanced my upbringing.   For example, she read adult books to me as a preschooler after we both discovered from reading the rest of Gullivers Travels in which he visited a land where the intelligent creatures were horses and those that looked like us (the horses called them yahoos) didn’t know from beans.  She had let it slip that there was more to it than the Lilliputians and giants.  Gulliver had some risqué adventures with the yahoos.  My mother’s other selections of adult books were also very interesting.  The result: I went to first grade with a college level vocabulary, e.g. pernicious, esoteric, sesquipedalian. (Word didn’t even put a red line under the last one of those).]


Addendum December 27, 2011:  While preparing to move our household to a retirement complex in Madison we stumbled on some papers from our late daughter Margaret containing excerpts from a book Returning: A Spiritual Journey by Dan Wakefield about my mother in her prime.  This book was published in 1998 by Doubleday and was actually available on interlibrary loan from The Madison Public Library.  A paperback edition followed from Penguin in 1989 (with the same page numbers and formatting as the Doubleday edition).


Excerpt #1 pages 32-34, Dan Wakefield’s words: “My parents had me baptized and took me to Sunday school at the First Presbyterian Church, because it was Christian and Protestant and conveniently located only two blocks from the drugstore at 16th Street and Central Avenue where my father worked as a pharmacist for my Uncle Crawford Harbison.  The minister was the Reverend George Arthur Frantz, a stern and imposing man with a mighty voice who wore black robes with red trimming on Sunday and seemed an appropriate earthly  representative of that thunderous biblical God who laid down laws- that were written on stone and punished people who didn't obey them, We Sunday school children were spared the forbidding prospect of the Reverend Frantz himself as our teacher, and were thankfully delivered by our parents instead into the gentler arms of his wife Amy.-


“If George Arthur Frantz appeared to a child's eyes as a hu­man incarnation of the God of wrath, his wife Amy was by the same vision the warm and comforting embodiment of the God of mercy.  I remember her in red, a large, round shining apple of a woman, brown hair pulled back in a bun, face scrubbed and glowing, eyes lively and glinting, mouth in a smile that seemed a genuine expression of delight at being a believer in and bearer of the “good news” of Christianity.  I can’t recall a child ever crying in Amy’s Sunday  school, or imagine any need for doing so, even for us preschoolers temporarily separated from parents in an era before professional ‘child care’ when such a separation was potentially traumatic simply for being unusual.  Children instinctively trusted Amy and were drawn to her, calmed by the sense of love and warmth that seem to spread around her like a comforting blanket.


“Grownups, I learned later, considered her a little bit ‘touched.’  I’d forgot that expression till this moment---it meant people who were not quite ‘normal,’ but acted in a manner that the world around them to be slightly bizarre.  Maybe it’s what Eugene O’Neill  meant by A Touch of the Poet, though what seems to me appropriate in Amy’s case is that she was ‘touched by God.’ (I doubt that her critics had anything so impressive in mind, however).


“There was as aura of disapproval of Amy of a condescending kind, a sort of behind-the-back snickering. I think it must have been partly because of her style—she spoke in a melodic voice and with perfect diction that people I knew then might con­sider a bit ‘hoity-toity’ or ‘uppity.’ But most important of all, she took the lessons of her Christian religion as literal and seemed to apply them in her everyday life—really loving your neighbor as yourself, turning the other cheek, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. She taught us children those and other radical ideas (I think she got away with it be­cause we were children and the ‘responsible’ adults knew we'd grow out of it, which we did). One of the main lessons I remem­ber from Amy's Sunday school was that God loved everyone regardless of race, creed, or color. I remember it not only be­cause of her words but because of a painting reproduction that hung on the wall of our Sunday school room.


“Jesus was holding the children. They were not only white, like me, they came in all colors. Jesus loved them all, you could see that clearly from the picture. And Amy told us so. This was Indianapolis in the 1930s, which only the decade before had been a stronghold of the Ku Klux Klan. In fact, my father used to speak in hushed tones of how the Klan met in the church across from his drugstore and came in afterward for Cokes and ice cream.


“There were no real children of other colors in my Sunday school class, but simply to have such a picture displayed and to instruct little kids about equality was radical in those days. It was only a picture, but it made a lasting Impression on me. It came again to my mind when I went for the first time to Spanish Harlem, where I wrote my first book a few years after graduat­ing from college. (Even when, as a practicing intellectual athe­ist, I thought I had put Christianity out of my mind, that picture stayed in it.) Again. when I covered the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties in the South, traveling for The Nation magazine to places like the Mississippi delta, Birmingham, and Little Rock, I kept seeing that old Sunday school picture in my head and it meant something not only because of what it showed but because of what Amy had said about it.


