June 4th. Every day we have had very favorable wind; and we traveled about 48 miles; and today we are across from the island Puerto Rico. The heat this week has been unbearable. Sunday and Monday the sun was straight above us, but we are getting used to it now. By sunrise the temperature is 22-23 degrees R.

If the wind weren't so good, I don't think we could stand it here.

June 5th. Last night it got somewhat cooler; and it was beautiful; and I could not suppress the wish to experience a thunderstorm at sea. This is a description beyond all imagination. The lightning by itself blinded our eyes so much that one could not see anything for quite a good while. At about 2 o'clock in the morning we got a wind so heavy it was stronger than a storm. Such a wind does not come just from one side; but it comes form the north, the south, the west and every direction at the same time. The captain was able to take the sails down before it hit, and in about half an hour the wind stopped, and we went back to sleep on our mattresses. This morning we are 5 miles from the island of Santo Domingo, and we see a big mass of clouds like a dome up in the sky. You all may not know that (in I think the year 1790) the Negros revolted against their French masters under Toussaint and formed their own republic to pay only tribute [?] to the French.

June the 6th. Last night, there was another thunderstorm off Santo Domingo, and it was a good sight to see. It did not come near us, but it brought only refreshing winds. It was such an experience, I will not forget this the rest of my life. My eyes got blinded 5 minutes at a time, and my ears sounded like someone shot cannons. To our regret, yesterday afternoon was cloudy, otherwise we would have got a better look at Santo Domingo.

We sailed in about a mile away from Cape Haitien, but we did not see very much but rocks and hills. We sailed quite a way overnight. At about 5:30, we saw Cuba's beautiful shores and mountains.

June 8th. We sailed for about 2 days with slow winds (5 knots) along the island of Cuba. It was so beautiful I could not withstand the desire to sketch some parties on the ship. We are about 1 mile away, but we can see the rocks clearly through our telescope. Also with the naked eye we see palm trees and coffee trees. The water comes to life now; we see a large turtle and a large piece of log which is covered over and over with corals. We saw many different kinds of fish: a sea eagle, some puttskopfe, a big fish about 16 feet long, marvelous huge water-spewing creatures, and many herds of flying fish, from the smallest kind to the biggest ones. The small ones look like grasshoppers and the large ones look like swallows. They shoot at everything which comes close. They hit or miss. The background of the island of Cuba is so beautiful one can lose the drive to write, so I close for today.

June 9th. We are now around Cape Cruz. There are so many rocks [?] here that we have to pull far out from the island so that we lose sight of it.

June 10th. We have good wind today. We see a lot of flying fish, about 100 at a time. We are sailing about 48 miles a day. I got so sleepy about noon, I lay down on the foredeck. I slept about half an hour. A terrible stinging on my feet woke me up. I did not wear any socks, so I discovered that I had a terrible sunburn on my feet.

June 11th. The ship that we sighted the other day caught up with us today. It hoisted its flag, which was Spanish, and as soon as they saw our flag, they took off like they were jealous that a German ship could outdo a Spanish ship since they are one of the oldest seafaring nations in the world.

June 12th. Yesterday, we finally saw a shark. He was about 15 feet long. He swam past us at about 40 to 50 feet distance. We saw his 2 back fins which were out of the water. We immediately threw out a hook with big pieces of meat attached. At about this time, we sailed around Cape San Antonio, the last point of Cuba; and then we sailed through the Yucatan Channel into the Gulf of Mexico. We were all in awe at the arrival of a butterfly. He looked just like one of our white German butterflies. Never mind that we were about 2 miles from land, and we also had a strong wind, the butterfly circled our ship happily. All of a sudden at about 4 o'clock the sky got dark with clouds, and they turned into a 20' long and 1' wide tail. The clouds had the appearance of a big rat. It looked rather comical. But all at once the tail got longer, and it touched the surface of the ocean, which came up. A shape something like a container formed in the water, from which the tail stuck out, and 1/2 or a mile from us we had a so-called waterspout. If it came near the ship, it would damage it very badly and also tear up the sails. So we loaded our rifles and prepared to shoot at it if it came closer. It did not come closer, but it started drawing water, and about 5 minutes later, a terrible rain. In the same fashion 3 more of those things formed, but they did not come close to us. Then all of a sudden, the wind stopped. The ocean was still making waves, but since the wind had stopped suddenly the ship sort of lost its balance; and it began to rock so terribly, so that everything on the foredeck fell head over toe. It is strange that the stillness influenced all the passengers too. Whoever was screaming before got very quiet and whispered their thoughts to the others. It is said that in the Gulf of Mexico it is possible to be without wind for 40 to 50 days; and it would be very sad if that would happen to us because we have been at sea for 8 weeks. And we were in hopes of being in Galveston in about 5 days. Also our water supply is beginning to spoil. And there is not much of a chance to get more water here.

June 13th. We had a good breeze last night, and we traveled about 6 knots. But this morning the wind has stopped again. But here the current of the gulf is so strong that we still travel a few knots. And we hope to be there in about 4-5 days. The next morning the ocean was moving in a wonderful way. It was as though all of a sudden there was an undertow; and it made waves and splashed up. The captain assured us it was because a volcano had erupted on the bottom of the ocean somewhere. Also brother shark is still around us.

