[Various places at sea and in port in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Siam, and China Sea, as described below]. July 12, 1835 - April 7, 1836. pp. manuscript on 12 1/2 x 8-inch sheets of paper. A total of some 32,500 words. Includes a pen and ink sketch of "The Town of Zanzibar from the Harbour," and of the island of "Pemba." Plus a fragment of a sheet of paper containing a few caricatures and a sketch of the U.S.S. Peacock. Title-leaf and the following text leaf with a long repaired tear; some slight edge wear or staining to the leaves. In very good condition. In an oblong half morocco and cloth clamshell case, spine gilt. Item #WRCAM43108
An absolutely outstanding American naval manuscript, this is the journal kept by Midshipman Henry Cadwalader for the first nine months of his voyage as part of the United States Navy's East India Squadron. Cadwalader sailed on the U.S.S. Peacock, the flagship of the squadron, and on the U.S.S. Enterprise, the squadron's supporting schooner. The journal is rich with his observations on the places he visited, including Zanzibar, Bombay, Ceylon, and Batavia. Though he went to sea as a teenager, Cadwalader seems to have been well educated (he was a scion of a notable Philadelphia family), and his journal is well written and lively, filled with keen observations of his life on board ship and of the various places he visited on his voyage. The journal gives an excellent picture of life at sea for a young man in the 1830s. Cadwalader is reflective and introspective, yet keenly observant of his surroundings and of the character of the men on his ship and of the natives and British colonizers he encountered. His journal is also an exceptionally early account by an American of Zanzibar, India, and Indonesia. In all, it is one of the most interesting, textured, and detailed American naval manuscripts we have ever encountered. Henry Cadwalader (1817-44) came from a distinguished military lineage: his grandfather, Brig. Gen. John Cadwalader, commanded Pennsylvania troops in several important Revolutionary War battles, and his father, Major General Thomas Cadwalader, commanded a Pennsylvania militia brigade during the War of 1812. Henry Cadwalader was appointed a midshipman in the U.S. Navy on December 13, 1832 and became a "passed midshipman" on July 8, 1839. At the time he undertook this voyage to the East, he was only in his late teens, and very early in his naval career. The Enterprise and the Peacock sailed on an expedition to the Indian Ocean and East Indies for the purpose of obtaining information and negotiating treaties of friendship and commerce with Eastern powers. Among the places the ships visited over the course of the three- year cruise were Muscat, Oman, Ceylon, India, Java, Siam, Cochin, China, the Bonin Islands, Hawaii, Mexico, and California. Cadwalader began his voyage in the Enterprise, but transferred to the commanding ship of the expedition, the Peacock, at Bombay. Cadwalader's journal covers the first nine months of the voyage, from New York to Bangkok. The journal begins with a manuscript titlepage which includes a list of the officers on board the Enterprise, with Henry Cadwalader listed as one of four midshipmen. The text opens with an entry noting that the Peacock and Enterprise departed Rio de Janeiro bound for the East Indies on Sunday, July 12, 1835. Cadwalader writes that he expects to be transferred at some point to the Peacock, and spends the opening passages of his journal describing life on board the schooner. These initial entries give an excellent impression of life on board an American naval vessel for a teenaged midshipman, describing Cadwalader's daily duties, the drudgery, hazards, and joys of life on board ship, and conveying a youthful sense of wonder at the world. For example, in an entry for August 8, he writes: "Had the morning watch - scrubbed decks & paint work, &c. At 7 bells drank a cup of coffee with [Midshipman] Forbes sitting on the Bitts. Came below at about quarter of 9, washed & eat breakfast, mended my clothes, stowed my locker & read a little Shakespeare. Did not feel well - a swelling under my throat. I had caught cold from sleeping in a wet hammock." Cadwalader's illness became so bad that he had to be treated by the First Lieutenant, and he writes: "I am as weak as a cat, can hardly do anything for myself, and my face is so extremely altered that no one would recognize me - the skin is all coming off so that I shall have an entire new & clear covering to my face...The Dr. makes me drink a bottle of porter every day and I live in the wardroom." Along with Shakespeare Cadwalader also notes that he read GIL BLAS in the original French, "for it improves one in the French language, which is decidedly the most useful in the world." Cadwalader is often critical of the command style of the captain of the Enterprise, A.S. Campbell. In an entry of August 25, 1835 he writes: "The Capt. amuses me more than anyone else. He stays on deck all day doing nothing but fidget about. He looks as if he wanted to quarrel with someone & had nobody to quarrel with. He has nothing to employ his mind & therefore is miserable or rather nervous. A man without resources to pass his time certainly is unfriendly to himself, for he must have what is called the 'Blue- devils' or a 'what shall I do with myself to day' to pass my time." Cadwalader remarks several times in his journal on Captain Campbell's drinking, and the way it affected his command. Life on board ship is a constant backdrop of Cadwalader's journals, and his depictions of shipboard