Eli Farnham Esq
Galesburg Illinois Co.
Illinois
U.S. America
[Postmarked: New York Ship Sep 19 12cts]

Baque Issabella Anna off the Coast of China
March 21st in a fog among the islands of the Chisan Archipeligo

My Dear Brother & Sister

     Having been 28 days out from Hong Kong contending most of the time with contrary winds we are at length within 30 or 40 miles, as we trust, of the island Chusan – We have been in perils by sea there four weeks, making up a dangerous coast, & yesterday more than ever, for the fog was so thick that we could not distinguish objects more than 1-2 3, 4, or 5 miles distant & about 4 PM having only 8 & 6 fathoms sounding the captain determined to drop anchor & preparations rapidly making when the cry of “Land right ahead” was heard, immediately the vessel was brought about, and the anchor down, we felt easier, I assure you. A few minutes afterwards, the fog slightly cleared away & we saw land on three sides of us. Thus were we mercifully brought to anchor just in time.– It is now 9 oClock Friday morning, & we are still at anchor for the fog is too thick to proceed, as all on board are strangers in these seas.- - We will try & not be impatient, we shall be brought to Chusan in just the right time. It is the arrangement that I shall remain at Chusan while Mr. Culbertson proceeds to Ningpo to join the missionaries there. either Mr. Lowrie or Dr. McCartie will also be at Chusan. I suppose that you get most of the particulars respecting us through your letters from home.- - I wish it were so that the letters could be transmitted, for I absolutely cannot write everything to all my friends - - it occupies very much of my time, & I consider every moment as due to the mission. My feelings for home are strong as ever, & I love to think of you all. yet I am far from having any uneasy longing to see you. I left, never expecting to see one of your faces again in the flesh, & having no such expectation I never indulge the wish. I am happy in my situation, & in my work, my wish is to be useful here to work while my day lasts & then to lay down this body to sleep till the resurrection morning. I have had some very pleasant seasons of communion with God during this passage. I have found it good to be in danger, & to feel in the hands of God entirely. God’s ways are not as our way, clouds & darkness are round about him, but all things he will cause to result in our good. therefore let us never distrust of complain. It is now 12 oclock – no less fog – we are stationary still- - - A party has gone ashore in the small boat - - the owner & 4 of the passengers [page 2]- - Some have gone to see the land – some inquire of the natives, if any such there be, as to the locality - - for we do not know where we are - - but the capt. has taken tolerably good observations to day, & I hope he will soon be able to “Define his position.” Could we get a pilot on board, we might go through the fog. I think I will not write much now but wait till I have seen Chusan, then tell you something about that. Both Mary Ann & myself remain remarkably well - - neither of us have been unwell at all, thanks to a merciful heavenly Father. Chusan April 9th – We were 4 days befogged among the [Kweshan] group & 5 days more in reaching Chusan, you may see the particulars in my letter home – we were more than once or twice in iminent peril – some of the ladies became exceedingly nervous- - - Our ship was undermaned & the rigging bad, & it is a wonder that we got in at all. but we were brought safely through- - We are now safely logded in Chusan in our hired house I will let Mary Ann tell you something about it. [Beginning of Mary Ann’s portion] And let’s see what shall I say first, well then it is a small Chinese house of one story, within the walls of the city, & the house is surrounded by a wall, as most of the dwellings are – there are two little rooms on the house that we occupy, a pantry & kitchen; I wish that you could look into some of the kitchens en China; they seem quite like a blacksmith’s shop. But as to the two little rooms. One we have for our sleeping room, & the other (your brother W has for his study - & we have it too for a dining room, parlour, & all - one window in each the frame of which is not unlike lattice work, & covered with thin white paper instead of glass. The other rooms in the house are not floor’d. The Chinese don’t floor their rooms or have glass windows, & this house has been occupied by a European & he had these rooms floor’d, & this I think is quite sufficient to say about it, for we only expect to remain here but a shore time, as there is some prospect of our having another soon, in a more airy part of the city. [page 3] I would like to talk with you more, but the vessel leaves in the morning & I have some letters to finish, so that I know you will excuse me. Kiss your children for us, an abundance of love to all - now I must say good night to you. Mary Ann [end of Mary Ann’s portion]
