June 2nd: SAN FRANCISCO
A two good days sail brought us here yesterday morning, June 1st. Our long desired and most welcome letters were placed in our hands as soon as we touched the dock (this time we are at “Long Wharf”) by our good friend Mr. Morgan who was most glad to see us as I am sure we were him. He looks exactly the same as ever. He was soon followed by Mr. Renford, then came Mr. Gillespie. The two first of these gentlemen remained the day with us and after tea we were joined by Mr. Minturn and a Mr. Hathaway, one whom I had never seen before. All seemed truly glad to see us. Willie was quite friendly, more so than I expected he would be.
Our letters from home were delightful, nothing therein to make us feel in the least sad – all well. As for Molly, I think she appears to enjoy herself very well – not once admitted a wish to be back on board of the “Serpent”. Poor Colin Campbell’s letters were sad indeed. His mother’s father died a few days after he left and his mother is very ill – cannot possibly live long, her disease an inward cancer. She had not been very well for some time before he left home but had not an idea of what was the matter. The fatigue she had at the time of her father’s death developed the disease in a very short time. The poor fellow feels very sad and will return home the first steamer. I encouraged him to hope as much as possible and I surely trust he will yet see her alive. His letters today encourage him a little more. I also received quite a number of letters today and most delightful reading I found them. I was quite amused with the account of the “table movings”. It is curious but I think easy to be understood. Electrical properties being communicated by the body to the table, but that part has to do with mind over matter is beyond me. I neither believe or disbelieve. I know not what to think for scientific folks, particularly I should think it would afford quite a study and a very interesting one. Truly this is an enlightening, inquiring age. What wonders will not men be familiar with some twenty years hence.
This morning, Mr. Gillespie was in and invited us to tea this evening. Williams, Mr. Morgan and I went. We had passed a very pleasant evening. Mrs. Gillespie seemed very glad to see us again. They have just got nicely settled in their new house, one Mr. Gillespie has been building. After tea they took us through the house and it certainly was a very complete little affair and finished throughout very prettily. They seem as happy and contented as possible.
The “Star of the Union” arrived this evening. This evening is the first and only time I have been off the ship so I could not tell much concerning the improvements of the city. One thing I know, the streets are as dirty, dusty and dangerous as ever, being full of steps up and steps down and holes innumerable, whereby folks, unless they ever keep their eyes on the ground, run great risk of breaking their limbs. Coming home this dark night it really was unpleasant. Mr. Morgan walked on before, sounding the way ahead with his stout cane. I left Mrs. Gillespie’s with my veil on my hat. After walking most of the distance back, which is by no means short, I happened to think of my veil, felt for it, but it was gone. A gentleman stepped up. “You are looking for your veil. I picked up one about six doors back and handed it in at the store.” So back he and Mr. Morgan ran and in a moment or two my veil, much to my satisfaction, was in my hands. I had not an idea of recovering it as I know not when I had dropped it and the street was full of people going and coming.
Gave Mr. Morgan Mary’s present of selected “bon bons”. He was very much amused and pretended to think her quite saucy. Says he will pay her with interest.
Have had the freight all taken out of the Cabin today. I am very glad as we want the rooms sadly. Tomorrow the steward says he will have us in order, for which I shall be very thankful for part of our little Cabin is fitted up with trunks and we have no place to put anything.
I now have Mary’s letters received today. She writes particularly to Willie and sends him a kiss, the place of which is marked down on the paper. I took the little fellow on my lap and read it to him and when I came to the kiss and showed it to him, he took the letter in his own hands and then clasped it to his breast – with a look full of love and pleasure, and then he kissed it again and again and wanted me to read it over. This I did, and the little darling again took it, put his arms round it, and kissed it.
The steward’s brother gave me today a tumbler full of very nice ice cream. I was delighted to have it on Willie’s account who formed a great attachment for it while in New York. He enjoyed it very much, but I am tired and must go to bed.