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Port Royal (2)

M.r Martini, and M.r Cheyne

Wednesday 7th – fine weather. At 1 P.M. came to anchor in Port Royal Harbour in our old spot. Here we landed our two Passengers, a M.r Martini, a Columbian, a handsome & apparently pleas.t fellow, but who was so sick during the voyage that we had little of his Company – and the other was a gentleman I was surprised to meet with. His name was James Cheyne, and was a cousin to M.r Cheyne. I never knew him before, and altho’ I saw something of his face, which reminded me of some body, I could not say who it was he resembled. He told me he had been knocking about the world at a very early period, and that he had been two years in Columbia, first with the Mining Company, and afterwards as a Clerk in a merchants House, and that he was on his return home to study for a year. You may be sure that I was rejoiced at falling in with him, as it afforded me an opportunity of having many long cracks about home affairs. He appeared to be a very quiet, well behaved & strictly moral youth, and from all I could learn, it did not appear that amidst the scenes of immorality, and vice both in conduct and sentiments to which he must have been a daily witness, that he had lost his ‘scotica virtus,” that high moral feeling, which in our nations best boast. I should have wished much if he could have gone home with us – but his previous arrangements prevented this, as he had decided to go home by way of New York. He left Kingston in a Schooner bound for Philadelphia the very day before we sailed. From Philadelphia he intended to go to New York and come home to Liverpool by one of the liners. By pursuing this circuitous route, I expect we shall home some weeks before him.

Detained at Kingston

In consequence of a petition from the principal Merchants, we were detained for about a week, which has been the longest stay we have yet made. I has often been said that the greatest pleasure is in anticipation, and that the gratification to the fullest extent, of our wishes and desires falls infinitely short of what we expected. I had anticipated that I should have had time to have seen our old passenger D.r Hawking, or to have spent a few days with M.r Drummond, but alas the Master being unwell still and the Captain confined to his birth by a severe attack of Rheumatic Gout, M.r Charles Williams our Mate was sent up with the Mail & the Money which was consigned to Jamaica, and the Captain desired me to go with him. M.r Williams and I were occupied every day and all day with different matters, so that it was totally out of my power to attend to any thing else. Altho’ I was so much at Kingston I observed nothing new, nor did I hear any thing particular. I saw M.r Drummond, who wished me very much to go to his house – but I was obliged to decline his invitation, on the score of being on duty. One circumstance, indeed, occurred, which I must not omit to mention.

Curious Character

On our first arrival we heard from George Burral Smith, Packet Agent, that one Gentleman had been speaking to him of taking his passage with us, but he also said that £80, the usual fare was too much, as he could go home by way of New York for £40. M.r Smith told him that he had no doubt but that some arrangement might be made with Capt.n Snell, upon which the Gentleman was well satisfied. We received no more intelligence of him for a day or two. One afternoon, shortly before we proposed to leave Kingston, a stout and rather gentlemanly fellow, about 40, came up to the Mate, and begged the favour of being landed at Port Royal, which was readily granted. Whilst our men were getting ready, he entered into conversation with me, and soon gave me to understand that he was the gentleman who had spoken to M.r Smith. Well off we started, and when we were abreast of Port Royal, I asked him if he wished to be put on shore there. He said he would prefer going on board with us, and endeavour to come to an agreement with M.r Snell. To this we had no objection, and he went on board accordingly with us. There he was introduced to our Commander, with whom he agreed to pay £60 as his passage money. Afterwards he continued chatting with him, and by his remarks, shewed himself to have been a great traveller in different parts of the world. He spoke of many noblemen and gentlemen, civil, naval and military, as if he had been hand in glove with them, and mentioned several particulars in their history – some traits in their character - & the minutiae of their personal appearance, as would have convinced any one, that he knew something of them at least. Our Captain seemed highly pleased with him, and his spirits, before depressed, rose as he talked old matters with our gentleman, who went by the name of M.r A. B. Brennen. M.r Brennen dined and took tea with us, in an easy free way, as if he had been familiar with us all his life – and we were soon told that he intended to stop all night. Next morning, we according to his desire landed him at Port Royal, whilst we proceeded to Kingston. Two days afterwards I met him, and he gave me a letter to be delivered to Capt.n Snell – and at the same time informed me of its contents. After making the agreement with the Captain, he said that he immediately went to his friend the Commissary to get him to cash a Bill of his – but unfortunately he found that he was gone to the country, and he was afraid that from the shortness of time, he would not receive an answer before we sailed. His request to Capt.n S was to ask if he would take his Note, which he had no doubt would be immediately cashed by Mess.rs Fox of Falmo.th with whom he professed to be intimately acquainted. I delivered the letter to our Commander, who was much struck with the contents and began to entertain some suspicions of our Friend M.r Brennen, and under the influence of these, he desired me to say, that unless he received the passage money at Jamaica he begged to decline taking him home in his Packet. When we arrived at Kingston, I saw M.r Brennen, and plainly told him what the Captain had said. He seemed to be taken all aback, but soon recovering himself, he said he hoped he would receive the money before we sailed, and that at all events he would see us in the course of Monday as we were appointed to start on Tuesday. He left us on this understanding, but we never had the pleasure of seeing him again. We heard afterwards that he had gone on board the Anfield bound for Liverpool, [5] made himself quite at home there – talked about taking a passage there – and could hardly be made to leave the vessel even at 8 oClock at night. He had also been talking with a M.r Harvey commanding the Brigantine William of Quebec, [6] whom we knew, as if he would like to accompany him to Quebec. In short from all we could learn, he seemed to be a most accomplished swindler, and I am glad that we at least were not favoured with his Company.

M.r Hyde

I have already mentioned a M.r Hyde whom we took as passenger from S.t Vincent and left at Jamaica with a recommendatory letter to Earl Belmore the Governor. When we returned from Carthagena, I saw him and he told me that, being deceived in his expectations from the Governor, he was under the necessity of returning home and wished to go with us. But the sum he had was so small, that it was impossible to take him, and he finally took his passage home in the Anfield of Liverpool [7].