Chusan, May [8?] -45 - - Now if this is not too bad - - I supposed that this was sent two months ago, when I made up a package of letters for home – until day before yesterday I found it in a corner of my portfolio – it was not neglect – an accident, purely. We have been living at this place now one month, we have been in perfect health - I am much improved in flesh & vigor from my rambles over the mountains of Chusan. Mary Ann has been perfectly well, but to day is feeling out of sorts from a cold, taken she thinks at the top of the pagoda in the centre of the City of Ningpo, to which city we made a short visit. This pagoda is fourteen stories high & each story say 10 or 11 feet, & such a view as this tower or pagoda commands! - - not only the Whole city, but the vast plain in which it is built. The sail to Ningpo from this with good wind & tide may 7 or 8 hours - - without good wind it may be 24 hours; for they must anchor [and way?] to wait the change of tide. From Chusan to the entrance of the Ningpo river we are passing among islands; just at the mouth of the river is the city Ching-hae where is an officer whose business it is to come on board every boat passing up & down the river – inquire respecting the cargo & take the duties for the emperor. It is a walled town as are all the larger towns of China – foreigners are not allowed to go ashore hear. Near the city is a lofty hill, & on it’s top is a Budist temple with groves &c - - the view is pleasant coming in from the [cov] sea- - After entering the mouth of the river you find that you have passed a gap of the mountain ridge & you find yourself within a vast ampitheater– As you proceed towards Ning-po the river the winding course of the river may be observed by the masts, & spread sails all along its course- - The banks are very low – but little above flood tide, & in some places to shut out the flood, walls have built. Along the river you see any quantity of little conical hillocks which the boatman will tell you are salt heaps – salt made by evaporating the sea water- - you will observe also that you are now in the region of wheat growing & pleasant [upside down ] it is to look again upon the working fields of this well known grain - - - At Ningpo the missionaries are of our Board Rev. Messrs Lowrie, Culbertson, Way, & Dr. McCartie with Mrs. Way & Mrs. Culbertson- - - Dr. & Mrs. Macgowan of the Baptist mission - - Messrs Way & Culbertson are living opposite the City, across the river – the others are within the walls - - Ning po is the finest city among the ports open to trade - - more clean - - more pleasant- - The streets - for some of them are splendid - wide (for Chinese) so straight – with arches at wh. I think are gates to shut at night - & shops on each side with their wares quite tastefully arranged - - - We walk though some parts of the city, & such crowds as there followed as to see the white ladies - - - & then in all the houses & shops as we passed each on dropped work, & gazed in utter amazement - - but curiosity is much less than it was not even many weeks ago.- - Mr. Lowrie & Dr. McCartie are living in a temple –& they have abundant room, for many of the temples are monstrous great things- - Dr. McCartie has three boys that he is educating. his teacher, he thinks is almost a Christian - - Mr. Way’s servant was the lately baptized- - This week they were to form a Church at Ningpo - - - -
[word covered by seal?] Miss [Hedsey] – an English lady of fortune is also at Ningpo – has been some years employing herself as a missionary on her own hook – was some time at Java - & now there are with her two Chinese girls which were then her pupils – they are young women now of some accomplishments, & give good evidence of change of heart - - She has now about 16 or 18 chinese girls with her- - - Dr. Macgowan, a medical missionary is now a Ning po – he is a baptist- - - - - we visited the tower, much in appearance like a shot tower – very high – 14 stories – each, say 10 ft. high, it was formerly – I’ll stop now – for I see that I have said this once– the fact is I was trying to cheat you, as though I had written all at one sitting - - but I have caught myself- - since I took this up to make a finish of it, I have written a sermon, & attended to various other things.- - - I would be rather gratified to receive some inteligence from home - - I get papers frequently – that is, the city papers – but not a word from my own friends yet when they might just as well have been sending all the time since we left - - I suppose that paper is rising in the market, or that the geese no longer have quills in their wings - - you don’t mean that we shall care much about you.- -

[page 2 upside down]
I dont remember whether I have told you what we are about - - I preach twice on the Sabbath (in English) once to the soldiers in the hospital - & once to a few in the chapel belonging to the English - - we have a Thursday evening meeting - & the monthly concert.
     I study the language what time I can get, & that is most of the time. We feel quite at home – we find friends - - there are a few of the English people whom we find agreeable these are mostly connected with the army.- - An American merchant – Mr. Bates from Jefferson Co. N York is residing here - & we are quite familiar – he is a single man.- - There are some of the Chinese with whom I made acquaintance, & I feel quite an interest in them - - my teacher was with Mr. Gutstaff when he was at the north – was afterwards 10 months Miss Aldesey’s teacher – he has some knowledge of the doctrines of the Bible & is half a mind to believe them & this evening he brought a friend to me who also inclines to read religious books he brought a friend to me who also inclines to read religious books.
     - If you were here just now – you would hear an awful halloeing – it proceeds from a Budhist temple not far off where the Chinese have a theatre – in many of the temples there are accommodations for these – so that when a band of players come along they turn in to these places & perform their ridiculous farces- - - There are among them any number of jugglers, ventriloquists, &c - - -