Tuesday, November 25

Lt. Tumbusch sends a second letter to Thomas Harner


Thomas Harner, Bosun

HMS Resolute

24 Nov, 1814

Dear Sir,

I write in haste to give you joy of your son Johnny, who has this day arrived in Halifax hale and sound aboard HMS Wasp, and to alleviate any concerns you may have as to his welfare.

As related in my previous letter, Wasp now has a new commander in whose charge she has become a far happier — and luckier — ship. Since last I wrote to you, Wasp has taken the schooner Wm. Tudor (previously taken by the US privateer schooner Snap Draggon), retaken the ship Gelen (previously captured by the US privateer Invincible), re-captured the Landrail cutter off Cape Sable, retaken the brig Charlotte (twice taken by the American privateers Mammoth and Grand Turk in turn), the brig Alexander, and the schooner Mary.

While your son's share in the proceeds of these prizes is merely that of a ship’s boy, it is nonetheless the greatest sum of money he has known in his lifetime. When I spoke with him this evening (he has earned sufficient trust from his new commander to be permitted liberty in Halifax) he expressed great satisfaction with his lot aboard HMS Wasp, exclaiming that a dozen press gangs could not compel him to quit the life of the sea. He is beloved by his messmates, who address him affectionately as “Big Johnny,” and has suffered no such abuses as concerned your wife Mary (to whom I shall again post a copy of this letter) since his new commander took charge.

Wherefore I charge you to set your mind at ease, knowing that your son willingly and proudly serves king and country in the Royal Navy, as do you and your humble servant,

Lt. Tumbusch

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