activities, chores, personalities, and conflicts are one of the great merits of his writing. For example, in his entry of September 4 (fifty-five days out from Rio), he writes: "Kept the middle watch - a most beautiful night almost as light as day, but my mouth was so parched & dry for want of water that I could not speak the truth. Our allowance now is 1/2 a gallon a day, man & officers and in a warm climate it is not enough & we had used all our water during the day...there is a great deal of work going on, at this time on board, painting & blacksmithing work, which they are anxious to get done before going into port. All that we are in want of now is water...it is getting horribly warm but it will be much more so before this cruize is over." On September 30 he writes: "Forbes [a midshipman] has applyed [sic] to leave the Birth deck, as he has been on it now upwards of 2 months & I think it is more than probable that I will have to relieve him there - however I have not heard anything about it. Yesterday we had one of the hams for dinner that we got in Zanzibar from the English brig - put up in tin it was spoiled & stunk most horridly. Mr. Page [First Lieutenant] made a request - 'that we would be much obliged if we would have it thrown overboard' - but Mr. Forbes thought that it was very fine & he ate a great deal of it." In his journal entry for September 11, 12, and 13, Cadwalader notes that they saw land and thought that it was Zanzibar. In fact it was the island of Pemba, not far from Zanzibar off the east coast of Africa. Cadwalader includes a nice pen and ink view of the island in the journal. By the afternoon of September 14 they were near the island of Zanzibar, and he includes a sketch of the "town of Zanzibar from the harbor." He also describes a visit to the Enterprise by a representative of the prince of Zanzibar: "In a little while the Capt. of the port came alongside in a large 76 oared boat pulled by Mahomedan riggers with turbans on their heads. We were surprised when he came over the gangway to hear him say in very good English indeed 'how do you do, I am very glad to see you' & shook hands. He took a letter from his pocket for the Capt. from Com. Kennedy. The Peacock had sailed here 5 days ago from Muskat [i.e. Muscat] & had a passage of 54 days from Rio, 10 days less than we had. She left orders for us to get in water & provisions & proceed immediately to Bombay. The Capt. asked him down in to the cabin and he sat there for more than an hour. He was a fine looking man, about 6 feet very dark complexion, fine large eyes, and a large black beard. He was dressed as all Mahomedans of his rank are, with a fine turban of different coloured silk, an outer robe of very fine snuff coloured cloth and his under garments were of the finest white [?] edged around with lace. His feet were bare but were protected from the ground by a pair of wooden sandals that had a leather strap up between his toes. He wore spectacles & altogether he was a very fine looking man. Another peculiarity was his teeth which were very large and fine, and his gums of bright vermilion, but his teeth were jet black!!! evidently died [sic] so." In all, the Enterprise spent nearly a week at Zanzibar, and Cadwalader devotes several pages in his journal to describing his experiences there, including descriptions of walks he made around the island. In his entry for September 17 he describes a visit to the royal palace to meet the prince of Zanzibar: "On the morning of the 17th I accompanied Capt. Campbell, Mr. Sharpe, the Dr. & Mr. Waldron to see the young prince. We fired a salute of 17 guns, which was returned by the frigate of the town.....At the door we were met by the young prince & about 60 or 70 attendants with their scimitars....We were all of us presented to him. He was distinguished enough & led the way proudly towards the Audience Chambers. This was a large apartment, very high ceiling, the walls white, there was little furniture in the room, nothing but a large chandelier in the centre & the chairs set all round. The floor was white marble. I was as much disappointed in the appearance of the young Prince as I was in the Palace. I expected to see something magnificent but it is a very common looking building outside, with a flag staff in front of it, the national flag flying, which is a field of red, the same as the Red Rovers. The prince is a very common looking boy, only 17 years old, large sleepy eyes, very thin and not at all good looking. He was dressed well but not as I expected to see a prince. His turban was neatly tied & his clothes rather finer than those worn by the generality of Arabs. He wore a scimitar of beautiful workmanship mounted with gold & embossed work on it....The young prince said that he would always remember the Commodore Kennedy with pleasure & do everything in his power for the Americans whenever they came in here. After sitting about 20 minutes a black eunuch came in with another slave & handed us coffee in gold cup...." The Enterprise departed Zanzibar on September 20, bound for Bombay, where they arrived in mid-October. Cadwalader reports that the Enterprise was the first American man-of-war ever to visit Bombay, having arrived there ahead of the Peacock. There were several American trading vessels in port and dry docks including the ship Shepherdess of Salem, which had brought ice along with other goods. The Enterprise elicited a good deal of curiosity from the residents of Bombay, many of whom came aboard the ship. Of Bombay, Cadwalader writes: "I like the place very much indeed. The harbour is a fine one & a