Monday, November 23

At War's End


May 17, 1815
Dearest Marie

   I am sure you heard the joyous news of the war’s end before me, but as the English would say- I wish you joy on the war’s end!  Our happy reunion is now within reach!

When word first reached us of the end of the war my only thought was to return to you and the boys as swiftly as possible. I thought of various ways to quit the ship and make the shore. But on sober reflection there are many other things to consider.  I am owed all my wages for the endless time I have been aboard the Acasta- plus a goodly amount of extra money from the prizes we have taken. The Doctor has always treated me with kindness and through some effort of his I am listed as an assistant surgeon. This entitles me to a better wage and is normally given only to those with a formal medical education. I know this is true for he showed me myself listed as Assistant Surgeon in the Navy chronicle. As I have said before, I believe he is more than just a doctor, how else could he have such influence? The only way to collect my wages and prize money will be to return to England with the ship. I would never put money above my love for you and the boys, but to have such an amount would perhaps justify a delay of our happy reunion?

And another consideration. The Doctor has made me the offer to continue as his assistant in England. I have flattered myself to think that he and I worked well together and it seems he agrees. I have no wish to try and remake myself as a gentleman, and I know you are content there in Louisiana, but this could be an excellent chance to better our situation. Perhaps a formal education for the boys. The Doctor assures me he could easily find you employment there among his friends and acquaintances. I feel I would be foolish to not at least look at how things are in England before I give him an answer.

I wish we could talk about these things, but we are daily expecting to receive our orders to return to England. Write to me as quickly as you can with your thoughts about this. Tell Mr. Clark it is urgent and help will help you right away I am sure. Give my best regards to Mr. Clark and M. Rochambeau.

Ever your loving husband, 
Baptiste

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