June 14th. The trip is sadly slow. We travel about 3-4 knots and the current carries us along. Everyone can easily imagine how hot it is here. The best friends start quarrelling amongst themselves and threaten to shoot one another once they are on land. It looks sad for me. I had planned to settle in Texas, but since those terrible sorts of people plan to settle there, too, I decided to pursue my prior decision and first look up my _________. But unfortunately the captain tells me because of the yellow fever epidemic, which is very bad in New Orleans, no ship can come into that harbor. So I am forced under those disagreeable circumstances to spend my money in Galveston, where everything costs 10 times more than anywhere else, come what may. My motto is: my home is everywhere.

June 15th. We have no wind yet, but very terrible heat. We got a visit from many birds today: pelicans, ducks, seagulls, and sea swallows.

June 16th. At sunset we received the visit of a swallow; it was very tired; it sat down on one of our masts, and this morning it said goodbye with a friendly song. The water lost its nice blue color; it is green now. That is a sign that it is not as deep as before, and that we are not too far from land. We measured 10 faden {fathoms}. Today is a rainy day. It is 1 o'clock in the afternoon (in Germany it is about 7 o'clock in the evening). We have had three cloudbursts already, and I wish you all had seen such a tropical rain. And now it starts to pour again, and in a moment everything is soaked; drops as big as dove eggs. The captain and helmsmen climbed up in the crow's nest often to look out for land. We are supposed to be about 10 miles from land. In the afternoon at 3 o'clock the long-hoped-for word: "Land! Land!" and you can imagine how all the faces cleared and smiled. The foredeck was filled with people; everyone wanted to be the first one to gaze upon his new home. But as the captain climbed down from the crow's nest, he had bad news; and the happiness of everyone was dampened. He said: "Galveston's harbor is blocked by 5 warships, most likely Mexicans. They are trying to stop other ships from coming in or out." Soon one could see them with the naked eye, and altogether we made plans to have to go to Mexican prison. It would have been the case if they had been Mexican ships, since Mexico has not acknowledged the independence which Texas has declared. But as we got closer, we soon saw the American flags flying in the wind. There were 4 fregatten {frigates} [?] (powered by steam and with the commodore's flag) and 1 brigg [?]. We got close to the first ship; and they told us that we could not get close to the town because the harbor was too shallow; and we did not have a pilot to drop anchor. The ship which lay next to us had 20 cannons, and the sailors practiced shooting. It was a beautiful sight when the cannon balls hit the water 4 & 5 times; and they made a sound such that one did not wish to get hit by one of them. In the evening we got a visit from all the American officers, very fine and educated people; and we learned that it was up to Congress in Washington to decide whether Texas should be a new state or not. That is why the ships are here, to avoid all interference.

June 17th. Today at noon at last a pilot showed us safely into the harbor. And at 3 o'clock, the captain, the passengers, and I were on our way toward the land. There was a strange change in temperature. On board it was hot, very hot, but here the sun nearly burned us alive. Here in Galveston the sun reflected back from the white walls of the homes and almost took your breath away. For a town which was founded 8 years ago, Galveston is of pretty good size. If it had a better entrance to the harbor, it could be a very important town one of these days.

There are about 200 houses, which are built in a nice order. The attractive white color has a nice flair and also is a good contrast. And a friendliness like one can't find in Germany. The population is 2000, mostly Germans from all different parts of Germany; and the language is mostly German. I found out that there will be no steamship sailing for New Orleans, and I decided to go to the new colony.

June 18th. We had a few drinks. We mixed water, ice (from Boston) and a spirited drink together. In the evening after a bath, I rode with Mr. von der Vechte in a 2-wheel buggy with one horse, New York style. The horse is a so-called mustang; it was very stubborn. Not far from the beach, it would not go another step. I got out of the buggy to lead it, but it jumped to the side, knocked me down and stood there stiff as a stick. After a few more escapades, we made it safely back to Galveston. But after I tore my pants up, I had to buy some new ones, which cost me 5 -- repeat 5 -- dollars [?]!!! and velvet pants yet!!! In the evening, we ate at the Tremont House, and then we played billiards.

June 19th. I became sick all of a sudden, probably because I indulged in too much ice yesterday. I got terrible stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting (just like cholera) and a bad headache. I was afraid I had yellow fever, which was an epidemic at the time, and easy to get for a newcomer. Three doctors had me in their hands. They gave me chamomile tea to drink.

June 20th. Today at noon I was able to walk again; and I went to see the agent for the new German colony and paid 100 taler. I am officially a member now. We are sailing for the new colony tomorrow. From here to Indian Point in the Lavaca Bay is 150 miles.

June 21st. We sailed today, and after a good trip of 30 hours we arrived at Indian Point. This is a dead-looking region. Only prairie, some bushes and many different kinds of cactus, palm trees and some trees whose names I don't know. A free Negro lives here. He has a little field and 3 horses, 3 cows and a herd of goats!

June 22nd. We saw a terrible prairie fire from a distance, and one could tell that Indians live not too far from here. Four men have to alternate at night and stand guard by our tents.

June 23rd. We went hunting in the evening. We shot rabbits (same color and size as in Germany) and seagulls, which we turned into a delicious feast.


28th July, not June. Today after 5 weeks, I am able to report to you my further adventures. We stayed in Indian Point for 2 days and then finally wagons from the colony arrived to take us up there.

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