good deal of fun on shore, the people are very hospitable...I had an opportunity of seeing the dry docks, they are large enough to hold 5 line of battle ships. They are exactly on the same plan as the one in Norfolk, but not half so fine in workmanship, nor so well worth seeing. They belong to the E[ast] I[ndia] Company." He includes a description of a dinner hosted on shore by English officers and remarks on the hospitality and lavishness of the affair. Cadwalader also reports that two members of the Enterprise crew deserted the ship while at Bombay, and that he was part of a party sent after them. The men were eventually caught, court-martialed, and whipped as punishment. On September 23 the Peacock arrived in Bombay, the first time they had seen the flagship since they departed Rio de Janeiro. The Peacock had been damaged when it ran aground on a small island some 250 miles from Muscat, and it was necessary to pull it in for repairs while in Bombay. Cadwalader took the opportunity to apply for a transfer to the Peacock, and visited the town several times during their long stay: "I have been on shore frequently. It is delightful in the afternoon to take a walk on the esplanade and see the officers riding about. The town is walled and there are sentries at all the gates. There is two regiments of native soldiers here under pay of the company. After dark you get into one of the Buggies outside of the gates & go out north to Dungaree green. The roads are beautiful & they drive very fast. There is all kinds of 'casts' [sic] here and all kinds of religions, fire worshippers, 'sons of Hafed.' You may see them coming down to the water in the morning in droves to wash their faces, feet & hands. They dare not take or eat anything that is touched by a Christian or they lost their 'cast.' There is a fellow on shore now who is in this way. He is doomed to hold a flower pot in his hand for 30 years - it is his God - he has been so for 15 years & has as much longer to stay. His nails on his fingers are about a foot long and curled round, and he holds the pot out at arms length. When the flower dies he is to be killed. There is another one that is hung up by a silver hook from his 3rd rib for a certain length of time, I do not remember how many years." On November 4, Cadwalader received his orders to transfer to the Peacock, "the flagship of Commodore E.P. Kennedy, commanding the East India & Asiatic squadron (consisting of this ship & the Schooner)." Finally repaired, the Peacock, with Cadwalader on board, departed Bombay in early December, heading south and east. Over the next several weeks the ship visited a number of places, including the island of "Elephanta," where Cadwalader and his mates toured the famed caves with their Hindu statuary, and the island of Ceylon, where they docked for nearly two weeks at the harbor of Colombo. The Peacock stayed there longer than expected because, according to Cadwalader, Commodore Kennedy found the harbor so hospitable. While anchored there they were visited by local vendors selling trinkets: "In a very short time after anchoring the ship was filled with peddlers having stones, shells, rings, jewels, boxes, & jewelry of almost every description. There are no very pretty things among them & all of very bad workmanship. At first they ask a most enormous price but you can generally get anything for 6 or 8 times less than the first price. Here I bought 2 small models of boats of this country." Cadwalader also includes a description of the town of Colombo, including a visit to a very large cinnamon plantation owned by Mr. Laird, the "fort adjutant," and describes several parties thrown for the Americans by the English residents. From Ceylon they sailed for Batavia, (now called Jakarta) on the island of Java, arriving there on January 12. The Peacock and Enterprise remained in Batavia for just over a month, and Cadwalader took the opportunity to make several visits to the town and surrounding country, giving long descriptions of the people and places he saw there. He made the acquaintance of the American consul at Batavia, and remarks on the Dutch presence in the colony: "Batavia is a regular Dutch place & the natives have adopted the Dutch costume. Many of the houses look like those old buildings you see in New York & Albany. Canals running in every direction about the town. Some of the country houses are very pretty & shaded with green trees & gravel walks & are very neat & cool. The grand square & the palace for the Governor or Resident is a very large stone building facing on the square in the centre of which is a monument with a lion & his foot resting on a ball. What the monument meant to represent I could not find out....We saw a detachment of a Dutch convict Regiment, they were dressed in a green frock coat with yellow worsted belts and a heavy black cap with a large black feather....The uniform was very warm looking & not at all suited to a climate like this. The men were all transported from their own country on account of some rascalities committed there and sentenced to serve so many years in this Regiment, some for life." The Peacock departed Batavia and sailed north for the China Sea, arriving in the Gulf of Siam in late March. On April 6, Cadwalader boarded a junk for the passage up the river to Bangkok. The journal concludes on April 7, 1836 with Cadwalader having arrived in Bangkok. An absolutely outstanding American naval journal kept by a young midshipman, with fine details of life aboard ship and giving excellent observations of several ports in the Indian Ocean and the East Indies.