“In her lilting, pure-toned voice, she told us matter-of-factly that Jesus loved all the children, no matter what color they were, and he wanted us to love them too, and that's what we should do, and I believed her (even when I no longer ‘believed in’ Jesus, I believed in Amy and the lesson she had taught us). I  believed her more than other adults who told me things, and I sensed that, for the very reason other adults thought her strange, she was one of the only one of them daring to tell us the truth; and that, in fact, was why they thought her ‘touched’ and didn't quite trust her.”


Excerpt #2, (pages 43-45) {Dan Wakefield, an only child, tells his childhood memories of constant battles between his parents:}  “For my sake I know they muted the pitch of their battle[s]. It sometimes came out in sudden cries from my mother when she sobbed out her sorrow over the ironing board on nights when my father was working the late shift at the drug store.  If men in the great cliché script of marital discord are supposed to tell Other Women that their wives don’t understand them, to whom could a woman complain (in those housebound days before careers and child care) that her husband didn’t understand her, except her own child?........What to do?  Psychiatry was a decade or so down the pike, at least for Middle Western, middle-American, middle class families like ours…….


“My mother came up with just the right counselor for us: the reassuringly mortal wife of the Godlike Presbyterian minister, my shining former Sunday school teacher, the round and ample Amy Frantz. My mother and father and I went together to Amy's for breakfast sometimes, and other times for tea. She always served tea, mornings or afternoons with toast and jam. We never had tea at our house and it seemed very English and special and faintly ‘upper class,’ a treat from an older, better world, a world more solid than our own. The comforting aroma of the tea and the sharp tangy scent of fresh-cut lemon, wisps of steam curling up from the newly poured cups, combined in the overall aura of security and grace. I knew that no one could yell or curse in that atmosphere. We were there not to confront but to calm ourselves.


“Amy was more our comforter than counselor, and that's what we needed. We needed her love, her care for us not only as individuals but as a family. She did not take sides. Though my mother was the one who had asked for her help, Amy showed just as much affectionate respect for my father. Ben. Amy smiled when she said his name. You could see she felt he was a fine fellow, and it helped you to see that too, and helped him see himself that way; it was obvious, the way he warmed and bright­ened in the beam of her attention. And my mother didn't get itchy and testy as she sometimes did when people showed their appreciation for him, since she knew that Amy appreciated her just as fully as possible, too. In Amy's presence we were equally loved, not only as individuals but also for what we were to one another—husband, wife, father, mother, son. Amy somehow enabled us to become those things in one another's presence. She helped us accept who we were and who we might better be for each other, and then, even though we'd later lose that sense, we knew it was there, because we had recognized it at Amy's.


“Of course none of all of this was said in such a way as I am telling it now, this is my later understanding of what was really happening there in Amy's sunlit living room as we sipped our tea and ate our toast and jam and spoke in halting, broken sentences, never directly confronting painful specific issues. None of them really were ‘the issue’ anyway, but only angry eruptions, like outbreaks of fever or rash, caused by a deeper disharmony, some struggle of will between my parents that, I felt caught in the center of, squeezed and jabbed, like an unsuspecting animal in a trap. We brought all our burdens to Amy even though we didn't say them out loud, and she accepted them as she accepted us, and in doing so brought us to some kind of greater acceptance of one another.


“Though we didn't call it that, I realize we. went to Amy for healing (which of course is why people go to any kind of ‘coun­selors,’ from Freudian analysts to ministers' wives). I believe she was a real healer, not only with her tea and benevolent presence but with prayer. Amy got us to do something that each of us did individually but weren't able to do as a family—pray. Somehow we could do it with Amy's blessing; with her support we could do what we couldn’t do at home.  We always left Amy’s feeling more whole, more connected.”


This second episode must have occurred in about 1942 when Dan Wakefield was about ten years old and I was away at college.  Until reading this I was unaware of the magnitude of my mother’s commitment to her public.  In retrospect her training at Hartford Divinity School plus her personality and early experience as Samuel Kellogg’s youngest child made her a full partner of my father in his pastoral counseling duties. This also fits with my childhood experience with her as a mother with a “Battlefield Commission” as Psychiatrist.  (Dan Wakefield’s first novel Going All the Way was published in 1970 and promptly sold a million copies.)]   



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