Amanuensis Monday-A Letter From David Smith to Wm. Smith 18th April 1857

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. From The National Standard Encyclopedia Amanuensis Monday was started on the Transylvanian Dutch Blog. This link will take you to the page concerning Amanuensis and why one should transcribe the records ! Letter to Mr. Wm. Smith Bell Street Care Mr. Alec Smith At 3 Union Street Dundee

S.S. “Celt” Plymouth 18th April 1857

My Dear Uncle

According to your request I drop you a few lines after the completion or nearly so of our first voyage to the Brazils. You will have heard no doubt of my removal to this vesell[sic] rather suddenly it was but I have got reconciled to it now. We had a very tedious fine passage outwards but a rather tedious one homewards on account of the N.E. Trade winds being very strong and as we call at the Cape Verde Islands we had to stream right up in the “Teeth” of it, but this is all mere “Log Book” and hover entertaining it may be to a Sailor it must be nothing short of Boring to the Eyes & Ears of a Landsman. My first impression of a sea life were however different, but the romance has got the chill taken off it not, but what I am content with it for I can not see what possible use I could ever have been ashore with my romantic propensities? Our first place of call outwards was Pernambuco there is very little importance as fas I know attached to it, The Governors palace was formely a Jesuits convent, and the principal squares have a gay & lively appearance we were there two days only and were only too glad to get to sea out of the incepaint rain. After a passage of 3 days we arrived in Bahia, the district round is very ?-? [I can not read]cultivated & producees Sugar[,]Coffee[,]Cotton[,]& Tobacco it is next to Rio in importance our stay here outwards is only 2 days but we had to wait 6 coming home as we filled up here there is not much to interest a stranger in except the Churches which are papistic buildings, as all Roman Catholic are, I beleive the country round is very fertile but no opportunity for a reconitre[?]. We come to Rio’Janerio[sic] the most beautiful Harbor ever I saw I had no idea there was reserved for my eyes such a treat, I have visited several parts of the world & seen a few

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specimens of romantic scenery but none have come up to the neighborhood of Rio Janerio [sic], nothing can be finer than the [?] to the waterfalls round Gavia and back to the city by the botanical gardens. The ride along side the aqueduct,which conveys water to the city from the Corcovada ,particularly if commenced previous to sunset affords a view or sereies[sic] of views the most magnificent that can be conceived, every variety of scenery is seen, the city is spread out before & underneath you as in a plain on one side every variety of hill & dale, mountain & valley is perceived covered with the most luxuriant vegetation, and studded at intervals with the beautiful country residences of the merchants, with the range of the mountains behind towering to the sky on the peaks of the Corcovada and Gavia, all these objects illulminated by the glowing tints of the setting sun amidst the fragrant odor inhaled from exotics peculiar only to the Tropics. The various sail boats, the entrance of the harbour disinctly marked by the Sugar Loaf Hill, the white fortifications perched on the heights around the men of war fleet hauling down their colours their bands saluting the departing day with their music its strains wafted toward you by the last faint puffs of the sea breeze and softened by the distance from part of a picture which ( as the novelists say) “is better imagined than described” but here we must stop “Oh my soul come not thou into their assembly. We enter the city, on one hand you contemplate the palace of a voluptious prince surrounded by courtiers & wallowing in luxury, on the other slavery in its most refined and horrible state. The streets are good in generall [sic] bit exceedingly filthy, the people seem to be idolaters to filth and pollution and not less slaves to them than superstition. The murder of a lay subject is seldom

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punished. The last insult to the church most rigourisly. The harbour [sic] is spacious and were the heat less oppressive it might be esteemed the most serviceable in the world of late years the Yellow Fever has been an anual visitant and appears to be severest upon the natives of Britain & the North of Eurpope. There were severall [sic] cases among the shipping while we were there and one slight attach on board of us glad I am in being able to say that some of us felt that we had been saved from the worisome[?sic] pestilence , would that there were light afflictions whom are but for a moment work out for those to whom shall be satisfied with the mercy of Jehovah then shall we rejoice I’ll be glad all our days, although Strangers & Sojourners.

” A pilgrim, through the earth I roam of nothing long possessed And all must part when I go home For this is not my rest”

We expected to be able to leave Southampton about the middle of May. I shall be very happy to have a note from you in the intervall[sic] Hoping that this will be the harbinger of many epistles between us,with Kind love to Aunt & all my cousins

I am dear Uncle Your Affectionate Nephew David Smith

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