December 20 – no entry. (Thaddeus Journal)
Brig Thaddeus, Dec. 20, 1819. Dear Father, Brothers and Sisters: Soon after we put forth to sea, ere we lost sight of the American shores, sickness obliged me to repair to my couch. To this I was confined two days and nights. The rest of the family were in similar circumstances.
Chests, trunks, bundles, bags, &c., were piled into our little room six feet square, until no place was left on the floor for the sale of one’s foot. Two-thirds of the way they were built up considerably higher than the berth, and for a space they extended to the height of the room. With such narrow limits, and such confined air, it might well be compared to a dungeon. This was with me a gloomy season, in which I felt myself a pilgrim and a stranger.
The third day the whole family met on deck. Could you have beheld the scene exhibited, while you pitied, you must have smiled. Beside a boat, hogsheads, barrels, tubs, cables, &c., with which the deck abounded, there were to be seen a dog, cats, hens, ducks, pigs, and men, women and children. Our whole family, with the exception of the natives, were all under the horrors of seasickness, some thrown on their mattresses, others seated in clusters, hanging one upon another, while here and there individuals leaned on the railing, or supported themselves by hanging upon a rope.
When the hour for refreshment arrived, a container of soup was brought, and placed on deck. A circle gathered around it, and seated themselves like a group of children. Those at a distance were not neglected.
Look which way you would, and all were sipping broth or picking bones. In this rude manner we were obliged to eat several days. We had entered a new school. It was among the very first lessons taught us, that all ablutions, of whatever kind, must invariably be performed with salt water. Most of our number soon recovered, when we were introduced to a well regulated table.
We have family devotions in the cabin morning and evening; Sabbath forenoon, a religious service in the cabin, and at noon, when the weather allows, public worship on deck. The monthly concert of prayer is observed. The interesting situation in which we are placed, separated from the Christian world, and engaged in such a work, renders this a season doubly precious and animating.
In concert with our American friends, too, we observed Dec. 2nd, as a day of thanksgiving to God. At no time have I thought so much and so tenderly of my dear relatives. The idea that I could no more make one in your associated circles, produced in my mind sensations inexpressible. But though my place evermore remain vacant, yet you will affectionately remember, you will daily pray for your absent Lucy.
If it will be any gratification to you, I will tell you upon what we dined. We had not that rich variety which crowds the boards of our American friends on such occasions, but we had enough of that which was good, viz: roast pork, meat pie, biscuit and cheese.
Our little room is vacated of everything not essential to every day comfort. I have often thought, would that I could tell my dear friends that Lucy is contented and happy. I can reflect with satisfaction on the rugged pathway I have entered, viewing it as selected by my Heavenly Father. No trial or privation which I have experienced, or now anticipate, has ever caused me to cast a lingering look back to my native shores.
If I may best contribute to the happiness and usefulness of one of Christ’s own ministers, of assisting in giving civilization, the Bible, and letters, to one of the tribes of men in utter darkness,-it is enough that I bid farewell to everything my heart so late held dear in life, and subject myself to all the trials, privations and hardships of a missionary life. It is to me a source of no small consolation, that my present undertaking met the approbation of my father and friends. (Lucy Goodale Thurston)