A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

June 11th

Another duel was fought this morning, one of the opponents badly wounded. Mr. Morgan tells me that another one is to be fought tomorrow. This is indeed dreadful.

I did hope to go on shore for the last time today, but Williams and Mr. Morgan have been so very busy that I did not even hint a wish to them but hoped all day that Mr. Sanford would make his appearance. I certainly should have invited him to go to the exhibition room with me. I quite wanted to see “Samson and Delilah” again, but he did not come till evening and so I remained on board all day. I wrote Horatia and part of a letter to Mary in the morning. Scarce anyone was in and the morning was rather dull. I read considerable in “Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, without a doubt all the statements are true but is it wise at this time for the authors to compile and send forth to the world such a statement? Will it not do away with, in great part certainly for the present, the good effects produced upon the Southern mind by her beautiful and deeply affecting tale of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. It will occasion fear, a feeling of bitterness and tend to harden again the feelings so much softened by her former, wise, temperate and beautiful story – better to have left that alone to have worked its powerful and effective way. It may be the means of good, but it does not seem to me wise. I have a fear that her immense success has somewhat turned her head, and this trip to England will completely turn it. She will return a rabid abolitionist. It will be a pity, surely.

For awhile this evening our Cabin was full of company. Mr. Morgan, Sanford, Minturn and Hathaway spent the evening with us. Mr. Morgan and Mr. Sanford brought their China commissions, also their bundles of money – the first $500 and the other over $300. Truly all our commissions will keep us pretty busy. I enjoyed the evening very much. I like Mr. Minturn very much. He is very gentlemanly and pleasant.

Our Chinese passengers have been very busy all day getting their traps on board as this evening they take possession of their new quarters. I trust, we shall have no cause to regret taking them. Their passage money together with our freight will amount to $6,000. Hitherto our voyages from here to China have brought us nothing but been quite expensive owing to the large wages demanded by sailors here. The money paid for freight to San Francisco amounted to $52,500 this with the $6,000 is doing pretty well for five or five and one-half months. I trust from my heart that we shall be very successful in China and that this will be our last voyage around the world.